Android tablet instead of car radio

    Now, many car owners are faced with the problem of the wretchedness of the regular and space high cost of good radio tape recorders with modern functions. So I bought a car in 2010, could not get along with a CD player and hastened to put a tablet in its place - a Tablet. The article describes aspects not covered in other sources of information. In particular, not how to physically embed the tablet into the car, but how to configure everything so that it is pleasant and convenient to use.

    Let's start from far.

    The problem of the lack of a modern radio was worrying me for a long time and in the last car I had to buy a 2din Chinese miracle box partially under WinCE control. I will not describe in colors how many hours or probably weeks I spent on setting everything up to a lesser working condition and, as a result, from useful functions: the bluetooth worked terribly crookedly initially, so that you could use only streaming music (and even without control) , the disk got stuck in the DVD, WinCe with GPS iGO began to load once out of 10. The most reliable was the rear view camera. And this is for 300 with a penny of dollars 6 years ago. And I began to think about android a long time ago, but the prices for the only “decent” Android 2.3 Asteroid are sky-high 700 + $ and there are no worthy options from monsters of the mangitol market either. There’s some kind of dead end.
    And then I bought a relatively fresh car of 2010 release from the Japanese leader in a good configuration and got a miserable CD / MP3 player uploaded so that without special ugly plugs nothing else 1-2din can simply be inserted there. For my luck, part of her pre-sale preparation included a curve assembly of the front panel (it is not clear why), so it was impossible to insert a disk. Unfortunately, I looked at the purchased horse in the teeth too late. And that was the last straw. I ordered a 7 "Samsung Galaxy tab on Ibei. After a long torment with him due to the fact that the Wi-Fi did not work, I ordered Nexus 7 1 gen 16gb in the heat of anger. At that moment I could not even imagine that he didn’t have I will have to settle for microSD slots without OTG only with the built-in 16 gigs, which I could not even expect from Google with Asus. But in general, the second pill turned out to be much more vigorous than the first and I have no regrets. As a result, it turned out that this model is a cult among tablet changers on tablets around the world. I think primarily because of the prevalence of quality and price. More convenient contacts on the housing for power and sound POGO PINSimageSo I started reading how to do everything under the car, and to my great surprise I found a ton of information on how to screw a pill, and how to live with it next to almost zero. And so I began to pick up bits of tip and step on the rake. The result was a very convenient system that you can see on the video.

    Let's start with the connection.
    I basically didn’t want to cut anything or even open the panel, so I hung the tablet on a hidden copper wire by the silicone case right TOP of the radio. And connected the cables. Power recommend immediately human ones based on the KIS3R33S module to be powerful. With Samsung, one of the problems was the trick of turning on the fast charge mode. Those when the charging current is not the usual 300mA as from the computer's USB ports, but at least 500 or better than 1 amp. Practice has shown that if you turn on full brightness (sunny day), GPS and so on, the tablet consumes more than it charges from 300mA. This is how you understand the impasse. So I got lousy with resistors for USB data wires and other shamanism for a long time, and it seems to be successful, until with the transition to Nexus these problems disappeared by themselves. I need a good (not a micro cigarette lighter) DC-DC adapter 14-> 5c is preferably 2-3 amperes to power not only a tablet, but also a phone and other potential gadgets. I did not have bluetooth in the car, so I had to make a separate wiring from the headphone output to the AUX input of the head unit. That's basically all with the connection.
    As it turned out, many stop. But after all, using a regular android in a car is all the more not very convenient when driving! Then I defined a circle of tasks. For me, he came down to playing music and GPS navigation. I already had a rear view camera, but as it turned out in the nexus and this can be connected, read . Only 2 applications, but there should be the convenience of using them and switching between them.
    I have been looking for a convenient media player for a long time. There is a very big difference between using a tablet in your hands and driving. Try driving several players and skins while driving and choose the one that suits you best. In ordinary life, I prefer Astro, but here Google Music seemed the most convenient. And there are also nuances here. The last 5th version is very white, uncomfortable in navigation, especially in playlists. I use only playlists in m3u files created by the good old WinAmp and carefully thrown onto the tablet. There is also a nuance, and for some reason, if the playlist is not filled with all the tags, they are not scrolled to the end in WinAmp (until the times of all the songs have been determined in the playlist window) and saved to the disk only after that, then Music does not see it. Music still has a problem with files with Russian names (file names are changed instead of Tags, there are no problems with tags), so everything had to be renamed to Latin using Multi File Translator or TagScanner and other tools. Although it displays Russian tags perfectly and large. The 3rd version is really miserable and the backgrounds are not black and the playlists are just a list, and 4.1.512 the black version turned out to be just right for the . So it is necessary to roll back from the last to her . If before installing the old version the new Music cannot be uninstalled using regular means, you must use Titanium Backup (uninstall).
    Google Music:

    navigation program one chooses to your liking. I Like Garmin Navigon, especially since I use Garmin HUD.

    Suppose you select your program and install it. Then the following problems arise:
    - how to switch between the screens of music and navigation with one touch?
    - How to use the full screen area without losing the control buttons?
    - How to control the music (Pause, Song, etc.) without leaving the navigation application?

    Only two Button Savior and full! Screen programs can solve this. . I fought for a long time and even filed (changed the icon pictures so that there was an Navigation and Music icon) Button Savior and in general I got a certain love and convenience from him (his icons / buttons in the form of a house, squares, map and notes are fashionable to see in the right edge of the screen), but with full! screen everything is much more convenient and simple. In the end, I still use both of them. full! screen gives in addition to full-screen mode the ability to have 2 miracle buttons in the corners, settings for 3 actions (press, long press, swipe) each can be changed. Unlike Button Savior, where there are only two such buttons and they can only change the actions of clicking. Moreover, in full! Screen (its icons / buttons can be seen in the right and left corners of the screen) you can assign not only Home, Menu, Back, but also playback control (Pause, Song, etc.) but also launch / call of the previous application it turns out such a peculiar Alt + Tab, which Button Savior is not. Since we have only two main applications, this is just what we need. One could do the same with Scenes in Tasker, but it would not be so beautiful.

    Then I fought for the battery. It turned out that if you do not completely euthanize the android, even without Wi-Fi and GPS, it can gobble up several tens of percent of the charge in a night or a day. Which is not acceptable. To be sure that I was completely asleep, I set up Deep Sleep Battery Saver which nailed all activities in a sleeping state except for a rare exception.

    Now the problem arose of adequately changing the brightness of the screen in different lighting conditions. This cannot be customized in the stock firmware, so I installed Lux ​​+ and adjusting it to different lighting conditions, I achieved good screen visibility in any situation.

    Now the most delicious is Tasker!

    Without this Mega application, nothing would have been possible at all. This is a kind of automation for Android with the ability to catch external events and perform visually programmed actions. It is super flexible, super comfortable and ubiquitous. A lot of plugins have already been written for it and there will still be roofing felts. I recommend installing it immediately and Secure Settings Pro and in it Secure Settings Helper.

    The first simple task that we will solve with the help of Tasker is the correct falling asleep when the machine is turned off (charging) and turned on when the power is turned on. When falling asleep, it is necessary, in addition to the obvious, to turn off GPS, Bluetooth, turn off the screen and so on, you must also stop playing music and remember what was played and whether it was played at all, so that when you turn it on again, continue from the same place. Also, if there is a power failure for a few seconds, such as when the starter is turned on on many machines, the power in the cigarette lighter disappears. If you do not specifically bother, then the tablet will first turn on for a second when you turn the key, then turn off when the starter is working, and then turn on again and completely lose.
    For convenience, I put the good TTS iVona Russian and English. When I turn on, my system greets me with a pleasant voice, wishes me a pleasant journey, says what time it is and reports that it continues to play such and such a song. It is not only pleasant, but also convenient. Also, when switching to a new song, the system pronounces the names of the Artist and the Song. At the same time, he selects the correct language (English / Russian) in accordance with the character encoding in the MP3 Tag. Moreover, if the previous Song was the same artist, then it pronounces only the name of the Song. And all these wonders with the help of Tasker and Media Utilities plugin. Ok by the way, it works not only with Google Music, but also with many other popular players.

    In some cases, I used the TaskKill plugin to nail applications.

