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Gutted a nook color and perma-installed it in a Smart Car. :)

OP mhornfeck72205

9th December 2011, 05:16 AM   |  #1  
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I've decided to do it! I gutted and installed a nook color in my stereo space. It works great and is way better than the stock radio for way cheaper than a 7" lcd head unit. Let me explain..

I gutted the nook and took measurements for its screen size against the opening of a double-DIN cavity for car stereos and height-wise it is perfect, but width, it falls a bit short. Went with it anyway, resoldered the home key to lead wires to a button on the face plate and covered up the spacing with some black plastic matching the housing. Works great! Power and volume buttons are also relocated. I'll keep the volume buttons as volume buttons until I get an external pre-amp with a volume potentiometer, see below. Once I get that set up, I'll re-map the volume buttons to back and menu for ease of navigation without button savior.

Heres the hiccup I had... I was planning on running the headphone jack output straight to the amp, turns out that was too quiet.. upon gutting the nook I realized that the speaker isnt soldered to the board, and only makes contact by springs. The speaker contact pads? Pre-amped, but outputs both channels through one output as opposed to headphone stereo.. For now, it sits as the pre-amped speaker output to amp and speakers, but I will be looking somewhere for a decent headphone/small preamp to run stereo to all 4 channels of my handy-dandy Sure 4x100w class D mini amp.

It has some serious volume for a 5x5" pcb with a heatsink! Running on a 19v 130w laptop charger off of a 12v inverter, I am able to get pretty good sound out of it. Because the power supply is a bit lacking, its nowhere near max quality/volume. Just loud enough to start to rumble the doors. I'd like to find a 12v to 32v 10a step up but I've not been able to find one.. Tried to wire a 12v to 5v dc step down converter to the nook's battery terminal but it failed to see it. Not sure of the wiring involved in there for detecting battery charge and voltage, but the battery has 5 wires. If anyone knows how I can wire this to run off of a 12v to 5v 1a USB charger, thatd be awesome...

So nook's speaker output -> amp input -> 4 speaker channels, one to each of the 4 speakers that I have in the car. Added two additional speakers in the rear pillar covers, in addition to the stock 2 in the doors. Swapped the stock ones for Polk 6.5" 100w speakers.

I didnt take too many pictures along the way but everything is so exposed you can see how all the wires are ran throughout the setup. I also added a headphone input to the RCA jacks so you can plug in a different player to the front of the unit straight to the amp but again, it wont be pre-amped. Works fine enough as is for phone conversations which is all I really plan on using it for anyway.

Heres pics of what I have as of now. I'll be either stencil spray painting or putting decals on to mark what the buttons do. Future volume potentiometer will go up top right. I'll put on a fancier aux bezel as well to clean that look up a bit.







What I'm really curious about is if anyone knows an app that lets the nook receive audio from another device, and if I can control that device through the nook, essentially allowing me to run pandora or internet radio on my phone, and have it transmit to the nook. That's probably a far fetched app and very specific but I'd like to know if anyone knows of anything that they use for other purposes that may suit this.

Any input would be awesome. Again, I'm not going for pristine audio quality, just more functionality. It already sounds better than my stock radio and it adds way more functionality than stock as well. If you have any cool app suggestions for in car use, that'd be awesome too. (planning on running torque pro on it too, should be awesome for data logging and whatever else it can do... I'll let you know.)
Last edited by mhornfeck72205; 9th December 2011 at 05:18 AM.
9th December 2011, 02:12 PM   |  #2  
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That looks great! Well done! The separate controls are a very nice touch.

As far as pandora, etc. Why not install the applications on the nook and tether through your phone (maybe you gave an explanation, but I'm bouncing back and forth on look at this and work, mainly came for the pics )

Make sure you get tether GPS! If I ever decide to do something similar, I pay ping you for a write-up on doing this

Again, awesome job!
9th December 2011, 02:22 PM   |  #3  
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I already have tether GPS but its nothing without a data connection and I don't pay for tethering so id rather not use it. Same thing with Pandora.

Sent from my DROIDX using XDA App
9th December 2011, 02:34 PM   |  #4  
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I don't know if I should be sorry for the Nook or stunned by your work...

Looking at my Nook, how it sits in it's Book Cover, dealing me joy with countless books, Music, Videos, Internet Browsing, etc. every day, I would feel kinda sorry tearing it apart.

However... I've got a feeling the Nook feels at home where you put him.
9th December 2011, 02:35 PM   |  #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhornfeck72205

I already have tether GPS but its nothing without a data connection and I don't pay for tethering so id rather not use it. Same thing with Pandora.

Sent from my DROIDX using XDA App

So why not root your phone and use a tethering app?

Google has their own wifi tether app (other than AOSP, which is usually ripped out or blocked).

http://code.google.com/p/android-wifi-tether/

There are also quite a few others on the market.
9th December 2011, 02:41 PM   |  #6  
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Nice work. Geez, the NC is the new car PC, between this and the Jeep guy (both beautiful jobs though)
9th December 2011, 04:41 PM   |  #7  
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Very impressive work! I'm blown away -- you did a great job.
9th December 2011, 05:52 PM   |  #8  
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I guess you voided your warranty by now.
9th December 2011, 06:45 PM   |  #9  
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How are you powering the Nook? through the proprietary cable?
I am puzzled about your 12 volt to 5v statement, and would think it would be ok to wire a usb connector to a 5V 2A+ regulator. (USB jack has to be configured for high power out spec like nook charger).
Last edited by nerdful1; 9th December 2011 at 07:06 PM. Reason: add 5v
9th December 2011, 09:09 PM   |  #10  
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Thanks everyone! :)

I'm powering the nook from the nook wall charger also plugged into the 12v inverter straight to the charging usb port with the stock cable. I'd love to be able to have something wired straight to the battery terminals on the board so it would be a key-on-nook-on kind of setup or maybe switched so I dont have to leave the key in to listen to music.. That way I dont have to worry about keeping the battery charged up(it draws more than the charger puts out with the screen always on, so it slowly goes down)

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