Raspberry Pi Car Computer
I want to build a raspberry pi based in car computer. The main uses will be as a media centre and a web browser. I may also see if I can add car diagnostics information as well.
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You’re so right! i’ve just started with Pi - it reminds me of the old PC’s where you had to install the operation system/software etc. It can be a bit frustrating but it makes you learn and understand how it all actually works.
I'm only using a spare room at mo but could really do with a work shop to do everything I want. I've also ordered alot of stuff from China makes the project so much cheaper , I think my project has cost around 80 quid so far, I have parcels delivered so regularly I get funny looks from the postman hahaha
When I got back in to making stuff, I was amazed at the amount of really sophisticated components that are available from china at really low prices. When I use to make things, it did not get any more sophisticated than a 555 timer and maybe the odd AND gate chip...
I've managed to set up the car diagnostics on the Raspberry Pi using pyOBD. The setup was fairly simple, all the instructions and download can be found at https://github.com/Pbartek/pyobd-pi.
I used aLYL® super mini Bluetooth Scan Tool OBD2 (Amazon - around £9). This just plugs into the car diagnostics port. At first I wasn't sure it was working as I couldn't connect to it from my iPhone but it was fine on the Raspberry Pi.
Next I installed bluetooth and pyOBD on the Pi.
Here's it working in the car...
Only one problem, my car has a safety feature that disables the screen when the car moves!!
I've finally got round to setting up a media server! I used Kodi, it looks great and has lots of add-ons like YouTube and BBC iPlayer.
Download and Installation was straightforward on the Raspbian OS. You can download using the APT-GET command in Terminal. For more details visit http://kodi.wiki/view/HOW-TO:Install_Kodi_on_Raspberry_Pi
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install kodi
After installation it appears in the main menu under 'Sound & Video'.
I installed the BBC iPlayer and YouTube add-ons. These can also be downloaded from the Kodi website. Once the zip files have been downloaded you can install the add-ons within Kodi. Open Kodi and goto 'Settings > Add-ons'.
Select Install from zip file and navigate to the downloaded zip file location..
Kodi running on the car screen...
Watching BBC iPlayer... Sounds great using the in car sound system!
Next steps are setting up in car diagnostics and tidying up the install. I might also look into being able to control it from my iPhone.
Car Screen Working! Sort of.....
I've finally got the car screen to work with the Raspberry Pi!! The slight problem is that it only works if the 3.5mm jack is about 3/4 of the way in! I expect one of the audio channels won't work, although I haven't tried this yet. Thanks to Jack and Ollie who have provided a lot of help on this!!
The problem has been with the order of the black rings on the RCA to 3.5mm adapters. I'll have to take the adaptor apart to get the order correct, just swapping the RCA leads doesn't work. At least I know that the screen works and I can carry on with the project!!
Basic Set-up and Test
Finally got round to connecting everything up and giving it a test but it didn't go very well! Everything powers up but output on the screen is all messed up. I think the problem might be with the HDMI-to-RCA adaptor (Woowo HDMI to RCA Composite AV). I tried using the adaptor on my TV, it worked better but was in black and white. I'll have to test the screen aux-in separately without the adaptor. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know.. Will post another update when I get it working!
Output on the screen.....
Here's what I've got so far...
1 x Raspberry Pi 2
With SD card and Raspbian installed.
1 x Woowo HDMI to RCA Composite AV (Amazon - around £7)
This is required because the in-car screen input is RCA.
1 x LYL® super mini Bluetooth Scan Tool OBD2 (Amazon - around £9)
This sends the cars information via bluetooth.
1 x Rii i8 Multifunction Bluetooth Connected Portable Mini (Amazon - around £14)
1 x in car micro USB charger, 1 x HDMI cable, 1 x RCA cable, 1 x USB Wi-Fi dongle, 1 x USB bluetooth dongle
All the components together...
The initial plan is to create a basic in car computer using a Raspberry PI. The main use will be as a media player (Possibly just Youtube to start with). I would also like to use it for web browsing and to display vehicle information. Luckily my car (2011 Mercedes C-Class) has a factory fitted display screen with an aux input (Makes it a bit easier!). I will use my iPhone as a Wi-Fi hotspot and use a bluetooth keyboard as the input device. Vehicle information looks quite straightforward, I've ordered an OBD2 (On-Board Diagnostics) bluetooth scanner, I was surprised that all cars 1996 and onwards have the same standard socket. Thanks to Jim G and Jack for pointing me in the right direction.
I'll do a full components list very soon and then a post on the basic installation and setup. Once I've managed to set it all up and get it working I'm going to try some more advanced stuff. Maybe even build my own custom digital dashboard, or use it for navigation, or possibly even remote monitoring. It would also be great if i'm able to create events/alerts based on the vehicle information. Please feel free to make suggestions and let me know if you've tried anything similar!
Hi Mark, you want to look into something called OBD (which i think stands for On-Board Diagnostics) this is a common protocol that car manufactures use to allow the car to report data to diagnostic equipment. You will probably find examples of how to connect to it on the internet. I have not used it myself but some of the guys at work have used it. I believe you can get information such as speed and rev count etc. Look forward to seeing how you get on with it! Good Luck!