Hey guys, I just did my Nexus 7 install yesterday. Here's yet another DIY on the process to install the tablet with a Type B bezel, relocate the OEM LCD, and configure the tablet to work properly in your car.
First off, thanks to all of the other guys that participated in the other Nexus 7 install threads on this forum, I read every single one of them ( you should too if you're about to attempt this ). All of that information was invaluable when doing my own install. I couldn't even imagine being one of the first guys that did this, without having all of the information I had available to me. True pioneers! LOL! You guys rock, thanks for documenting the hell out of your work, you pretty much did all the hard work for me. Your documentation plus my dremel ninja skills, made this a pretty easy job.
Tools needed for installation:
Heat gun ( only for plexi glass mounting bezel )
Black spray paint ( again, only for plexi mounting bezel )
Double sided tape
Flat head screwdriver
Interior panel puller tool
Dremel or similar multi tool with cutting disk ( at least 5-10 of them, they break easily )and sanding wheel ( one is more than enough )
Guinness x 6
Total install time: 4-5 hours if you take your time and do it right the first time, possible to do it in half that time if you've done it a few times and know the process.
Install difficulty: 2/5 if you are L337 with a dremel , 3/5 if you aren't..
Parts list ( with prices )
Type B Bezel kit- I got mine on ebay from the seller bigcar2533 for $130 shipped, it took two weeks to arrive.
Tech Armor 3 pack matte finish screen protectors- $7.95 shipped ( Amazon )
Kensington ground loop isolator cable- $12.83 shipped (Amazon ) * please note that the Kensington cable is directional, if you plug it in backward, you will get no sound at all, the big end goes toward the tablet, the small end goes toward the aux input port you'll see what I mean when you buy it*
PowerGen 3.6 Amp dual usb car charger- $9.99 shipped (Amazon)
StarTech 90 degree angle USB cable- $5.79 shipped ( Amazon )
Super Mini ELM327 Bluetooth OBD2 Module- $15.00 Shipped ( Amazon)
Nexus 7 Tablet- 1st gen, 2012 model originally sold in 2013, 32gb, with 4G/HSPA+ , used 3 months old ( looks like brand new )- $207 Shipped ( Amazon )
Female-male aux extension cable- $4 shipped ( monoprice )
Necco24 plexi mounting bezel $25 shipped ( gencoupe.com member necco24 , contact him via PM, he's not a registered vendor so any sale must be unrelated to this forum )
Total hardware cost: $418
Necco24 plexi bezel compared to Type B metal bezel- don't use the metal bezel with a Nexus 7, it blocks the GPS signal completely. Great job here Necco24!
Kensington ground loop isolator
Powergen 3.6A 12v car charger ( the A is for Apple devices, NA is for NOT Apple.. i f*king kid you not )
Right angle stuff- I wasn't sure which angle I was going to need for the USB so I got both
The Type B bezel itself
LCD Relocator kit
AutomateIt Pro - $1.99 in the Google Play Store. You can not complete this install without this piece of software. Buy the full version. *This is mandatory*. You may also choose to use Tasker instead of AutomateIt, but I think AutomateIt works better.
( all other software is optional , but I got it, and you should too if you want a drool worthy dashboard )
Sygic GPS- I paid about $32.00 for the full version, it's the best offline maps solution for Android. I use GPS a lot, and Google Maps murders my data plan. Buying Sygic outright costs me less than going 1gb over my data limit 3 times a year, so it's a smart buy for long term savings. The actual price of Sygic is more like $50 or $60 but I managed to catch a sale, and combined it with a coupon code I found online to get it down to $32. Definitely worth it. I also bought the Sygic traffic add on for $10
Nova Launcher Prime- $4 ( play store )- adds some impressive interface customization options, you definitely want it.
