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Thread: 2007 Ford F350 Crew Cab Build

  1. #51
    FLAC PhilG's Avatar
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    The Fiberglass Dust is Flying

    Seems really dumb, I lay up all this glass then I cut it back out.

    First I tore apart the middle seat console/ armrest/ storage comp to see what I could use.



    I decided I could use the storage bucket and lid which will give me somewhat of an OEM look rather than a piece of plywood with door hinges on it.
    The issue is I had to cut the drink holders off the front of it yet I have to try to reassemble the original middle seat to keep using it while I finish the console. I guess we'll see how that goes
    You can see the sharpie line where I have to cut the drink holder off.



    So I poked a big hole in the top of the console to make room for the bucket



    I then added some sticks to help when I build up the glass to make the console sit properly in the hole.
    It would be so much easier to just morph the bucket/lid into the console with glass but I will try to build up the console to make a clean mating surface for the bucket so it can be removed if needed (ie hinge breaks and it needs replacing)



    So I made up a bunch of templates for larger pieces that will get cut in.
    Here is pretty much everything that needs to get installed.

    One critical decision I have made: I will not incorporate the Griffin Power Mate, I will run volume off of the Alpine processor. That way I am not messing with the optical-out signal once the system is tuned. If my thinking is wrong here, someone please correct me.
    The other decision is to NOT incorporate the Parrot BT device I am currently using into the build. I really hope CF gets it right because I do not want a "Gadget" hanging off my dash after I went to all this trouble integrate everything.


    It seemed a shame to take a brand new chromed up Ranger CB and peel the case off it but I guess ya do what ya gotta do:



    So here is the layout I am going with.
    I wanted the CB on top so the processor controller would be closer to me plus the large body of the CB inside the console would be further out of the way but I decided it was more important to pay attention to the mic wire coming out of the CB. I didn't want it laying over the processor.

    This layout will render the pull out drink holder useless. I do use the change holder part of it regularily though. I am debating cutting it into the opposing surface where you see the dotted lines. The DVD is going there, I could move the DVD to the cup holder location in the dash but I think instead I will continue to install it in that opposing face and try to leave room for the drink holder on that surface as well. Besides, I may need the dash space for later mods.
    There will be drink holders in the large removable access panel anyways.
    The dotted line shows the open space I have to work with due to the sub box mating up there from below and the storage bucket from on top.



    That pocket is from a previous truck dbl din install. I am going to cut it into the drivers side of the console and run the IPOD wire there. I will not use an IPOD often but passengers may want to. I will use this space for my wallet and maybe phone, I hate sitting on my wallet while driving and having my phone jabbing into my side near the seatbelt.



    OK, now on with the cutting - I drew a centre line first and centred the Alpine processor:
    I will then line up the left side of the CB with the left side of the processor for 2 reasons; There is a stick in the way underneath and I want that area to the upper left for switches.



    So I had to get the new controller face out of the box just to see how it will looks.

    Heres the drivers side view:



    From another vantage point:



    The laptop does fit but there are definitely space issues due to the low hanging CB and some of the original wood sticks in the way. I will have to massage this area to make everything fit comfortably.




    Thats it for now.

    Next I will cut in the pocket, the DVD drive and consider moving the drink holder. I will also drill in 6 switches and maybe give some thought to LED ambient lighting. I would prefer to deal with that later but if it affects glass structure it has to be dealt with now.
    I also have to decide on what to use for the access panel cover with drink holders. Originally my thought was use the route out and flush it back in but I am now leaning towards a polished aluminum panel surface mounted.
    My immediate goal is to get done with the console bucket so i can get the truck back together then just work away at the console when time permits.

    I hope you enjoyed this update, thanks for looking!
    Last edited by PhilG; 06-17-2013 at 07:54 AM.
    My 2007 Ford F350 Work Log located HERE

  2. #52
    Newbie Berber's Avatar
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    Hi PhilG,

    That is a massive project you have there. I admire your fabrication skills, an area I am unfortunately lacking in. I'm trying to figure out my carputer installation to avoid any cutting or drilling of my dash/console. Like you mentioned, I too am lacking skills in the software side of things. I got hold of software to design skins for Centrafuse but didn't get beyond setting a background colour and putting a few buttons and a Mercedes-Benz emblem on there.

    I have a 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300E into which I want to install a carputer. I'm thinking of starting my own worklog here so that others can see how I do things and maybe help me with some advice. I'll be keeping it simple. Waiting on some parts still but this is a list of what I have to work with.

