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After overcoming my pc deficiencies, or at least learning just the minimum, a brake control unit failure in the middle of the install which had me thinking I some how caused...but the dealer says it was just a coincidence (thank God I didn't have to hear the wife say "I told you you'd screw something up!), and some grounding problems I now am fully media capable.


The pc is about a single din stereo size, with lots of stuff stuck inside. It took me almost as long trying to connect everything without frying something as it did the physical install. I added a couple of fans to the rear compartment and it seems to be cirulating the air good enough that it is not overheating...yet, I think I'll add a couple more though as I can't hear them running so a couple more won't hurt.


I hooked it up to my avelectronic box, with the audio out hooked to the AUX behind the dash through a P.I.E. amp. I have a hand held mouse (thumb ball) that works well, but I think I'll look for a wireless version. The little keypad is nice. I don't need it to play the media but if for some reason you need to look up a phone number (acessing an unsecured network) it's nice.


I'm using Frodoplayer as my primary media player. It's pretty slick (and free). Mp3car.com was very helpful in trouble shooting and getting things hooked up the way I wanted. It takes about 30 seconds to boot up which I hope some further tweaking will shorten.



The pc cost about $530+/- and with the cables and all the other accesories I bought along the way (some not needed) Total cost is probably about $700. Not including the previous DVD player, avelectronic box...that was probably another $800 for those.
With some tweaking I have it so I can read most of the Windows text on the factory screen. Doing this from scratch I'd of gotten a VGA monitor.


So now I have:
Reverse camera

DVD/TV


PC/Mp3/divx player and some cool background visuals, with the divx I can get an entire dvd to fit on my 1 gig usb drive so it's easy to add to the video collection. I have the PC setup though so it takes about 15 seconds to pull it out and take it in the house....which I do every night if there are any theiven punks reading this :machinegu






and I still have one input left for a video game....shhhh I told the wife I was done:):whip:

edit: I'll try and give you all a quick run down of my setup, if I missed a question or didn't answer a question specifically feel free to ask again.

I have the factory navigation system so I bought a switcher box from Avelectronics.com. The box is great because I can switch between any 4 inputs and put them on any of up to 4 screens with a different or same source on any of them. Sam the owner is also a great guy to work with. It's fairly easy to install just need to cut 4 wires but the place to cut in is behind the monitor so you have to pull the dash apart some. I have the rear video audio going to the factory DVD wiring and the front audio going to the AUX jack (all from the box through P.I.E. amps). This allows the front to watch either the DVD or PC and listen over the cabin speakers while the rear uses headphones and can watch/listen to any source. ALL of the fatory nav still works. I flip a switch to toggle between my av screen and factory screen which does not affect the nav at all so it can still be shouting direction to you as you are listening to mp3's. The connection is just to the monitor so there is nothing with the vehicle monitoring systems affected.

The factory screen is actually very good. If I didn't have it though I would get a VGA screen. It seems that most people are using the Xenarc or Lillput screens. I don't think I'd use a touch screen though. It's a fairly far reach and you really don't need to do much once you get the player playing etc. I have hotkeys set up on the keyboard so all I have to do is hit a button for next song etc. A good site with great prices but not so much name brand is webzone.com which you might want to check out even if just for DVD.

I started out wanting just a mp3 player with a video interface but what crappy things there are out there the cost was close to that of a full blown pc which you can do A LOT more with, so that’s how I ended up with the PC. I did find this thing though that would be nice but I got tired of waiting for it to come out and not knowing the price I bit the bullet and order the PC. http://www.airlinktek.com/english/prod_mg350.htm

The PC I bought from logicsupply.com. I bought the case, hard drive, motherboard, ram and power supply from them. The case is the Morex 3688, the motherboard is Epia MII12000 (1.2ghz), Ram is 512mb and the power supply is the M1-ATX and a 40gig hard rive. I did the assembly myself which after the fact wasn't so bad but if I didn't have some IT help at work I'd of thought the $35 assembly was cheap. I picked up a slim CD drive for $10 off the internet somewhere. This is not a powerhouse PC. The big thing with car PC's is that you normally don't have a need for something that can run the newest video game with the high 3d graphics so a P4 is often overkill and they are power hungry and run a lot hotter. The power supply controller is a must have, it keeps the voltage constant and allows the pc to survive engine cranking and will shut everything down if it senses the battery is getting low or the PC is overheating.

