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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
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I have been wanting to add an after market head unit for a while to add Android Auto functionality and a backup camera to the Sky.

In wanting to make a project out of it and not wanting to spend $500 on just a head unit I decided to build my own using a Raspberry Pi and 7" touchscreen. As of this posting I have the entire setup bench tested and working as I wanted.

Key Features I wanted:
- Backup Camera
- Handsfree calling
- Android Auto USB and Wireless (No compatibility with Apple CarPlay sorry)
- Extended delayed shutdown (device goes to "sleep" for 1 hour after car is off, explained later)
- Direct phone mirroring
- Customizable and upgradeable UI/OS

Current features missing:
- Steering wheel controls (to be added later using Arduino)
- No CD player (no plans to add one)
- FM radio (may or may not add, this one is a little trickier to add, currently being researched by software developers)

I plan on outlining my setup if people are interested. Will also post some pictures. Plans are currently to start the actual car install hopefully next weekend or the following. Spent about a month on trial and error experimenting and the code to run some of the features.
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Last edited by Bpm009; 06-17-2019 at 11:54 AM. Reason: Added Pictures
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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Hardware Component List: (I think everything is Amazon accessible )
- Double Din adapter for the Sky
- GM wire harness for a typical stereo and chime retention
- Raspberry Pi 3B+ (*usb keyboard during setup for ease)
- Micro SD card (16GB or greater) (*USB MicroSD card reader needed)
- Official 7" Raspberry Pi Touchscreen
- Raspberry Pi GPIO breakout hat (optional - breaks out pins to screw terminals) (https://www.amazon.com/Alchemy-Power...ateway&sr=8-13)
- HiFiBerry AMP2 (acts as stereo amp) (*I don't have the Monsoon setup, may be able to incorporate Monsoon amp in place)
- 4 Channel relay with individual triggers (https://www.amazon.com/DZS-Elec-Chan...gateway&sr=8-6)
- Single channel timed relay (https://www.amazon.com/UCTRONICS-Tac...ateway&sr=8-15) (**Looking back a timer with digital readout would have been nice)
- Powered USB hub (ideally if you can find one with bare wires to barrel plug that saves time cutting off the PS) (*Also, powered is only necessary for faster device charging)
- 12V to 5V DC to DC converter (to step down power from battery to USB hub because you couldn't find a hub with bare cables so you started cutting things up ) (https://www.amazon.com/KNACRO-Supply...s%2C185&sr=8-9)
- Raspberry Pi camera module (any compatible model will do) (went with RasPi camera for ease of use vs trying to implement a USB option)
- HDMI cable long enough to go from stereo to back up cam location
- Raspberry Pi HDMI cable extension modules (pair of 2) to switch from ribbon, to HDMI and back to ribbon
- USB microphone (doesn't really matter the type, aim for something small that can be hidden in the car somewhere)
- Small wires (mostly 22 or 24 AWG), some resistors (will explain where and why later), soldering iron / solder, wire stripper, (I have a variable bench PSU that is great for 12V car battery simulation but not necessary)

Software List:
- OpenAuto Pro software from Bluewavestudio.io (cost $28 for OpenAuto Pro which includes additional features and support)
- Various Python scripts for startup/shutdown control, backup camera activation, keyboard inputs (will outline more below)
- Access to a separate computer for initial install of software, USB MicroSD card reader for flashing OS to card

Last edited by Bpm009; 06-17-2019 at 05:19 PM. Reason: Added HW and SW lists and links
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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Held for further updates
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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Held for the other updates that may exceed further updates
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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 01:40 PM
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Nice project, I love the concept. Did you consider using an Android radio?

John
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Sky NA 2007 Midnight Blue
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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 03:23 PM
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Damn, @JohnWR, looks like we may have some competition on the fora!

But seriously @Bpm009... keep the project updates coming!

On a slightly off-topic note (albeit similar) I've just finished my PiCorePlayer Hi-Fi Streamer project... Pi3B+, HifiBerry Digi+ Pro DAC, dual linear PSUs and 5" touch screen (plus physical buttons/dial and IR remote). All mounted in an old gutted and modified Pioneer Receiver chassis with custom faceplate.
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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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@JohnWR I did and actually still have that as the backup plan if I run into something I can't get past. I had the Raspberry Pi and touchscreen already so that helped. Specifically I have a Atoto android head unit in mind after originally wanting a Pioneer overly expensive unit.

I really like the idea of repurposing an old unit, the idea of a new technology in an older technology frame is a good way to go. I got pretty lucky that theb7" display is almost exactly Double Din size and I just have to take a little plastic off the top and bottom of the Double Din aftermarket frame to fit it in.
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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomatoSoup View Post
Damn, @JohnWR, looks like we may have some competition on the fora!

But seriously @Bpm009... keep the project updates coming!

On a slightly off-topic note (albeit similar) I've just finished my PiCorePlayer Hi-Fi Streamer project... Pi3B+, HifiBerry Digi+ Pro DAC, dual linear PSUs and 5" touch screen (plus physical buttons/dial and IR remote). All mounted in an old gutted and modified Pioneer Receiver chassis with custom faceplate.
I love competition! Especially this kind.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bpm009 View Post
@JohnWR I did and actually still have that as the backup plan if I run into something I can't get past. I had the Raspberry Pi and touchscreen already so that helped. Specifically I have a Atoto android head unit in mind after originally wanting a Pioneer overly expensive unit.

