E46Fanatics - View Single Post - DIY: BMW E46 In-Car PC Project (Carputer)
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:51 AM   #62
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Cyprus
Posts: 6,606
My Ride: ESS TS2 320ci

Since the project is back from the dead, here are some updates:

After the carputer installation, I decided to add an amp to my system. To my surprise, the setup with the amp installed was full of interference. So bad music was inaudible. Filters did nothing to solve the problem so I moved to drastic measures. First thing was to move the entire carputer/HU installation to the left side of the car's lining, right there where satnav drives are mounted. The Kenwood headunit was also replaced with an Alpine 9873RB model and the amp was replaced with an MB-QUART PAB5400 Premium 5Ch (Instead of an old Legacy amp I had laying around). The new headunit also required a compatible steering wheel control module which I purchased as well (genuine Alpine).

To make the installation as good as possible, I replaced all wiring from trunk to dash with high quality thick power wires and high quality speaker wires. Since at the trunk I have an ISO plug for the speakers, I connected the amp's high power output speaker wires to the plug, therefore eliminating the need to run new wires to the speaker network.

The amp was grounded using 4AWG wire to a grounding point and the power was drawn directly from battery, with an 80A Rockford Fosgate fuse inline.

The RCA outputs from the headunit were connected with the amp using RG58 shielded cable with gold plated RCA plugs.

Result: Crystal clear sound without interference even with the BMW speakers. Can't pump it though because I'm afraid I'll see a speaker cone flying

Electrical Drawing (SmartDraw 2007 Pro):

The amp in the box: MB Quart PAB5400 5-Ch Amplifier

Kenwood unit Out - Alpine Faceplate connected using cat5e network cable and RJ45 plugs (instead of parallel plugs, as seen on the carputer project) I know the area there seems rather abused but the next project is to carbon fibre the entire centre console.

Good to disconnect battery's negative before doing any kind of electrical work on the system. The 4AWG amp wiring is seen and the power wire for the carpc is the thinner one running along the rear part of the trunk.

This is how it looks in the left lining: A bit messy but once cables are tidy, it looks really clean. In the v2.0 of the carpc I'll do a custom made box for the computer.

The alpine steering wheel control module.

HU inserted into the satnav slot and secured with 2 screws on each side. Perfect fitment although I had to cut the back of the plastic insert to make the HU fit.

Some electrical tape and cable ties to secure wires

The amp installed. Upside down using self taping screws (2cm length). Once in place there's no way to move it.

Remote/output/power/ground from one side. This Amp has the wire consealing plates and the connectors are very solid and high quality. It accepts 4AWG wire for power and ground and 8AWG for remote. I also managed to place all the amplified signal wires together in a rubber tube so it looks clean.

The 4ch input from the other side. Short wires and high quality is the key here. The good thing is that power cables are completely on the opposite side eliminating any interference

Now all the covers are back in place and the only thing that is visible is, the amp of course. All wires are consealed very well behind it.
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