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Thread: About to do Nexus 7 Install on 2008 Smart... some advice, please?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013

    About to do Nexus 7 Install on 2008 Smart... some advice, please?

    Hi, after reading lots of forums like this one about doing a "Car PC " Type install, I was inspired to go the Nexus 7 route and just picked up a collection of goodies...

    • Nexus 7
    • DEI DMHD1000i Am/Fm/Hd Tuner with USB cable connection
    • Rear View Camera
    • Video to USB adapter (I already own one that I think will work, if not, I will get the one that everyone talks about online)
    • Powered OTG Hub
    • OBDII Bluetooth Dongle
    • I haven't purchased one, yet, but I will get an Amp.

    Right now it looks like I will try to play with Torque, Tasker and CarHome Ultra

    I have wanted to do this forever, and finally decided to just go for it. I currently have a Double-Din Pioneer CD radio with GPS. (I forget the model at the moment, but I hated it since the day I bought it several years ago. I actually went into the hospital with Viral Meningitis the day I bought that head unit... I blame my illness on my poor decision. :-))

    My goals are to have:
    Text / Email (I have wifi tethering on my cell phone)
    Web Browsing (why not?)

    I am curious about a few things that I hoped I could get some advice on:

    If I root the Nexus 7 (to get the usb stuff to work, right?) will I lose any of the native aps that come with the Nexus 7?
    What software do I need to control the DEI 1000i tuner?

    A lot of people talk about using an audio DAC. I am curious why people do this as opposed to just using the headphone jack? Is the audio quality that much better or is there another reason??

    I would like to route AUX audio from, say, a friend's cell phone through system... is there a way to do this via the Nexus7 or do I need some in-line interface for this? (Perhaps this is why some people use the DAC?) I know they make USB controlled Switching units out there - I suppose I could rig some kind of external usb-controlled switch to switch the audio - or build an Arduino based something or other keeping control on the Nexus? Food for thought.

    Lastly (for now) has anyone found something that will allow for using the Nexus7 as a Bluetooth audio interface for phones yet?

    Thank you very much! Jay

  2. #2
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    I'll answer what I can.
    Quote Originally Posted by SmartSystem View Post
    If I root the Nexus 7 (to get the usb stuff to work, right?) will I lose any of the native aps that come with the Nexus 7?

    A lot of people talk about using an audio DAC. I am curious why people do this as opposed to just using the headphone jack? Is the audio quality that much better or is there another reason??
    A dedicated Digital-to-Analog Convertor will take that load off the device, improving sound quality substantially.
    Never mind that the hardware in a standalone DAC will be superior to whatever your Nexus uses, be it software or inexpensive hardware.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?

    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate besjr69's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    I recently read an article where you can have the FM radio functionality. You just have to ensure you are rooted, and flash a kernel that supports FTDI drivers. I believe I read the article on this forum. If not, check out the rootzwiki forum. Good luck on your project. I've been using an N7 as my HU for over a year and love it.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Hi Darque, thank you for the reply.

    I was pretty much under the impression that the DAC was for quality issues, but I was having trouble believing that the inexpensive DACs that I see people using could be that much better than whatever was built into the tablet. I am very familiar, for instance, with Behringer products in the pro audio world and they are pretty much known for being bottom of the barrel, " I don't have enough money to get the better brand technology, so I'll use a Behringer" (not that I haven't owned several Behringer products but again, I didn't think it would be better than the tab hardware.)


    I also wondered if any of the programs out there can take advantage of a DACs input, routing AUX audio through the tablet?

    lastly, same question: I picked up the newest Nexus 7which seems to support audio IN through its headphone jack. anyone know if I can use that for "aux in" (though assuming it would mono)

    thank you, jason

  5. #5
    Newbie BennY-'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Germany, Cologne
    There are some nice Threads about Nexus installs in the forum here, just search for Nexus in Title, i would read them to learn from the others.
    For example, someone had the problem, that after 1year of usage the usb connector of the nexus was broken (maybe cause of vibration). So if you want to make a fixed install ensure to fix the cable. (maybe use hotglue, to attach it to the nexus)

    For Nexus7 2013, i would go full wireless, add Qi-Station behind the nexus for loading, and use bluetooth/airplay streaming to get audio to the hifisystem.

    to get audio from phone to tablet you can use DLNA Software (renderer on nexus, client/server on phone), or maybe bluetooth streaming, too.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Hi Benny, thanks.

    I have nearly all of the components ready to go, but I have not started the work, yet.

    For simplicity, I have toyed with the idea of using a Bluetooth audio adapter in the car and just running the audio from the nexus, phone, or whatever directly to that. The issue is that switching multiple devices won't be easy or "clean.". I haven't seen too many decent Bluetooth audio interfaces that have, say, a built-in lcd screen with multi device pairing at my fingertips.

    I have a device called an Auris that I bought off Kickstarter some time ago that connects to the dock of a speaker system and receives audio via BT. Funny thing is that the device, while meant for music, has a built in mic that let's it work with a phone. Pairing, however is done by pressing and holding its power button. Not very user friendly when in a car. It more or less works just like any Bt headset.

    Second problem, of course, would be for BT phone calls, this won't work... as it won't cut in over the music.

    Another thought I had was to use an audio switcher... maybe something that had some kind of "talk over feature" which would override the main audio source when a secondary one comes aloud... connect a BT for the phone to that "talk over input."

    As for fidelity, I'm putting this in a Smart car... it has only front speakers (it has only a front) and a subwoofer under the seat. I'm happy with decent quality sound for this car, don't need "HiFi" sound. So for me, I may be just fine with Headphone out for Nexus audio (though I already picked up a DAC.

    The last of my great thoughts is that if there was some way to get the Nexus to route live audio in (via DAC as I imagine the mic input on the new nexus is only mono) straight to the output (volume control would be nice), then I could use a stand-alone BT receiver connected through the nexus and just manually switch over when a call comes in.

    I'm not sure if this audio routing exists, but I do some programming and will see if I can write something if necessary.

    Thank you,


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    2 other things...

    I didn't know about the Qi charging at first, but when I read that, I was thinking that may be a good way to charge. in addition, I was imagining my making a custom Housing around the USB cable so it is supported by the entire side of the Nexus out of epoxy or this plastic I have that you warm and mold ( summer temps might soften that though)... picture what a simple dock might look like, but I put IT on the tablet... I envision making my Double Din mount open kind of like a cassette player so I can remove the Nexus at will... whatever "pocket" I create would hold and support that "USB dock" piece I would make.


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