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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I figure since I am using Timur's ROM, it makes sense for me to start somewhat of a build log on here of the install I am working on in my vehicle. Ever since I bought the car I have been annoyed/disappointed with the factory stereo, for one thing it has a tape deck (why a car made in 2006 has a tape deck, is something that will forever confuse me). It also has no bluetooth, no GPS, no way to add an aux input except using a cassette type adaptor. All in all, its pretty limited. My options for replacing it were either an RNS-E ($800+) or an aftermarket unit (cost of aftermarket unit + approximately $200 in wiring to get it functional).



I have already replaced everything downstream of the head unit, starting with a JBL MS8, I then have a pair of Alpine amplifiers running all of my speakers. The sound is good, but just something about the original head unit always bugged me. On an Audi forum I am a member of, I recently saw someone had mentioned they were looking to install an iPad into their dash. That got the wheels turning, and before you know it. I was holding my wifes Kindle Fire up to the dash.



Since the fitment was good, I decided to go ahead with the project. Bought a 16GB Nexus 7, I went with the 16GB because I don't plan to store a whole lot on the tablet itself. I also started ordering a bunch of supplies that I would need:

Dash kit
12V DC-DC Regulator
Fuse Tap
OTG Cable
USB Hub
90 degree mini USB connector
Sabre USB-DAC

I thought about leaving the Nexus stock for a couple weeks, but after about a day rooted it and flashed with Timur's USB ROM. I removed my stock head unit from the car, plugged the JBL MS8 into the 3.5mm output, and nothing. I then realized that the MS8 currently gets a remote turn on signal from my OEM head unit. Currently I am trying to locate a switchable 12V somewhere, but likely will end up using the fuse tap.

Here is where things look so far:



The kit is not pushed all the way back in, this was really just for test fitment purposes. Since I don't yet have the fuse tap, I want to keep my OEM head unit in there for a couple more weeks. Mental note: If you think you are going to sneeze when using a Dremel, switch off the Dremel:



In order to get the Nexus to sit flush, I had to dremel off some material on the back of the dash kit. The scratch is only noticeable at certain angles, but I may well pick up another dash kit at some point. Once my 90 degree USB connector arrives I need to figure out which of the area's in red below I need to cut some away from. They are simply plastic, that I think help hold the stock head unit in place. So I should be able to cut a notch out for the USB cable to go through:



That's about the extent of my progress for now. As I am currently waiting on a few things to arrive in the mail. Ultimately I will have the Nexus semi permanent in the dash (I want to be able to remove it if parked in high crime areas), USB-OTG cable plugged in, then a USB hub, with the USB-DAC sending signal to the MS8, and an iPod flashed with Rockbox as external storage in the glovebox for music. I plan to use my cell phone and bluetooth tethering for streaming music / navigation. At some point I am also going to pick up a Connects2 harness and Joycon to retain my steering wheel controls, and am also keeping an eye on the useage of an easycap in order to add a back up cam.

OK, enough writing for now. Once I get some more progress made I will update the thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Awesome work so far, makes me miss my old a4! I've subscribed to keep up with your progress :)
Thanks, I had hoped to get some more done this weekend. But, ordered a mini USB 90 degree adapter by mistake. Now trying to source a micro USB 90 degree adapter instead, but it looks like I can only find them in China (14-30 day shipping to the US). Oh well. Maybe I will get everything delivered in the same week!
 

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Thanks, I had hoped to get some more done this weekend. But, ordered a mini USB 90 degree adapter by mistake. Now trying to source a micro USB 90 degree adapter instead, but it looks like I can only find them in China (14-30 day shipping to the US). Oh well. Maybe I will get everything delivered in the same week!
How many times did you bang your head against the wall for that one?!
Sucks...

It's funny how a seemingly easy project can turn to be so complicated. When I started mine, I knew it would a while, but not THIS long! It's challenging though... can't wait to see mine installed.

Keep up the good work and keep us posted!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It's funny how a seemingly easy project can turn to be so complicated. When I started mine, I knew it would a while, but not THIS long! It's challenging though... can't wait to see mine installed.
Yes, usually when I am working on something in the garage, I tell my wife on a Saturday morning "It should only take me about an hour" ... Sunday afternoon I end up being done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
USB OTG cable arrived yesterday, plugged into my laptop, then Nexus 7 and then plugged my iPod into the other end. Awesome!! 160GB of storage :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Had an issue that the USB hub I ordered was not playing nicely with my iPod. So after thinking about it some, I ended up selling the iPod and picked up a 64GB USB flash drive. Dumped the iPod as I rarely use it (use my phone when on my bike) and figured it would be a pain having to switch it on each time I wanted to listen to music.

