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My Pandaboard powered Android CarPC for my 2002 VW Jetta [WIP]s

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  • My Pandaboard powered Android CarPC for my 2002 VW Jetta [WIP]s

    Update Oct. 16, 2011: The pandaboard was waiting for me when I got home from work Friday. So far it boots into android and I can see through hyper terminal that it sees and loads drivers for wifi, GPS, FM, and Bluetooth but not the touch screen. I'll have to sideloads apps to test things because the build is not necessarily meant for this use. I had to enter alternate boot args (mentioned in the release notes) in the bootloader to boot because it would error, and add graphics drivers and wireless drivers (both well documented) to get things running smoothly because without acceleration graphics were quadrupling boot time.
    I have another problem where I get errors about the HDMI port followed by the board and touch screen going to sleep, but I intend to use the dvi port once I can enable it anyway.
    Things are moving more quickly so far than expected. I expect it will slow down as I get into app testing.
    I have ordered a Pandaboard, have a black-box N from Bybyte, a USB GPS unit, and a 629GL DVI Lilliput touchscreen.

    My intention is to replace the stock in-dash stereo, have an accessible aux audio jack, if its possible to use a USB cd-rom with the pandaboard (I think I read that it is) I intent to mount a drive where the retractable cup holder currently is in the jetta, have extra USB ports provided by a powered hub, obviously add GPS, and if necessary get a FM tuner to work with it (its currently unclear to me if the pandaboard handles FM). Once I have all the hardware set up and android installed I will try to get the GPS working, find or create a suitable dashboard style control system, and then deal with converting the power and audio to match the car.

    The board and GPS unit are in transit to my location and I have installed the Lilliput monitor in the black-box.

    I have confirmed that the Lilliput is compatible with the pandaboard/android, but not the GPS. It was suggested to me that the GPS should work with android however.

    I will chronicle my trials and tribulations throughout the process of setting up and then installing the system here.

    Please chime in with any questions, tips or suggestions.

    My first batch of questions are about power: I'll need a 12V supply for the lilliput and 5V for both the pandaboard and the powered hub. I read that the pandaboard can be configured for automatic startup at power-on, so a setup which will accomodate that would be a plus. Would it be possible to use the current stock stereo power supply setup to pull 5V and 12V lines, and would it be expected to supply enough current? I imagine I'll need it to be at 5v with around 3-4amps for the hub and about the same for the pandaboard, I can get a better idea when I have it in my hands and can monitor usage with various applications and accessories plugged in. I figured I could use two of these: for the hub and panda but they might be cutting it close since the pandaboard specs recommend more than 3Amp.
    I also figure I could use a p1900, p2140, or opus 80 but that seems costly and perhaps overkill for this - unless I want ignition power on/off.

    []PandaBoard Platform Specifications
    PandaBoard: First open OMAP
    Last edited by salpula; 10-15-2011, 11:58 PM.

  • #2
    Bumping this thread with the news that my GPS unit and Pandaboard both arrived yesterday. At this point I have it booting android, have added drivers so its not bogging the CPU trying to render the graphics, added bluetooth, wifi, and FM drivers. I plugged the GPS in and it recognized it and loaded the driver. The resolution on the touchscreen is not bad and the colors look pretty good, however the touch function doesn't work. It also seems that something triggers a change in voltage, either the lilliput trying to go to power save or whatever and it seems to kill the HDMI link between them and the board goes to sleep. If I tap a key on the keyboard it wakes up but within 1 second is sleeping again, so I need to figure out how to enable the dvi-d port which is still an hdmi connector on the pandaboard, but you just get a hdmi-dvi cable or adapter (which I am using anyway since the monitor is DVI).

    Its so awesome to be at this point finally. I have been dreaming up a carPC for two years and I am so happy to have left the VIA nano itx board idea behind. It will be a challenge, but things are going far smoother than I thought they might. (most of the hold up I ran into were not problems so much as me wasting time).

    Next up I will try to enable the DVI-D and dig up the place where I read about getting the lilliput to work with the pandaboard.


    • #3
      The pandaboard arrived yesterday. I have it booting, installed graphics and wlan/bt/fm drivers, it loads a gps module when I plug that in as well. It displays on the lilliput but the touchscreen functionality isn't working in android yet.

      Pretty good progress so far. I have yet to load any apps on the device to see if they can actually use all that hardware.

      This has me really excited.


      • #4
        Looks like I may be compiling the driver for my touchscreen from the source. It has been compiled for linux on ARM by someone here running linux on the pandaboard, so it should be do-able since android uses the same kernel, but I am not sure if android will talk to the driver.

        So far I have busybox installed and can connect to my network and browse the web, I have not done much else due to time, school, work, etc.

