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Discussion Starter #1
Hello fellow E owners! I've been a member for a little bit, browsing here and there and getting some good tips, and I've recently started making the modifications to my E.

My base project is to put a computer in the dash of my E. I wanted a big screen, a pretty aftermarket deck and a slot load DVD drive. So I decided to start some modifications .. I am not near completion, but I wanted to start the post just to get some feedback!

My first step was to move the heater controls to the overhead console.. I removed them from the dash, ran a cable and drilled out some steel. Okay, so it wasn't all that simple, but you see get the jist of it.











Again, not finished yet, I should the completed molding done by the end of this weekend and I'll post a couple more pics. In all of my geek-ness, I also started a blog for the project; http://www.pimpmyelement.com.

I am putting in a 9.2 touchscreen which I have now, and I have already wired the new Alpine iDA-305.

I'll post more soon! By the way, this forum is a great source for info!
 

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Cann't wait to see the progress pics. Good luck with the rest of your project.
 

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Looks good

Check your clearances if you are installing the computer in the dash in the stock radio location it gets really tight. My VGA cable ends and usb all had to be modified to fit with the screen in front of it. Also heat and cold is a big issue behind the dash. Im running two fans 80% and im only using a atom processor the dual core will throw alot of heat. Let me know if you have any questions ill let ya know of things I have found along the way. Also if you aren't already a member check out mp3car.com there is some genius work over there.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the comments! I've got the top console fabricated and almost complete, just a couple more layers and a TON of sanding, I should have it all painted before the weekend and then I'm going to start on the actual dash. Here are some pics!








And .. BTC_and_elle, thanks for the info. I've been browsing the mp3car forums for a while now, that is where I ordered my ps, I have found the same issue with the VGA cable and USB's, and I also considered the heat issues, I am going to skip the enclosure, and just make a bracket to mount the MB and drives, I am hoping this will allow better airflow in the dash, and I'm mount a couple fans to keep some air, now I'm a little concerned .. heh.
 

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so what did you use to bond everything together? i see the bondo for the filler, did you use anything else fisrt like duraglass or something similar?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I generally use a plastic bumper repair kit, it's a little tube of black plastic, it hardens and is kind of flexible, it works good for stuff like this. You can pick it up at almost any auto store.
 

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I generally use a plastic bumper repair kit, it's a little tube of black plastic, it hardens and is kind of flexible, it works good for stuff like this. You can pick it up at almost any auto store.
good to hear. just making sure you had a good bonding agent holding it all together before the filler was applied. i would have used a bit of duraglass before the body filler for some more strength, but as long as you feel comfortable with the epoxy you used than you should be alright.
 

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I wanted a big screen, a pretty aftermarket deck and a slot load DVD drive. I am putting in a 9.2 touchscreen which I have now, and I have already wired the new Alpine iDA-305
Sounds like quite the adventurous mod. I'm not sure why you just don't install a double-din DVD/NAV unit, and call it easy, fast, and done? Granted, many choices with 7" screens, few with 8", and 8" seeming to be the largest.

I don't think you have fully thought out the power supply issue. You will need two separate +12vdc sources, one at 15-20 amps, and one at 10 amps, a -12vdc at 1 amp, a +5vdc at 15 amps, another +5vdc at 2.5 amps CONSTANT POWER, (this will kill your battery before you get inside your house), and finally a +3.3vdc at 20 amps.

One final thought. If you want to watch HD on your PC-based DVD player, you're talking major HW that the above power supply may not be enough.

Minimum Requirements for Running 1080p on PC:

The minimum requirements to play Full HD content on PC are pretty high, with a standard Codec.

Processor: 2.4Ghz (dual core) or 3.5Ghz (single Core) processor.

Graphics: Nvidia/ATi having bare minimum 256MB Video RAM and core clock 600Mhz.

If you try to play it in a lower configured PC, the video plays but is often jerky.


Otherwise, charge on Brother. Nice work so far.
 

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Sounds like quite the adventurous mod. I'm not sure why you just don't install a double-din DVD/NAV unit, and call it easy, fast, and done? Granted, many choices with 7" screens, few with 8", and 8" seeming to be the largest.

I don't think you have fully thought out the power supply issue. You will need two separate +12vdc sources, one at 15-20 amps, and one at 10 amps, a -12vdc at 1 amp, a +5vdc at 15 amps, another +5vdc at 2.5 amps CONSTANT POWER, (this will kill your battery before you get inside your house), and finally a +3.3vdc at 20 amps.

One final thought. If you want to watch HD on your PC-based DVD player, you're talking major HW that the above power supply may not be enough.

Minimum Requirements for Running 1080p on PC:

The minimum requirements to play Full HD content on PC are pretty high, with a standard Codec.

Processor: 2.4Ghz (dual core) or 3.5Ghz (single Core) processor.

Graphics: Nvidia/ATi having bare minimum 256MB Video RAM and core clock 600Mhz.

If you try to play it in a lower configured PC, the video plays but is often jerky.


Otherwise, charge on Brother. Nice work so far.
there are plenty of vehicle specific power supplies that are use in car PC applications these days that also run vehicle specific operating systems with auto shut down procedures to shut down when the ignition/acc power goes away. most of the processors in these are atom or other low power consumption based processors. i dont know that he was looking to do 1080 from it, he just said something about a bigger monitor, and lcd's use very little power and i dont know that 1080 is really nessecary on something 12" or smaller anyway. he is on the right track if he is on mp3car.com
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Journeyman, I am well aware of the power requirements, this is not my first vehicle mod, thanks for the input tho. As Yoda said, there are lots of parts made specifically for cars, the monitor and power supply i am using are made for auto use, power won't be an issue in the end. And the monitor only supports a 480 resolution, so it's FAR from HD, just a standard pc here.

And as far as why not a standard nav system, because it's a project, for me .. it's fun and I enjoy doing it a lot. I don't of any other E's with the heater controls moved and big 9 inch screen in the dash.. And also lots of other mods that I'll be putting in for fun.

edit: I have the PC, and will post the pics and specs by next week.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yeah, I've considered putting in the center console from the newer elements like he did, but I had never thought of moving the heater controls there. Now I'm going to have keep tabs on that as well.

I think it's great to get pointed to other projects, see what they have done, what they say not to try and .. well, like I have mentioned before, for me this kind of stuff is just fun.
 
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