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Debating Tablet In-dash install...

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  • Debating Tablet In-dash install...

    So my original plan for a new radio in my car was to buy a low end double din radio for around 350-400. Then I noticed some of the tablet installs that people started doing and I'm seriously considering doing this now, it helps that I already have a nook color at my disposal. I like the double din radio install because that's what I know having installed car electronics professionally for over 5 years and I can easily incorporate with steering wheel controls which I only recently have had the pleasure of having these in my personal vehicle and love them.

    Anyway, I'm pretty proficient in fabrication and how to best install car audio. One of my main issues is retaining "stock-like" appearance, which I can fabricate. I have always been intrigued by car-pc's but have never got into it because I believe they over-complicate setups and don't want to constantly maintain my system.( just my personal opinion). But I believe a tablet would be the perfect balance and am intrigued by android and everything it has to offer especially to in car entertainment.

    Here is a quick diagram of what I believe would be a decent setup from my research.

    Click image for larger version

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    I've been doing alot of research but am a little skeptical as to how good the sound quality is going to be from an EQ as I have always avoided using them in the past. It also helps that I had a eclipse cd7000 with a 11 band eq. I'm not an audiophile but can't stand any "noise" in my music and this is why I never used stand alone EQs.

    I guess I'm just kind of fishing for ideas, I am somewhat on a budget and have looked at the bit one and ms-8 but these are both out of my price range.

    Currently I already have the nook color, an mtx 4-channel, 10' mtx sub, stock speakers, and a few amps laying around if I need them.

    Any help would greatly be appreciated and I would definitely document my work and keep you updated. So sorry for ranting just want to get this right before I dive in.

    Retain steering wheel controls (understand this is a stretch, what I'm thinking is volume is feasible)
    Best way to get from nook color to amp ( EQ?? sound processor?? this is my main issue)
    Also is nook color the right option, want to stay 7 in ( nook tablet has a mic, acer has hdmi out...)

    Sorry for venting but you guys seem very knowledgeable on the subject and I know car audio and I know android just struggling a little connecting the two the best way.

  • #2
    overall, i think you have a very good grasp on all of it.

    the eq/sound processor is personal preference. i have seen setups go both ways... as a i sure you know, in theory, a eq/sound processor should never introduce any noise into the audio path... but reality is a little different once ground loops and other factors like power wire resistance come into play.

    as far as i know, there is not any way to directly control the volume control within the tablet through any add-on module. there are module's available for windows pc's, but none that i am aware of for android--so far...

    this is where the eq/processor comes into play-- as this becomes your primary volume and tone control(just leave the volume on the tablet at 100%).

    the other option is to use something like the jl audio cl-rlc-- a volume control preamp(search youtube for soundman car audio ipad installs--i'm not affiliated with them , but they used them extensively in many of their ipad installs). as a user of 4 of them(review link), i think they work great, but at $50 ea, they are not a option for everyone.

    overall, i think the eq is going to be your best option in terms of price and features. for a sound processor to equal that, you would need to step up to a model that has a external volume control-- i believe the bitone is the first option @ $900? anyways, back to the eq,i have started to develop a soft-spot for clarion units, as they always seem to have the features needed for tablet installs(usually have a basic 3-band eq, balance, fader, and volume--most other brands skip the balance/fader). while i have never used one of their eq's, i do use a clarion 18db/oct active x-over for my ipod input, and it has been very solid(if only i could get the settings right).
    My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
    "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"

    next project? subaru brz
    carpc undecided


    • #3
      the best way i know of to integrate stock audio controls into these setups is to use a single din aftermarket HU mounted behind the tablet or in a alternate location, add a steering wheel control module and that will give you volume, input, phone etc. also solves the problem of an amp and some of the equilizer settings. biggest issue i find with this is i lose my settings when the battery is disconnected, but it's not a huge problem and steering wheel controls take care of part of that

      other issue is that android doesn't support hands free bluetooth profile to another android device (so you can't use your tablet as a hands free for your phone) at least that i know of yet. having a deck that supports this takes care of that though as well for the most part. i've setup my phone to announce calls and SMS messages on bluetooth so i know who's trying to contact me though apps like tasker and ECID.

      there are some enthusiast developer hardware products like the adriuno boards for android if you feel like taking on a project but nothing plug and play that i know of right now.


      • #4
        I have also recently considered doing the tablet instead of the carpc. And the main reason is because it just seems so much more easier to manage. The problem is that there is no frontend software currently available for android, but Centrafuse is actually working on that right now, so stay tuned. I imagine that it will just be an app in the market once available. I think car PCs days are number (look at all the installs on youtube). The screens are so much better on tablets as oppose to the stand alones. I agree with the guy who said that your eq would control the volume, but just turn the volume all the way up on the tablet. Also agree with him about clarion. I bought the following clarion eq for $60 that got rave reviews. Also, most folk don't know, this eq also serves as a preamp. So dump the thought (if it's there) of buying the bitone. I've included some links that might be helpful and one of them is a damn good nook install. Hope this helps.

        Mustang tablet install

        Nook Install with EQ

        Clarion EQS746


        • #5
          Thanks for all the input guys, I'm leaning towards using the EQ but would prefer if the EQ were tucked away somewhere and I could just mount a simple volume control on the dash somewhere.

          I guess Ill have to keep thinking about this and figure out what I want, Ill keep you updated.


          • #6
            Im with you. I want the clarion eq, however i dont have room on my dash. I need a remote also.
            [ 2011 Nissan Altima 2.5 S | Dark Slate | CVT | HTC Evo View 4G In-Car Tablet | Interior LEDs | DDM 6000K ]
            [ Massive VK6 Front Stage | 3xJL W610 | Zapco AG750 | Alpine MRPF240 | Clarion EQS746 ]