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Generic Android Head Unit

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There are dozens of sellers on eBay and other sites selling car infotainment systems based on Android, WinCe or a hybrid of the two. Many of these generic headunits are unbranded or branded as Joying,Advanz, Azentek, Ca-Fi, Chinavasion, Erisin, Klyde, Ouku, Pixen, Yeamax, Xtrons, Newsmy, etc.

All these units, whether "pure android" or WinCE based ones, or even those with neither, are built with a couple of layers of hardware working together to allow integration of all components involved into a seemingly singular interface. It is important to know the basics of how these units are assembled and how they operate because it will allow us to understand reasons for certain limitations and problems as well as the benefits. Please read the MCU Explained Wiki page as well as the unit specific forum thread and Wiki page as linked below before asking questions that may already have been answered multiple times.

Model identification

There are many variations of these units with the same internal logicboards inside with the front panel changed, such as vehicle specific versions. Furthermore because of this, there are models that looks exactly the same on the outside but with different logic boards on the inside. This often makes it difficult to identify exactly which product it is solely based on its aesthetics.

While scrutinizing advertisements for purchase, make sure to keep an eye on the screenshots and the advertised specifications to help identify it. Often the resellers of these head units will often erroneously reuse context from other listings and will give a false impression on the specifications. Common errata include, but are not limited to, advertising Cortex-A8 processors variants as a dual core processor when the offical ARM specification classifies it as a single core processor.

If you already have the one then check the "About this device" in Settings to help identify your model. You can also check the /system/build.prop file for the ro.device.* syntax or run "cat /proc/cpuinfo" or "getprop" in either ADB shell or a terminal app then check for the keywords below from the returned syntax.

A common way to differentiate between the these Android head units is by the exact processor included:

  • Allwinner A10 (apollo-tvbox/crane) 1.0 Ghz Cortex-A8 Single Core processors in the TVBOX family.
  • Allwinner A10 (caravn/crane-3g) 1.0 Ghz Cortex-A8 Single Core processors in the CARAVN family.
  • Allwinner A10 (zxnet/crane-3g) 1.0 Ghz Cortex-A8 Single Core processors in the ZX803 family.
  • Freescale i.MX535 (imx53_smd/sbd) 1.0 Ghz Cortex-A8 Single Core processors are usually found in OUKU Unbranded units.
  • Mstar MST786 (cedric/Mstar) 1.0 to 1.2 Ghz Cortex-A9 Dual Core processors are found in the units in Tonghai Create AN-21U units.
  • Samsung S5PV210 (smdkv210/gushm) 1.0 Ghz Cortex-A8 Single Core processors are found in the units in Winca-Roadnav S100/S150 units.
  • Samsung S5PV210 (smdkv210/CSDVI) 1.0 Ghz Cortex-A8 Single Core Processors are also used the units in Cusptech units.
  • Samsung Exynos 4412 (smdk4x12/) 1.7 GHz Cortex-A9 Quad Core processors are found in the units in the Luyuan WD8801 family.
  • Telechips TCC8925 (m805s/) 1.0 to 1.2 Ghz Cortex-A5 Dual Core processors are found in the units in the TCC8925 family.
  • RockChip RK3066 (KGL/KLD/JY/MD/GS/RM) 1.6 GHz Cortex A9 Dual-core processors are found in Hui Fei Type units.
  • RockChip RK3188 (KGL/KLD/JY/MD/GS/RM) 1.6 GHz Cortex A9 Quad-core processors are found in Hui Fei Type units.

If in doubt, please ask in one of threads closest to your unit mentioned above.

Hui Fei Type

Manufacturers include GS, Joying, Hui Fei, Klyde, Kaiyide, HuiFei (KGL), Klyde (KLD), JY, RoadMaster (RM)or MD. These are often branded and sold by different resellers. Refer to the Hui Fei Type Wiki or Thread.

Crane

The Crane Family is a superset of for the head units with the Allwinner A10 System on Chip with WinCE taking care most of the radio's functionality and Android handling the rest. This board is included in the CARAVN, TVBOX, and ZX803 below.

