2001 S-10 Laptop Pics (19 of them)
When I bought my truck (Desert Moon) back in 2000 I created a list of upgrades that I wanted to perform after 3 months of living with it. I actually, really do, like the factory stereo. It's awesome but I wanted a disk changer and put a 12 disk JVC changer on the list.
When I finally got around to it however I had come across a Wal-Mart 10-disc Xtreme disc changer (Moon has the Xtreme body package, reg cab, V6, 5 speed, stepside bed and he's black with silver stripes and a charcoal interior) so I had to have it. I mounted it behind the center console.
One fine spring day I left his rear slider open and took a nap to awake to a heavy spring shower. Gone - one disk changer. A year later I purchased a refurbished JVC 12 disc changer and mounted it in the center console, that only lasted 5 months. So we went the next 2 years without a disc changer eventually buying the an adapter from Crutchfield and connecting my XLive XMB mp3 player, but it has a puny memory capacity, and I needed more.
Enter 2 month's ago when I decided to put a computer in and this was one of the first sites I came to. After some reading and looking around I decided to go with a laptop install for two reasons: 1 - I live in an apartment so no garage to wire for a LAN; 2 - Self contained so no need to buy an additional card for my pc for wireless comm. Besides, I also have a 20 gb portable.
I bought a Compaq Armada e500 off eBay: PIII 600 MHz, 512 Mb ram, 12 Gb HDD, DVD-ROM. It only has a single USB 1.1 port so I bought a 2 port USB 2.0pcmcia card for it. Display duties are handled by the ubiquitous TM-868 (came with both AC & DC adapters). I also purchased a mini-USB 1.1 hub, a floppy keyboard (with the huge @ss capslock key :tard: ), a DBT-120 bluetooth antenna, an iGo Juice power adapter (for the 90 degree power connection), and the docking station for the laptop.
I have passengers leaning over to see the regular stereo because of how far it angles in towards the driver, and because I like the stock stereo (not to mention any unplanned downtime from the laptop) I bought an Omnimount AB1 (though in retrospect the Universal kit may have been better, it didn't come in silver) mount. I Gorilla Glue'd the long leg of a disc changer 'L' mounting bracket to the top of the HU with the short leg near the front, mounted the Omnimount to it and the cut a just-the-right-size hole in the HU's top bezel for it. The other reason is that when I take my friend along with me on trips she likes to play games, surf the net, watch movies, and it makes it a 'her' activity while I stay driving.
I initially wanted to mount the laptop on its side (so the DVD tray extends towards the center of the Moon, and all the connectors point towards the passenger wall) behind the passenger seat until I realized that some work (welding) would have to go into relocating the jack. Then I bought one of those seat organizers used it as a sling for the laptop, placing it with the front facing downward and the top to the back of the passenger seat. This wasn't really okay, and was temporary because it was a pain to change disks. Besides, removing the laptop and putting it back in became an exercise in agility, taking a couple of minutes. The two things I did learn is that both it and the display would survive crank and could be left unattended for at least 5 hours connected without touching the battery really; and I would need the port replicator/docking station.
I should point out that the cigarette light and both auxillary plugs are always powered.
I had been thinking about replacing his center console for a while because the 5-speed consoles have two useless cupholders. Unfortunately the first 6scrap parts yard I came across didn't want/have the center console from an automatic so I could splice it in, and the C/K center consoles were to large, so I decided to remove it completely and replace it with a custom (kind of)one. Easier access for me and the passenger.
I drove around for the better part of the day without the center console and noticed how much better shifting felt without it so I knew that I would never go back to one that consumed so much space.
I relocated the buckets from the center console to the back wall of the cab between the two seats where they used to be with JVC changer. I bought a three tier rubbermaid container where the top tray hinged upward and lightly wedged it between the shifter and the underdash where the tray on the front of the center console is. I had to remove the bottom two drawers, leaving one and the top container. Just the right height! I have to slide it out to access the drawer but I only store the iGo's additional bits that I never use along with a few wire ties. Behind the shifter I placed a cheap 'center console' with two cupholders, a cd holder block, change drops, and two additional compartments. The side by side cupholders allow me to shift without '4th gear knock'. Next came the mount for the laptop.
Because the docking station has a built-in incline on the bottom I had to hacksaw/boxcut-ter it flat (wish I had a Dremel saw). The back of the docking station also has a slight incline but as I intended to connect everything to it I needed a surface a few inches off the floor of the Moon that would cancel the incline. I used a small file box because of the slight incline. (I'll have to take pictures of just this. Because of its location I could use a wire tie to loop through the security chain loop and around the passenger seatbelt. I used heavy duty velcro to keep the bottom of the docking station from sliding around. I also purchased a 4.5 inch wide file holder from Office Depot. It was $20 but just the right size so I used that (velcro'ed too), on its back, to fill the gap between the top of the docking station and the driver's seat. There's enough room in front of the document holder to place the mini hub. One of the compartments on the center console is large enough to hold a 1->3 12 volt outlet adapter which is beside the driver's seat which I plug the monitor and the iGo into. the rest of the cables I hid in wire covers or beneath the file box cutout.
The only issue I have now is that I have to unplug the docking station else it doesn't survive crank. It took a second to figure out what was going on all of a sudden. :p Before I got the specific problem down pat I had the hub connected to the docking station and connected the display to the hub but changed it to leaving the hub unplugged until I need it (then I plug it into the pcmcia card) and plug the display's TS controller into the docking station, which is more permanent.
I still need to cover the bottom of the docking station and sand the edges a little. The document holder keeps the rear facing side of the laptop from flapping around and I have a small piece of regular black velcro doing the same on the front now (post pics). Otherwise its just a slow process of adding things on over time - upgrade laptop, gps antenna and software, blah, and so on. Pics are the next post down.