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Old 08-22-2013, 06:48 PM   #1
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Default Replace gauges with Double-Din Android with Shadow Dash?

I am a good year plus out on this but I wanted to start the discussion.

I really like my Alpine X305S but it has a couple downfalls. First and foremost, it really doesn't work with spotify that well. I can play spotify on my iPod through it but as soon as I hit the next or previous track button it goes straight to the built in music app. Also, the brightness on the screen is too dim for daylight hours with the top down. Sadly I don't think i'll be happy with anything out there aside from a "kindle paper" kind of display and I don't see any devices that use such a screen.

I like some of the features of the double-din head units, but I would give up my gauges unless I moved them to the pillar, and I like the stealthy look. To me the pillar pods are too "look at me."

So I was considering starting to shop android double-din devices with the intention of running shadow dash on them.

Has anyone done this in the megasquirt community? Anyone have any experience running double-din with big displays in a convertible?

Plusses for me would be: Android based. Must be able to use shadow dash. Nav would be a plus. Needs to work with iphone (music) and androids OR run spotify internally. That would be a big plus. Internal storage (20 gigs or so) would be a plus. Needs to have a fast interaction with the screen. My TomTom has such a delay it is hard to use. BUTTONS for forward and back tracks as well as **** for volume would be a plus. I like touch, but not for features like volume and track selection while driving.

Thoughts? Ideas?
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Old 08-22-2013, 10:28 PM   #2
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possible to put a nexus 7 or something like this in our cars?

Nexus 7 makes the best in-car entertainment system ever | Android Central
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Old 08-23-2013, 03:18 AM   #3
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Problem will be the visibility in sunlight. I have a Galaxy tab2 in my car and can see next to nothing, when the sun is really shining...

Yesterday I tried the USB connection with a OTG USB cable on the Tab2 - works like a charme..

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Old 08-23-2013, 01:30 PM   #4
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There's a guy on the MSM forums that has a kindle in his dash. Looks clean. I think he's currently changing over to a nexus 7.

Audio upgrade round 3(4,5,6? lost track)
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Old 08-24-2013, 01:14 PM   #5
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If you find an actual Android headunit which meets those criteria, please post up the info! All of the Android "based" headunits which I have found on the net have serious flaws... most actually running dual OS's, one for the radio/audio type features and then separate HW for Android which can display on the same screen. If that isn't a show stopper, most aren't capacitive touch, react slowly, run Android 2.x, have buggy operation, etc
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Old 08-24-2013, 03:36 PM   #6
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Is the Parrot "Asteroid" head unit not really Android or does it fall into the category that you mention noname?
Parrot ASTEROID Smart Digital media receiver with GPS navigation at Crutchfield.com
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Old 08-25-2013, 11:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Is the Parrot "Asteroid" head unit not really Android or does it fall into the category that you mention noname?
Parrot ASTEROID Smart Digital media receiver with GPS navigation at Crutchfield.com
Good find. The Parrot Smart actually makes a go at using only Android and comes from a more known/respected company than the other "Android" headunits showing up on the market.

However, the Smart is the equivalent of sticking your 2-3 generation old Android phone in the dash with a larger screen and an audio amplifier. Personally, I think I would try my hand custom mounting a tablet (ex: Nexus 7).

It may work for you, but the lack of RAM and OS/app storage would be problems for me. My email for example would eat up a good portion of the 1GB storage. I suffered through that before upgrading my Sprint Evo 4G to a Samsung Galaxy S3 a year ago.

Parrot Asteroid Smart Review: Android In Your Car's Dash? - Android In Your Dash Via Parrot's Asteroid Smart

Pros:
Easy to side load apps
You can root the device
Doesn't treat Android as gimick (see dual OS units)
Capacitive touch display! (biggest problem in my book with the other "Android" head units on the market)
Price point is reasonable

Cons:
Android 2.3 (it will work for now, but will apps stop supporting this old version in the future?)
2005 era CPU (same as Droid 2 or Droid X)
512MB RAM
1GB storage for the OS and apps
Not that good at traditional car audio (doesn't resume playback, no native XM/Sirrus, works just okay with USB/SD card based music storage)
May have issue with OBDII Bluetooth adapters

Overall, it looks like a fairly well implemented unit, but compromised by the old HW and to a lesser extent older Android version. Using a better CPU/SoC would add some costs, but would be worth it for a buyer who expects "modern" Android running in the car's dash.
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:00 PM   #8
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I agree. I don't think I would do the Asteroid Smart for now. Maybe in a year or two when they come out with 2.0 model.
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Old 08-27-2013, 03:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
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I agree. I don't think I would do the Asteroid Smart for now. Maybe in a year or two when they come out with 2.0 model.
As long as the US gov't doesn't outlaw cars with buttons (real or touchscreen) due to concerns about "distracted driving" :-( That seems to be the latest push on the "save people from themselves" front from our friendly officials in Washington.
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Old 08-27-2013, 02:24 PM   #10
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Almost every car today has a touch screen. Hell, Teslas have a touch screen. I doubt the lobbyists from the auto makers will allow that to happen. They make too much $$ in upgrading to the touch screen.
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Old 01-03-2017, 10:32 AM   #11
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Resurrecting this thread: does anyone know a current android pop-up (retractable touch screen so it fits into the 1-Din slot) headunit that works with Shadow Dash MS?

from what I have read on MSextra etc most of the headunits are actually running Windows CE with a ported version of Android and will not fully support the Megasquirt Bluetooth module
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Old 01-03-2017, 01:26 PM   #12
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Assisting with resurrection: As it pertains to original question, as I am unaware to the current headunit game.