Project M- by far the best music visualizer ever, it's the mobile version of Milkdrop for Winamp- trust me you want it- $2.99 ( play store )
Beautiful Widgets Pro- $4.00 ( play store )- Build and customize widgets, makes amazing weather widgets
Total Software cost: $55
Total project cost $473 for absolutely everything. I could have saved a few bucks by going with a 16gb tablet, less apps, type A bezel, cheaper ground loop isolator, cheaper bluetooth dongle, etc.. it's conceivable to do this job for as little as $350..However to do it right, be prepared to spend $473
For mobile data I chose to get a shared data plan with AT&T, since I am already a customer. My monthly service now costs $120, for unlimited minutes, unlimited texting, and 4gb data split between two devices ( iPhone 4S soon to be 5S and Nexus 7 tablet ). It's conceivable to do this for about $40 less per month if you use Tmobile.
My Nexus 7 came with Android 4.3 already installed, it is not rooted or unlocked. This entire process is done using bone stock Android 4.3.
Pre install- set up AutomateIt
You need first go into AutomateIt, and delete all of the default rules, since those rules are meant for using the device as a real tablet, and not a fixture in your car. Then you'll need to add a few new rules. The reason you have to do this is because the tablet has to know how to act when it's in your car. It has to know what to do when you turn the car on, or turn the car off. Or what to do when you're driving down the road listening to music, but don't touch the tablet for an hour. You can't have it staying on when you turn the car off, and you can't have the screen going blank from inactivity on you while you're driving around. You don't have access to the power button once it's installed and there's no buttons on the screen, so what do you do? You use AutomateIt or Tasker to tell the tablet what to do in any scenario. For example, when you turn off your car, you want the tablet screen to turn off, you want bluetooth to turn off, wifi off, 4g data off, etc, and as soon as you turn the car back on, you want the screen to kick back on, and all the wireless radios to come back on as well. You want to make sure the screen always turns off when you don't have the keys in the ignition, but the screen also can't turn off from inactivity when the car is running. I prefer AutomateIt, it makes most of this pretty easy. As i said earlier, delete all of the default rules, then add the rules below:
1. Power Disconnected Trigger: Screen Timeout 5 seconds
2. Power Disconnected Trigger: Screen brightness 0%
3. Power Disconnected Trigger: Set Mobile Data to Off
4. Power Disconnected Trigger: Set Bluetooth to off
5. Power Disconnected Trigger: Set wifi to off
6. Power connected trigger: Screen timeout off
7. Power connected trigger: Set screen brightness to 100%
8. Power connected trigger: Mobile data on
9. Power connected trigger: bluetooth on
10. Power connected trigger : set wifi on ( optional )
You may choose to set more rules beyond this for specific scenarios relevant to you. This is good enough to get the tablet functioning properly in your car. AutomateIt Pro doesn't seem to have an option to enable/disable location services or simply enable/disable airplane mode. Although I have heard that those options become available if your tablet has been rooted. With Automate It set up like this, when you turn off your ignition, the tablet screen will immediately dim, then 5 seconds later it will turn off. You can look at the status bar in the upper right, and see your wireless radios shutting off automatically. When you put your key back in, and turn the ignition on, or put the key in the ON position, the screen will immediately come back on, and you'll see the wireless radio icons start popping back up on the status bar.
Pro Tip: You can test the Automate It macros by plugging/unplugging any powered USB cable into the tablet
Pro Tip #2: Make sure to kill any running apps, and pause any running media/music player before shutting off your engine. You can also experiment with using AutomateIt to do that for you.
Pro Tip #3: If you are listening to music with the engine off but the key in the ON position, then try to start the engine, AutomateIt will sometimes detect that as a power down, and then not recognize the power up. If you're doing this, i recommend turning the key to OFF first, let Automate It run the OFF macros, then turn the engine ON after that. That process seems to solve any confusion. You may also experiment with setting rules and delays in AutomateIt to get by that problem.
I would also take the time to load all your music onto the tablet now, since you have to remove the tablet from the car to add more music later. Do as much of the setup and configuration as possible before installing the tablet.
Pic of the stock dashboard:
*continued in next post*