==+Geekfire+==

The tale of the meeting of a handsome carputer and a beautiful sunfire....

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Installed

Well, the carputer is installed, not fully functioning yet tho.

I had lots of problems from the get go, despite the massive planning I had done. My inverter was DOA. AFter days of troubleshooting it and getting a replacement, I noticed the power wasnt coming on my amp or DSSC, after troubleshooting that, yesterday I found the prob was the Radio power fuse had blown.

Anywho, this will be working this weekend. Just waiting for a little less smelting day.

Pic of the lcd in the bezel, in case I didnt post it yet, I have tons of pics to load.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Well, the time has almost come (actually, the time has almost come for like a month now....but) I go to pick up the final pieces of the puzzle today, a inline fuse, a extra 40 amp relay for my inverter, and some bondo spot putty. I decided I am going to go ahead and take my screen out and do a bit more finishing on the face of the bezel.

Going to run Centrafuse 1.3 (thanx ebomb and david!)

I will be slowly this week doing the install, and finishing it this weekend when the kids are away.

Wish me luck!

Monday, July 11, 2005

Carputer, v3.0

Thats right, version 3.0, before even having the thing in the car.

Specs now:

Asus Tusl2-C socket 370 motherboard
P3 socket 370 1.266 cpu
C: = Western Digital 20 gig
D: = Western Digital 60 gig
Sound = Creative SB live
Network = Linksys usb wireless and 3com wired NIC
Video = Nvidia Gefore 4 MX440
RAM = 512 pc133

OS = Windows XP sp2
Frontend = Centrafuse 1.2

Monitor = Super brand 7" vga touchscreen

AMP = Same old Pioneer 100 watt 2 channel amp

Startup/Shutdown = DSSC

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--- Got the Super 7" touchscreen in Friday, man, this thing is awesome. Nice brightness, touch works great, need to work on the resolutions a bit.

After playing with it for a night, I broke it open and planned on bonding into my Sunfire bezel. For this I bought some Bondo - Glass, a mixture of bondo and fiberglass strands. I knew I would forget something, and it was the Bondo lightweight filler to smooth it out. Now I am stuck sanding this stuff for hours on hours end trying to get the valleys and indentions out. My first experience with any kind of bondo, it was suprisingly pleasant. I tried to paint it with the valleys and dips in it to see if it would fly just like that, no way. It was ghetto as hell, so back to sanding.

Glued in with Epoxy after hacking the bezel a bit.

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Some bondo glass on the back

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Some bondo glass on the front

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2nd round

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Where I am now, it looks crooked in the pic, but its not.

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Hopefully I can finish sanding tonight.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Getting it together, slowly...

Just thought I would show some of the other components. I'm down to really needing some wiring and distribution block...

Amp Pioneer GM-X332



Inverter Xantrex 360 watt modified for external switch



USB to IDE Nexstar external HD enclosure (gotta take the guts out, this is for my dvd-rom



usb cable 15 feet



Whole shebang



Meedio Running

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Oops... and more...

Well,I had noticed that I had not put enough windshield adhesive on on side of my faceplate, and it was pulling apart from my bezel, so I decided to glue it back.

I had planned on using the windshield adhesive again, but opted out because I had some Loctite 380 Black Max glue......BAD IDEA!

Yes, it worked, and it held it in there (this stuff is industrial), but the next morning I flipped over the bezel with lcd attached, and to my horror, I had "Super glue Fog" on the lucite!!11!



Shit... Atleast its only on the edges and not over the actual screen. Its really not noticable in the dark (lmfao). I intend to get some black vinyl to go over the faceplate to fix it. Still sucks.


Anyways, time to prepare some other things. I had a old AT style (9 pin?) mini keyboard that used to be used by Fed Ex, I had a spare AT to PS2 adapter so I figured I might as well use it. I also have a 15 foot ps2 male to female cable.

Here is the keyboard before paint


and after some black satin plasticote paint, here it is (I know, you can't see the keyboard letters, If you are a true geek you should know which keys are which, right? Ill be getting soem glow in the dark lettering sooner or later)



A few more pics to enjoy...This is the psone with harry potter dvd on it (very bad pic, with the lucite overlay, its impossible to get a good pic, but it looks nice)



The Meedio Junkebox running the Hdtvee theme (with lots of tweaking mind you)



The Meedio menu, sad I can't get a good picture, I'll try again later.



A few misc notes...

Why use Meedio, over Frodoplayer, Centrafuse, or RoadRunner?

1. Frodoplayer - Awesome program, very advanced, almost too much for what I am doing. The skins are really the only limitation on this, the Bright Lift skin is great, but just not remote friendly enough.

