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Newsmy CarPad

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Newsmy CarPad II-III
CarPad
Newsmy CarPad II-III.jpg
Model Number: CarPad
Design
Device Type: Android Car Radio/Stereo
Manufacturer: Newsmy Navigation Technology Co., Limited Newsmy Navigation Technology Co., Limited-icon.png
Release Date: Not Known
Operating System: Android Android-icon.jpg
Dimensions: 178mm x 100mm x 167mm (W x H x D), Double DIN with slightly over-sized face
Weight: 6Kg (shipping)
Display
Display: 7"-10" LCD Capacitive WVGA 1024x600
Hardware
Chipset: Rockchip RK3188 Quad-core 1.6GHz
RAM: 1/2 GB DDR3 RAM
Internal Memory: NU Series: 8GB NAND
NR Series: 32GB NAND
Memory Card: NU Series: Standard size SD/HC up to 32GB
NR Series: None
Technology
Networks: N/A (external devices via usb-host)
Connectivity
Wi-fi: 802.11 b/g/n (single stream N, 2.4GHz only)
USB: NU Series: 1x Full USB 2.0 (host mode), 1x MiniUSB 2.0 OTG compatible
NR Series: 1x Full USB 2.0 (host mode), 1x USB 2.0 OTG compatible
Bluetooth: Dual BT: Phone and audio streaming plus standard Android BT for use with ODB etc...
NFC: No
GPS: Yes, external antenna required and included
Camera
Video out: NU Series: Mini-HDMI on Android box, usable while attached to the Head Unit
NR Series: None
Camera: Rearview Camera Composite in (not visible by Android)
Secondary Camera: 1x Audio/Video Composite In, 1x Video Composite In (both not visible by Android)
Battery
Battery: N/A (12V, powered by vehicle)
Other features
Additional Features: FM/AM Radio, TV via USB (ex. DVB-T/T2), No DVD/CD, CANbus (depending on model), steering wheel controls, IR receiver (depending on model)


Contents

Introduction

The Newsmy Carpad II-III series is an Android stereo that runs KitKat 4.4.2, has 7 to 10 inch screens, capacitive controls and/or physical controls. It's nice-looking, well made, and comes with an unlocked bootloader and a rooted ADB shell out of the box. The manufacturer seems to be quite responsive to bug reports and feature requests, releasing frequent ROM and MCU updates to fix problems and usability issues. Oh, and we have the full source code of the stock ROM (v1.1.6).

NU3001

CarPad II/III Differences

Here is a list of the main differences between different series.

The CarPad III is newer than than CarPad II.
One is not necessarily better as the internal hardware is mostly the same.

CarPad II CarPad III
Android hardware is separate and is connected to the head unit via a FireWire cable Android hardware is integrated into the head unit
Features a standard size SD card slot Some of the NR Series do not have a SD card slot. The following models have a microSD slot [NR3223, NR5210, NR5261].
Features Micro HDMI out Does not have HDMI out
Mini-USB OTG port for connecting to PC Full USB port for connecting to PC, requires a standard male type-A to male type-A USB cable
Internal and external mic cannot be accessed in Android, a USB mic must be used for Android functions Internal and external mic is available to Android, a USB mic is no longer necessary
8GB of ROM, 1GB to apps, 6GB to "External SD" 32GB of ROM, 1GB to apps, 28GB to "External SD"
2 channel (Front L/R) line-level or pre-out 5.1 channel (Front L/R, Rear L/R, Center/Sub) line-level or pre-out
This wire bundle does not come with the unit by default, it must be added to your order

The CarPad II is referred to as the NU series. All model numbers begin with NU.
The CarPad III is referred to as the NR series. All model numbers begin with NR.

All the custom variations within each series use the same hardware, the only differences is the bezel and the addition of physical controls.