    From Mo-Co-So I have ordered:-
    Mini-Box M350 Mini ITX Enclosure
    Intel D525MW Mini ITX Motherboard with 1.8Ghz Dual Core Atom 525 CPU
    Kingston 2Gb Single Channel DDR3 1066Mhz SODIMM Memory Module
    M3-ATX Automotive PICO Power Supply
    Mini Touch 700 7" VGA Touch Screen Monitor
    USB SiRF III GPS Receiver

    Parts I already have:-
    Kingston 64G SSD
    Samsung USB External DVD-RW Slim Optical Drive
    Internal Mini PCI-E Wireless Network Adapter, or
    USB Wireless Network Adapter
    USB Bluetooth Dongle (Tiny! But it works!)
    PLL FM Stereo Modulator

    What is a PLL FM Stereo Modulator? Don't know what PLL means, but it works like this. The modulator has a +12V DC and an earth lead for power. You unplug the antenna lead from the back of your head unit and plug it into the modulator. The modulator has it's own antenna lead which you plug into the antenna socket on your head unit. You run a lead from the motherboard's audio output to the modulator's audio input. The modulator converts the audio input to a FM signal which is directly injected into the head unit via the antenna lead with no interferance. You then tune the head unit into one of the frequencies the modulator puts out, you have a choise of two. Thus you use the existing sound system which saves you money and time.

    I have an old desktop PC running Windows XP Pro which I am using to try out various front ends, Centrafuse 3 point something at the moment, and Destinator 9. I have installed the USB Bluetooth dongle to see how my mobile phone works too. Centrafuse installed Bluesoliel 6 software which just happend to be a later version of what came with the BT dongle. You mentioned in an early post that you were concerned with how the BT side of things would work so you didn't want to ditch the Parrot setup. I can tell you that in my trials it has worked well. I have paired my mobile phone and used the Centrafuse interface to make a call to my home phone and left a message on my answer machine. I heard the greating message through the PC speakers loud and clear, and the message I recorded on the answer machine via a mic plugged into the sound card was also loud and clear. The mic is salvaged from an old hands free carphone kit. Lets hope that BT works just as well with the carputer when I finish building it. I'll do some bench testing before I do the install and let you know how I go.

    Thats it for now.
    Cheers,
    Berber

  3. #53
    FLAC PhilG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berber View Post
    Hi PhilG,

    That is a massive project you have there. I admire your fabrication skills, an area I am unfortunately lacking in.
    Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Berber View Post
    I'm trying to figure out my carputer installation to avoid any cutting or drilling of my dash/console. Like you mentioned, I too am lacking skills in the software side of things. I got hold of software to design skins for Centrafuse but didn't get beyond setting a background color and putting a few buttons and a Mercedes-Benz emblem on there.
    Well if you got the color to change and a correct sized emblem on there, you are light years ahead of me

    Quote Originally Posted by Berber View Post
    I have a 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300E into which I want to install a carputer. I'm thinking of starting my own work log here so that others can see how I do things and maybe help me with some advice. I'll be keeping it simple. Waiting on some parts still but this is a list of what I have to work with.
    You absolutely should start a work log. It's the best way to give back to this community plus I find while I am creating my update, it causes me to think and evaluate more of what I have done and how I should proceed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Berber View Post
    From Mo-Co-So I have ordered :

    Mini-Box M350 Mini ITX Enclosure
    Intel D525MW Mini ITX Motherboard with 1.8Ghz Dual Core Atom 525 CPU
    Kingston 2Gb Single Channel DDR3 1066Mhz SODIMM Memory Module
    M3-ATX Automotive PICO Power Supply
    Mini Touch 700 7" VGA Touch Screen Monitor
    USB SiRF III GPS Receiver

    Parts I already have:-
    Kingston 64G SSD
    Samsung USB External DVD-RW Slim Optical Drive
    Internal Mini PCI-E Wireless Network Adapter, or
    USB Wireless Network Adapter
    USB Bluetooth Dongle (Tiny! But it works!)
    PLL FM Stereo Modulator

    What is a PLL FM Stereo Modulator? Don't know what PLL means, but it works like this. The modulator has a +12V DC and an earth lead for power. You unplug the antenna lead from the back of your head unit and plug it into the modulator. The modulator has it's own antenna lead which you plug into the antenna socket on your head unit. You run a lead from the motherboard's audio output to the modulator's audio input. The modulator converts the audio input to a FM signal which is directly injected into the head unit via the antenna lead with no interference. You then tune the head unit into one of the frequencies the modulator puts out, you have a choice of two. Thus you use the existing sound system which saves you money and time..
    PLL= Phase Locked Loop (I remember that from my earlier days in home audio)
    I would like to upgrade to "desktop" system at some point. I can see this whole laptop thing getting old but it is working fairly well for the time being and anything can be dropped into the console at anytime so it's not a priority in the middle of the build.

