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#368989 - 17/07/2017 20:38 Let's talk about empegs in new cars with touchscreens, shall we?
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31181
Loc: Seattle, WA
My beloved DIN-dash Honda Accord got rear-ended last week, and I predict that it will likely get totaled.

I've got some cash that could go towards a brand new 2017 Accord or CR-V, so I'm expecting things will go in that direction very soon. The new cars (at least the ones I want) are all touchy screeny bluetoothy cellphoney these days, no DIN slot.

Anyone have any tips on getting an empeg to work in this situation these days, someone who's been through it?

What I'm thinking is:
- Find a spot for the empeg somewhere in the car (maybe vertically in the center armrest console? Even the trunk will do if necessary).
- I have one of the remote display extenders from awhile back, still new-in-box, haven't used it. Maybe find a spot for the extended display somewhere up front where I can get to. Not sure where yet. Visor? Dashboard somewhere? Gotta poke around to decide.
- I don't think anyone makes a direct Aux-in adapter for the 2017 Hondas, can't find one, does anyone know if one exists?
- If not, I could get a A2DP bluetooth transmitter. Can't tell which ones are good though. Would be a little twitchy about the bluetooth audio data compression being applied to already-mp3-data-compression of the audio on the player, but I might not have any choice.
- Don't see an easy way to integrate the steering wheel controls in this situation. Would likely have to rely on the remote display for control.
- Maybe 3D-print a fresh face trim for the remote display, since it would look weird without a pullout handle.
- Maybe upgrade the player to an SSD so that I don't worry about thermal issues and bumpy rides any more.

Anyone else have experience to share about the remote display? For instance, if I pull the player out of the car to update its song library, how easy is it to detach the display, and will it work headless (ie will it boot without a display plugged in) in a home dock?

Any other ideas or things to talk about with this?
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Tony Fabris

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#368990 - 17/07/2017 20:52 Re: Let's talk about empegs in new cars with touchscreens, shall we? [Re: tfabris]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13884
Loc: Canada
I buried mine inside a hollow in/under the dash, and use a display extender stuck (velcro) in the front of the in-dash storage compartment.

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#368991 - 17/07/2017 21:08 Re: Let's talk about empegs in new cars with touchscreens, shall we? [Re: tfabris]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31181
Loc: Seattle, WA
Sounds about like what I'm going for. From the pictures, it looks like that'll be more likely to work on the '17 Accord than on the '17 CR-V. They didn't really give much space to work with on the CR-V, everything is smooshed together in the dash with no pockets up front. That'll be a factor in my purchasing decision.
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Tony Fabris

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#368992 - 17/07/2017 21:40 Re: Let's talk about empegs in new cars with touchscreens, shall we? [Re: tfabris]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13884
Loc: Canada
Mmm.. depending upon the width of the storage compartment, the empeg could fit in there with need for the extender. I think the compartment in my Impreza was about 1/2" too narrow.

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#368993 - 17/07/2017 21:44 Re: Let's talk about empegs in new cars with touchscreens, shall we? [Re: mlord]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13884
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: mlord
I buried mine inside a hollow in/under the dash, and use a display extender stuck (velcro) in the front of the in-dash storage compartment.


Correction: I didn't actually use the display extender -- the cable only had to reach about 12" or less, so I just replaced the regular display ribbon cable with a longer one. One can go up to perhaps 18" or so before the active electronics of the PCATS extender are required.

Cheers

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#368996 - 18/07/2017 21:56 Re: Let's talk about empegs in new cars with touchscreens, shall we? [Re: tfabris]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31181
Loc: Seattle, WA
Cool! Thanks! I think I'd do it with the extender anyway, just to be sure. Part of it is that the extender layers on and protects one of the fragile components on the back of the display board.

Any recommendations on which IDE SSD model I should get to replace my current hard disk in the 'peg? Ideally I'd want to directly copy the old hard disk onto the new one.

