PV1 wrote:Maybe I'll try an actual Android head unit one day.
This might finally be the end-all solution. I installed a Newsmy Android Carpad NU3001 a couple of weeks ago. Months of on and off searching yielded mostly head units that were a Windows/Android perversion that don't work very well. I finally found a decent looking pure Android unit with a quad core processor and 2 GB of RAM.
The actual brains of the operation (dubbed the Android Box) is a separate piece that connects to the head unit via a Firewire cable. The head unit itself is merely a touchscreen, tuner, and amplifier. All interactions with the system go through Android, but items such as Bluetooth phone connections, AV inputs, and the speaker amplifier output are mostly invisible to Android, only being controlled through an API. There are actually two different Bluetooth radios, one strictly for phone headset and audio connections, and the other is for Android, which of course is to be used with CaniOn
. With Rocket Player now installed (was using an old version of Google Play previously), the HU can directly play FLAC music files stored on a flash drive. To sync my music right now, I take the flash drive out of the car and plug it into my media server, which automatically syncs the libraries.
So far, I'm impressed. This is the first audio system I've put into the i-MiEV that sounds just as good if not better than the stock radio, it runs CaniOn reliably, even with music and navigation running in the background, and the boot time is bearable (though I'm working on fixing this). I have basic steering wheel controls provided by a Pebble Watch (same as with the tablet I had previously).
Things still needing improvement or completed are:
1. 2 hour timeout. Within two hours of last using the radio, the Android Box stays powered on, allowing for a near instant power up. After that, the Android Box has to do a cold boot, taking about 25 seconds. I need to bypass the HU power supply to keep the Android Box powered on full time (though it goes into sleep mode when the car is off).
2. Auto pause. Right now the music keeps playing after turning the car off. I installed an app that was supposed to fix this, but apparently didn't work.
3. Finalizing installation. Right now, the Android Box is in the glove compartment. I plant to install it permanently somewhere. With this, I will try to connect the factory USB port so I can easily access the flash drive. Also, I have a 2-DIN trim on backorder from Ricart Parts.
4. 3G/4G dongle. I would like to install a cellular dongle instead of the MiFi I have in the car right now. With Wifi on, CaniOn sometimes has trouble connecting (probably due to the OBDLink WiFi compatibility).
5. Finish installing the Playstation 2. Yes, I have a PS2 in the car
. Need something to do at the charging station, right?
Seriously though, this doubles as a CD player should I want to play a CD, but totally works for games while parked. I repeat, while parked.
6. Solar trickle charger. Given Joe's recent post on one of his car's 12 volt battery going flat, I'm going to try to find somewhere to put a small 12 volt solar panel to trickle charge the battery, as I now have 3 devices pulling power (OVMS, OBDLink, and the HU). This may never be an issue with my usage habits, as well as OVMS warning me of a low battery, but I want to be prepared.
Once I get the trim piece, I will post pictures of the unit installed in the car.