Friday May 22nd:
In trying to find out a good way to mount my M4 in the Thin Client, but I couldn't find a good way to mount it in the inside of the Thin Client. My next thought is to mount it outside the Thin Client, underneath where it'll sit inside the console.
Following the suggestions from Joe, I put some pads between the standoffs and screws. I'm going to have to go up to the hardware store to get some metal to fabricate a case for the M4.
I plan to cover the power cables in some snakeskin to keep it together and nice. I'm just not sure how much air flow I'll need for the M4-ATX, I'd assume very little, maybe a small fan to run over it? I'll have to do more research on that.
No, I haven't. I don't know what I'm going to do when it comes time to buy a new car. Honestly the first Manufacturer I'll probably look at will be Honda, then VW or Mazda.
The Oil Light issue is fixed, however. Hopefully this Saturday I'll be runnin' the power for the CarPC and will be able to get this thing wrapped up!
I did have a slight setback though, my son's fan died on the Scythe Shuriken I bought him in Jan. I E-mailed Scythe support and they're going to send me out a new fan for it, free of charge - coolio.
Downside to this, however, is that I gave him the heatsink/fan combo I had on the CarPC so that he can use his computer in the mean time. Upside, at one time I had wondered whether the Shuriken would fit. It won't. I tried.
I printed off some small millimeter rulers so that I could see better where the stock Intel fan, vs. this fan compares. I took some pics and will upload them once I get a chance, but I've gotta run.
Saturday June 13th:
Today bxsteez came over and helped me a TON, what an awesome guy. He came over at 2PM and worked on this with me until 10PM. Learned a lot about my car, and a lot from bxsteez. We didn’t waste any time today either, got right down to business, and removed the dash. All one piece. Tons of screws and bolts, in odd places of course, behind climate controls, in the glove box, clips to hold it in place. We were looking for a place to pull power from the battery into the cabin.
After we had spent a good hour, maybe an hour and a half removing the dash we found a nice hole on the outside, predrilled with a big ‘ol plug in place. Damnit. Didn’t have to remove the dash. We drilled a hole in the plug for the 8 gauge and pulled the 8 gauge through the plug. A hole just next to the battery let us pull the wire into the area above the wheel, we had to remove some trim to pull the wire through, but with the trim back in place it’ll protect it pretty well against the elements. The hole and plug would even be big enough to run 4 gauge, easily if I ever decide to add an amp to the car.
We put the dash back together, and by the time we got done with that it had started getting dark. Now originally I was going to put the Thin Client in the cabin, under the climate controls. When I showed bxsteez this, he pointed out the fact that the wiring we had to add was going to take up quite a bit of space, clog up the little airflow that was there, and just all around was a bad idea. At first I was reluctant to concede to this, "It HAS to fit in the cabin!", "It WILL fit in the cabin!…it…it…damnit." He’s right, it’s gotta go in the trunk.
So, keeping in mind the USB limitations of 15’ I had another issue, the touchscreen controls would have to go into a powered USB hub in the cabin, which then would run to the CarPC in the trunk. I have a powered USB hub, but bxsteez pointed out we’d need to make sure it wouldn’t backdrive into the motherboard.
Things needed to mount pc in trunk:
- 25' Stereo Mini Cable ($5 from BuyExtras)
- 35' VGA Cable ($35 from MonoPrice)
- 10' USB A/B Cable ($1.27 from MonoPrice)
- 2 DC Plugs for Lilliput & Hub Power (Radio Shack)
- Power cables for Lilli/Hub (Hardware Store)
Closed up shop and called it a day.
Sunday June 14th:
We started earlier today, 10AM. I was still in bed when bxsteez texted me, “On my way”! This guy is a machine!
I pulled the trim alongside my car, all the way to the trunk, and pulled the power line into the trunk. After this was done we ran to Radio Shack and grabbed the DC Plugs (Type M) for the Targus USB Hub and Lilliput EBY701 touchscreen. Next was a trip over to the hardware store for some wire to run to the Lilliput and USB Hub. I will admit – we wasted a lot of time (AND MONEY) due to my poor planning ahead with several trips to the hardware store to get wire, screws, or any other little thing. Also, Radio Shack, in their INFINITE wisdom did not properly label their DC Plugs. They put the + and the - markings in the middle of two pins. Great. So had to make another run to the hardware store to get something to find out which was which. Picked up a cheap continuity tester which worked just fine.
