MKV Jetta 2013 Nexus 7 Install - work in progress
Hey everyone. I have been working on an in-dash Nexus 7 install in my 2010 Jetta Wolfsburg, and I thought I would share my progress as I go in case any one else was considering this for their car. I did a similar install with the original Samsung Galaxy Tab in my 1998 BMW 540i which can be seen on bimmerforums if you're interested. Just search E39 Android Tablet Install.
The first think I did was to buy a double din kit from Metra for about $12 from ebay. I took a Dremel to this and modified it by cutting off the center piece as well as all 4 clips on the corners. Then I got some Plastic Weld made by JB weld from Home Depot and started to shape the bezel like I wanted it to be for the Nexus 7. To get this to be flat and mate with the tablet nicely, I had to take a nail file and sandpaper and fill/sand/fill/sand etc until I got it to be as flat as I could. This is what it looked like at first:
I then added more to the bottom molding to give the tablet some support from the sides as well. I think this will help in keeping it stable. These are depicted by the yellow arrows. The filing/sanding I was talking about was referring to the red lines in the pictures. I am trying to get these surfaces to be as flat as possible so that the tablet will mate closely with the bezel.
I plasti-dipped the bezel, which FYI matches remarkably well with the interior plastic. Then I attached elastic bands traversing each other diagonally to hold the tablet to the bezel. In addition, I attached magnets around the bezel, which can be seen as the black circles around the edge. I will explain why I did this in more detail as I continue with the install. I also started messing around with the tablet to make it how I would want it in the car. I am using the 2013 Nexus 7 running Paranoid Android so that I can customize every app individually. I put the buttons on the side and made them red to match the interior. One thing that I am happy about is that the way that I chopped up the bezel, I left the camera, light sensor, and notification light open to be used. This way I could even do video calls (granted I will be looking at the road) which might be pretty cool. Here are some more pictures:
I then removed the stock headunit.
This gave me more room to work. I bought a CR2-VW2 harness by PAC from one of the VW forum members. This harness allowed me to connect an aftermarket headunit and retain the stock audio system (amp, speakers etc) but did not include steering wheel controls, which I did not need anyway. I chose the Alpine UTE-42BT for a few reasons. First, it is only $88 which is very reasonable. Secondly, it doesn't have a CD player which is good since that feature would never be used anyway. It has a front auxiliary port and bluetooth handsfree built in, which will allow me to use handsfree from the tablet. I will explain the intricacies of this in a more detailed write up when the project is completely done. As of right now, this is how it is looking:
Pardon the mess, the project is ongoing =) As of right now, the tablet is running on battery, but I am planning on setting it up so that it receives power when the car starts, thus turning on the screen, and when the power shuts off, the screen timeout of 7 seconds will kick in. I'm realizing that 16GB is not a lot of space for something I want to keep music on, so I recently bought a USB OTG cable to mount external storage and I'm waiting for that to arrive. Does anyone have experience with using USB OTG that could provide some insight into this? Will Google Music pick up on the media on the USB storage and add it automatically if I use Stickmount or something like that? I'm going to see how that works out before I decide I need to buy a 32GB Nexus 7 instead. To charge it (if USB OTG works, meaning that the micro USB port will be taken), I will get a wireless charger and plug that into the cigarette lighter for power. If USB OTG doesn't work, I will power it directly using micro USB. One thing I would recommend to anyone trying this is to pick up a ground loop isolator, since charger and using auxiliary at one can lead to some interference. There should be more to come over the next week as I get some more of these peripheral supplies. It sounds great though, and the functionality is far superior to the stock headunit.