Flash drive arrived today, so I immediately plugged it into the hub... nothing?? WTF. Unplugged it, plugged directly into the OTG cable, again nothing? Then I plugged it into my laptop which recognized it, so I again tried plugged into the USB Hub --> OTG Cable --> Nexus and success! Copied about 30GB of music over, plugged in again and all my music is now showing up.

90 degree micro USB adapter should hopefully arrive tomorrow (was in NY yesterday, and I am in VA). Fingers crossed it gets here tomorrow and I can start wiring things up while waiting on the last piece of the puzzle (USB-DAC).
 

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90 degree micro USB adapters arrived today, both work fine. My USB-DAC was also (sort of) delivered today. For some reason, despite me being home all day (I work from home on Mondays) they could not deliver it and left me a notice in my mailbox, and the earliest I can get there is Wednesday.

Edit: The post office called me and said I can collect it today, so of course I jumped in the car and drove down there. The USB-DAC is tiny, probably the size of a matchbox. I wanted to do some back to back comparisons, but realized my headphones are in the office.

The USB-HUB and Nexus showed the USB-DAC correctly, and my flash drive. What's odd though is that sometimes it acts as though it loses the connection to the hub (and so everything connected to it). I get the feeling I may have to pick up a powered USB hub, but will only know for sure once its wired into the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I posted this in Timur's ROM thread as a couple people in there were waiting on some feedback of how the USB-DAC sounds, but figure I would also copy it here:

My Sabre DAC arrived on Monday, while I have not yet hooked it up in the car, I have played with it some in the house. All I can say is.... WOW!!! Seriously, the little box blows me away. I plugged it into my laptop, then into my Onkyo amplifier driving a pair of Polk Monitor 70's in stereo mode. Turned the volume up almost full on my laptop (24 out of 25) and then set the amplifier to about 2/3 volume.

Started playing Lana Del Rey - Off to the Races, it sounds unbelievable. I then stopped the song, unplugged the DAC and plugged directly into my laptops 3.5mm output, same volume on laptop, amplifier and same song. It sounds sooooooooo flat, vocals are much flatter and not as focused, bass is nowhere near as good. If I was not working currently I would just go sit on the couch blasting music all afternoon.

I cannot wait to get this into my car now, I get the feeling paired with my JBL MS8 it is going to sound very impressive.

So, now apart from a couple pieces of wiring that I need (just to extend power wire) I have everything I need to get the Nexus installed. I may try to work on it a little this evening, at least trying to find a switchable 12v source in the trunk to turn my MS8 on. Currently the OEM head unit turns on the MS8, when I remove that, it does not turn on. So I may try to find a switchable 12v in the trunk for that this evening, and also see about cutting a slot for the USB cable to go through at the side of the Nexus.
 

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Hey,just posted an answer to your tasker issue on XDA.Let me know if you need more help but the photos should set you in the right direction.
Thanks, will check that out in a second. Started soldering wires together this evening, some of the USB ones are tough as they are so small. Hopefully all my connections are good. Sometime Sunday I hope to post a decent update.

Just read the xda post, those pictures were really helpful, installing the helper on secure settings did the trick, airplane mode right there.
 

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Hi naiku, I added your build log to my thread http://rootzwiki.com...ic/37755-timurs - hoping this is OK.
Timur
100% OK with me, thanks.

Bit of an update from today...

Safety first when working on the car.


Pulled out the glovebox, knee bolster on the drivers side and trunk trim in order to run wiring. I had to run a new remote turn on wire to my MS8 as there is no switchable 12v in the trunk. Power and ground to the fuse box area, and I wanted to run a USB extension into the glovebox for my flash drive.






For now I ended up removing the inline fuse that I was using behind the fuse box on the 12v going to the 12v regulator, I may add it again, but have it tapped into a fused circuit, so not sure I need to.

Here is how the trunk looks with everything put back together




The door on the MS8 stays closed, but the one that covers the sub goes inwards, so I can't use it. I fabricated a grill to go in place of the door, but am struggling to find any matching carpet to cover it with.

I got 99% of things working today, my ground wire to the USB hub needs to be re-done. The wires are so thin that the splice was not working, for now I just have them twisted together. I did get music playing through the MS8, and my USB flash drive was mounting fine. The other issue I am running into is when I turn off the ignition, the hub loses power instantly, causing the Nexus to give me a warning about improper removal of USB storage. I am trying to find out if there is a way to use Tasker to unmount the storage. But, I don't think I can get it to work, as the second the ignition goes off, the hub loses power. I may just have to manually unmount each time (which sucks).

The other thing is that I need to trim some more plastic to the right of the tablet, due to the 90 degree micro USB adapter, and charger cable, the dash trim does not seem to fit in properly. I am planning to finish these pieces up tomorrow, and then see how it does with my commute to work on Tuesday.
 

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You can keep your hub powered with a 12v timer. When ignition power goes off it will keep power for set time. Google it they are not that expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You can keep your hub powered with a 12v timer. When ignition power goes off it will keep power for set time. Google it they are not that expensive.
Thanks, I may take a look into those.

