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Thread: 2010 Subaru Impreza 100% in-dash PC

  1. #1
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    2010 Subaru Impreza 100% in-dash PC

    I'm starting this thread primarily as a place to keep notes as I make my very, very slow path to a completely in-dash PC. I encourage and appreciate any comments or feedback everyone has, and I can't thank everyone enough for the great responses to the threads that I've started and for the wealth of information on this forum.

    Here goes:

    Requirements:
    - Do it once, do it right
    - Completely stealth and in-dash, nothing outside of any panels
    - Completely reversible install (no drilling or cutting of stock parts, must buy replacement panels if mod is needed)
    - MUST have AM/FM radio
    - MUST connect to steering wheel controls
    - Should have music, navigation, OBD connection
    - Improved sound quality over stock HU?
    - Might replace Parrot bluetooth kit
    - I would like a backup camera, but cannot think of a stealthy way to mount it without drilling (see requirement #2). Maybe I'll add a distance sensor for parking if it's easy to hide?
    - Whatever the reason is for having a car PC (help me out here folks, I need to get more excited before dropping $1K+ on a low power computer with features that I can already accomplish with a combination of Parrot bluetooth and my android phone!)

    Hardware to fulfill these requirements:
    - Aleutia G-series T56N Nano-ITX Fusion board, mentioned briefly in my other thread
    - PSU: Hmmm... we'll get to that when I figure out the amplifier situation
    - Screen: Lilliput 7" with HDMI/DVI and transflexive coating, so that probably means the 669GL-70NP/C/T with coating from Mo-Co-So (or mp3car - any suggestions here?)
    - GPS: BU-353, of course
    - Radio: Visteon or Directed with Mitch's cable, or Si4735+arduino if I'm feeling adventurous
    - Steering wheel controls: JoyCon board
    - Wifi and bluetooth: small USB modules, whatever is cheap and well reviewed on NewEgg
    - OBD: to be added eventually
    - Case: ByByte double DIN case mounted using stock HU brackets, or ByByte screen mount + self-made trays based on RevheadKev's advice
    - Amplifier: I started an amp discussion here, and am currently torn between the TDA7850, a pair of DTA45s, and a pair of mini amps suggested by RevheadKev. I think if I make my own mounting trays, then the two mini-amps will be the way to go. But for the ByByte case, it would be much easier to mount a standalone board (or two).
    - Power: Hmm... M2-ATX? Opus 180W with one 90W half going to PC and another going to amplifier(s)? Is this enough? I would like to feed the amp(s) clean power. If I use M2-ATX, I guess I would need to cut up an ATX or 12VP4 plug to provide 12V to the Aleutia board. It shouldn't be hard to wire the PSU to the power button header on the Aleutia board (it has to be somewhere, right?).
    - OS: I'd love to run MeeGo or Ubuntu, but XP is always an option.

    Any thoughts and reminders of why the heck I would jump into this are appreciated. I'll post updates as I start collecting parts.

    Thanks in advance for any feedback, and I'm looking forward to getting started!
    Last edited by aindfan; 05-09-2011 at 03:21 PM.

  2. #2
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    Good luck with your install.
    Mine is done for the most part. I'll be changing one thing or another as long as I have it in the car so I cant say it's 100% complete.
    I run Ubuntu on everything but I ended up using XP because 1. it's easy. 2. driver availability. 3. RideRunner has lots of skins 4. wider base of people doing the same thing

    As for why go with a carputer...I say why not? I really enjoy building things and this is just another fun project.
    I don't own a smart phone or an Ipod, but even if I did they wouldn't have enough storage. With over 275gig of music those long trips never get boring.

    Check out this, it's an Outback though.
    http://www.mp3car.com/show-off-your-...ew-system.html

    I've updated some things that are not in that thread.:
    Headphone jack located in center arm rest mutes speakers (wife and I don't like same music)
    Brightness of display backlight follows ambient light
    Using volumouse and a custom encoder for the dash volume knob
    Joycon for steering wheel controls and turn display on/off
    Radio is using the BoomzBox from mp3car.com but I don't think it's available anymore.
    Backup camera uses something like this
    http://cgi.ebay.com/CCD-PAL-CAR-REAR...item35b06eff55
    it replaces one of the license plate lights and is very OEM looking.
    A couple of pics of it http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/...l-10-11-a.html

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by aindfan View Post
    - Whatever the reason is for having a car PC (help me out here folks, I need to get more excited before dropping $1K+ on a low power computer with features that I can already accomplish with a combination of Parrot bluetooth and my android phone!)
    i think the main point of having a carpc is because it is something else to tinker with-- any forum member that has been around longest takes it as a hobby and not much more. if the android phone satifies your needs, then there really isn't a reason to go with a car pc other then "because you can"...

    this is a hobby that most have trouble understanding-- but it is similar to many other hobbies-- you dump tons of money into it for what appears to be very little benefit-- the major benefit is the customization that you can do-- something that is usually not worth a lot to others..

    to compare it to another hobby i have-- r/c helicopters-- i have dumped at least $500 in mine since buying it(just like carpc's, i don't track exact costs)-- every crash costs a average of about $50.. to many, something like this doesn't make any sense..

    the reason i really enjoy it is the tinkering that it requires. the great part is when the mechanical contraption lifts off the ground, and i can proudly say that i got it to that point. if you have never looked at a r/c helicopter manual, they are very interesting-- each direction of heli movement has at least 3 linkages that need to be adjusted for correct operation..

