the shape is all custom... the curved pieces were way too short for the fit to make it smooth with the side pieces of the center console... but they acted as a guide but theyre prolly 1/8" lower than the top layer. the metal i used was the curve i shaved off the side pieces from the first design so each side only has a thin little strip down the center. The upper and lower strip on the screen were pretty difficult as getting the bondo to maintain shape was tricky with the working time after adding the hardener. on a few occations i had to wait just before the bondo set.
what do you mean "the big three" ? the ground loop usually isnt an issue when you run a separate battery from the ignition. i did run into one when i used the vehicle battery for the IGN wire on the amps but that was easily resolved by taking the ground from the input (from the carputer) and grounding it to the amplifier chassis. whenever i do a carputer or any audio install, the stock equip all goes... at low low prices ^_^
HARDWARE: Fujitsu Stylistic ST5111w/WiFi and dock, internal Hitachi 500G HD, external 1TB HD, Sierra Wireless Aircard 550, DVD-RW, BoomzBox HD radio, XM Commander, Delorme GPS, Saitek X-52 Pro joystick, BluSoleil Bluetooth, TPMS, FB, Elm327
i would expect anyone daring enough to embark on installing a pc in their car, quite altering the way they look, would already know this as a habit of function. but hey they still print "DONT DRINK" on bleach bottles heh.
FYI, i used to work in a wire manufacturing plant here in morris back in 98-02 and i still have bunches of wire of various gauges. most of which is of a high grade automotive quality.
To add to that "big three" that was not covered, not only does the amount of stranding of your wire and the gauge reflect quality, but also what the insulation is made out of. And this is where LOTS of people (actually most if not all) go wrong. Yes there are many different qualities of insulation, of which will determine where you can use the wire effectively and safely above all.
The proper insulation to use for ALL automotive use that may have the wires exposed to the elements is an insulation that has been Pressure Treated. Those that know, will know this wire to be called "cross link" or CV (cross vulcanized). This insulation undergoes a transformation that continues many months and years after the wire has actually been manufactured. the process takes the moltened compound and super heats and pressurizes it upto 250PSI at roughly 600 degrees in a steam tube. this causes the insulation to swell greatly (18ga insulation will swell to roughly 1/4" to 3/8") and then it is almost instantaniously submerged in water causing the insulation to shrink and condense. This process is the vulcanization that makes the insulation rugged and dense, and also impervious to most liquids used in the automotive industry (even gasoline).
One thing that people get wrong as they use standard pvc insulation in automotive applications. PVC insulation will have a shiny SLICK look and feel to it and melts very very easily, where as CV wire will have a dull smooth look and does not burn, melt, or tear under normal applications (like dragging the wire across your exhaust manifold while your engine is running or dragging the wire on the ground etc etc)
here is a link with some "common" automotive definitions of quality about the insulation thicknesses:
and being from a wire manufacturing facility, i know quite a bit of trade secrets that makes me feel sorry for anyone falling for the "MONSTER CABLE" BS "oxygen free" labeling.... and spending 100's of dollars on wire... i made 'monster cable' and ya know what... it was the same exact wire as the next guy was getting except for the fancy schmancy print that said "MONSTER CABLE" ---- buyer beware
ANYWAY.... the wires listed at the above website are generally for "power" and not audio quality or reproduction on a high end system and are determined by many governements to be an "industry standard" hence the terms TXL, GXL, and SXL, the GPT wire is of the material that you find extention chords and most "inside" wires made out of.
All the wire i use in my custom builds are wire that i personally have made which is something that ive never heard anyone in the custom scene be able to say about their projects ^_^ *chalk one up for me* except for recently i have run low on 16ga and 14ga wire which i have been forced to *shudders* purchase wire.. but wally world does have some decent wire in the 16 and 14 gauge flavors-- the ropelay ***not roleplay***(the insulation is clear and you can see the stranding and it looks like metal rope)
ok i spose my rants done... must goto work now
*i heavily edited this last post as it was information babble*
OK yay working progress...
3 days ago i finally got the carpc installed, wired and powered on. Since i have a deep cycle battery, i have yet to turn the thing off and its still going... i did however, have to reboot as streets n trips locked up cause i was scrolling around the maps like a madman
for those who have wondered, this is what it looks like in an MTX 81000D 1500Watt RMS class D amplifier:
(its slightly burned up, the MOSFET's and power conditioners are burned, but MTX is awesome. theyre letting me send it in for a new one for 1/4'th the price (almost 1000$ down to 230$ with the trade in)
Theyre also taking this amp in for a trade in as well:
(it too is burned up and the amp that im trading it in for is a 4 channel 800Watt RMS amp.... ill never buy kenwood amps ever ever ever again!!!)
