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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > --Help putting a Mac mini in my car dashboard!

--Help putting a Mac mini in my car dashboard!
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RandyJS
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Status: Offline
Jan 18, 2005, 10:28 PM
 
Hello everyone!!

I have recently switched to a Mac a little more than a year ago, and since then I have been fascinated with Mac products. So far I own and iMac G4, Powerbook G4, iPod Photo 40 gig, iPod 20gig, an Airport Express, and now I am getting a mini to install in my car!

I however, am running into a few problems, as I am no expert yet!

Here are some of the functions that I want to include in the car.

- Navigation System (complete w/voice control)
Does anyone know of a good Mac GPS receiver and navigation software to go along with it? I would prefer a USB GPS receiver, as it will be the most easy to install on the mini! I am having a hard time finding Mac compatable receivers....

- Music/MP3 Player with visualizations (iTunes) - Complete with voice controls - Will Mac OSX's voice software work for what I want the system to do with voice controls?

- DVD Player via Apple's DVD player in OSX

- Touch Screen LCD and a customizable user interface. I was thinking that using some kind of widget program would work best for creating the interface, as the dock would be kind of hard to work with on a touchscreen LCD! Also, I want programs to be launched by voice control and voice commands also. --- anyone know of a good widescreen LCD 8" touchscreen with drivers for Mac OSX?

- Slideshows (iPhoto)

- Bluetooth cell phone connectivity for both GPRS internet and hands free cell phone conversation. Does anyone know if OS X will enable one to use the Mac's internal microphone and speakers for cell phone conversations via bluetooth?

-Backup battery or UPS? - This is perhaps my biggest hurdle. I was originally going to use a power inverter with a battery UPS backup attached, but I was told not to because it could harm the computer! I need some kind of UPS so that I can put the computer to sleep so I do not have to continually restart it everytime I get into my car. I do not know how much power sleep mode takes, but I know that my Powerbook can go days, maybe even weeks in sleep mode. I know the mini probably is not the same, but I am sure it can go more than a week on a battery UPS in sleep mode!

As for the power, how should I wire it to ensure proper voltage/wattage as to not harm any of my components? The Mac mini runs on 85 watts, and I am sure that an 8" widescreen touch LCD will run on much less than that! Keep in mind also, that I will have 4+ USB devices also connected to the mini (bluetooth module, GPS USB receiveer, touchscreen overlay, and maybe some other things)

I plan on making the system in my home and testing it in either a Ford F-150 or Mustang for 2 weeks. I do not want to permanantly install it untill I get my new car in the spring!

Please either reply to this message, or visit and bookmark the site where I will be posting all of my progress with pictures and details.

Any contributions are appreciated. I have many questions and am trying to do this project the right way!

the site... www.smartcar.nicolemacri.com

Thank you,
Randy
Help me with integrating a Mac mini into the
dashboard of my car, complete with
Navigation, internet, bluetooth and other
"goodies."

the URL is smartcar.nicolemacri.com
     
   
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