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Thread: My 2001 Sport Trac Install

  1. #31
    Variable Bitrate wkolodny's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Radio Xtreme Installed and Reviewed

    Well based upon the recommendations of others I went ahead and purchased and installed the USB version of Radio Xtreme. I had tried using a D-link USB radio which I would rate a D- in terms of overall performance. It had miserable sensitivity and reception.

    I ditched the head unit so that I could install my screen in my dash and was without a radio. I was hoping that the Radio Xtreme unit would help fill in the missing part of my CAR PC setup.

    I ordered it from the only place it is available (HERE) and it arrived in about 2 and a half weeks. It was shoddily packaged. Brown paper wrapped around the retail box which was slightly squashed. Upon removing the unit from the box I noticed a rattling noise coming from inside the sealed Radio Unit.



    I saw no way of obvious was of opening it. It is either snapped or glued together and I didnt feel like breaking it open or going through the hastle of shipping it back to singapore.

    I am guessing some plastic snaps holding the cable in place had broken so I bit the bullet and installed the drivers and then connected it to my PC via the USB extension cable it came with. The LED didnt light and the PC didn't see the unit. I figured it was broken but decided to toss the extender and plug the USB connector directly into the PC. That fixed the problem. After that, the installation was straightforward.

    The unit includes a configurable IR remote. It would come in handy if I wanted to allow someone to control frodoplayer remotely. I have a touchscreen and Griffin Powermate so I wont bother with it.

    The unit comes with a Bipolar antenna designed for home use:


    It works only marginally well in a mobile environment. I went ahead and wired up a connector going from the mini audio plug to the external car antenna. Reception is considerably better than the D-Link USB but I only receive half of the stations I used to with get with my old head unit. There is also an extremely noticable whine coming from the engine when I accelerate. I have tried every conceivable combination of wiring between the mini plug and the various antennas I have lying around. The best reception I get is with the external antenna.

    I am using frodoplayer as the interface to Radio Xtreme and it works reasonably well. I just wish it had a seek function.

    One other very annoying issue I have had is that sometimes when I exit the Frodo Radio screen the Radiator program does not Mute the MIC-IN. There is an option in radiator that is supposed to mute the audio on exit:


    This causes the annoying engine whine to bleed over when I am playing MP3's. I have to manually go into the control panel and mute it.

    I would have to give Radio Xtreme a grade C overall. It is alot better than D-Link but still no where near as good as a real receiver. It is better than no radio at all. I may have to bring back the head unit though.
    Don't Fear The Gurkey
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  2. #32
    Variable Bitrate wkolodny's Avatar
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    OBD II Interface Installed

    Ordered an OBD II interface cable from OBD Diagnostics. Quick and painless. Paid $88 via PayPal and got it in 3 days via USPS mail.

    Installation was straightforward. Only gotcha I can warn you about is that it introduced an even louder thump when my sub's amp turns on. Gotta try one of those ground loop isolators.

    I like the software from the site. Very Car PC/Touch Screen friendly. Here are some pics of the install:

    Here is the box:


    Connector fit plug perfectly:


    Nice big fonts for displaying information:


    And of course cool analog gauges:


    Let me know what you think.
    Don't Fear The Gurkey
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  3. #33
    FLAC samc's Avatar
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    does that obd II scanner read every code off the ecu?
    I know some scanners won't pick up all the codes.
    Mine needs to be updated.

  4. #34
    Variable Bitrate wkolodny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samc
    does that obd II scanner read every code off the ecu?
    I know some scanners won't pick up all the codes.
    As far as I can tell from this screen capture off of my pc it supports most of the measurable items:



    The gauges that dont have white numbers around them don't seem to be supported by my explorer:



    As you can see everything that is not greyed out is supported:




    Only kind of wierd thing is the Fuel Sys messages. It doesnt measure it directly but rather by measuring the O2 sensor. Can anybody explain how it does that?
    Don't Fear The Gurkey
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  5. #35
    Variable Bitrate wkolodny's Avatar
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    A member from the sporttrac website provided me with this breakdown if anyone is curious about what all of those readings mean:

    OK, all the stuff on top in the Gray window is doing nothing more than "Monitoring" or reading the various sensors. It is these sensors that the ECM/CM reads and determines actions it needs to tell other components based on the information it gathers from the various sensors.

