Sam’s (old) Intel MacMini Carputer Setup in Subaru WRX

This is the last of 5 articles about the Sam’s carputer. It has all the good stuff like pictures of the final install. If you want more background and information, videos of the front end in action, pictures of the car ripped apart for the install, check out the first four articles: 1, 2, 3, 4. Here are some final pictures of the carputer and a video for your viewing pleasure.

Sam's Carputer Frontend (AMP)

Here is the main interface. It’s called AMP. It looks just like front row but it does way more.

Img 2823

This is the mini, mounted in the pass-through for easy access. It’s quite solid, too, so don’t ask questions about it falling out, getting loose, dislodging itself, or exploding unexplainably.

Hardware used in the CarPuter:

Software Used:

  • AMP Version 1.0 (frontend available in the mp3car.com forums)
  • Bluephone Elite (Bluetooth cellphone calling and answering, etc.)
  • Mac OS X
  • DisplayConfigX (To get OS X to properly work at the Lilliput’s native resolution of 800×480)

I will be installing Parallels once I have more RAM so that I can run Data-logging software in windows and Linux for Wireless tools.

Basic Setup:

The Mac Mini, Amp, and Power supply are located in the trunk. The power supply requires a power wire and a remote wire from the front of the car. I wired the power direct from the battery with a 15A fuse near the battery. I ran the remote line from the wiring harness I connected to my stock Subaru wiring.

I also ran four sets of speaker cable from the trunk to the dash to hook into the stock speaker wiring. A VGA Cable and USB Extender cable were also run directly to the dash for the screen and touch screen control. This is all the wiring that was required to go through the car.

Connecting the Mac to the power supply was easy, and I was able to splice into the mac’s power button with the MacPac Cable kit that I got very easily. I used two velcro straps to secure the mini to my pass-through door. The mini’s built-in sound output is used with a splitter and two 3.5mm to RCA cables that go directly into the amp.

Ground for both the amp and the power supply is at the same point in the trunk. This is important for noise issues. The wiring from dash to trunk was done by tucking it in under the driver’s side of the center console to the “hump” in the back passenger seat where it had to be run under the carpet. From there it was wired under the back seat directly into the center of the trunk.

The power supply also provided power and remote power to the amp.

Here is a wiring diagram that I did early on and may or may not reflect what I actually ended up doing/needing.

Wrx Carputer
I think that’s about it. But remember, this is a work in progress.
The basic elements are in place but I am adding more features to the setup as time goes on.

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