Anyone have a 3D model of the current faceplate that I could drop into an editor, modify so that it looks better without a handle, and then 3D print?

Anyone have any opinion on brands of A2DP transmitters for this application?
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#368997 - 18/07/2017 23:14 Re: Let's talk about empegs in new cars with touchscreens, shall we? [Re: tfabris]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13884
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Any recommendations on which IDE SSD ..

This one: Kingspec 128GB SSD

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#368998 - 19/07/2017 20:43 Re: Let's talk about empegs in new cars with touchscreens, shall we? [Re: tfabris]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31181
Loc: Seattle, WA
Awesome, I have pressed the "Buy It Now" button.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#369000 - 20/07/2017 12:35 Re: Let's talk about empegs in new cars with touchscreens, shall we? [Re: tfabris]
LittleBlueThing
addict

Registered: 11/01/2002
Posts: 610
Loc: Reading, UK
Originally Posted By: tfabris

Anyone have any tips on getting an empeg to work in this situation these days, someone who's been through it?

What I'm thinking is:
- Find a spot for the empeg somewhere in the car (maybe vertically in the center armrest console? Even the trunk will do if necessary).
- I have one of the remote display extenders from awhile back, still new-in-box, haven't used it. Maybe find a spot for the extended display somewhere up front where I can get to. Not sure where yet. Visor? Dashboard somewhere? Gotta poke around to decide.
- I don't think anyone makes a direct Aux-in adapter for the 2017 Hondas, can't find one, does anyone know if one exists?


My install post

The display extenders actually need quite a bit of depth - a good 50mm.

They need a solid mount - my install was in the headlining and
I routed my ribbon cable back to the boot via the headlining too.

Originally Posted By: tfabris

Anyone else have experience to share about the remote display? For instance, if I pull the player out of the car to update its song library, how easy is it to detach the display, and will it work headless (ie will it boot without a display plugged in) in a home dock?

Any other ideas or things to talk about with this?


You can use it headless for sure - the web ui works just fine (trying it now - fine in Chrome - not so well in my Firefox) smile

Cough laugh laugh laugh
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LittleBlueThing Running twin 30's

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#369001 - 20/07/2017 16:58 Re: Let's talk about empegs in new cars with touchscreens, shall we? [Re: tfabris]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31181
Loc: Seattle, WA
Wow, I had actually asked that question before?! LOL.

I had bought the display extender a long time ago in anticipation of one day needing one. I had forgotten I'd already asked the question. :-)

Nice install pics. Is the display extender still installed and are you still using it in the same car? How have things held up over time? Has the display board tolerated being up there in the headliner where it tends to get hot?
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#369004 - 21/07/2017 21:49 Re: Let's talk about empegs in new cars with touchscreens, shall we? [Re: tfabris]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31181
Loc: Seattle, WA
I also notice that my new car (picked up last night) has a web browser in its touchscreen dashboard apps. I haven't gotten it to work yet (my car refuses to connect to my home wifi) but now I'm wondering if I can use the web interface to control the player if I plug it into 12v wifi bridge of some kind. :-)
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Tony Fabris

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#369005 - 21/07/2017 22:28 Re: Let's talk about empegs in new cars with touchscreens, shall we? [Re: tfabris]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5383
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: tfabris
...my new car (picked up last night)...
So, did you choose the Accord or the CR-V? Pictures?

tanstaafl.
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"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

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#369006 - 22/07/2017 21:33 Re: Let's talk about empegs in new cars with touchscreens, shall we? [Re: tfabris]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31181
Loc: Seattle, WA
I went with the Accord, in the EX-L trim level (so I could get the slightly upgraded stereo with the so-called "subwoofer" which seems to be just an 8-inch speaker mounted in the center of the rear deck). I went with the Accord partly because the pics of the CRV make it look like there'd be problems finding a spot on the dash for an empeg remote display. I still might run into problems with it anyway, but I think with the Accord I at least have a fighting chance. Perhaps I'll be able to do it by replacing the little flip-door cubby in front of the gearshift, something that strangely doesn't exist at all in the CRV pics I saw.

