Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

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brad
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Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by brad »

Hi Guys,
I'm an Android novice and my only real experiance is using an android phone.

I have been looking at double DIN android head units for my car and many look cheep and nasty with the more expensive brand named units being quiet expensive.

looking at the c4 (or maybe N2) looks like I could get an android system up and running with the ODROID-VU7A touchscreen. I would need some right angle usb / hdmi connectors I think to be able to fit in screen into the dash. I would also need to add in the following usb devices for my purpose

- vu7a screen
- gps
- bluetooth
- wifi
- 4g
- dab
- usb port for external storage
- 2x camera's (reverse and forward facing)
- usb audio adaptor (probably) - I only need stereo output (Ute) which I can connect to external amp

I'm assuming I could connect all devices using a usb hub on android without too many issues?

Has anybody tried to get android auto running on an Odroid?

I should not have too many troubles getting power and cooling sorted out (I would plan to put a cooler fan to keep it cooler under the dash with outside air even when turned off)

If android is not suitable I could use ubuntu gnome if it would support the touchscreen well. Has anybody used gnome with a touchscreen and how well does it work?

Thanks,
Brad.

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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by mad_ady »

You should start with joerg's Power board design.
For Android Auto - there are two functionalities - first, the AA app acts like a low dpi launcher and displays stuff on the screen. This should work. Second - if you plug in a phone it will be the brains (run navigation/apps), while the screen will be like a secondary screen. Not sure if this is supported on the odroid (it needs android accessory mode)...

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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by brad »

mad_ady wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:57 pm
You should start with joerg's Power board design.
For Android Auto - there are two functionalities - first, the AA app acts like a low dpi launcher and displays stuff on the screen. This should work. Second - if you plug in a phone it will be the brains (run navigation/apps), while the screen will be like a secondary screen. Not sure if this is supported on the odroid (it needs android accessory mode)...
Thanks @mad_ady if AA needs a phone for the brains I think I would just do a normal android install and interface with the usb devices or just use linux. Vehicle has a number of batteries and some stable power supplies so I could run the device for weeks with constant power without the need for a charge.

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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by joerg »

brad wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 11:39 am
Hi Guys,
I'm an Android novice and my only real experiance is using an android phone.

I have been looking at double DIN android head units for my car and many look cheep and nasty with the more expensive brand named units being quiet expensive.
Ha, that's true.
looking at the c4 (or maybe N2) looks like I could get an android system up and running with the ODROID-VU7A touchscreen. I would need some right angle usb / hdmi connectors I think to be able to fit in screen into the dash. I would also need to add in the following usb devices for my purpose

- vu7a screen
- gps
- bluetooth
- wifi
- 4g
- dab
- usb port for external storage
- 2x camera's (reverse and forward facing)
- usb audio adaptor (probably) - I only need stereo output (Ute) which I can connect to external amp

I'm assuming I could connect all devices using a usb hub on android without too many issues?
VU7a, GPS, Wifi, Bluetooth should work.
For the 4G I would recommend @voodik's LineageOS. He has integrated the usb_modeswitch functionallity into LOS. With a 4G modem that can be switched to Hilink mode, LOS enables it as network device.
For the DAB, I am not sure. Years ago I played with it, a USB receiver that can demodulate DAB and there was only one not open source app to manage it. Bad signal reception without an suitable external antenna.
USB storage should work. I use it for my music library, but LOS (I bet Hardkernel's PIE also) from time to time do not mount it correct and I have to power cycle the C4.
For the two cameras I don't have any experience.
I also have some trouble with the GPS driver that sometimes need >10min to get a fix with my Ublox8 device. I am doing some experiments to use my modified driver, I used several years with the C2. I have modified the driver to accept only GPS, and not other satellites. Until a real GNSS driver exists for the Android GNSS framework.
Has anybody tried to get android auto running on an Odroid?
I don't have experience, but I think @codewalker yes.
I should not have too many troubles getting power and cooling sorted out (I would plan to put a cooler fan to keep it cooler under the dash with outside air even when turned off)
I would do cooling also it is not necessarily needed. Cooling means less stress for the electronic components.
If android is not suitable I could use ubuntu gnome if it would support the touchscreen well. Has anybody used gnome with a touchscreen and how well does it work?
Thanks,
Brad.
On Linux I don't know any nice navigation app, like you can have on Android.

