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Nexus 7 Sony App radio Install Tacoma

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  • Nexus 7 Sony App radio Install Tacoma

    I have had a ton of other setups in the Tacoma, and this one just performs the best for my needs without a doubt. I started with a full Nexus 7 setup, ditching the head unit, and using a small internal amp. This setup failed because I had no Fm Radio, and I could not remove the tablet easily to update and make changes. To counter this I installed back in a head unit into the system, and put the tablet on a mount, however the FM radio felt too disconnected, and the mount I used was too bulky. I felt like I was using either the head unit or the tablet, but not both. I then fell onto the idea of SDR radio. I tried to use this option, but bad feedback and failing drivers made the setup unusable. I then moved onto ditching the tablet and using the Appradio 2, ARLiberator setup, mimicking my phones screen on the head unit. This setup was the worst for me, I had snow issues and could not get a constant feed to the unit, the app failed to connect very often, and keeping the phone charged was near impossible. Overall it was very clunky and not very reliable/usable. All these setups didn't last for over a month and all of their failures led me to this simple elegant solution:

    I now use a nexus 7 with Timurs USB Rom, and a Sony MEX-BT4100P head unit. I use the Sony app remote to control the head unit from the tablet. USB Rom does a great job of controlling start up and shutdown of the tablet. I lose about 2-3% battery life over night and I recover that within about 10 minutes of driving (this is with all connections and screen at full brightness). The radio connects to the tablet and phone simultaneously. All audio from the tablet is streamed over the bluetooth connection to the head unit. Also, by using the media bluetooth connection this allowed me to control the tablet with the steering wheel controls (SWC-->head unit-->tablet). This setup is reliable, practical, and safe and I am very happy with it.

    Links:
    Link to Timur's USB Rom
    Sony MEX-BT4100P
    Sony App Remote
    Power Supply
    Mount information




    Completed install



    Install progress from start to finish:

    First thing I did was install the 5 volt 10 amp power supply underneath the drink holders along with a relay for it to turn on when the car turns on. 12 volt input comes straight from the battery into the relay then to the power supply. 5 volt output from the power supply goes to fuse distribution block and then up to the tablet. I used the head unit on signal to control the relay. At the top of the picture is the master on off switch I put in for the power supply. The switch is a 3 way rocker allowing me to keep it in a full off position, a position where it turns on the relay based on ignition, and a position where it keeps the system always on weather the car is on or off.


    Next I modded the Nexus a bit. I got rid of the speakers on the tablet and bent up the USB so that it would poke out the speaker grill. I put some glue on the USB to keep it pointed up rigidly. I did all this to make the final install look more simplistic. By keeping the connection out of the back, the tablet almost appears floating and no bulky docks or wires are seen at all.


    I also attached an old mount face to the tablet using rivets. I used rivets because it hardly intrudes into the internals of the tablet allowing me to put the back cover back on without a hitch. On top of the old mount face I attached a ram mount ball pivot. I purposefully made the head unit removable and purposefully made it in the position that it is in. Being just off to the right of my steering wheel and right at gauge level makes the tablet very easy to use. I am not reaching over uncomfortably trying to get to the unit (like I so often did when in my previous setups that had the nexus directly in place of the head unit). Also it is in a very safe position to quickly look at the unit and gain information. By having the steering wheel buttons hooked up, I hardly even have to touch the tablet anymore allowing me to keep my hands on the wheel most of the time.




    Next I modded an old single din I had. I gutted it, and then installed a usb hub and a switch for the tablet. I have since gotten rid of the hub since I didnt need it. I added some quick connects to the power feeds so I can pull it in and out of the dash with ease.


    I created a wooden face plate and attached another ram mount ball. I used standoffs so it would protrude out far enough for me too add an arm to. I put a felt cover over it all to make it look cleaner, then attached it to the single din. Then I put the cover back on the single din and bolted it all up




    Placed it in the dash and called it a done deal

    Last edited by Lankin; 06-24-2013, 12:18 PM.
    2011 Tacoma Nexus 7 App Radio Install

    1993 Lincoln town car Carputer Project

  • #2
    That's one way to get it done. Do you stream Bluetooth or get noise from charging and playing music.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2

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    • #3
      I stream Bluetooth audio from the tablet to the unit. I get absolutely no interference from charging while playing music. I know this is a little too simple of a build for mp3car but it really just works and I love it.

      Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
      2011 Tacoma Nexus 7 App Radio Install

      1993 Lincoln town car Carputer Project

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      • #4
        Updated the first post to add more detailed information about the setup as well as reference links.
        2011 Tacoma Nexus 7 App Radio Install

        1993 Lincoln town car Carputer Project

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        • #5
          Neat! I'm doing much the same in my Tacoma, but I built the mount into the front double cupholder. I have a 10.1 Asus VivoTab, and I wanted it down a little bit in the cab. Yes, it makes getting to the AC controls a bit of a stretch, but other than that, I really like it. I have used the BT audio connection to my Kenwood, but more often than not I just connect the 3.5 audio jack. I also gave some thought to power, but I'm just not in the vehicle long enough to ever drain the tablet. The Droid Razr I tether to is the problem child when it comes to battery life, but I figure a 7500mah external battery ought to solve that issue.

          Of course, the Vivotab is Win8, so I can run Centrafuse as my standard frontend, and still access any market apps as needed with a swipe.

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          • #6
            That's awesome. I thought about utilizing the front cup holder area a lot, seeing as it's so easy to mod with the whole unit being removable. But ultimately I decided I actually use those cup holders a lot so I had to find another way. I was able to bring power into the car very easily using a 10 gauge wire through a vent tube kind of thing. It's right under the glove box against the fire wall. See picture below. So if you are thinking about adding power from the battery, its really is not complicated to do, you could even fit the power inverter under the cup holders just like I did and probably not have to change your setup. You can see the pictures below to see where I brought power in from.



