Check out this sweet Mac mini install inside a 2006 BMW 325. Hal Fitzgerald spent four months hunting for the right installer to complete his project and the results are impressive.
All the computer hardware including the Mac mini CPU, a Newertech MiniStack 250GB drive with USB and Firewire hub, and a Carnetix P1900 power supply are mounted in the trunk where the CD changer would normally go. The audio is fed out of the Mac mini right into the factory 1/8″ changer input. Hal had a custom mount built to support the 7″ Lilliput touchscreen.
“I couldn’t find anything that was going to let me mount the screen exactly where I needed. With the custom mount, it’s now low enough on the dash so I can still see my dashboard and windshiled completely. I wanted the install to be minimally intrusive to the aesthetics of the car and also wanted to be able to return the car to its original state very easily. There is only one small hole in the front dash panel behind the screen. The center console piece just popped out and we fabricated a decent looking piece of plastic to fit into its place.”
A Keyspan Express Remote controls the system (and was purchased on ebay for $5!). Hal ripped the electronics out of the IR receiver and mounted it under the AC/stereo unit where it is almost invisible.
Apple’s Front Row and iTunes are running on the Mac mini for video and audio playback. A Sony Ericsson s710 bluetooth cell phone uses Apple’s Address Book to display the caller ID on the screen when a call comes in. You can simply answer or ignore the call via the touchscreen – no more looking down at the phone.
Hal’s next step is to add GPS and maybe a Griffin Radio Shark for FM radio reception.
Click here to view larger photos of this install.