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Xbox Car-boot/trunk Setup - A Few Questions


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#1 EncRyPsHon

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 01:28 PM

Alrighty guys, for months I've been planning to do this Xbox-in-car project, once I get enough spare time.
Just wanna confirm a few things & get some oppinions & advice.


Im a big fan of the modded Xbox, I currently own 4, all with XBMC, using my PC as a server.
Im modding 1 to be used in my car, for media storage, & Im currently in the middle of prepping the case for spraying. I'll be doing the DVD remote & a controller or two to match. I've also got my jewel out, ready to do the clear LED look.


Picture this.

1) Basically, the Xbox will be in the boot / trunk of the car, submerged in a false floor. (So that the top of the box is level with the new floor).
I'll use additional fans to keep it cool, & controller extention leads to reach the interior.
As for the power supply, I wont be using an inverter, I want to tap into the 12v supply after the transformer. I have read a lot of threads of people reccomending 12v regulators. But if Im using any 12v source from inside the car (not directly from the battery), it should already be & remain 12.5-ish. Correct? Take the cig-lighter circuit for example.

2) A PC DVD drive will be mounted up the front of the car, in the dash, above / below the CD headunit.
I read that apparently, the max length for an IDE cable is 18inches? And that after that, you increase the risk of corrupted data. Is this true? And how can I get around this? A USB external setup from the Xbox?

3) The power button will be somewhere in the dash / steering column.
Simple switch running from the Xbox's front panel.

4) The DVD remote reciever will be mounted in the dash or hidden somewhere.
I'll run this from an Xbox extension cable, & mount it somewhere so that I can use the DVD remote in or from outside near the car.

5) I'll pull apart a controller & mount all it's buttons in the steering column, in an easy-to-use erganomic pattern.
This is something I've been wanting to try ever since I was a boy, learning about electronics. The only tricky bit would be making the new button-housing-moulds & making them solid enough to connect the button, right? (Please note - This part will only be for XBMC use. I dont intend to be doing any fast-paced gaming.)

6) I wanna run a WiFi setup, so to access my home router from the car & allow the network to access the Xbox, when on.
I dont fully understand how Xbox WiFi works, I've never read into it yet. It is possible though right? What sort of unit is used on the Xbox? Do I need to make up USB ports & use a dongle? And then would that require Linux or Windows? Or can XBMC use the WiFi connection?


Thanks heaps guys, any help would be greatly appreciated.

#2 lordvader129

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 10:08 PM

QUOTE(EncRyPsHon @ Apr 12 2009, 05:04 AM) View Post

2) A PC DVD drive will be mounted up the front of the car, in the dash, above / below the CD headunit.
I read that apparently, the max length for an IDE cable is 18inches? And that after that, you increase the risk of corrupted data. Is this true? And how can I get around this? A USB external setup from the Xbox?

the xbox has USB 1.1, too slow to be practical for a DVD drive, i dont know if you want this for games or just for media, but USB wouldnt work for games (and if its for media id suggest building a carputer instead of using an xbox, lol)

ive heard of IDE repeaters, which should allow you to get to the dash, but i cant find any for sale anywhere

QUOTE

6) I wanna run a WiFi setup, so to access my home router from the car & allow the network to access the Xbox, when on.
I dont fully understand how Xbox WiFi works, I've never read into it yet. It is possible though right? What sort of unit is used on the Xbox? Do I need to make up USB ports & use a dongle? And then would that require Linux or Windows? Or can XBMC use the WiFi connection?
Thanks heaps guys, any help would be greatly appreciated.

look for a wireless ethernet bridge, like those gaming adaptors, or there are plenty of cheap routers and access points you can hack with DD-WRT for this functionality

#3 zx6r6

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 10:01 AM

1) You'll need a voltage regulator, it'll be around 13.5-14V when the engines running (unless things have changed in last 10 years since I was a mechanic, doubt it though)

2) Don't think you'll have any option bar keeping the dvd drive near the xbox tbh. As an alternative, upgrade the hard disk and install a female usb in the front of the car. In XBMC you can use (some) pen drives up to 2gig (if memory serves) or your wireless connection to put stuff on the drive. If USB cable length is an issue get a usb repeater, they're freely available and cheap.