Full Specifications

Hardware

NU Hardware

NU Android

NU Series Android Board

  • CPU: ARM Cortex A9 Rockchip RK3188 Quad-core 1.6GHz
  • GPU: Mali-400 MP4
  • RAM:
    • SKhynix 1G (256MB x4) DDR3 RAM H5TQ2G83EFR
    • SKhynix 2G (512MB x4) DDR3 RAM H5TQ4G83AFR
  • iNAND: SKhynix H26M41103HPR eMMC NAND Flash 8GB (1GB system, 1GB data, 5GB "internal SD")
  • Bluetooth/Wifi: Rockchip RK903 - WiFi+Bluetooth 4.0(HS)+FM RX
    • Wifi 802.11b/g/n single-band, single stream N, 2.4GHz only
    • Bluetooth V4.0(HS) with integrated Class 1 PA and Low Energy (BLE) support - BCM40183 Broadcom 4330 Based Chipset
  • Audio Processor: Wolfson WM8988L
NU Head Unit
  • MCU: STM32F103VC
  • Bluetooth: Flaircomm FLC-BTM5xx Bluetooth version V2.0 and V2.1+EDR supporting PBAP, A2DP, DUN, OPP, AVRCP and HSHF profiles.
  • Display:
  • LCD Driver: Intersil TW8834
  • Digitizer: ???
  • GPS: UBLOX 6M
  • Video: iTE IT66121FN (Single channel HDMI transmitter)
    THine THCV219 - Video Transmitter. Video data converts 32bit TTL/CMOS input signals into V-by-One® HS signal. Transmits the video data from RK3188 via a high-speed serial connection to a matching receiver in the head unit. Also supports an additional serial communication channel.
    THine THCV220 - Video Reciever in head Unit
  • Radio: Silicon Labs Si475x-A10
  • Audio Processor: TDA7851A/F
    • Speaker output: (Some units state 4x25W/28W/50W, real audio processor specs are below)
      • RMS output at 14.4V THD 10%:
        • 4x28W @ 4Ω
        • 4x48W @ 2Ω
      • RMS output at 14.4V THD 1%:
        • 4x22W @ 4Ω
        • 4x38W @ 2Ω
      • Max output at 14.4V:
        • 4x45W @ 4Ω
        • 4x75W @ 2Ω
  • Additional Outputs: 2.0 audio [FL|FR], (2) RCA line-level output
    • Line-level output voltages have been figured out on the NR Series but are currently unknown on the NU Series. Since the audio processors are the same in both NU and NR Series, we can assume the NU Series is similar.
    • There is no dedicated subwoofer output so you will need a crossover to filter the sound. You can use RCA Y-cables to split the line-level output to run to multiple amplifiers.
  • Microphone: 3.5mm jack with included microphone + Internal microphone on head Unit (both not usable within Android)
  • Other: ACTIVE 8846QM (Power management unit)

NR Hardware

Note: Only differences from the NU series is referenced here
NR Android
Note: NR Adroid hardware is not in a separate box and is contained within the Head Unit
  • iNAND: Samsung KLMBG4GEND-B031 eMMC NAND Flash 32GB (1GB system, 2.5GB data, 28GB "internal SD")
NR Head Unit
  • Head unit Bluetooth: ???
  • LCD Driver: Intersil TW8836
  • GPS: US-365 K53G000E5 ??? (could be relabed by Newsmy)
  • Video: The NR series no longer uses the THine Video Transmitter/Receiver chips since the Android system is part of the head unit main board
  • Additional Outputs: 5.1 audio [FL|FR|RL|RR|C|LFE/Sub], (6) RCA line-level output
    • The subwoofer output is low-pass filtered, estimated at ~100 Hz, slope is unknown.
    • Using a 2 channel audio file, the subwoofer and center channels appear to be just a mix of the FL and FR. Reducing both the FR and FL to zero in the "SoundBalanceActivity" mutes the channels. The rear channels do not seem to affect the center or subwoofer outputs.
    • Line-level output voltages have been measured by playing a 1 kHz, 0 dBU source on the unit with the SoundBalanceActivity volume levels at max and the main volume at 30 (out of 32). FR=FL=RR=RL=2.05 Vrms, Center = 2.50 Vrms, and ~zero on the sub (due to the Low-pass filter). Since voltages are normally reported as peak values, we assume that the line-level outputs are ~3V.
    • Line-level output research done by twokidsandaphone
  • Microphone: 3.5mm jack with included microphone + Internal microphone on head Unit (both are usable within Android)
  • Other:
    • Dual Operational Amplifier LM2904
    • Spansion AL016J CMOs 16 Megabit flash memory

