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Tried to post before but hopefully I won't get deleted...again....

I bought this Android box from an aliexpress seller for about $450 shipped. Similar to the other forum thread using parts from Adafruit and another HDMI screen mirroring box.

I just installed it today(sort of). Hopefully I can insert pics being new.... Kind of sluggish...supposedly dual-core, Android 4.4.4. I put some basic music and GPS apps in and they work. Original touchscreen works with the box but is no longer used for OEM functions. You must use the dash flat/buttons for native tasks.

I spent quite a bit of time locating one of these. There appears to be a few variations on the net if you can find them. Must have a MyLink system to work with it. I can post more details later if anyone is interested. I have a 2013 Volt

Box1.jpg

Box2.jpg

SemiInstalled.jpg

ScreenClose.jpg
 

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a20161126_074351.jpg

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That's most of the pics....

My only problem right now outside of fitting it in the darn dash is it says STEREO for the audio output. It has a 3.5mm stereo cable BUT it sounds like MONO. I checked the accessibility settings in Android and there's no MONO/STEREO options. I have a very good ear and using headphones it definitely sounds MONO. Grrrrr

I bought one of those stupid Android rear view mirrors a while back and it too only output in MONO.
 

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Other than the geek factor of being able to load and write apps for this, I have to ask why. It seems like a huge time sink to replace the existing center console while fiddling with software and you lose all sorts of telemetry from pressing the leaf button on the dash.

For me, I installed a CD slot mount for my smartphone. No cover removal, no loss on center console functionality, and the touch screen can be as big or as little as you want and can afford.
 

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What's the purpose or goal of this mod?
 

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To have instant-on android as opposed to the junk chevy has for their entertainment console. I have full android decks in my other cars that work super well. Satellite radio stinks, programing and sound quality. With android in-dash I have the world at my finger tips. I just leave a hotspot in the glove compartment always on $10 a month off my pool of data on Verizon. Pairing phones/tablets, mounting phones/tablets, wires everywhere, visual clues for people to break windows and steal your devices..... I can go on.... Can you say Waze in-dash??? It just works. Unfortunately this deck appears to be mono only....going to contact the vendor later.
 

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To have instant-on android as opposed to the junk chevy has for their entertainment console. I have full android decks in my other cars that work super well. Satellite radio stinks, programing and sound quality. With android in-dash I have the world at my finger tips. I just leave a hotspot in the glove compartment always on $10 a month off my pool of data on Verizon. Pairing phones/tablets, mounting phones/tablets, wires everywhere, visual clues for people to break windows and steal your devices..... I can go on.... Can you say Waze in-dash??? It just works. Unfortunately this deck appears to be mono only....going to contact the vendor later.
Well, I never leave my paired devices mounted in the dash mounts, but plugging and unplugging isn't all that hard. Agreed, pairing is a pain.
 

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Actually, since I have a different vehicle, with MyLink and it doesn't have NAV - being able to put Waze in dash would be nice. And of course you could always have it on. Waze kills our batteries and even with my stronger car charges, it burns battery faster than they can charge it.

The stupid "BringGo" NAV app is LOUSY at best.
 

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God I love Waze. I found Escargo in Google Play uses data from Waze and ties to my Escort radar detector via Bluetooth. Unfortunately this and any other dual-core devices will fail miserably.

I had two brain farts this morning..... I'm going to try and connect to the Volt's Bluetooth with this instead of the 3.5mm out. Not sure if host/slave(Bluetooth) will fail this try or not. I also read PowerAmp has some mono options in it....I want to see if I can do the opposite or if the mono feature is enabled deep in the android OS or not. I'm going to abort this if I cannot get it to output in stereo.

Take a look at NaviiMe USA for an offline GPS solution. I've had good luck with that when no data connection is available.
 

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Turned on developer options and nothing to tweak there for audio. PowerAmp had the mono button but that did change anything. Bluetooth DID output in stereo! BUT the bluetooth sucks on all my Android devices(many) with the Volt. So NOT an option. Contacted the seller to see what to do next. I will not use it at all if it's not putting out in stereo......
 

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Turned on developer options and nothing to tweak there for audio. PowerAmp had the mono button but that did change anything. Bluetooth DID output in stereo! BUT the bluetooth sucks on all my Android devices(many) with the Volt. So NOT an option. Contacted the seller to see what to do next. I will not use it at all if it's not putting out in stereo......
Interesting. My volt works great with Bluetooth and all of our iOS devices. The only trick is to wait 30-40 seconds after starting the volt before trying to stream audio. Otherwise you hit a mode where the phone thinks it is streaming and the volt plays nothing. Once you figure that out, Bluetooth works wonderfully. Any time I try to hurry, I end up having to restart the phone or restart the infotainment system, though someone pointed out a screen on my phone where I can switch audio to phone then switch to the volt, and most of the time that works.
 

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I normally only get a brief drop in audio once every 5 minutes or so with my "good" Android devices. I just think this thing is possessed. Cuts in and out non-stop. Never liked bluetooth with my Android or IOS(when I actually had them) devices.
 

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I normally only get a brief drop in audio once every 5 minutes or so with my "good" Android devices. I just think this thing is possessed. Cuts in and out non-stop. Never liked bluetooth with my Android or IOS(when I actually had them) devices.
I've never experienced an audio dropout while playing tunes from my iPhone. It's either all or nothing upon startup with a little extra effort to set things right.
 

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I came across a similar but more polished device made by Naviav a few months ago. I emailed back and forth with them, got a price and told them to send me one, then they stopped replying to my mails. Theirs seems to be based on an older chipset (it's a dual-core Rockchip running Jellybean) but fully integrated with the tuner and bluetooth already in the car, and lets you switch back and forth between Android and the crappy GM infotainment system at will. It also supports mirroring a phone display over Wifi, which would allow for Android Auto running on a modern handset.

I'd really like to get one of these but there is no way I can get them to respond to me. Maybe someone else wants to try? They quoted me about 300 USD for the unit, shipped to Europe. It's 100% plug-and-play, no wires to cut or tap into.

I'm too new to post links but if you Google "naviav ampera" it's the first result.

This device running Automate would also make a very attractive way to get spotify, play music, google maps, google now, and voice control in our cars.
 

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Good to hear others are looking for a solution too. Unfortunately I too was in contact with this company. I did get a reply from them a bit back before I ordered the one from Aliexpress. They told me the volt/ampera unit was discontinued. Super sad face on that. Heck, I'd even put up with dual-core at the this point even though it would suck. I had to send the Aliexpress one back to China for a refund. Stupid thing wouldn't output in stereo, only mono. The Bluetooth worked in stereo but the Volt's Bluetooth is horrible for connections. We supposedly have what they call giggabit video that feeds our display. Currently looking at other ideas right now.....
 

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I suspect it's a unit they built back in 2012 or so and never managed to sell (the company is really horrible at marketing). But I'd be willing to bet they have a few laying around. And I would gladly take one, even if it's a years-old prototype.

My other thought has been to simply replace the resistive touchscreen all together with a 7" tablet and use a bluetooth/OBDII adapter to read and write to the canbus, allowing use of the steering wheel controls and hopefully some sort of interface for the climate controls (the other stuff I don't really need). That's a more extreme situation but I think it might be workable.

With respect to Bluetooth, I bought one of these (still can't post links, search for B00GMDE910 on amazon Spain) and it works perfectly - phone pairs in an instant, it goes on and off with the car, and sound quality is great. Just plug it into the AUX and usb ports in the center console and you can forget about it.
 
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