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The Carputer Project

It got to the point where a 6disc cd changer wasn't enough

a 40gb iPod with an iPod adapter isn't enough

so i ran across mp3car.com and that's where it all began

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Specs:
I have a spare IBM R40 laptop that I used. 1.4GHz, 512MB RAM, 60gb HDD
My monitor is the Xenarc 700IDT. This is also the NEWEST one with "brighter screen and contrast resolution". I bought this from pandainnovations.com. Great people with an eye for customer satisfaction, check them out. Also have the Garmin GPS18 with iGuidance 4.0

My Plan:
After taking apart the dash once and I looked at the back of the head unit, I found out there is no AUX input. The only way to do this is to either replace the head unit and re-wire the Bose speakers, or to use the existing head unit and turn the tape deck into an AUX input. So i went the easier approach and got a cassette adapter to run to the laptop.

1st.
I installed the W3bMa5t3r's Auto-Turn module. The IBM R40 contains a membrane switch so this project started off difficult from the beginning.

 If you lift up the keyboard you have 40 points that can be possible soldering points. I found out that if you have the Positive (+) on point 19, and then ground the black it will work.

 2nd. Remove the dash.
If you look around on benz forums you will find a word document that shows you how to take apart the dash to get to the radio

 ****DOWNLOAD THE DOCUMENT HERE SHOWING HOW TO REMOVE THE DASH*****

There is only one plug which we will need to worry about. that is this one

 here is the rear view of it.

 The Xenarc 700IDT and most monitors need a Constant 12V, Ground, and an ACC/Ignition wire. On the back of this piece the only two wires we are interested in is the Red/Blue which is Constant +12V and the Brown which is our Ground. What really sucks is that this head unit DOES NOT have an ignition wire. For the ignition to work I had to splice into the Cigarette Adaptor.

To see which wires went to the cigarette adapter (bc the adapter is a switched power source) I had to remove the cover on the gear shift and cup holder. To remove all you have to do is pull up on the upper most part near the dash and it should snap off.

 If you look down you will see 3 wires running to the cigarette adapter. A Yellow/Black (+12V), a Brown (Ground), and Grey/Purple (No Clue, maybe the ignition). I followed those wires all the way up the dash into the area behind the head unit and found them

 Next I spliced the red and black wires from the Xenarc 700IDT into the plug that goes into the head unit to. (Reb/Blue and Brown respectively). Didn't solder quite yet because I still had to test that it was working properly.

 Then I spliced the Yellow into the Black/Yellow wire for the ignition. (At this point i was praying because it took me about 45 minutes of splicing different wires to find a switched wire)

 After the successful attempt at powering the monitor it was time to run the W3bMa5t3r's auto turn on wires and the monitor plug into the dash. I ran them on the passenger side and slid them through. no drilling at all, very easy.

 

 Now It was time to run the Red (+) from the W3bMa5t3r's module to the Yellow Switched wire and the black to the ground wire on the back of the head unit. I turned on the car and YIPEE! the laptop powered on and so did the monitor. It was a magical moment.

Then i stitched all the wires up by soldering all of them together and finished up with electrical tape.

 Next It was time to make it look professional by installing the DIN unit.
I ordered the American International kit and not the SCOSCHE kit. Google the american international kit and you can find it for really cheap. I got mine from www.beachaudio.com

I have never done any bondo work and I don't know how so I went my own route and just decided to get the kit and modify it myself. In my opinion it doesn't look too shabby. You pros might not like it tho.

To make this fit I had to take the main piece that covers up both gaps and split it like so. Measure where you need to cut it, then file it down, then sand it down, to the point that it fits flush with the head unit.

 Next piece to modify was thin DIN piece.

You only need the bottom half because that is what goes into the bottom part of the main DIN piece. You will have to cut, file and sand this piece down on all 3 edges to make this piece fit flush with the Xenarc 700IDT.
(NOTE: The plastic separating the two DIN slots is removed.

 There is a slight problem with having the Xenarc 700IDT in your car. This thing is huge! so no matter what there is about an inch that sticks out after installing.

 Unless you want to go tearing apart the inside of your dash to make room be my guest, i took an alternative route and tried my best to make the sides look factory.

I took a piece of paper and traced the part that was sticking out. Then i took some spare plastic from this part of the kit

and made two identical pieces

 and superglued them to both sides. this is about as professional as i could get it looking.

 

 

I have installed the Logjam AUXMB1 in my car so now i don't have to play through the cassette deck. This component makes a WORLD of difference in the quality of the sound. The only problem I have with this is that if the device overheats then all the sound quits working. So try to keep it in a cool location. Even though I can't really seem to justify this part costing $270, but lucked out and got one on eBay for $50, which i could afford to spend. here's a walk-thru for an installation of one of these. I ran into a little trouble because the directions that were sent aren't very clear, hopefully this will shed some light on some of you.

I already had the CD changer installed. So if you already had the CD changer installed this setup should work. I also have the phone cradle connection in my center console, but i don't know if that made a difference in the fiber optic loop from the head unit to the cd changer.

I first removed the cd changer which was very easy. Look from the floor, up into the glovebox and there is only one screw to remove on the cd changer. it slides out real easily.

Next, I ran the power, ground, and communication (blue) cables from the glovebox towards the back of the headunit through the little slot that is already cut open for the cables for the cd changer. Don't mind the fiber optic cables for the AUXMB1, that was a mistake running them through that hole


Next, I soldered the cables in the appropriate spots. The Red went to the Constant +12V, black to the Ground, and the Blue connected to the blue/black wire coming from the top connection dongle on the back of the head unit.

 cover them back up with electrical tape

 

YOU WILL NOT BE PLUGGING IN THE CONNECTION THAT CAME WITH THE UNIT INTO THE BACK OF THE HEADUNIT. i found that out the hard way. Keep the orange fiber optic cable plugged into the back of the head unit that was already there.

take the orange fiber optic cable that came from the rear of the cd changer and remove the plastic connector piece, exposing the red and clear fiber optic connectors.

You now have two red and two clear fiber optic connections, but you must couple them in some way.

The kit comes with two fiber optic connectors that look like this. Connect the two tightly

 This is what it looks like completely assembled.

 Next is to hide the wires a bit. That red button you see is the toggle switch for the W3bM45T3RS turn on module

 

Digital FX 2.0 in action. This video is a bit outdated. but it gives you the just of what i'm working with.

 

 

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