New CarPC mad scientists apprentice...

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sarbirus
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New CarPC mad scientists apprentice...

Post by sarbirus » Tue May 19, 2020 6:35 am

Hi everyone,

I am a car enthusiast and someone who has been involved with the motor industry for about 30 years, with a varied background.

Originally I had no interest in cars, but in the 80's I was involved in video games development for 8-bit machines and then because I was brought up in a motor industry family I then found myself programming robots and factory automation in car manufacture, then joined the family car modification business.

In my spare time, I am into technology for fun and things like 3D Printing.

So computer literate in a sense, well... With PC's yup, with 8-bit processors hitting the hardware directly - yup, programming with libraries and modern jargon - nope! Linux "hmmm" and Odroid and Android, not at all.

I like classic cars, but I also like creature comforts of things like satnav, hands-free telephone integration, but do not like devices suction cupped to my windscreen or screwed onto a classic car's windscreen.

So my interest in Odroid is in firstly having a play and learning, but with a hopeful goal of being able to build an Odroid into a form of satnav which is also a hands-free mobile phone interface.

So this evening having looked through the forums over a couple of weeks, and watching a few youtube videos, I decided to take the plunge, spent about 5 hours comparing Odroid models, then ordered a shed load of bits from the UK Distributor.

I have ordered the following bits to start experimenting.

* Odroid C4, with 2amp power supply (Not sure if this will be enough with the screen)
* VU5A 5 Inch touch screen (I don't need a large screen, I would have been happier if I can find a 4.3 inch touchscreen that works.
* Compact speakers for the VU5A
* eMMC 32 Gig with Android9 and another with Linux pre-installed.
* USB GPS Interface
* Bluetooth module2
* Wifi interface 5A
* Realtime clock shield
* eMMC to SD Card reader
* eMMC USB3 Reader
* DC Plug cable
* Odroid Tinkering kit for C1/C1+/C2 (Not sure if this works with the C4, or if the site is just not updated yet)

Not sure what of all of this will work together, but it gives me a scope to play with it, and to experiment with Android and Linux on the C4.

Feel free to comment on any of the above, such as "You fool, that XXX will not work with the C4!" or "The XXX will only work under Linux, but not Android" as you might just save me from spending hours bashing my head against a wall, when in fact it is common knowledge that what I am trying with X bit of kit with Y operating system does not work.

Some might say "For your goals, buy a TomTom and build it into your dash", I have already bought several, gutted them, to try to get the large screen model features (their 5 inch screen is so much bigger than 5 inches) to work with a smaller screen model (4.3 inch) but they seem to use non-standard pinouts on the ribbon cables (such as 51 pins) with the larger screen models using capacitive screens, and the smaller ones using resistive... And I want to make something I can customise in software, how it boots, and more importantly to massage it into a discrete location in a classic car, rather than gaffer taped into a hole dremelled into the dashboard! lol

Others might say "Buy an Android head unit", but again, I want the radio in the car to look and remain retro, with the satnav only becoming evident once the ignition is switched on.

An some, including my friends will say "You always find the hard way of doing something", but that is half the fun, bending technology to match my twisted vision of what I want.

I am no doubt going to ask some daft questions on here, and may even ask a question and then realise it was daft in the process of writing the question. but please be patient with me, I will have tried to use the search function of the forum first... I might just not know the Android or Odroid, or Linux jargon to search for, for the thing I need help with!

Thanks in advance!
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tony.hong (Tue May 19, 2020 8:36 am)

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Re: New CarPC mad scientists apprentice...

Post by rooted » Tue May 19, 2020 6:46 am

Welcome to the community, it should be a nice learning experience. I hope you share your project here so others may learn something as well.
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sarbirus (Tue May 19, 2020 7:45 am)

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Re: New CarPC mad scientists apprentice...

Post by sarbirus » Tue May 19, 2020 7:52 am

rooted wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 6:46 am
Welcome to the community, it should be a nice learning experience. I hope you share your project here so others may learn something as well.
At the moment I can only dream of sharing, I feel at the moment I am stood at the bottom of a mountain of a learning curve to climb. But that is nothing new, it is always steep at the beginning and then I find I always hit a point when things just click, often it is hardware/os specific jargon which is the hardest bit... Once that clicks, I know what to search for and then get some real traction with learning and getting somewhere.

Itching to get my hands on the kit and beginning my journey.

Since my post I have been digging around in the forum and it seems that I might even be overestimating the difficulty in what I am trying to achieve, thanks to the good work of those involved with the OS builds. But from experience, it is often the unexpected things which are the most difficult to achieve.

In everything I do I like to share, I am active in 3D printing communities when I have the time, and once over the hump of the learning curve I start to come up with my own mad scientist mods, so would love to share my project once it starts moving so I can put together some "how to" posts.

Thanks for the welcome Rooted, I can't wait to get tinkering!
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rooted (Tue May 19, 2020 8:09 am)

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Re: New CarPC mad scientists apprentice...

Post by rooted » Tue May 19, 2020 8:09 am

The perspective you can share is rather unique since you have no former experience with these devices, this is where a lot of people are coming from. Mistakes you make, solutions you come up with or adapt, all good stuff.

I myself have all the parts to do a CarPC for a couple of years but life got in the way, it's an interesting subject for a lot. Someday I will get to it hopefully, until then I love to see what people come up with.
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sarbirus (Tue May 19, 2020 8:52 am)

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Re: New CarPC mad scientists apprentice...

Post by mad_ady » Tue May 19, 2020 3:00 pm

Actually you made an excellent choice. Android isn't that difficult to set up, and check out @joerg's power cutoff circuit for a safe shutdown.
The tinkering kit is compatible with the c4, but some gpio numbers need changing in the documentation.

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Re: New CarPC mad scientists apprentice...

Post by BuckoNZ » Thu May 21, 2020 11:06 am

** FOLLOWING **

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