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Discussion Starter #241 (Edited)
Remote HDMI, 3.5mm Audio, and 2x USB Ports (02.11.16)

(UPDATE 02.18.18: Replaced with new ports, see #584)

Finally got around to doing a small project related to my Kenwood head unit. I wanted easier access to three specific inputs - 3.5mm aux. input, HDMI input, and the second USB input. All of these ports are normally located on the back of my head unit, so I decided to install some remote port/socket extenders in a way where they would blend in with the interior and be relatively incognito.


Parts to install - USB, HDMI, and 3.5mm Audio ports.

First I installed the 3.5mm Aux input port. I use the 3.5mm a lot when tuning my audio system with REW; before this I had a 6-foot long 3.5mm cable plugged into the back of the head unit, and just rolled up in the glove box. With this new socket I could plug in and out whenever I needed to, and there's no more cable spaghetti in the glove box. I decided to install the 3.5mm port on the left side of the lower center console, in-line with my subwoofer level and Epicenter controls (NOTE - this setup has since been removed, see last few photos in this post):


Drilled a small hole and used a reamer.


3.5mm socket installed under Epicenter control knob.

With the 3.5mm port done, I turned to the right side of the console to where the two 12v sockets were. The plan was to remove the top socket and install the HDMI/USB ports in the same spot.


OEM 12v socket just popped out.


HDMI/USB remote connectors going in.


Not exactly identical to stock, but close enough where it fits in.


Now I can access the extra ports on my Kenwood head unit.

Now about the HDMI and second USB port, the initial reason to make these two ports more accessible was because I wanted to run a GoPro camera for the next off-roading trip. I would power the GoPro with a USB adapter (takes the place of the regular GoPro battery) and I would send the live feed from the GoPro through the HDMI port to display the video directly on my head unit.


GoPro with constant power and live video.


I can see what the GoPro sees on my head unit, live.

With the HDMI port now easily accessible, and with a powered USB port right next to it, I realized that I could also do this again if I wanted to:

Google Chromecast plugs right in…


…and so does the Amazon Firestick, again.


Plex media center up and running…


…and Netflix too.

Edit: Later on down the line when I removed the Audio Control Epicenter, I also swapped back to a non-modified lower dash panel (meaning no more holes for the audio) and installed a second adaptor on the right side; this one had another USB plug and a 3.5mm audio plug:


Looks stock.


HDMI, USB1, 3.5mm, USB2 all together now.

So with this setup, all the ports are in the same spot, on the right side, protected with OEM-looking covers. The HDMI connector goes to the back of my head unit. The upper USB is a combo charge/flash drive port, also connected to my head unit. The 3.5mm is connected to the audio-in of my head unit (I only use it to tune the sound). Finally, the second USB is dual purpose - right now it is connected to my DSP, so whenever I plug in my laptop to tune audio I don't have to reach under the seat to plug a USB cable in. However I rigged a voltage step-down underneath the cup holder area, if I really need a second USB up front to charge, I can pull the cupholder out, unplug the cable leading to the DSP and connect it to the voltage step-down.
 

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Raine, I measured my down travel, and my setup gives me 2.5 inches, on the nose, of down travel. Not too bad I think, and the ride is pretty good. My only complaint, maybe, is slightly more road noise. Nothing bad, just a bit more.

Hey, that setup you just did for your head unit is freakin' awesome! My only question is with the Fire stick. I get the Chromecast, because you can screen mirror. But the Fire stick requires a WiFi connection. Is that easy to come by where you go?
 

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Discussion Starter #243
Raine, I measured my down travel, and my setup gives me 2.5 inches, on the nose, of down travel. Not too bad I think, and the ride is pretty good. My only complaint, maybe, is slightly more road noise. Nothing bad, just a bit more.

Hey, that setup you just did for your head unit is freakin' awesome! My only question is with the Fire stick. I get the Chromecast, because you can screen mirror. But the Fire stick requires a WiFi connection. Is that easy to come by where you go?
Firestick can mirror too... for the data connection I can use tethering through my iPhone. Also, I like using Plex because I can stream through my iPhone and then mirror it to the Kenwood head unit while on the go.
 