The screen mounted:
The carputer mounted:
The wires going to the auxilary battery:
What it looks like under that nice shinny engine cover:
Where the altenator/battery charge wire is on the Northstar engine:
(had to remove the left side fan and push the radiator hose out of the way to get to it, short 13MM ratcheting wrench did wonders to get the nut off, and to keep things simple for resale or tear down, i left the stock wire in place but pushed off to the side) NOTE TO ANYONE DOING THIS: wear some form of light leather gloves (like cheap $8 driving/mechanic ones at wally world) as aluminum radiator fins cut DEEP and make for a very less than pleasurable install.
The dash as it sits now:
Since the screen mount looks very OEM (cept for a few minor blemishes that are easily fixed) Im thinking about having the display mount spec'd out and professionally milled, punched etc. After working on this project for so long JUST FOR THE DASH, i overlooked the blemishes on the screen bezel for now just to get some up time out of it. the blemishes i speak of were only clearly evident after i got the screen mounted and installed into the dash.... there are some wavey lines around the border next to the screen which stand out quite a bit as you can see the touch screen contact edge... nothing a sanding block and a touch of some more bondo/sanding/repainting cant fix in teh course of a day or 2 of refab work
Once i get the rats nest of wires sorted out in the trunk and the basic design layed out for the audio, ill post up some pics, ill also show the easiest way to get the power from the front of the car into the trunk on the GM/Cadillac EK chassis design. I think overall this was the biggest DEAD time on the planning aspect of things, as a LOT of time went into trying to figure out how to run the wires over actually RUNNING the wires and getting them mounted up. Once i seen the path, it was the ole palm to forehead maneuver and a fat DUH shortly followed.
Had the battery been mounted under the back seat like in your deville, this whole thing would have taken a mere 45 minutes as opposed to 6 hours... talk about burning daylight ~_~. I do have a consern tho, cadillac only used 8 gauge wire from the battery to the primary fuse panel and also from the altenator to the battery. (FOR THOSE OF YOU CADILLAC OWNERS WHO HAVE NOTICED YOUR LIGHTS "PULSING", change the battery wire and sideposts--- a few starts and runs later your system will recoupe, if not, pull ALL the maxi fuses under the driver side engine compartment, clean the spade terminals and re-install)
OH off topic, since youve seen my engine naked, i would like to mention that this is BY FAR the easiest cadillac engine that ive ever changed the spark plugs on!!! that is except my 69 deville, but then again i could climb into the engine compartment and sit next to the engine *sigh* i miss that big ole 472 bigblock ~_~... i didnt have to dislocate my wrist, grow a second thumb, use 3 foot of ratchet extentions, 2 swivels and break my forearm in 3 places to get to the back row of plugs--- finally someone listened at GM about the crap it takes to change plugs.... now WHY they put the altenator on the bottom of the engine in teh front is beyond me... you would think that they would have wanted to keep electrical components away from SPLASH ZONES--- friggin hacks AN WHY IS THE STARTER "THERE" ???? n00bs *(shakes northstar RnD team till they vomit)*
COMPLETELY OFF TOPIC.... i snapped this pic while driving to do all the above in this post:
apparently some semi driver decided that having spiked lug nut covers was the best way to keep cars from swerving at him to cut him off.... those things are like 3" long and looked more like something you would see on a roman chariot for the stadium races than on a DOT registered vehicle.....
got another lil bit of bling to add to the carpc.. picked this thing up at tigerdirect the other day:
nice lil display, took it apart, installed it into the front of the pc behind the glovebox lid...
after i got it installed and operational with the remote, ive run into a conflict with the m2-atx power supply or the windows api install is messed up...
the power button will turn on the pc from a shut down state (the m2-atx is set to always on/dummy mode) but will not put the pc into hybernate or stand-by.. either way its a nice lil addition...
the iMedian program (similar to that of winMCE) has put sounds to every function and button etc so that if you are listening to music at a decent volume, you hear the annoying program sounds as well... easily resolved by either deleting the wav files or replacing them with 0 bit empty wave files of the same name....
