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Thread: Scion xB '06, in-dash Atom 330, Lilliput 889GL; details, pictures, links. Index: pg 1

  1. #1131
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    Well here in NZ its all sunshine and 20-35 degrees celcius, which is lucky as I don't have a garage ... working on it though

  2. #1132
    Low Bitrate Dexamenus's Avatar
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    Cell currently in Adelaide, Australia it is 43 degrees Celsius, will be 43 again tomorrow and was 43 yesterday and 41 the day before.

    BRING BACK WINTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. #1133
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Elmscan is in the Car

    We put my car in the garage Saturday, and, after it thawed pretty well, I got the Elmscan OBD reader installed and ran the USB cable to the PC. I'd already installed the drivers, so now I'll set it up in CF3 and see how it looks.

    After everyone else had gone to bed, I did a switcheroo: I moved my car to the driveway and put Josh's car in the garage to warm up. On Sunday, we went to an auto parts store and got some adhesive for the mirror mount. Then we got his new compass/temperature self-dimming mirror mount installed on the windshield, positioned so he can run his radar detector on top it.

    For now, just the mirror is in. We're hoping it will warm up, soon, so we can get the electrical connections installed.

    We could sure stand some of Dexamenus' Adelaide weather right now. Well, maybe only some of that heat: by my calculations (F=9/5C + 32), his 43C would be 109F. Whew, that's toasty!
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  4. #1134
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    The Next Phase

    With the PC back in the dash and operating -- running the excellent new Centrafuse Auto (CF 3.0) -- it's time to move to the next task list:
    • Get the OBD running in CF3.
    • Finish the mini-amp so I have sound from PC to speakers.
    • Get the head unit permanently reinstalled with the DVD burner in place; it's just sitting there right now, not fastened in.
    • Build the sub-bezel that goes around the head unit; it will encompass the DVD unit and the radar detector remote system. I'd put the passenger seat airbag indicator in there, too, if there was room; I'll probably just leave it hanging in the back of the dash. I suspect the NTSB rule says I need to have one, but I'm not sure if the rule says it has to be visible.
    • Build the switch control panel that goes below the head unit. It's the one I described in post 1076.
    • Build the dash bezel. That's going to be a real challenge, because it curves in two planes.

    There's plenty to do in this phase. Then I'll move on to the alarm system design, and that will be another whole new challenge, and an opportunity to learn Arduino programming.

    At some point, I also want to convert to Windows 7. My experience with Windows upgrades tells me they tend to go badly, so I think a clean install is the only sane approach. That will mean reinstalling the rest of the software on the system. <heavy sigh>
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  5. #1135
    Newbie SGAsgard's Avatar
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    hello,
    awesome thread man

    in the previous post you said

    Quote Originally Posted by rdholtz View Post
    [*] Finish the mini-amp so I have sound from PC to speakers.
    <heavy sigh>
    if i understand it is a homemade amp? If it is can post the schema.
    thank you


  6. #1136
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SGAsgard View Post
    if i understand it is a homemade amp? If it is can post the schema.
    thank you
    Mine isn't finished yet, but Josh's is installed and working well.

    The plan is simple: Find a PC speaker system with a built-in amp and volume control, and pull the electronics out. Cut the wires to the speakers (they consist of left, right and two ground lines), and run those to the head unit.

    I chose a cheap mini speaker system intended for iPods and other music players; I got two of these for US$5.50, including shipping. Here's an image (the iPod isn't included):


    The whole thing you see is about 7.5 inches (190mm) long, and all but the back part gets thrown away. It uses 5V power, and even came with a USB power plug, so I'll run that to my powered hub. The speakers were marginal anyway, and I've discarded them and the iPod holder; I really only wanted the amp and volume control. I'm left with a little plastic box about 2.5 inches (~63mm) square and 1.5 inch (~38mm) thick.

    My car has a 3.5mm auxiliary input socket, so I'll solder the speaker outputs to a 3.5mm stereo plug and use the the volume control on the "preamp" to set the volume for the system. That's a set-it-and-forget-it thing; once the output level is tuned to the head unit, I'll hide the little preamp inside the dash and use the volume control on the head unit.

