Page 1 of 7 1234567 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 62

Thread: 2009 Cobalt - basic straight forward install - simplest route

  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    28

    2009 Cobalt - basic straight forward install - simplest route

    I've been thinking about doing a carpc for almost a year now, and have finally taken the plunge to do it. I've never installed a car stereo before, and until starting this project, the idea of car electronics was like voodoo magic to me. So, this is a bit of a learning curve for me. I'm comfortable with computers, so that should help. I have purposely taken the shortest and simplest route, and have not focused on customization at all. Maybe on a second project I might, but this first time around I just want to get it up and running with as little obstacles as possible.

    The following are the computer parts I have already bought and tested:

    Zotac GF9300-D-E Mini-ITX Motherboard

    Was able to source locally. Went with this Zotac board as it is a 775 socket which will let me have some flexibility processor wise. Didn't like the idea of being locked into the Atom processor. The newest Atom is nice, but I want the option of a little more oompf. The Nvidia chipset on this board has been accelerating video quite nicely.


    Celeron E3300

    I know I could've went with the Core 2 Duo's for almost the same money, but I do want to keep the heat/power usage down. I would've went with a mobile processor if they weren't so expensive, and needing to have different motherboard. Even though Celly's and Duo's can have TDP of 65 watts, Celly's use less power (20+ watts at load). Performance for everything has been just fine, and cool temps.

    EDIT: Updated to Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 in order to get webcam captures working. Celeron was a bit too slow for the capturing while other stuff was running.


    Bybyte Double Din LCD Touch Screen Combo GM

    This is a lilliput 701 screen that has been mounted on a metra GM frame. It fits my Cobalt dash like a glove. Gunning for simplicity here.


    Mo-Co-So 4th Gen Mini ITX Case

    Having the power leads all set up was a selling point for me. Only one fan, but with the Celeron I should be fine. Simple mounting for motherboard, power supply, and HDD.


    160 GB 2.5 Sata drive

    It's what was handy. Winter is coming here in Toronto Canada, so we'll see how this hard drive holds up. I've read mixed things on the cold and hard drives. Some people have no problem, some have problems until it warms up in the car.


    M2-ATX 160Watt power supply
    BU-353 GPS




    For the front end, I decided to go with Centrafuse. This was for the same reason of reducing obstacles. I could just install it and go. I installed the newest trial version and was running it at home for a bit. It's nice in that it requires very little work to get it going, but it felt quite limiting. So, a friend suggested RideRunner. I like it much better because of how one can customize it quite a bit more. So, RideRunner it is.



    Installation of the hardware into the case was pretty straight forward.

    Last edited by cmotors; 03-12-2012 at 06:33 PM.

  2. #2
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    28
    Got the screen hooked up to the unit, and running RideRunner with DFX 4.0. Everything running smoothly. Had to do a bit of adjustment to get iGuidance and winamp embedding properly, but nothing too difficult.



    With the Nvidia chipset, this 720p mkv file was using like 15 - 20 percent cpu. Sweet!

  3. #3
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    28
    Ok, so I did a bit of work in the car in preparation of doing a full install. I was going to do a full install at this point, but realized after getting things apart in the car, that I would be without sound for some time. My initial plan was to keep the original factory head unit temporarily, and send sound to it via the mini stereo Auxillary in. That way I could get up and running fairly smoothly, and over time replace the head unit with an amp, and get some newer speakers. That plan depended on re-locating the head unit somewhere else. Well, without extending the wiring, there really wasn't anywhere to put the head unit. Pushing it back further into the dash does not appear to be practically do-able. I figure the work spent making that work could be spent taking an alternate route.

    So, for now I just ran the cabling from the front to the trunk where I will be installing the PC. Thankfully, the Cobalt's battery is located in the trunk.

    Here is the dash that I will ultimately be installing into.




    So I ran VGA cable through the back of the passenger's foot well and into the floor trim along the floor, back into the trunk.




    Then I ran the LCD power line, and remote signal line down the middle console, under the carpet, then under the backseat and into the trunk.





    So I have the wires now running into my trunk, waiting for the hookup. The crap thing that I realized after putting everything back together, is that I forgot to run the USB cable for the screen.

  4. #4
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    28
    So the alternate route I decided on was to get an amp and a couple of speakers for the rear, and just install the PC and amp at the same time. That way I just chuck the head unit, and go to the amp. So I've already installed the 2 rear speakers (Alpine SPR-69C's), that way I have more time when i do the PC and amp. They sound ok with the stock head unit, but they are heavily underpowered since the speakers are 100watts RMS, 89db sensitivity. I'm being careful not to overdrive the amp in the head unit.

