HTC Evo View 4G installed as the headunit in 1993 Mazda Rx-7
Hi everyone, theorie here. I'm new to the forum but not new to the whole mp3car thing. Just Thought I would register and share my project to get some feedback/suggestions as it comes along. Up front I should say sorry for some of the low-quality photos. Some photos were taken with my Canon 7D, while others are from my cell phone.
I have a 1993 Mazda Rx-7 with just under 60k original miles on it. This is my second 3rd-gen Rx-7, which I bought near-stock a few years ago. I do all the work myself except some of the fabrication. I have a rather long, build log going on over on CarDomain for anyone interested in the rest of the history. I also have a build log on Rx7Club if anyone happens to be a member over there.
I was never really concerned with the stereo system in my car so I neglected to repair or upgrade it after the factory Bose amplifiers started dying. The car had an Alpine head unit installed by the previous owner, but since only 1 speaker worked it was really pointless to listen to it. I leave this car in FL during the winter months so twice a year I make the 1200 mile, 20 hour drive. This last trip my girlfriend insisted that I fix the speakers so we can actually listen to music, so I installed some Alpine 6.5" speakers in the doors and some Kicker 5"x7" speakers in the B-pillars. I had an Alpine 4-channel amplifier laying around so I installed it in the trunk behind one of the interior plastics, so it's nice and hidden. Some pics of the amp mounting:
At first I just used my HTC Sensation cell phone to play music in the car. I connected it to the Alpine amp using a 3.5mm jack -to- stereo RCA cable. Next I connected a stereo RCA level controller so I can adjust volume using a physical knob like a normal stereo. Then ran a stereo RCA cable to the trunk, where I put Y-splitters on both channels. This way the Left-Front and Left-Rear have the same input, and Right-Front and Right-Rear have the same input. I then adjusted the amplifier's front and rear channels until I got the right sound.
I set the device's volume set to 1-click below full volume (about 90%). Then I turned the level controller knob all the way up to full-volume, and then adjusted the amplifier's gain to the maximum loudness I would want. This way, I when the RCA level controller knob is all the way down, the stereo is muted, and when it's all the way up, it's at maximum volume. I know people might nit-pick about interference and such with this simple setup, but you need to realize that my car is pretty loud due to having a built and ported engine, 3" exhaust, and no catalytic converters.
Previously the car was making 380 horses to the wheels at 14psi using the stock twin-turbos modified for non-sequential operation - the car only weighs about 2800lbs, so at this power level the car was running 1/4-mile times in the 11 second range. At the moment, the car is having a custom dual-wastegate manifold fabricated as part of a new single-turbo setup, with a Borg Warner S366 turbo that will allow me to push more boost and make more power - aiming for 450+ to the wheels on pump gas. While the car is taken apart, I decided to do something more permanent for the head unit setup, but I wanted to do something a little different. I was at BestBuy playing with the HTC Flyer 7" Android tablet when I realized it seemed to be very close to the double-DIN head unit size. I checked the measurements and low and behold it was almost exactly the right size, so I bought one. Just holding it up to the double-DIN opening in the dash, you can see it's a near-perfect fit:
After I got it, I found out that there was a black-case version called the HTC Evo View 4G sold by Sprint, but it also included 4G as the name implies. So I sold the Flyer and bought the Sprint version for $225 brand new without contract. I rooted the tablet and made it s-OFF, then installed ClockworkMod Recovery and Android Honeycomb. I'm running the CleverNameHere ROM for those who are interested.
I want the tablet to be semi-removable (just sometimes...I won't take it out very often), so I picked up a hard plastic snap-case for $8 shipped on eBay, and I also bought an extra center dash panel for only $30 shipped because it was missing a mounting tab. I'm not really an expert with this part of it, but here's what I've done so far: I cut the opening larger using my Dremel and then used KwikPlastik putty to spot-mount the tablet. Once I had it in place, I went around the edge with more KwikPlastik. I really want this thing to be one solid piece, so I then covered the whole thing with a ton of Plastic Welder epoxy. Here are some photos of these steps:
Cutting the opening about 1/4" larger on the bottom & left side:
Looks about right:
Plastic Weld epoxy & KwikPlastik putty that I used:
Spot-tacking the hard shell into place using the putty:
Obviously the KwikPlastik putty isn't enough structural support, but it will serve as the initial mounting structure for the tablet mount before everything is solidified into one piece.
Here's how it looks so far, still need to reinforce the mount using the epoxy:
Once I knew the tablet was properly flush with the dash panel, I used the epoxy to bond everything together. This Plastic Weld epoxy works great because it slightly melts the plastic and fuses everything together. It's not pretty, but it certainly gets the job done. I'll post photos of those later, as the piece is still drying. The next step will be to sand the entire piece, Bondo the front side, sand it down so I have a nice bevel around the tablet, then prime and paint the thing to match my black interior finish.
That's the progress so far, I'll updated the thread as it comes along. If anyone has any suggestions feel free to share.