    Josh's similar home-made preamp has worked for many months, and the only time we see it is when we're working on some other part of the system. We never have to mess with it.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  7. #1137
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    PreAmp Completed

    Here's the completed PreAmp, ready to put in the car. I apologize for the crummy picture; I left the camera at work, and had to use the iPhone. By the time I get the camera, this will be installed in the car.



    Click image to enlarge.

    This is the system I wrote about in the last post. Everything in the picture came in the mini-speaker kit, except for the black cable with the 3.5mm plug. I got that by cutting the RCA end off a spare 3.5mm-to-RCA cable I had. I could have used any stereo cable with a standard male 3.5mm plug on one end, like we plug into iPods or most music players; it doesn't matter what's on the other end, because it was being cut off. I could even have used an old headset, including the kind airlines give away.

    I soldered the stereo cable wires to the speaker wires, using shrink tubing to protect the connections, and using another piece of shrink tubing to protect the cable where it exits the housing. I cut a just-barely-big-enough slot for that cable, and then screwed the case halves together; that held the cable tightly in the case, a little like a strain relief.

    The white cable on the left plugs into the PC audio out port, and the black cable plugs into the head unit Aux-In jack. The small cable in front plugs into the preamp's power port. I'll plug the other into one of the back ports on the powered hub.

    Once I tune the PC volume to the head unit, I'll bury the unit in the dash, and I won't have to do anything with it again. Well -- that's assuming it works. We'll test that this afternoon.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  8. #1138
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Yes! The $2.75 PreAmp Works Just Fine

    The home-made mini-PreAmp is in the car, and it works. It's small in size, and small in cost. Its output is small, but it's just a preamp, and it does exactly what I need. I have the output of the preamp maxed, and audio comes through to the head unit at a level that gives me lots of volume control: I can make it way too loud, without distortion.

    Total cost: $5.50 -- and it could have been $2.75; The $5.50 was for two systems pictured in the two posts above. I screwed up one of the systems while I was up in Michigan. I was trying to solder the output wires directly to the preamp's circuit board. It didn't work -- the layers in the board are very thin -- and I tried to repair it and made it worse. All I had along with me was a rustic soldering iron. If I'd just waited 'til I got back to do the soldering, I could have fixed it. Instead, I worked on it enough that I wiped out the board, so I ruined half of my $5.50 experiment. <chokes back a sob>

    I waited 'til I got back to open up the second system, and used the nifty soldering station Josh got me for Christmas. Man, that's really improved the quality of my work. I used it on this preamp, and now there's music playing from the carPC.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  9. #1139
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    OBD Working

    We got the Elmscan5 working over the weekend. We originally had the baud rate too high. As I've noted to myself before, the trick is to read the instructions.

    Looks like I have some problem in my oxygen sensor, and I've read that Toyota sensors are known to go out after a relatively short life. Well, in this case, a "relatively short life" is 90K miles, and it's the first problem with the car, so I don't feel too bad . . .

    I was also told the oxygen sensor is far from cheap -- on the order of $100+, but I found a new sensor on eBay for $22.40 shipped. I'll have to solder the plug on. Awwww . . . another use for that new soldering station!
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  10. #1140
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Learning to De-Solder

    I recently bought a desoldering tool -- a sort of self-contained vacuum pump, similar to this one:


    They're under $10 at Radio Shack.

    With this tool, removing solder is pretty easy. You push the plunger down and it locks it in place; You heat the solder you want to remove until it's molten, and you touch the tool's tip to the area and press the trigger. The plunger is released, and the resulting suction pulls the molten solder up into the tube where it instantly cools and solidifies.

    There are squeeze-bulb devices that do something similar, and they're only a few dollars; Radio Shack sells one for about $5.

    I practiced my de-soldering skills on the tiny home-made preamp board I ruined, and de-soldered every component on the board, including the DIP, without destroying any of the parts. They're mostly capacitors, and they'll go in our collection as backups.

    But the point for us isn't that I can collect used components. Now I can take misplaced or damaged components off a board without damaging the board, the component or myself. That already came in handy building the motor shield for our Arduino.

    Nifty little tool.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

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