2. RoadRunner - Not remote friendly and never found any skins I liked, seemed to be a nice stable program tho.

3. Centrafuse - I wanted to run centrafuse at first, but no 640x480 skin, and I don't have the time to make one. I also noticed that it was a little slow running on my main pc, which isnt good. Looks like a great program with room to grow!

Meedio, is, very remote frendly, left, takes you left, right, takes you right, minimal buttons. I used Meedio for my htpc, so I knew all about configuring it. There is a infinite amount of amazing plugins for Meedio also. The skins are amazing, even the default is very classy. I am not trying to switch anybody over from FP, RR, CF, or any other car frontend, I just find it more advanced, in a not confusing, button filled way, which is a must in the remote world.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Bezel/LCD goodness...and badness...

This is a shot of my existing stock radio and bezel.



Being new, I didn't want to start wacking/glueing/screwing up my bezel, so I found one on ebay, total = 12.00 shipped, not bad, despite being tan, little paint will fix that right up.

Notice the lucite beside it, yea, plexi glass, whatever... Found a cheap piece at Lowes ($2.50) and borrowed my buddy's dremel (much prop Danno)




A rough cut, but screw it, the edges will be hidden behind the bezel. Lucite is FUN (not literal) to cut, melting, inhaling pieces, etc.



Grabbed some Krylon Plasticote from Wally World in Satin Black, not the right color of my interior, but close enough. A few good coats result below.



Below shows me holding the lucite in the bezel, nice....



I measured the actual screen area on the lcd, and masked the face of the lucite with masking tape to keep clear, the idea here is to paint back of the lucite (clear) with the plasticote to give a nice black shine on the showing side. Lucite does not paint well without prep, I ended up laying several layers over several days, because you could see the backlight from the lcd, and ended up with almost a crackling finish, crap... Below is me holding the masked lucite faceplate in the bezel.





Grabbed some Windshield adhesive as a result of my bud from work Josh, recommending it. Applied it to the lcd frame and inserted onto the lucite and then applied it to the bezel and lucite and squished them together. Word of caution, this stuff is strong, in both application and smell, best to do this outdoors, as my office smelt of it for hours after only have the stuff open for maybe 5 min tops. Below shot is the lcd hooked up, running RoadRunner frontend as a test, not bad, pics do not do it justice at all.



More to come....

...Pains...pains...ups and downs of the psone..

Let me tell, now, after the fact, I wished I would have just bought one of those expensive lilliput 7" vga touchscreen monitors, the psone lcd screen was a total pain in the ass, but, it was a great learning experiance

Here is the lcd, stripped out of its casing and post-vga mod, running a unconfigured Meedio, the psone lcd screen is 5" and was traded to me in return of a Dlink wireless pci card from mp3car user Mattress (great guy, doing the same mod as me)



notice the huge circular circuit board on the back, that is one of the drawbacks of this thing....

I will post a how-to on this mod later, plus a link where you can buy extended ribbon cables (to extend the circuit board away from the screen)

More to come, so much more...

...In a Galaxy, far, far away.....

Lets get this show on the road, really...
GeekFire Premodded


TOTAL SO FAR: $65.50 rough estimate

First off, the details.....Yes, I am putting a computer in my car, for convenience and the pure g33k factor. Oh yea, laziness....I'm tired of swapping cds. Oh yea, I'm tired of getting lost so I need gps.


^Notice the craptacular look and Toshiba dvd-rom (its dying and not being installed)

The Specs (when I'm finished)

*Asus CUV4x Socket 370 mobo (motherboard for the non-geek)
*Pentium 3 733mhz socket cpu
*Western Digital 60 gig Hard drive
*Modded Psone lcd (modded to accept VGA)
Linksys Wireless-G usb adapter
*Creative Audigy LS soundcard
*Matrox 4mb pci video card (needed for correct timings on the psone lcd mod)
*384 megs of PC133
*Realtek NIC (for when I need a wired connection)
BU-303 serial gps reciever
Creative Infra credit card remote and serial IR reciever
*Small Keyboard (for those lovely 3 finger salutes)
Fellowes USB touchpad (like a laptop)
*Generic 160 watt psu
*Modded AT Packard Bell case (modded to fit ATX)
IBM slimline IDE cd-rom
*25ft VGA cable
*$15 foot usb cable

The Audio setup will be like this..

*Pioneer GM-x332 100 watt amp
*2 Jensen 6x9 speakers
*2 stock door speakers

Other items

*Xantrex 360 watt Inverter (for powering)

* - denotes being in stock, in my hands, in my possesion, you get the drift.

More to come...

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Is there anybody out there?

I have created this ever-so-hip-thing-they-call-a-blog to document my geekness. This will follow my install of a carputer into my Pontiac Sunfire, hence the dub, Geekfire.

I assure you, it will be more interesting than this after I get some sleep, and the coffee starts a-flowin