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Thread: 2002 Suzuki Aerio SX

  1. #1
    Low Bitrate DavidIQ's Avatar
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    2002 Suzuki Aerio SX

    This project has taken me since December of last year to plan. Wasn't able to complete it though until I had the money to buy the head unit. Finally got it and here I am with the evolution of it all.

    Got this beat up Toshiba Satellite 1800 series laptop from eBay for around $150. Works fine except for the screen and is why it was "cheap". Specs from what I can remember are P3 1.2Ghz, 256MB RAM, 40GB HDD, DVD/CD-RW, and the rest doesn't really matter all that much until later on.



    Those who were wondering what that was in my other "guess what this is" post then wonder no more. It's my power button Soldering it to the power board was a real pain in the arse especially since I suck at soldering but I got it done 8)

    Some may notice that there's a 802.11b/g card sticking out of the side there. I don't expect a lot of use out of that since this thing is sitting under my seat and most signals will probably be too weak to reach the laptop anyways but I thought I'd have it on there just in case. I actually do see my wireless network in the networks list but it's too weak a signal to do the whole WAP key and all that jazz.

    Only had 2 USB ports so I got this self-powered 4-port hub for $5 and double-contact taped it to the bottom of the case.


    Here's a glimpse of what the head unit looks like closed:


    I'm tired of having that clumsy SkyFi stuck to my dash on the passenger side so I got an elusive XMPCR from eBay for less than $50 and taped that sucker to the top of the case. As an added bonus the mini antenna's plug for the skyfi fits the XMPCR so I didn't have to run that wire


    Ooops...I cut too much out of this... so I attempted to fix the misshap


    And came out with one of the better parts of this install: a USB port!


    One of the biggest problems I had with this project was figuring out where to mount it. So I figured under my seat would be the best spot since under the passenger's seat I have that storage shelf that I didn't want to lose. So I bought these long metal things from Lowes that I could "easily" bend and shape and ran them through the laptop:



    BUT when I went to the car I noticed that this idea wasn't going to work without some modifications and then noticed this ledge (same ledge on the opposite side under the seat)


    I figured that maybe I could mangle the metal in a way that I can just insert it into these ledges. And so I ended up with this: (also seen in this picture is the wireless keyboard with integrated mouse ball which actually had a nice "feature" attached to the receiver)
    -David IQ

  2. #2
    Low Bitrate DavidIQ's Avatar
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    The final product actually looked a little different from this because it wouldn't fit so I ended up taking one of the metal pieces out and made it into a holding shelf for the back of the PC instead of the inserting type like you see in the picture. Worked out perfectly. That picture later.

    In case anyone was wondering how I do my stereo wirings: a technique I learned from when I installed my underbody neons which is hook them both and twist around itself making a totally locked connection and then of course tape it up.

    yeah...no way my connections are coming lose.

    Had me a visitor (on the car's roof) while installing this contraption in my car: :shock:


    The button and the USB plug turned to this:

    Also under this very section is the AC adapter and the MyScanTool module. There's a mess of wires under there...I hope I never have to take them out Kinda looks like the back of my desk here :shock:

    Putting in the computer under my seat was a lot harder than I thought...at least the first time. I may have damaged my GPS module in the process...ordering another one (Holux CF-type) which I have been meaning to do anyways. I had to take the laptop out a few times to re-align the bends in the metal plates but in the end I got:

    I like the fact that it's under my seat because, as you can see, the DVD drive is still easily accessible to watch movies or install some software.

    This is the wireless keyboard USB receiver which turned out to be a nifty accessory because of the power LED which turns on with the computer thus letting me know that it's on:


    I actually only connected this set of wires to easily do a future system add-on like my soon-to-be-obsolete-and-replaced-by-the-Wii GameCube.

    so they're just hiding out in the glove box.

    Once it's all said and done I powered that sucker up and had MediaEngine boot up and got

    The Suzuki logo is an add-on to the skin I chose. I like this skin mostly because of that. Used MediaEngine for the front end.

    ProScan is the software used by www.myscantool.com which I had purchased the hardware a while back. I actually selected this laptop with the fact in mind that it has a serial port. Works flawlessly:


    Picture of iGuidance software:


    And finally KING OF QUEENS ON UPN!!!

    YES...this head unit has a TV tunner function (VHF, UHF, etc.) although I'm yet to find a connector or antenna to fit the weird plug that it has for this (round with a smal cylinder in the middle that looks like something else would fit in it...never seen this before). It's the most riddiculous head unit I've ever had or seen. Also has AM/FM stereo as well as Video 1 and 2 inputs (2nd is for reverse camera...no I didn't get that!) plus it's self-powered (45Wx4 I think) which was great because I didn't want to have to buy another amp.

