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Thread: HTC Evo View 4G installed as the headunit in 1993 Mazda Rx-7

  1. #1
    Newbie theorie's Avatar
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    Talking 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:


    More 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.
    Last edited by theorie; 01-16-2012 at 11:26 AM.

  2. #2
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    Love the tablet and love the install man keep up the good work.
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  3. #3
    Newbie theorie's Avatar
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    I should also mention how I'm planning on powering the unit.

    I have a 2.1 amp USB car charger that I picked up for $10 - I'm going to take it apart and hard-wire in behind the tablet mount. I already have switched power run for the original head unit so I'll use that as the source (no need to introduce additional relays). I also ordered one of these right-angle microUSB adapters (about $2 shipped) to plug into the tablet since space on either side of the tablet is limited:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/180753719864
    Name:  cab-uni005_1_ct.jpg
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    I should also mention the reason why I decided on this particular tablet, besides being the perfect size:
    • it's a name-brand device with lots of development support
    • it has a microphone for voice commands
    • GPS for turn-by-turn navigation
    • a landscape-oriented front-facing camera (on-the-road video chat? is that safe!?)
    • no physical buttons on the front (I hate physical buttons)
    • 32gb internal memory plus a microSD card slot


    I'm really looking forward to using the device for streaming music and GPS navigation, but I also want to use it as a GPS/gyro performance recorder (Clockwork AutoLogger) for some track events later in the year. I know there

  4. #4
    Super Moderator. If my typing sucks it's probably because I'm driving.... turbocad6's Avatar
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    I used the same tablet in my install, same like you rooted and running HC, although so far I think I actually like gingerbread better in the car. and like you I also started with a flyer then switched to the view for the black case. just a tip, these tablets, even though they can run and charge with 5v usb, they consume more power than that when really running everything. the HTC charger is actually 9V 1.2a, you should pick up an htc car charger to really be able to use this with nav and everything while still fully charging, otherwise you will get error msg that the device is consuming more power than the charge can supply.

    another tip. you can use the HTC HDMI adapter, which will not only give you a way to charge but also extract audio from just the one connection on the right usb port. otherwise you will ned to have a pin in both left for audio and right for charge, making removal and install a *****, you'll have to remove your bezel each time you want to dock/undock. with the HTC hdmi adapter you can just plug the one side in & pivot the tablet in and out. good luck with it

  5. #5
    Super Moderator. If my typing sucks it's probably because I'm driving.... turbocad6's Avatar
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    one more thing that might help. I too had clearance problems at the plug end but to use the hdmi adapter you can't use a right angle adapter because it's more than just standard usb, so what I did was modify the plug end from this hdmi adapter to where I was able to get a pretty tight bend similar to a right angle adapter. I just cut the rubber off around the plug that goes into the tablet and was able to bend the wires right past the metal shield. unfortunately I didn't really get any photos of any of this before sealing it all up

  6. #6
    Newbie theorie's Avatar
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    I have one of the USB/HDMI adapters but I suppose I would need to look up the pin-out for the HDMI plug. I do like the idea of using one plug instead of two...thanks for the suggestions.

  7. #7
    Newbie theorie's Avatar
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    This is the HDMI adapter I have:

    http://www.google.com/products/catal...d=0CKIBEPMCMAc

    I tried connecting it to my TV with an HDMI cable but I can't seem to figure out how to get it to actually output video/audio. I have the USB power charger plugged into the adapter, and the device says its charging, but there's no video/audio being output to the TV...suggestions?

  8. #8
    Super Moderator. If my typing sucks it's probably because I'm driving.... turbocad6's Avatar
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    you don't have to look up anything with the hdmi wiring or screw with that at all. I would recommend you get the original htc one. HTC ac m500. most of them do not have an additional headphone jack built in to this adapter but this particular one does: http://www.ebay.com/itm/HTC-AC-M500-...item19ccce244d

    all the others and the aftermarket ones just suck. with the one I listed it just works, hdmi outputs when simply plugged in. some of the original HTC ones even do not have the headphone jack which is what you def need. you will have no use for the actual hdmi output in the car but even with no hdmi connection at all, it still outputs sound and charges through the one mhl port with this particular adapter. beware of the cheaper HTC ones just like this but are like $25, they don't have the headphone jack. from what I see the black ones don't have the headphone jack and the white one does. I'm not 100% sure of this fact but everything I see on the net indicates this, never seen a picture of a black one with the headphone jack.

  9. #9
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    awesome car man, super clean and under 60k original miles?! wow. i was doing a dell streak install in my truck but abandoned the project for a dedicated double din android unit after having alot of issues.

    good to hear you got the volume cotrols sorted out, i hated changing the volume through the GUI. one thing i had issues with is i couldn't set a rom that would allow me to boot when on external power so my tablet battery would often die during the night and i would have to manually power it on the next time i started up my truck. haven't done any research on the HTC unit but i know some cyanogenmod roms support that feature so hopefully it works out for you. not sure if your into any games but i was able to run emulated N64 and playstation classics on mine with a PS3 controller and honeycomb natively supports xbox controllers. the new PS3 controller app supports touch screen games as well now too.

  10. #10
    MySQL Error scott_fx's Avatar
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    love that car! nice install too. have you seen the hvac relocation mod? you could (potentially) put your apexi unit above your htc
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