    Further I was puzzled by the change in volume in accordance with the speed. This feature is in many machines, but not always available, so I wrote the task “Speed ​​Volume Control Plus” which does this in android. There are five volume levels and 5 speed ranges that must be set according to your situation in Init Vars. He didn’t come in handy for me, but it can come in handy for you.
    All this and more is in the script . You can file it for yourself or use it as is.

    It is very important to uncheck the Enforce Task Order in the properties of Power and preferably other profiles. Otherwise, the tasks will begin to wait for each other and coordinated and adequate work will not work.
    If after rebooting you get an annoying message / warning about too high a volume “raise volume above safe level ....” it can be nailed as follows: -safe-media-t2338474

    Let's take a closer look at all the Profiles (triggers) and Tasks:

    Power AC - launches the corresponding tasks (DC ON, DC OFF) when connecting and turning off the power. We mean that the tablet only works when there is food, and without it falls asleep.
    Media Utilities State New Track - Calls the “Fill Track” task when a new song starts playing Media Utilities State New Track - Calls the
    “Now Playing” task when the song plays and “Now Not Playing” when the playback is stopped
    Device Boot - Calls the “Boot Startup” task when the tablet boots up. Almost not yet used. It may come in handy in winter when the batteries are not enough to survive the lack of power. Many watchmen from is advised to immediately disconnect and remove the battery. The experience of the Russian operation of the Nexus is very positive in many reviews. Life will show. I have no problems in summer. In winter we’ll see. If you need to remove the battery, the benefit of all the procedures are described in detail.
    Device Shutdown - Calls the Shutdown task when the tablet shuts down. Almost not yet used. It may come in handy in winter when the batteries are not enough to survive the lack of power.
    Music - Calls the “Set Active App To Music” task when Music is on the screen and is the active application.
    NAVIGON- Calls the “Set Active App To Navigation” task when NAVIGON is on the screen and is the active application.

    DC ON - Sets the% DCPOWER variable to 1, calls / wakes up the Lux Plug-in automatic dimmer and
    launches the task "On".
    DC OFF - Sets the% DCPOWER variable to 0, and starts the “Off” task.
    On - resumes playback if it was interrupted by a momentary power failure. Includes GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth. Sets the volume. Greets the voices and says Time. Launches the Navigation and Music Program (just in case they were nailed in a dream). If music was played during the previous shutdown, then the name of the Song and artist is pronounced and playback resumes. The Lux Plug-in automatic dimmer calls / wakes up again.
    Off - Stops playing music. Turns off GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth. Nails a navigation program. Falls asleep.
    Resume Music - The title of the Song and Artist is pronounced with the correct TTS language and playback resumes by smoothly increasing the volume to the desired level.
    Fill Track - Receives the name of the artist and song from Media Utilities and remembers them after determining the language of the text in order to use the correct TTS when reading. Also separately remembers the name of the previous artist so as not to be repeated when pronouncing. Pronounces Artist Name (if not the same as the previous song) and song.
    Say Time - Fills the system time correctly
    Now Playing - Sets the% MPLAYING variable to 1. So Music is playing.
    Now Not Playing - Sets the% MPLAYING variable to 0. So Music is not playing.
    Boot Startup - while empty
    Speed ​​Volume Control Plus - Spins in the perpetual cycle and is engaged in changing the volume in accordance with the speed. This feature is in many machines, but not always available, so I wrote a task that does this in android. There are five volume levels and 5 speed ranges that must be set according to your situation in Init Vars.
    Init Vars - initial initialization of some constants and variables
    Shutdown - Performs taxes Off turning off everything

    I couldn’t stop at this because 5 buttons on the steering wheel (-, +, <,>, Mode) that control the head unit didn’t give me rest and it would be super convenient if the android understood them. Thun began the second phase of the project.
    It all depends on the machine and the type of signals from the buttons.
    Either it is analog (different voltage levels) or CAN bus. There are ready-made solutions for both.

    Both are still wired, but bluetooth is just around the corner.
    I had analog buttons.
    I made myself an analog of the JoyCon Arduino mini Pro + Bluefruit EZ-Key It turned out without wires to the tablet. Bluefruit emulates a HID keyboard and sends standard commands to the acroid. Managing music, just the rest had to be done through emulation of Search + Letter and then Quicklinks Shortcuts in Task and Tasker. But everything works as seen in the video. There is both a click and a long click. In the second part I will describe in detail.

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