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Another Nexus 7 car install

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By turbobaggins, Junior Member on 21st January 2014, 02:53 AM
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Hey everyone. I am about to start installing a Nexus 7 in my 2003 Ford Mustang.

Easy removal of unit.
-Temperature is near zero at some points in winter and over 100 in summer.
-Use of hard case to hold unit in place, possibly mounted by a small variation in the shape of my stock stereo surround and the use of strong magnets. If that does not work, permanently mounting hard case to stereo bezel
-Use of double din space behind the mounted nexus for the EQ and my boost controller to go.
-Fabrication of pogo pin system for easy connection/disconnection, allowing for charging and usb hub support while nexus is in its "cradle". Adapter for micro usb > pogo, to help reduce wear on the micro usb port of the nexus.

Stock look
-if I don't like the look then I will try and fabricate something to surround the nexus while it is mounted.
-modifying the stereo bezel is not an issue, they are cheap to replace
- Clean wiring and functional placement of components

Better than stock function and sound
-USB sound card
-manual volume control (making a volume knob that controls EQ that is accessible)
- Radio (I don't use it but its a selling feature if I have to sell the car)
-easy access to peripherals in case something needs to be adjusted or replaced
-no alternator whine or sub standard sound just because it is a tablet, in fact it must be better than what I have now
-WARDRIVING!! (I do not have a smart phone, so internet will come from WIFI for now)
Less than $500 (cost of a high end stereo with far less capability, also less than a decent carputer setup)

Future plans
- possible megasquirt engine management that is tied into the device so that I do not have to lug my laptop around when I tune my car (it sucks and is dangerous to try and use windows while driving fast), plug into 4 different USB devices, and deal with crappy UI's
- at the very least, integration of all of the data my tuning components are giving without using a laptop. OBD II may or may not solve this.

Components I have purchased so far:

-Used - Like new Nexus 7 (2012) - $129.99

-Behringer UCA202 USB Audio Interface - $29.99

-DROK 12A/100W 4.5-30V to 0.8-30V DC Buck Volt Converter Step Down 12V Car Power Supply Voltage Regulator - $15.89

-Sound Storm Laboratories S4EQ 4-Band Graphic Equalizer with Subwoofer Crossover, VOLUME CONTROL - $30.98

-Metra 95-5026 Double DIN Installation Kit (not sure if I need it yet) - $10.04

- ( 3 ) Boss Audio Systems Car Ground Loop Isolator (one for each output) - $23.64

-AmazonBasics USB 2.0 A-Male to A-Female Extension Cable (9.8 Feet/3.0 Meters) - $5.99

- Right Angle OTG Cable Adapter for all Micro USB - $5.50

-Fosmon Crystal Hard Case for Google Nexus 7 - $2.97

-(2) Harwin 4P Spring Probe Connector (pogo pin connector) - $6.48

-(2) Molex Male Micro USB B (specs say male version but I bet I get female) - $1.74

- (2) Hirose Male USB connector with cradle (in case above doesn't work) - $3.54

Still need:
USB Radio Receiver
Knob for volume control relocation
MISC (bondo or epoxy, wire, etc)
Apps, cracks, mods to make it all work

While there are a few well documented car installs, I think there is always room for another. The main thing that I hope to bring to the table is (hopefully) creating a reproducible way to make a quick disconnect connector from the pogo. I checked on patents, and there is one already, so even if I felt like it was worth it, I probably couldn't mass produce them. So now the technique will be in the public domain (hopefully). The adapter should work for any micro usb device. It could be adapted for different connectors, possibly even using the Nexus 10 connector to add audio to the dock. You could also use 2 of the 4 pogo connectors, 1 for audio and 1 for usb. Anyway.

I am waiting for stuff to arrive. I will update once it does.


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23rd January 2014, 05:08 AM |#2  
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Bezel pics. Just got the hard case in today. Nexus 7 tomorrow. School sucks this semester so this may go slow
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23rd January 2014, 02:25 PM |#3  
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im thinking of doing a similar one like yours for a while. I want to connect 2 cameras to the Nexus7, one for reverse, one for front( crash cam, would like it to constantly recording once the car is running) have you seen anyone have done it?

For the audio, im not very fussy. Just trying to mount the N7 with stock CD player on( it has an AUX in socket)
24th January 2014, 01:40 AM |#4  
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Originally Posted by eason86

im thinking of doing a similar one like yours for a while. I want to connect 2 cameras to the Nexus7, one for reverse, one for front( crash cam, would like it to constantly recording once the car is running) have you seen anyone have done it?

