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June 23, 2008

V4 Car Computer Progress

I'm finally installing V4 of the car computer project.  On Sunday afternoon I started making a wiring harness that would run from the dash and the Xenarc MDT-X7000 Display to the back of the FJ where the computer will live.   Just to make sure everything was working, I plugged the computer into the Xenarc using an extension cord for power and I discovered I have a driver problem.  Everything works fine as long as I boot into safe mode, but otherwise the Xenarc displays an error of "Out of Range" followed by "No Signal."  I've had some other issues with the Xenarc, with it hanging randomly so I emailed their tech support.  It turns out that even though I bought the display only a few weeks ago, the firmware is out of date, and to update it - wait for it - I have to send it back to the factory.  I decided to keep going on the wiring though and I finished it tonight.


IMG_1076 IMG_1080


IMG_1081 I thought it would be nice to have a power switch to the whole installation, just to make reboots easier.  Earlier this week I was having to occasionally pull the terminal of the batter to get the Xenarc rebooted.  This will be much easier, and when I drop the FJ off for service I can cut the power to the computer if I want.

So here's where I'm at.  The wiring harness works and I'm able to boot the computer up.

IMG_1087 Everything looks good until I log on, and then I get the "Out of Range" error and then no signal.  I'm going to email Xenarc, who to their credit did respond within a couple of hours to my last email, to see if this is a known issue.  On their FAQ they mention that they did a firmware update to make the screen "Vista Compatible" so I'm afraid I'm going to have to send it back to the factory so they can do the update.  Given that it has a CD/DVD reader and a USB port, it is a shame they couldn't make firmware updates installable in the field.

I feel pretty good about the progress.  I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to make the wiring harness without help, but I just worked through it one wire at a time and got it working.

June 23, 2008 | Permalink


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