I don't have any pics of my own, since other photographers have done much better jobs than I.
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Tony Fabris

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#369007 - 22/07/2017 21:35 Re: Let's talk about empegs in new cars with touchscreens, shall we? [Re: tfabris]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31181
Loc: Seattle, WA
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#370566 - 23/02/2018 22:11 Re: Let's talk about empegs in new cars with touchscreens, shall we? [Re: tfabris]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31181
Loc: Seattle, WA
I now consider this problem solved. smile

http://empegbbs.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/370560/1
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#370880 - 23/04/2018 18:02 Re: Let's talk about empegs in new cars with touchscreens, shall we? [Re: tfabris]
canuckInOR
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/02/2002
Posts: 3155
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: tfabris
I also notice that my new car (picked up last night) has a web browser in its touchscreen dashboard apps. I haven't gotten it to work yet (my car refuses to connect to my home wifi) but now I'm wondering if I can use the web interface to control the player if I plug it into 12v wifi bridge of some kind. :-)

Since I don't have a display extender, I think I'll have to go this route.

I do not have a browser built into the touchscreen dash apps, but I do have an old cast-off Android phone (that we don't use as a phone). So, empeg into a mini travel WiFi router + phone's browser to control empeg via web interface. Since the phone also has bluetooth, I (or anyone who beats me to the punch) could write an empeg control app that converts bluetooth AVRCP signals into player control signals.

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#370881 - 23/04/2018 18:29 Re: Let's talk about empegs in new cars with touchscreens, shall we? [Re: tfabris]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13884
Loc: Canada
There is actually a rather excellent Empeg remote control app for Android out there. I have it on my phone and use it regularly around the house.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.chasinglemons.empeg

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#370886 - 23/04/2018 23:15 Re: Let's talk about empegs in new cars with touchscreens, shall we? [Re: mlord]
canuckInOR
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/02/2002
Posts: 3155
Loc: Portland, OR
Oh, hey, well then... all that's missing is some bluetooth integration. smile

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#370887 - 24/04/2018 01:50 Re: Let's talk about empegs in new cars with touchscreens, shall we? [Re: tfabris]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13884
Loc: Canada
Tony's existing bluetooth solution should work just fine in conjunction with that app.

Longer (LONGER) term, it would be nice to have tighter empeg integration with bluetooth, such that the car head unit could browse/enqueue playlists etc. That's how I would like to make it work, but such things do require some time to implement, and that's just not happening for me right now.

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#370899 - 25/04/2018 18:14 Re: Let's talk about empegs in new cars with touchscreens, shall we? [Re: mlord]
canuckInOR
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/02/2002
Posts: 3155
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: mlord
Tony's existing bluetooth solution should work just fine in conjunction with that app.

Longer (LONGER) term, it would be nice to have tighter empeg integration with bluetooth, such that the car head unit could browse/enqueue playlists etc. That's how I would like to make it work, but such things do require some time to implement, and that's just not happening for me right now.

Unless I misread, though, doesn't Tony's bluetooth thing require modding the player? I'd like to avoid that, if possible. And if I can't mount the empeg where that the screen is visible, there doesn't seem to be much point -- I have to have a (bluetooth-enabled) phone/tablet anyway.

It's a shame that the Forester doesn't have Android Auto. Oh, well.

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#370900 - 26/04/2018 19:06 Re: Let's talk about empegs in new cars with touchscreens, shall we? [Re: canuckInOR]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31181
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: canuckInOR
Unless I misread, though, doesn't Tony's bluetooth thing require modding the player? I'd like to avoid that, if possible.


