Xbox 360 on Live in 07 Tahoe

Discussion in 'Audio, Video & Gadget Tech' started by Islanti, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. Islanti

    Islanti New Member

    One of my goals (mad, evil plans?) is to get my Xbox 360 working in my Tahoe. I've figured out some of the details. I figured I'd document them as I go in case anyone else is as crazy as I am. I'm also very interested in feedback or suggestions!

    Wireless Internet:
    This part is pretty easy, albeit expensive for service. Fortunately I have a card and router from work already.
    Sprint Nextel Wireless Broadband PC Card - $110, $60/mo.
    Linksys WRT54G3G-ST Wireless Broadband Router - $250
    DC Power Cord for Router - $10
    I'm just going to mount it with velcro in the back, since there's a 12v jack there.

    The built-in overhead entertainment system in the Tahoe has AV RCA jacks. The quality on that is going to be pretty poor, though. I'd love to know if I can hack into the LCD directly with VGA or Component instead. I don't know if the wires even exist for that though.

    Another option if I want to go bigger (and HD!) is the Hori Compact HD TFT Monitor EX - $400. Adding a display exacerbates the power issues (see below) and cost. I'll probably stick with the overhead screen unless it's very hard to read or play.

    Xbox 360 System:
    If I do this semi-permanently, I expect I'll pick up this 360 deal - $200 and trade back in the wired controller. I have an extra 20G HDD for the 360 already as well as component cables. Since I'm only using A/V jacks, though, I'd actually prefer the more basic RCA-only cable included in that deal to save on clutter.

    Xbox 360 Power:
    Power is another issue. I originally thought of going DC-to-DC to save on heat and the size of the inverter. The Big Cat Tech Xbox 360 specific DC-DC option - $200 is from a UK-only company who didn't respond to emails. Another option I investigated is the OPUS 250W DC PSU - $200 and put it in a Project box - $10 with the proper cables if necessary. Either way I'd need a cheap 360 PSU - $40 to hack up (if I didn't want to destroy the one that came with the system above).

    Instead of DC I ended up ordering a DC-AC power inverter. It's easier to get and more versatile since I can power other things when the 360 isn't in use. Unfortunately the 360 needs a true sine wave inverter capable of at least 200W (for those who don't know, true sine wave inverters cost a lot more). My 07 Tahoe Owner's Manual states a maximum of 20A at 12v, or 240W. I found the Samlex 300W Pure Sine Wave Power Inverter - $160, which will hopefully work fine. I didn't want to have to go to the battery so I like this model. Worst case I can still install it more permanently and wire to the battery.

    Xbox 360 Mounting:
    Semi-permanently mounting the 360 will prove to be a challenge. I have the 2nd row buckets rather than the bench seating in my Tahoe, so I can always stick the 360 there temporarily. I like that access to the back, though, so I want to get the system under the seats. The fronts are full of wiring thanks to the 12-way power seats unfortunately. I may be able to cram the 360 power brick and the DC-AC power inverter under them, though. Not sure where the 360 will end up though.

    Estimated total: $730 and $60 a month

    While not complete, I've got most of the pieces in place already. I'd love to hear suggestions or comments!
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2007
  2. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan The Sheriff Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    That's a good idea, I think you can get cheaper wireless broadband service than $60/month. The EVDO service can be found for about $40 and if you can find the older GPRS networks (still up?) then I've been told you can get on them for about $35/month, but that was earlier this year.

    Where are you at on this project and what's your timeframe?
  3. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy All hail the Mad King!! Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    sounds like you are well on your way to getting this project done. I'm going to guess that the cheapest monitor was used for the overhead monitor, so I wouldn't expect to find spare wires up there for component video. Wiring up the linksys router to the truck shouldn't be a big issue, since it runs off of 12vDC. You could actually just chop the brick off of a spare power supply and put a cigarette lighter plug on it if you so desired. In my humble opinion, you should have probably sprung for the dedicated 360 power supply, but the inverter does give you 110AC in the car. Good job, and we want to see some pictures when you're done ;)
  4. Islanti

    Islanti New Member

    First, I made some ninja edits on the post above to elaborate on a few things. I'll keep the first post as my "master plan" so it's easier for people to jump in and see what they can do.

    The problem with may of the alternatives is that they don't support the Linksys router (which is Sprint Mobile Broadband specific). I'm also not paying for this part as my job provides it (I'm on call all the time for service issues). The cool thing about the router is it makes my car a Wifi hotspot. Great for laptop usage on the road!

    I'm sure people can use tethering to a phone via a laptop then wifi from the laptop to the 360 too, but that's very kludgy since you have to have the laptop and phone on all the time.

    I have the router, broadband card and 12v DC adapter now. I have a 360 at home I can use for testing at least. The power inverter will arrive before the weekend. Hopefully I'll have it going in at least a test mode before Monday!

    Yeah, I wasn't holding my breath. :rolleyes: VGA is sometimes available on these. That'd probably require soldering a VGA socket onto the main board. Part of my goal is to disrupt my brand new car as little as possible. :)

    The Radio Shack part above is the actual 12v adapter with tip needed to run the router directly off the car. Definitely makes it easy to power that up.

    I was nervous about going DC-DC because I have no experience with it and could find no information on doing it. The one place with the 360 adapter didn't respond to my emails. The other is a Car-puter PSU. I have no idea how to wire that up to the 360 power supply cable. I could probably figure it out. I wanted something easier, frankly.

    Even better... I'll send you pictures from the 360 in the car via XBLive. :happy:
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2007
  5. omegafiler

    omegafiler Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    Cool. I wonder if there will be any lag issues with that broadband card. I'm sure you'll let us know, along with lots of pics! :)
  6. Islanti

    Islanti New Member

    I fired up the 360 successfully over the weekend. Due to some technical issues, I pulled it back out however.

    It seems the 360 / 360 power brick / inverter are pulling down the voltage quite a bit due to the load. Immediately upon starting the 360 the power inverter gave a low voltage warning (below 10.5v, but above 10v -- the shutdown limit). That's without a disc in the drive or a HDD attached to the 360. As a result, I'm going to wait until later this year when MS will be releasing the "Falcon", a new revision of the 360. Falcon uses a smaller (65nm vs. 90nm) process, which means it'll run cooler and use less power.
  7. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan The Sheriff Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Ahh, so you've got to power it too! ok. ;-) Well, get a dual alternator and put another battery in there as well and that might help. Drawing less current can't hurt either.
  8. Islanti

    Islanti New Member

    Part of my goal is a "mod-less" install. That'd certainly work for anyone else though.
  9. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy All hail the Mad King!! Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    I'm not gonna say "I told ya so"....but, I told ya so ;) . Power inverters waste a lot of power in the conversion process, most often in the form of heat. The other source of loss is when you bump up voltage, amperage takes a hit. If you had the DC-DC power supply you were looking at, its power requirements should be low enough that you won't have to worry bout voltage drops from it pulling too much. I'm working on putting a carputer in my sub, and it follows the same principle as that P/S for the xbox. If you need anymore help, I'm here...
  10. Islanti

    Islanti New Member

    My concern with the DC-DC power supply is the wiring. I don't really want to be soldiering a custom cable for this.

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