I really like the idea of repurposing an old unit, the idea of a new technology in an older technology frame is a good way to go. I got pretty lucky that theb7" display is almost exactly Double Din size and I just have to take a little plastic off the top and bottom of the Double Din aftermarket frame to fit it in.
@Bpm009 I asked because I am completing the installation of an Atoto A6 Pro, using a custom center panel. Raspberry Pi is a little sportier than I was interested in trying, but I do love the idea.
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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I love competition! Especially this kind.

@Bpm009 I asked because I am completing the installation of an Atoto A6 Pro, using a custom center panel. Raspberry Pi is a little sportier than I was interested in trying, but I do love the idea.
You say sportier being the Raspberry Pi but I say you have the sportier setup with incorporating a custom center panel I really like the idea of mounting the USB ports in the center panel. Were you able to come across a spare panel or find one for purchase somewhere? I don't think I could risk that concept with my stock panel.

Do SWC work stock with the ATOTO unit or is that why you have the steering wheel stationed behind the unit in your picture? I'm jealous of your extra steering wheel as I won't be messing with SWC until I have it in the car most likely.

Also, how do you like the ATOTO unit overall for functionality?
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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 05:20 PM
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The panel is 3D printed. I am still working on the design and dimensions, but no OEM parts were harmed in the construction. The current one is PETG but I am having trouble bonding things to it so I am about to do another in ABS.

The SWC work directly with the Atoto. They are varying resistance ladder circuits and that is exactly what the Atoto wants. That part was scary simple, and all I had to do was add a pin to the adapter plug that I bought to eliminate splicing.

Overall I like the Atoto. The music player is a little flaky, but it is Android so obviously I can change it. One nice thing is the instant-on feature. The unit sleeps at minimal power, so it starts in 2-3 seconds when I power the car, and it has a battery-saving feature that shuts itself down cold after 7 days of inactivity. I loved the description: "This feature has been tested thousands of times and is reliable enough". I haven't had any battery issues, and it does power itself down after 7 days so I guess it is reliable enough.

I have not yet done the chimes, since I want to hack the CAN bus to generate my own, so for now I am enjoying the quiet. I also do not have any OnStar function, but I never use it so don't plan to do anything with it.
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post #11 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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Very nice, that sounds like the best approach. I may have to look into the custom panel route, I recently backed a Kickstarter 3D printer but it doesn't show up until October haha. Would you be willing to share your STL file? Oh nice, I'm going to have to run it through an Arduino micro to have the same capabilities, which will likely be a bit of a pain and add a few extra cables behind the dash. I don't use the SWC much currently but I would like to map a Google Assistant function and maybe an answer/hang up button along with the standard volume controls.

The instant on feature is exactly one of the things I was going for with my build. I hadn't considered going for 7 days though, just figured 1 hour for most in and out trips. I had considered just leaving the system on and just have a screen off feature as the pi only draws about 250mA when idling but figured it better to have a shutdown and then power disconnect to cover any excess battery loss. I have the chimes as part of the wire harness although creating your own chimes sounds like a good idea if you find some of them annoying. I also have no use for Onstar so I was fine losing that function.
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post #12 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 07:59 PM
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I'll share the STL, or print you a part, depending on your printer status. Just let me know. It isn't really ready for prime time yet, and I am still editing it, but I'm happy to share what I have.

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post #13 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 12:40 PM
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I fully commend and respect your effort into going down this route. I was going to try to do the same thing but the power/shutoff settings were a nightmare to try to configure, not to mention android-x86 is a buggy mess still to run as a full OS. Even attempted to try the batteryless-hardwired tablet route and still ran into a ton of issues. In the end I settled for a joyingauto headunit since its basically what we wanted to build with an adjustable mount screen connected with ribbon cable. The price was just too favorable compared to individual parts and crazy hours needed to figure everything out. :p Really interested in how this will work out though. Best of luck.

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post #14 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, it has definitely been repeated headaches and speedbumps at each step. The power shutdown stuff was tricky and took multiple attempts and configurations before I found one that worked. I spent over a week with an issue that one of my relays was too "slow" and would reset the Pi over the <0.25 seconds it takes to flip. I decided on the setup because it runs the full Raspbian OS with an OpenAuto program on top that seems pretty smooth. I also already had a few of the parts so if it falls through it won't be too bad to fall back on a full head unit.

I've never heard of Joyingauto, the idea of an adjustable mounted screen sounds really nice though.
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post #15 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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So I do have a challenge if anyone is interested. My current speed bump is that I want to mount the display to the face of the Double Din mount. I would like to have it removable without having to take apart then entire dash. I've attached pictures of the front and back of the display as well as the Double Din mount you're all probably familiar with. Any ideas? Magnets were my best idea but I'm worried to use anything stronger than magnetic rolls with electronics so close. I didn't get a very good hold because they are weak magnets.

There are (4) M3 screws to be used for mounting on the rear of the display but I can't figure out how to incorporate them in such a way as to be able to remove the screen from the mount. Backup plan is to use the screws to put two flat bars across the back to hold it against the mount frame. Won't be able to remove the screen without dash teardown but much easier solution.
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