    Quote Originally Posted by aindfan View Post
    - Screen: Lilliput 7" with HDMI/DVI and transflexive coating, so that probably means the 669GL-70NP/C/T with coating from Mo-Co-So (or mp3car - any suggestions here?)
    they are essentially the same screen-- both use a 669 high brightness screen, with resistive touch screen, have a optical bond/ TR treatment, and have some glare-reducing coatings on the front as well..

    it really comes down to where you prefer to order it from--on one hand, mp3car offers this great forum to discuss things like this, and on the other hand, chris/mo-co-so has always given great help and support for anything he has sold to me..
    Last edited by soundman98; 05-05-2011 at 08:01 PM.

  4. #4
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    davekra, thank you very much for your Subaru response and link. Your work looks great, and the PCB material is a great idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by soundman98 View Post
    "because you can"...
    I just took a look at the computer running Linux and the espresso machine with an Arduino with SSRs connected instead of a simple mechanical switch, and I understood that yes, carpc may be a good fit for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by soundman98 View Post
    you dump tons of money into it for what appears to be very little benefit
    See espresso above.

    Quote Originally Posted by soundman98 View Post
    they are essentially the same screen
    Thanks - sounds like this may come down to how I consolidate my orders.

    Thanks for the replies!

  5. #5
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    Status update:

    Ordering Visteon+Mitch's serial cable with serial to USB, BU-353, Andrea SoundMax mic, and JoyCon from forum members, and Subaru wiring harness adapters for main harness and AUX plug from www.ae64.com (thanks David!). The harness adapters will be glued to the back of the ByByte enclosure to get everything in and out very cleanly.

    To be ordered soon: Lilliput 669, ByByte enclosure, TDA7850 amp and board, right angle HDMI, and pre-soldered IR sensor with ribbon cable for ByByte case.

    Does anyone have experience ordering from ByByte.com? Their description for the Lilliput 669 includes "Surface Treatment: Anti-Glare," but the price of the monitor is $234 - does anyone know if they make any modification or is it sold stock? (I emailed them as well, and will post if/when I hear back.)

    I have tried contacting Aleutia support but have not heard back yet. For the SSD, I will wait a few days/weeks for something nice to pop up on SlickDeals.

  6. #6
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    Thumbs up Aleutia motherboard

    Aleutia is a low power computer manufacturer, not a motherboard manufacturer, they would probably charge you more for the same board.

    Going though the manufacturers links on AMD
    http://wwwd.amd.com/catalog/salescat...TD~Nano+AF2S1A

    Available from OO Home, on aliexpress


    ITX BWF2S1A:2*HDMI+2*VGA 299.00
    http://www.aliexpress.com/product-fm...olesalers.html

    ITX BWF2S1F:1*HDMI+1*VGA 236.84
    http://www.aliexpress.com/fm-store/4...DIMM-DDR3.html

    I am also interested in this motherboard for a Double Din build, but currently building a mini-itx unit with a case mounted to the back of my passenger side rear seat (easy access, also able to mount a standard car amplifier in the same location, running HDMI to 669 lilliput in dash)

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    Thanks for the post! I did see the OO Ahome listing on AliExpress, but does anyone know if that's a reputable site? If I send them the $300, will I ever see a motherboard?

    My reasoning for paying a bit more to get it from Aleutia would be the support (which I would imagine to be more accessible than if I purchase from a random seller in China, but who knows!).

    Just ordered a TDA7850 amp from ebay, which I will pair with a Zalman ZM-NBF47 heatsink, per nivanov's suggestion here. Seems like it should work well (as long as it fits in the enclosure... nothing a dremel can't fix!).

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by aindfan View Post
    Does anyone have experience ordering from ByByte.com? Their description for the Lilliput 669 includes "Surface Treatment: Anti-Glare," but the price of the monitor is $234 - does anyone know if they make any modification or is it sold stock? (I emailed them as well, and will post if/when I hear back.)
    i have ordered from them twice-- both for a dd bezel. shipping/cost was fair, and i got the bezels pretty fast..

    though i never ordered a screen from them, and don't remember coming across any posts saying that anyone else did, so can't help you much with that part..

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    Thanks - now here's the $650 question:

    Transflective or not? I imagine the extra $450 will ultimately pay off...

    As for today's status update: got the GPS, HD Radio, JoyCon, and Microphone array.

    ---------- Post added at 11:22 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:36 PM ----------

    (Dear credit card company, thank you for raising a red flag and declining my transaction when I suddenly made a transaction with China. Your attention is appreciated and the minute on the phone confirming that the card was not stolen went without a hitch.)

    So... I ordered one of these and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that $360 (including shipping) didn't just disappear.

  10. #10
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    lol, i have gotten 3 screens because of this...

    this thread details most of my experience, and has some pics with the glaring difference(pun intended )-- i have just received a newer transflective w/ capacitive touch, so that thread doesn't talk about that version..

    just keep in mind that the 629 in that thread is a high brightness,standard screen with no treatments, and the 669 is a "mistake-screen"-- a lower brightness version with transflective, and optical bonding treatments. all current transflective 669's that you would normally order are the high brightness version, so you can expect slightly brighter performance.


    in general, if you can afford it, i highly recommend it, though the extra expense is sometimes tough to justify just looking at the cost difference.. the biggest improvment is that you won't notice it as much-- with my 629, with the convertible top down, i can't see for squat-- i had to block the display with my hand to see anything. but with the low brightness transflective, it usually takes me a minute to realize that it is so sunny that i should not be able to read the screen in the sun, but can...


    and as frustrating as it is that your credit card company blocked the transaction, it's nice to see that they actually seem to care enough to try to help every once in a while..

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