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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by mad_ady »

Maybe once anbox can run on arm64 linux you could run linux and use maps for navigation.
Though openstreetmaps has some linux clients with navigation: https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Software/Desktop

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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by odroid »

@codewalker tried Android Auto on the C2 board a couple of years ago.
https://magazine.odroid.com/article/and ... roid-road/
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brad (Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:34 pm)

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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by mad_ady »

Wow, I had no idea about open auto. Great article!

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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by brad »

OK so many different options (which is good), I need to setup an android install and do some testing before I purchase VU7A.

A final option I had not considered until now is using H2 with Windows along with the VU7A, I suspect there would be windows drivers for the touchscreen.

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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by odroid »

I hope there will be a hero who can port the Vu Linux touchscreen driver to a Windows WDM driver. ;)

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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by mad_ady »

brad wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:17 pm
OK so many different options (which is good), I need to setup an android install and do some testing before I purchase VU7A.

A final option I had not considered until now is using H2 with Windows along with the VU7A, I suspect there would be windows drivers for the touchscreen.
Do you really want to wait for windows update to finish before you can use the navigation?
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L67GS (Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:00 pm)

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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by brad »

mad_ady wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:15 pm
Do you really want to wait for windows update to finish before you can use the navigation?
Fair point haha but I'm not really concerned about that they would be scheduled overnight on Windows Tuesday with an automatic restart.
odroid wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:32 pm
I hope there will be a hero who can port the Vu Linux touchscreen driver to a Windows WDM driver. ;)
I'm no visual studio expert or hero but how hard can it be :lol: (I do have a license)

Ill try out the Android solution first on C4

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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by brad »

Ive ordered some parts (got a relatively cheap 7" screen coming and some angle adaptors for HDMI / usb which I hope might even work with Android on C4 from Australia, if not it will work with linux or windows (H2)). https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/7-Inch-HDMI ... 2749.l2649

Id love to have the C4 running Linux if I could put together a collection of decent software so I might start playing around with this now. With Linux I could interface the GPIO pins for extra buttons and a volume control knob and also maybe the I2S for audio output and a nice DAC or use the hifi shield 2 instead. Ideally I want to control volume via the C4 and i'm not sure I can do this on Android. If this fails the Windows idea on H2 might come into play as the software side will be easy here and I think the onboard audio should suffice.

Have a new fascia for my car which is a double DIN layout so need to design a nice surround for the LCD and mounting brackets, ill probably do this with some aluminum and get it anodized or paint it.

Power saving mode works well with mainline linux so if I can find suitable linux software I think ill just use gpio input to put the C4 to sleep when the car accessories are off and have a GPIO override button for when I want to turn it on/off manually. Will be powered via my second battery which is isolated from the main when the vehicle is off no big worry about it draining the battery.

Should be able to also add via GPIO's

- outside temp sensor
- inside temp sensor
- gyroscope
- 2nd battery voltage monitor
- CAN interface to vehicle for engine parameters and maybe even steering wheel control buttons

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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by mad_ady »

Aren't you concerned that exposed aluminium will heat up more in the summer sun?
Also, what purpose will the gyroscope serve?


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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by brad »

mad_ady wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:42 pm
Aren't you concerned that exposed aluminium will heat up more in the summer sun?
Also, what purpose will the gyroscope serve?
I didn't consider the heat build up for the aluminum ill look into that further, what would the best material be for keeping cool in the sun, a hardened style foam like plastic maybe?

I have a gy-521 to put to use, will use the gyroscope (or I guess more so its inclinometer) for angle (its a 4x4) and the accelerometer for measuring performance, I figure I can use python and make some nice graphs or meters of the data.

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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by brad »

So I think the linux software is covered just need to complete the testing on wayland gnome with 5.8 kernel

- Navit for navigation (GUI version working wayland) but need my GPS receiver to arrive for proper testing and configuration. espeak as voice guidance. Navit has quiet a bit of development going on so I hope it will meet my needs.
- welli.io for DAB+ radio (gui working wayland)
- audacious for music library (working wayland) - would like to have VLC as well but current ubuntu version not working wayland, need to update manually
- python3 for graphing / charting various parameters (gpio sensors, CAN/OBD parameters) - need to try to add GPIO IRQ support to kernel ideally for this so dont have to poll

I wonder if there is more suited audio software, ie something with all the plugins for AM / FM / DAB+ / music library and nice interface for vehicle. Would also like something for hands-free phone integration.