I took and made a connector between the AC/DC power brick and the wires going to the power supply. This way I can just unhook from the car and then take the pc inside and hook it up in there.

When you run cables you will want to run 2 usb and 1 firewire. I've learned that if you hook 1 usb 1.0 device up then everything on that line will be 1.0 even if it is a 2.0 device...now having said that I guess I haven't checked to see if it makes things hooked to the other usb cable 1.0 as well. But the mini keyboard and mouse I'm using are 1.0 and I have an 80gig portable 2.5" drive that has firewire and usb. The portable is nice because it makes it easy to take media off the home PC and move it to the car. With a 2.5" disk it will self power off of the USB or Firewire so just plug and play. I doubt I'll add a DVD player to the PC as I already have one in the center console so everything on a disk (prior to me converting it to Divx) will be played through there. But if I did I'd get a slim usb slot load.

I bought my cables from mwave.com they were about the best prices and they ship fast.

I put a couple 92mm cooling fans in the floor compartment where I have the pc installed. One sucks the other blows...literally I had to but a couple empty water bottles under the third row seats to hold the short carpet skirt up so the air can circulate. After I did that the PC seems to be running fairly cool in the floor compartment. Before I got the skirt out of the way the case was getting pretty hot to the touch.

Now I suggest going to Mp3car.com and reading through the forums over there. It's a little overwhelming at first and it seems to be mostly a very young crowd so sometime the manners suffer especially if it's asking a question that has been asked often. The site is VERY active as it is world wide so there are easily 300 post a day. I spent probably 6 weeks reading before I bought my equipment and then have been over there almost everyday trying to tweak the system and trouble shoot....and I've found 99% of the questions I had just searching.

I was using the hibernate feature which took about 30 seconds to come up once I turned on the key but I am now trying out the standby which gives me about 5 seconds to come back after the key is turned on. The standby uses more power though so I will keep and eye on the battery but like I said before the power supply controller is suppose to shut everything down if the battery drops below a certain voltage for more than 1 minute.

I can connect to my home network setting in the driveway but only with the floor space open is it reliable. I have an elcheapo usb wifi on it now. I'm going to get something different with and antenna that I can move out of the floor compartment and put in the rear drivers side compartment. The other thing I will be doing is getting an usb sync cable for the cell phone. I can then use it as a modem...though the carrier frowns on this, as they want you to buy their dedicated wifi card..but I won't be using it but occasionally. This will allow me to at any time and place (practically) connect to the internet to look up a number or address...or kill time surfing in the local mall parking lot waiting on the wife...that is until football season starts then I'll be sitting in the parking lot watching the game....I may also add a cheap laptop type gps software. My parents have one that allows you to log onto a web site and tract someone if they have an internet connection every so often to upload their coordinates. Thought that would be cool when we go on a long trip and our destination can see just how far out we are....though its just as easy to call I guess...just not as geek

I'll help answer as many question as I can but I'm by no means a PC expert.
 

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I've also added XM through the computer using a $35 XMdirect box I got off of ebay. You have to do some soldering to create the cable to hook it into the computer.



Update:
I've integrated the controls into the console lid, see more details here
 

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Sweet Lonnie!

Great job man..maybe one day we can both make a titan/armada meet and I can check it out in person. Where did you get the little fans for the rear section? I need to do that for my amp setup.

Do you have itunes installed? It's got some great visualizations that will play with the mp3's. That would look sweet at night!

Love the setup!
 

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adjmcloon said:
Sweet Lonnie!

Great job man..maybe one day we can both make a titan/armada meet and I can check it out in person. Where did you get the little fans for the rear section? I need to do that for my amp setup.

Do you have itunes installed? It's got some great visualizations that will play with the mp3's. That would look sweet at night!

Love the setup!
Thanks Nate,
definately need to make one of those TT meets....I think they have an official club name now.

The fans are like $9 at CompUSA, 90mm by maddog. They are suppose to move like 42cfm I think but they don't seem to blow much (or suck depending which side you are on)....the fan gaurds are from there too $1/ea.

I don't have itunes installed. The visuals I have I believe are coming from windows media player.
 

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Hows the sound quality? That is exactly what I wanted to do but you beat me too it :mad: , its cool though cause atleast I know someone else has successfully done it. Im going with a Xenarc Touchscreen 7" VGA in the Nav housing.
 