Understandable. I made that choice in the design so that the audio could be a pure digital stream from the empeg, giving the best quality. I could make it work with analog audio only, and thus require no player mods, but the audio would then be susceptible to noise. Some small mods to the BlueGigaEmpeg box (instead of mods to the player) could allow that. Cut three traces, run a 1/8" headphone adapter cord into the box, change one line of code, and it'd work analog with no player mods.

Quote:
And if I can't mount the empeg where that the screen is visible, there doesn't seem to be much point -- I have to have a (bluetooth-enabled) phone/tablet anyway.


Good point. If your needs are already met by having your music on a bluetooth phone or tablet, and the empeg's features aren't enough of an improvement over that, then it makes sense just to use the phone in that case.

Still, that Android empeg controller is pretty cool. For some folks, that would allow them to mount the empeg in the trunk and use an off-the-shelf bluetooth adapter like one of these for the audio. You wouldn't get track titles on your car stereo screen, but you'd get audio and you'd be able to control the empeg from your dash.
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Tony Fabris

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#370904 - 29/04/2018 05:47 Re: Let's talk about empegs in new cars with touchscreens, shall we? [Re: tfabris]
BartDG
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/05/2001
Posts: 2564
Loc: Bruges, Belgium
Originally Posted By: tfabris

Good point. If your needs are already met by having your music on a bluetooth phone or tablet, and the empeg's features aren't enough of an improvement over that, then it makes sense just to use the phone in that case.

I for one would love to have the Empeg's features back in my car, but I don't see this happening with the Empeg itself, though I still own two. I have followed your Bluetooth project in awe, but that would not be an option for me because I could never tuck the remote display so cleverly away as you did and my (current) car also does not support Bluetooth audio profiles, only Bluetooth voice (so I can only use it for phoning, not streaming audio).

So now I've bought a Kinivo BTC450 and now use my Android phone.

I noticed pretty quickly there are still no excellent Android apps that are made for in-car use. I currently use Car Tunes, but it has its quirks, the biggest being when skipping tracks it always skips two tracks instead of one for some strange reason. I've mailed the developer about this, but never received a reply. Looking at the last update date, it seems this is abandoneware. A pity, because even with its flaws, it's still the best in-car app I was able to find. (so I bought it)

My biggest wish would be that somebody could code an in-car smartphone app which has the Empeg's features built in. Especially the "insert a different random track from the now playing artist" feature, the clever search feature and the Wendy filters. I'd do it myself, but I cannot code to save my life. I had high hopes when that Empeg on Raspberry Pi project was presented here some years ago, but unfortunately that seemed to have died before it was even released.

Come to think of it, it's really sad that more than 20 years after the release of the Empeg, nothing has been released since with features that even come close.

So again, I still really hope for such an app. I would pay good money for it too, it would be worth it to me.
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#370907 - 29/04/2018 10:52 Re: Let's talk about empegs in new cars with touchscreens, shall we? [Re: BartDG]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13884
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: BartDG
My biggest wish would be that somebody could code an in-car smartphone app which has the Empeg's features built in.


The existing Android app does all of that and more, except it uses a real empeg as the backend. No need for physical access to the empeg or its display/controls, as those are all faithfully replicated by the App.

Just need a tiny Wifi bridge in the car to connect the two together.

My own wish would be for that Android app to be adapted for use on Android Auto, which would then place it onto the in-dash touchscreen!

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#370908 - 29/04/2018 11:06 Re: Let's talk about empegs in new cars with touchscreens, shall we? [Re: mlord]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31181
Loc: Seattle, WA
Iím wondering something about android auto.

With iPhone auto, your car stereo can only do that one thing, whatever app is up on the screen with iPhone auto. For example if I am running the iPhone maps application with iPhone auto then I canít play music from another source such as Bluetooth. Either Iím on the carís Bluetooth audio screen, or Iím on the Apple screen. I canít do both. I canít have the screen of one and the audio of the other.

