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11.88 @ 120 mph
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok, first of all, all of this information was researched by me and the selection of parts was researched by me. Feel free to do your own research and select your own parts. There are way better parts, better computers out there, but if you want you can copy everything that I have done and I guarantee that it will work.
This DIY is for the lazy people out there (like me) who wished something out there like this was available instead of having to search through hundreds of threads to make decent sense of building a car computer. Use this as a rough guide. I'll try to include as much of the install as much as I can. I'm also using the stock amps so for all you audio gurus out there, feel free to add amps. here's the breakdown of the parts that I used and rough prices. Remember these are my opinions!

I will be updating this everyday until I finish the write-up. there's a lot of info...

The prices here are what i ended up spending +/- $100.00
Wiring diagram is belooowwwww

Mac Mini - You can probably get a decent Intel core duo/solo one for about $350-$500. Get the Intel chip so you can run both windows and OS X. I also upgraded my RAM to 2gigs instead of 512MB. Add another $100.00

7" monitor - Xenarc 700TSV - touchscreen monitor. 379.00 + 20 shipping

American Interntional bezel from ebay - dont pay more than $20.00 shipping included on ebay search! you gotta look at the bezel. If it's an americal international, youll see a frame around the double din. You can probably use another double din, but the AI looks better with the frame IMHO.

glue sticks, glue gun, epoxy - $20.00 at lowes or Ace Hardware.

Carnetix P1900 (CNX-P1900 Ver. 2.2 Dual Output 140 Watt 12V DC-DC Regulator) (you need this to power up your Mac and to shut it down instead of pressing the button. In other words, you let the car turn on/turn off instead of you having to press the button. more info later)- $99.95 shipped from mp3car.com. Another alternative (possibly better but more expensive) is the P2140 power supply. This power supply allows you visually see what the power supply is "pulling" from the car and "putting out" to your screen and Mac mini.

Carnetix Macpac cable harness (connects your power supply to your car to your car's power supply) This thing is awesome. Allows you to not have to cut you power supply which came with your mac mini. So if you want to remove the computer from your car, you can because you'll still have your original in your house. - $24.99 shipped

Ground loop isolator- (to eliminate engine noise quickly when you think you grounded everything correctly. worked for me!) - $8.00 shipped through ebay. When I thought i had grounded everything correctly, I still had alternator whine and computer hard drvie noises. Now installing this got rid of all that.

Metra wire harness - $21.00 - use it so you don't have to cut into your factory harness to hook up your stock amp and stock speakers. It's also a good idea to have because if you dont use it, soldering in that little double din hole becomes annoying.- Clubrsx.com

RCA cables - 4 bucks shipped through ebay. You should probably get some gold ones though, i used cheapo ones..

zip ties - $10.00 at walmart.

Edirol/Roland UA-1EX sound card interface box (gets sound out of your mac) - $79.99 + plus shipping - google it.

Software -

Parallels software - $75.00 - Use it to run Wondows and OS X at the same time. You can also get an alternative which is called VMware. Some people have tried using it but can't get Iguidance to work because of some deal they have with Parallels software. :dontknow:

iGuidance 4 GPS Navigation Software + GlobalSat BU-353(SiRF III)- GPS Navigation System for Laptop $130.00 shipped BuyGPsnow.com - Bundled GPS receiver and Iguidance software. This (iguidance) to me was the best bang for the buck. Has the best car interface because it was designed to be put in a car computer.

AMP software - free - mac front end software. A front end is a user interface which lets you access whatever you want from a convenient screen instead of using the small layout of a regular computer. The buttons are oversized and fonts are oversized to accomodate the in-car experience.

Road Runner software - free - Windows front end software. This free front end has hundreds of free skins and hundreds of people working together for free making it one of the best front ends out there.

Ok here's what you'll be working off of. Learn it.

 

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11.88 @ 120 mph
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204,760 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
reserved for making the screen. I need pictures still

***UPdated***

Basically, i show you where you have to cut the bezel...
you have to dremel everything flat to make the actual screen fit.
I also show you all the corners you need to cut off the bezel to make it fit.
The first couple set of pictures shows you how the stock screen (touchscreen portion) fits on the Xenarc
Trust me this is waaay easier on a Ford.

The last set of pictures is the way i did it for some guy here on the boards... i cut around the bezel to make the screen fit. So there is more than one way to make the screen fit. the first way without using the Xenarc backplate, or the second by using the Xenarc backplate.



























These last two pictures are the second way i made the screen. You cut the bezel enough to make the Xenarc backplate/fronplate fit. but you still have to shave the bezel to make screen sit flush.



 

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11.88 @ 120 mph
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204,760 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Once you make the screen, you can start installing everything.

up front you can see where i zip tied the Edirol soundcard. behind that is where the P1900 powersupply is zip tied.
If you look closely behind and to the right of the power supply, you can see where I grounded the P1900 along with the other wires.

You can also see where the gournd loop isolator sits next to the external soundcard. it goes from external soundcar>>>>groundloop isolator>>>metra wire harness.




When I bought the ground loop isolator, the RCA outputs and inputs were reversed so i had to dyke them off and resolder them...


ok, so the metra harness should be labeled. (RT front +, RT front -, LT front +, LT front -, etc....) i combined the lefts and the rights together to turn them into 2 RCA outputs. So at this point you can either feed your output from your soundcard (actualy the ground loop isolator) to your amps if you have them or directly into this metra harness if you're running the stock amps like me. i plan on upgrading to amps somtime in the future....


Here is where i soldered the RCA cables.






Here's where you'll be splicing into the 12v ACC wire.




 

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Nice DIY, thanks for putting it put. I have a few questions for you. 1st is this the power up/power down controller you are talking about the Carnetix CNX-P1900 Ver. 2.2 Dual Output 140 Watt 12V DC-DC Regulator,
http://store.mp3car.com/Carnetix_CNX_P1900_DC_DC_Regulator_p/pwr-010.htm.

Next question, I am having problems finding the American International Bezel on ebay, but I did find this
http://cgi.ebay.com/Acura-RSX-type-S-2002-2005-Stereo-Radio-Mount-Dash-Kit_W0QQitemZ330172574040QQihZ014QQcategoryZ85806QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
Is this the same thing you used?
 

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Hey man question for you. I have been looking all over ebay for the dash kit. And I can't find the American Interntional bezel anywhere. Is there any chance you can give the ebay seller's name you bought yours from so I can contact them.
 

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Good thats the one I have been looking at. Side note, you been rep! I don't know if you want to add this to your DIY but I found the GlobalSat BU-353(SiRF III) for $45 but no software with it. Thanks for the quick response.
 
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