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Thread: 2003 Toyota Tacoma 4WD Xtra-Cab

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    2003 Toyota Tacoma 4WD Xtra-Cab

    Hi All, here begins the project. I am modifing my Toyota truck to make it into a great car-camping, on-road and off-road backcountry exploring vehicle. The project started because I wanted a good moving map for USGS topos while driving off-road. Then, of course, it just spun out of control!

    The vehicle:

    2003 Toyota Tacoma 4WD Xtra Cab
    ARE camper shell
    Factory electric rear locking diff
    Donahoe Racing coilovers, Bilstien 5125 + 9-leaf Deavers springs (lift ~2in)
    Brigdestone Deuler AT Revo LT265/75R16C (10.5x32")

    The proposed system:

    Via Epia MII12000 Mini ITX Mobo
    256 Mb DDR (had this on hand, will upgrade, if necessary)
    DSATX PS (started with M2-ATX, see tales of woe below)
    VoomPC Case
    7" Transreflective TS LCD in-dash
    USB mini-keyboard/touchpad stowed in seat rear pocket
    Orinioco Gold WiFi PCMCIA
    Bluetooth USB dongle
    Garmin GPS15 Embedded GPS Sensor
    Yaesu FT-100D HF/VHF/UHF All Mode Ham Radio
    Yaesu ATAS-120 Auto Tuning HF Antenna
    Comet 2m/440 Antenna
    Hirschmann GPS/GSM/WiFi Antenna

    More to follow!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Phase One Complete

    Okay, I got a bunch of work on the TruckPuter in and then my job got busy. However I'm back to it now. Here is where it stand.

    - Fabricated custom mounting plate for DSATX and Garmin GPS15.
    - Removed power connector on DSATX and relocated one capacitor in order to fit HQCT
    - Replace power input wires w/ heaver guage; removed power terminals from DSATX board
    - Milled out one of the internal ribs in the ampie case (interfered w/ GPS15)
    - Fabricated mounting brackets for HQCT.
    - Assembled, tested, installed works!

    My opinion is that the DSATX is a *much* more well designed product than the M2-ATX which it replaced. However cramming it into the Ampie case required fabbing a custom mounting plate. It wasn't too badd. I used a vertical mill, but it could be done with a hand drill, hacksaw and nibbler. The modifications that I made to the DSATX (connector removal, capacitor relocation) are *only* required if you want to also cram an HQCT into the case. This puppy is chock full now!

    In retrospact, I've decided to mount the HQCT elsewhere for various reasons, so some of the work was for nothing. But it was fun to prove that it could be done.

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    Next I'll be working on a custom rack-frame that replaces the head unit. It will hold the screen, CD/DVD drive, HQCT, 2x2 chan audio amps (41Hz AMP3 kits) and a 4-port USB hub.

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate nasa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    nice job... I have the same case and am thinking about making the same DC-DC switch you did. Could you explain futher how you made the DSATX fit in the ampie case?


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by nasa View Post

    nice job... I have the same case and am thinking about making the same DC-DC switch you did. Could you explain futher how you made the DSATX fit in the ampie case?
    Nasa, I can't explain it much better than the pictures above. Basically, to making it fit, you need to mount the DSATX board inverted (components down) above the Mobo. The exact details of locating the DSATX depend upon the layout of your mobo. On my VIA EPIA M12000, I placed the DSATX so that the capacitors straddled the memory SIMM. I fabricated a frame to hold the DSATX in place and mounted it on standoffs. It was a PITA, but the DSATX is a very good power supply. Much better design than the M2. If you have any more specific questions, I'd be happy to answer them.


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