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Thread: A Jeep TJ gets Android

  1. #11
    Newbie craigbru's Avatar
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    Alright, let's get back to the Nook! When I last left off, I was waiting for a few parts to arrive. Once they did, I set out to make the Nook easily docked in the Jeep. A lot of the more expensive tablets, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab, make docking a breeze. Of course you have to spend nearly twice as much on the tablet to do so. That would defeat the purpose of doing this mod in the first place. Affordable and durable are 2 very important criteria here, and I've got to stick to the concept.

    So, let's address the power issues first. The Nook needs to be able to be charged once it's in the cradle, and there's no way I was willing to plug/unplug in a power cord every time I wanted to take it in or out. The tablet is supposed to simplify things while bringing more features. If I can't accomplish that, then I was better off leaving a regular head unit in place. I wanted to just grab it and go.

    Getting power to the Nook started with one of these. It's a micro USB plug with a board and solder points. You can see a test fit with the Nook in the cradle.





    Next I had to mark out a small area that needed notching. This would allow the USB plug to seat fully in the Nook.



    After the notching...





    Okay, so now it was time to figure out a way to mount the plug to the cradle. I needed something simple, strong, and clean. I decided to bend some plexi and cut it to size.





    Now that I had a mounting system in place, it was time to wire the plug. The method you see below allows for a USB extension cable to be added easily to the cradle.







    In the next update I'll finish the power dock, and move on to a revised dash mount (I'm never satisfied!)

  2. #12
    Newbie craigbru's Avatar
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    I've got a sneak peek at the almost finished install here. The biggest addition is stainless steel bar that now sits in front of the EQ. This bar will help protect it from bouncing and stray objects or people. The bar also serves a secondary purpose. It does a pretty good job of hiding the EQ from anyone peering in the windows when the top is on. Although I didn't get pics of the process, the bar is fastened to aluminum plates that are epoxied behind the bezel. It's pretty strong, and certainly isn't going anywhere.

    It may be subtle, but you might also notice the tablet and mount are now sitting closer to the dash than in previous pics. I redesigned the mount and made it more secure while giving it a cleaner look.

    With most of the work done, I'm now going to focus on a few smaller details. I'll cover that and finish this update in an upcoming post.


  3. #13
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    looks really good!

    i could tell once i saw the cleanly routed amp cables that you try to do it right.

  4. #14
    Newbie craigbru's Avatar
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    Thanks! I tend to be pretty OCD when it comes to organization. If something is visually off, it drives me crazy.

  5. #15
    Constant Bitrate dna59's Avatar
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    Nice update. Very useful info since whenever I do another install it will be almost exactly like this.
    Project X10 Belazer
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    http://www.mp3car.com/show-off-your-...ime-puter.html

  6. #16
    Newbie craigbru's Avatar
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    Yeah, this setup is completely appropriate to the Jeep. It's simple, ergonomic, rugged, and effective. The more I use it every day, the more I truly love it.

  7. #17
    Newbie craigbru's Avatar
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    Touch contacts... I've mentioned them several times in the past, and now I've finally got a few pics to show you what I'm talking about. First though, my reasoning for implementing them. For it's price, the Nook Color is a brilliant piece of hardware. It's solidly built, and has a better screen than most tablets over twice it's price. The cheaper cost makes for a few missing features compared to other tablets, but when you consider this is marketed as an e-reader, it's pretty understandable. I've mentioned how I couldn't justify spending more on an Android tablet that would see some potential abuse. So, I had to get creative to overcome what the Nook was missing, particularly a docking port of some kind. If you've got to plug and unplug cables into the tablet each time you get in and out, it becomes a huge pain. You've already seen me fab a micro-usb connecter into a tablet dock. Now it was time to move on to the audio.

    I've used these touch contacts from Mouser.com on other computer modding projects, and knew they would be perfect for what I'm trying to do here.



    One of the most important aspects of this mod, was that I wouldn't have to change anything on the Nook itself. I wanted to leave it structurally intact. Should anything happen to the Nook, and I need to get it replaced, I won't have to redo any of my work. It also means I could sell it if I want, and not affect it's value in anyway. The Trident case I chose for the Nook is a critical part of this mod, and was bought specifically with this in mind.

    Here I've found a flat, open area, and marked it for cutting.



    A little time with the Dremel and a file left me with a perfect fit...



    Up next, was a custom cable made from an angled 3.5mm plug and length of USB wire. (I only needed 3 conductor wire, but chose to use this due to it's increased thickness.)



    Although I didn't take a picture of it, to fit the cable in the case, I drilled a small hole in one end, and used the Dremel to create a very shallow channel behind the case to route the wires to the touch contact. I soldered the wires to the contact, and put the case on the Nook.





    As you can see above, the fit is excellent, and the function is even better. The case is removable without harming the Nook, and I've not compromised functionality in anyway. When the tablet is out of the Jeep, the contacts are unobtrusive, and should I need to use headphones, I can simply unplug without affecting anything.

    Up next, the dock will get some contacts of it's own...

  8. #18
    Newbie craigbru's Avatar
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    As promised, the dock now has contacts. It couldn't have been simpler. I cut a rectangle to fit the touch contacts, epoxied it in place from the back, and soldered on a 3.5mm plug. The dock was reinstalled in the dash, and I was done!





    So, what now? We'll I plan on taking some video of how easy it is to dock, and some of the tablet's basic features. That should give you some idea of how well things really work together, and why I really love this setup.

  9. #19
    Constant Bitrate dna59's Avatar
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    Mein the more I see you progress with this the more I wanna rip out my existing carputer. Especially since I have a Touchpad on the way and the Nook will just be for taking on the go.
    Project X10 Belazer
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    http://www.mp3car.com/show-off-your-...ime-puter.html

  10. #20
    Newbie craigbru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dna59 View Post
    Mein the more I see you progress with this the more I wanna rip out my existing carputer. Especially since I have a Touchpad on the way and the Nook will just be for taking on the go.
    Yes, I really don't think actual carputer's are the way to go anymore. I did a huge amount of research before I ended up with the tablet. I had a killer car PC system picked out, and then bought the Nook on a whim. It's the smartest spontaneous purchase I could have made. It does everything the PC would have done, for $1000 less. Plus it's more reliable, and theftproof (as long as you take the tablet when you leave.) On top of that, you still have a great device to use outside of your vehicle. I take mine in to work with me everyday and use it to read books during my lunch, or even play a few games. You're not going to do that with a carputer...

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