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Thread: iPad Project in Land Rover Discovery

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    iPad Project in Land Rover Discovery

    I am posting here to discuss some technical details regarding an iPad installation in a 2004 Land Rover Discovery. I am replacing a long time tested MacMini installation that I have really enjoyed over the past years. Since the iPhone came out I have been waiting for this exact device to take its place. Turns out its 7.47" width will fit perfectly between the 7.5" dash trim that outline the 1 DIN opening on the Discovery. Using a fabricator friend of mine I already began designing/creating a very rugged mounting system that will be made from aluminum. The mount will actually be a full size 7x2 1 DIN box with an "arm" that will extend to securely hold the iPad. The mount will have a small amount of tilt adjustment but will have a cam that will allow it to rotate to landscape and lock in that position. I made a little rendered photo showing at the very least the proportions of the device on the dash. Anyway...on to the technical questions.

    My question stems around connections...mainly audio and power. My disco essentially has no head, just an AMP. I have two left/right RCA type audio inputs (existing behind the 1 DIN area) with no ability for volume control. I always relied on the volume control of the MacMini to handle that but that is obviously not possible going through the 30 pin connector in a line out manner. I assume that I will be essentially plugging in an 3.5 mm audio jack splitting to RCA for iPad controlled volume and then a 30 pin connector for power. Knowing this I obviously want to minimize the look of these cables. Does anyone make 90 degree angle 30 pin connectors to USB and 3.5mm audio jacks that are low profile? Regarding the power, what would be the best way to essentially hard wire a 30 pin connector with just power? I was thinking of basically gutting a cigarette lighter charger and hard wiring it but there has to be a USB based charging system that I can just provide 12v DC to and use a standard 30pin connector to USB cable.

    Again I am just asking for your knowledge...if possible try to avoid posting flames about how the iPad sucks as a CarPC and what not (found plenty of that in the other iPad threads) but please share your constructive comments and ideas. I am really excited about this project and I think its going to work perfectly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoNomad View Post
    I am posting here to discuss some technical details regarding an iPad installation in a 2004 Land Rover Discovery. I am replacing a long time tested MacMini installation that I have really enjoyed over the past years. Since the iPhone came out I have been waiting for this exact device to take its place. Turns out its 7.47" width will fit perfectly between the 7.5" dash trim that outline the 1 DIN opening on the Discovery. Using a fabricator friend of mine I already began designing/creating a very rugged mounting system that will be made from aluminum. The mount will actually be a full size 7x2 1 DIN box with an "arm" that will extend to securely hold the iPad. The mount will have a small amount of tilt adjustment but will have a cam that will allow it to rotate to landscape and lock in that position. I made a little rendered photo showing at the very least the proportions of the device on the dash. Anyway...on to the technical questions.

    My question stems around connections...mainly audio and power. My disco essentially has no head, just an AMP. I have two left/right RCA type audio inputs (existing behind the 1 DIN area) with no ability for volume control. I always relied on the volume control of the MacMini to handle that but that is obviously not possible going through the 30 pin connector in a line out manner. I assume that I will be essentially plugging in an 3.5 mm audio jack splitting to RCA for iPad controlled volume and then a 30 pin connector for power. Knowing this I obviously want to minimize the look of these cables. Does anyone make 90 degree angle 30 pin connectors to USB and 3.5mm audio jacks that are low profile? Regarding the power, what would be the best way to essentially hard wire a 30 pin connector with just power? I was thinking of basically gutting a cigarette lighter charger and hard wiring it but there has to be a USB based charging system that I can just provide 12v DC to and use a standard 30pin connector to USB cable.

    Again I am just asking for your knowledge...if possible try to avoid posting flames about how the iPad sucks as a CarPC and what not (found plenty of that in the other iPad threads) but please share your constructive comments and ideas. I am really excited about this project and I think its going to work perfectly.

    Name:  iPad in Disco.jpg
Views: 24332
Size:  231.8 KB
    I will do some digging around on this as well. Oddly enough, I have an '03 Disco and was looking at doing a car pc, but I am just not impressed with the components out there to do this. Yet. I wonder what the brightness on the iPad's display will be? BTW, great build on your truck. How do you like the Hannibal rack?

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    Thank you. It's great. I think that the 1 DIN mount is the way to go because it will be the most secure method. Any help is appreciated.

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    You'll need to know if the iPad outputs audio as either line out or it will adjust the volume.
    The 30 pin connector cable with audio/video on my iPhone functions as line out while the headphone jack can adjust the volume.

    However, I have recently begun using a bluetooth A2DP device that I found for $12. It pairs with the iPhone and has a headphone jack on it. I plugged a headphone to RCA cable into it and ran it to my head unit. Now, I have the ability to adjust volume and the connection is wireless. So, that could be a solution for you.

    Otherwise, a line level pre-amp and volume potentiometer are probably what you would need.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

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    I already know that I will have to use the headphone out port on the iPad as when in line out mode you don't have the ability to adjust volume. How is the audio quality of the Bluetooth method? Could you give me the name of the device you use?

    Thank you

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    I would use the line out mode and a quality small preamp, like JL-Audio CL-RLC.

    Do you plan to use an external HD for storage? Also, don't you plan to use the dock? You could keep all your connections there, say in the glove compartment, you'd just need a cable from your mount to the dock.

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    Having had some experience with mounting tablets in cars(~15 years), I would recommend you change your plan for the mount. I briefly looked at the iPad dock and its perfect (with some mods/fab) to use as your mount and it will hide all your cables. I did this with the dock for my tablets and disconnected and disassembled the base so I could stuff it inside the dash. All my connectors mate to the dock inside the dash - clean, compact, rotates solid, and tablet is more secure/accessible than anything I could have built myself.
    HARDWARE: Fujitsu Stylistic ST5111w/WiFi and dock, internal Hitachi 500G HD, external 1TB HD, Sierra Wireless Aircard 550, DVD-RW, BoomzBox HD radio, XM Commander, Delorme GPS, Saitek X-52 Pro joystick, BluSoleil Bluetooth, TPMS, FB, Elm327

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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoNomad View Post
    I already know that I will have to use the headphone out port on the iPad as when in line out mode you don't have the ability to adjust volume. How is the audio quality of the Bluetooth method? Could you give me the name of the device you use?

    Thank you
    I'm not picky about audio quality but for $13 you cannot go wrong. It sounds just fine to me. I'm sure it lacks some type of high end or low end quality, but it's pretty good.

    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.8422

    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

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    I like the idea of a remote dock using a line out solution. I also like the idea of the JL pre amp...just need to find a place to mount the volume knob in an attractive way. The only thing left unanswered is the cable issue. I'm still looking for low profile 30 pin cables that preferably have 90 degree connectors.

    Thanks again

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    Another amp option...

    I always like the Amplirider I had on my BMW. Gary makes a great little product: http://www.electric-avenues.com/amplirider.html

    Of course, not motorcycle specific

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