    This has been the biggest project I've ever done to a car and I have to say that I'm very pleased with the results. I had ripped all my CDs to mp3s and they are all sitting on the hard drive of this computer so no more carrying around music CDs and if I get the wireless repeater I plan on getting I should be able to synchronize my music lists on both the car computer and the computer I'm on right now.

    This didn't go off without problems though. After plugging everything in and taping everything together I started to notice that the laptop and the extra outlet weren't powering on. Turns out I wired all of that to the antenna cable from the head unit's wiring harness. Works great when the radio is on but once I turn on the VGA option it all turns off. Had to rewire that to the red power button. After that the XMPCR wouldn't turn on. Seemed to be a configuration issue and was taken care of (still have to call them to activate the radio). I managed to bang the GPS card a few times so I'm affraid it's not able to get a position fix anymore :cry: it just sits there trying to get one but can't and will no longer go at 9600 baud. Ordering a new card. :: Also the speakers were doing that interference noise and the scren was flickering. Tried grounding the head unit to the same spot I grounded the AC adapter but it didn't help. So I went out to walmart and bought a ground loop eliminator and that took care of the noise but not the screen distortion. Then I remembered I had to use a VGA extension cable since the one that came with the stereo wasn't long enough. I grounded the connection and the screen distortion is almost completely gone now. Pretty happy about these results so far and I'm still in awe that I was able to do this all. I cut my hands and fingers and lost sleep in the process but it was well worth it

    Questions or comments welcome
    -David IQ

  3. #3
    Low Bitrate DavidIQ's Avatar
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    I'm currently evaluating different software to use for the GUI since this MediaEngine one isn't working out very well. Will be trying MediaCruiser, MobileImpact, RoadRunner, and Mobile Media Center. Whichever works out the best is staying.

    FYI the problem I'm having with MediaEngine is that it's feezing whenever I get into XM...
    -David IQ

  4. #4
    Newbie Uriel's Avatar
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    Looks good mate, great way to fix the laptop under your seat. And the buttons in the centerconsole also look good.
    www.carputershop.nl for all your carputerstuff!!

  5. #5
    Low Bitrate DavidIQ's Avatar
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    Thanks!
    Update on Mobile Impact:
    It's a winner! Responds much quicker and I like its interface much more than MediaEngine. Now I'm off to tweak it some
    -David IQ

  6. #6
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    what head unit is that?

  7. #7
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    This install has some very innovative ideas an implementations for sure!

    However, I take issue with this:

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidIQ
    In case anyone was wondering how I do my stereo wirings: a technique I learned from when I installed my underbody neons which is hook them both and twist around itself making a totally locked connection and then of course tape it up.

    yeah...no way my connections are coming lose.
    please, for the sake of your install, and the sake of others on here. PLEASE make these connections the right way.

    Solder them or crimp connectors on them and clip them together.

    This is absolutely the WRONG way to make connections with your wiring.

    To all who read this, this is NOT the correct way to do this.

    To tell people that this is a good way to do this is leading people in the wrong direction and giving people the wrong information.

    This method can cause fires. The wires, if not making a 100% good connection, will heat up and can catch fire. Because this will be a hot spot for resistance you will more than likely run into voltage issues.

    Congrats on finishing your install. That XM PCR is hard to come by, but it's a great product. Too bad it's not being produced any more!
    Jan Bennett
    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

  8. #8
    Low Bitrate DavidIQ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike929
    what head unit is that?
    It's a Lilliput 701-GL/TV/C/T which has built in AM and FM radio, Video 1 and 2 inputs, and a TV tuner which I thought wasn't part of the unit.

    As for the connections...almost 10 years of installing mine and other's stereos and not once has one caught on fire. I think you're overreacting a bit. The way to do your connections is a matter of opinion. You can either crimp or solder or wire them up as I have...it's all about preference. I don't buy your comment about it being "safer" to do it any of the other ways. What if you don't solder the wires correctly or the crimp isn't tight enough? What then? The wire comes lose and makes contact with God knows what behind the deck. I find that to be a bigger hazard
    -David IQ

  9. #9
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    What shop do you install or have you installed at?

    It's NOT a matter of opinion, point blank.

    We covered this quite a bit in this thread too: wire performance
    Jan Bennett
    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

  10. #10
    Low Bitrate DavidIQ's Avatar
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    I never said I installed at a shop. It's a "hobby".

    And why is it "NOT" a matter of opinion? Do you have first hand experience or annecdotes of fires being started in a car because of correctly tied up and taped up stereo connections?
    -David IQ

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