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Unread 11-17-2014, 10:04 PM   #1
craigbru
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The Ultimate WK 10.1" Android Tablet Install v.2

Okay guys, I'm finally following through with the long awaited worklog for my Android tablet install. I finished the first version almost 2 years ago, and although it's been working well since then, I decided I wanted to integrate things a little more tightly. What follows, is what I believe to be the ultimate 10.1" tablet install.

I set out with a few basic design goals, and I was unwilling to compromise on any of them.
  • It must look as 'OEM' as possible.
  • It has to be able to operate as a standalone component. (No more factory radio).
  • Steering wheel control compatibility was a requirement.
  • It's function and operation must be as simple or automatic as possible. That means it just has to work. I didn't want any convoluted controls, and it had to be low maintenance.

My adventure with Android car audio installs began almost 4 years ago when I modded my TJ to accept a Nook Color. When I got my WK a few years back, I knew it would get the same treatment. Having already done a 7" install, I wanted to step up my game for the Grand. 10.1" was the obvious choice. At the time, finding a tablet that would actually fit between the WK's vents was my biggest challenge. After that, I decided on an install that allowed easy removal of the tablet, and things took off from there. I utilized a relocated factory stereo, and beyond the fabrication, it was a fairly simple concept.

This time around I refined my goals, and didn't want to be limited by a stereo source of any kind. As far as I was concerned, there wasn't any reason I couldn't cut out the 'middle man' so to speak, and tap directly into the CAN BUS. I'd not seen this done before, but I was sure it would work. After buying the first of my parts, I was committed.

Just to give you some idea of where I started, the first pic is of my previous install. The second two are of the new install. Over the near future, I'll walk you through how I got there. As with any project, it's never truly finished, but there will be no more major changes.

Old Install



New Install



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Unread 11-17-2014, 10:04 PM   #2
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Unread 11-18-2014, 02:37 AM   #3
anschutz1913
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Now THAT is sick. Just like having the touchscreen units in the new WKII's. Very nice.
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Unread 11-18-2014, 08:14 AM   #4
AcidAnton
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It'll be interesting to see how you connect through the Canbus and utilize the steering wheel controls. I was planning to replace my REC unit with either a single or double din head unit with Bluetooth that'll connect to the tablet and play the audio for music / navigation , also create a mount on the passenger side that'll swivvle either facing the drivers or shotgun (also dismount tablet so the rear passengers can pick music or use the tablet) .

Looking forward to a write up
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Unread 11-18-2014, 01:26 PM   #5
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Looks amazing, great work! Also looking forward to details on how you did this.
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Unread 11-18-2014, 02:44 PM   #6
bustacrab
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I'm crawling this because it intrigues me. I worked on electronics for the Marine Corps for 8 years. I think your install looks awesome! Very professional from what I can see in those pictures.

That being said, I don't really see any purpose for that over the Sat/ Nav/VES system that comes with the limited models. But, if you are happy with it and other people find a purpose for it, more power to ya.
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Unread 11-18-2014, 05:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anschutz1913 View Post
Now THAT is sick. Just like having the touchscreen units in the new WKII's. Very nice.
Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AcidAnton View Post
It'll be interesting to see how you connect through the Canbus and utilize the steering wheel controls. I was planning to replace my REC unit with either a single or double din head unit with Bluetooth that'll connect to the tablet and play the audio for music / navigation , also create a mount on the passenger side that'll swivvle either facing the drivers or shotgun (also dismount tablet so the rear passengers can pick music or use the tablet) .

Looking forward to a write up
It's surprisingly easy with one of the newer adapters from PAC. It sounds like you have a cool idea as well. Although I could remove the tablet on my previous install, I found that I never did. At least not to use via bluetooth. The only time it ever came out, was when I parked the GC someplace sketchy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooshaw View Post
Looks amazing, great work! Also looking forward to details on how you did this.
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bustacrab View Post
I'm crawling this because it intrigues me. I worked on electronics for the Marine Corps for 8 years. I think your install looks awesome! Very professional from what I can see in those pictures.

That being said, I don't really see any purpose for that over the Sat/ Nav/VES system that comes with the limited models. But, if you are happy with it and other people find a purpose for it, more power to ya.
I appreciate it man. I'm a perfectionist, and knew I couldn't settle for anything less than a professional look. It would have bugged the ever living crap out of me having to look at it every day.

The GC didn't come with the Nav stereo, so this was definitely an upgrade. Even if it did, or if I was interested in a retrofit, the stereo would have been dated tech at this point. I never listen to FM, and I'm not a fan of Sat radio. I much prefer streaming services like Slacker, Pandora, or Spotify. Sure, you could use your smartphone and an aux. input, but that's honestly more of a pain than it's worth for me. I wanted something fully integrated. Also, using a Nav app on the tablet, is a much better experience than any OEM option could ever be. I also benefit from the ability to use apps like Torque and DashCommand for OBDII monitoring and diagnostics. Then there are all the other little things that take it well beyond OEM. Voice control, and a bluetooth link to your smartphone via the TabletTalk app are just for starters.
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Unread 11-18-2014, 06:02 PM   #8
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So, shall we get things rolling here? I've mentioned in the past, that I have a tendency to buy parts first, then challenge myself to make them work. There are quite a few ideas you can plan out in advance, but sometimes having components sitting in front of you, forces you to think outside the box. My first two purchases were an OEM navigation bezel, and a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4. With the nav bezel in hand, I gave it a thorough once over and considered my options.



