Car PC – Cabling

Quick progress report and a picture dump. Nothing really interesting here.

For any CarPC, there are a few main subsystems:

  1. LCD/Monitor and bezel (molding)
  2. Core Computer Hardware
  3. Peripherals (sound cards, cams, GPS, etc)
  4. Audio (including car speakers, amps, etc)

This dump is mostly related to the audio (and peripherals, i guess). I was putting the “lay cable” to do list item off a little bit due to the pain-in-the-ass process of tearing down my car interior. Generally this means removing seats, floor liner, sometimes the head liner, etc etc etc. It can turn into a full day project for custom installs. I found a solid teardown guide on VW Vortex and got to work. I quickly realized that I wasn’t going to HAVE to tear down much at all. I ended up removing rear seats, and the floor trim near my driver side doors, and that was about all I needed to do.

For my PC, there are a few goals in mind (introduced in the… introduction). I decided to lay all the cables I could possibly nead, even though I am probably not going to use them all. I picked up a USB 3.0 extension, USB 2.0 extension, HDMI & VGA extensions, Audio extension, and Cat6 Ethernet. The USB2.0 (15ft) turned out to be too short, but since I had already zip tied all the cables together, the end is awkwardly tucked away near my door…

AS AN INTERESTING ASIDE: Since I purchased my car, there’s been this mystery AUX cable from the back of my car that was run to the front. I traced it to the rear driver’s side seat, but lost where the cable went… I never took the time to pull everything apart to see where it was going, but when I tore down the car for laying my own cable, I vowed to find it. Well… I did. Anyways… log time.

Easy access, this is what my golf looks like with all the doors open… but one.

Removal of the rear seats (pretty simple, a mallet and a screw driver was all I needed). The seat backs were significantly heavier than I thought they’d be.

Most of my trim and seats, as well as hatch floor cover piled up.

Removing the rest of my trim.

Driver’s door showing the bundle of cabling that I installed. I left out the video cables due to bulk. Zip tied and laid the Ethernet, Shielded Audio (3.5mm), and two USB cables (only one actually made it to the back). You can also see the trim removed near the foot well.

Lifting up carpeting to peek at the stock cables.

Stock/OEM cabling (lighting, etc).

The bastard/mystery cable that runs from my trunk to SOMEWHERE in the cabin.

AAAAAAAND… The mystery cable runs up the driver’s footwell and goes through a stupid coupler and runs into the area below the steering wheel. I believe it came out of the defroster vent originally. From what it looks like, the previous owner ran a cigarette adapter power converter for XM radio and added a charger. I stripped out the job, which was a tiny bit sloppy (but overall not too bad) and laid my own cable. It’s sitting behind my jutting-out-head unit.

Prototyping the radio cage and laying out the hardware in my next post, it may be more polished than this quick turd post. 🙂


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