Going to try out https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/RTL-SDR-USB ... 2749.l2649 for DAB / FM / AM reception, unsure how it will go but also have some other adapters already to try as well

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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by mad_ady »

You may be the first to run a linux navigation system! I hope you document and publish your steps!

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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by L67GS »

Cool build!
I'm planning a Linux carputer too, but you're a year ahead of me. I'm really excited to see how you make out with navigation.

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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by brad »

I'm starting to document each step along the way and as I do some more testing ill place it all on the forums. :) Once it is a little more progressed ill take some photos of the setup and screenshots of the GUI's
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joerg (Sun Oct 18, 2020 3:29 pm)

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Re: Car setup on Linux

Post by brad »

Navit in Ubuntu repo's not working as expected so compiled from source using latest git version, need my gps receiver to test further and need to edit the xml file to clean up the GUI to my liking. Also need my new screen so I can work the resolutions and sizing.
Screenshot from 2020-10-18 21-28-10.png
Screenshot from 2020-10-18 21-28-10.png (127.87 KiB) Viewed 305 times
Looking for the best audio player to work best in car scenario, I do aim to have external button for play / volume control

clementine
Screenshot from 2020-10-18 21-32-38.png
Screenshot from 2020-10-18 21-32-38.png (289.91 KiB) Viewed 305 times
audacious
Screenshot from 2020-10-18 21-32-57.png
Screenshot from 2020-10-18 21-32-57.png (100.28 KiB) Viewed 305 times
I'm going to need to build a ubuntu ppa repo for the car software I think.
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jgmdev (Tue Oct 27, 2020 3:13 pm)

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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by mad_ady »

Navit doesn't look that bad. But you may be missing traffic information.
One more idea. You can hook your mobile phone and run scrcpy to mirror its screen on the odroid sceeen. Not sure if it renders on in non-X11 environment but it could be an alternative to android auto.

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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by brad »

mad_ady wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:45 pm
Navit doesn't look that bad. But you may be missing traffic information.
One more idea. You can hook your mobile phone and run scrcpy to mirror its screen on the odroid sceeen. Not sure if it renders on in non-X11 environment but it could be an alternative to android auto.
Traffic is only available for the Android version at the moment but other architectures are on the todo list.

Cool scrcpy is working with my phone, might have to play around with that too. Thanks

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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by L67GS »

On the HDMI, there are female to male and female to female adapters available on Amazon and such. One of those things would allow the use of the "U" shaped adapter that ships with the screen.
Theoretically a plug could be desoldered from the "U" adapter and a hacked HDMI cable soldered on but it's a lot of connections.
Either would make a really tight bend around the side for clearance, that's my plan anyway.
Are you writing your own front end or navigating Linux desktop? If so what language are you using?

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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by brad »

L67GS wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 12:55 am
On the HDMI, there are female to male and female to female adapters available on Amazon and such. One of those things would allow the use of the "U" shaped adapter that ships with the screen.
Theoretically a plug could be desoldered from the "U" adapter and a hacked HDMI cable soldered on but it's a lot of connections.
Either would make a really tight bend around the side for clearance, that's my plan anyway.
Are you writing your own front end or navigating Linux desktop? If so what language are you using?
I ordered a cheap Chinese screen for the moment to try out gnome GUI with a touchscreen (as Gnome is accelerated), it has the HDMI in a similar position so orderd a slimline HDMI cable like this http://www.adt.link/HDMI.html. I didn't consider the U shaped HDMI with the VU7A but it would probably be perfect. For audio output I could possibly even try to split this out with an adapter on the HDMI.

If gnome works well with a small touchscreen ill stick with it and python for some graphs / charts, anything more then probably try to use QT or GTK. I think I can skin audacious with a high resolution skin to make a nice touch screen suitable audio player and navit is suited to touch.

Im trying to compile up a new version of audacious at the moment (4 rather than 3 included with Ubuntu) which now uses qt5 backend and has some better features for interfacing.

I haven experimented with reverse / dash camera's yet will be interesting to see how much cpu power it will need, I maybe able to even use the v4l2 to convert to a nice compressed format to store history on disk.