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Firestick can mirror too... for the data connection I can use tethering through my iPhone. Also, I like using Plex because I can stream through my iPhone and then mirror it to the Kenwood head unit while on the go.
Ahh very cool.
 

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Discussion Starter #245 (Edited)
OEM Nissan Titan "4x4 Off-Road" Decals (02.27.16)

Today was sticker day. I ordered a pair of Nissan Titan "4x4 Off-Road" bedside decals online (Nissan part #99098-7S205) and they arrived in the mail the other day, so I decided to install them earlier this afternoon.



To install the decals I used my tried and true method I've perfected over the years of doing decal work. For this job I used the following:

- Spray Bottle with Soapy Water (1 drop of dishwashing soap per 32-oz. of water)
- Quick Detailer and Claybar
- Masking Tape (blue stuff)
- Small Rubber Squeegee
- A couple of Microfiber Towels
- Measuring Tape
- Variable Heat Gun

First thing I did was spray a generous amount of soapy water to get any loose dust and dirt off the paint surface:



...followed by a quick claybar job to ensure that the paint was clean and bare (also using generous mounts of quick detailer):



With the clean surface, I used masking tape to temporarily position the decal as close as possible to where it's supposed to be. The OEM decal has a guideline printed on the top cover, which made it easy to line up with the tail lamp; the straight line worked out, but the curve at the top was for a Titan tail lamp, not a Frontier tail lamp. No problem - To get the decal squared up to the body I made sure the gap between the bedrail and decal matched at both ends of the decal:


Placing the decal into position as close as possible.


Exactly 2.5" of space between the decal and the upper bedrail.

With the decal positioned correctly, I removed the lower masking tape pieces to spray more soapy water onto the paint surface. I then removed the decal backing. Using soapy water here allows me to move the decal around if necessary, and it makes getting all the air bubbles out from underneath a lot easier. With the aid of a small rubber squeegee I carefully pressed the decal down to the paint surface, using the squeegee in a downward motion to get all of the soapy water out from underneath without leaving any air bubbles.


Soapy water returns to aid in installation.


Squeegee from top-down, to remove the soapy water underneath the decal.


Completely pressed down with the top tape off. Almost done.

Most people stop here and call it a day, but I like to finish the job by applying a little heat to the decal to help evaporate any liquid left under the decal and to get the adhesive to stick a lot better to the paint surface. If you do this, use the low setting and don't leave the heat gun pointed at one spot for longer than a couple of seconds, or you may damage your paint.


A little heat for "stick" insurance.


…and done. Now to do the exact same thing on the other side.

Since I was doing decals, I took a look at what other decals I had:



I decided for now just to add some King Shocks decals, I put two on the rear window:



...and I put one of the emblems on the roof console. That's good for now.

 

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Going inside the cabin for part 2, it was time to get the lamp switch ready. I went with the Nissan OEM Xterra switch #25166-N50002 because I wanted it to blend in with the rest of the interior. Before actually installing the switch, I had to first do some soldering since I did not have a matching harness plug. I used my Dremel to trim away at the harness plug housing in order to gain enough clearance to solder directly to the switch pins. After working out the electrical, I realized that I only need 4 wires, so I used a 4-pin connector harness and got to soldering.


Here's the six small pins and some careful soldering.


Soldering complete, you can see the 4-pin plug in the background.

With the switch side done, I connected the wires to a DEI 611T Latching Module; the module's job is to allow the Xterra switch to function correctly as a push-on/push-off type momentary switch. The 611T is easily programmable to do this, and the module itself was so small that I just mounted it behond the dash panel just above the switch area. So the Xterra switch was soldered up and the latching module was installed and wired up, the final step was to install the switch into the dash panel. I moved the VDC switch from the left side to the center console awhile back, so the new Xterra switch dropped right in place on the left, right next to the cargo lamp switch - which makes more sense to me having all the vehicle drive switches together in the center stack (2wd/4wd, VDC, Hill descent).


