The first step was to remove all the equipment from my old Mac Mini install. Funny how it took me only minutes to undo what had taken days of planning, preparation, soldering, routing, placing, connecting, and mounting.
Then, for audio out, I decided to reinstall the aftermarket headunit my father had installed after the stock unit broke. It was only a cassette player, but it had the proper Aux In connector I would need. I installed the unit in the double-DIN bracket found underneath the heater controls, along with a CD jewel case holder I overpaid for at Best Buy to fill in the unused DIN slot.
I installed it in the car, but when I tried to play my iPod through the stereo, I found I couldn't get it to go into the Aux position. Some research turned up that Sony (the maker of the stereo) uses a controller called BusLink to control equipment connected through the Aux-In. Apparently, BusLink is a proprietary Sony connection that is only compatible with other Sony equipment, and to ensure this, Sony decided to disable the Aux-In if a BusLink component is not attached. From everything I read, it seemed I had three options, two of them costly and one of them that would provide inferior audio quality. Then finally, in the last post on the last page of a thread, someone mentioned that I could buy a device cheap off of eBay that would trick the head unit into thinking there was a CD changer connected, thus enabling the Aux In ports. Less than $20 later I was in business (the gray dongle in the photo below is the device that saved my life).
The next step was to set up a charging system. Like a factory nav system, I planned to leave the iPad screen on whenever it was in use, so I could change music or check the nav app without needing to re-unlock the iPad. This meant I needed a way to provide power unless I wanted to be recharging every night. I decided to install a cigarette lighter inside the dashboard, and plug in an iPad car charger. However, I went one step further and bought a dual-USB adapter capable of charging my iPad and my phone at the same time. Since I would be tethering my iPad to my phone for Internet (AT&T? Hah!), I figured the battery would take a hit and I'd best be prepared. Getting a dual-USB charger also meant I'd have no cables showing externally unless I was charging the phone. The unit I picked up is a Scosche, with one USB connector rated at 2.1 amps (for the iPad) and one rated at 1 amp (for the phone).
This is the cigarette lighter:
At the moment, the cigarette lighter has been mounted, but only the grounding wire has been connected. I need to splice the positive wire into another positive wire, but I haven't gotten around to it. I'm also not sure if I should splice into the wire for the factory cigarette lighter or not, since I'm not certain it can handle the current draw. I remember awhile back I plugged my 85-watt MacBook Pro adapter into an inverter and the fuse went, so I know it hasn't got a really high amperage rating. I'll need to check the fuse to know what it can handle.
Below is a picture of the grounding screw for the cigarette adapter-- the thinner black cable with the red extender. I wanted to reuse an existing grounding point, but the only one I could find close by was this screw, which proved damn near impossible to remove. It doesn't look it, but that screw is actually slightly behind the trim piece in front of it, and I don't have a tool that can fit in there that provides me with enough leverage to loosen the darn thing. After about an hour, I finally got it out with a combination of an offset screwdriver, a socket wrench, and a forked crimp-on connector, which meant I didn't need to remove the screw entirely
The last thing to do before the iPad arrived was to cut out everything from the bezel that would go in the upper section of the dash. I had to be careful here, as everything I cut out would be reused. I bought a backup bezel on eBay just in case.
I would have preferred to fabricate a new bezel from scratch to make it easier to cut everything out, but I wanted to reuse the mounting clips and tabs from the original so I could remove it later on if necessary.
The two holes in the first picture below needed to be cut out, but the clip needed to stay in. You can see how close I needed to make my cuts. One slip and I'd need to cut into my backup bezel-- which I really didn't want to cut into. Fortunately I managed to complete the job with a combination of a jigsaw and a dremel.
The bezel installed:
I did a test-fit with the cardboard iPad mockup, and it didn't quite fit. Fortunately I had a little bit of wiggle-room, and I managed to make it fit. Now the actual iPad has arrived, and it fits, but just barely. The problem is there are clips on either side just millimeters from the iPad, meaning I can't put any ABS there. Those areas will just need to be covered with felt so the cutouts in the ABS can't be seen (hopefully the felt is thin enough to fit in the gap).
And that's pretty much where I am right now. I've been using the iPad in the car these past few days, just testing out the glare, GPS reception, size of the hole, etc, and so far it seems okay. It's extremely annoying just how easily the screen scratches though. I bought the iPad Saturday, and on Thursday, it got a number of scratches towards the bottom of the screen. Not a huge deal, I'll probably buy an antiglare screen protector for it anyways, but it's annoying just how weak and fragile and susceptible to damage the glass is.
Also, my ABS arrived today, but I have yet to cut it up, or even measure the pieces I need.