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Thread: '05 Xterra OffRoad Install w PICS! (56k=computer fail)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    '05 Xterra OffRoad Install w PICS! (56k=computer fail)

    So I finally finished installing my F700BT with Artec T3AP Pro. I previously had a Pioneer single din cd player equipped with bluetooth audio streaming, a feature I DEARLY miss on my F700, but wanted a double din touchscreen for more media options. Comp-u-plus was selling brand-new F700bt's for $376 shipped so I jumped on it! I'll describe the install with the following pics...

    Here's the dtv tuner. It was shipped free with the government coupon. Very small and has lots of functions. I wanted to make this a mostly-stealth install so hiding the unit in my Xterra's second glovebox meant moving the remote sensor.

    I used a 1/2" drill bit to make holes in the back of the glovebox, then finished off the openings with some sharp nippers.

    I used some very sharp fingernail clippers to gently remove the remote sensor while leaving the pins mounted to the circuit board.

    This was my first time using a soldering iron, so be nice if it doesn't look pretty ops: A simple connection with small guage speaker wire only took a few minutes. You can see the blue LED to the right of the 3 pins.

    All wired up and ready for taping. I carefully used electrical tape to wrap around each of the 3 pin terminals, then taped around the entire thing and along 2 inches of the wire for support.

    The tuner put back you can see the hole I drilled above the data port for the RS (remote sensor) wires to pass through. I attached a small zip tie around the wires just inside of the unit to keep them from being pulled off the soldered terminals.

    Attaching the RS to the back of the switch panel. A small drill bit was used to make the opening for the usb port, and make a small hole for the RS to see through. I stuffed some foam in behind it and secured with tape and zip ties.

    It has some scratches from the drilling, but I might use bondo spot filler to smooth it out and then paint to match the rest of the switches.

    On the left you see the usb cable and RS wires leaving the back of the switch panel. On the right I used wire taps to get power from one of the cigg lighter plugs for the Artec tuner. I simply cut off the cigg lighter plug from the Artec's power cable then made the connection. No need for a power converter since this unit is 12v.

    This is the Black and Decker 400watt power inverter I use for the the amplified antennas. After cutting off the cigg power plug from the supplied power cables I soldered on some smaller guage wire. Then used wire taps to get power from the cigg lighter that's inside my center console.

    Here it is installed with a common indoor extension cable ran under the carpet to the rear cargo area to power the antennas. There's still one more grounded plug available, along with a usb port, to use in my center console. I had to mount the power inverter here to be able to press the switch and turn it on. Ideally I would like to have mounted this under the rear cargo floor but the on/off switch couldn't be removed without damaging the circuit board.

    Here's the switch panel installed and looking pretty good! The usb port is very stable for inserting/removing flash drives.

    A quick test powering on the Artec tuner. It runs completely silent, all you see is the blue LED when the glovebox door is open.

    Not a bad picture of the local news The F700 only has one set of rca A/V inputs in the rear, so I had to use Radioshack rca Y-adapters to input this tv signal AND the video out signal from my HTC Fuze. Everything is working so time to move on to the antenna mounting...

    I used two of these amplified antennas. The coax cables leaving the antennas are joined with a 2-into-1 coax adapter.

    Closeup of it installed at the bottom of my rear windows. I removed the weights from the bottom of the mounting brackets and cut off a semi-circle section using a jig saw. This allows them to be mounted directly against the window.

    The big view. You can see these are mounted far enough up out of the way to protect them from cargo. The coax and power cables are run behind the plastic panels to where they meet with the white extension cable under the cargo floor.

    A shot from the outside. Even in direct sunlight my window tint does a decent job of hiding these.

    The Artec tuner installed in my upper glovebox. The remote sits on top of it when not in use, and almost half of the space is still available for other stuff.

    When mounted to the OEM bracket holes, my F700 was a bit too high and stuck out too much. I drilled new holes approx a 1/4" down and 1/4" back for a nice centered fitment. A guy a Bestbuy gave me the double din trim piece which I secured to the F700 with electrical tape.

