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Thread: 2008 Nissan Altima Coupe Carputer Install

  1. #1
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    Post 2008 Nissan Altima Coupe Carputer Install

    [Previous Build]
    1997 V6 Ford Mustang - In Stang Entertainment
    Lesson Learnt: Bluetooth Keyboard melt in direct sunlight, LOL.

    [Car]
    2008 Nissan Altima Coupe 2.5S 6 Speed (Charcole Grey)

    [Carputer - Hardware]
    Case: Apex MI-100 Mini ITX Computer Case (August 6th, 2008)
    Motherboard: Intel Desktop Board D945GCLF (July 3rd, 2008)
    Processor: Intel Atom Proessor (July 3rd, 2008)
    Memory: 2 GB Buffalo Tech DDR2-667 Ram (July 3rd, 2008)
    Hard Drive: Western Digital 160GB SATA
    Sound Card: Onboard
    Power Supply: Opus 150W DC-DC
    Wireless Card: Netgear WN311T Wireless-N
    Sat Radio: XMD1000 Interface with Home Made Interface Cable
    GPS: Holux GR-213u Sirf III USB
    Phone: Palm Treo 700wx CDMA
    GamePad: 2 * SuperNintendo controllers converted to USB
    Bluetooth: ioGear GBU 321 Class 1 2.0 Dongle
    Touch Screen: Mp3car MTSVO-SC Fully motorized VGA Touch Screen (DIED on 2008-12-30)

    [Carputer - Software]
    OS: Windows XP Pro slimmed with NLite
    Front End: Road Runner
    FE Skin: Digital FX 4.0
    GPS Software: Microsoft Streets and Trips 2008
    Phone Soft: Phone Control .NET

    [Car Audio]
    Head Unit: Pioneer Premiere DEH-P880PRS
    Front Speakers: Stock
    Rear Speakers: Stock
    Subwoofer: Phoenix Gold X10D4 10"
    Speaker Amp: Stock
    Subwoofer Amp: Phoenix Gold X400:1 Mono Class D
    Other 1: PAC-Aduio SWI-PS Steering Wheel Interface

    [Install Plan]
    Phase I: Dash Kit Integration
    Phase II: Dash Kit Install
    Phase III: Computer Case Design and Install
    Phase IV: Software Install
    Phase V: Physical Car Install
    Phase VI: Sub Box Build
    Phase VII: Sub Install
    Phase VIII: OS to CompactFlash Conversion (maybe)
    Phase IX: Speakers with Amp Ugrade (maybe)
    Phase X: Extra Doo-Dads (maybe)

  2. #2
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    [Phase I: Dash Kit Integration]
    Metra Dash Kit: 2007 Nissan Altima Kit (99-7423)
    Metra Wire Harness: 2007 Nissan Harness (70-7552)
    Metra Antenna Adapter: 2007 Nissan Aftermarket Radio to Factory Ant (40-NI12)

    With all the metra products in hand, the head unit and touch screen were installed into the dash kit. The individual units were installed as two stacked ISO units. Although holes on the side matches the stacked ISO format, neither one would grab onto screws. Using a #10-32 thread tap, I enlarged and threaded holes that would allow the units to be mounted and screwed into the dash kit.



    Action Video

    The wiring harness was the next step. Thourough soldering was done. The metra wiring harness did not contain the wires for the steering wheel interface, so I had to add wires into the harness for this. This is what is looked like after the extra wires were added to the plug.



    The final wiring harness complete after two hours of careful soldering. It includes the car adapter, screen wiring, headunit wiring and the PAC audio device. The spool of red wire is for the 12 volt switched for the carputer itself. The wire still looks like a bit of a mess, but I decided to keep all the wires as long as possible incase I need to modify this later on.


  3. #3
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    [Phase II: Dash Kit Install (2007/12/13)]

    The new head unit and indash monitor was installed today. Things went smoothly and quickly taking only two hours. I was originally planning on installing the cables for the carputer as well (except for power cables) but I decided to wait until the carputer was ready to go in.

