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Thread: 1999 Mercury Grand Marquis CarPC

  1. #1
    Maximum Bitrate kegobeer's Avatar
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    1999 Mercury Grand Marquis CarPC

    Here's the completed system installation in the trunk of my 1999 Mercury Grand Marquis.

    I built the upper and lower racks out of 1/2" plywood with 2x2s for support. I'm using 4GA KnuKoncepts Kolossus Fleks Kable for the power and ground cables to the Pyramid RFP7 power distribution blocks, and 8GA KnuKoncepts Kolossus Fleks Kable for the power and ground for the amplifier. I'm using a Stinger PRO1 3' twisted pair interconnect to go from the USB DAC to the amplifier, and a standard 3' 3.5mm to RCA cable to go from the HD Zoom to the computer. My speaker wire is 14GA StreetWires Ultra Cable. The power to the distribution block, the IGN wire, and the power cable from the computer to my Lilliput is run on the right side, and the speaker wire, USB cable, and VGA/USB cable for the Lilliput is run on the left side. All of the wires on the underside of the lower rack are clamped and organized, with power and audio clearly separated.

    The upper and lower racks are covered in heavy duty black felt, bought from Hobby Lobby. I'm considering upgrading the felt to black leather or black speaker box carpet, but that depends on how well the felt will hold up. I decided to put a sheet of 1/4" plexiglass over the computer and amplifier for two reasons. One, it adds a unique touch to the setup that I haven't seen before, and two, I still need to use the trunk. I'm going to add more stand-offs to the long and short edges to help prevent the plexiglass from flexing and breaking. I might upgrade to 3/8" plexiglass if there is too much flex even with additional supports. I'm also thinking about adding some 12V Blue LEDs I have laying around in my garage to add a nice glowing effect, but I haven't quite decided on that. I already have some white LEDs on the left and right side of the trunk for illumination, which might be enough - I'll see after a few nights how I like the look.

    Here are the components I used:
    • Black Box case from Mobile Computing Solutions
    • Intel D510MO motherboard with 2GB RAM, 80GB Intel SSD
    • Opus DX3.120P 120W Intelligent Power Supply
    • Visteon HD Radio with HDR-USB cable from MJS Gadgets
    • USB DAC I purchased from eBay
    • Centrafuse 3.5


    Anyway, that's my system. My next project is to integrate my 5 wire Lilliput 669 into my dash. Once that's done I'll post some pictures of it.

    Thanks for reading.
    Attached Images Attached Images    
    Last edited by kegobeer; 03-04-2011 at 04:48 PM.

  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate dna59's Avatar
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    I love how its setup. Damn now I'm wishing mine looked so clean.

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate kegobeer's Avatar
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    Thanks. I spent a lot of time at different car audio forums researching amp racks before I finally settled on this setup. The next time I make one I'm going to buy some sheets of Styrofoam (the plastic-ish type, not the crumbly type) and fit it to get a perfect shape, then transfer it to the plywood to get my cutting lines. For these pieces I took rough measurements, cut the plywood, then went back and forth from the trunk to my workbench, trimming a little here and there, until everything fit.

    I certainly learned that planning is key for this. You should have seen my previous three setups - I just kind of threw things in the back (mounted against the back seat, mounted above the fuel tank, etc) just to the system up and running.

    My local car audio shop wants me to enter it in the next show. I don't think my work will even place, but I'm considering it. It would be good experience, and I'd almost certainly be the only guy there with a real computer and touchscreen in his car.

  4. #4
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    great work!!

    the huge sheet of plexiglass looks a little out of place--a idea for next time(if your on your third system, there will be a "next time" ) would be to cut a notch around the openings, so some small sheets of plexiglass are flush to the floor level, and there isn't such a large surface.

    i would probably sink the plexiglass down a good 1/4" below the level of the rest of the trunk-- mostly so your trunk doesn't become unusable, and when you put items in there, it doesn't scratch the plexiglass..

    but otherwise, it looks like you did a really nice job finishing off the edges of the plexiglass, so it doesn't look rough.



    car shows are always a good experience. i have put mine in a couple of times, even though my trunk looks like a poorly-planned IT closet...(some day, i will re-do it)

    just be sure to take your camera, and have fun!

  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate dna59's Avatar
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    For some reason I'm loving the plexi as it is. You should enter the car show, sometimes you can be pleasantly surprised. Plus you may be able to inspire someone to do something similar. Any pics of the car? When I get my new setup in I'll try to plan it this time, since the current setup was just to get it up and working b4 Christmas break was over. Now only if my damn IDE adapter would get here so I can finish the new setup.

  6. #6
    Maximum Bitrate kegobeer's Avatar
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    Yeah, I love the plexiglass in there too. It looks really nice at night with my LEDs I have in the trunk. I haven't found my blue LEDs that I bought a couple of years ago, but when I do I'm going to figure out the best way to put them in there to highlight the equipment.

    I have one in my crownvic.net signature. Here it is.



    I haven't had a chance to detail my car yet this year, but when I do I'm going to change out my sig pic, and I'll probably post a few here in this thread.

    ---------- Post added at 02:59 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:50 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by soundman98 View Post
    great work!!

    the huge sheet of plexiglass looks a little out of place--a idea for next time(if your on your third system, there will be a "next time" ) would be to cut a notch around the openings, so some small sheets of plexiglass are flush to the floor level, and there isn't such a large surface.

    i would probably sink the plexiglass down a good 1/4" below the level of the rest of the trunk-- mostly so your trunk doesn't become unusable, and when you put items in there, it doesn't scratch the plexiglass..

    but otherwise, it looks like you did a really nice job finishing off the edges of the plexiglass, so it doesn't look rough.



    car shows are always a good experience. i have put mine in a couple of times, even though my trunk looks like a poorly-planned IT closet...(some day, i will re-do it)

    just be sure to take your camera, and have fun!
    Thanks for the kinds words, soundman. I thought about recessing the plexiglass, but if I did that I'd have to add forced cooling - and I wanted to avoid that right now. I considered two separate pieces, just over the holes, but I thought about adding some kind of logo under the middle section - and that would look pretty good under plexi.

    Yeah, I'm going to do the show. I think it'll be a good experience and kind of fun.

  7. #7
    MySQL Error scott_fx's Avatar
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    very clean. i like it
    New System in progress:
    M10k
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    My Car Pc Install
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  8. #8
    Variable Bitrate we87's Avatar
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    One of the cleanest installs I have seen yet. Looks factory. Very nice.

    Could you please provide a link to the DAC you purchased? Or make/model? Does it make a big difference as far as sound quality?
    Carputer Progress
    [||||||||||] 100%
    Finally Installed!!
    Everything is in the car and working.
    I painted the cilpboard mount and it looks good.
    Shutdown/Startup is working excellent!
    View My Progress Here

  9. #9
    Maximum Bitrate kegobeer's Avatar
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    It sounds much better than the USB sound card I had, and better than the onboard audio. I got it off eBay, but this is the same thing:

    http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=180-998

  10. #10
    FLAC PhilG's Avatar
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    Very clean install, leaves lots of option open to add/change accent lighting as desired to give it a fresh look whenever desired. Well done!
    My 2007 Ford F350 Work Log located HERE

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