The Camry... Over The Years... [Pt II]
Take a trip with me, and see how far I've come in over six years...
April 2007. Staten Island, NY.
I saw her under the chandelier at Manfredi Toyota. I was using my Costco membership to acquire some savings towards my very first depreciable asset purchase. Within an hour, I was able to write SOLD on the windshield. Another Ferry ride later, I was driving it home.
March 2008. The New York Auto Show.
It did not take long for me to get tired of the radio; so I acquired a stand and an AUX cable for my iPod. The hissing sound was unbearable, and in the back of my mind, I was thinking: "There's got to be a better way..."
November 2009. Brooklyn.
After much thought, the quest began for Automotive Nirvana. My brother was there with the huge assist. Our first MACry setup was up and running in time for the Yankees parade!
July 2010. Garden State Parkway.
This is the MACry; Mark 2. The Mini had to be replaced. I had a brief stint with the Knight Rider LED Scanner (the old school one just like in the 80s). For the most part, it was fully functional. And a $180 window tint ticket was as ludicrous then as it is now. But I enjoyed every minute of this experience.
It was also around this time I discovered ToyotaNation.com, where I learned about various refits that could be done to the car, including the LED taillights and HID headlights...
August 2011. Ridgewood, NJ.
My reach had then extended to the possibility of adding a rear view camera to my setup. My car has had a bump or two with me as the driver; so I could only imagine what would occur when someone else was at the wheel! I tested it across the street from the famous Carlo's Bakery, and I was very satisfied with the results. Now? I think because I have the camera receiving constant power, instead of connecting it to the reverse light wire, the camera doesn't work. Lesson Learned: Get a Switch, or follow instructions.
April 2012. Brooklyn.
Black rims. Molded console piece. Soundboard and self made trunk. HID/LED conversion. Additional battery. Solid State drive upgrade to the computer. I wanted to push the envelope as far as time and my wallet would allow. And with every change, it feels like I'm one step closer to Nirvana...
And now, 2013...
Coming as soon as I figure out what to do with my Mini!!!
The Camry… Over The Years… [Pt III]
First up, big shout-out and condolences to Soundman98, for the parting of his Eclipse GT, and the CarPC that gave it soul. That BRZ looks good!
Second, it’s been an interesting month, filled with quips and other “I-can’t-believe-this-is-happening-now” events, so I figured I give you guys some more info on the MACry.
New Audio Setup/Mac Mini Placement
If you ever popped the trunk and pulled down the rear seats to a Camry from 2007 on, you will realize there is not much extra space given to you. Everything that you push further back must go through that rather small opening. Realizing I would never use that area like that, I bought some wood, weather-proofed it, and “sealed up” that area towards the back. (Note: apparently, if you google “trunk 07 camry” and look under images, my trunk is the 5th image listed! Now if my trunk could stay that empty, haha…)
I had my two Rockford Fosgate amps, my 12” RockFos sub, my RockFos distribution block. I was happy.
Then Hurricane Sandy hit. This time, a year ago.
Yeah, I never really talked about the effects of the hurricane to me and my car, primarily because it affected the car more than me. It was always a sore spot because of the replacements I was forced to make, but I guess now’s the time to let it go.
I parked my car trunk first into my close friend’s driveway the day before, and told myself I was safe. He lives on the basement level, and the car is thus parked on a slant. When I heard that the hurricane was in full effect, I summarily thought “It’ll faze out by the time it gets to BK. It really never “fazed out;” Sandy just flooded some areas in BK. People lost power for a while; people lost homes; some lost their cars to fallen trees. It was really something. I called my friend to make sure he was safe. And he was safe… in another part of NY with his girlfriend. He called the house, and was told he lost most of belongings due to the flood. He was on the basement level. My car is parked trunk first in his driveway right near his door.