Features

  • Bluetooth connection to phone for calls and audio streaming. Additional Bluetooth for the Android OS itself.
  • 3G/4G dongles. These seem to be plug and play and may be hot-swappable.
  • Connection of multiple USB devices through a USB hub, including wireless keyboards, USB memory sticks, and wireless dongles. These types of devices are hot-swappable.
  • Use of multiple USB memory sticks is unknown. More testing is needed.
  • [NU Series] Mini-HDMI on Android box, mirrors the screen while the Android box is connected to the Head Unit. Only Android is visible, video inputs do not display over HDMI.
Audio Output Definitions
Low-level output
Audio before the signal is passed to the amplifier. This is usually connected to other amplifiers. Also called pre-out or line-level output.
High-level output
Audio that has been passed through an amplifier. This is connected directly to speakers. Also called speaker out.
Subwoofer output
A low-level output designed for subwoofer output. This is usually connected to a subwoofer amplifier. This may also have a controllable crossover to block high frequency sounds from going to to amplifier.
High-pass filter
A high-pass filter is an electronic circuit that removes all the notes below the filter's frequency setting. A high-pass filter set at 100 Hz, for example, will allow all the signal above 100 Hz in frequency to pass through, but block all those under 100 Hz. High-pass filters are primarily used to block bass notes from distorting through car speakers and tweeters.
Low-pass Filter
A low-pass filter is an electronic circuit that removes all the notes above the filter's frequency setting. A low-pass filter, set at 100 Hz for example, will block the notes above 100 Hz and allow those under that to pass. Low-pass filters are primarily used to keep high notes from passing to subwoofers.

Where to Buy

Official

Note: These links are the actual manufacturer store on AliExpress. Prices do not include shipping costs. Buying from a re-seller or 3rd party is at your own risk.

If the price is higher via these links, or if you need to pay with PayPal, you can contact Summer directly.
A discount is available if you order more than 2 units.
For more details, please contact summer

People are reporting various delivery times, some shipping next day and arriving a week later. Price seems to fluctuate as well even going up to double the reported prices above. Seems like you can wait a while and the price goes back down, or you can contact summer and she will help you.

Buy NU Series

The 1GB RAM NU3001 doesn't seem to be available any more. All models listed are the 2GB RAM variations.

Model Price Info
NU3001-01-H USD$320 7", capacitive controls, generic Double DIN chassis
NU5002S-H-H0 USD$327 8", no capacitive or physical controls, generic Double DIN chassis, screen is larger than Double DIN
NU5003S-H-H0 USD$327 Customized for Bluebird SYLPHY
NU5241S-H-H0 USD$327 Customized for Kia K5
NU5261S-H-H0 USD$320 Customized for Volkswagen
NU9001-H-H0 USD$334 Customized for Kia K3
Android Box USD$100 Contact summer to purchase

Buy NR Series

Model Price Info
NR3001-01-H USD$340 7", capacitive controls, generic Double DIN chassis
NR5002-H-H0 USD$344 8", no capacitive or physical controls, generic Double DIN chassis, screen is larger than Double DIN
NR3223-H-H0 USD$355 Customized for Volkswagen Magotan
NR5210-H-H0 USD$350 Customized for Kia Sportage
NR5261-H-H0 USD$350 Customized for Volkswagen
NR7002-H-H0 USD$365 Customized for Volkswagen Magotan
NR7006-H-H0 USD$365 Customized for Volkswagen Sagitar
NR7007-H-H0 USD$365 Customized for Volkswagen Tiguan
NR9007-H-H0 USD$399.50 Customized for Subaru Forester
NR 5.1 RCA +USD$2-6 5.1 RCA Audio Output Connector for the NR Series available as an add-on

Other Sellers

Note: The following links are re-sellers. Buying from a re-seller or 3rd party is at your own risk.

Exclusive Car Auto
This is a dealer in Spain if you'd prefer to buy from Europe, FROM 16 March 2017 reduce the price

Model Price Info
EX-NR3001HH0 EUR366€ (VAT included) 7", capacitive controls, generic Double DIN chassis
EX-NR5002HH EUR370€ (VAT included) 8", no capacitive or physical controls, generic Double DIN chassis, screen is larger than Double DIN
EX-NR5261-H-H0 EUR369€ (VAT included) 8", Customized for Volkswagen, Seat
EX-NR7002-H-H0 EUR415€ (VAT included) 10.1", Customized for Volkswagen Passat B7/CC
EX-NR5210-H-H0 EUR394€ (VAT included) 8", Customized for Kia Sportage without original amplifier
EX-NR5241S-H-H EUR413€ (VAT included) 8", Customized for Kia Optima/K5
EX-NR9001-H-H EUR395€ (VAT included) 9", Customized for Kia K3/Cerato
NR 5.1 RCA +EUR4€ 5.1 RCA Audio Output Connector for the NR Series available
NR Camera Cable +EUR2€ Original Rear Camera Connector for the NR5261-H-H0, NR7002 -H-H0 Series available

Rooting

ADB shell is rooted out of the box and the bootloader is unlocked. If you want full root, read below.