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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by brad »

I think i'm sticking with Linux and I ended up ordering VU7A for main screen (as I think it will be better quality than the cheap Chinese one I have on order), a 3.5inch Touchscreen Shield as a secondary (mainly for instrument display behind the steering wheel) and a HiFi Shield 2 for sound output to an amp. Never though I would run out of GPIO's on the odroid's but it looks like I'm starting to as I make some configurations into the kernel but I may fit it all in and make it work

- 3.5inch Touchscreen requires 10+
- Hifi Shield requires 4+ the 7 pins header GPIO's (I could maybe reuse the SPDIF one as I wont be using it)
- Was going to use use 6 GPIO's for button controls (forward, back, volume up, down, pause/play & power)
- 1 GPIO for reverse sensor
- 2 GPIO's for key igition sense/ accessories sense
- 2nd 2 pin I2c interface for inclination sensor
- spi for temp sensors (inside and outside)
- maybe the analog input for voltage sense of my second battery or I might find a i2c solutions

USB will consist of

- VU7A touchscreen
- Reverse camera (have an old RCA -> usb inteface ill try to reuse here)
- Dash Cam (Logitech C270i Webcam)
- bluetooth 5 adaptor
- SDR tuner (for radio, DAB+ and maybe VHF / UHS scanner)
- GPU dongle (I considered using a UART interface for this but was more expensive)
- Possible phone interface
- external USB drive
- WIFI

Bluetooth will have
- OBD can adaptor
- Interface to phone
- possible bluetooth media control buttons (to replace GPIO buttons if I don't have enough)

All this is on order so I'm working on software integrations

- New version of navit (with some patches compiling and appears to work, need the GPS to test further)
- Intgration of devices into mainline kernel (device tree mainly but I want to get GPIO IRQ working so looking at this)
- I'm not happy with Audacious as media player, it works well with Gnome but cannot find a nice skin which works well. (GTK ones I cannot resize buttons and the winamp ones are too low of resolution and look bad when I increase the size. Looks like VLC will be the go, I have found some nice skins which will work but VLC wont start on wayland, Ive compiled newer version with wayland support but it is segfaulting at the moment so im looking closer.
- kernel has support for gpio keys built in but I need to make the meson driver work with IRQ for best results. Someone has already done most of the work in the past but the patches never made in it as they could not make a decision on how to allocate the 8 IRQ channels to the various pins. ill do some work here and ask mainline developers for help.
- Once I get the Hifi shield 2 I will make it work with mainline.
- Work on how to integrate the various sensors and OBD can interface, this will be a custom solution and considering python for this, have some basic examples working already to read the GPIO via python, need to spend some time learning the graphing and display features. If not might have to learn QT development.
- Camera interfaces, I think I can record here fine to disk, but will need some software control to bring up reverse camera when car is in reverse (GPIO sensed) and something to display the live feed from the USB camera being used for dash cam (probably MPV which has hardware decoder support if it is stable enough for the cam feed, if not screen is small enough for software decoding)

I figure if I aim high for everything above, at least some of it should work and make me happy enough :)
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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by rooted »

How will you draw to the 3.5" while X is running on another display?

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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by brad »

rooted wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:55 pm
How will you draw to the 3.5" while X is running on another display?
Wayland gnome will be the main display with the desktop, and the 3.5 can be a dumb screen. I should be able to start a wayland or x11 session here on a different tty to display the guages / charts im hoping.

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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by L67GS »

brad wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:21 pm
Never though I would run out of GPIO's on the odroid's but it looks like I'm starting to
I have a super simple PIC16F886 GPIO output expander if you have the technology to program miccrocontrollers.
It turns 4 GPIO pins into 15 with simple binary.

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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by mad_ady »

Ok, here's my pitch...
- how are you going to fit the 3.5" display with the board so that you can still access the other GPIOS? I take it won't be sandwitched on top and you'll have to run about a meter of ribbon cables, right? It will be a nightmare to swap boards with all those wires around. Also, longer lenghts of wire could mess with timings and increase crosstalk/external interference
- about a year ago I experimented on a c2 with a 3.5" shield and a vu7 and tried to run two x11 sessions independent of eachother. I nearly succeeded, but failed nonetheless - one session would fail to log in (with a different user) and would loop back to lightdm. Here's what I tried: https://github.com/mad-ady/xorg-multiseat Maybe you can find a way to make it work (I'd like to have closure).
- you should be able to get reversing information from ODB gear info, no need for gpio (have a look at https://comma.ai/ - they may have decoded odb information for your make of car). You could use c2play for playback since it uses the Amlogic overlay layer for video. Not sure if it can play in real-time without buffering (which is important in this case)
- I had headaches with BT. Sometimes it connects, other times it doesn't. Especially when connecting headphones. Had to write a script that tries to connect to the headphones every 5s, because it wouldn't connect automatically...