            2011 Tacoma Nexus 7 App Radio Install

            1993 Lincoln town car Carputer Project

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            • #7
              Here's a quick pic of my rig:

              Click image for larger version

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              Kenwood KDC-BT755HD
              BT mic with remote radar detector display in tray below
              Asus VivoTab running Win8 Pro (that's a Sirius/XM streaming app running in Centrafuse, not a Sirius/XM hardware radio)
              You can see the audio cable on the right side.

              VegasGuy

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              • #8
                Can you guys make phone calls through the tablet?

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                • #9
                  I don't. The Kenwood handles the Bluetooth, and very well I might add. Caller ID displays on the HU display.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bmr4life View Post
                    Can you guys make phone calls through the tablet?
                    With the Sony app on the tablet, you have limited control over phone calls. You can answer phone calls through the tablet, as well as dial favorites. This can also be done just as easily using the hard buttons on the head unit. I show a little bit of this in the video. Unfortunately full dialpad/phonebook accessibility is not available. I wish they would make an update to the app which would allow this function. But all in all I find it more than useful enough for my everyday needs...
                    2011 Tacoma Nexus 7 App Radio Install

                    1993 Lincoln town car Carputer Project

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                    • #11
                      I really like your setup. The only thing Im wondering about is, if police have a problem with tablets like they do with phones. Looks like a ticket waiting to happen and the only thing stopping me.

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                      • #12
                        I know for a fact in MD it is LEGAL to use your phone's GPS while driving and so I would assume it would apply to tablet's as well. So worst comes to worst i just pull up the map when I get pulled over haha. I am going to go out on a limb though and say I really don't think their are any laws in MD pertaining to the use of tablet's while driving. The laws they do have are directed towards cell phones and are specific to talking, or texting while driving. Using GPS on phone's is absolutely LEGAL. And as of now the phone law's are a secondary offense, meaning you would have to be doing something else in the first place to get pulled over.

                        Like I said though, I really don't think there are any tablet specific laws..........and ultimately, I just don't care haha. If for some crazy reason the tablet ever causes me trouble with the law then I might start caring...a little.
                        2011 Tacoma Nexus 7 App Radio Install

                        1993 Lincoln town car Carputer Project

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think the closer the control is to the driver, the safer. But Iv heard of a situation in Canada where the police briefly saw a phone in the drivers hand and he got a $200 fine immediately. No speeding or any other offense.

                          It just depends on where you are and how much of a *** the cop wants to be.

                          Im guessing within 10 years or less. Everything used in your car will be required to be voice activated or much easier to navigate. The technology is already there. There just milking the consumer for what its worth before they hand it over.

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                          • #14
                            Hi,
                            Just signed up to this forum because I've been looking for a solution like this for AGES, but haven't been having much luck.

                            I have a Jaguar XJR, with a weirdly shaped factory headunit, so I have been looking at ways to swap it out and have some sort of screen based control instead. Ideally, all I want to see is a screen, and not the headunit at all.

                            I've tried Alpine units, but had no luck, and thought about the carpc route, but 99% of the time all I listen to in the car is FM radio (we don't get satelite radio in New Zealand ), and I haven't seen any proper solutions for this yet. Plus I like the simplicity and function of 'normal' headunits.

                            I've been doing some research, and have found a couple of options, like MirrorLink, and the Pioneer AppRadio, but the Sony App Remote looks to do this the best. I'm going to talk to some local installers tomorrow, and hopefully I will get to try out a couple of options, but I have a few questions I thought you might be able to help me out with as well:

                            The functionality looks perfect, except for a couple of things. Do you have to press the button on the headunit to sync the tablet every time you get in the car? This seems like a hassle, albeit a small one. Just wondering if the steering wheel controls provide a way to do the same thing? What I'm thinking is you could use a steering wheel button to do this? Or even custom make your own control box that sends the appropriate signal to the headunit when it is powered on? I've seen some guys on here using Arduino thing to do this sort of thing with Alpine units, but I'm not sure how it all works.

                            Next is the tuner section. It looks pretty bland for a start. Do you know if there are background screens available, or are you stuck with that? Also, do you have to press the source button on the headunit to go back to the home screen, or is there a button in the tablet you can use? I'm hoping to get away with just having the screen visible in my car, and never having to touch the headunit at all. Really, I only want the headunit for radio reception, and the tablet and steering wheel controls to control everything.

                            Any help would be greatly appreciated

                            Thanks, Glen

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                            • #15
                              Grandell,

                              I'll be straight forward with you. You have to press the button and there is no way to do it with the steering wheel controls. I have emailed Sony, and even reviewed the app requesting for their to be a way for it to automatically do this, but have gotten no response. And the tuner is what it is. Can't change the background, can't change the layout. I have also asked them to change this to at least show the preset buttons. The other thing I don't like is the phone call page. I wish it could show recent calls or the phone book or something. It is still the best solution out there so far in my opinion, and I really love my setup, but obviously it has room for improvements.

                              If you find a good solution, or a better setup let me know. And feel free to ask any other questions you have.


                              UPDATE: GO TO POST 52 FOR SOLUTION ON HOW TO GET AROUND HAVING TO PRESS THE BUTTON TO ESTABLISH APP CONTROL.
                              Last edited by Lankin; 03-07-2014, 01:03 AM.
                              2011 Tacoma Nexus 7 App Radio Install

                              1993 Lincoln town car Carputer Project

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