Here's how it looks installed in the left-side dash panel. I like how it blends in as if my truck came with it from the factory.
Can we get some more details on this install? I was under the impression you have to use all the pins in order to keep all the functions including back light and dimming feature on the switch. Im just trying to hook mine up to run a single light bar.
 

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Discussion Starter #247
Can we get some more details on this install? I was under the impression you have to use all the pins in order to keep all the functions including back light and dimming feature on the switch. Im just trying to hook mine up to run a single light bar.
You do have to wire up all of the pins in the switch to be able to use the backlight/dim. Look at my photo again - you'll see that all pins have connections. I only ended up with a 4-wire output because 3 of the pins on the switch are for ground:

pin 1 Switch output
pin 3 Dash illumination
pin 5 "lights on" indicator
The other 3 pins are all ground (-)
 

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You do have to wire up all of the pins in the switch to be able to use the backlight/dim. Look at my photo again - you'll see that all pins have connections. I only ended up with a 4-wire output because 3 of the pins on the switch are for ground:

pin 1 Switch output
pin 3 Dash illumination
pin 5 "lights on" indicator
The other 3 pins are all ground (-)
Thanks for the reply, that makes sense. It just threw me off with the plug you are using. Did you just splice the switch into the factory harness for pins 3 and 5?
 

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Discussion Starter #249
Thanks for the reply, that makes sense. It just threw me off with the plug you are using. Did you just splice the switch into the factory harness for pins 3 and 5?
I have pin 3 spliced into the illumination wire of the cargo lamp switch that sits right next to it. Pin 5 is wired into the actual off-road lamp relay (under the hood), on the output (lamp) side of the circuit. Thus if the indicator lamp on the Xterra switch is glowing "on" that tells me my PIAA lamps are on. Likewise, if for some reason one/both of the PIAA lamps aren't working right (burnt bulb, no power, etc.) then indicator lamp won't light up.
 

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I have pin 3 spliced into the illumination wire of the cargo lamp switch that sits right next to it. Pin 5 is wired into the actual off-road lamp relay (under the hood), on the output (lamp) side of the circuit. Thus if the indicator lamp on the Xterra switch is glowing "on" that tells me my PIAA lamps are on. Likewise, if for some reason one/both of the PIAA lamps aren't working right (burnt bulb, no power, etc.) then indicator lamp won't light up.
I have to figure something else out, mine is gonna be located under the radio, thats my only opening for a new switch since I have hill assist and cargo lamp on the left side of the wheel. Where did you find the four pin connectors?
 

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Discussion Starter #251
I have to figure something else out, mine is gonna be located under the radio, thats my only opening for a new switch since I have hill assist and cargo lamp on the left side of the wheel. Where did you find the four pin connectors?
Don't you have other switches under the radio?

The 4-pin connectors are RC hobby balance connectors
 

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Discussion Starter #254
Yeah, traction control, reverse sensor, and two seat warmers. One blank spot
That's how my truck was, but I moved the hill descent switch (from the left side near the side morror control) to the blank spot in the center stack. That way I could have all the light-related switches on the left.

where did you pick up the connectors from?
I already had them. You can find some on ebay or Amazon, search for "jst-xh"
 

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That's how my truck was, but I moved the hill descent switch (from the left side near the side morror control) to the blank spot in the center stack. That way I could have all the light-related switches on the left.



I already had them. You can find some on ebay or Amazon, search for "jst-xh"
How involved was that? i feel like you would have to hack up the harness pretty good to move the hill descent under the radio.
 

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Discussion Starter #256
How involved was that? i feel like you would have to hack up the harness pretty good to move the hill descent under the radio.
Not involved at all. Just had to extend 4 wires from the left side harness to the center stack. Basic cut and solder job.
 

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Discussion Starter #258 (Edited)

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Dammit! Yet again your build thread has lightened my wallet lol. Last night I ordered my xterra switch, and latching relay. I also contacted White Rhino about building me a light bar. Is there any chance I could get you to give me a measurement on the max depth of lights that could be mounted on that bar?
 
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