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Thread: 2008 Chevy Uplander Pure Android 4.1 CarPC

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate AutoWiz's Avatar
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    2008 Chevy Uplander Pure Android 4.1 CarPC

    Ok, so i am setting off on my second gen carpc build. my first carpc is a windows build in a 97 Honda accord. this time i am going to try an android build. the vehicle is a 08 chevy uplander minivan with 47k on the odometer i recently purchased from CarMax for my wife and 3 kids to ride around in. i am still collecting parts for this build. so far i have a pure android 4.1 head unit with 6.2" capacitive multi touch lcd. the head unit supports wifi, nav. rear view cam, steering wheel control input, and all the other bells and whistles. the head unit is driven by a dual core cortex a9 cpu @1.2ghz, it has 1gb ddr3 ram, 8gb nand flash memory, and it runs the latest version of android i could find. aside from the head unit, i also have acquired a steering wheel control interface, a canbus decoder so i can keep the retained accessory power and chime, a 2.4ghz wireless 170 degree night vision rear view camera, and a cheap Bluetooth elm 327 scanner to work with the torque pro app for real time hp and tq numbers while i drive. once all hardware is in place and i am satisfied with installation, i will aquire a mobile hotspot for my minivan so i can always access google play store. i will post pics as my new build progresses. so far all i have done to this uplander is a complete led bulb conversion and hid headlamps, and i got a stick figure family for the rear windshield so as to brag about my biggest accomplishment in life.
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  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate AutoWiz's Avatar
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    here is all the hardware i have so far. while i hand built the carpc for my accord, on this build, my goal is for a small footprint. with this head unit, the majority of the hardware is self contained. screen size is dropping .8" from the already small 7" screen in my accord. but this head unit has 2 rear monitor outputs. the minivan has 4 captains chairs and a full size third row bench. the uplander is very spacious inside, so it gives me a lot more room and flexibility for expansions and adding extra screens than what i have in my compact 4dr accord. also, here is a pic of where everything is going, before i start...
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  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate AutoWiz's Avatar
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    The teardown. ok, well, I feel I shouldn't call it that. lol. the bezel snaps off and there are a few screws securing the old radio and a/c control head. I am very pleased with how open it is behind where the radio sits. the pure android head unit has a fan on the back of it and I was concerned about it being able to breathe. also, this is the location I chose to mount my gps antenna. If it gives me problems there, I will move it to the roof, but only if I absolutely have to.
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    Constant Bitrate AutoWiz's Avatar
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    ok so I didn't take any pictures of the sub harness I built to connect factory harness to the new unit. but anybody who has ever installed a simple stereo should be familiar with that procedure. I am rather meticulous in my electrical work. every connection gets crimped with a bare butt connector, and heat shrink. all wires in sub harness are equal length and I stagger my butt connectors so I don't have a huge knot of butt connectors in the dead middle of the sub harness. I am also still waiting on a bunch of parts to arrive, so I jumped the gun on the install for sure, and it will have to come back out for upgrades as parts start showing up. mainly I am still waiting on the 2.4ghz wireless backup camera and also a steering wheel. you might notice from the pics I have a steering wheel control interface for my build and a steering wheel with no controls. it was a factory option, so I am hunting down steering wheel, and maybe clockspring. but I want new wheel first so I can compare connectors and pin count first.

    so far in this "build" I don't feel like I have built much. but it's all there. it tethers nicely to the android cell phone. we can google on the go, lol. it plays all the android games like plants vs. zombies 1&2 and angry birds, haven't tried out it's navigation, yet. it also has an awesome radio, and that is something my powerhouse of a carpc doesn't have. I will be installing torque pro app tonight for vehicle communications. and I will be desperately contemplating ways to go extreme on this build because so far, as a builder, I am so let down with the installation thus far. no fabrication, no building a pc, no loading the os, no real creativity in building. I mean I had to file the bezel because the head unit was a little bigger than a traditional double din radio. with my other car, everytime windows boots, I am glowing with pride because that windows carpc represents hundreds of hours of my labor.
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  5. #5
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    Love the look of that.
    I just have a quick newbie question, in my 08 chevy uplander LT, i want to just swap out the factory radio with a standard 2 Dim radio,,would it be just that simple ,or would i need to get an adapter or somthing? ( i dont have on star or anything like that )

  6. #6
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    How do you like the pure android unit? I have though about going this route, I have a build that has been stalled for 2 years now due to the restoration of my car.

  7. #7
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    I have had a carpc for over three years now and I am very curious about the Android platform as I have gained much familiarity with the smartphone. For this Android unit to work, esp with maps, does it need to have a constant feed to the internet or can we have a cache of all the US as offline maps (like you are able to do with Google Maps in an Android phone). My concern is also the GPS receiver attachment, external keyboard and mouse attachment and wireless receiver attachment.

  8. #8
    Constant Bitrate AutoWiz's Avatar
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    The install was seriously easy compared to my 97 accord build. there is a canbus adapter that is needed for late model gm cars. gm started having all their modules wake on lan instead of running a separate ignition wire. so at the harness behind the radio, there is no ignition voltage wire. only battery, gnd, and data wire. on these cars you really gotta hunt to find ignition voltage. this device also restores the chime feature that is lost when you delete the factory radio. And the best part is it gives you retained accessory power. so the head unit stays on after you turn off the car and remove the key until you open a door.

    and after owning and using this pure android 4.1 head unit for a while, I am somewhat mixed on my feelings towards it. unlike my other carputer with this when I am watching a movie and I shut the van off to pump gas or go in the store, when I restart my van the movie starts right where it left off. or the head unit resumes its last function. it also has a radio, my other carpc does not. and it is the newest version of android I could find in any head unit. the downside to it is it will not connect to an obd2 device. manufacturer claims it is a hardware limitation with Bluetooth. also the volume is somewhat low and im gonna need to install an amp. the unit has a dual core cortex a9 processor which is very middle of the road or low end but for an automotive head unit is among the best I could find. the screen looks great. touch works great. it supports live wallpaper. my kids play plants vs zombies on it while I drive. but only the first one. I don't think this unit can handle plants vs. zombies2. the head unit switches to the rear view cam and back just fine. nothing on it has broken and it appears to be reliable.

  9. #9
    FLAC SNOtwistR's Avatar
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    You can get ignition/acc wire on the heater switch 14ga brown wire. SNO

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