Xoom into Saturn

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What's in the car

Special Thanks to Jeremy and Paul for the helping hand in getting everything designed, installed and tuned!

What's not in the car

  • I removed the Pioneer Premier AVIC F90-BT Navigation head-unit--I was never a fan of this unit. I'll probably install it into my wife's Toyota Solara so that it doesn't goto waste.

Where we're going, we won't need headunits.

April 23, 2011 at 4:45pm PST

The idea is to replace the entire stereo and navigation system in my 2006 Saturn Ion Redline with the Motorola Xoom Tablet, a few amplifiers, new separates and sub woofer.

What I have on hand:

What I need:

  • Possibly new separates
  • Some sort of Mount
  • A clever idea and method to mount the Xoom into the dash without blocking controls and vents. Oh yes, and not look like an idiot with a computer in the car that's blocking half of the windshield. The tablet should be removable as well.

April 26, 2011 at 7:43am PST

I ordered the RAM-HOL-TAB6U chassis and RAM-B-138U mounting arm from ram-mount.com.

April 29, 2011 at 10:02am PST

First man on the job

Ready to work

Getting the driver door panel off

Driver door panel

Getting there

Working hard

6.5" removed

6.5" Removed

New tweeter location

New tweeter location

New tweeter location before

New tweeter location before

New tweeter location almost after

New tweeter location almost after

New tweeter location almost after again

New tweeter location almost after again

New tweeter location after

New tweeter location after

New tweeter back

New tweeter back

New Rockford Fosgate T1652-S 6.5" woofer

New woofer

New Rockford Fosgate T1652-S 6.5" woofer basket and magnet

New woofer magnet

Grill that came with the T1652-S set

New grill soon to be spacer

New spacer. The woofers hit the window

New spacer

Ready to be installed

New spacer and woofer ready to be installed

It fits!

The new woofer fits perfectly

16awg routed up to the new tweeter location

Tweeter wires

Checking the blueprints


Driver panel back on

Looks good!

A shot of the complete passenger side

Passenger side shot

Closeup of tweeter

Tweeter closeup

Closeup of woofer behind door panel

Woofer closeup

Foreman fell asleep

Working hard...

Ground, constant, switched and illumination

Power for AudioControl FOUR.1

A nice twist


A good portion of the interior removed

Made a little room

Pioneer AVIC F90-BT removed (navigation, etc...)

Navigation removed

Center console removed

Made more room

Twist connected to GM harness

Tapped in

Fosgate T1652-S crossovers

Front crossovers

Battery terminals for power distribution block

High current terminals

Rear deck removed

What a pain

April 30, 2011 at 7:02am PST

C400.4 and 600.1 installed

Juice boxes

Horribly blurry shot of high current terminals attached to a extra long GM battery terminal

GM terminal

Initial power-up of distribution block

Starting small, 1x 40amp and 3x 20amp fuses

Mocking up seat back flow

Seems to work

FOUR.1 hookups


FOUR.1 clearance

FOUR.1 clearance

Dash back together and ready for the RAM Xoom mount

nice hole

Initial trunk shot of everything put together

I decided to go with a 12" Polk Momo in a sealed box. My TypeR and TypeX woofers took way too much space, and the wife insisted on keeping the spare tire :P. The sub is connect via spades so that it's easily removable, if needed.

The 12" Polk sounds amazingly powerful and clean.

Looks good

600.1 completely covered by box


Old Motorola USB cell phone charger I'm going to hack up

new 5v source

Phone charger guts


12v in 5v out

This will be the source of clean 5vDC for the Belkin Bluetooth Audio Receiver (it used a 120v wall wart).

ready to go

April 30, 2011 at 10:52pm PST

I've got the system pretty well tuned. The primary input is connected to the Belkin Bluetooth stereo receiver, the FOUR.1 has an AUX button which its input is connected to a mini-jack cord that I've stuffed under a passenger console panel, for now. I'm planning on moving this to a female surface mount mini-jack for cleaner and easier access. The A2DP BT audio receiver sounds amazing with my Xoom tablet and Droid X phone. Also, the 5v phone charger adapter provides a super clean source of power for the Belkin BT receiver with absolutely zero engine noise.

May 4, 2011 at 11:20pm PST

I canceled my order for the Ram mounting chassis and arm and decided to build something myself for a few reasons. The Ram chassis is spring-loaded which didn't provide for a seamless way to remove/reinsert the tablet, it also didn't provide any means of connectivity. Instead, I purchased the Standard Dock and modified my existing metra dash kit. The dock gives me power and audio. Another plus is when the dock receives power, it turns the tablet screen on--pretty cool.