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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by brad »

Thanks for the input guys, I ordered a https://www.hardkernel.com/shop/16port-i2c-gpio-board/ as well in case I need more gpio's

The 3.5" screen might have some complications but i'm willing to give it a try, I will make up a custom cable if it works, trying to use modular connectors and shielded cables to reduce any cross-talk on the longer runs. The main desktop will be auto login where as I will experiment with a just a plain weston or X11 session (no login manager for the 3.5") and run this as a custom systemd service, then I "should" be able to export out this display and hopefully display a single tty session in fullscreen mode, I will take a look as your setup as well mad_ady :) Ill have to check if my vehicle links the reverse control into OBD as it is a simple manual so i'm not sure at this stage. I will look at c2play although with the new version on mpv I updated into tobetters image it will hopefully work as well and I can control the buffering here. I do worry about the bluetooth connectivity as I have had some issues previously myself, some testing needed here.

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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by L67GS »

Actually for the secondary display a Nextion HMI may be an interesting choice. If you put the time in doing graphics they can really look great and they can use serial data for input. For that matter they have a handful of GPIOs that could be commanded serial data too.
And they're inexpensive.
Their forum is unfriendly IMO though...

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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by rooted »

@mad_ady I remembered your exploits which is why I asked :)

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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by brad »

The VU7A arrived and the touchscreen works much better that the Chinese one I was using, touch is much more accurate and was plug and play with Gnome. I have a little bit of missing screen visible at the bottom but i'm sure I will find a way to adjust. GPS, Bluetooth and webcam were plug as play also, I installed cheese and logiitech camera displays well.

I have 2 things im trying to work through at the moment

- VLC crashes under wayland (segmentation fault in libMali) so im trying to get panfrost up and running as a test. This is new mesa compile and additions to the kernel. (VLC is the only audio app I have found where I can really customise the skin well for touchscreen use) otherwise I might have to find another music app with a good touchscreen interface or a skin I can customise. VLC works under X11 but navit struggles a bit with no GPU accel, maybe I take this path if I swap to an N2
- Getting the Hifi Shield 2 working - so far no luck need to spend some more time working the device tree and Ubuntu config.

Still waiting on the SDR tuner to arrive will be interesting to see if I can make that work with DAB radio with a nice user interface. Also waiting on the OBD adaptor

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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by hominoid »

Nice project. Looking forward to see more.
Last edited by hominoid on Wed Oct 28, 2020 5:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by mad_ady »

@brad there might be some web front-ends for MPD which would be more customizable, allowing you to bypass the vlc issue. Or maybe run vlc in a Xnest (or xpra) that you can somehow display on wayland. I haven't tried wayland yet (I'm too fond on X11's client/server model)

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Re: Car setup using ODROID-VU7A

Post by brad »

hominoid wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 4:04 am
Nice project. Looking forward to see more.
It is a Mazda BT-50 ;) so nothing special, I will take some photo's of the current stereo (it is stock) before I remove it so I can do before and after.
mad_ady wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 4:31 am
@brad there might be some web front-ends for MPD which would be more customizable, allowing you to bypass the vlc issue. Or maybe run vlc in a Xnest (or xpra) that you can somehow display on wayland. I haven't tried wayland yet (I'm too fond on X11's client/server model)
I will check this out, thank you! I didn't consider client / server web based application and html should be easy to customize :)

So after a few days of Trial and error I found I was doing something stupid with the Hifi Sheild 2 on mainline. It now works awesome and i2s based sound is exceptional :) so happy about this. I need to optimize the configuration now and add in SPDIF function for completeness, Once this is done will convert to an overlay for community to use.
These users thanked the author brad for the post (total 3):
hominoid (Fri Oct 30, 2020 1:20 am) • odroid (Fri Oct 30, 2020 9:22 am) • jgmdev (Fri Oct 30, 2020 10:35 am)

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