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  #1  
Old 01-28-2012, 01:39 AM
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Custom 7" GPS Enclosure

This is a little premature, but I have been working on it for a while and wanted to post a teaser up. It's covered in bondo and not very pretty, but it should give you guys an idea of the shape. The plan is to finish this positive mold, and then vacuum form black ABS over the front and back, and then fuse the two together. Inside will be a Magellan Roadmate 1700. I have the vacuum former built and the ABS is on the way, so I should have something more to show by the end of the week. It's hard to tell by the picture, but this will replace the center vents above the radio. Ignore the distortion of the iPhone, that bottom edge is straight.



Once the actual ABS enclosure is built, I will add a backup camera since the 1700 has an A/V in. Another obstacle in the horizon is how to keep the warm/cool function of the center vents, since it also controls the side vents.
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Old 01-28-2012, 03:43 AM
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Very creative! Obviously you're willing to give up your center vents. I couldn't do that. What about a similar thing but a hump on the dash above the center vents?
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Old 01-28-2012, 07:20 AM
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Cool project but curious about the project the magellan roadmate updates it maps through sd card right. I have a roadmate cant remember the model. How are you going to get to the sd port. Did you already cut the holes?
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Old 01-28-2012, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PersonaNonGrata View Post
Very creative! Obviously you're willing to give up your center vents. I couldn't do that. What about a similar thing but a hump on the dash above the center vents?
Thanks! I originally wanted to have vents incorporated to the long flat area below the screen, but I am going to have cables behind there. There might be enough room though, I'll have to see once the GPS is in there. A hump on the dashboard might work, but you would have wires running up to it, unless you cut a hole in the dash, which I would not do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nigwhyrito View Post
Cool project but curious about the project the magellan roadmate updates it maps through sd card right. I have a roadmate cant remember the model. How are you going to get to the sd port. Did you already cut the holes?
Thanks, the 1700 updates through a mini USB port on the bottom, so that shouldn't be an issue. It will be removable though, probably by a couple clips inside that hold it up against the opening. I'd like to replace it with a 7" Android tablet in the future, but am waiting until I find one with backup camera support.
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Old 01-28-2012, 01:07 PM
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that's nice work. I made a bezel for my 540 years ago and it's a ton of work to get it looking nice. Have you thought about a carputer rather than just a GPS unit?
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Old 01-28-2012, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by mattkins99 View Post
that's nice work. I made a bezel for my 540 years ago and it's a ton of work to get it looking nice. Have you thought about a carputer rather than just a GPS unit?
Thank you. It really is a lot of work. The one I made for my E46 took at least 30 hours. I have thought about a carputer, but I just don't have the need for it yet. This setup will have GPS and a backup cam, and I have a Dice unit for my music, so that about covers it for now.

Do you have any pics of your 540 bezel?
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Old 01-29-2012, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessone View Post
Thank you. It really is a lot of work. The one I made for my E46 took at least 30 hours. I have thought about a carputer, but I just don't have the need for it yet. This setup will have GPS and a backup cam, and I have a Dice unit for my music, so that about covers it for now.

Do you have any pics of your 540 bezel?
Sorry, I looked but can't find them anymore. Basically I bought a basic bezel off ebay (I think it was for a single DIN head unit) just to get the rectangle shape. I cut out a giant hole for the 7" Xenarc touch screen. To mold everything together I didn't use bondo but rather Duramix (used by body shops to fix plastic bumpers) and then sanded it down just like bondo to get a smooth texture. Next I used SEM texture paint to try to match the texture of the interior plastic

There were three hard parts. First was grafting the screen controls seemlessly into the bezel (power, input selector, etc) second was adding and subtracting plastic to the inside rectangle of the bezel so it would fit the screen perfectly and third was trying to get the curvs right without high or low spots.
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:53 PM
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After many failed attempts at vacuum forming different thicknesses of ABS plastic, I ended up building my own enclosure out of leftover sheets of 1/8". Basically I fused the front bezel of my GPS to a trapezoid-shaped panel with a window cut into it, and then boxed the whole thing out using ABS cement and a soldering iron. I removed the face plate from the CD player, and this enclosure screws directly to the metal bracket of the CD deck. Even though this partially blocks the center vents, I prefer this to losing the center vents completely. Once I clean up the interior some, I'll get some better shots of it. Right now it's just a GPS, but I'll be adding a backup camera soon.



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Old 07-13-2012, 12:54 AM
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That enclosure looks fantastic! Great job!

It is better that you still have your center vents. Forgoing those for a GPS unit would be really silly and regrettable. You use your AC/heat possibly daily but the GPS.... How is the view angle? Does it work for optimal viewing from the driver's position or will you have to tweak v.2? How did you run power?
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Old 07-13-2012, 01:32 AM
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Looks really good. I'm guessing that you'll lose the use of the CD player? If it's priced reasonably, would you mind making an extra one and sell it to me?
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