Im running a MS2 with a bluetooth transmitter wired in series to the DB9 output. The display is a generic 9" tablet running an older android release and ShadowDash (MSDroid Pictured). The only downfall to the setup is that fuel gauge and blinker indicators have to be wired seperately.





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Old 01-03-2017, 02:01 PM   #13
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For anyone who's done this, where can I start on researching my options? I'd love to have a tablet take the place of a few gauges.
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Old 01-03-2017, 03:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onyxyth View Post
For anyone who's done this, where can I start on researching my options? I'd love to have a tablet take the place of a few gauges.
first decide how big of a screen you want, and where do you want to put it. I chose the nexus7, despite it being three years old it is still very fast, has a 1080 screen, and it's a bout the only 7" tablet that has enough brightness to be seen clearly in full sunlight. The developer community is huge so it's easy to find info you need in order to make it do your bidding.

mine runs a stripped down version of CM11, boots into AutoMate (dashboard app) and Shadow dash as soon as it sees power. A few seconds after I turn the car off, it shuts itself down. It's perfect. The fact that I can do GPS and stream music from my phone is a happy side effect.
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Old 01-03-2017, 04:56 PM   #15
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Ohh buddy, the auto boot and shutdown is where I fell down. Care to elaborate how you went about getting that to work? Everything I found showed custom code was needed in the bootloader and I sit don't have skills to do that.

Specifically how did you get the tablet to boot up when power was applied.

Last edited by Bronson M; 01-03-2017 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 01-04-2017, 12:58 AM   #16
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Ohh buddy, the auto boot and shutdown is where I fell down. Care to elaborate how you went about getting that to work? Everything I found showed custom code was needed in the bootloader and I sit don't have skills to do that.

Specifically how did you get the tablet to boot up when power was applied.
Power up on boot was easy, but takes some CLI work.

1. Install Android "ABD" drivers on your PC, MAC, or Linux machine of choice.
2. On a Nexus device, boot it into bootloader, plug it into your PC and unlock bootloader, the command is "fastboot OEM unlock" then to set wake on power the command is "fastboot oem off-mode-charge 0"

For the shutdown part, get tasker from app store. Give it root privelges. There are many ways to skin a cat, but here is how I do it.
1. I have a profile that sets variable %LAUNCH=1 on boot, if it has not been set.
2. When power is plugged in, it adds 1 to the %LAUNCH variable. When power is unplugged it subtracts 1.
3. If bluetooth is connected to my car radio, it also adds 1 to %LAUNCH, and again is subtracts 1.
4. I have another task that says if %LAUNCH=1 for <30 seconds, it sends command to shut down the tablet.

I want to re-write it, but thats working pretty good now. I have other profiles in tasker running to start ShadowDash and any other apps I want, so I literally get in the car, just turn the key and once the tablet boots it has connected to megasquirt, my headunit, and is showing the Shadow Dash gauges no problem. I turn the key off 30 sec later and its off.

I'm still working with a couple little niggle issues though. Like if you stall the car in traffic and restart, it freaks the Bluetooth transmitter out. If I shut the car down hard, wait a few seconds then start it its fine. There is an option to power it off external power supply I will try that.

Once it is working 100%, I'm ripping out the cluster and putting this in.
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Old 01-04-2017, 07:50 AM   #17
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Thank you! I'm already rooted so I'll try those commands on my Acer. I'd really like to continue to use this 8" tablet since it fills the console out so nice but I'm not above sacrificing an 1" of screen space if I can get the auto boot to work.

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Old 01-04-2017, 02:22 PM   #18
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That tablet may do it - you just have to try.

Just took a recording of startup and shutdown on my setup. Have a lot of ideas to speed it up.. hope some of it works!

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Old 01-05-2017, 07:17 AM   #19
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Stealth,

Where did you get that mount?
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Old 01-05-2017, 09:53 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teedubs View Post
Assisting with resurrection: As it pertains to original question, as I am unaware to the current headunit game.

Im running a MS2 with a bluetooth transmitter wired in series to the DB9 output. The display is a generic 9" tablet running an older android release and ShadowDash (MSDroid Pictured). The only downfall to the setup is that fuel gauge and blinker indicators have to be wired seperately.
That looks amazing. However, I won't be allowed to run such a setup in my country of residence, and it would foul my sleeper look.

I'm rather thinking abut something like this:


stealthy when closed, but does have a 7" display when opened. Apparently it does support OBD2-dongles (think: Torque App), so it might support bluetooth connectivity with the Megasquirt ECU?
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