    I also scoped out where I'm going to tap the remote signal for the amp and PC. I'm going to do a fuse tap. I tested all the fuses in the passenger side foot well, and found 2 fuses that will provide 12v while in ACC. They are #17 WNDW RAP, and #20 S ROOF. Even though I don't have a sunroof, this one is fused and active. All other fuses in this panel are either always powered on, or only power on when in the ON position. RAP is active in this car, which enables ACC items to continue receiving power for 10 mins when ignition is moved to OFF position. If the car door is opened at any point during those 10 mins, power is stopped. So, when I tested fuses while in OFF position, door was opened to stop RAP from providing power and thus confusing the results. I'm going to try tapping 17, since the fuse tap I have is only rated to a max of 10 amps.


  5. #5
    licensed to kill - FKA kev000
    Auto Apps:loading...
    tripzero's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    16.40618, 120.61106
    Posts
    2,494
    The HU looks (and probably is) the exact same as the Impala's. The dash isn't very deep in my impala, assuming that the cobalts the same, you need to be careful if you are putting anything long in there (I have the xenarc in-dash put in there). Battery being in the trunk is convenient for sure. saves having to run wires.

    Is this an SS cobalt?

    I would have went with the atom. Plenty powerful enough and uses less power. Otherwise, I love my ION board. boots *fast*. I know I probably need a new alternator or extra battery to power my subs because of lights dimming. The subs aren't very powerful either...
    Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
    Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
    Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.

  6. #6
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    28
    Ya, the HU looks the same, and there definitely isn't much space back there. It looks like there will be enough space for the length on my LCD mount, and if not, I can shave the length off as needed.

    No, this is not an SS, just an LT.

    Ya, my original spec was actually the IONITX-D-E with the Atom N330, and it had stayed that way up until the last minute. I had read mixed comments on the speed, especially with the newer Centrafuse (which I had originally planned to go with). Although, that's probably more a matter of inefficient/buggy code than anything. I liked the idea of the lowly 9 watts that the chip uses (and that the board came with wireless N), but wasn't sure if the power was enough. So I wanted to go a small step up in performance and power usage, and the closest I could find was the celeron e3300. It's a bigger step up than I wanted, because there really isn't anything practical in-between ('cept for expensive mobile chips). I'm going to be going light on the amplifiers, so hopefully it'll all even out at the end and I won't have to cross that road of changing the power system in the car. Never say never tho'. The reason I stayed with the Zotac is the Nvidia chip, and that it has the dual monitor out. At some point I want to get a second LCD for the back, and run dual zones. The LCD I have now is VGA, so I'll have to get a DVI LCD the next time around, since the port on these boards is actually DVI-D (whereas the connector is deceptively a DVI-I).

  7. #7
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    28
    The CarPC is now in. With the help of sargeants, I got the rest done on a cold Saturday.

    Ok, so the LCD fit like a glove into the dash, and bolted in with the existing bolts. It can't get any simpler.



    I decided to mount the pc to the back of the left side seat as it would be most unobtrusive there.



    For my remote connection, I went with my planned fuse tap on #17. It is working like a charm.



    Also as planned, I got a 4 channel amplifier (Sony XM-4S, 4x50w, class D). It's a small amp which I like, but is not good for bridging (2x50, 1x140 only). Not the best choice of amp, but I'll live with it. Right now it is only hooked up to the Alpine's in the back. I don't want to hook up the fronts until I get new speakers up there, which will be some time down the road. The amp was mounted on the roof of the trunk, and fits nicely between the seat release cables running from the trunk opening to the seats.



    When hooking up the amp and carpc, I grounded the amp to the seat's locking mechanism on the right side, and the carpc to the seat's left side locking mechanism. A real pain in the arse getting the bolt on and off, but worth it in the end.



    After hooking everything up, and putting power back to the car, everything went smooth, and the PC booted up on cue. The left speaker wasn't giving any sound, but that was fixed without a problem. I still need to clear up the wiring, but at least everything is working good. It was too damned cold to do anymore work.


  8. #8
    licensed to kill - FKA kev000
    Auto Apps:loading...
    tripzero's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    16.40618, 120.61106
    Posts
    2,494
    Great idea about the fusetap on the WindowRap! I should (crosses fingers) be able to do the same on my impala. Do you know if you get a signal if you remote start via this fuse?
    Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
    Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
    Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.

  9. #9
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    28
    Thanks, it's been running like a charm since. Unfortunately, I can't confirm if that is the case for remote start, since I don't have that. My assumption is that it would, but without actually testing it, I can't say for certain.

  10. #10
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    7
    honestly i am surprised the window RAP fuse tap worked without the factory head unit installed. Did you connect anything to the GM Lan bus wires? I ask because i am about to to the same on my 09 HHR SS which uses a very similar system. and I was told if the factory head unit is out and you replace it with another headunit (CarPC) that unless you get the ~100 adapter, you would lose the everything on the LAN bus like the RAP (retained accessory power) feature, chimes, onstar, turn signal noise....

    anyways, awesome setup! enjoy!

Page 1 of 7 1234567 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Win98 lite basic install?!?
    By jakeep in forum GPS
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-15-2003, 06:19 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •