categories: Smart

Rear speaker and enclosure for MCC Smart 450

MCC Smart 450 has poor audio playback environment by default. Major way to upgrade is to install speaker bins under the dash ( see ) and replace speaker to more large one. I’m using Helix’s E5X. But I’m not satisfied with just two front speaker. I’ve used my polkaudio’s pc speaker on the back of sheet and it still lacks performance especially total sound pressure and dynamic range. So I’ve made my owns by DIY.

Spec:

  • Sealed enclosure with no bracing
  • Enclosure inner volume: approx 14.1inch(W) x 11.8inch(H) x 5.9inch(D) = 0.535 Ft3(15litre)

Parts list:

  • 2x FOSTEX FF225WK - amazon - $200
  • 2x FOSTEX P24B Screw Type Speaker Terminal - amazon - $10
  • 3x 450x900x12 MDF(Medium-density fibreboard) - $30

Time needed: * approx 40 hours(I’ve spent 2 weekends)

Here is my result.Yeah ! 07

Japanese comtemporary cafe style curry in Kamogawa city

There is few article write about Japanese contemporary cafe and its style in English. Almost all contemporary cafe resides mid of metropolis and comfortable place for city dweller especially for young. They serves hot chocolate drawn some art above of cup{:target=”_blank”}, gentry cooked organic food with smooth texture(try “カフェめし” in google image search), and sweet and yummy cake.

But when I googled about food in Chiba prefecture, I found something interesting place to visit. This place is Cafe So(“うつわや+カフェ 草”){:target=”_blank”}. This place is exactly japanese contemporary style cafe, but this shop is not in mid of metroporis but inside of mountains of southern side of Chiba, so I think that this place is worth to visit. Here is the place{:target=”_blank”}. It will take a few hours from Tokyo.

There is 2, 3, 4, and 6 seats inside of small house. No sounds but song of bird and wind. Mild sunlight comes from ceiling and warms inside of room. You can order almost one thing, curry rice. Its taste is exactly cafe style smooth and tasty. You’ll enjoy organic coffee and smoothie of spiced tea which cools your tongue down.

Enjoy short trip to different place.

Short trip to Shirakawa go and Kenrokuen garden

I’ve taken short trip to Kanazawa pref as my Sunday project. My MCC Smart does good job for this trip. Itinerary: here (Google Maps with KML)

Destination 1: Shirakawa-go historic village

Located in a mountainous region that was cut off from the rest of the world for a long period of time, these villages with their Gassho-style houses subsisted on the cultivation of mulberry trees and the rearing of silkworms. The large houses with their steeply pitched thatched roofs are the only examples of their kind in Japan. Despite economic upheavals, the villages of Ogimachi, Ainokura and Suganuma are outstanding examples of a traditional way of life perfectly adapted to the environment and people’s social and economic circumstances. Shirakawa-go is one of the most famous world heritage in Japan. ( link for The World Heritage official page )

Destination 2: Kenroku-en garden

Kenroku-en was developed from the 1620s to the 1840s by the Maeda clan, the daimyo who ruled the former Kaga Domain. Kenroku-en (兼六園, Six Attributes Garden), located in Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan, is an old private garden. Along with Kairaku-en and Koraku-en, Kenroku-en is one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan. In winter, the park is notable for its yukitsuri — ropes attached in a conical array to carefully support tree branches in the desired arrangements, thereby protecting the trees from damage caused by heavy snows. I’ve taken some beautiful photos shows “yukitsuri” and illustrates silence and Japanese aesthetic ideals. (link for Kenroku-en official web page )

Snow tire for MCC Smart

We can enjoy a variety of services about car in Japan. In winter season, you can rent a snow tire in a few days instead of buying them (link, only written in japanese but you can inquery them with English, Spanish, and Chinese). If you are living in heavy snow area, you can rent them in a season (link, only written in japanese). But wait for a second. You can use these services when you have 4 stud style hub between wheel and hub, this configuration is popular among japanese car such as Toyota, Nissan, Honda, and so on. As you know, MCC Smart have 3 stud hub, so you cannot rent these services. ( You have 5 stud Mercedes ? It’s worth trying to talk with shop guy, I think… )

Anyway, I have to change my tire to snow tire. I’ve purchased snow tire with reasonable price from shop (link). I’ve purchased 4 wheels of Mastersteel’s WINTER+ 175/55R15 77T and it costs about $160 and attached them to my Smart. 175/55R15 sized tire have different size from standard size of Smart, but I feel nothing strange about.

WP_000130 Enjoy your winter.

MCC Smart Nexus 7 install

My MCC Smart is 450 and it lacks contemporary feature such as navigation and ipod integration. We can use android navigation today, so I’ve decide to integrate my Nexus 7 into my MCC Smart.

Here is old installation using existing iPad mount kit, but this installation eats many space and I cannot move my hand smoothly while driving… And this mount blocks temparature, air conditioning controll switch. So I’m gonna try more smooth integration.