    Quote Originally Posted by Berber View Post
    I have an old desktop PC running Windows XP Pro which I am using to try out various front ends, Centrafuse 3 point something at the moment, and Destinator 9. I have installed the USB Bluetooth dongle to see how my mobile phone works too. Centrafuse installed Bluesoliel 6 software which just happened to be a later version of what came with the BT dongle. You mentioned in an early post that you were concerned with how the BT side of things would work so you didn't want to ditch the Parrot setup. I can tell you that in my trials it has worked well. I have paired my mobile phone and used the Centrafuse interface to make a call to my home phone and left a message on my answer machine. I heard the greeting message through the PC speakers loud and clear, and the message I recorded on the answer machine via a mic plugged into the sound card was also loud and clear. The mic is salvaged from an old hands free carphone kit. Lets hope that BT works just as well with the carputer when I finish building it. I'll do some bench testing before I do the install and let you know how I go.

    Thats it for now.
    Cheers,
    Berber
    Bluesoleil, I believe, is in version 8 now so you may want to update (or not if 6 is working!)
    With Bluetooth, it's temperamental at best, each phone, each dongle combination is different. it seems to be trial and error. My BT is built into the laptop. When time permits, i may try a couple of external dongles to see if I can get it to work properly. I just upgraded to the Torch so now I have to start over anyways.
    So definitely start a worklog and update everyone on your progress!
    My 2007 Ford F350 Work Log located HERE

  4. #54
    FLAC PhilG's Avatar
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    More cutting and fitting:

    First the switch panel location in the upper left corner. I cut it to fit a bubble pack container that I can use as a mold. I'm not sure how I am going to do it just yet but it'll come to me. I have an idea in my mind. (I hope I can get it out when I need to )



    I also cut in the DVD and USB outlet:



    And the Pocket:

    Name:  consolepocket.jpg
Views: 489
Size:  105.3 KB

    The space is close but the sub box should slide right in underneath the pocket:

    Name:  consoledvdpocketinside.jpg
Views: 512
Size:  154.6 KB

    I also notched the frame inside for the laptop to lock into it and stand up on it's edge:



    I also had a look at the power invertor to see if I could figure out the wiring for the remote switch. No dice and I can't find a diagram online either. It looks like I'll have to break down and buy the remote switch.




    Well,
    I'm now at a point where I need to mix up some resin to start detailing some of the deficiencies but I'm not sure I can manage the smell in the garage. Temps have dropped well below freezing outside so working with the door open is not an option, I would have to have the heat running flat out until it cures.

    So, either I fab up a "quick" down draft booth or I wait until the weather cooperates which could be weeks. That means putting the truck back together and wait for better weather. Then I could move onto something else for a few weeks.

    Like this Camaro which I picked up this fall fairly cheap. I need to make a rear passenger side floor pan for it as they are not available and weld it in, plus a bit of brake work. Oh ya and get rid of the "premium" Bose sound system.





    It's just an old one but I think it will be fun come spring.

    I'll soon have to make a decision which project to proceed with then get working on it!

    Thanks for Looking!
    Last edited by PhilG; 06-17-2013 at 08:08 AM.
    My 2007 Ford F350 Work Log located HERE

  5. #55
    Newbie Berber's Avatar
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    Hi PhilG,

    You seem like the kind of person who likes to always have something to do. You haven't finished your carputer project and you have a Camaro to work on as well. Good luck for both of them.

    As for me, well I like to have one project at a time. I've decided not to do a worklog for my project seeing as I'm almost finished. When I say almost, I mean I'm ready to install all the hardware into the car. I have come accross a barrier however with the GPS side of things. I bought a USB GPS receiver from Mobile Comptuer Solutions, its a Prolific one, but it only has Mo-Co-So's branding on it. I've installed the software/driver, plugged it into a USB port and run the app for it. I set the baud rate to 57600 according to the instructions and start the scan to find the com port it is connected to. It lists all the active com ports but it says not connected next to all of them when it finishes the scan. I've tried other baud rates but only sometimes get a connection at 4800, but it fails to find the receiver most of the time however. I don't know if the receiver is faulty or I'm doing something wrong, but either way I'm at a loss and frustrated.

    My main reason for building a carputer was to integrate audio, navigation and hands free mobile phone into one unit. I have a sound system in my car, I have a GPS which can BT to my mobile phone and functions as a hands free so I can do everything already. If I can't get the GPS to work then I see no point in keeping the carputer. Sorry for crying on your shoulder, by the way.