Got the custom molex built with the DC Plug end to the Lilliput, tested it – worked great. So we pulled that wire all the way up to the dash. Next was pulling the wire for the USB Hub, keeping all the power on one side of the car and the data/video on the other. Using a piece of Cat5 as our wire pull, I shoved the Cat5 through to the cabin from the trunk, bxsteez attached the wire and I pulled it back into the trunk. We did this also for the ignition line.
The USB Hub power comes up through a hole that was already cut for the power chairs, and with the chair moved all the way forward we were able to easily test fit the hub/run the power.
After pulling back the carpet a bit in the trunk I found the factory amp for the Infinity Sound System that comes with my Chrysler, and a decent mounting point for the distribution block. Using some self tapping screws we drilled the case into the floor of the trunk to hold it in place.
The plexiglass mount that I had whipped together was scrapped in favor for a piece of composite leftover from the neighbor’s new fence. We didn’t drill that down, instead I’ll Velcro it to the floor for now. I’m also going to need to build some sort of wall or box to protect the CarPC from other objects in the trunk.
After having all the power pulled, the distribution block up on the side of the trunk, tghtened down all the ends, wired in the main power connection to the battery, dropped the 50AMP fuse in place, reconnected the Negative Terminal on the battery and took a deep breath. The moment of truth.
Car Turning On
Nothing. Waited another 30 seconds…nothing. Dangit. Shut it all off, checked connections, turned it back on and ran back to the trunk. The little green LED near J6 blinks – as it did on my desk – but nothing else happens. No power LED on the USB Hub, no fans spinning, nothing. So I shut everything off, pull the 50AMP fuse out of the line – and recheck everything again. Verify settings with the manual, try again - still nothing. Damn.
Defeated we began to cleanup. I ran the USB cable from the GPS into the trunk, and cut myself for the first time during the install.
The only SHARP metal was in the trunk…figures. As the saying goes, “No Project Is Complete Until You Bleed” – it’s far from complete but it is close!
MP3Car issued me an RMA for my M4-ATX. A new M4-ATX should be here Thursday.
The VGA Extension cable from MonoPrice left California yesterday via UPS.
The Stereo Extension cable from BuyExtras left California yesterday USPS First Class.Your package is on time with a scheduled delivery date of 06/18/2009
So if the replacement M4 does its job, at the very least I'd have video by the weekend, and audio early next week.Your item was processed through and left our CITY OF INDUSTRY, CA 91715 facility on June 15, 2009. The item is currently in transit to the destination. Information, if available, is updated periodically throughout the day. Please check again later.
Ideally I'd have everything by Friday.
Looking good........... I cant wait to get closer to finishing my project. Even though I am starting project number 2 in the future.
I will say this, isn't it easy to take apart the interior on your car? I was shocked how removing things from my truck was so easy. Usually two or 3 screws hold it in place, then once unscrewed you simply pull till they unsnap. They make their interiors like LEGO sets, lol.
Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!
1X Ainol Novo Flame Tab
3x Perixx Touchpads
3x 7 inch Screens
1X 7 inch motorized Screen
1x Win 7 PC
The thing that got me was the dash was all one piece, with two bolts hidden under the climate controls. Once we got that off then we found the stupid hole that was "easy" to access, which would've saved removing the dash.
The trunk for me is just pretty much all carpet held by clips or just the metal of the trunk. It is surprising how easy it is to remove everything, and how many extra screws I have in my arm rest!
So as far as touchscreen mounting goes, originally I was thinking of building a small "platform" to extend from underneath the stereo and set the LCD on, with base. bxsteez pointed out that there is an adhesive on the base of the mount, I had forgotten this, and he suggested I just adhere it to the dash rather than a platform below. This would bring it closer to eye level making it easier while driving, and still be stable. Genius.
I'm thinking on the area where the "Message Center" is would be perfect. This brings it near eye level, while still being unobtrusive to driving.
My only problem is the mounting point for the Message Center area is not level. The black arches up, and the gray arches down.
Any ideas how I might be able to either make something that could hold the Lilli level while keeping with the arches, or make the arches level without too much hassle? It's a slight incline, nothing severe, but just enough that either the back half or the front half of the base would be uneven.