My 2001 Explorer Sport Trac Install
Well after much deliberation I avoided the home grown PC option in favor of a prebuilt PC I picked up on E-bay. I have built many PC's but I have found I am getting lazy in my old age.
Cappuccino GX1 PC (E-Bay $280)
1 Gig Celeron
256 MB Memory
40 Gig Laptop Hard Drive
Lilliput 7" TouchScreen (MP3Car $278)
iFree RF Wireless USB Keyboard w/Track Ball Mouse (E-Bay $32)
Laptop Notebook Car Airplane DC Power Adapter Charger (E-Bay $27)
Netgear USB 802.11b Adapter ($17)
USB Hub ($10)
Multi Slot Flash Card reader ($10)
ITPS (MP3Car $42) (Installed)
CoPilot Live (MP3Car $280)
Radio Xtreme ($57)
Grand Total: $614 + $280 + $57 = $951 (Ouch)
Software: Frodoplayer 1.04b, Streets & Trips, Co Pilot Live/7
I was going to originally Bondo the screen into the Dash but it looked so good where I temporarily mounted it that I am having second thoughts. The screen comes with a mounting base. I made a wood platform and mounted the screen base to it. Then I wrapped the whole thing in a black rubber mouse pad that closely matches the original rubber insert. Opinions?
I wired an external power switch to a button on the side of my center console to remotely turn on/off my PC. I am now going to wire that to an ITPS when it arrives. I set the BIOS to hibernate the PC when the power button is pushed and the PC automatically turns on when power is applied.
I replaced the cheap 9-Pin connector that came with the lilliput. It was a source of much trouble an consternation. It never made good connections and eventually failed. I used a serial DB9 connector which works great.
I investigated the Auto Power-on method that involved installing a capacitor and a resistor but I was uncomfortable with soldering such tiny connections. I opted for an alternative that combines the shorting of the power button with a cut-off switch. This allows me to set the Screen to always come on when power is applied but also to temporarily disable this feature when I need to use the other buttons.
I originally had the PC in my glove compartment but it got way too toasty in there. Upwards of 155 degrees. I relocated it under the back seat. Much cooler now.
I am currently using a Garmin Etrex GPS connected to my PC with a serial cable and have Streets & Trips as the interface. I will probably get co-pilot 7 and a usb gps next year.
And finally there is my "High Tech" security system for preventing prying eyes from tempting any passers by from enjoying my work a little to much.
I went ahead and mounted it in the dash. Gotta come up with a revised security system.
I found that the hooks fit perfectly into my air vents. Works well and I dont have to reinvent the wheel.