You may have seen the original Xbox Live in car system which was limited to City Wide WiFi. Version to Kicks it up a notch, with Sprint PCS allowing you to take the gaming anywhere you have Cellular Service, and with the help of the Wi-Ex Zboost a few places that you don’t.
The previous version was mounted in a Four-Door Jeep Wrangler, which was large and gave options for install, and allowed for the installation, of a 23 inch HDTV, but was limited to WiFi, so as soon as you left Mountain View, you were limited to Local Play.
For version 2 I wanted to step it up a notch, but also MINIaturize it, but improve the experience over all. So this time around I am using VR Glasses to Simulate a 47 inch screen, I have broken free of the Wifi and am able to play anywhere I have Sprint PCS available. All in the Sporty Mini Cooper S
Step one is to pull the access to the wiring harness. This will get you access to Power, Audio, and Antenna, everything you need to get started.
Wired into the power is first a 12 volt racing Battery from Braille to act as a line conditioner then an Inverter which provides the AC Power for the Xbox. The Zboost and the Linksys WRT54G-3G both run on 12 Volt DC so they were wired directly to the Braille Battery.
The Braille battery was chosen because it fits in the dead space of the rear of the car, and weighs about 3.5 pounds so it doesn’t throw off the handling of the car when pulling Forza-Esque moves on curvy roads of the hills above San Jose.
Adhesive backed Velcro is added to each of the devices, and a Strap holds the Xbox in place.
The Gate is low enough that disc access is possible. The last time around we found we were much less likely to scratch a disc if the Xbox was mounted Vertically, than horizontally.
A bit of Black Construction paper and some tape hides the IR Sensor as the Sun would occasionally cause the Xbox to Turn off when the top was open and the rear seats down.
An extremely nice thing about this set up is that if your Pantech PX500 Cellular Card has been activated in the laptop, you don’t have to change any configuration to make this work. Just hook each device up, and they will work out of the box.
I did do a swap on the antenna on the Mini to a Cellular Antenna. Which drastically reduced how far my FM radio would pick up NPR, but sacrifices have to be made. Because the Mini uses a standard connector, the antenna swap was painless, taking about 45 seconds.
VGA Cable runs to the Sharper Image Glasses, and the Audio, which should have been hooked in to the rear harness but was “prettier”, just jacked in to the MP3 jack on the Mini. To make this better I should modify the VGA cable so that it doesn’t carry audio to the end of the cable but instead takes the audio to the CD changer Hook ups.
Quick… Um Test run to make sure it is all hooked up correctly… Shouldn’t take more than an hour…
The Mini sings a song very close to that of the Roomba when it gets stuck on a chord… The Funeral procession.
The Draw of the Xbox is slightly more than the Mini can handle idling. Have to keep the Mini at 35 MPH too keep the battery from dying. Probably would have helped if the Braille battery had been fully charged before I started.
The Elite Goes so well with the interior….
Add some quick details to the car to make it truly worthy of Rainbow Six Vegas 2.
Like a Key Chain….
A Secret Compartment for storing the Glasses…
Ok that comes standard on the Mini but it does lend to that Rainbow Six Gadget Goodness doesn’t it?
Maybe a few extra decorations for the seats…
Now we are truly ready to thwart the Terrorist threat. Or play Uno… both are fun.
Total Price on this Install:
Sharper Image Glasses: $299
Pantech PX500 PCMCIA Card:$99
500 Watt Inverter:$89
Braille Performance Battery: $189