Dash face removed

Dash face


Ideal placement

Placement with dock

Ideal placement with dock

Possible additional support

Mock up of something I might use

Possible additional support, again

Cut dash kit with dock mock up

Cut dash kit with dock mock up

Opening the Xoom standard dock

Xoom standard dock guts

Removed upper weight from dock for mounting bolt clearance

Gutting the dock

Removed upper weight from dock for mounting bolt clearance, again

Gutting the dock, again

Bronze back-strap which will be the new mounting support for the dock

New mounting support for dock

A little persuasion...

Looks good to me


Perfect fit

Closeup (two screws go here)

Closer look

Xoom fit checks

Just checking...

Shot of strap with Xoom in the dock

Closer look

Xoom clearance without dash face


Xoom clearance with dash face


All back together

I think I might make a beauty cover plate

Picked up a Xoom car charger

New charger

Cracked it open




Shrink tube

Shrink tube

12-18v in, clean 12v out.


All done!

Looks good!


Another shot

And again...

Another shot

Bass knob arrived today!

I need to get this installed!

May 4, 2011 at 11:51pm PST

So far so good. The dock is rock solid during my test drives--no bouncing or shaking whatsoever, and the screen lights up with I turn the key on. The primary input to the AudioControl FOUR.1 is the hardwired line-out from the dock. The AUX input to the FOUR.1 is the Belkin Bluetooth A2DP receiver.

The only cost in getting the Xoom into the car was the price of the dock ($28.99).

So far, I haven't seen a need to add additional support. The tablet lays nicely against the dash face--I may however add more support for piece of mind.

May 13, 2011 at 10:28pm PST

Unboxing the TC Sounds 12" Passive Radiator

Unboxing the PR
Unboxing the PR
Unboxing the PR
Unboxing the PR
Unboxing the PR
Unboxing the PR

Unboxing the Resonance Engineering SeX10D4 driver

Unboxing the driver
Unboxing the driver
Unboxing the driver
Unboxing the driver
Unboxing the driver
Unboxing the driver
Unboxing the driver

May 15, 2011 at 10:41pm PST

We picked up a 1.8cuft sealed 15" pre-fab enclosure from a local stereo shop for a good price.

Special thanks to Paul for his hard work modeling the enclosure, radiator and driver combinations.

Simple 15" pre-fab enclosure
10" template outlined
Quick compass
15" to 12" adapter ring for the TC VMP12" Passive Radiator
Subsonic king doing his thing...
Rotozip close-up
It fits!
Depth check
Adapter ring cut
The passive radiator fits!
Another shot
Bass boost knob installed
Trunk fit check
Another shot

Massive amounts of excursion. This combination far surpassed our expectations.

  • Enclosure tuning frequency is 27Hz
  • F3 is 23Hz
  • Net internal volume 1.6cuft
  • 390grams "mms" of mass on the passive radiator

The video merely demonstrates excursion and the movement of the passive radiator--no justice in sound quality. This thing sounds amazing!


June 14, 2011 at 9:43pm PST

I wasn't happy with the Kicker KX600.1. The amp wouldn't make any power without the "bass boost" knob turned up. After setting the gain with the oscilloscope, the amp put a total of 532 measured RMS watts to my subwoofer. Not bad, but not enough.

Removing the KX600.1
Rockford T1500-1bdcp, still sealed
Rockford T1500-1bdcp, mounted. Buzz lightyear...

You can't see it, but this is an awesome app. It generates tones from 20Hz-20kHz. The GUI hasn't been optimized for tablets :/

Tone generator oscillating at 56Hz
Adjusting gain
Adjusted to not clip at 62.7vac

June 14, 2011 at 10:37pm PST

The idea of the new system

Rev 2

The RCA level knob will probably end up being a voltage divider to attenuate source 3.

June 14, 2011 at 10:41pm PST

The MiniDSP devices arrived today!

July 6, 2011 at 10:11am PST

The TC VMP passive radiator at 390 grams and the RE sEX10D4 is an amazing combination and sounds great--but I think I'm after something louder. Paul is using the Fi Car Audio Q series 15" and handles an amazing amount of power with ease, I may go with the 12" version. The 12" models well in BB6 with a nice hump around 45Hz, which I think I want. I'm also considering the RE sEX12D4 or the sXX12D4. The RE subs model much flatter and lower, so we still need to run through a few different models in different enclosures. The enclosure I'm running now was a POC, I believe we'll build something custom that spans the back seats and is hidden with a beauty board.

Also, after upgrading the sub amp (KX600.1 to T1500-1bdcp), I've measured 985RMS watts going to the sEX10D4. The RE sub handles the power like a champ without any problems.