I. Was. Not. Happy.
I put on some rain gear, and my brother & I took the most amazing 5 mile walk to Canarsie ever; it was filled with heavy winds, fallen trees, fallen signals, dark streets, and intermittent periods of rain. This was one of those Mad Max-like moments, I tell you. I finally get there, and the MACry, from the trunk back, was submerged in water. The good news was that my car’s main components (the engine, transmission, etc.) remained completely unharmed. The bad news: as we sloooooowllly pulled the car out of there, everything in the trunk got drowned in water, including the rear amp, sub, wiring, distribution block, the rear seat (because water travels :-/), the carpeting, and yup, you guessed it, the front amp.
The amps began showing signs of life days later, but it was not the same. The sub (got to give it up to Rockford Fosgate) was still very much intact and working! A fuse swap later, the Carnetix P1900 was working too; and the soundboard (because it was waterproofed) held up like a champ. All the water eventually got removed from the floor; but a new carpet was in order (Note: never do aftermarket flooring; you will always go back to OEM), and I had to replace the rear seat leather. Fortunately, insurance did cover most of the damages; it would not cover the audio setup I went searching for moons ago.
As a result, I sold those units for fairly decent amounts, took whatever balance I could muster, which turned out to be a couple of hundred bucks, grabbed an entire pay check and went back to the car audio market. This time, I decided to walk away with a compact 5 channel amplifier, the JL 700/5 (awesome piece of equipment) and a shallow mount Alpine 12” subwoofer. A month after the purchase, I came to the realization that it was a good thing all this happened; I’d be missing out on all this amazing sound!! As far as placement went, since all the main equipment would be in the back, the battery that powers it should also be in the back, in the mini storage space to the right that I rarely use. The subwoofers swap places, and I was left with two options, conceal a $400 mac with loads of music behind the board, or conceal a $600 amp, and all the necessary cabling, behind the board. Love my mac, but should anything happen, I’d rather lose that than anything else.
And a year after Hurricane Sandy passed, I remember by pumping out Daft Punk, leaving my girlfriend’s house in Canarsie. Thankful I didn’t park it there. Sort of.
More to come! Until then…
Happy New Year! And Spring! And all that great stuff!!
The following is just an update of what's been going on over the last four+ months. Eventually, I'll get to pictures and what ought; but for now, I'll just let you know what's been going on...
Last month was the seventh anniversary of my car. And with all the winter weather, cold temperatures, and recent overflow of rain, the Macry is performing like a champ. As a computer, I tether my internet from the Nokia Lumia 1520, and was able to perform all my system updates on the go. I acquired a bluetooth OBD-II device that paired with my Mac and ran its diagnostics report quite satisfactorily. Since then, I have yet to get it to pair with the mac for a second time! :rant: Oh, it'll work on my fiance's Galaxy (as advertised); it even works on my Lumia. But no love on the Mac.
So now, I must buy another one that connects directly via USB.
Due to "certain persons" having an accident last winter, the front of my car will go through another refit. Since this will likely be the last one, I've been given a few hundred dollars to fix everything. Yay!
I have finally replaced the front speakers (tweeters too!) with an Alpine SPR-60C component set. The sound is crisp and amazing!!
I'm beginning to notice that GMPC crashes every once in a while. And while I restart it, and it acts like it never crashed, it bothers me a bit. Does it have to do with the 2014 update? Time will tell...
Rear view cameras really don't like constant power. I must replace the setup so that it no longer gets constant power! :(
Never got that steering wheel cover; gotta work on that.
It's been over a year, and bluehawk's Axiom software hasn't seen an update. We need to talk about that...
Music & movies... check.
Car diagnostics... check.
Excellent audio sound... check.
Hands free... check. Sort of.
Rear View Camera... on deck.
Is there something I am missing??
Yes, I should know; it's my system. But I don't want to jump the broom, and turn around and ask to add XYZ to my setup.
Is it crazy to want Sirius XM, after all these additions?! I programmed iTunes to give me 1010WINS (The AM news channel) from the radio. But with a child in tow, something's pulling me to get Sirius. It's probably worth the investment, especially if I can take it with me...
Ten inches of LED LCD is phenomal at night. Bright & early in the morning, I won't complain.
I think that was it. I await the final refit, where I can move this wacky worklog to show-off status.
And most important... She said yes!!!