As you can see, the tablet is quite a bit larger than the opening in the bezel. That didn't matter to me at this point. All that mattered was that the tablet would fit between the vents, and it did.





Now it was time to get the bezel on the workbench.



The back side of the bezel had a few alignment pins and connectors in the way. I broke out the Dremel, and they were gone in short order.





Success! The tablet could now fit flat behind the bezel, but as you can see, it's still nowhere close to fitting. Not only is the tablet screen too wide, it's definitely not deep enough either.



So, I removed the black trim piece and masked off where I needed to cut and file. I used a Dremel, and followed up with a file to get a nice finish. When doing this type of work, I use tape as my straight edge, then file up until I just contact the tape. In my years of computer modding, this method has always served me well. I had to take a few mm's off of each side.



When it came to getting extra height in the bezel, there was really only one option. I needed to cut and extend it. However, simply cutting across horizontally would have been a poor solution. I had to use the shape and contours of the bezel in my favor. The only option was to cut down diagonally on each corner. You can see how I masked my cut lines here.

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Unread 11-18-2014, 06:13 PM   #9
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Next up, I cut a couple pieces of aluminum and epoxied them to the back side of the bezel. In all, I added 2 cm to the height. Careful measuring told me that this should extend the lower part of the bezel, to just above the upper most buttons on the center stack.



Now, while that gave me enough height for the screen, it wasn't enough for the buttons on the Samsung tablet. A little more cutting is in order.



Now comes the slightly more challenging part. I needed to fill the gaps, so I used a fiberglass reinforced Bondo. It provided the strength I needed, while still being relatively easy to work with.



A little more Bondo, a little more sanding...



Finally, here is what I was left with. I shot some primer on it, and looked for imperfections. It had to be just right, because paint will not hide any flaws. It will only amplify them. Luckily I didn't have much to touch up. Just a little more spot filler and some sanding, and I was satisfied.



Time for a test fit!



Once I was satisfied with the fit, it was time to epoxy the two bezels back together.



With the epoxy set, I masked off the tablet, held it in place, and then filled the gap between the bezel and tablet with Bondo.



After a little more touch up, I was ready for paint! Or in this case, Rustolem bedliner... More updates soon!
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Unread 11-18-2014, 09:17 PM   #10
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Coupled with your UConnect mobile Wi-Fi, that's just plain absurd! AWESOME!
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Unread 11-19-2014, 01:00 PM   #11
Yooshaw
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Awesome work and write-up! Looking forward to the rest.
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Unread 11-19-2014, 06:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unobtanium View Post
Coupled with your UConnect mobile Wi-Fi, that's just plain absurd! AWESOME!
No UConnect here. The tablet has it's own data plan. It's just easier that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooshaw View Post
Awesome work and write-up! Looking forward to the rest.
Thanks!
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Unread 11-19-2014, 07:20 PM   #13
Teezony
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very nice man ,I see more and more of these install's now ,love it keep up the great work.
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Unread 11-19-2014, 07:24 PM   #14
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So, moving on... I masked off the inner bezel and painted it with Rustoleum bedliner. It's what I use on my cupholder rings, and I love the slightly textured finish. It's also pretty durable. Here is a pic after the first few coats. At this point, I was disappointed with the results however. The bedliner usually isn't this glossy. I knew I'd have to give it another coat, but I decided to move on for the moment.



Next I had to work on relocating the power button. It would be inaccessable once the tablet was mounted, so I had to be willing to open up the tablet. I did just that, and soldered a pair of wires to two points on the original button. Although the solder points were pretty small, I managed to get the wires to hold in place. I put a small amount of hot glue over them to add some strain relief and ensure they couldn't be accidentally pulled out. The best part about this method, is that it's completely reversible. There's been no permanent changes to the tablet.





Now it was time to find a way to mount the tablet. Simplicity was key, so I notched and then bent two pieces of 1mm aluminum to hold the bottom in place. The top is actually held in place by existing plastic tabs on the bezel. This holds the tablet snugly in place, yet allows easy removal should it be warranted. As a sidenote, as long as Samsung continues using the same basic tablet design that it has been, upgrading in the future should be pretty easy.





With the tablet location finalized, there was one more thing I needed to do. This particular tablet doesn't have a light sensor, but using the Lux app, I can get an ambient light reading through the front camera. I needed to drill a small hole above the camera, and then I added a polished acrylic rod to allow light transmission. The end result looks pretty seamless, and it functions well. I've set up profiles and the screen backlighting is now automatically adjusted.



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Unread 11-19-2014, 07:26 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Teezony View Post
very nice man ,I see more and more of these install's now ,love it keep up the great work.
Thanks man! I've been meaning to drop into your thread and comment too. Tablet installs are definitely where it's at!
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