Another update from today, got 99% of things back together, but kept running into an issue that the sound kept cutting out. Turns out that because there is such tight space to the right of the tablet where the USB gets plugged in, when I push the dash trim into place, it pushes the cable to a slight angle which, while the power remains to the tablet, it must be moving the USB plug off the data pins as I lose the hub.

Tried dremelling a couple different spots, and re-routing the cable, but at the moment I am not sure how to get around it. It might be that I just need a bit of luck pushing it in, and then once it's set in the car, leave it. But, I want to be able to remove the tablet now and again (parked in bad areas etc) and don't want to then spend 20 minutes trying to get the USB back in smoothly and retain sound.

I also need to find some kind of block to put behind the tablet to push it forward some. At the moment there is about a 10mm gap at the top, the dash trim is at an almost vertical angle. While the piece the Nexus rests against is angled inwards at the top. While its useable like that, it looks like crap, and when I push the screen in certain area's it moves around slightly. Hopefully I can find something (maybe foam) to put behind it at the top just to lean it forward some until it sits flush with the trim.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Last update for the weekend, mostly working.



I glued a couple small pieces of foam at the top to push the Nexus outwards, I may add something to the bottom as well to make it sit a little more flush. Somewhat afraid to remove it at the moment though, due to the USB issue with the cable being knocked slightly causing it to lose connection. I do want to think of a solution though, as like I said, I want to be able to remove it from the car.

Took a quick test drive into town and back (about 30 miles of driving) audio / power did not cut out at all. Battery went from 78% when I left, and was back up to 83% when I got home. Spent half the time streaming music from the flash drive, the other half streaming over Slacker using Bluetooth tethered to my cell phone.

Next steps are to save up for a CAN-BUS interface, and then pick up a Joycon. Having had to change the volume via the screen, I want to use steering wheel controls. It's difficult to accurately adjust the volume, so I want the steering wheel option back. I also need to try and think of what to do with the USB. If I can find a charger cable with a shorter plug section, that may work as I can remove the 90 degree bend. But, most I have looked (I have 3 different kinds laying around the house) all have a similar length to them. I also need to re-calibrate my MS8, the center image is slightly off to the left with the Nexus. I am also likely going to refine my Tasker profiles at some point.

The one issue I did have after going for a drive, was that the Nexus froze when I got home. I am 99.9% sure it was my fault though. When I was running wires, I had the battery disconnected, which caused my key-fob remote to be out of sync with the car. To sync it back up, you put it in the ignition, turn the ignition on, push the lock button, then turn the ignition off again. I did this in fairly quick sequence, which I think caused Tasker to lock up as it was still powering everything on, when I removed power again. I had to pop the dash trim off, and reboot using the power button. Working fine now though (still need to sync the key).

Thanks Timur for the awesome ROM. I am looking forward to getting steering wheel controls, and then (maybe) a back up camera.
 

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so how/where are you guys getting these perfectly made bezels for the Nexus 7? Is the bezel what is holding the Nexus in place? What is holding the bezel on?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
so how/where are you guys getting these perfectly made bezels for the Nexus 7? Is the bezel what is holding the Nexus in place? What is holding the bezel on?
For me I just ordered a bezel that is made for a typical Double DIN head unit. Then I trimmed anything off the back to allow the Nexus to sit flush against it. What car do you have? most of them have something similar available? especially if you have room for a double DIN head unit.

Had some issues this morning... went to drive to work, turned on the ignition, and WTF, Nexus did not power on. It worked Sunday when I last used the car, and Tasker was working correctly in switching off the screen / wifi etc. I had read on another forum about the Nexus not liking the cold, so I need to look into that some more. After about 20 minutes of driving, I pulled over, popped off the dash kit and got the Nexus to boot. Battery had gone from 83% Sunday to 45%. The problem I then had was (see above, USB cable issue) I could not get everything back together with the USB cable in the right place. So no music for my 90 minute commute. That sucked.
 

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Spent my lunchbreak trying to get things sorted, but alas, the stupid USB cable getting pushed to angle caused me to give up (run out of time). I got music playing, but as soon as I went to put the dash back together, it cut out. I also think some of my soldering is causing me an issue, I am terrible at it, and with the USB hub wires being sooooooo thin I think the join on one is poor. So combine a poor solder with the USB angle issue, and you get my current position. I am sure with me unplugging things multiple times is not helping either.

I need a day off from work to spend time on this, looks like it will be a quiet commute home, and my new cable is not estimated to be delivered until Thursday. I am 99% sure the new cable will solve my biggest issue, and that is being able to easily get the tablet back into position without losing connection. The soldering issue I may see ifI can find someone better at it than I, and have them redo it for me.

Almost 8 hours of driving with no music is really going to stink.
 
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