Instructables

Android tablet as carputer/stereo

Picture of Android tablet as carputer/stereo
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I chose to use a Lenovo a2107-f
a 7" tablet, it has no painted on buttons, like most tablets do and all iPads do (as well as an external button)
so the install looks as clean as I can get it to look with my resources...

with this install I chose to do it a cheaply as possible, the only thing that REALLY cost me was the tablet itself
~ $160, the other material I already owned
the tablet was a trade on CL, but the item I traded actually cost me $160 about a year ago

I already had a double DIN stereo so the install kit (the Metra kit)
was already mine, I also purchased a external volume control
a right angle micro USB and audio out
the only other expense expenses I had were 99 cents for the felt backing (felt)
and $4.95 for the paint

a total of less than $35, thanks Ebay

the Metra kit was only used for the front bezel and the side rails, but they are not attached to each other
the front bezel just is just the border of my tablet face

the rails hold the felt back...

my recommendations in software are
NavFree USA (if your tab has a GPS built in) = free
CarHome Ultra for ease of use, it is very customizable (the last pic) = $5 or so
and
PowerAmp for music = $5 or so

here is my Youtube series



here is also a video of my Radio tuner in action...


pm1164 months ago

I have installed a Samsung galaxy tablet into my car and used it as my
main car stereo and navigator. when the engine is on i have to reopen
music apps etc. i recently found an app on Google Play that as soon as
you unplug the charger it automatically pause all media and navigation
apps and when you turn on the engine the tablet goes on again without
pressing the power button. so, GPS is on again and music continues exactly where you had left it It is called AutoSleeper and this is the URL for Google Play http://bit.ly/1l5aWpb. Is there anyone who has used it? I am quite happy but i'd like some feedback for this app or alternatives..

Could you do this with a Kindle fire? Maybe a rooted kindle fire? I want to do something like it with my 2009 ford ranger.... not too familiar with this stuff though.
leonetu1 year ago
I'm planning on doing the same project. Are you using just the built-in antenna for the tuner, or did you hook it up with the car antenna?

Also, how do you find the audio quality via headphone jack? I was thinking of extracting audio via hdmi or via usb/otg cable.

Lastly, were you able to hook up a large storage via usb?

Hope to hear your answers - thanks!
rrodriguez13 (author)  leonetu1 year ago
well, I change my config from time to time, currently I am hooked up to my care stereo (in back), and it is hooked up like normal, I sometimes hook up an amp (under the seat)
and have been known to tether my phone to my tab, for radio or XM radio from time to time, but thet uses my DATA plan alot, so my current config woks for now
rrodriguez13 (author) 1 year ago
I use Tapatalk, for text to appear on my tablet and to receive calls and make them, I also use a separate unit call EGO, it also uses Bluetooth to my phone, it mutes the MP3s and radio
primo71 year ago
Great idea but has one flaw. There is no android software. In my car I have carpc with software Centrafuse. Centrafuse have handsfree phone option when I make the call or recive the call the music mute
and when I use integrate navigation (Garmin) that when spoken instructions the music mute. It would be great if it would be possible in Android phones and tablets.
primo7, I'm not sure what Android devices you've used, but my phone does mute the music when I'm on a call or receiving navigation instructions and resumes when done.
dragon7881 year ago
http://www.amazon.com/Axxess-AALC-Remote-Level-Controller/dp/B003FPD3IS

This appears to match the one he used.
I thought that it was built into the car and was unremovable
rrodriguez13 (author)  instructamaker1 year ago
he first way I designd it was...but I decided to make it removable
rrodriguez13 (author) 1 year ago
sorry it took so long for an update...but here is a video of my tablet in action
Hagsmacker1 year ago
pretty cool dude... iv'e seen it working first hand and is really cool...
rrodriguez13 (author) 1 year ago
when I get back I will take detailed pics of everything
rrodriguez13 (author) 1 year ago
I do have an interface to my OBDII I will post up pics as soon as possible (going on a hunting trip in a few)
the audio interface is a 3.5 mm to RCA out and that goes into the POT, in the pic above...it then regulates the volume from there, then out of the POT (the first pic)
it is female RCA, I then hooked up another RCA male to 3.5 mm to the stereo under the passenger seat
or you could hook it up RCA-RCA to an amp under the seat or in a trunk, because you alrady have a knob for volume control...

if your tablet is 3G or you have it tethered to your phone you can get on the internet from anywhere (assuming you have coverage in that area)

I also use Tablet Talk, it is like a phone interface for texting but for my tablet, and it doesn't need tethering, just a bluetooth pairing from your phone
rrodriguez13 (author) 1 year ago
this is what my texting program looks like, i can text from my car, via this interface, and it pops up when I am doing anything else, I usually take my Tablet out of my car, it is seen here siting on my desk
IMAG0599.jpg
Looks good!
I've been thinking about a similar set up for my car for some time, but am having trouble finding a suitable sized tablet with GPS and 3G connection (I want to use google navigation).

Do you have the audio out going to an amplifier or an old head unit?
I, too am curious about the audio interface. It seems you are assuming the picture of the black module with wires coming out of it is more informative than it is. Please provide some more details about your set-up so we can follow in your awesome footsteps! :)

Also, in the title you describe this as a "carputer". I don't understand. Is do you have some kind of interface (CAN, OBDII, etc) to the car's computer? If co, could you please describe that too?
rrodriguez13 (author) 1 year ago
it is going to a head unit I re routed under my passenger seat...
I leave the volume on the head unit about 80% as well as the tablet and adjust it from the knob i installed to the left of my tab