    Taking the dash apart was easy, two panels hide the four screws and then the entire center area comes right out. I am pleased that the steering wheel interface programmed smoothly. My concern was the wires I put into the Metra wiring harness would not make a good connection, but everything went smoothly.



    Once everything was back together, the headunit worked excellently and the screen is working as it should. The left side of the Metra Dash kit is sticking out a bit, so the edge is not clean, but this because something is in the way behind the headunit and I will fix this when I put the wires in for the carputer itself.



    Here is a quick shot of the car turned on. Unfortunately, the AUX adapter I got off E-Bay might not be working, I can't switch to AUX in on the headunit, but it is defintely attached to my RoadyXT and sound was being sent to it, so I'm not sure if its something I need to configure, or if the adapter is junk. Either way, I will do more testing and research before I make any further decisions on this.



    (Update 2007-12-13)
    The AUX adapter is now working. It needed to be enabled in the DEH-P880PRS initial settings. To access the initlai settings, one pushes the left rotary dial in until the unit is "off", then you push the right rotary dial in until "Language" comes up on the screen. Using the dial, you turn it until AUX 2 shows up and then you press the dial in to turn on AUX 2. The XMRoady is now transmitting sound through the headunit, although this will be what I will connect the carputer to when it is finished.

    (Update 2009-01-09)
    My motorized VGA touch screen no longer displays a picture. I will be updating with my repair plans soon as I will be changing my design around a bit.

  4. #4
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    [Phase III: Computer Case Design and Install (2007/11/20)]
    I have attained everything I plan on having in the carputer intself.



    I made the decision on August 6th, 2008 after many failed attemps to make a small plexiglass case to fit the ITX computer in my glove compartment to use a nice case made by Apex Computers. The case is a bit long, but the size is acceptable small enough considering I can fit a full size optical drive into it.


  5. #5
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    [Phase IV: Software Install]

  6. #6
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    [Phase V: Physical Car Install - 2008/08/06, 2008/08/07, 2008/08/08]
    The first thing needed in the car was the cabling of course. The design is to have the data, video and audio cables run down the passenger side and the power cables run down the driver side.

    The cables were fairly easy to run from the dash into the the footwell of the passanger side. An easy to remove panel is the only thing in the way.



    Suprisingly there is plenty of room under the side kick panels on both sides, there are rings that are in place to guide cables and luck enough only one small bundle of wires not even coming close to filling the rings. The rings were not big enough to allow the vga connector to fit through though.



    Did the same thing with the power cables on the driver side. I hid the cables underneath the backseats bringing up just enough cables to reach where the carputer sits.





    With the computer in place, I put the GPS and WiFi antenna on the rear deck.



    The XM antenna on the roof and cable fed along the side of the back window. Currently electrical tape is holding it in place. This is temporary until I find a better substance.



    The only physical parts left at this point is to run the power cables through the firewall and attach it to the battery and also attach the XM radio adapter somewhere and run the cables for it.

    I tried to run the power cables through the firewall myself and failed after 6 hours of trying nearly severing important wires. I've decided that needs to be done by a professional. The dates booked for that is September 5th, 2008. Such a long time....

    The XM box I will install after I make a new XM -> serial adapter. The one I have is too short is made to connect to an internal COM port. The Intel Atom board doesn't have that. I have a Mac Serial Printer cable on order from my University's computer store. Unfortunately they don't know how long it will take to come in.

    [2008/08/10 - Second Power Wire Attempt]
    I tried installing the power cables for the computer today again. With my frustration of the last failure gone and a good 14 hours of sleep I really wanted to try again. This time was a success. Took two and a half hours, but I was able to get the cables in.




  7. #7
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    [Phase VI: Sub Box Build]

  8. #8
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    [Phase VII: Sub Install]

  9. #9
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    [Phase VIII: OS to CompactFlash Conversion]

  10. #10
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    [Phase IX: Speakers Upgrade]

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