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Thread: Ford Focus Android Build

  1. #1
    Newbie samg2011's Avatar
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    Ford Focus Android Build

    Hey Guys,

    First post on this forum, but I've spent many hours lurking in the shadows looking at all your projects and they have been filling my head with ideas.

    So heres the plan;

    I have a 2004 Ford Focus ST170 with a Sony 6CD changer in the dash, and to be frank this head unit is driving me insane! It started eating CD's then randomly blurting out different radio stations, so it's time to go.
    Here's the car:



    And here is the dash as it looks currently:



    Add a hitch, I really don't want to lose the remote on the steering column.



    So, today I went on gumtree and bought an amp off some fella, seems to me like it will do the trick, but it's quite a bit bigger than I had planned so I won't be able to hide it in the dash area:



    I don't think thats too bad for 30. Now I need some wires to fit the thing, and to work out where it will fit in the car.

    I've been on ebay and bought a replacement dash bit so I don't have to worry about wrecking this one trying to make the tablet fit.

    Next, the tablet.

    I'm thinking about fitting a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7" in the space where the stereo is at the moment, I think it's almost the same size and shouldnt take too much in the way of bodging to get it to fit. My concerns are;

    a/ how do I get the tablet to stay in the dash?
    b/ how do I stop it looking like a tablet so someone doesnt decide to break my window and have an early christmas present?
    c/ how do I power the thing so that it only charges when the ignition is on? I already tested the app tasker on my HTC and made the screen light up on power and kill all apps, mute and turn the screen off when the power is removed.

    I would love to hear your ideas and suggestions.

    This is where it gets interesting I guess.... Watch this space.

    Sam

  2. #2
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    Re: Ford Focus Android Build

    Hey Sam,
    That is probably the coolest idea I've heard in a while! If it doesn't show already, 'droid fan here lol
    As far as the power source is concerned, you could mount a switch outside of the mounting area so to toggle on/off the power-line to the tablet before/after the engine is running. You could hide it anywhere, but I'd keep it close to the unit to avoid any (even minimal) power leaks/drops. Unfortunately, I don't think you would be able to use the steering wheel controls on the tablet directly. The only way I can see those working is if you keep the stereo in place, and you only use the tablet as either external storage (if you can use a USB connection on the existing stereo - which I doubt) or via the 3.5mm stereo output on the tablet, connected to the AUX of your stereo. If anyone knows of a way to do otherwise, please say so: I'd use external audio controls on a 'droid tablet in a heartbeat!!!!! As far as I know, this would depend A LOT on Android drivers to work...almost all newer android smartphones have the wired headsets with mic/buttons combo: maybe something like that would better suffice your situation? Look into the Dell Streak 7. I know it's not the bast tablet, but just as an idea....
    Hope I didn't lose anyone in my rambling, and please please please don't destroy me if part/all I mentioned above is wrong! To my knowledge, it is not
    Hope this helps!

  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate
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    Hi mate, take a look at this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TaVigs8Who

    Might give u an idea. Not sure how the tab is laid out though.

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate
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    Sounds Like a good project, Im doing something similar, but Im gonna make it removable because Im gonna be using my tablet for other things as well. as for powering it just make sure whatever power system you use (easiest would be a car charger) plug it into a one of the lighter sockets that is AC only and not hot wired to the battery, most are that way but just check.

    As for actually using the tab while driving, Im currently making a better carHome type app for Android for my tablet and will be releasing it soon, I have a thread here for testers http://www.mp3car.com/android-tablet...-phones-3.html

  5. #5
    Newbie samg2011's Avatar
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    Ok here's where we're at.

    I bought a hard case shell off ebay for the samsung galaxy for 3, bargin, and then started to cut up the centre dash part. I did buy another off ebay too so I can go back in the future just in case. And heres how we look so far:



    So I had to remove the clock and hazard flash button and move it over to the right hand side. The little tray said goodbye.

    I also managed to put a start button where the cigerette lighter was, im going to use that live to power the tablet anyway.

    The filler work still has a looooong way to go:



    So i've got to finish the filler and prime and paint. Im a bit stuck when it comes to getting the right look on the paint, not sure what to use yet, but ill experiment and see where we end up!

    Comments are appreciated as always!

  6. #6
    Newbie samg2011's Avatar
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    Sanding....

    Almost finished sanding....









    Still quite a bit of sanding to do, but its getting there. After that I've got to plu it all together and make sure it works in the car.

    I haven't actually bought my tab yet, I bought a demo one to make sure it would fit, but as soon as its complete I'll add the real thing.

  7. #7
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    Hey, you're doing a great job - its really starting to take shape now. Thanks for keeping the thread up to date. I've been thinking of doing something similar to my focus for awhile, I'm afraid of making a total of mess of it though

    What tools and materials did you use for patching up the holes and creating shapes etc. and attaching the hard case. Also, what are products are do you think you'll use for prime and paint?

    Looking forward to see how it turns out.

  8. #8
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    Looks nice man. GL.

  9. #9
    Newbie samg2011's Avatar
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    Work continues.....

    Bit of a change of plan, the galaxy tab seems to be a bit hard to get hold of, so I bought a viewpad from maplins uk, 170 quid, so rebuild!










    It's alive! I just cut bits of the dash up and used filler to stick it all back together. Primed, painted. Still needs bit to be smoothed off, but almost done.

    The amp and all the other bits are in the car waiting. Im a bit worried from tests that I have a huge amount of alternator whine. Worrying.

  10. #10
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    Great job it looks good mate. How did you attach the viewpad, can't quite tell from that last pic?

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