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Old 01-24-2013, 03:09 AM   #1
metajames
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2008 STi
OBP

Default Google Nexus 7 Head Unit in 2008 STi

Feeling inspired by black thunder then zedix along with many other videos and posts of android tablets being mounted into cars I decided to try my own Nexus 7 install.

Here is how it came out, I'm pretty pleased with the result.








My Parts List:

Subaru of America Double DIN AV Panel (ia Performance)
Google Nexus 7 (Staples)
Parrot MKi 9100 (Amazon.com)
Rocketfish Dual USB Vehicle Charger (Best Buy)
Tech Armor Anti-Glare & Anti-Fingerprint (Matte) Screen Protector (Amazon.com)
eBay snap on back cover for mounting N7 (from seller "toolmld")
Custom built acrylic double DIN sized "box" as a support
Metra 95-8902 Double DIN Installation Kit cannibalized for brackets (Amazon.com)
Metra 70-7552 Radio Wiring Harness for power tap (Amazon.com)
Enercell 12VDC Vehicle Power Accessory Outlet (Radio Shack)
StarTech.com Micro USB Cable - A to Right Angle Micro B (Amazon.com)

I already had a Parrot MKi9100 in the car and mostly used my phone to play music and do navigation so I rarely used my actual head unit. A android tablet would just continue to use the same bluetooth connection for audio output so I only had to worry about mounting and powering it. The Parrot would take care of driving the speakers and providing speakerphone services.

I ripped the head unit out and tried out the tablet in the car for a few weeks.


Just Testing

Once I got all the software working and I was happy with how the overall integration felt I started to design the mounting method.

I knew I wanted to use a stock bezel and saw pics of the N7 fitting neatly behind a double din opening but didn't know if the width of the tablet would fit under the curves of the subaru bezel. After I saw the fitment in zedix's thread it gave me the confidence to go for it.


Test fitting.


Trimming bottom tabs, I also had to trim off the top center tab.
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Last edited by metajames; 01-24-2013 at 03:16 AM.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:09 AM   #2
metajames
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Member#: 204765
Join Date: Mar 2009
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: SoCal
Vehicle:
2008 STi
OBP

Default

Because the stock radio sits at a angle and mates up to the trim pannel I decided the best way to ensure a clean fit was to use the same mount points.

I found that Metra makes a DIN adapter kit for the 08+ Impreza for mounting a double DIN HU into the stock non-nav bezel. It was a modular kit with mounting brackets that were separate from a trim mask piece. I ordered it just for the brackets. Now I needed something the size and shape of a double DIN HU to attach the brackets to so I built a dummy double DIN head unit from sheet acrylic. I left the back open so I could mount accessories like a DAC or USB hub, right now it just has a lighter socket and power adapter.


Building the dummy DIN


Trimming the brackets from the Metra kit


The brackets attached using machine screws and nuts from home depot.


The assembled unit with the brackets on and everything mounted.

I wanted to be able to remove the tablet from time to time in order to work on software, do firmware flashes etc. I decided to use a snap on back cover from ebay to actually hold the tablet in place. The snap cover is then attached using sugru to the acrylic head unit dummy. That gives the mount some flex to absorb road vibration.


The snap on back cover adds a bit of thickness to the edge.


The whole rig with tablet removed showing the back cover used as a mount.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:09 AM   #3
metajames
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Join Date: Mar 2009
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Location: SoCal
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2008 STi
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For power I used the Rocketfish "Dual USB Vehicle Charger" I tried like 4 or 5 chargers before finding one that works. I didn't want it just flapping around in the dash so I added a radio shack accessory 12V outlet to the inside of my housing, some weldon 16 acrylic glue and it was solid. The outlet is wired to a Metra stereo wiring harness, just for power so that it is switched when the car turns on and also runs off the original head unit circuit and fuse. The harness also gives me the option to add dimmer control in the future. The rocketfish adapter plugs into the power socket and then connects to the tablet using a short USB cable with right angle plug on the micro USB end. Keeps all the cable routing clean and low profile.


Right angle micro USB


Accessory socket with power adapter and wiring harness.


A anti glare screen protector was added to cut down on reflections in the car.


Notice the softness of the reflection from outside my window, helps allot.


The whole thing mounted in the car with the bezel off.


With tablet removed.


Pulling the mounting rig out of the dash


Blue box is the Parrot unit mounted in the stock sat radio position.

You can also see where I had to trim back part of the dash to get enough clearance for the depth of the tablet. Still curious how others did this without trimming, even with the back cover removed I couldn't get it to fit.


Playing from Spotify.

Overall I'm really happy with how this turned out, thanks to black thunder then zedix for the inspiration.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:45 AM   #4
Ish9
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Looks sweet!
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:53 AM   #5
Andrew025
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Wow, awesome job.
I'm definitely going to have to steal some of your ideas.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:59 AM   #6
bmc52387
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Looks like a really clean install. Wish I had that skill and hardware.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:08 AM   #7
sport6
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2012 Impreza- Deep Cherry

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That's awesome! Do your steering wheel controls do anything now?
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:31 AM   #8
zedix
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Great worksmanship!! I'm glad my thread inspired you to give it a shot, it looks great!

Are you feeding your tablet audio to your speakers somehow?
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:46 AM   #9
Angelus911
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very awesome! I wish I had the skills to attempt something like this
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:02 PM   #10
metajames
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmc52387 View Post
Looks like a really clean install. Wish I had that skill and hardware.
No special tools were used except for maybe the table saw but I could have used a hand saw and miter box. The acrylic was purchased pre-cut from a pastics supplier all I did was glue it together. You could even build the dummy insert out of wood from home depot, just needs to be the right size and even then there is some play because the brackets are very forgiving.

