Replace Your Car Radio By An Android Tablet

How to Install an Android Tablet as a Car Stereo | With Video

So, what are the steps to take if you want to have an android car stereo or replace car radio by tablet?

The following article will give you step-by-step instructions on how to install Android Tablet as a stereo. But first, you’re going to need to go out to your local electronic accessories and hardware store to get the things that you need.

Don’t forget to take this list with you! Know your parts and know what you need them for.

Tablet as Car Stereo
Tablet as a Car Stereo

Things You Need To Install Tablet As An Android Car Stereo

  • Your Android tablet. The only thing you need to be absolutely sure of is that the tablet supports audio out via USB. You can find this out through Google. In our case we will use the Nexus 7 Tablet.
  • A double din adapter for your car. The purpose of this is to hold the tablet as a car stereo in place, like the way tablet car mount does.
  • Car PC Joycon. This is for the steering wheel controls. It’s not required but it’s highly recommended so that you don’t have to take your eyes off the road while driving.
  • Wiring harness adaptor. This plugs straight into the car and will make the wiring process much easier for you. Best if it’s labelled, and correctly.
  • DAC (digital-to-analog converter).
  • You will also need Hub. This will let you plug in other devices into your tablet.
  • Y-shaped on-the-go cable. So you’ll be able to charge and use USB simultaneously.
  • Power adaptor. It will bring your car power from 12v down to 5v that’s used by USB.

Other optional pieces:

  • Line level booster, or amplifier. This is only necessary if you want to really be pumping up the volume.
  • RCA cable. The shorter, the better, and you only need these if you’re using an amplifier.

Now Lets Do It | Install Nexus 7 Tablet In your Car, Step By Step Video tutorial

So once you have everything that you need, these are the steps to take to put everything together for your DIY Android car stereo.

  1. Make sure your tablet and the adaptor are the same size. If they’re not, you’re going to have to get yourself another adaptor. It’s okay if there are little gaps and slight movement, but the goal is to have a double din adapter that’s as close a fit as possible.
  2. Use hot glue (from a glue gun) to create a strong ledge along the bottom of the adaptor so that your tablet in car dash can sit comfortably. This should be pretty stable. Before gluing, it’s important to make sure that the car tablet mount is in place. Don’t cover the light sensor at the front; otherwise your tablet’s backlight won’t be able to adjust accordingly. Also make sure that the camera is not completely covered, as this will help your backlight as well.
  3. To get started on the permanent attachment, drill a hole into each of the four corners of the car stereo double din adapter adaptor. Make sure that there’s enough plastic around the edges so that it’s still durable. Then, use a few zip ties threaded together and through the holes that are diagonally across from each other. Don’t make them too tight, but don’t leave them too loose either. Cut off the long ends, then repeat the process with the opposing ends.
  4. Go to your car and take the dash apart. Use a soft plastic trim remover so that you don’t accidentally damage any important parts. Be careful and don’t force anything. You’ll be transferring your climate controls further down if your car isn’t already set up that way.
  5. Plug the radio wiring harness in. Do NOT splice into the wiring here or it’ll mess everything up, both for you and the next owner!!
  6. Test whether your tablet will fit into the slot. It should fit in nice and snugly. Try fitting the trim pieces over it as well just so you get an idea of what the finished product will look like.
  7. Next, it’s time to get the wiring into place. Start with the climate controls and make sure that the pieces all fit into place – all the wires and connectors should be in the right place. Slip the panel back into place, pushing the cables out of the way so you have more space.
  8. To set up the wiring harness, strip the insulators and pair the wiring together as indicated on the labels – those for the right (output) and the left (input). If there are rears and fronts to your wiring harness, twist them together so you only have the two indicated in your digital-to-analog converter. Plug them into your DAC. You can solder your wires to make it easier to hook up. Don’t forget to put the positives and negatives together. If your adaptor is unlabeled, you can consult a wiring diagram.
  9. When you’ve paired everything together, solder hem again. You should have 4 pairs – a positive and a negative for both the right and left channel.
  10. Connect your RCA cables to your wires. The positive cables go to the inner terminal, while the negatives go on the outer cables. Use a soldering gun again, but be patient! It’ll take longer than it does with copper wires. Don’t hold them with your bare hands because they’ll heat up quickly. Lower and heat the heat shrink and then repeat with the other connections. Use a bigger one over them both when you’re done.
  11. There will be different methods for every car, so it’ll be best to do some additional research for your make and model.
  12. For the steering wheel, hook up all the hots and ground in all the right main places on your wiring harness. Twist your grounds from your Joycon, preamp, and your charger. Solder them together and then to the main wiring harness. Do the same for the hots. Don’t forget the heat shrink for both the hots and grounds.
  13. If you’re using digital controls, hook up the wires from the main wiring harness to your Joycon EXD. If not, this will be unnecessary.
  14. Your wiring diagram should be done. Grab your Y cable and plug the hub in and plug the DAC into the hub. Next, use a mini-USB to plug the Car PC Joycon in the hub as well. Hook up the charger into your Y-cable, and then your preamp and your RCA cable if you’re using it.
  15. Plug the main harness into the preamp, then the preamp into the DAC. Then, your charging cable should be attached to the harness for the steering wheel controls. Plug in your steering wheel controls.
  16. Finally, plug it into the car. Test it – both the steering wheel, and the amplifier.
  17. Take everything and stuff it back into your car. Finally, fit the tablet in car and the trims back into place.

Voila! Start your car and see if everything works. If there are glitches, you might have to fiddle around a little. The above video tutorial will clarify everything and will serve as a visual guide for you. You can use the GPS, watch YouTube videos or install any car related Apps from Google Play Store to your new android car stereo!!

Now let me know in the comments if you tried this project and if it works for you. I'm waiting for your ideas to improve this system, Good luck!


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