When I was shopping for a car, the cheap hardware and open source software for tuning and logging made me give extra consideration to the turbo Subarus. After I bought one, I knew I was going to be messing with this stuff. Around the time I decided to get a big turbo and tune it myself, I decided that logging and tuning with a laptop would be a lot more convenient if I had the laptop baked into the car. That opens up a bunch of other possibilities too, like navigation, cellphone integration, music, etc, etc. So far I'm just using it for logging, tuning, and navigation, but the rest will follow eventually.
So, the stock cubbyhole now holds a 7" LCD bezel, courtesy of LGT member BMac1203.
I used a JDM info-panel relocation kit to move the panel down where the ashtray was.
And of course I needed a place to put a PC to drive the LCD. I built a shelf from 1/4" HDPE, attached to couple of 3/4" slabs of HDPE that are connected with a hinge:
The laptop is a HP 530 (refurbished, $500ish), to which I soldered a remote power switch, controlled by the "W3bm4st3r" auto-on module. I stuck several 4" sections of weather-stripping to the underside of the laptop to absorb shocks and vibration, and a small bungee cord at each corner holds the laptop in place. The laptop has a cooling fan intake on the bottom, so it needs to be lifted above the rack for airflow. I also really like the "floating" idea (no firm contact between the laptop and the car), but I am not 100% sure about weather stripping for vibration absorption since it seems to be packing down over time. I'll update this if I find something better.
The bundle of bricks toward the front of the car contains a
12vdc-120vac inverter, the laptop's 120vac-19vdc power supply
12v-19v power supply, and the auto-on module. It ran fine on the 120v inverter but the very idea always kinda bothered me.
I kept a lot of open space on the left for an amplifier.