    The Intake Guage area is monitoring the Intake Vacuum, as in the vacuum lines. It is reading the Air Charge Temp, (In take air temperature), and the Mass Flow Sensor.

    Throttle Position is reading the location of the TPS which is in theory how far you have the fuel pedal pushed down.

    Fuel Pressure, exactly that.

    Fuel Trims are your Oxygen Sensors. Long term is how much they do over a long period of time (minutes to weeks depending on how well things are running). Short Term is what is happening right now.

    Open and Closed loop. Closed loop, the thermostat is open and engine is up to temp.

    Hope this helps
    Don't Fear The Gurkey
    Click here to check out My Setup

  6. #36
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    How do you like your iFree keyboard? I have heard some reviews talking about connection problems missing keystrokes and that the pointing device wasn't very good.

  7. #37
    Variable Bitrate wkolodny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archimense
    How do you like your iFree keyboard? I have heard some reviews talking about connection problems missing keystrokes and that the pointing device wasn't very good.
    I have had very few problems with this keyboard except for the battery going dead. (My bad cause I had thrown it under the back seat and a key was pushed down)

    I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a compact keyboard/mouse combo that is RF wireless. That is a big advantage over the IR keyboards that require line of sight. The trackball pointer is very responsive and easy to use and I havent experienced the issue of missing keystrokes.

    Here is a link to a more in depth review:
    http://www.overclockersclub.com/revi...sskeyboard.php

    That review is for the PS2 connected keyboard but my base unit has a USB connection to PC and doesnt require external power.

    BTW these are hard to find. You'll see them come up on ebay every once and a while. There is a canadian website too: http://www.canadianpc.com/productdet...S&StockNo=1498

    If you are looking for another alternative I also own an AVCAST PC Caster which is very cool. I use it for my home theatre PC. It has a built in mouse and a range of up to 100 feet. You'll see them come up on ebay once and a while too. Here is one that sold recently: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=WDVW&tc=photo

    You can get more info on it at http://crossbarmedia.com/html/pccaster_kit.html

    Hope this helps.
    Don't Fear The Gurkey
    Click here to check out My Setup

  8. #38
    Maximum Bitrate Yuriy's Avatar
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    LOL! I love your security system!

    You know, this is crazy You can actually connect to somebody via the wi-fi (granting they also have a computer in their car) somewhere on the highway Now that's what I call hi-speed P2P file sharing!
    00 Saturn SL2, boosted @ 8 psi - CarDomain
    Newest install - my quickest ever
    My 2nd carputer - b4 I broke the touchscreen
    My very first carputer - voted the most ghetto

  9. #39
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    i am VERY interested in what you have done, because of you and FoxGuy2001 i think that i might be doing this to my 2002 ranger!!!
    do you think that i would be possible to built something like this for me and i could install it? any ideas on pricing? if you have any advice or anything you can e-mail me at jahandzion@hotmail.com
    THANK you very much for showing me what is possible on my truck!!!

    Jacob

  10. #40
    Variable Bitrate wkolodny's Avatar
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    ITPS Override Switch

    Quote Originally Posted by TheForce02
    i am VERY interested in what you have done, because of you and FoxGuy2001 i think that i might be doing this to my 2002 ranger!!!
    do you think that i would be possible to built something like this for me and i could install it? any ideas on pricing? if you have any advice or anything you can e-mail me at jahandzion@hotmail.com
    THANK you very much for showing me what is possible on my truck!!!

    Jacob
    No problem. I want to help others out because I learned a lot from others on this site. Gotta warn you that this stuff can be addictive. Just when you think you've got it just right something will come along that makes you want to change it again.

    On that note, I have discovered that there are times when I do not want the ITPS to shut down my PC or that I wanted to turn the PC on without turning the ignition to the accessory position.

    I have an idea in my head for an ITPS override switch that will do 2 things. First it will break the connection (A) going to the PC power button and then it will throw a connection (B) from the Non-switched 12v going into my ITPS to the switched 12v lead coming out of the ITPS.

    In theory, this should prevent the ITPS from pulsing the power button and also continue to provide power after the ITPS has cut the switched power lead off.

    I just dont know if there will be an issue when the unswitched 12v and the switched 12v leads are connected together. Does anyone see a problem with this? Am I going to blow up my ITPS?

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