For the audio, im not very fussy. Just trying to mount the N7 with stock CD player on( it has an AUX in socket)

I was looking at getting a couple of bluetooth HD webcams for front and rear like you are talking about. You could run a USB cable to both, or if you had a USB video card, a composite cable, but it seems easier to wire power at each location and use bluetooth. I would use the cameras for recording street racing, or if I ever take it to the track.

Just got the plastic for the case that will be behind the stereo. I bought Lexan at Lowes, and then realized that radioshack has the project boxes that they sell. The largest looks close to double din in width and height. It could be chopped up and then reformed using the glue that I bought for the lexan.

I also picked up the circuit boards from radioshack. a block of 4 of the pre-printed circuits is the same width as a usb end, which is what I was shooting for. The only issue is reducing wear on the contacts. I have a couple of ideas, including getting a cheap flash card and using that to make the circuit. 4 contacts on a flash card are the same width as a usb end as well (the plastic). The contacts for the flash card are made for wear, so it may be a better option.

Lexan was $3.98 a sheet I think, I bought 2. It is enough to make a box from. Plastic glue was ~$5.98 a tube x2. so ~$12.
Circuit was like $3.00, some solder and screws for mounting, total was ~$8. I am going to make the box tonight and glue it up.

NEXUS CAME TODAY! Only thing left is the USB/POGO parts.
26th January 2014, 11:07 PM |#5  
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Been working on the bezel and the connectors the past few days in between homework. I finished the connector and has been epoxied into the bezel. Starting to come together. I took a lot of time working on the alignment of the connector as it slips into the bezel. The nexus does not move up and down really, but I still tried to make the connector hole as tight as possible so that I do not end up shorting the pins on the connector. I also epoxied the body and contacts of the usb adapter, which should also help the pins find their contact. I will take a pic of it once I get it all cleaned up.

So if anyone plans to do this, I went through 4 cables before I finally got it right. I would get close to the end, and a wire or pin would break from stress on the usb connector, or I accidentally cut into the cables and they are very small and hard to reconnect. What ended up working best was to get an $8 flat cable connector from Fred Meyer. It was in a little bin next to the register, but the flat cable and the cheap rubber/plastic that is used to form the connector made it very easy to get into it, short pin 4 and 5, and then put everything back together without ruining anything. The better quality connectors have a rubber that is hard to cut into, and as you are dissecting the connector, you run the risk of nicking the hidden wires. If you could find a cheap OTG cable, it would make everything much easier. Because I opened the connector, when I put it back together and fused the two rubber pieces with my soldering iron, the metal connector moved up and down inside of the rubber casing. Eventually it would have failed.

A few more hints: Don't use a soldering iron over 15W. I roasted everything when I accidentally set my iron to 30W. 15w is still hot, but not too much. 2nd: get one of the soldering stations with the clips and magnifying glasses from radioshack. OMG I don't know how I lived without this thing. SOOOOO much easier to solder with things held in place.
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26th January 2014, 11:13 PM |#6  
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Btw, the first cable I cut into was an OTG cable, and there continuity with resistance between the black and green wire? 25 ohms. I was measuring the wires to see how my solder job was. I ended up digging into the cable, and doing so accidentally cut the black wire, so I had to scrap it.
4th February 2014, 12:15 AM |#7  
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Audio Update
Painted the bezel in the car's factor color ($8 at O'Reilly for paint plus $20 for prep). Looks good. I realized that the magnets scrape the paint of the bezel as they attach, so I bought some black vinyl ($1.11 at walmart). Still deciding which side to attach it to.

I also got a soft on relay for powering the USB hub (maybe amp too), time is adjustable for power on. I assume the electronics won't like being cycled through ignition ($30). Still deciding if I want all of the stereo components to come on at the same time or just the amp and/or nexus.

I finished and mounted all of the components into the box, including the boost controller. Everything fit perfectly without modification. I removed my old stereo today to ship back to amazon and get a refund. If I finish my homework tonight at a reasonable time, I might have enought time to work on the wiring harness and have it in tomorrow to test without the soft on relay. Now that there is no stereo in the I bet I will get motivated to finish.

I will post pictures once it is installed and maybe of the wiring of the components.
27th February 2014, 10:08 PM |#8  
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can you please make a video.
27th February 2014, 10:47 PM |#9  
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How are you planning on turning the tablet on automatically?
I'm installing one in my car two, but I don't want to have to turn it on manually, and I plan on charging it 24/7. So I can't check when the power is connected (ie car started) because it will always have a power input.
9th April 2014, 06:11 PM |#10  
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I don't want to thread jack, but here's my removable nexus 7 install in my acura TSX. Works like a champ, turns on/off with the car, steering controls are all working...
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