also, not sure if its because of the device itself or the massive rats nest of wires that are bunched up within the case after installing the display, but now there is an audible noise when moving the "master" volume control up or down with the default windows volume control.... amplify that and you can see the annoyance...
enough knocking the device, ill resolve it eventually, i spose now ill say some positive things about it:
the remote is very responsive with the mouse functions, which btw, work just by plugging the thing in and putting batteries in the remote, installing the program/driver cd allows you to select weather or not you want to install everything, the media center program, the display driver or both. Once you have the display driver and software installed, all of the functions of the remote are HEAVILY programable and customizable to suit just about ANYTHING one would want to do with a remote except the dishes... with some serial connections one might even be able to start/stop the vehicle through some form of macro programing. The 'stand-by' display message will take 2 lines of 16 characters of custom info, and has preset selectable data such as weather, dates and times in other countries and a whole slew of other information (some and most of which require some form of internet connection) Again, the customizing of the buttons on the software that interract with the remote are quite extencive.
I paid 90 bucks for this thing at tiger, and so far, other than the noise its seemingly generating, its well worth the investment. ill throw up some pictures as soon as i get em ... not quite sure im going to keep it in behind the glovebox door or find a way to mount it so that the display is part of the door as the remote is IR not RF ~_~
well, after a blast of this and that, ive taken an extended vacation from work, yesterday i spent a LOT of time putting stuff back together so the car is somewhat presentable for sundays mp3car.com meet up by busse woods (sp?) the vehicle doesnt look so worked on lol, and actually looks decent.
though the car as it sits now is functional, i have a LONG way to go before i start showing it off officially as the trunk is still jacked up and not finished... i got massively tired of waiting for the $$$ to come in to finish it so i put some old equipment in there so i have some bass (half of the speaker box in my 91 GMC van) and a lil dinky amp i got for 50 bucks
been a while since i posted anything... live has its moments sometimes...
i picked up a sheet of polycarbonate for 147 bucks for 4x8x1/4" sheet-- not bad seeings how a few years ago a 1/4" sheet cost like 400 bucks, and i got a 3/8" sheet as well for 260-- down from 600+ a few years ago...
i am completely redisigning the car pc case and the speaker/amp config in the box so that its more "show" than functional hardware-- got a LOT of new ideas/concepts i am trying out at the moment, and i finally have access to milling equipment so now i can finally make some excellent clean cuts for the various things i was cutting using a dremel tool and hand drill
like most custom projects, theyre never really "finished" only just works in progress to reflect the ever so changing industry... which is one of the reasons why i am opting for a design change--- easy access without damage
ill post up some progress pictures on the new construction as soon as i can get around to doing so
ok so as of lately, ive been really digging in.... working with polycarbonate is great but its really really stressfull to try and keep it "scratch free" .... and forgot to get some pictures of various parts of the fabrications that were necessary to make this look like a solid unit
i did manage to remember to snap a few here and there to show whats been holding this project up...
aparently, through poor planning, i built the case without trying to see if everything will fit. This caused LOTS of assembly, disassembly and rinse and repeat... the case is perfect, yet i failed to make note of how much stuff im trying to cram into this little box which led me to slice and dice wires all over the place, reconfigure internal locations and all around i think i gained about 25 pounds due to stress of non completion
it is coming together... pictures soon to follow
this is the milling of the front piece for the ejectable hard drive enclosure (towards the bottom opening) and where the bit is above is where the slim line SATA dvdrw/cdrw drive will mount through
what it looks like from the front with the drives installed:
installed inside the glovebox:
these 2 pictures show how tight of tollerances that i have to work with and not everything is indcluded yet:
now the pictures i failed to get were:
fabrications of the fan holes (top and back),
the motherboard vents under the processor,
power switch mounting in the front,
how i cut apart the OEM glovebox to fit the case,
future PCI slot in the back,
external 12 pin plug in the back,
internal 2 1/2" hard drive mounting rack,
all the dozens of wires i had to resolder to make this all fit together
these pictures show pretty much everything hardware related that is going to be inside the box with the protective plastic removed.... at this point in the build i had to remove the plastic to see what kind of clearences i am dealing with and bit my lip trying to keep it as scratch free as possible:
i STILL have to install the the case into the car (ive tested many times to make sure it fit) but i still need to organize wires to accomodate the new design and various little things that are probably going to be quite difficult to keep organized
ill try and keep picture taking a priority but man it seems like its at the bottom of the list sometimes