WOOT. Ok silliness aside, I FINALLY finished my project. It was quite the evolution from start to perfect but I have details all the way and photos of the finished product which is really darn cool if you ask me, then again I might tend to be a bit biased.
Vehicle: 2004 Chevrolet Trailblazer LS 4.2L I6
OS: Windows XP SP3
Software: Centrafuse 2.2 (yes .2)
System: Mac Mini Intel Core Duo 2 (yeah i cheated)
Touchscreen: Lilliput EBY-701 7"
Power: Carnetix P2140
Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 External USB
Amplifier: Blaupunkt THA555 PNP
Head Unit: Stock Chevy Single CD / Cassette
Sound System: Polk Audio MMC5250 5-1/4" Component System
Subwoofer: 12" JBL dual voice coil
GPS: Holux sirf star 3 GR-213
GPS Software: iGuidance 4
Security System: Viper 791XV
Other: ScanGuage 2
Other: Vector 1000W Inverter
Anyways, enough technical, onto pictures.
The front seats:
I took up the main cupholder to mount the screen in place using a crap load of mounting tape, seeing as I didn't want to drill any holes in my car.
A better shot of the screen.
Das USB hub:
Love using flash drives for music, even though I have 60 GB on the mac. Also allows easy hookup for an ipod.
Mac Mini with X-Fi:
Yeah, so I cheated and put a Mac Mini in my car instead of building a PC myself. It was easier. The Mac is sitting where the OnStar box used to be which was obsolete so I trashed it. As for the sound card, many people say that model doesn't work for them at all, well, it works perfectly for me. The Mac sits nicely on that metal plate with about an inch clearance from the seat when down and doesn't move at all even though its not mounted..
Fuse block and P2140:
The P2140 remote and V1 power are attached to the TBC-IGN fuse. The P2140 power, and inverter are bolted to the power leads on the side of the block.
The whole nine yards:
The whole back seat lifted to show the cabling. Hooray green zip ties! The wiring gets a little messy near the Mac but thats to be expected having so many cords crammed in a small space.
The cargo area, showing amplifier, subwoofer, crossovers, inverter, rear tweeters, and sun shade.
Sound system up:
Amplifier is bolted to the back of the seat and slightly crooked... Xovers are attached with velcro. The wiring is nice and mostly hidden when the seat is up.
Sound system down:
A better look at the wiring situation with the amp and xovers.
The wiring scheme of the amp. Power on the left, then hilevel input, then RCA from X-Fi, then speaker connections, MP3 jacks, then knobs and dials. One really cool thing about the amp is that the computer is always patched into the audio, so even when listening to the HU I can still hear the navi.
GPS mounted on dash:
Works like a champ even in congested cities. The wire is routed through the separation in the panels then I used an extension cable to get it directly to the Mac using the trim panels.
Webcam mounted on mirror, and my forehead:
Basic Logitech webcam, don't ask me why i put it there, I just thought it was cool. Besides, Centrafuse can record from it.
Hardwired Valentine 1:
Ahh, the Valentine 1. So what if it costs 400 dollars, if you like to drive fast, there is NOTHING better.
LED dome lights, and my head again:
Wedge based LED lights replaced the standard conventional bulbs. The effect is a cool blue glow at night which is really badass looking.
WARNING rambling ahead!
So anyways, I started the project about a year ago when I found mp3car.com by accident and was hooked right away. I started out using the inverter and a slimline desktop I pulled out of my closet and things were ok I suppose. I didnt have the amp or the sound system or whatnot when I first started so I just used a line in patch through the HU. Things were ok, but there was no ignition control, I had a wired remote for the inverter which would start the computer from the BIOS power loss settings. It worked semi-well except that if you left the inverter on it would drain the battery. The line in patch would drain the battery too. The inverter would leave a line hum on the sound, and I had to manually shut down the computer every time which was sometimes a slow process.
The first upgrade I had was the P2140, which without even researching I just bought online thinking I could use it for the PC, which I sad discovered I couldn't, but this was ok because it drove me to buy the Mac Mini which I figured would work better anyways. So a week after getting the P2140 I just walked into a Mac Store and picked one off the shelf. I figured it'd be well worth it if it actually did work, which it did thankfully. It was about 2 weeks after this that I discovered that the source of my dead battery was the line in patch. So with much disgust and relief I trashed that. Now I was at somewhat of a dilemma, I had the computer, but I didn't have any way to get the sound to the stereo. My solution, I bought another line in patch, which was DOA so I started looking into something more long-term and permanent. I had been using crutchfield.com for a while for home and car audio and so I started looking for some serious upgrades. After about 5 weeks of having nothing within my budget that was satisfactory Crutchfield had a friggin huge sale (cost details at end). I got 2 component sets of Polk/MOMO speakers and the 5 channel amp for a real steal, I think I spent 600 dollars where retail would have been 1300. So I was REAL happy about that. Now I started the project at the beginning of 2008 and in the fall, I went to Oregon State University. This kinda made installation difficult as I was working on it in and out of classes and in a student parking lot to boot. But after about 3 weeks an F, three Bs and 2 As, I finally had the system completely finalized and sounding fantastic. Now at this point, I hadn't forseen the RCA inputs on the amp and i was thinking I would use the MP3 jacks, they sound like crap and don't drive the sub. So with another 2 week delay, I ended up getting the X-Fi which I beat my head against for a week and a half getting to work correctly. There is a review on this site on the card giving it a 2 of 10 and I gave it even less until I finally figured out how to get the surround working correctly. But now that that was fixed I could finally start finishing everything up all nice and pretty. I pulled out my green zip ties and ripped up the trim boards by the door and tore apart the dash. My car looked like someone had ripped it off pretty well for about a week with all the panels in the cargo area, but I got the wiring all cleaned up. I also got the sub at the same time because I always wanted a sub and figured I now had a system that deserved one. Now my car is rockin and EVERYbody around campus keeps asking me questions about the computer and how to do it and blah blah blah, which is nice and all but kinda annoying. And oh yeah, I found the best way to hide the screen is to put a stocking cap on it, so nobody sees something to steal, and to keep my head warm when it is cold around here (which is often).
Price details: the total cost.
CNX-P2140 and mac pac: 165
AND TOTALLY WORTH IT
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