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Old 12-12-2011, 07:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Homemade Android Tablet CarPC (many pictures)

Hello all. I'd like to share my recent project I have just completed. I was sick of having to use my phone for gauges with Torque and wanted something custom looking. I also didn't like the power level I got from the Monsoon head unit/ amp.

This is the installed tablet picture. (The top plastic dash piece is removed due to gauge pod fabrication.)
Amp, acc delay board, crossover installed.
Door chime/ RAP module.
Amp to stock wiring conversion cable.
Just the amp installed.
Back side of the tablet motherboard and screen.
Motherboard after tablet was taken apart.
Bottom of the board view showing momentary hold relay board and tom-tom Bluetooth gps unit.
Screen, Acc delay module and the connector I removed from the factory amp.
Parts all laid out before install.

Last edited by slvrsky07; 12-12-2011 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 12-12-2011, 07:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Back side of LCD after installed to dash kit.
Circuit and schematic for Acc delay module.

The momentary hold relay board and the acc delay module are a couple things I engineered. The momentary hold relay board is to power on the gps unit and the tablet, it replaces the need for you to push a button. The acc delay module is for my older amp. It delays the power on of the amp and crossover to eliminate any feedback or sub thump until the tablet is powered up.

Here is my parts list:
Amp- Old 4 channel I had laying around, A 5 channel is preferred but you can make a 4 channel work with a crossover for the sub.

Tablet- I went with a 7" Chinese tablet from Top Notch tablets. Cortex A9 duel core 1.2 ghz processor. 512 mb of ram. Android 2.2 system. Bluetooth,gps (didnt work), wifi, 32 gb storage and multipoint 800x480 touchscreen.

Charger-Used for tablet battery and gps unit. 2 amp (5volt) usb charger from Walmart I integrated to always be charging when car is on only.

Cables- I had some issues with "ground noise" from the usb charger. I ended up solving this issue by buying Kensington Noise Reducing Car Audio AUX Cable for MP3 or SmartPhone, including iPhone 4S. I hooked this up with Cables To Go - 03170 - 3.5mm Stereo Coupler F/F, 2 of Tsunami RCA701-Y1 RCA 1/Female to 2/Male Y Connector Cable (6 Inch, Gray),Mediabridge - 3.5mm Male To (2) RCA Stereo Audio Cable [New design accomodates smartphone / mp3 cases] - (6 Feet). All great quality and cheap from Amazon.com

Chime module- Since I took out the stock head unit and that contains the annoying key reminder, turn signal tone and headlight dinger I had to replace that. I bought a non Onstar module since I do not use Onstar nor XM and it was 1/2 the price. Pac C2R-GM11 11-Bit Interface Radio Integration Adapter for 2007 GM Vehicles with No Onstar System. I used 3 of the wires on this unit. The black ground wire, red RAP acc wire and blue/white amp remote wire. I tied the remote wire and RAP wire together so it will turn on the amp when the tablet is on. Also the RAP wire and ground hook to the 5volt usb charger.

Car kit- Chevy/Pontiac/Saturn Double DIN Install Kit off, also off Amazon.

Bluetooth GPS- As I mentioned before the internal tablet gps didn't work. Instead of using a weak stock gps unit I decided to get a TomTom MKII Bluetooth GPS Receiver off ebay. It was like $12, couldn't go wrong.

OBD2 Interface- I used PLX Kiwi Bluetooth OBD2 SCANNER GAUGE Diagnostic Droid, for my phone before I built this. I thought I'd add it in here since its being used.

Last edited by slvrsky07; 12-12-2011 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 12-12-2011, 08:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The last part of the puzzle is getting the tablet automated. I'm kinda lazy and didn't want to have to turn extra things on or touch alot of buttons every time I started up the car. That's also the reason for the 2 modules I created. I used a few android apps to help me out with this.

Apps I used: Android Assistant - This I set the music program PowerAmp to come up soon as it finishes booting. I also set the Screen Lock app to boot up instantly removing the pesky lock screen.

AutomateIt Pro- This is used to monitor the charging port. I set it up to shut down the tablet soon as the charger turns off (when the key is turned off).

Tasker- I had to use this program to eliminate the screen timeout. I had issues getting this part to work with AutomateIt Pro, probably due to being Chinese knockoff tablet. I set this to keep the screen on max brightness during the day while the charger is on, mid at night when charger is on, max dark when the charger is off until device powers down.

PowerAmp Full- This was the best music program I found. I like the layout and theme. It also has an awesome software equalizer that is a must have.

MoboPlayer, MX Video Player- I couldn't decide on what one to use to play my movies and music videos. They both have their plus and minuses.

Torque- I use this program to monitor my engine via PLX bluetooth obd2 module. It's the main reason I built this.

Car Home Ultra- A nice app to make it look like a carPC frontend.

Bluetooth GPS Provider- This links to the TomTom bluetooth gps unit. It helps Google maps and other navigation apps use the aftermarket gps.


I hope this helped anyone thinking of doing a carpc project in their Sky. Thanks for reading!
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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WOW! look so cool!
if you can I want see power on situation photos.
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Like after it boots up or what?
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I might have a boot up video..
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Here's a youtube link for power up..

http://youtu.be/gUI0LymdxEo

Last edited by slvrsky07; 12-21-2011 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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That's awesome. I wish I had the engineer know how to do something this cool. I've always wanted to put a carPC in, but just don't have the fabrication abilities to do something like this.
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Nice! I take it you don't have a radio tuner though?

Also, why did you take the tablet apart? I see you've soldered wires to the MB, but what are these and why?

Really cool idea... I'm very tempted.
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Old 12-13-2011, 11:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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No radio tuner.. I was thinking of getting a bluetooth one but I don't listen to it much.. I can link to my phone for internet and use Pandora or go to my local stations online if needed. There are also some tablets with a tuner built in. I had to take the tablet apart for a couple reasons. The 1st was it didn't fit in the car dash kit. I had to shorten the width of the housing 1/4 inch and then center it. I had to move the audio jack and power jack vertically for clearance too. It was a tight fit and was too wide. The other set of wires on there linked to a relay that automatically powered on the tablet and the GPS using that momentary DPST relay module and also I ran an extra led for the power on light.

Last edited by slvrsky07; 12-13-2011 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 12-14-2011, 04:54 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Awesome...Just Awesome!!!
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:56 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvrsky07 View Post
No radio tuner.. I was thinking of getting a bluetooth one but I don't listen to it much..
Darnit. This is a deal-killer for me since I listen to the radio a lot (NPR). I tried looking for tuners to work with Android and couldn't find any.

Still, kudos to you, this is a really good mod, and very cool idea.
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:13 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Some android phones have FM radio but I don't know if any of the tablets do.
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Old 12-14-2011, 01:50 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I dont think tablets do. There may even be fm tuners that plug into the usb port.
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Old 12-20-2011, 11:11 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomatoSoup View Post
Darnit. This is a deal-killer for me since I listen to the radio a lot (NPR). I tried looking for tuners to work with Android and couldn't find any.

Still, kudos to you, this is a really good mod, and very cool idea.
There are car radio units out there that have internet access. Or car radio pc's that have come down under 1k. I have a unit that is not quite fully pc, but it does have internet capability and some pc capabilites. To access the net, just simply plug in wifi dongle. And either connect to any wifi signal in the area or if you have mobile broadband. Connect to that signal. I have not had a reason to do it, because I have a HP Touchpad and I prefer to use that.
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