I've started work on my CarPC (version 1.0!) for my Mustang. I am planning to do the setup in three phases/versions.
My main goal with the initial version is to replace the stock head unit and all of its functions completely. The secondary goal here is to reuse as much "e-waste" that I have laying around as possible. I'm treating this kind of like a feasibility test.
Version 1.5 will be a complete reworking of the audio system. This includes replacing all factory speakers, amps, wiring, and the cheap amplified equalizer used in version 1.0.
Version 2.0 will be a full replacement of the computer. I am going to go with either a Mac Mini, or another mini-itx style setup.
Here's the plan so far for version 1.0:
* Inspiron 8600 laptop (old laptop, was just laying around taking up space)
* 1.5GB RAM
* 1.5GHz Pentium M
* 40GB HD + 120GB USB HD
* ATI Mobility Radeon 9600
* LCD removed
* Carnetix P1900
* Accessory power relay triggered by Carnetix delayed remote power
* Removed ID chip from Dell power brick and spliced in Dell power cable, allows laptop to run at full power without the battery and without any error messages.
* Lilliput EBY701, modified it myself for backup camera signaling
* ByByte double din frame
* Stock speakers, including Shaker 500 door subwoofers.
* Subwoofers are powered by the factory amps
* Door speakers are powered from a cheap amplified equalizer. (didn't want to spend too much here, since I intend to replace the speakers and add a good amp and signal processor eventually)
* Kenwood signal selector
* Cheap USB sound card (will be upgraded when PC is replaced)
* Directed HD radio tuner w/serial cable interface
* BU-353 USB GPS receiver
* 3 4-port USB hubs
* USB plug installed in dashboard power socket
* Internet provided by iPhone w/tethering enabled
* D-Link USB bluetooth adapter
* iPod video/audio cable hooked into signal selector to provide iPod audio/video input
Finally got around to updating!
So far, I've got "version 1.0" of the project installed and operational. Everything seems to work pretty smoothly. I will snap some pictures next time I'm in the car. Overall, I am very happy with how things turned out. I was careful to hide everything, so the only outwardly visible component is the display. It somewhat resembles the factory NAV unit, and doesn't seem to draw too much attention. (knock on wood!)
I ended up adding/changing the following specs:
* 1GB of ram instead of 1.5GB (my 1GB chip fried soon after installation...fun times!)
* Factory subwoofer amp: turns out this fine piece of equipment had balanced inputs...so I ended up having to put a ground loop isolator on the inputs.
* Added a backup camera in the key hole for the trunk
Things I wish I had done differently:
* TRANSFLECTIVE SCREEN! I was hoping the shape of my dash would help with the sun, but no such luck. I even tinted my rear windows..which helped a little bit. However, the real fix here would be to get a transflective screen.
* "New" computer. The old laptop is okay as far as the specs go, but the older hardware causes some weird issues from time to time, mainly with the USB ports. Also, it limits my ability to run newer versions of Windows and a decent/mainstream SSD (no SATA port)
* Installed a momentary contact switch to override the power button. There have been a few times that I've had to pull over and pop the trunk to reset the computer. Usually it will still hibernate, but something is messed up elsewhere, so I can't just power cycle it with the shutdown controller.
Things to come:
* Complete overhaul of the audio system. ("Version 2.0")
* Bluetooth -> iPhone. I would like to be able to use the CarPC for handsfree and to stream iPod music through the speakers.
* New computer and trunk mount.
* SSD. The hard drive is lucky to have lived this long!
* Accessible DVD drive.
* ODB connection
* DVR/camera system.
I'll try to keep updating more often! Pics will be up soon.
Backup camera installed in the keyhole for the trunk:
Laptop installed in the trunk: (needs some cable management!!)
What the trunk looks like with the factory mat on top of the computer:
Dash with touchscreen installed:
Glovebox, Equalizer is installed here so I can get to it if needed:
Shot of the interior: (needs cleaning! )