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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So while I'm waiting for the car to show up, I'm researching ways of using my iPhone for both audio storage and navigation in the car. Not going to have the phone mounted on the windshield - was looking more toward the "cave", close to the USB connector.

So if anyone is on the same path - let me know and we can exchange ideas.

Suggestions on the iPhone nav software are also welcome - I bought a $5 Co-Pilot Live 8, but haven't used it extensively to have an opinion about it.

If all else fails, I'll go with a $90 Garmin of sorts.
 

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I've been looking at ways to mount a Dice G2 DCR-50 Cradle to the central chrome trim piece that's under the radio. I've removed the trim piece for now to figure out where to secure the underlying mount for the cradle. I figured if I boogered up the trim piece, I could always replace it when it came time to sell the car. But I'm still drawing a blank on how to mount it.

In order to remove the trim piece, you have to remove the plastic that forms the ceiling for the "cave". It's the piece that has a blue led illumination lamp in it. Use a plastic spackle knife (or something similar) to pry that panel down and remove it. It has some tabs at the front. Then run your hand on the back of the plastic bridge that holds the chrome trim piece. You'll feel three plastic clips. Use the plastic spackle knife to gently pull the trim towards you while pressing on the clips. The center one is the easiest to get to.

How to remove those pieces is shown in the armrest installation instructions on page 2.

I figured I would mount it there with the pivoting cradle to rotate it between landscape and portrait. Temporarily obscuring the radio controls isn't a big deal as volume and track control can be done from the steering wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hah. Never would've gone for a $50 cradle, but the pass-through might be worth it.

I have a feeling that with a piece of steel, a vice and a hammer I can conjure up a correctly angled bracket for the DCR-50. We are definitely on the right track.

Really appreciate the insight.
 

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Ok, the bracket is a good idea. I think a simple "L" bracket will work.

When the chrome trim piece is removed, you'll see a black plastic frame that is screwed into the dash and the light colored plastic that I'm calling the bridge. This frame forms a structural cage, so we shouldn't cut it apart.

However, directly below the large radio rotary controller, the black frame is screwed into the bridge. There is a landing there that is flat and wide enough to fit a couple of nuts/bolts/washers.

So I'm thinking of attaching an L bracket to that landing. Basically, on the small swath of plastic that the top of the cave snaps into. Then mount the cradle base to the L bracket.
 

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Here's a pic of the area I'm talking about, I'm pointing to the landing where the L bracket could go. It would need to have enough clearance to snap the chrome trim piece back in place.

 

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I am interested in doing this. I will take my car apart this weekend to get a good idea on what you're looking at. Then I'll make some kind of cardboard mockup of a bracket-- good idea?

If possible, could you take some more pics of the area?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It's all on you, guys, for now - I don't even have an ETA on my car yet, just a $500 hole in my wallet.

I did experiment with CoPilot Live $5 GPS software for the iPhone and am starting to like it. Will try to use it instead of the BMW nav this weekend and see if I get lost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Rigged the DCR-50 with a leftover iGrip suction cup mount that i had and used it in the Lotus for about a week. Seems like I'm going in the right direction with this setup.

CoPilot Live GPS software for the iPhone worked great (best $5 app for sure). Re-calcs are fast, support of the iPhone contact addresses is great, ability to search for the POIs on the internet from within the app works (how many built-in GPS systems do that?).

All I'm missing now is a) CR-Z; b) DIY bracket; c) cheap iGrip "rear" plate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Got the CR-Z today, tried my temporary rig with DCR-50 and the iPhone nav on a 150 mile trip. Overall - worked like a charm. Simulatneous navigation, iPod music and bluetooth phone operation - just what I wanted from the setup.

One thing that might be the issue - looks like the USB is not pushing enough current to recharge the phone when it's maxed out like that - I was at about 50% at the beginning of the trip and down to 30% in 2 hours. Once I turned the nav software off, the thing started charging.

Now to rigging it more permanently in the car.

Glad I didn't get the factory nav.
 

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Here's some pics of the cradle install I did over Thanksgiving. Basically my Dad and I bent up some aluminum scrap metal into an L bracket and I mounted it to the underside of the landing that I was pointing to in an earlier post.

All in all, it does well and is a clean install. Unfortunately if you pivot the mount, it often will loosen the screw that pins the pivot to the mount. So really the only thing the pivot on the Dice cradle does for you is to angle the phone as you want.

Oh, and one nice thing about placing the phone in this location, if the car is in an odd numbered gear you can place your palm on the shifter and steady your hand if you need to access something on the phone. I'm not advocating playing with your phone while driving... just saying it can be done.

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yup, pivoting is counterproductive. Set it to a position you like and leave it alone. Did you notice that if you put the phone in the cradle before starting the car, you get no sound?

Get the pics attached, please - looking forward to seeing the install.

It's raining in GA and my garage is stuffed with other cars, so I won't get to work on the bracket for several days. Sucks.
 

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Did you notice that if you put the phone in the cradle before starting the car, you get no sound?
No problem with sound. If the iPhone is in the cradle, the iPod app launches and begins playing when I start the car. (just verified it a moment ago) I'm running iOS 4.1.

I didn't take any install pics. Was in too much of a hurry at the time. Basically if you look at the bracket you can see how it's bolted into the landing. I drilled a couple of holes into the plastic behind the chrome trim piece, dropped in a couple of screws, put the trim piece back, then bolted the l-bracket to the screws.

When I sell the car, I can simply unscrew the L-bracket and no one will see the holes.

Ignore the masking tape... it's just to hold the cable out of sight for now. (and the plastic to which it was taped wasnt completely snapped into place when I took the pic):

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok, for whatever reason my home Comcast wasn't displaying images from tapa.tk, so I just noticed that the pictures were there all the time. Pretty much the place where I want to put the phone.

What do you use for nav software?
 

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I originally used Navigon as you don't have to be on a data network to plot new routes, but I didn't like the lack of road map detail when you zoom out.

I'm using MotionX more frequently as I like it's interface and map detail, but it has to be on the data network to plot new routes.

iPod play thru functions are clunky with both. I usually use the headunit or the iPod app to make song/playlist selections instead of going thru the navi apps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
My music collection is organized to the best OCD standards, so it's easy to navigate through the radio.

And you should check out the $5 CoPilot Live nav app that I'm using - no need for data link and very quick recalcs, good map detail.
 

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That is a good location for visibility. How stable is it, do you have any vibrations while at hwy speed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
It's a lot more stable than the suction cup temporary rig I had. Didn't run it through the whole speed spectrum, though - that's yet to come. Felt stable enough going around the neighborhood. Stuffing it in is solid, but I have to hold it down with my pinky as I pull the phone out - seems like the motion will get natural after a day or two.
 
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