If android auto was the same way, then that would negate the usefulness of having the app run on android auto.
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Tony Fabris

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#370909 - 29/04/2018 11:07 Re: Let's talk about empegs in new cars with touchscreens, shall we? [Re: mlord]
BartDG
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/05/2001
Posts: 2564
Loc: Bruges, Belgium
Nice! I've just bought the app and I'll have a look at it tomorrow, I'm not home at the moment.

I wonder if it would be very hard to adapt such an app to use the music files of the phone instead of an Empeg in the background.

This may be very do-able. I could mount the Empeg in the trunk where the spare tire also resides. I have a cigarette lighter connector there, so power wouldn't be a problem. Hmmm... Are there WiFi bridges meant for in-car use out there? I think I'll look into that tomorrow.

Thanks!
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#370910 - 29/04/2018 11:53 Re: Let's talk about empegs in new cars with touchscreens, shall we? [Re: tfabris]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13884
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: tfabris
Iím wondering something about android auto.


The Harman head unit my Subaru can play audio natively from the Radio/USB/CD at the same as Android Auto is using the screen for Google Maps. [EDIT] The Apple CarPlay stuff on the same unit is also supposed to work this way[/EDIT].

I haven't tried it with BT audio at the same time yet, but that should work the same.


Edited by mlord (29/04/2018 11:56)

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#370911 - 29/04/2018 11:54 Re: Let's talk about empegs in new cars with touchscreens, shall we? [Re: BartDG]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13884
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: BartDG
I could mount the Empeg in the trunk where the spare tire also resides.


Note that one will still need to run an audio connection from the empeg to the head unit. A simple Analog-to-BT dongle would do it, as would running audio cables to the head-unit's AUX-IN port.

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#370912 - 29/04/2018 12:02 Re: Let's talk about empegs in new cars with touchscreens, shall we? [Re: tfabris]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13884
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: tfabris
If android auto was the same way, then that would negate the usefulness of having the app run on android auto.


Oh, I understand what you meant now. Yeah, having an empeg app for Android Auto would indeed then force me to choose between that, or Google Maps at any one time.

Or would it? There are selector buttons onscreen for quickly switching between Android Auto apps. So presumably touching the Music button would take me to the Empeg app, and then hitting Maps would take me back there, as music continues to play.



Edited by mlord (29/04/2018 12:03)

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#370913 - 29/04/2018 12:04 Re: Let's talk about empegs in new cars with touchscreens, shall we? [Re: mlord]
BartDG
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/05/2001
Posts: 2564
Loc: Bruges, Belgium
Thanks Mark!
I know about the audio cable, and indeed, that could be a bigger problem. But I guess running an audio cable back to front wouldn't be *that* problematic (I hope?).

The harder part is probably finding a suitable WiFi bridge at a decent price, it seems. So-called MiFi adapters are found easily, but they all lack a hardware port necessary to connect the Empeg to. I've found one in-car Wi-Fi router, but it seemed pretty costly.

Edit : Would this thingie be any good?

Edit 2 : Mark, I also noticed in the beginning of this thread, you linked to an 128 GB IDE SSD drive. I was wondering if a 256 GB model would also work with the Empeg. It's been a long time, but I seem to remember something about the 16MB of RAM being a limiting factor when it came to increasing the disk size - I just don't know what the maximum disk size the Empeg will work with is.


Edited by BartDG (29/04/2018 14:07)
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#370914 - 29/04/2018 19:39 Re: Let's talk about empegs in new cars with touchscreens, shall we? [Re: BartDG]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13884
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: BartDG
The harder part is probably finding a suitable WiFi bridge at a decent price


Pretty much any Tomato/DD-WRT compatible discarded Wifi G or N router will work, especially if it uses a 12V power supply. Others on this BBS have used the venerable Linksys WRT-54G for such purposes.

The nifty travel router you linked to looks like it ought to work, but you won't know until you try it.

I don't know about the 256GB SSD; perhaps others can comment on that one.

-ml

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