TFCommanderBob's 2010 Corolla S CarPC
So I've been asking questions and researching for the last few months, and I finally made my purchases. I hope they all play nice with each other! I made an excel sheet of all the things I planned to order, and just quickly added an "ordered" column for the stuff I just purchased! Hope this little printscreen is legible... There's a couple random things I haven't put in yet, like a mini-sata adapter and sata couplers and a rear view camera from the old setup.
My hope is to have GPS Navigation, Music, Cell phone connectivity/charging, rear view camera, and later HD Radio and OBD II. So nothing out of the ordinary. I see a lot of people go through multiple incarnations of their builds, but I'm hoping that my equipment is powerful and versatile enough to allow me to simply reconfigure and add to the system rather than start over. Yet to be seen...
She is a 2010 Corolla S in classic silver with the moonroof package. My first new car! Got the 0% 3yr financing, but I'm paying for the short term loan in my monthly bills, let me tell ya :yield:
This is where I plan to try my hand at box fabrication, making a mold of this wheel well with 1 1/2oz chopped strand fiberglass mat and b-440 polyester resin. This is where the Elemental Designs SQ10 subwoofer will be going, the left trunk wheel well.
This is a shot of the underside of the rear deck, with the junk factory speakers to be replaced by the Polk DB691 6x9s.
The license plate, no hole behind it so I'll have to run wiring for a rear-view camera through where the lighting is, or drill :pray:
The amp, distribution block, and computer will be under the driver and passenger seats, will have to test fit to see how/where, but both will fit easily. I haven't decided how I'm going to case the pc- I'm thinking of either just putting it on a piece of mdf or acrylic or fiberglass and not doing a full case but we shall see. Sorry, these pics are bad. I also have to figure out how to re-route those little ducts, which are actually heater/ac vents for the rear seating. No one will ever be in the back for now though, so I could also just cap them.
Working our way to the front, this is the center console armrest. I want to re-do the lid with MDF or fiberglass, and build a tray loaded DVD player into it, facing outward toward the E-brake. I've already tested fitment, it has enough room to eject fully even with cups in and the E-brake up. The OEM one is uncomfortably hard plastic, so I'd like to cover mine with padding and then some sort of leather or fabric.
Mini upper glove box- can hold a small keyboard if I see fit to add one. Not very deep though.
The radio- stock one is junk. I hate it. I already picked up a 2din faceplate, very cheap at 17$ or so. I'll be cutting it and fitting the Xenarc in- I'd rather not mold it unless I have to, as I'm wary of ruining my warranty by gutting it. If it looks bad, then I go for that more custom feel and swallow my fears. I'll also be figuring out a place for 2 JL knobs to manually control bass volume and a "master" volume. Either in the faceplate or perhaps below the armrest lid.
Under the radio, there is this little panel with worthless info that I'd love to just stuff somewhere. It happens to be PRECISELY the dimensions of a 3.5" external bay, I just haven't found any useful gadget to put there! Any suggestions? On either side is a blank which is itching to get usb ports, and the left is an aux port which I'll either salvage from the stock radio or rebuild with my own parts.
On our way to the left, there is this little cutout in the dash which is rumored to be for a glass breaking sensor in a security equipped car. Its nothing in mine- perhaps it might work as a stealthy mic location? The wheel gets in the way, but if I can find a decent microphone for it it should be fine. I DO need suggestions for a small but quality microphone though.
Some blanks on the left where any switches or anything else extra could go. I also wouldn't mind finding a way to get a blackberry dock there or somewhere for my 8310 blackberry.
Finally some pics on what equipment I already have. They include a Pioneer avic-f700bt, my first forray into this which I got at a steep discount. It never worked how I wanted it to, so I'm selling it for funding. Look for it on ebay in the coming days! It IS a good unit, especially when upgraded to 3.0 firmware (which this one isn't- it costs like 60$! I did my girlfriend's and it improved maps and functionality drastically) but I'm moving on.
I like pictures. So a couple random ones for you picture junkies out there:
Old 2001 Eclipse GT, major paint issues that developed over time:
My home theater- it shows the reason for me doing this project. Its all about sound and functionality, though unfortunately my knowledge lies in audio and in computers- not in fabrication or cars. I'm finishing a masters degree in Vocal Performance, I'm a Penn State University choir director for a satellite campus, and a minister of music for a church. I love sound, I love music, and it has to sound good. I worked at circuit city as a HT supervisor until we closed the doors for the last day, and I definitely had a passion for electronics.