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jerseyparts said:
i am assuming the piece of trim was correct... Man that baby looks good, we are gonna have to go into business together!
SHHHHH! don't tell anyone I drilled a whole into the front bin and mounted a switch which was behind the shifter so when you shift past nutral it would hit the switch and I had to order a new trim piece.....:schla24:
 

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Bulldog79 said:
Hows the sound quality? That is exactly what I wanted to do but you beat me too it :mad: , its cool though cause atleast I know someone else has successfully done it. Im going with a Xenarc Touchscreen 7" VGA in the Nav housing.
Sound quality is good....not great but I think it is because of the so so ground and that most of my mp3's are mp3pro so the quality suffers a little. I can live with it as is though but hope to improve.
 

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DAMN LONNIE! That is SO :amazing: !!!!!!
What a great job, you must be so proud of yourself.....I bet your wife is pretty impressed as well. That is so SWEET......LUCKYYYY!

BUT, you are STILL a :hick: (hee, hee)

PS Obviously this is a WIRELESS INTERNET connection....is it reliable?
 

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The connection isn't reliable at all. Sometimes it will connect in the driveway, I've noticed there are a lot of unsecured networks that if you had to connect you could probably drive around for 5 minutes before you found one. I'm going to try and hookup a data service that you can use a cell phone as a modem. My parents have a laptop GPS deal that you can give someone a code and it lets you track their movement. It just needs to connect every so often to upload the coordinates. That would be cool to add if you were going on a long trip and you could let your destination track you.
 

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It is easy to use a cell phone with the computer for the internet connection. I have been doing it for several years. All you need is a cable to connect and the software. I use Verizon, they have a product called Verizon Mobile Office, which consists of the cable for your phone and software. The slow connection (14.4, but with the included accelerator it is about 28) is free thru their server, costing you only minutes. They have a broadband connection, but it is $70.00 a month. I can live with the slower connection. Since I use mine mostly in the evenings and weekends there is no cost since I have unlimited time then.
I bought the kit off eBay for about $18.00. If you buy one there make sure it is the proper one for your phone and service.
 

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COOL SH*@! Very interesting......didn't know that they had the service off of mobile phones....WOW! :fantastic
 

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scr38 said:
It is easy to use a cell phone with the computer for the internet connection. I have been doing it for several years. All you need is a cable to connect and the software. I use Verizon, they have a product called Verizon Mobile Office, which consists of the cable for your phone and software. The slow connection (14.4, but with the included accelerator it is about 28) is free thru their server, costing you only minutes. They have a broadband connection, but it is $70.00 a month. I can live with the slower connection. Since I use mine mostly in the evenings and weekends there is no cost since I have unlimited time then.
I bought the kit off eBay for about $18.00. If you buy one there make sure it is the proper one for your phone and service.
Sprint no longer sells the cables but ebay has them. Its against Sprints user agreement to use the cell as a modem though....
 

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I have the factory installed Rear AV system and DVD Navigation in my QX56. What do you suggest is the best way of integrating audio coming from a carputer into the cabinet speakers. Any help would be truly appreciated.

Thanks!
 

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Does the QX have AUX? I can't remember ever seeing a jack on them? Using the AVElectronic box you can just put your dvd audio and video into it and the PC audio/video as well then you would just select the pc audio/video to play through the dvd input of the HU. I'd probably add a fm transmitter so you could use both sources when needed, the quality of sound will be better through the dvd but it's a work around. Now if you do have the aux jack just splice in behind the dash with the audio source paired with the nav video.
 

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What jumper setting did you use on the M1-ATX. Do you have to physically turn on the computer each time you get into your car?
 

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I used the 5sec/2hour. It turns on when you turn on the key and off when you shut off the key. I installed a switch to turn it on or off also (but the key must be on for it to turn on).

Changed to the 5sec/never and put the pc on standby. It turns on and music starts playing within 5sec.
 

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I have my settings on 5sec/2 hour also (jumper setting 2). However, everytime that I turn off my car, the computer turns completely off after 5 seconds. Then, when I start the car, the computer goes through a full reboot. Do you have any suggestions as to how to get the computer to go into standby mode instead of completely shutting down?

Thanks again for your help!
 
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