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Thread: A Mac in an Escape

  1. #1
    CarFrontEnd Creator iamgnat's Avatar
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    A Mac in an Escape

    Well after probably over a year of yapping about it, i'm finally getting off my lazy butt and doing something.

    I've had my 7" Lilli for a few months now, but last weekend I finally picked up my Mini and ordered my P1900, a USB hub, and a 1GB SODIMM.

    The place I ordered the memory from drug it's ***, but when they finally sent it they sent it overnight so I still had it in time

    Thursday night I started getting the P1900 ready.

    Friday morning I took my Mini into the office to reload it's OS for a clean install. I got about 75% through and found out I had a bad install disc AppleCare is shipping me a new one, but that does do squat for the weekend. So I poked around the office and everyone I know with an Intel Mac didn't have their install CDs with them. So I resigned myself to waiting forever to borrow the disc from the local Apple Store. I got there and had ~3 hours until my appointment time, but talked a sales guy into grabbing the disc for me so the Techs didn't have to bother. 20 minutes later I was out of there with a working Mini

    So I got home and pulled my old stero along with my center console, center facia, and both seats out. I also unknowingly (i.e. being a little too happy with the wire cutters ) cut the wiring to my speakers I will say I meant to do it though since I didn't like how the shop that installed my stereo routed the wires to my AMPs, so now i'm running in a cleaner route now

    After dark I came in and started the modifications on my center console and a bunch of soldering. Besides making some wires too long, everything looks ready.

    Tomorrow i'll make the mods to my dash for the Lilli and hopefully have it all working by tomorrow night.

    I'm taking pics through the process that I will get added after it's all done and I have some time to process the pics.

    -dave

    Ford 2004 Escape Limited
    V6
    4x4
    Mac Mini
    Core Solo
    60GB HDD
    1.25GB
    CarNetix P1900

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate skippy911's Avatar
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    Sounds cool but you may want the mods to move this to the worklog subforum.

  3. #3
    CarFrontEnd Creator iamgnat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skippy911
    Sounds cool but you may want the mods to move this to the worklog subforum.
    Thought I was there. Opps. Sent a PM to a mod.

    -dave

  4. #4
    CarFrontEnd Creator iamgnat's Avatar
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    Day 2

    I woke up with great anticipation to get started, though I still slept till 11ish and didn't get started till noon (hey that's early for me on a weekend ).

    Like an idiot I started carving up my dash BEFORE I tested all the electronics. And of course it bit me in the ***.

    First thing I found was that Ford welded in part of the stereo guide slightly off so it wanted to throw my screen to an angle, so out it came. Now there was nothing to support the WRX housing i'm using to hold my screen.

    I came up with a plan to use some plastic card stock I had to make a custom platform for the housing to rest on. This is also the same stock I planned to use to fill the gaps on the sides of the LCD frame after the facia is re-installed.

    I got to thinking and called Mike from Carnetix (this guy is great. I wish I had more cars to put Macs in, but my wife won't let me put them in hers ) to see if it was going to be ok to power the P1900 from my AMP line that used a 60W fuse (manual says use a 15). So out I go in my wifes truck (it's been too long since I last drove a stick ) to get another fuse block and fuse. The shop that originally installed my HU and AMPs is cool. I payed for the block (which they pulled out of a kit for me) and they didn't charge me for a couple feet of 8 guage or the fuse

    So i'm feeling good and hook everything up (except the Mini). Everything looks great. All my volt readings are coming out exactly as expected and the delay turned on my AMPs as it should. So I turn it off, plug in the Mini, turn it back on, and a big fat nothing. Still haven't figured this out as everything appears to be hooked up right and the resistor I added for the iSense appears to be good. Mike and I are trading emails to figure it out (did I mention that he is a great guy).

    So I hooked my PowerBook up to the AMPs and besides having the right channel going to my Sub and the left to all my speakers, everything worked great.

    So the glue dried on the tray for my LCD and it dropped in perfectly and a steel bar at the rear of the cavity happens to be at the perfect distance to back stop the LCD case. A quick dry fit of the facia was perfect so I cut, painted, and glued some plastic card on either side of the LCD to fill gaps that were left (the opening isn't quite double din and is wider than a single din ). This too came out perfect (I figured it would look a bit obvious, but it actually looks really good).