Edited by zx6r6, 13 April 2009 - 10:10 AM.


#4 obcd

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 10:34 AM

1. The moment you start your car, the voltage can drop to 6-10V. I don't think your xbox will like that. You will need a good buck - boost converter to get a steady 12V. You also need 5V and 3V3 to run the xbox. To use the xbox power switch, you will also need a 5VSB, A "power on" signal and a "power good" signal.

2. A long Ide cable is asking for trouble. Don't forget that the xbox harddisk is connected to the same cable as well.

3. You can move the buttons from a controller, or use other buttons for it. It won't be easy to move the analog sticks that way.

regards.



#5 EncRyPsHon

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 12:30 PM

Thanks for the fast replies guys.

lordvader129, can you please explain what you meant about the WiFi? Hacking with DD-WRT?

zx6r6, Im pretty sure most existing circuits in any car are already regulated at 12v from the alternator's regulator. I'd be re-routing or tapping into an existing 12v circuit. I'll check with a multimeter sometime soon.
And that USB idea sounds good, I might look into that. Which USB drives work? Is there a documented list or anything?

obcd, Im aware of the starter motor using most of the battery to start the engine, the Xbox wont be hardwired into accessories power, I'll switch it on from the driver's seat once the engine is running.
I may have to either mount the DVD drive in the parshall shelf behind the rear seats, or leave it in the box & rely on a WiFi connection.

Thanks again guys, please keep the helpful comments coming.

#6 lordvader129

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 03:34 PM

QUOTE(EncRyPsHon @ Apr 13 2009, 04:06 AM) View Post

Thanks for the fast replies guys.

lordvader129, can you please explain what you meant about the WiFi? Hacking with DD-WRT?

im sure your familiar with wireless game adaptors (http://www.amazon.com/Linksys-WGA54G-Wireless-G-Gaming-Adapter/dp/B00009X6DT)

its essentially a wireless adaptor that plugs into an ethernet port and "fools" the xbox into thinking its wired into a network

they can be quite expensive though, but there are lots of wireless routers, access points, and other less expensive devices that can be hacked to functions as a wireless bridge, i guess most people use a linksys wrt54g, i just hacked a fonera router last night, lol

http://www.dd-wrt.co...pported_Devices

QUOTE
And that USB idea sounds good, I might look into that. Which USB drives work? Is there a documented list or anything?

i think its up to 4gb for XBMC, and it should be able to use any FAT32 formatted drive, unlike the MS dash it isnt picky (now if you want to use it as a memory card for xbox gamesaves thats a different story)

#7 zx6r6

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 07:06 PM

@EncRyPsHon

linky about cigarette lighter voltages

check out bottom part "issues using for power"

although they specifically talk about the cigar lighter all circuits are the same (in all cars I worked on 10 years ago anyway!) They're all fed from the fuse box which in turn is fed directly from the battery. The stuff that was voltage critical (ie sensors) would get their feeds directly from their system ecu which would have had a regulator inside. For most electric componants (motors, relays, bulbs etc) this isn't necessary.

Edited by zx6r6, 13 April 2009 - 07:18 PM.


#8 lordvader129

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 08:05 PM

QUOTE(zx6r6 @ Apr 13 2009, 10:42 AM) View Post

@EncRyPsHon

linky about cigarette lighter voltages

check out bottom part "issues using for power"

although they specifically talk about the cigar lighter all circuits are the same (in all cars I worked on 10 years ago anyway!) They're all fed from the fuse box which in turn is fed directly from the battery. The stuff that was voltage critical (ie sensors) would get their feeds directly from their system ecu which would have had a regulator inside. For most electric componants (motors, relays, bulbs etc) this isn't necessary.

thats why youll notice the radio cuts out and dome lights dim when you turn the ignition biggrin.gif




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