2001 Honda Civic Aopen Pandora MiniPC
After lurking and searching on here for a few months, I ordered the components tonight. I settled on an Aopen Pandora MiniPC with a Lilliput 7" touchscreen interface. I haven't settled on the front end yet...they all are very impressive and I want to make sure I pick the right one for me.
I'm going to flush the Lilliput into the dash bezel...probably using the ABS Sludge method. I've got a good amount of fabrication experience with fiberglass/bondo and feel like doing the ABS fabrication will be within my reach.
I'm going to setup the Pandora with the following components:
- CD/DVD Combo drive (the barebones system available from mp3car.com)
- Intel Celeron M 1.4GHz CPU
- 512MB RAM
- 80GB Samsung 5400RPM hard drive
I can't live without XM, so XM direct will be installed. I'm also going to install the iGuidance/BU-353 navigation package. Power supply will be the Carnetix P1900 with the additional CNX-P5V 15 Watt +5V Regulator to run a 7-port D-Link USB Hub.
I haven't figured out the Wifi interface yet. I'm sure it will be a miniPCI card, but don't know enough about the antennas yet. It seems that there is an Aopen Pandora "kit" out there...don't know if it's specific to the Pandora or if I can just buy about any card/antenna(s). I'm also planning to replace my Verizon Wireless phone with an EVDO capable one (probably the RAZR V3c) and tethering it to the Pandora for broadband while I'm on the road. I'm in no hurry to do this since I won't have EVDO coverage where I normally travel...the 1xRTT service might be a decent temporary option.
As for the rest of the system...I've already got a pretty good audio setup. I'm getting rid of my headunit and current XM setup. It's nothing special...just an old Alpine and one of the original "big box" XM tuners and an antenna that takes up too much back deck space. I've got a decent little system with an Alpine amp, Boston components in the front and a JL 6W0 sub in the trunk. I'm going to change out the front speakers to JL Audio X series coaxes. I can't get even great speakers to sound right without EXTENSIVE kick panel fabrication and I'm no longer willing to give up the driver side footspace. The JL's should sound good enough. I'm probably going to move the 6W0 up to the passenger footwell in a really shallow fiberglass enclosure. It will shorten the passenger footwell about 5-6 inches, but I'm not the one sitting there :).
I've got an M-Audio MobilePre USB soundcard that I use with my Real Time Analyzer software. I plan to use this as my external soundcard and master volume control for the system. I will probably end up taking it apart and remounting the master volume control somewhere convenient. Probably in the lower dash bezel where I plan to mount the Pandora box (convenient access for the CD/DVD drdive).
Everything should be here by the end of the week. I can't wait to get started! Suggestions and advice are welcome...I've already gotten an enormous amount of help from the people on this board!
Good News and Not So Good News
The 2005 bezel is a perfect replacement for the 2001 bezel. When I dropped it in it fit the same as my existing bezel. There's plenty of room for the lilliput 7" and even a good mounting surface for the Carnetix CNX-P1900. Since I'm going to lose the plastic monitor housing on the lilliput, I'm going to relocate the remote sensor to an area on the lower right corner of the bezel. Hopefully I won't have to do too much fabrication to get this to work.
The Not So Good:
The lower dash area where I was hoping to mount the Pandora and USB Soundcard doesn't have enough depth. So, I started poking around in other areas. The glovebox isn't a good option...not enough room. There's a decent spot in the center armrest area, but it would require a lot of fabrication and the optical drive slot would be prone to gathering spilled stuff (not good!). I'm thinking that they're going to have to go on a mounting board under the seat. The door would be an interesting idea, but routing all those wires through the door jamb would be a PITA. And, the fabrication would be a challenge. And, I would worry about the vibration from the woofers in the doors. Since I'm trying to get as much trunk space back as possible, under the seat is looking like the best option and I'm not happy about it. Maybe I'll make the center console option work down the road.
Here's a pic illustrating what I figured out today
I also got the CNX-P5V installed into the CNX-P1900 and set all the jumpers to accommodate it.