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Old 7th July 2013, 16:43   #1
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Default Samsung Tab 2 7" - Install in BMW X1

Was getting bored with my car which does not have an I drive.

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Retrofit of the I drive seemed to be quite an expensive proposition, After looking at my various options i choose to use a tablet the Samsung tab 2 7.0 inch in the car. i did get the original Samsung car dock kit from outside since it is not officially available in India.
Decided to see if it was possible to make a permanent install in the dashboard

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After looking at various options decided to get a custom install done by way of removal of the box where the original i drive screen should have been.


Got the install done at Anwar's at Top gear Kormangala ,Bangalore. Have got my previous installs done with him and find the finish to be the best.Why an android over the ipad mini primarily because it has a dedicated GPS chip and not primarily A-gps and of course cost and the ability to tinker with the android os.

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Note: thanks to Niaz at anwar's place for his idea on how to really do the install, the confidence to open up the dash effortlessly, work on this for 2 whole days to finish it single handedly.
Hardware:Samsung tab 2 P3100,Samsung charger car dock kit,Belkin audio cable.


To shorten and give a quick review of the install, the central glove box console was removed by referring to the internet by using trim removal tools.

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After which the glove box was removed by two screws. the tablet console was made from cardboard for initial measurements and then plywood.the side gap was stuck with cloth covered with fiberglass which was then filled with paste and allowed to dry.

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The dashboard was masked and the paste mould was taken after which it was shaped to match the dashboard design.the samsung car dock is screwed into the console made.

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No wire or electronic components where touched.final mould was covered with rexine to match the actual dashboard.the charger cable and audio out was taken in through the dashboard.Audio out goes into aux in through a ground loop isolator.

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Tasker is used to turn the tab on and off with the ignition and boot or run the mapmyindia app directly on startup. can also use the tab for Tunein radio pro, watch movies,listen to music, obd -torque app,vehicle tracking etc on the whole it quite nice to have a high resolution display on the dashboard.



Shortcomings: Unable to charge the tab and connect a external usb drive simultaneously a limitation by samsung ( this can be done by a google nexus 7.0 via a Y Cable) due to which i cannot connect my external hard drive and have to rely on the onboard sd card.the price of the tab 2.0 has come down to 7,999 recently.The capability to add a wired external gps antenna would have allowed the tab to be recessed inside the dashboard.
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Old 7th July 2013, 16:50   #2
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Excellent finish from what I can see in the pictures. Congrats!
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Old 8th July 2013, 00:25   #3
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Default re: Samsung Tab 2 7" - Install in BMW X1

Quote:
permanent install in the dashboard
Don't you think you're gonna have heating issues in the summer considering the area behind the dash and engine gets pretty hot ? The Tab might freeze and turn itself off unless the a/c does a good job in keeping things chill.

Regular HUs come with huge heat sinks and fans do deal with this problem but the tablets obviously don't.
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Old 8th July 2013, 08:59   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjacob View Post
Don't you think you're gonna have heating issues in the summer considering the area behind the dash and engine gets pretty hot ? The Tab might freeze and turn itself off unless the a/c does a good job in keeping things chill.

Regular HUs come with huge heat sinks and fans do deal with this problem but the tablets obviously don't.
Not quite, I used to have the tab on the Samsung dock kept outside on the dash earlier during parking under the hot sun very frequently the tab used to display a temperature too high cannot charge error, but after the install the tab sits inside the enclosure and is cool, in fact It never gets heated up at all since its protected from direct sunlight. The enclosure does not sit in an area close to the engine in fact it's close to air conditioner ducting.if you go to mp3 car forums you realise the trend is more towards android tablets rather than car pc installs given the minimum number of components needed.
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Old 8th July 2013, 09:27   #5
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Default re: Samsung Tab 2 7" - Install in BMW X1

Congratulations and this is indeed a very good install. Thanks for sharing the dashboard opening details and many reading this will benefit.
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Old 8th July 2013, 12:58   #6
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Default re: Samsung Tab 2 7" - Install in BMW X1

Abhishek that's the neatest "Jugaad" I've seen till date and quite innovative of you to think of the Tab as a full time Info-Utility-entertainment system.

I read your post but I didn't quite get this,
1.What provision have you made for charging?
2.Why was fibre glass used? I mean what purpose does it serve in this installation?

-Bhargav
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Old 8th July 2013, 13:03   #7
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Default re: Samsung Tab 2 7" - Install in BMW X1

That's a nice install. First of its kind that I have seen. Nice job.

I have few questions though.

- I didn't understand how does it charge ? Did you mean that it connects to the USB port somewhere and charges (hence you cannot use pen drive simultaneously) ? Does the car have a separate HU with the USB Port ?

- Also, didn't quite understand the ON/OFF mechanism. So it is wired to the Ignition, so that when you start the car, it turns on and when you switch the engine off, it switches off ? Won't it be painstakingly long for the Tab to start ? I guess it would take a cool 20-30 seconds for it to be up and running ?

But nevertheless, I am just loving this gadget. I have a Chevy Beat and was thinking of installing a Touch MID. The showroom guys killed my enthusiasm with a price quote of 48k !! So was thing of alternatives like yours. I guess this whole setup (including the Tab) wouldn't have costed you more than 20k ?
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Old 8th July 2013, 14:10   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soumyajit9 View Post
That's a nice install. First of its kind that I have seen. Nice job.

I have few questions though.

- I didn't understand how does it charge ?

