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Building an iPad Mini into the dashboard

Old 08-26-2013, 08:15 AM
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Default Building an iPad Mini into the dashboard

After being inspired by the work "Soundman" (Soundmanca.com) do installing iPads in dashboards, I decided to have a go myself. I live in Northern Ireland, so buying a kit like these guys sell would prove too expensive.
Now, I had never worked with fibreglass before and certainly not with body-filler, so the result is 98% rather than 100%.

In any case, I removed the stock radio and replaced it with a Sony MEX-GS600BT. This allows me to connect the iPad via USB and (uniquely) control the Sony with an app on the iPad. This app is mostly useful for changing radio stations and controlling volume. Everything else can be done via the normal "iPod" function on the iPad. I can also connect my phone via Bluetooth allowing me to stream music from it, control the Sony, or call hands-free.

Here's a pic of the result (I had made the holder to the right to hold my phone sometime in the past. The background photo on the iPad is my own, adjusted to "fit the theme", Hahaha):



I started out by cutting a hole in the original dash to accommodate the iPad. I had to create more "up-down" space too, leaving less room for the heater controls. At the point I took the photo below, I managed to get the front fibreglass cover in place (And cut the hole for the screen and home button) and started to use filler to shape the dash.


Sanding and priming:


Painting:


After a failed try, I managed to create the back so the iPad would fit snuggly, yet slide in and out the side easily. Here a closeup of trying to get the iPad charger cable fibreglassed in. I had to ensure that the iPad would slide easily onto the charger when being inserted into the dash what a mess ;-)


In the above photo, you can also see the hole I cut to allow me access to the Sony radio behind.

Once the entire enclosure was built, I glued in felt for the back, and art-foam into the sides and front, ensuring I don't end up with rattles or scratches.

Below the end result... sliding in the iPad...



And a quick look from the passenger side (Before the project was finished), showing where I slide the iPad into the dash.


I am happy with my modification result (Could have worked out far worse! ;-) ). The only operational glitch I found is that as soon as the iPad is connected, the Sony starts playing music from the iPad immediately. I will figure out a way to keep the Sony quiet until I would like to listen to music yet! (For instance when using Google maps.)

I still have some playing around to do, but one thing I've noticed is that it's perfectly possible to play movies on the iPad. The sound is relayed via the speakers during the movie.

I have also installed an alarm clock app. This app allows the iPad to stay awake while charging, and shows the time and the weather (??)...

In closing, I'd like to thank Soundman once again for their (on-line) advice... they have plenty of youtube vids, and give good advice for the DIY-er on their site. This modification was not particularly hard to do, though making the dash look like stock again was challenging (And could have been done better).

Anthonio
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:27 AM
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Nice! That'd be pretty cool.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:06 AM
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I have seen a few of these before... Very very cool!
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:30 AM
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Wow, I mis-read this thread completely. I was thinking that you had removed your gage cluster and installed the I-Pad in place of your factory dial gages and had some cool configurable screens with custom gages and what not. But still a good read.

Congrats on taking the project on yourself and not just grabbing a kit and swapping it in place. Always good to see people working outside their comfort zone and making their car "their own". Nice Work!!
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:41 PM
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way leggit gotta tire this
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Old 08-26-2013, 02:12 PM
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Awesome.

How about some adjustable "feet style" keepers behind the iPad to keep it snug and flush.
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Old 08-27-2013, 04:09 PM
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Its cool except you hacked a woodgrain bezel, I would have swapped you two black ones for that.
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:12 PM
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I just have away a wood grain one to a local kid that I talked to one night at the gas station... Would've givin it to you had I known!
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by thewhiteknight02 View Post
Awesome.

How about some adjustable "feet style" keepers behind the iPad to keep it snug and flush.
great idea!
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:50 PM
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Oh man, that is awesome - stop giving me ideas! Lol
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Hammered View Post
Its cool except you hacked a woodgrain bezel, I would have swapped you two black ones for that.
Haha, yeah, actually, I did look for a black or grey bezel I could play with... Would have lowered the stakes of getting it right somewhat... But, I was unable to find a bezel using my usual resources... Should have posted on this forum instead!
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Old 09-28-2013, 01:09 AM
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This is awesome! It would cool to figure out a way of making it work universally for all major tablets. (Kindle, IPad, etc. etc.)
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Old 09-30-2013, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by ambers96xj View Post
This is awesome! It would cool to figure out a way of making it work universally for all major tablets. (Kindle, IPad, etc. etc.)
I feel like an IPad would be too large. However I think with the appropriate head unit this would be easy to do with an Android Tablet as well.
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Old 09-30-2013, 01:23 PM
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Nice work, I with my 96 had the space to stick a tablet in. Heck, I was just formulating how to try to integrate my old retired Evo 4G into the dash somehow to use the Torque app with a BT ODBII dongle...
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:52 PM
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very niCE i have one of these in my 87 mcSS.
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