All rippity right...DEATH TO THE CONCORD!!!! This means I've gotta a first class project to view. (Unless you start hacking the dash with a Cheap China made wire cutter).
You always (except for the cell Photos) do an amazing job with the photos,...(Nexson too). That, your get 'er done attitude, and your Admin skills make your mods worth viewing. Good luck with this one.
I think the hardest part of this install is going to be securing the case to the trunk.
Thursday April 22nd:
Well today I cancelled the BU-353 order from GPSCity. Last week when I ordered, they said it would ship April 21st. Yesterday they said it would ship April 21st. Today they claim it will ship April 28th. I'm not going to play this game. So I'll be placing a new order for that shortly. As well, Nexson sent me the invoice for the screen and I sent him payment...this is getting serious! :)
I ordered the M4-ATX enclosure from Mini-Box on Friday April 16th. It arrived today, woot! $12 shipped ($9 of it went to shipping!), but it comes with a fan as well that can be plugged into the M4-ATX to help keep it cool. I'm sorry, it can't be plugged in - you would have to solder it. But what if the fan dies? Time to resolder? That's crazy! I'll just use a different fan that can be easily replaced. It also came with a bracket to convert from SFX to ATX (that OTHER standard :p ). It came with screws, but the factory holes that were drilled for the screws to fit in the enclosure are poor at best. The screws are loose & fall out. Every other screw I've tried in place of the ones that came with, will not fit. I went through every screw type I could find in my conglomeration of screws.
There are four places that screws are required:
- Securing the M4-ATX to the base of the enclosure.
- Securing the fan to the top of the enclosure.
- Securing the enclosure to itself (base & top).
- Securing the enclosure to the case.
The unit only came with three sets of screws, I guess they assume you'll use the case screws to secure the enclosure in place? Those screws didn't work...to top it off I'll have to modify the case in order to place a screw in the right side of the power supply, as Mini-Box only has one screw hole on the right side, in the center. You can see the difference between the PSU that came with the case and the enclosure Mini-Box sent me in the pictures below. The only place I DIDN'T have an issue was securing the M4-ATX to the base, but I used different screws than what was packaged to do that. I cannot express the level of frustration achieved with trying to piece this d@mn thing together!
I am still concerned about the standoffs and known issues with the insulation on the M4-ATX PCB, so I will do like I did last time and place some pads between the M4 and the screw/standoff points. I'll do that before I fire up the M4-ATX inside the enclosure.
I was hoping that I'd be able to post a picture with it all in place, sealed up, and looking like it would on install day...but due to the screw issues that won't happen. The pictures are a mix/match of BlackBerry camera & Canon DSLR, but I think they get the idea across. I was disappointed with the lack of photos on Mini-Box's website for the enclosure, so hopefully this helps someone else down the road. I feel like chopping apart the PSU that came with this case, but it's the only one that size in my posession.
I should have known it wouldn't be simple. My M4-ATX originally was not a simple task. Everything with the M4-ATX has been an ordeal & in hindsight I wish I would've gone for the OPUS. Overall, the M4-ATX Enclosure has left a sour taste in my mouth, especially at the premium of $12 shipped for this cheap of an eclosure!
Friday April 23rd:
What an expensive night! I ordered the BU-353 GPS that was on backorder from GPSCity from MP3Car and threw in a DC Plug for the Lilliput. Then I ordered the Car2PC adapter from InDashPC. To wrap it all up I ordered the VGA cable, Stereo cable, and a PCI bracket with some molex adapters on it.
The bezel from Nexson should be here Wednesday. I should have the rest of the parts by the end of the week next week.
I also ordered a smaller version of the stereo cord, and am going to cut it open to see exactly what it's wrapped with. In addition, I ordered an RCA setup to compare the quality of the run from trunk to the Car2PC.
So, just the amp kit and Centrafuse left to square away!
JP,From Car2PC you read, "makes your car PC installation very simple and slick. You do not need to rip your dash or car's interior to have the PC installed" But you're a hacker and had to satisfy your blood lust by writing "I also ordered a smaller version of the stereo cord, and am going to cut it open to see exactly what it's wrapped with". Hope it has decent shielding... From your knife... :evil:
Yeah, I figured for less than $2 it'd be nice to know exactly why it's a "premium". Now that I think about it I should've bought one of their regular ones as well to compare!
Sunday April 25th:
While this isn't directly entangled with the CarPC project, I thought it worthy to post. One of the things I salvaged from the Chrysler before it was traded in was my Escort Passport 8500. While it's no Valentine, it sure does a good job!
For Christmas I was given a rubber mat to hold a device by my mom. It is suppose to sit in place on your dash while your electronic device sits on top the mat. The manufacturer claims that it will not move, nor will your device! I honestly was going to purchase one of these to place under the radar detector so that it would not scratch my "new" Accord's dash. Mom saved me $5! :)
I cleaned the dash prior to placing the mat. I was not sure how well it would stay in place, but it does a VERY good job of staying put (at time of this writing it has been in place Sunday, Monday & Tuesday during driving speeds ranging from backing out of my driveway, to cruising down the interstate. Has survived some hard acceleration and some nasty decelleration, along with sharp turns at varying speeds. Needless to say, it seems the Passport will stay in place for my driving!
Something I never did in the Chrysler was a clean install of the Passport's remote mute. I had pinched it in a corner and it just kind of flopped up there. As I do not have the Accord with all the bells and whistles (No fog lights - currently!, no power sunroof, etc...) there are some blank accessory slots just waiting to be used for something! (Note: I had just cleaned them with an armor all wipe, they're not stained I just snapped the picture before it dried. :)) I held the remote up to the blank slot and it looks like it'll fit pretty well!
So I popped the side panel off of the dash and poked a screwdriver in to pop out that area. It's almost a perfect fit! Nothing should have to be shaved from the remote, just the holder! I bet this is a project I could do on my own, but if I want to keep it clean, easy, and look good...I'll need someone with experience. I hit up Nexson quick with an image and he said he could easily do it! So I've got that all boxed up and ready to go out to Nexson.
So while this isn't exactly CarPC, (it could be with a Valentine and associated plugins) it sure is an improvement over the setup in the Chrysler! :)
I also picked up the Kicker 8 Gauge AMP Kit from Amazon for $17 shipped via 2 Day (Thank you Amazon Prime Free Trial!)