Simple the Samsung car charger connected to cigarette lighter socket. The wire has been drawn inside the dashboard so it's not visible outside
(The service guy is always like if a wire is cut or tapped the entire warranty on the electrical system is not applicable any longer )

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The problem is the same port used for charging the Samsung tab is used to connect the USB OTG cable if you want to plug in a pendrive into the tab

See below

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- Also, didn't quite understand the ON/OFF mechanism.

Powered as explained above
Backup time on the tablet is a few days , using Tasker application when power is disconnected the display turns off and tab goes into flight mode to conserve power. Alternatively there is a hack for the Samsung tab that allows you to auto start when power is plugged in if the tab battery drains

Cost : 5 for just the enclosure the installer built plus cost of the tab and a samsung car charger.

And yes it's really cost effective for what it's worth since it really does a lot google navigation, MMI, Obd diagnostics , Internet radio which I use the most. As a music player the storage space limitation is as explained above. Another point would be its cannot do AV input to connect a reverse camera.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Octane_Power View Post
Abhishek that's the neatest "Jugaad" I've seen till date and quite innovative of you to think of the Tab as a full time Info-Utility-entertainment system.

2.Why was fibre glass used? I mean what purpose does it serve in this installation?


Fibreglass was used to make the sides to basically shape it and give it structural integrity over which paste was applied and further shaped to match the interior dashboard contour.
-Bhargav
Not really , this was done after a lot of research over the net based on a lot of installs done abroad. As mentioned earlier a lot of people who have car pc installs are moving over to android tablet installs now.

Here are some examples of a pure indash install which I could not do since the GPS signal would be completely blocked. Images are from google



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Last edited by abishek2222 : 8th July 2013 at 14:28.
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Old 8th July 2013, 15:29   #9
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Default Re: Samsung Tab 2 7" - Install in BMW X1

Awesome install. Where did u get the Tab2 dock from? Im still looking around to get the car dock for my Tab2. IIRC, the Tab1 dock does not fit the Tab2.
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Old 8th July 2013, 15:37   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K a s h View Post
Where did u get the Tab2 dock from?
Got it from UK, yes as you said it's not available here.
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Old 8th July 2013, 17:46   #11
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Default Re: Samsung Tab 2 7" - Install in BMW X1

I had evaluated Tablet vs Pioneer touch screen head unit, but choose the latter because tablets will have the following limitations:
  • You cannot control any of the tablet functionality via the steering controls. So using a tablet in car while driving is high risk, especially given Bangalore's traffic conditions
  • A tablet cannot be directly connected to an Amp or the car speakers, you need purchase additional hardware which makes the whole investment very expensive.
  • You cannot hook a reverse camera to your tablet either. They don't have a video-in port. I don't believe there is any off the shelf device that allows you to add that functionality as well.
Anvar has done a excellent job, the fit and finish and the resin match was unbelievable.

Last edited by bharatbs : 8th July 2013 at 17:48.
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Old 8th July 2013, 18:08   #12
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Default Re: Samsung Tab 2 7" - Install in BMW X1

Quote:
Originally Posted by abishek2222 View Post
Not quite, I used to have the tab on the Samsung dock kept outside on the dash earlier during parking under the hot sun very frequently the tab used to display a temperature too high cannot charge error, but after the install the tab sits inside the enclosure and is cool, in fact It never gets heated up at all since its protected from direct sunlight. The enclosure does not sit in an area close to the engine in fact it's close to air conditioner ducting.if you go to mp3 car forums you realize the trend is more towards android tablets rather than car pc installs given the minimum number of components needed.
Very much, it started with iPad installs, soundmancaraduio was few of the first people who started with this in-dash tab installs. They've even made Win 8 tabs. Check out their floating mounts, I like that stuff.


There are many threads even on the XDA & CarAudio forums with successful installs mostly leaning towards the Nexus 7 because of its cost effectiveness and support for multiple ROMs, eg: Timur's ROM was developed specifically with car modders in mind, support for USB drives and a rear backup cam app being its driving features.


CarPC days are long gone I'm sure. Tabs are hottest things now and I personally love the idea.
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Old 8th July 2013, 18:44   #13
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Default Re: Samsung Tab 2 7" - Install in BMW X1

Congratulations man. First of all its a very innovative idea & its a superb work done. The garage has done a perfect fitting.

I have one doubt to clear from the picture - have you cut the top of dashboard plastic, or is it an additional fitting in the place of the glove box's sliding shutter.
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Old 8th July 2013, 19:16   #14
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Default Re: Samsung Tab 2 7" - Install in BMW X1

Nice idea. Although there are some limitations. The whole job has been done very professionally.
1 Ques: For connecting to laptop, is the USB connection easily available?
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Old 8th July 2013, 20:35   #15
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Default Re: Samsung Tab 2 7" - Install in BMW X1

Excellent install there!

I have been considering getting a 3G enabled iPad mini or a Galaxy Tab for a similar install. Only problem is, no space left on my dashboard :P

As far as my understanding of the install goes,

1. It is mounted on the special mount imported from the UK
2. You are using a charger that is similar to the cigarette lighter point
3. The audio out is via the headphone outlet
4. There's a 3G GSM chip in place to take care of the internet
5. No heating issues as there must be a good amount of gap beyond the rear of the tab
6. Currently a Video-In point is not possible due to hardware issues (so no reverse camera capabilities)
7. There's an app (or hardware) that enables the Tab to get switched on/off (or sleep) with the ignition

Correct me where I'm wrong, please.
Also, I'm a little unclear about the external HD connection.

Cheers on an awesome install!
Sam
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