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Thread: kindle fire in a wrx as head unit

  1. #1
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    Jun 2012
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    4

    kindle fire in a wrx as head unit

    decided i wanted to use a tablet as a headunit in my car and do it all on a small budget. im not too big on audio like most of you and just really preferred to have access to my music library. since ive had the car ive been using the jazzy engineering aux-in adapter for my ipod and have been relatively happy.

    looked at the android options on the market and picked up a kindle fire for $120 on craigslist in pristine condition. immediately rooted it with cyanogenmod 9 and loaded up my favorite music/nav apps.



    the good news is that its right about double din size and its all touch screen. the bad news is that it doesnt have bluetooth or gps. bluetooth isnt a big deal but both gps and wifi are tethered through apps from my 4g unlimited data samsung galaxy s3. with gps tethering i can now use google maps turn by turn navigation but its not perfect. it drops the connection occasionally. there is also some glare so i might need to buy an anti glare/screen protector but ill see how it is for now.



    i tried to see how i could use the kindle as the headunit strictly and bypass using a traditional headunit too but i think i was better off relocating a new headunit to the glove box so i bought a jvc kdx50bt from crutchfield for $100. still waiting on that to come in. i plan to use the aux port and the usb port to channel music into the speakers and also charge the kindle at the same time.

    so far all ive done ive done some test fitting and to my surprise i wont need to hack the radio face plate at all. this is good too since i want to buy the subaru carbon fiber trim at some point instead of using the crappy 3m cf vinyl that you see above. the kindle has to rest on top of the ac controls behind the faceplate so it sits slightly higher than id like but the whole screen is still visible in the opening.





    will update as i go along and receive the parts. should be done by next weekend! any comments or suggestions are welcome since im a noob audiophile...

    made some progress today. went to home depot and picked up a 14 gauge hyco bar. not sure what its used for in real life but it worked perfectly as the predrilled holes matched up to the radio holes.



    i also had to hack a piece of plastic. if you look above the first hyco bar you can see where i hacked off. basically the same width of the kindle. the kindle now slides right in between the hacked off sections and rests on the block of wood.



    then i found a peice of wood lying around and used that as a shimmy. screwed it into the hyco bar on the back side.



    now with all the dash peices back in place. fits like a charm!




  2. #2
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    4
    made progress over the weekend

    fitting headunit in the glovebox was harder than i anticipated. the radio harness actually is long enough to reach glovebox with extra slack. i actually ordered extra wiring but doesnt appear like ill need it. it just depends on where you drill into your glovebox to fish the wire in. the antenna on the other hand will barely reach so i recommend an extension. i have an extension coming on the way from amazon.

    i originally was going to use the USB port on the headunit to charge the kindle but it looks like the 1amp isnt enough .looks like im better off taping into the cigarette lighter for power at this point. anyone know whats the best way to do that?

    also im pretty sure ill be switching to a nexus 7 very soon. kindle is great and all but gps and bluetooth built in is a big plus.

    but all in all, it works great so far and as expected


    all that left to do is clean it up a little bit. figure our tasker app and then switch to a nexus 7








  3. #3
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    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    4
    finally finished the nexus 7 install. it came out great. only thing i need to do is put some finishing touches to sync it up with the cars ignition. i already have it turning off/on with the car but still trying to find a way to pause/close music apps.

    anyway heres the rundown of things i used/bought

    tablet
    - nexus 7
    - kindle fire (does not have bluetooth/gps)
    - custom rom (optional but recommended)

    headunit
    - i chose the jvc kdx50bt. best headunit for $100 from crutchfield. bluetooth, two usb ports, aux in, etc... came with wiring harness

    accessories
    - anti glare screen protector (optional)
    - right angle 3.5mm audio cable (optional? if you use bluetooth to stream audio. havent tried yet)
    - antenna extension (optional)
    - right angle micro usb to usb
    - obd2 bluetooth adapter (optional)

    apps
    - tasker - to run custom tasks like turning on tablet with car
    - smart rotator - will force apps to landscape
    - tethergps - only for kindle since it lacks gps. this app allows you to tether gps off your phone so you can use maps etc
    - media buttons - audio playback widgets. i think its not jelly bean compatible yet.
    - volume control - lets you control volume anywhere with an overlayed volume bar
    - torquepro - uses bluetooth obd2 adapter to display gauges, CEL's, etc

    notes:
    the headunit charges the tablet but i need to do more testing to see if it can charge faster than the battery depletes. so far so good though...

    ill take some better pics and video coming soon!

    hope this helped




    Last edited by LP560; 08-17-2012 at 10:56 AM.

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