        In addition the only SDcard I can boot at this time is my 2gb, so I need to use a USB stick or some other device to mount as the sdcard since the system wont let me install some things without one.


        • #5
          egalax based TSs on linux has been b0rked for a while now. Let me know if you find a solution.
          Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
          Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
          Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.


          • #6
            Will do. Work has slowed because of achool and stuff. I have compiled new drivers and kernel but haven't gotten busybox added to the install or all tue drivers loaded.

            Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk


            • #7
              Originally posted by salpula View Post
              Will do. Work has slowed because of achool and stuff. I have compiled new drivers and kernel but haven't gotten busybox added to the install or all tue drivers loaded.

              Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk
              Yeh, I understand how alcohol can slow things down. I think you can get help for that though .


              PS, have you checked out linaro?
              Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
              Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
              Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.


              • #8
                Hah. I definitely meant school.

                Linaro looks promising, thanks for the tip. Ill have to look it over in more detail when I get home.

                Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk


                • #9
                  What GPS and FM modules are you using. I am looking to do a project very similar.


                  • #10
                    This is the info from the confirmation email from amazon:
                    Item: GlobalSat BU-353 Waterproof USB GPS Receiver
                    Price: $35.00
                    It has a pretty long cord, my hope is to route it around the edge of the windshield and, reception depending, mount it inside the car behind the rear view mirror. If necessary I will run it outside. I think its essentially a Sirf-Star III?

                    The FM is built in, however its unclear if it works (at least early revisions of the pandaboard couldn't use it, because the circuits for it were not connected. There is conflicting info on the internet regarding this topic, so I have decided I will worry about FM when I get there partly because if it has functional on-board FM I don't care about HD radio, but if I have to buy something I want HD radio.

                    General update on the current state of my project:

                    I haven't worked on this since my last post what with finals and the holidays and SWTOR hitting the shelves (massive time-waster). I also just ripped out the carpeting in my work area and repainted the old floor, walls and ceiling displacing all my stuff and am only now getting it all back in order, however my dev system is not back up and runnning - gotta do that so I can get back to work on this.

                    IIRC this is the current state of things:
                    -Android runs with graphics accel. using mouse and keyboard. (I think I tested Bluetooth with positive results as well)
                    -GPS: I have the driver loaded but software not tested
                    -Touchscreen: As of yet, no working driver
                    -usb sticks are seen and mountable
                    -wifi is working and I used it a bunch.
                    -sound is working with patches
                    -Touchscreen drivers are apparently borked for linuxARM right now, a possible big issue. Tried to build some into the kernel but ran into some sort of hangup before I could get to loading them.

                    I had a ton of problems trying to get sdcards working with it. It seems that the sdcard reader I bought doesn't write reliably and never popped out a bootable sdcard (I realized when I tried to write a new copy to my 2gb USB after multiple attempts with 4 larger SDcards at least one of which I had successfully written with my laptop), my laptop one pops out a working one almost every time but the eject mechanism is messed and they are a pain in the butt to get out. I wasted so much time here.

                    One other huge waste of time was that by default it goes to sleep and for whatever reason never wakes up. So you have to boot all over if you unintentionally let it fall asleep. I eventually found a workaround for this through a blog or forum post but so much time wasted booting and trying something then turning away to research and then having to boot all over again.

                    The touchscreen is the biggest hangup unless I can get it to respond to the IR remote in an efficient manner. That will only work if its on a different driver. I can't really use a mouse and keyboard in the car.

                    My Jetta is also dying so I am not sure i will ever install this in it, but I plan to replace it within a year so I still want to get this baby ready to go. It would be nice to get the new car and essentially be ready to drop it in.


                    • #11
                      Any progress on this? I just learned about PandaBoard today and might look at replacing my aging Dell Latitude this summer. I have a 7" VGA Lilliput if I remember correctly. Were you ever able to get the touchscreen working?


                      • #12
                        What are you using for your Audio?

                        Onboard stereo output?

                        Also do you have an audio input as well?

                        Just curious because I am working on a similar setup.

                        I am kind of bummed to hear the egalax drivers don't work since I have a compatible screen I will be trying to use under linux as well.

                        My screen came with the source code for drivers that are supposed to work with the 2.4 or 2.6 Linux kernel but I haven't tried it yet.

                        I will be using 12.04 Ubuntu with 2.6.35 kernel on my ARM board (Not a Panda)

                        Last edited by redheadedrod; 11-28-2012, 05:01 AM.


                        • #13
                          Try to revive this one also....

                          Anything new?
                          Mina bilar
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                          Roadtrip to Odessa

                          20 cylinders, about 650 hk Mercedes
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