Laptimer on Android Stereo

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deja100
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Laptimer on Android Stereo

Post by deja100 »

Hi all,

So I've been looking into permanently installing a tablet into the dash of my car in order to run Laptimer on track without having to mount my phone on the dash. While researching how to do this, I discovered Android Stereo units that can be installed in a car in place of the factory radio, and now I'm wondering if it's possible to load HLT onto one of these devices (they run Android OS so it's possible in theory) and just use it that way. Has anyone else tried doing this and been successful?
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PitrsRS
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Re: Laptimer on Android Stereo

Post by PitrsRS »

I think you can run HLT on that device, but maybe it depends on version of Android in it.
2016 SEAT Leon CUPRA 290 ST

HLT Grand Prix (Android) + OBDLink LX BT + XGPS160 + GoPro 7 Black
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Harry
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Re: Laptimer on Android Stereo

Post by Harry »

PitrsRS wrote: Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:40 am I think you can run HLT on that device, but maybe it depends on version of Android in it.
Yes, please check requirements shown in www.gps-laptimer.de/compatibility/android. OS version, available main memory, availability of a GPS chip are the critical items. Furthermore, not all views are available in landscape, so you will see some rotated portrait screens.

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deja100
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Re: Laptimer on Android Stereo

Post by deja100 »

Thanks Harry! Do you have any users that have confirmed success using an Android Stereo to run Laptimer? Curious if others have done this already or if I'll be the first one testing the waters.

As for the hardware I'm looking to get a unit that has the latest Android version, and also models with an Octa-core CPU and 4GB of RAM to ensure there is sufficient resources to run Laptimer. Some of them only have GPS chips with a 7-9 meter precision, which is obviously not sufficient for Laptimer, so I'll be looking for a unit that I can connect one of the supported external GPS sensors to.
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Harry
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Re: Laptimer on Android Stereo

Post by Harry »

I know there are users using in car units, but not a lot more. There were a couple of posts on this topic here on the forum too.

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deja100
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Re: Laptimer on Android Stereo

Post by deja100 »

Thanks Harry, I'll go do some searching on the forums. I'll do a write-up eventually on whatever direction I go with.
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Re: Laptimer on Android Stereo

Post by deja100 »

Short update for anyone that was following this post. I ended up getting an Android stereo (PUMPKIN AA0495B) and successfully wired it into the car (it definitely took some customization to make it all fit, but it's perfect now). I'll be putting up an instructable soon on the whole process of installing it into a Mustang if anyone else wants to try it.

As for Laptimer, I was able to load the app via the app store, it starts up normally in wide-orientation as expected, and so far I successfully connected my GoPro Hero 4 to it. My OBDLink MX+ is having issues pairing to it, which I'm currently working with OBDLink support on; not a Laptimer issue, but rather something about the custom Android 9 OS running on the unit. Haven't been to the track since I installed so I haven't been able to fully test it, but track seasons starts in 2 weeks so I'll know soon enough.
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Re: Laptimer on Android Stereo

Post by metro2084 »

interesting. I was just thinking to see if I can run lap timer on Apple Carplay? Will be looking to purchase headhunt soon.. Anyone using lap timer with Apple Carplay?
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Re: Laptimer on Android Stereo

Post by Harry »

As written in some other threads, I have applied to participate in the Apple Car Play program several times. No luck, it seems they do not want to see racing apps on these devices...

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Re: Laptimer on Android Stereo

Post by deja100 »

Short update on current progress:

* I've run several track events since installing the AA0495B unit in the car. The app has worked flawlessly as expected, connecting to the Hero 4 cam and starting/stopping video and capturing data. My generic OBDII bluetooth dongle has worked flawlessly as well (I guess I got lucky and got one of the cheap ELM327 units that actually works well). Still no fix from OBDLink that allows the MX+ to connect to the head unit.

* Video encoding on the unit was a mixed bag, as hardware encoding locks up the app, forcing me to use software encoding; software encoding works, but takes too long to not drain the car battery (would probably be ok if I had a fast battery charger, but right now I only have a battery tender which is too slow to keep up with the draw of the stereo unit). Not sure why hardware encoding locks up the app, but the software encoding time and associated power drain obviously isn't HLT's fault, as a car battery can only provide so much power and video encoding is a naturally intensive and power hungry process. I later found a workaround by installing Android x86 on my PC and was able to install HLT on it and do the encoding MUCH faster than any Android device can. HLT did crash a few times on Android x86, but considering it's a completely different CPU architecture than what the app was designed for, I can't fault it for that.

* As of now I'm still unable to connect my XGPS160 to the AA0495B unit for GPS capture. Not an HLT issue, as the stereo refuses to connect to the GPS device. The stereo also isn't rooted and doesn't allow enabling the Developer mode required to enable mock GPS location service so HLT couldn't use it even if the stereo would connect to the device. The vendor refuses to give me the passcode to enable developer mode. I find most things are easier to do on Android, but Apple definitely wins here, as iPhone doesn't require this developer mode setting nonsense to work with external GPS providers.

I'll update again when/if I have more progress but so far the Android stereo approach is working well for doing overlaid videos and at this point I'm just fighting to get it to work with better data capture devices

EDIT: I found on another site a command line approach to enabling developer mode on Android devices, by using ADB. From that I was able to unhide the developer mode menu in the stereo settings! The setting to set the mock GPS location app worked, however the boolean setting to enable/disable allowing mock location isn't there and the XGPS160 still can't connect to the stereo. I'll keep chasing to see if I can make this work.
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