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Here is final integration of my job. My selfmaid mount suit perfectly with Smart 2-DIN audio space and not block anything.

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I’ve started from creating tray for Nexus 7. I used FRP. First, wrap it with sticky tape.

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Put Nexus 7 face down and put fiber glass on the back. fill glass with FRP resin. Resin will dry in 12 hours.

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After resin dried, pop Nexus 7 from FRP.

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trim the edge of tray and fill with filler.

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cut existing 1-DIN filler panel in order to take some angle.

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adhere FRP tray and 1-DIN filler

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test fitting and add end-edge which blocks Nexus 7 to slide out from tray.

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add side wall and take it more thicker.

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take primer and sand to take it smooth. cut tray in order to push power and volume button.

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take some color.

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I’ve relocated existing audio unit into bottom of passengers foot rest. I’ve used Belkin’s Aircast Bluetooth receiver which Nexus 7 can send audio to unit.

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This is final image of my installation.

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Woo. It’s my joy.

replaced the flat tire

Today, I’ve replaced MCC Smart-K flat tire. MCC Smart-K has non-poppular size tire. front: 135/70R15 and Rear: 145/65R15. Especially Continental only suppies 135/70R15 in japan and it costs so expensive ( about $120 per wheel, $480 total ).

I’ve replaced all 4 wheels to Nankang’s 145/65R15 tube-less tire and it costs about $260($50 per wheel). It is cheap sure, and also compies to japanese reguration. It looks still good and feels no strange. Good job, Nankang.

Natural broiled eel at Kashima port

As for my first trip with new Smart K, I’ve get to Kashima port. It takes about 150km from my home and takes about 3 hours. The subject of this trip to test my ETC and sound device. Here is the itinerary(GPS data is partially dropped). Thanks to aprs.fi, I can plot my itinerary over Google map. I always use iBCNU on my iPhone and upload GPS information with my call-sign. If you have your license of amateur radio, try it ! Smart and my devices works perfectly among the trip, so my trip is very smooth and fun. Here is the place named “Kamisu city public sport park”. This place is nearby of Pacific ocean. MOVIE and I saw some windmill generator. After the 3.11, many people addicted to renewable energy instead of nuclear power. Kashima area is the one of the biggest windmill farm in Kanto area. Windmills in this area can generate about 50MW electricity, but today some of windmill stopped because of lack of winds. And some area still marks some destruction caused by that earthquake. These cracks is widely marked and needs more costs and times to repair. This photo is effected. Kashima area is famous about eel especially natural eel to eat. Some foreign people may surprise that Japanese people eats such bizarre fish. Surely, some people feels dislike about eel because it is slimy to the touch and shape is strange. But broiled eel have rich protein, soft and light food texture especially natural eel. So, I’ve decide to try it. This is the shop to try. The name is “Kappo Tabeta(割烹 たべた)”(Google Map). This shop goes famous via TV show and some internet site Tabelog serving broiled natural eel over 20 years. Tabelog is japanese shop curation site such as yelp. “Kappo Tabeta” gets good score in Tabelog. This photo is what I’ve eaten. Broiled natural eel - standard size(天然うな重, 並). This order is served with clam miso soup, pickles, and mellon flavored jelly. It tastes great ! If you have no issue with broiled eel, you should try it.

Smart drive is fun

[](/images/SMART.jpg)Last week, I bought MCC Smart K instead of Toyota Celica which I run around over 8 years. The main reason why I replaced my car is to reduce tax against car. In Japan, there are a few tax around having my own car. When you buy your car, it subjects to duty (Vehicle excise tax). When you run your car 1 year, it subjects to duty(Road tax). When you check your car health every 2 year, it subjects to duty(Automobile weight tax). I had paid about $1,000 every 2 years for my Celica. I will have to pay about $400 in next 2 years, so I will be able to save $600 ! MCC Smart is one of the smallest car in the world. I love this feature. I feel that my life is optimized in busy Tokyo. My friend said me just a little bit crazy, but I don’t care. I need not to bring any big baggage such as golf bag, tons of travel baggage, cannon shaped camera, and some servers. ;-) But Smart K I bought is started to sell about 10 years ago, so it lacks some important and contemporary feature such as ETC(Electric Tall Collection) and iPod connectivity. So I hacked a little bit and added such feature. Here is the room of my Smart after my hack. You will see tiny ETC device on the middle of dashboard. ETC is connected from fuse box located in passenger seat. I uses some fuse distributer which supply 24V direct current to ETC device. And I replaced default sound unit to alternative device which can accept line-input. I moved it from my old Celica. Finally, I placed iPod dock unit into accessory box and connect USB power and audio line. You will see small white feature in the middle of my photo. I can put my iPhone to that dock and listen some iPod and ShoutCast internet radio. Yes, I love ShoutCast !