    So finished up by reinstalling the controls on the facia, vacuuming (it's been awhile ), reinstalling the lower portion of the center console, and putting my drivers seat back in (woohoo I can drive it again ).

    So hopefully Mike can help me figure out what is going on with the Mini (works in the house so we think it is related to the iSense) tomorrow so I can put the rest of the car back together

    A few more pics were taken, they'll get added soon. I swear.

    -dave

  5. #5
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    "A Mac in an Escape" that has a ring to it for some reason lol it just sounds cool and I dont know whats making it sound so different.. anyways Can't wait to see this install, sounds pretty promising. good luck!
    Car: Nissan Maxima 1997 5-SPD
    Current carputer status: 92%
    my carputer worklog: click here

  6. #6
    CarFrontEnd Creator iamgnat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wasyed
    "A Mac in an Escape" that has a ring to it for some reason lol it just sounds cool and I dont know whats making it sound so different.. anyways Can't wait to see this install, sounds pretty promising. good luck!
    Thanks. I spent awhile on the title and am still not happy with it. I'm sure there windows guys chuckling at "Mac" and "Escape" in the same sentance

    Nice worklog of your own. My pictures aren't as detailed, hopefully they will do though when I can process them.

    -dave
    My pathetic worklog.
    CarFrontEnd (now it's own sub-forum!!!!)

  7. #7
    CarFrontEnd Creator iamgnat's Avatar
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    Pics

    Here are the pics I have so far.

    This is my dash before I did anything to it:


    This is the cubby in my center console where the Mini will sit. The right side of the pic is the front of the cubby and where the Mini will be:


    Here is the interior with both front seats, the center console, and the dash controls removed:

    The AMP on the left is for my front speakers. On the right are my Sub (top) and rear (bottom) AMPs. The later two actually sit side by side.

    Finally here is dry fit of the LCD in place:

    The line on the left side of the LCD (there is one on the right too under the shadow) is where the plastic card filler I added meets the LCD frame. The picture makes it stand out more than it does in person. You can also see the IR sensor for the LCD in the right vent.

    -dave
    My pathetic worklog.
    CarFrontEnd (now it's own sub-forum!!!!)

  8. #8
    CarFrontEnd Creator iamgnat's Avatar
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    Day 3

    So I talked to Mike some more and it turns out a part for the P1900 wasn't configured right to work with the Intel Mini. He is getting me a replacement overnighted, so assuming that I can A) get out of the office early Tuesday and B) the weather does what they predict (stop raining) I just have a couple of solder points to make and I can hook it all up again

    -dave
    My pathetic worklog.
    CarFrontEnd (now it's own sub-forum!!!!)

  9. #9
    CarFrontEnd Creator iamgnat's Avatar
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    Day 4

    I came home today to find the new cable waiting for me. A couple of quick solder joints and the Mini started right up. Turns out my LCD cable is about 6" too short to get where I wanted it, so I put most of the car back together to run out and get an extention cable. When I turned the car on to leave, the Mini started, but the LCD didn't come on When I got back I tested the connection at the back of the LCD and there was no power, so back apart came the seats and console. Turns out I didn't insulate the newest solder joints for the LCD power very well and when I cramed them in the console they shorted out. With that all fixed I put everything back together (testing again everytime I moved the cables around ) and I now have a working Mini in my Escape

    The camera battery is dead, so i'll try to pull select pieces out this weekend to show a bit more of the install.

    I also already know that I have to do something about the back light. When the sun hits it, there is nothing visible. Watching where the sun hit the screen when I ran out to get the extention cable, this is going to be far more of a problem than I expected. Guess it gives me something to do

    All total, I think it really only took me about 6 or 7 hours (and there was some *** dragging involved ) to get this done. Even with the little bumps I ran into, this turned out to be far simpler than I expected it to be.

    -dave
    My pathetic worklog.
    CarFrontEnd (now it's own sub-forum!!!!)

  10. #10
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    any updates to this??

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