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Brainstorm: Carputer/NAV/MP3/etc


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We all have done a bit of poking around about adding some of the functionality we want, but it is spread across multiple threads. I would like to hear what everyone else has been able to figure out on their own and share it here. Hopefully, this thread will end up having enough info that we can do a "How-To" write-up or make this a sticky.


The basic idea - put a Mac Mini in the glove-box or trunk, LCD screen in the cubby and wire in some controls (Bluetooth gyro mouse and mini keyboard or hardwired pointing device. This would allow some cool stuff - 80GB and iTunes for a music server. An OS to run a NAV program. Software to monitor engine functions. Any other software that will run on the MAC OS which you find useful in the car (contact mgmt, etc).


There are some basic difficulties to overcome to make this work. Largest of all, is integrating to the stock audio system. It can be done, but it's not easy. Second of all would be installing the LCD in the cubby in a way that can be hidden or made to look stock (some may not care, but I do). Last of all, would be ensuring an adequate power supply off the 12V car system and offer adequate cooling for it and the Mac Mini itself.


Being that a factory NAV would run $2K or so, this project would offer those benefits and more for potentially the same money or even less. Also, I am not stuck on the idea of using a Mac.......other suitable equipment is cool too.

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If/when I get going on my carputer I'm going to go the PC route. There is a nice mini-ITX mobo for p4s available right now (17cmx17cm). Check out http://www.mini-box.com if you are interested in building your carputer from scratch. They have several mini-ITX mobos, power supplies to run off of 12V and power sequencers to turn the carputer on/off as the car is started/turned off.
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I read that some NY company is building carputer with the mini mac. for more info click here and here


Thanks for the link to Google. I was not aware there was such a powerful search engine on the web. :rolleyes:


In case you missed my post, my goal was for people to post what they have learned here so that each of us doesn't have to do extensive research on our own. There is this cool user forum called LegacyGT.com where you can learn about things for your car and others share what they have learned too. You should check it out sometime too. ;)


The second link is useless - I know people are already doing it. Video of a guy touching a screen and pics of hacked up dashes don't help. Besides, that shop is a for-profit business, meaning they won't share what they learn from the experience unless you pay them for the install.


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