    Here you can really see how far back it sits in the opening, I like it much better. In the future I might use some bondo and paint to join the trim with my Xterra's center stack panel.

    This small universal phone/mp3 player mount holds my HTC Fuze. The arms are adjustable and rubber-coated. I made the bracket to attach to the inside of the dash so no holes had to be made where they'd be visible if I removed it.

    Finally I used a 1/2" drill bit to make an opening in the top tray for the Fuze's video out cable to pass through. The cable can be hidden under the tray's small rubber liner when not in use. Soon I plan to order the OEM mount for the Garmin Nuvi and modify it to hold my HTC Fuze.

    Shot of everything put back together. It was a lot of work, but the result of having a custom installation that fits and functions perfectly was worth it.

    Bluetooth mic in the headliner. Very nice call quality.

    The magnetic sticky pad that came with the F700 is a great fit under the middle of the windshield. GPS antenna sits there securely and the cable was run along the crack between the windshield and dash.

    In the next post I'll show some screenshots of my Fuze connected to the F700....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Here's a few screen shots of the F700 in action...


    I have done some mods to my F700 so the screens are a bit different. This nav screen has a different icon layout and shows countours of the mountains around me.

    Main menu

    Connecting my Fuze via the video out cable

    Fuze connected and cradled...ready for action!

    The next few pics show off the HTC Touch Flo interface. I have a custom operating system on my phone that's been ripped from the soon-to-be-released TouchPro2, and tweaked for the Fuze. TouchFlo is displayed in landscape now. Email tab:

    Calendar tab:

    Music tab:

    Pictures/videos tab. You can start a slideshow or open the album from here:

    Internet tab. This version of WindowsMobile has "push internet" enabled. It automatically updates selected web pages at preset intervals to reduce loading times when you open them:

    Start menu:

    Here's some screen shots of the new Xmen Origins Wolverine movie playing from my Fuze(it's not even out in theaters yet):

    I'm searching for a good bluetooth mouse to use to control the Fuze while it's cradled so I don't have to tap a tiny button on the screen while moving. Thanks for looking! Comments welcome : )

  4. #4
    Maximum Bitrate david69leonard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    pretty ghetto install man

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Ghetto? Hardly...there's nothing "ghetto" about my rig

    It's built to be rugged and functional, and so are my installs. I've never had one fail me. Just because my install was inexpensive doesn't make it ghetto. This setup only cost me around $500 (not including the price of my Fuze since I had that before even thinking about doing this) and with the wireless functionality of my Fuze I can do almost as much as anyone with a custom-built pc system.

  6. #6
    Low Bitrate
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Can you get signal with your DTV tuner when the car is running?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Up to about 30mph. My area only gets about six channels and it's pretty mountainous here, so signal strength is spotty. I'll be testing it on a trip to FL in a few months, so I'll see how Atlanta and Tampa are. FL is 3G almost the entire state, and I get HSDPA in a lot of spots.

  8. #8
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Nice install Very cool. The Xterra is one sexy, powerful, different, just awesome and capable machine.

    I was planning on getting myself an OR Xterra to add to the family with my rodeo (see sig below).

    I ended up getting an 05 Frontier crew cab nismo 4x4... getting shipped here.

    I plan on doing similar of what i did in my rodeo. Because the Xterra/Frontier have a double-DIN opening, the lilliput housing may fit super-great just like it did in my rodeo. I hope to do the same.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Nice! i've got an 05 X, and am working on a carputer. Just started a worklog finally. My screen is looking pretty ragged, yours is much cleaner. I'm hoping to cover everything up by putting it all in a sub enclosure with shelf types for the comp. Good to see another gadget friendly X

    Just got new tires (285/75/16) and they look awesome!!! Can't wait to get them dirty

  10. #10
    Maximum Bitrate SjLucky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Hattiesburg, Mississippi
    I got a touchpro and I used my video out at work to show why it was better than an Iphone to a chick. I thought it was slick. I also have that exact inverter got it at the wallzmart fot 40bones. If only touchflo was a front end...

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