Life is busy for the next two or three weeks, so things wont get started until maybe even after the holidays, but hopefully I can put up some pictures of the items as they arrive en-masse over the next week or so. Feel free to comment, tell me what you think, call me an idiot noob, etc. :lol: I'm sure I'll be begging for help soon enough- already got a lot of 'personal' assistance from Nexson on fabbing a box, tweeter pods, and my screen faceplate. Big props to Brian for being a down-to-earth expert.
Continuing to receive information and goods
I've received contact from most of the vendors. The only two lagging behind are "auto tool world" and "dealer cost car audio". They were the ones I was most worried about as I've never dealt with either before, but we shall see if my stuff just magically appears in a couple days with no shipping confirmations. "DCCA" has charged my card, "ATW" has not, though I can view my order on their site.
Here are some pictures of what I've gotten. MP3 car came in first, with part of a newegg order and monoprice a close second.
I had to put a quarter for reference. I love this Kingston ram for sff PCs. It is half height and works great, I've use it in a couple builds.
I'm already thinking of possible problems. I ordered "premium" 3.5mm-RCA cables from Monoprice, and the 3.5mm ends are awfully large. They barely fit side by side on my desktop pc jacks, even touching a bit and slightly angling the ports. The cabling is very thick and stiff, and I'm not sure if it will route properly. I might have to *gasp* buy the cheaper stuff!
I'm wondering why I didn't put more thought into doing an auxiliary battery. Perhaps too in-depth for my initial setup, but my car is a daily driver and I shouldn't be taking risks of the battery getting drained and leaving me stranded. In the future, I'm going to plan out the pieces to add that to my system so that once the key is off, the aux battery is separated from the main and virtually nothing could cause me reliability issues. First, I'm just going to concentrate on getting all the parts together, fabbing things up, and getting it all running!
Other things should be arriving shortly!
Just some minor updates...
I received part of my order from Auto Tool World, and they've finally been communicating with me through their messaging system. The problem is, they didn't send the duraglas or rage xtreme. I sent them a message asking about the other stuff and its been a day with no response. Oh, and apparently they gave me someone else's tracking number for the original package, and I didn't receive the correct one until after the package was in hand.
Still no word from DCCA, need some free time when they are open to give em a call. It has officially been a week since they charged my card, this is a quote from their customer service FAQ page:
Somehow I fell into the 5%, and haven't notified why. Double Fail.
Most products are available, in stock, and ready to ship. These products typically arrive in 3-7 business days following transaction verification and processing. There are some instances where an order may take longer, and in one of those instances, we will notify you of a new estimated time of delivery. We do state that all orders ship within 7 business days, but fact being 95% of our orders ship within 24-48 hours.
I did receive my processor from PCConnection, another vendor I'll probably avoid. Newegg didn't have it because it was discontinued so I was forced to shop elsewhere. I ended up receiving the processor as OEM, which I was slightly disappointed about. It did only picture the CPU but I was hoping for retail with the heatsink, and it didn't say either one in the info. That one was "my bad" though. They charged me like $11 to ship the processor and I couldn't figure out why, because a bubble package could have shipped an oem processor for a few bucks. When it got here, it was in a bulk processor tray (could have held about a dozen processors) wrapped in cardboard with binding straps inside a bubble wrap bag, inside a box filled with bubble wrap, inside a 16"x12"x10" box filled with packing paper. :twitch: At least if you're gonna overcharge for shipping, make some money on it. Don't ship it like an idiot and make us both pay! :)
I got the cpu safely seated, now I'm trying to figure out the heatsink. The motherboard came with one but it looks cheap and has a 3wire fan that cannot be managed by the mobo. I have a "low profile" heatsink/fan that I intended to use with another build but it had been too big. It is about 2.5" tall, which would put my total case height up to about 3.25. It would still fit under the seat, so it is possible, but I'm not 100% sold. It would be cool (pun) to build the top panel so that the fan vents directly out of the case, like a blower on an old muscle car. I'm undecided. Maybe I'll post pictures of the two so someone out there can factor in.
I'm jam packed for the rest of the week as I complete my graduate degree, so very little will get done. Hopefully once all that work is done, I'll be able to put some real work into this build.
I feel fried like it is the end of the week, and it's only just begun.