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Using the Nexus Home Dock in the Car…

Filed under: General, Radio Today, Electronics Disassemblies — Charlie Summers @ 6:47 pm

As some of you know, I’m…er…cheap. Ok, look, I’m an old man with a nine-year-old, so there’s not much disposable income anymore. And also as most of you know, I have a bunch of XM Satellite Radios around, all but the first one bought at substantial savings over “retail” (no, no, I don’t have a “guy,” I just am always watching out for sales and such). One of the radios I have is a Samsung Nexus 25…actually, we have two Nexus 25’s (from henceforth known as the Nexii); one I was given as a Christmas Present from my wife and my daughter, and the second was a killer deal from Crutchfield a while back that included a $55 XM prepay card, bringing the price of the unit down to under $15, including shipping.

(A quick explanation about how the Nexus works; there are actually three parts, all required: the Passport, the Nexus, and the cradle. The Passport is the XM Satellite Radio…it contains the Radio ID for which I pay, and is a cool system so that no matter how many Passport-ready XM radios you have, you only pay for the one subscription, and wherever the passport is, there you are (of course, thanks to the knuckleheads threatening to merge, this cool technology will probably be smashed by the Sirius overlords, assuming those of us vehemently against the merger can’t get it stopped). The Nexus is the player, allowing for recording of live XM while in a cradle, and when out it’s an XM/MP3 player only. The cradle is the piece that puts it all together. So if Annie has the car, she can take the Passport and her Nexus and listen live. When I have the Passport, she listens to recorded XM material (she still has like four hours of the St. Patrick’s’ Day Celtic Channel on it) and MP3s (her Marshall Chapman tunes, some Old-Time Radio) while I’m listening live. Both Nexii run off of the same Passport, so this only counts as one “radio.”

Each of the Nexii came with a home kit, but neither of them came with a car kit. Now we’ve had XM radios in the car for a while now (beginning with the Roady2 I activated in September 2004, running through the Tao XM2Go which was also a loyal and faithful servant), so not having one in the car now seems kinda silly. But I didn’t have a car cradle for the Nexus, just two home cradles…which look identical, but have minor differences (only in the home cradle will the radio record scheduled programming, and only the car cradle has an FM transmitter - didn’t need that, since my car is old and has a tape deck). So instead of spending $70 on a car kit for my Nexus, I decided to use the spare home kit in the car.

This sorta assumes the Nexus isn’t your first radio, and you already have mounting hardware in your car (if you don’t, this doesn’t make much sense). It also assumes you have a spare home kit, or are planning to carry your home unit back-and-forth (this is perfect if you want to record The Bob Edwards Show in your car while you’re at work, BTW). Either way, this is about as close to a “0″ on the difficulty scale as you’re gonna find…honest, this is simple. Copious photos after the jump…

First off, slide the weight to the left with your thumb… Now we go get the ubiquitous Torx 6 driver you’ve seen in so many XM disassembles before… Remove the two Torx 6 screws holding the coverplate on the back; you’ll expose the “main” circuit board (more on this a little later)
Let’s look at the mount for a sec; it’s nothing but a rectangular peg that goes through a hole in the cradle mount, then the cradle slides down (I’ve removed some of the mount pieces to make it easier to work with) You’ll notice the rectangular well on the back of the cradle plate fits perfectly… So we’ll rough-sketch the general dimensions of the hole we’re going to cut; we can use a hobby knife for this, or a rotary tool. I cheated and used both, a rotary tool to drill-out the rough cut and a knife to clean it up (well, mostly)
There we go…perfect. Ok, maybe not; my drill bit slipped a little. Hey, it adds to the charm. You might want to use a de-burr bit to thin out the remaining plastic…this depends on the mount, actually, but if you do this be gentle you don’t dig through it. Look at that…slides on like it was factory.
Replace the plate with the two screws…the circuit board is well below any standard mount I’ve seen, so no fear that you’ll punch into it. Told you it was easy; we’re done and ready to hang it in the car. To use at home, snap-on the weight. And, for giggles, I completely removed the guts of the cradle…those three circuit boards are everything in there. No wonder they need that big honkin’ weight to keep the thing from tipping over in a breeze…

The next project we’ll be tackling here is to turn two Nexus remote controls into an Inno remote control. Arts and crafts…

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One Response to “Using the Nexus Home Dock in the Car…” »


  1. tulsagentleman Says:

    Hey Charlie. I am also a cheap old man with limited finances. I had a Samsung Nexus XM radio very nicely mounted in my car when some jerk stole the radio and the cradle leaving the mount plate and connecting cables hanging off the dash. I found a pretty good deal on a replacement radio but was faced with the dilemma of how to modify the home cradle to hook on the car mount. After some head scratching and googling I found this post and was very pleased to have a step by step illustrated guide to finagling a home cradle into a car cradle. Brilliant! I just knew it oughta work that way. It looks just like the original and now I can even schedule recording from the car. I need to post a picture so you can see how spiffy it is. It is such a success that I think I will start locking my car so as to discourage someone from nabbing the new one.

    Thank you very much for taking the trouble to post such a helpful mod. You are an alright guy.

    Your new friend Bill

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