  • CARAVN - Allwinner A10 (caravn) 1Ghz Cortex-A8 Single Core processor discussed in the CARVN thread.
  • TVBOX - Allwinner A10 (apolo-tvbox) 1Ghz Cortex-A8 Single Core processor discussed in the TVBOX thread.
  • ZX803 - Allwinner A10 (zxnet) 1Ghz Cortex-A8 Single Core processor discussed in the ZX803 thread.

OUKU Unbranded

Freescale i.MX535 (imx53_smd/sbd) 1.0 Ghz Cortex-A8 Single Core processor discussed in the Ouku Unbranded Wiki page or Thread

Tonghai Create AN-21U

Mstar MST786 (cedric/Mstar) 1.0 to 1.2 Ghz Cortex-A9 Dual Core processor discussed in the Tonghai Create AN-21U Wiki, Tonghai Create Thread or Sion thread

Winca-Roadnav S100/S150

Samsung S5PV210 (smdkv210/gushm) 1.0 Ghz Cortex-A8 Single Core processor discussed in the Winca-Roadnav S100/S150 Wiki or Thread

Cusptech

Samsung S5PV210 (smdkv210/) 1.0 Ghz Cortex-A8 Single Core Processor discussed in the Cusptech thread.

Luyuan WD8801

Just appeared in this forum thread, a new unit that claims to run Android 4.04 on a Samsung Exynos 4412 1.7GHz Quad-Core Cortex-A9 with 2GB of DDR3 Ram. There is the wiki page Luyuan WD8801.

TCC8925

Telechips TCC8925 (M805S) 1.0 to 1.2Ghz Dual Core Cortex-A5 CPU with Android 2.3 or 4.0 versions. They are discussed in the Telechips TCC8925 thread

NU3001

Newsmy Car Pad II S (NU3001) Rockchip RK3188 1.6Ghz Quad Core Cortex-A9 CPU with Android 4.4. They are discussed in the Wiki and Newsmy Carpad NU3001 thread

Rooting

Rooting varies greatly between units. Refer to each individual unit's wiki page or forum threads

Mods

Mods listed on this page *may* apply to all units, check each model's wiki page or forum thread for model specific Mods and hacks.

Modifying the boot logo (see post #1222)

Requirements

Download bmp2logo utility (see above thread post #1222) by MrGreenPants link: http://forum.xda-developers.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=2117022&d=1373852658

Image dimensions: 360x300

Image format: 8bpp (palette-based) .bmp file containing 223 colors or less. (In GIMP, select Image->Mode->Indexed->Generate optimum palette and reduce maximum number of colors). When saving/exporting, under Compatibility Options, select 'Do not write color space information'.

Note: I have observed that GIMP has a nasty tendency not to include black, RGB(0,0,0), in the optimized palette. You may need to do some manual tweaking of the image/palette to ensure that the 8bpp bitmaps have proper black levels.

Usage

   bmp2logo <base filename>

Example

   bmp2logo carlogo

will convert carlogo.bmp to carlogo.png.logo

Installing .png.logo files

   Copy the .png.logo file to the root of a USB stick (SD card will probably work as well)
   Insert USB stick into head unit
   Open up the secret 'General' settings (password is '123456' or '126')
   The logo on the USB card should be available to be selected.


I don't think you need root to perform the instructions above.

Once you have selected a new logo, the USB stick does not appear to be needed anymore.

If later, you go back into the Logo selection screen, the new logo won't be shown so you may lose your custom image if if you switch back to another logo. You can make the new logo one of the permanent selection, by adding it to the /system/etc/logos directory (root required, with /system mounted with r/w access to be able to copy)

Modifying the boot animation (see post #835)

Procedure

1. From google play download either Boot Animation Changer or Boot Animations Installer (I used the 1st one)

2. Install the app and pick any of the stock animations (if the suit your taste)

3. Use the 800x600 resolution (as this is the units default rez)

4. Reboot and enjoy

Adding your own custom bootanimation after installing Boot Animation Changer

To add your own customized version, simply navigate to the system/media folder and copy your bootanimation.zip file there I set the permissions to 767

User/Group/Other

^..........^.........^

^..........^.........^

^....................^

NOTE: If you happen to find one that you like but the resolution is higher than 800x600 change the first line in the desc.txt to reflect that. i.e. if it was set to 1280 800 24 change it to 800 600 24. Remember you must add it back to the .zip file uncompressed. Use something like 7zip