My 2006 Scion xB (portable) Carputer setup! w/pics!
Well, finally, I took some pics of my "carputer"... As I've said a couple of times on this forum, I live in NYC, and there is no way in hell I'm leaving a computer in my car...
My only requirements for a carputer were:
1) easily portable - I can mount and dismount the unit within a minute
2) when i disconnect everything, my dashboard looks STOCK!!!
3) i wanted gps, video, mp3s and a usb web/backup camera (im gonna do this mod last)
This isn't a "true" carputer setup because it's removable and not permentantly mounted in my xB, but this is what i wanted. this solution saves on space (so i dont have an ugly case hogging up precious space), this is entirely removable, when the laptop is not mounted, the interior of the xB will look absolutely bone stock, and on and on... there were a ton of reasons why i went with a laptop over the desktop alternative. I liked this solution better - so if it's a carputer - or not (because all it is is a laptop inside of my xB) - it doesn't matter to me! i accomplished what i wanted to!
Here is a quick rundown of the setup...
1 - These are the only cables that my current carputer setup needs: The power cable for the laptop, the USB GPS locator and the auxillary audio cable w/ gold plated ends.
2 - this is the laptop i am using - its an ibm x41 laptop - tiny as hell, 12.1" screen, without battery, it weighs about 2.7 lbs!!!!
The main reason why this unit is perfect for this setup - when you fold the screen back, it goes back an entire 180 degrees!
I start off by connecting the ac invertor to the cigarette lighter. I also stick the "brick" portion of my laptop power supply into the cubby hole located under the temp controls...
With the laptop screen folded back 180 degrees, i now place the base of the laptop between the cubby door opening and the door itself. I now simply connect the power, usb gps locater and auxillary cables and that's it! i now have a carputer!
This is what it looks like when i close the laptop screen...
For now, the setup is a little ugly for 2 reasons:
1) the USB GPS locator wire is all over the place. im using the suction cup to hold the locater against the windshield... a little ugly.... same with the aux audio cable - i just have it running from the connecter (by the e brake) to the laptop...
my solution for the cable mess? I EVENTUALLY want to run the 2 cables into the dash and under the carpet (for the audio)... I will drill a hole in the bottom of the small cubby hole above the glove compartment... eventually, i want the 2 wires to be retractable and accessable like this:
This way, when im not using them, they can stay inside the cubby! everything will look stock!!! and when i am using these cables, only about 8" of them will be visible - the rest is inside the dash! mad clean!
2) for now, the laptop is just leaning against the temp controls. ghetto? yes. but i am trying to find a piece of plastic (even like black bunjee cord) to hold the laptop against the temp controls tightly (relax, this is only my temporary fix). i would hook the 2 ends of the cable/cord to the 2 air vents and the main body of the cable would be on the laptop, beneath the monitor (since it sticks out over the base).... i know, this is the ugliest part of the installation but since it's a temporary fix, i accept it. =] functationality over looks at this point.
The temporary solution to "brace' the laptop should look something like the following -
The dealer can kiss my *** for asking me for $2,900 for navigation installed. I am using microsoft streets and trips 2006 with gps locater. It's not as good as the factory navigation - i admit this freely - but for $105 (vs. $2,900) - it's not so facking bad. not to mention, i have over 900 songs on it, 100 music videos, like 5 movies, episodes of beavis and butthead, topgear, etc all on this unit with a crapload of diskspace to spare!
I am, however, still in the process of making a nice mount for the unit - which will be based, again, within the cubby hole.
All the mount will be is a bended piece of metal that is about 6" wide - enough to hold my 10" wide laptop. The sheet of metal that i am using is very flexible - you can bend it by hand - but sturdy enough to keep it's shape. this is the sheet of metal i am planning on using-
When I am done with it, it will look like the following. The metal mount is shown in my half-assed drawning in red... Please use your imagination and read everything on the picture - it'll make it a lil easier to understand - I HOPE!
After bending to the desired shape, I am going to cover the metal with a black fabric so it wont scratch up the laptop or the cubby hole - plus it'll match the interior.
Let me know what you guys this so far! haters and people who like my setup and plans should be free to comment! it's all gravy!