Excellent work. I always marvel at your precision and wish I could be so thorough!
Looking great Bugbyte! I definitely look forward to seeing some more progress. It helps the time at work to go by as I'm debugging code.
Audi A4 (flickr pics)
Thanks guys. We'll see how it actually turns out.
Tonight I drew up a sketch of my proposed solution to the heater duct problem.
The basic issue is two-fold. First, the back of the Mini hangs into the heater/air conditioner duct. The flow comes from the bottom up to the top, passing over the Mini in the process. Second, the exhaust for the fan inside the Mini is exposed to this same air flow. That means that hot air in the winter could be forced INTO the Mini. I presume the fan would switch on and it would then exhaust the air into the duct, but I dunno for sure.
I need to do two things. First, protect the cables from the hot air. I think the hot air would loosen the hot glue and I'm not certain there's enough epoxy to protect it, even though I used a paintbrush to try and protect all of the hot glue blobs. Second, I want to ensure that heat from the mini is exhausted overboard into the heater duct work.
My proposed solution, after lots of complicated thoughts is to put a plastic box around the bottom and back of the cables and a slot at the top to let hot air out. I think that with the flow of the heat, it will be carried along and out the heater vents in the dash.
Here's a sketch of the problem (on the left) and my proposed solution (on the right).
Man.... you doing that dock leaves me with fewer excuses!!!! Damnit and thanks!
But seriously, awsome work so far.
I would like to make a suggestion:
What about another layer of plastic behind the plugs of the dock but connected to the other plastic... effectively making it impossible for them to slide out backwards when docking the mini... which seems like it would present the most stress on the dock, while undocking would pull the plugs in firmer. Does this make sense? Kinda like a plug casing.
Carputer status: [-*---------]
Im thinking laptop...
YES!! That could effectively block most of the heat, and help hold the cables in place if you were to make it a firmly attached part of the dock.Originally Posted by Bugbyte
EDIT:I would still worry about the heat in general if the heater was running.... maybe a bit of insulation?
Carputer status: [-*---------]
Im thinking laptop...
An excellent suggestion! I could also tap a screw through the bottom of the newly proposed plastic box and ever so slightly into each connector to ensure they hold in place. If I crack the plastic doing it, no big deal, just rebuild the box, not the whole dock.
I'll first build the box, then see if that keeps the connectors where they need to be. If not, I'll tap the screws. Thanks!
Edit: yah, maybe I ought to put some tinfoil or foam insulation on the plastic to insulate it. Don't ask why, but one day last year I put a thermometer into the duct when the heat was on high and got 137 degrees. Hot, but not really hot.
How about using CA (Cyanoacrylate) glue to hold the plugs in place. It's availabe in almost all hobby shops. That stuff is incredible when bonding plastic parts together, and is incredibly heat resistant.
-InnovaTek 7" LCD touchscreen, Biostar M7VIZ w/ AMD Athlon XP-M @800 MHz 1.1V, 512 RAM, 160G HDD, M-Audio Revolution 5.1, USB Wi-Fi with custom external antenna, Holux GPS and lots of really nice audio bits...
That's a good choice and I use CA when I build R/C aircraft. It probably would have been better to do that when I first glued the plugs in place, although even gap filling CA doesn't always work so well, even with Zip Kicker to accelerate it. But I don't suppose it could hurt anything to put some thin CA on it. That stuff would definately seep into the tiny cracks, which is what I'm after.How about using CA (Cyanoacrylate) glue to hold the plugs in place.
Anyhow, not much progress to report today other than I bench tested the dock for the first time and found out that all of the cables work and that the dock didn't self destruct when I plugged and unplugged it. The DVI cable makes it seat very tightly, both when plugging it in and when unplugging it. Once the dock is permanently mounted, I don't think that will be a problem.
Here's a pic of it running iTunes with visualization after plugging it into the dock.
Here's the Mini in the dock at its approximate final location inside the center console...
mini in final position
Here's what it will look like for the front. I'm setting it back a ways so I have room to either put my HU faceplate here for an uber stock appearance, or maybe I'll put a vacuum flourescent display behind smoke glass that displays song/computer status, etc.
I've given some thought about how to solve the ducting problem and sketched out a plan that I'm going to work on this weekend.
Here's a better picture of the problem and of my proposed solution:
The upper left of the plan shows the side view. The problem is that the back of the Mini hangs into the heater/air cond. ductwork. After considering a solution I posted earlier that vented into the ductwork, I've decided to reject that one. I think that the higher pressure in the vent when the fan is on would overwhelm the Mini's fan and force hot air through it. Also, air conditioning, while beneficial, might cause condensation inside the Mini.
So I'm going to vent the heat out the bottom of the Mini. The only issue with that is that the air intake for the Mini is on the BOTTOM of the unit. Venting the air to the bottom might cause it to recirculate warm air through the Mini.
Soooo...I'm not only venting it out the bottom but also have to route it out to the sides and into the dashboard. Since the dash is pretty big, I'm not too worried about heating up the inside of the dash. After all, the Mini's fan has never come on during the times that I've used it. I presume it may come on more often in a hot car but I'll use temp monitoring software to keep from damaging it.
The basic plan is that the lower ductwork is fixed in place while the upper ductwork is attached to the dock. For all intents and purposes, once the dock is put in place, it won't move either, but the two pieces aren't joined physically. I'll use foam to seal any gap between the two, just like they do with the current heater ducts.
Below is my cut and fabricate plan for the upper and lower ductwork. I'll first fabricate the box around the cables and enclose the exhaust, then use that to figure the exact dimensions of the lower ductwork.
This may take awhile...