Acura mini-itx project reborn

Published by Andrew Hreschak in Acura ITX Car Computer, general information, installation overview
Published on 11/18/05 @ 10:36:00 am using 3279 words, and has 56893 views

Project Day 1

The trusty LeathermanThe Leatherman Tool: We'll be using this a lot.

Well, here we are again, returning to the project which was supposed to begin in the spring of 2005, but because of other projects and random new distractions which got in the way, it looks like it's going to be a winter 2005/06 project. In case anyone is just joining us, this project involves the installation of a mini-ITX computer, retractable in-dashboard LCD touchscreen, gps receiver, wireless internet, mp3 audio (the equivalent of a 250-disc CD changer), and an aftermarket headunit into a 2001 Acura 3.2CL (non-navi). The system will be hardwired into the ignition switch: turn the key to start the car and the computer boots up at the same time. Almost hands-free.

This isn't to say that the last year was time lost, however. The last several months have seen many new developments in the world of mini-ITX computing, and in the realm of mobile LCD displays. In many ways, waiting the amount of time I have may prove to be a blessing in disguise, as the hardware which is available today wasn't around a year ago, and I would have been left wanting to tear apart my car again to upgrade the installed parts.

Anyway, on with the show... Yesterday afternoon I gathered together my Leatherman Wave Tool, a long-shaft screwdriver, some duct tape, and a digital camera, and began the surgery... The steps shown here, from photo #1 to photo #41, took about 75 minutes to complete. (The time it took to complete this write-up? A little longer).

Creative Commons LicenseThis post is the creative work of Yours Truly and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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Replacement Headunits

Published by Andrew Hreschak in research and planning, the headunit, stereo
Published on 07/20/05 @ 02:15:00 pm using 81 words, and has 4135 views

This post is a listing of the aftermarket headunits I'm currently considering to replace the stock headunit when I tear open the dashboard.

Alpine CDA-9847

Pioneer DEH-P6700MP

Follow this link if you'd like to see a detailed guide to opening the Acura 3.2 CL dashboard and removal of the stock headunit.

Contemporaneous Auditory Narcotics:
or, What my speakers are currently pumping...
Magnatex - Nx Beat

Creative Commons LicenseThis post is the creative work of Yours Truly and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Acura ITX LCD and Character Displays

Published by Andrew Hreschak in research and planning, the headunit, computer
Published on 07/19/05 @ 02:56:00 pm using 148 words, and has 2726 views

LCD Displays

7" touchscreen motorized housing:
http://www.digitalww.com/indashhousing.htm

7" touchscreen motorized housing (DIY installation guide):
http://www.digitalww.com/VGA_Lilliput-to-Indash_HowTo.html

or, the prebuilt version:
Mp3Car MTS12000 Fully Motorized In-dash VGA Touchscreen LCD $499.99

Character Displays

It would be nice to find a display that matches closely the green lighting of the Acura dashboard, or that matches the color of the aftermarket headunit. I'm considering mounting a small secondary display like these either in the dropdown change-holder on the dashboard, or in the dropdown sunglasses holder on the ceiling. Another option would be to mount it inside the retractable screen, replacing the clock that the screen comes with, since there's no real point to having two clocks in the car.

http://mini-itx.com/store/?c=25
http://www.matrixorbital.com/index.php?cName=lcd-character-lcds

Contemporaneous Auditory Narcotics:
or, What my speakers are currently pumping...
Kotra - The Bridge (Ukrainian deconstructionist electronic. Woohoo!)

Creative Commons LicenseThis post is the creative work of Yours Truly and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Testing Microsoft Streets and Trips 2005

Published by Andrew Hreschak in research and planning, the navigation
Published on 04/07/05 @ 07:35:00 pm using 412 words, and has 2805 views

I had a chance to try out Microsoft Streets and Trips 2005, which my mom got for me off a deal I found. (Thanks mom!) I tested it this past weekend when I drove up to North Jersey. Since I'm still in the development stage on this thing, I hooked up the Rikaline GPS to my laptop, had S&T handle the mapping, and off I went...

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The GPS Side of Things

Published by Andrew Hreschak in research and planning, the navigation
Published on 04/07/05 @ 06:59:00 pm using 266 words, and has 3751 views

I've already bought the Rikaline GPS unit (model 6010) and it seems to be functioning properly. The initial satellite lock took approx 20 minutes the first time I ran it out of the box, which was somewhat disconcerting, but in subsequent tests while driving, the unit gets a lock on multiple satellites within about 30 seconds. This is more than acceptable since the computer will take about that long to boot up anyway, and the GPS unit will be powered during the boot process.

Here's a list of featureset requirements and "would be nice" items for the GPS mapping side of the project.

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Acura ITX Project is underway!

Published by Andrew Hreschak in Acura ITX Car Computer, general information
Published on 02/15/05 @ 04:52:00 pm using 257 words, and has 3259 views

I've gotten most of the core parts for my vehicle-based mini-ITX system, and have started to install the OS. The plan is to hardwire a computer into the ignition of a 2001 Acura CL, run it off the car's battery, and have it turn on and off with the car's ignition switch...

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