Sunday, July 10, 2005

Switches in ashtray

Okay, so I needed a way to #1 have USB port available in front of vehicle, #2 provide a way to shut off screen and #3 provide a way to keep the CPU running while the key is OFF. (this is just the construction of the panel, wiring will show up later)

Above and below is the stock ashtray, pretty much worthless to me - so I decided to "reclaim" it. The pic below shows the slot with the ashtray insert removed.

Here's the panel test fitting (above), below is the piece out of the unit. I used 1/4" ABS stock sheet that is available at any local plastic specialty shop. I think I paid $2 for a square foot.

Above is the test fit with the USB port installed. I "hijacked" the USB port from an expansion card that would typically be used in a PCI slot - it is not a PCI card, but it has two cables that connect to the motherboard pin headers for extra USB slots - I will be wiring this up with a standard USB plug on the other end which will then be plugged into my USB Hub behind the dash. (Wiring diagram will come later)

Here's the finished product. Piece is held in place by a set screw for two reasons - #1 to keep it from moving and #2 to NOT destroy the dash piece - putting the stock ashtray back in the slot will cover the set screws hole.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Created Dash Piece

So I wanted to install my screen in my car, but this go around I wanted a clean finish - something that looked as though it came from the factory that way.... so here's the end result. I have the pictures shown in the build up order starting from the original pieces all the way up to the test fit.

I began with the stock dash piece and the front bezel from the Xenarc 7" Touchscreen. I used a fiberglas resin and a bondo like material to form the unit and then got color matched spray down at a local paint shop.

Overall I am extremely happy with the results.