    I will see how I go and let you know if you want.
    Regards, Berber

  6. #56
    FLAC PhilG's Avatar
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    Please do keep all of us posted. You could always load some pics when you are finished and post them in "show off your project" section which is for completed projects.

    I hope you stay with the PC and finish it. There always seems to be a solution to problems, it's just a matter of finding it. Try to take pleasure in hunting down solutions becuase resolving those problems is what this hobby is all about! Since you have a working system right now, that takes the pressure off rushing your pc into your vehicle so thats good. Look at me, I started planning and collecting parts 2 years ago. I have been researching console builds and saving pics of them for just as long. I have thoroughly enjoyed the whole process. I too had a decent system in my truck at the time so there was no pressure.

    The best way to resolve each issue is to deal with them 1 by 1. After you have searched the forums and searched again, post a new thread in the most appropriate forum and those in the know usually come to the rescue.

    The great thing about the pc is once you have it in and working, there will be a great satisfaction that you designed it, built it, and trouble shot it. Just installing a standard audio system is great but anyone can have one easily. Not anyone can have a PC unless they pay huge for someone else to do it and even then I suspect if they have to keep going back to get little issues resolved, they will get frustrated.
    So I really hope you can stick with it

    With respect to the GPS, search "GPS gate". You haven't said which front end or GPS package your using but if it's CF & Destinator, I would strongly suggest you look at Garmin Mobile PC. Destinator is very tempermental and even when it works, it is a horrible little piece of software. ( I know that's harsh but..)
    I thank those that earlier in my build log helped me resolve my GPS issue and the day I listened to them and bought GMPC, all of my connectivity issues were solved.

    Good luck and keep us posted!!!
    My 2007 Ford F350 Work Log located HERE

  7. #57
    Newbie Berber's Avatar
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    Hi PhilG,

    Well I'm happy to inform you that I solved my GPS issue so I'm happy again. It turns out I was using the wrong settings so I ran Destinator independantly of Centrafuse to use it's search function and, hello, GPS found! Then all I had to do was use those settings in Centrafuse and its all good. Thanks for the encouragement too PhilG, and although I was getting frustrated, I am determined to get this thing working and not let it beat me.

    As for Destinator I agree, I'm not too keen on Destinator and have a Garmin Zumo 550 for my motorbike, which is the GPS I mentioned in my last post, so I'm used to the Garmin interface. Will look into Garmin software for my carputer one day, soon I hope.

    Ok, so stage one, build the PC and load the OS, drivers and software and get it all to work, complete. Stage two, install the hardware into the car, work in progress. Still trying to figure out how and where I'm going to mount the PC. I have ordered a clip-in bracket to mount the monitor on. It clips into the gap between the center air vents and the padded dash at the top and into the gap below the air vents and the centre console at the bottom thus providing a flat metal plate as a mounting surface. Stage three will be to replace the head unit with a HD AM/FM radio receiver, ie. the Directed HD Connect Car Radio at Mo-Co-So, and an amp or two.

    Thats it for now. Cheers,
    Berber

  8. #58
    FLAC PhilG's Avatar
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    Glad you got the GPS sorted out. Now you can move on to the next issue and take satisfaction in the fact that you fixed that one.

    You really should start your own worklog and post this stuff there. Other people will then reference the solutions to your problem and it will help them. I know I'll subscribe!

    Your above post:
    "Ok, so stage one, build the PC and load the OS, drivers and software and get it all to work, complete. Stage two, install the hardware into the car, work in progress. Still trying to figure out how and where I'm going to mount the PC. I have ordered a clip-in bracket to mount the monitor on. It clips into the gap between the center air vents and the padded dash at the top and into the gap below the air vents and the centre console at the bottom thus providing a flat metal plate as a mounting surface. Stage three will be to replace the head unit with a HD AM/FM radio receiver, ie. the Directed HD Connect Car Radio at Mo-Co-So, and an amp or two."

    Theres a good first post right there for your work log. If you can throw some pics in with it; all the better. If you need help on uploading pics, just ask.
    My 2007 Ford F350 Work Log located HERE

  9. #59
    Constant Bitrate dna59's Avatar
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    Now that's a big *** console. I like how this is coming along.

  10. #60
    FLAC PhilG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dna59 View Post
    Now that's a big *** console. I like how this is coming along.
    Thank you DNA59!

    It hasn't been coming along so well in the last couple of weeks but I have just bought the stuff to make a booth to glass inside the garage. We are in our January deep freeze right now plus I have to make a couple of road trips with the truck over the next couple of weeks so I am going to try to put the console back together, do the trip, then try to get back at it in 2 weeks. The weather hopefully will have moderated somewhat by then and the garage will be easier to heat.
    My 2007 Ford F350 Work Log located HERE

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