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[Build Log] Raspberry Pi Command Center in a Truck

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hey what's up everyone! I recently bought some off road lights for my truck and didn't have a good place to mount a switch panel so I'm building a custom console. Originally I didn't have anything else to put in this console so it would have just been 4 switches on a large empty surface so I decided to fill the space with a carputer!

Odroid XU3 Lite (upgraded from the Raspberry Pi 2 and B+)
Chalkboard Electronics 7" IPS touch screen (1280x800)
Keedox DC/DC Converter (stepdown from 12v to 5v)
GlobalSat BU-353 USB GPS Receiver
JBtek BT 4.0 adapter
Edimax EW-7811Un WiFi USB Adapter
Laser Green Rocker Switch (with GPS Logo) by STV MotorSports
Odroid OEM case

Work to Complete:
Android 5.1
Raspbian w/KODI running the interface
Navit installed and configured
Touchscreen calibration
Custom wiring harness for LCD and Raspberry Pi (quick removal)
Custom fabricated center console with spots for USB in for thumb drives

In Process/On Order
To Do/To Order
Edited by vaeron - 5/18/15 at 11:22pm
post #2 of 18
Thread Starter 
Initial render

Location of the console

My truck

Edited by vaeron - 2/14/15 at 5:00pm
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Installed and working

Edited by vaeron - 3/10/15 at 11:54am
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
I just received my order confirmation for the Raspberry Pi B+ (might upgrade to the Raspberry Pi 2 in the future but for now the B+ will work), a GlobalSat BU-353 USB GPS Receiver, 8GB SD card, a Keedox 12V to 5V 3A DC-DC converter, and a laser green rocker switch with GPS etched into it. Once the Pi gets here I will begin building the OS how I need it. I, for now, may not use Bluetooth out for audio and am not adding wifi to it either. That will be support down the road. I've decided on using Raspbian as it supports the touchscreen from Chalkboard Electronics out of the box. Going that route allows me to use Navit for my navigation. As I progress through the build I will detail my instructions throughout. I've already downloaded the Raspbian image and will load it onto the SD card upon delivery.

I have the measurements of the 7" display and will be cutting out a slightly smaller hole in the console that I am building so I can have it nearly ready to use. Today is the day I will begin cutting to start the console. Be prepared, pictures will be incoming.
post #5 of 18
Subscribing out of interest!
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by StoneTheRock View Post

Subscribing out of interest!
Thanks for the Sub!

Bit of an update. I received the raspberry pi b+ today as well as the GPS receiver. I spent the afternoon testing the GPS device but unfortunately my microsd card for it was DOA so I'm testing the GPS with my raspberry pi b. After a couple of hours configuring the device I finally got navit and the GPS to connect. I also got the framework done on the console. For now it does not have the display cutout in it and it is not carpeted yet. That will come down the road when the display arrives.

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Alright everyone, so far so good. I've got the image built for when my new MicroSD card shows up. I'm using Raspbian as a base with KODI installed. The theme is carbon touch by Doru.

using engineering-diy.blogspot.ro I was able to start using some modules that the blogger devised (this is only partially my work). I will be making modifications to the system to make it more my own as I go, but that's one of the great things about Open Source.

The great thing about the raspberry pi is I can SSH to it and do everything from the backend.

With the BU-353S4 GPS device I had to update a line in the config in order to have it recognized by Navit.
nano /home/pi/startup/StartCarPC

I updated the line that said
gpsd /dev/ttyAMA0
to say
gpsd /dev/ttyUSB0

I dropped a new Chevrolet Silverado logo in and named it as such

I also had to edit out the FM radio as I will not be using this part of the theme.
nano /home/pi/.kodi/addons/skin.CarPC-touch_carbon/16x9/Home.xml

and changed the third button with the label Radio to
will update with code when I can ssh back into the device and grab the code I changed.

restarted device
sudo /sbin/reboot

Upon reboot, Navit was working with my location and the theme was updated with my logo and custom button.

Some settings I highly recommend include going into Settings -> System -> Video -> Screen Resolution -> 1280 x 720p. It greatly speeds up the Raspberry Pi and makes the interface much more responsive.
Edited by vaeron - 2/21/15 at 8:06pm
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Utilizing the Edimax wifi was slightly problematic for me over the last day or so. I finally got it up and working after doing the following.

Using ssh into the device (which can be problematic since we are messing with network interfaces.
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install wicd-curses

sudo wicd-curses start

This allowed me to use a command line interface to access my wifi configuration and I was able to connect to my wifi at my place. I will also be setting it up for wifi to my cell phone so each time I turn on tethering it connects.

The arrival of the touchscreen has granted me the opportunity to test functionality. After a few minutes of setup, following chalk-elec's instructions on their blog my screen was up and running.

Adding a couple of lines of code to /etc/rc.local I am able to enable multitouch.

Other good news I've finished the mounting system for the truck. I am using a duck canvas that has been attached using loctite professional spray glue that is heat and water resistant.

Next up is wiring the system into the truck. I will do a video of the functionality when I'm all done.

Still to do:

Run GPS to top of dash
Wiring harness for system (with quick disconnect)
Configure bluetooth (still need to order the wifi dongle)
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
So yesterday afternoon I spent my time wiring and soldering connectors to a custom wiring harness.

My wiring looked kind of like the following:

Battery -> Fuse -> Quick Release connector -> Switch -> Step down regulator (12V in -> 5V out) -> micro USB/display power barrel

I'm a big believer in if you're going to do something, do it right the first time. I soldered connections rather than using butt connectors or disconnects as I wanted to ensure a firm bond. I also heat shrinked every connection to ensure longevity of the connection. Installing the quick release connector just behind the housing I built allows me to take the system out and work on it whenever I want. I have the same setup for the 50" light bar that's wired into the box, and will have the same for the fog lights I will be wiring this week. It took me some trial and error to get the system to power up as the micro USB cord I used and the power cord I used to create my own adapters were not labeled correctly. After some time with a multi meter I was able to power the pi and screen up. If you go back and view post 2 of this build log you will see the installed and working picture.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
So I spent a couple of months using the Raspberry Pi setup and just wasn't as happy as I hoped I would be. So I decided to order an Odroid XU3 Lite. It runs an octacore Exynos children with 2GB of ram. The advantage with this is that it will run the Android apps I use on my phone and will be able to run the apps I've built. I also like the interface on Android 5.1 better. I have until Thursday to configure the setup as I am going on a road trip for my birthday to a concert a few hours away on Friday.
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