The Montymobile

Monty

Active Member
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#1
So, I've had the bus for a week now and it's great (as long as I don't check the MPG :sob:) so I thought I'd start a thread as much for myself as anyone to keep track of all the little mods I can see coming despite the fact I'm trying to be restrained and not spend too much time or money playing.

Bus as new to me:- DSC_0043.jpg DSC_0044.jpg
 

Monty

Active Member
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#2
I've booked her into to Longlife for a primary cat back system as was thinking about a simple decore on the secondarys and thought bollocks to it, might as well do the whole thing as it's one less thing to worry about and the Longlife systems come with a lifetime guarantee regardless of the car they're on.
 
Last edited:

Monty

Active Member
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#3
while waiting for exhaust the I did a little shopping therapy:-

DSC_0064.jpg
Mmmm minty fresh!


DSC_0062.jpg

An AV switching unit which came up cheap on Fleabay which ticked two boxes for me
1) It allows true two zone capability & gives me plenty options for fitting the multimedia stuff I want.
2) It took me back to being a teenager when the thought of a screen in a car blew my mind, and then I saw one of these and the thought of more than one screen with multiple options for what to view on it started me drooling. I never thought it'd be something I'd own!
 
Last edited:

Monty

Active Member
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#4
This came fitted with the bus:-

DSC_0063.jpg

It promises much and delivers not so much. I think after a little research it's a re-branded and edited Eonon unit. The website stated it'll output in NTSC, but I don't know how and there are a distinct lack of instructions that I can find. The sound quality is wildly variable, as is the volume on different inputs. The SatNav also tells me off for speeding, which is probably a good thing. It also claims dual zone technology, which strictly speaking it does, if your passengers want to watch a dvd and you want the SatNav and no other combination...

When money allows or that rare bargain appears on eBay I'll replace it with something that has DAB and android auto and a slightly more recognizable badge. (If anyone has something that fits that bill for sale let me know!)
 

Monty

Active Member
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#5
DSC_0060.jpg

So because I can't stand to throw useful stuff away and I have mainly bought cheap cars and run them until they die I have slowly accumulated some rather heavy duty wiring and various accessories. It has finally paid off as I want to run some decent power to the back for TV tuners, amp, USB charging etc.
Every time I retrieve the thick red cable from a car it always makes me chuckle that in my youth I really thought I'd need cable that thick for my sound system. It will however come in handy if the wires to the starter motor fail! I also guess it provides very little resistance.
 

Monty

Active Member
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#6
DSC_0075.JPG DSC_0076.JPG DSC_0077.JPG

Rather just decatting I thought I'd get a stainless system. Having had a second hand Longlife system previously which looked good a gave a subtle rumble I thought I'd treat the Ellie to the same.
I wanted a standard system, nothing too flashy, nothing too loud.
So after driving home and getting a headache from the drone at low revs I rang them back and asked if they could make it quieter, which they did.
It still drones at low revs so it looks like I'll be making another trip back...
Without going into too much detail at this time I'm not overly impressed with them so far, I feel a little fobbed off and their customer service is somewhat lacking.
On the bright side my engine isn't going to self destruct!
 

Monty

Active Member
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#7
Started thinking more about the AV system which has involved removing lots of panels, poking around and obtaining multiple cuts to my hands. While doing this I've wired up the steering wheels controls to the stereo which works nicely, It also means the remotes in the rear can operate some functions on the stereo, which at first I thought was pretty neat, then I realised my kids can now operate the stereo from the rear... :eek:
 

Monty

Active Member
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#9
Big ass power supply fitted with distribution block fitted under drivers step:-

DSC_0082.JPG DSC_0080.JPG

I've also fitted an AV selector and raspberry pi under the drivers seat. Two days work so the kids can watch Pepper Pig on the move!
 

Monty

Active Member
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#11
Excuse my ignorance, but what do you use the raspberry pi for?

I have it set up with KODI which is a media center and also RetroPi which is a games console emulator that runs pretty much any old game up to the first PlayStation. Using an infrared receiver I can also use the original Elgrand remote to control it
 

Alan Morgan

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#12
  • Thanks for that @Monty - the page here has given me a better understanding of what KODI can do.
  • As a retired electronics engineer of some years, I've been meaning to get involved with the world of Raspberry PI and Arduino too, but the 'to-do' list is too long as it is (how did I ever find the time to WORK!)
 

Monty

Active Member
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#13
So I got a little pioneer amp for Christmas:-

DSC_0140.JPG

ISO & RCA connections making it plug and play, 45 watts x 4 and small enough to disappear behind the dash. In combination with this mess hidden under the drivers seat:-

DSC_0139.JPG

Now means the kids can watch Peppa Pig in the back and I can listen to my own music in the front! Roll on happy journeys!
 

DuckySpud

Member
E51 Owner
#16
I'm looking at getting a raspberry Pi and installing retropi to display on the screens. How have you got the image onto the screens? Can it output in NTSC easy enough or do you need a converter?
 

Monty

Active Member
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#17
I'm looking at getting a raspberry Pi and installing retropi to display on the screens. How have you got the image onto the screens? Can it output in NTSC easy enough or do you need a converter?
I have Retrosmc installed in KODI which gives you the option to load RetroPi from Kodi. OSMC/KODI outputs NTSC when using the analogue out by default but can be changed to either NTSC or PAL if needs be.
 

Alan Morgan

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#18
I'm looking at getting a raspberry Pi and installing retropi to display on the screens. How have you got the image onto the screens? Can it output in NTSC easy enough or do you need a converter?
WARNING - I've had my RPi 3 just a couple of weeks and have no previous experience, but reading your query and after a 10 min read of this an that via the RPi forum
  • The RPi 3 has a composite video output - if you get the right leads and configure the RPi correctly, you can feed the composite video/audio (NTSC or PAL) into the Elgrand system via the RCA connections in the rear of the vehicle to get it on the OEM screens
  • This link here will get you to other associated links
  • and here is something else about composite video here
As said, I'm an absolute noobs on the RPi, so undoubtedly there are other ways of achieving what you want!
 
Last edited:

Monty

Active Member
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#19
So after living with the pi for a little while I've found that the RCA outputs kick out a lot of ground loop hum which can be eliminated with an isolator, nice cheap easy fix. However the pie also produces a lot of 'processor noise' which in effect means there's a dial up modem type noise that varies with processing load. This isn't too bad most of the time but once you notice it it can start to grate... I think the cure for this is probably to use a HDMI to RCA adapter which I'd recommend if your starting out with your pi in the car as reading up on it the pi's RCA output is notoriously bad!