My attempt at getting a PC or Mac into my 2003 WRX wagon.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


Well, things are starting to take shape...

The OBD II code reader and the laptop style slim DVD+/-RW device arrived on Friday. In an attempt to install these two devices I also re-routed the audio cables from the amp (which is an Alpine MRP-F240 4 channel amp), integrated two USB and a firewire port into console box, right next to the hand brake. Two USB ports eminate from here and I've yet to decide whether or not they should go to a HUB or straight to the motherboard. Considering that I've already used up two of the three existing USB ports on the m/b this decision may just make itself ... Also, I'll need to fashion my own firewire cable which definitely will be connecting straight to the motherboard. There's been some talk about having a dedicated iPod dock connector but the question is where would it go and also what would one do about having to press the little tabs on the side of the connector that cause the springs to release and dislodge the iPod once it's been plugged in (a solvable problem, just probably not for cheap).

As for the DVD reader/writer, it has an IDE interface. The longest IDE cable I can find measures 46 inches which is plenty but it's not a shielded cable and the longest Ultra ATA IDE cable I can find is 36 inches which is a bit short. SATA on the other hand ... one meter (SATA2 goes up to two meters, and you can find shielded cables too!). All too short. The other option is to use a IDE to USB converter and just use the USB hub but ... that sounds slow, and crappy. I've contemplated the idea of extending a SATA cable myself by the few extra inches I'd need but I'm afraid that the 1 meter cables may already be out of spec and hence making them any longer definitely won't help. We'll see...

Meanwhile, I've also added three RCA jacks at the back of the console box, available from the back seat. They aren't connected to anything yet but will eventually patch straight into the amp for the audio and directly to the lilliput display for the video. Now if only I could toggle the video input on the lilliput with a little more ease ...

In the meanwhile I've been having sporadic issues with sound. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I'm starting to think that I may have too many devices plugged into my USB hub (7-port). Who knows ... unplugging the card and then replugging it seems to fix things so ... big question mark. Also, the touchscreen seems to work only about 50% of the time. Too many USB devices ... Windows can't handle 'em all!


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