Everything else was just assembly.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:03 PM   #11
metajames
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew025 View Post
Wow, awesome job.
I'm definitely going to have to steal some of your ideas.
exactly why I took the time to post it!
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:06 PM   #12
metajames
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sport6 View Post
That's awesome! Do your steering wheel controls do anything now?
Nope. Since I have the Parrot all the volume control goes through that. I don't miss the sterring wheel controls much since I didn't really use the stock head unit before.

I do have some ideas on how to integrate in the controls using IOIO and custom app but that's kinda a phase 2 project if I really want them. I think the next thing for me is dash dimming so the tablet brightness changes with the dash lights.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:13 PM   #13
metajames
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zedix View Post
Great worksmanship!! I'm glad my thread inspired you to give it a shot, it looks great!

Are you feeding your tablet audio to your speakers somehow?
Thanks man, you were definitely the guinea pig on this one. If you never showed fitment behind the trim on your thread it would have taken me much longer.

How did you get the N7 to fit without cutting the top middle anchor and trimming back the inside of the dash? All your pics show that intact but in my testing there just wasn't enough clearance.

Audio goes to my Parrot MKi9100 via bluetooth, it has a amp built in and all kinds of connectivity, very compact. Having that already in the car let me focus on mounting. The Parrot also has a line in so I might go the USB DAC/OTG route at some point.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:15 PM   #14
Stretch18
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It burns when I PP

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I friggin love this!

I had a wiring harness and one of those metra kits fs here, but maybe i'll just hang on to them just in case I decide to pull the trigger on something similar.

The gears are turning... Many thanks!
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:03 PM   #15
sabregen
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this makes me wish that i had a table saw. excellent install. very very clean, from one N7-in-dash installer to another.

additionally, regarding your question about trimming the internal plastic to get the n7 to mount, i had to do that as well. i used a drywall hand saw and then a coarse file to smooth the edges.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:15 PM   #16
sport6
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2012 Impreza- Deep Cherry

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I haven't been following the tablet installs too much but they have always interested me.

Another question I have is what happens when you start and shut off the car? I am assuming the tablet stays on all the time, correct?

I see you are from a warmer climate but something that concerns me about these installs are the extreme weather days. For me it would be the lcd freezing (like this morning it was -6F out and going to be -11 tonight) but do you think this thing will overheat all day in the car in your weather?
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:22 PM   #17
metajames
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sport6 View Post
I haven't been following the tablet installs too much but they have always interested me.

Another question I have is what happens when you start and shut off the car? I am assuming the tablet stays on all the time, correct?

I see you are from a warmer climate but something that concerns me about these installs are the extreme weather days. For me it would be the lcd freezing (like this morning it was -6F out and going to be -11 tonight) but do you think this thing will overheat all day in the car in your weather?
I use tasker (in android play store) to turn off the wifi, screen and sleep the device when the power is disconnected. When power is applied it turns all that stuff back on. So when I turn off the car and the power adapter looses 12V the tablet looses power and thus will sleep.

You could have problems with the battery. We have extreme heat here in SoCal summer. My car is garaged at home and work so I'm just crossing my fingers on that. If the battery blows up I can just snap in a new N7, expensive replacement but I figure people leave their battery powered GPS units in the car all the time so it can't be that big of a issue.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:22 PM   #18
Ish9
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Do you have the dimensions for the acrylic at hand? I have plexiglass at my disposal.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:29 PM   #19
metajames
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabregen View Post
this makes me wish that i had a table saw. excellent install. very very clean, from one N7-in-dash installer to another.

additionally, regarding your question about trimming the internal plastic to get the n7 to mount, i had to do that as well. i used a drywall hand saw and then a coarse file to smooth the edges.
ok, thanks for the feedback, at least I know I'm not crazy. The car actually accommodates the N7 very well, no heavy modding needed at all and can be returned to stock easily.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:32 PM   #20
metajames
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ish9 View Post
Do you have the dimensions for the acrylic at hand? I have plexiglass at my disposal.
Constructed from 1/4" sheet acrylic.

Outside dimensions are 4" x 7" x 5.75"

Individual sheets were:

4 x 7 (1) - Face
6.5 x 5.5 (2) - Top/Bottom
4 x 5.5 (2) - Sides
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:33 PM   #21
sport6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metajames View Post
I use tasker (in android play store) to turn off the wifi, screen and sleep the device when the power is disconnected. When power is applied it turns all that stuff back on. So when I turn off the car and the power adapter looses 12V the tablet looses power and thus will sleep.

You could have problems with the battery. We have extreme heat here in SoCal summer. My car is garaged at home and work so I'm just crossing my fingers on that. If the battery blows up I can just snap in a new N7, expensive replacement but I figure people leave their battery powered GPS units in the car all the time so it can't be that big of a issue.

That is the beauty of using an android tablet in your car instead of iOS (unless it's possible with jailbreak). I have a Motorola Xoom but it is way too big to install.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:35 PM   #22
metajames
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sport6 View Post
That is the beauty of using an android tablet in your car instead of iOS (unless it's possible with jailbreak). I have a Motorola Xoom but it is way too big to install.
Exactly why I decided to use android. iOS can't be customized nearly as easily. I carry a iPhone 5 and a Galaxy Nexus and a LTE iPad, they all have their strengths and weaknesses.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:49 PM   #23
05_wRex
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What are you using for sound amplification? Surely the sound produced by the tablet isn't enough to drive the speakers.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:50 PM   #24
metajames
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What are you using for sound amplification? Surely the sound produced by the tablet isn't enough to drive the speakers.
Bluetooth audio to Parrot MKi9100
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:55 PM   #25
05_wRex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metajames View Post

Bluetooth audio to Parrot MKi9100
Gotcha. Thanks!
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