Ford Flex Toshiba Excite 7.7 Android Tablet Install
Ford Flex Toshiba Excite 7.7 Android Tablet Install
Hi folks , after a long hiatus from the carpc world, I’ve come back now with an android tablet install!
My previous install was a classic carputer based setup with emphasis in sound quality(Zapco Processor and Amps, Scan-Speak speakers), OEM stealth integration and use-ability. The link in my sig should still point to that install.
My Mazda Millenia died 2 years ago, and with that I sold off most of my setup, and decided to buy a larger vehicle to accommodate my family of 3 kids, hence the Ford Flex.
I decided on a slightly used 2010 Ford Flex with Microsoft Sync and the upgraded Sony sound system. I made sure it did not have the factory navigation, as I knew I would eventually want to integrate a carputer or tablet.
Having used an android based phone for the last 3 years, and using that as a temporary carputer in my Flex, I naturally was leaning in this direction for my new install. The apps and ease of installation and configuration available for Android is simple awesome. In my opinion, it is the best platform right now.
I wanted to mount the tablet as close as possible to my line of sight, be able to slide it in and remove it easily, have no cables sticking out, be larger than 7”, have a docking station on the long end of the tablet with ports for power, usb, line out and hdmi.
After waiting and searching and hoping for 2 years for such a beast…..Toshiba released their excite line of tablets in the spring of 2012, and low and behold, there she was!
An awesome 7.7” Amoled (Samsung I believe) based tablet with the perfect landscape docking station, bluetooth, wifi, GPS and 64GB SDCard support. The station has separate power (19V) , 2 full size usb, line audio out and HDMI. It came preconfigured with 32GB memory and Android ICS 4.0.3 .
The only 2 cons , and the reason I waited 6 months to get her was a locked boot loader, so no root or custom roms, and the price was kinda steep , $500.
Even without root, I highly recommend this tablet! The screen is breathtaking! The performance is a respectable Tegra 3 and Jelly Bean upgrade has just been released.
I have just finished Phase 1 of my install, the tablet integration into my dash, steering wheel control integration, usb keypad integration. I used a local shop here in Toronto (Reino at TCA, he is awesome!) to help with my dash integration , PM me if you want to know how to reach him.
The Dash integration is still a work in progress, I have to clean up the lower relocation of the factory led info panel, as well as make a nicer Galaxy Note cradle…
Audio, is for now, going line out from the docking station to the car Aux in port. Hands free phone is handled by my Samsung Galaxy Note which also provides internet access to the tablet via wifi tether. The Galaxy Note is used for phone, the primary GPS screen, and for internet access. The tablet is for music and entertainment and information (I do not watch videos or browse while driving…just music and secondary GPS screen when needed ).
Here is the list of components and apps I have successfully integrated as well as pictures and a YouTube video…
Toshiba Excite 7.7 with 32GB built in and 64GB SD Card, total 96GB
Toshiba Excite Multi Dock for 7.7
DCDC-USB Intelligent DC-DC converter (provides 19V power to dock)
CarPC Joycon EXR USB to Steering Button Interface (plugs into usb port on dock)
X-keys XK-24 Programmable Keypad (USB keypad for additional control, plugs into usb port on dock)
Generic Bluetooth OBD dongle
Apps of note:
Android ICS 4.0.3
Neutron MP Music Player
XiaaLive Pro Streaming Shoutcast Radio Player
Audio Glow Live Wallpaper
Super Video pop up video player
MX Player video player
Shazam and Sound Hound
Headset Droid ( allows media buttons to be directed to specific player)
Wake Lock , used to control power states
CoPilot GPS for offline gps backup when no data available. Google maps/Navigation is used mainly.
Dash Command and Torque for OBD info
External Keyboard Helper Pro , used to remap USB keypad buttons.
Simple Last.fm scribbler
I do not use Tasker, but I do have it installed, and will probably use it eventually to automate a few things in the future.
My phase 2 will be upgrading the audio components. I plan to keep the factory system but enhance it with a processor, preferably one that can be configured with android. The RF 3sixty.3 was supposed to have this ability, but it seems to be put on hold. Phoenix Gold is teasing a 5 channel amp that has a built in processor with android control, but that could take a year to be released ( ACX 600.5 ), as well as some units from SoundStream and PPI. I plan to get the audio out of the tablet either through a high quality USB DAC (android is now starting to support usb dacs, mainly the newer samsung phones and tablets for now), or via an hdmi to optical spdif converter.
I will be adding a 5 channel amp for a 2 way active front stage and subwoofer in the back. I’m thinking Alpine PDX-V9. As for speakers, either Focal or Scan-Speak. I already have an Image Dynamics IDQ12v3 subwoofer in a sealed enclosure.
Here are some pics and a link to youtube video that better shows off the install...
Dash modified at shop...the shop chopped off the top part where the factory info lcd was, and created a wooden insert for the tablet to slide into and painted it it all black. I relocated the info panel to the bottom. The dock fits perfectly under the lip of the bottom part of the factory lcd bezel..it was unreal how it just wedged in there..no modification was required! Ill try to get pics of it in there later....
Various pics of the dash with all components installed...
Here are some pics of the components used...
Toshiba Excite 7.7 32GB
Toshiba Excite 7.7 Multi Dock
X-keys XK-24 Programmable Keypad
DCDC-USB Intelligent DC-DC converter
Here is the link to the YouTube video!
Well, that's it for now!