Root Stock ROM

  1. Download rkbatchtool v1.6 for the USB drivers
  2. If the above drives do not work, download the Google universal ADB Driver for Windows
  3. Connect the Android box to a Computer and allow the drivers to install
    • You may need to point the driver install to the folder where you extracted the driver files
    • Or you may need to open Windows Device Manager and force the drivers to install
    • [NR Series] Use the USB-OTG port (slot G on the back of the head unit) with a standard male type-A to male type-A USB cable.
      You may need to go into the "Update Setting" app and change the OTG Model to "Connected PC".
  4. Get Kingo-Root
  5. Start Kingo-Root and root the Android box (it may take a few minutes)
    • You will be prompted that the box is already rooted. Just click 'Root Again'
  6. Download Terminal Emulator from the Play Store.
  7. Download Replace_Kinguser_with_SuperSU-v2.5.zip
  8. Locate the file within ES File Manager and extract the zip file to Internal SD /sdcard
  9. Open Terminal Emulator
    • Type su and click Allow when Superuser prompts
    • Type sh /sdcard/mrw/root.sh
    • You may receive a few error messages, just ignore them
  10. When prompted follow SuperSU through updating the binary via the normal way
  11. You can now remove the KingRoot and Superuser apps if you like

Firmware

There are a few versions of the stock firmware available, direct from the manufacturer.

Custom ROMs are available in the Custom ROM section.

Source

Full source code to the current firmware was found, um, on the internet. We're going to have lots of fun with this device.
Mirror here, careful it's over 4GB. ftp://83.86.104.150/NU3001/

There is also a GitHub project with source code for the ROM, custom ROM (xdAuto), and Bonovo apps.

Stock ROM

Current:

Downloads

Bocky Wocky's G-Drive
https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B2n0QcTSpMq5NE12Ylh2SjhxYVU&usp=sharing#list
xdAuto Repository
xdAuto ROM/Navbar helpers - http://xfer.aokp.co/?developer=zaphod&folder=nu3001
MCU - http://xfer.aokp.co/?developer=zaphod&folder=nu3001/MCU
Tuatara's G-Drive (Custom ROM, MCU, and Tools)
https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B4LT40YiEbW6fmlKNng0bFpjU1FKRVBnR21JZzFrUHA5dWFxVjAzU3RybkF6cUVXd3FpYnM&usp=sharing
Stuff not on shared file directories
MCU v40 - http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=60526347&postcount=4409
Official Chinese downloads
Look for files named something like AD3188_CarPad-II-P_KK4.4.2_X.X.X_1024x600_update.tar.gz (ROM) and CarPAD-II-P_mcu_vXX.rar (MCU)
(old version) Official 2 (slow Chinese source)
http://pan.baidu.com/s/1c0yBVI4
this link is referred to version 1.1.3
FTP
ftp://83.86.104.150/NU3001/ (also available via WEB with Google Chrome)
(not up to date) red13dotnet G-Drive
http://gdriv.es/red13dotnet_nu3001/

ROM/MCU Versions

(See ROM/MCU Versions)

Custom ROMs

(See Custom ROMs)

Custom Recovery

Manually flashing a recovery

In order to flash the recovery partition, have a look at this website: http://radxa.com/Rock/flash_the_image
All the tools you need are available there, with instructions. Flash ONLY the recovery partition.
I haven't tried this using these tools, but there is no reason it wouldn't work.

Alternatively, if you're comfortable using "adb shell", you can flash the image yourself. (the preferred way)
Download the recovery.img file to your computer, and execute the following:

 adb push recovery.img /mnt/external_sd/recovery.img
 adb shell dd if=/mnt/external_sd/recovery.img of=/dev/block/platform/emmc/by-name/recovery bs=4096

The first command copies up the recovery.img file to your external SDCard.
The second command will replace the existing recovery partition with the custom recovery.

Download a Reboot to Recovery tool (any in the Play Store should work).
Reboot into recovery and back up your current device.

Clockwork

Warning: In ClockworkMod reboot, when asked "Root access possibly lost. Fix?", answer "No".

This error is only appearing because the ROM is using SuperSU and not Superuser.

There is nothing necessary to fix about /system/bin/su.

TWRP

TWRP v2.8.5.0 (2.8.6.0 has something keeping it from rebooting out of recovery properly).

Issues
  • Framebuffer doesn't properly switch all the time, so it is disabled.
  • Filesystems that are valid setup (normal ones plus /metadata).
  • USB is working.
  • Changes to the TWRP code are kept to a minimum and changes are made mostly to other parts of the tree. PR's will need to be generated for each of them.

Download here http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=60287506&postcount=4126

Updating ROM & MCU

Note: SD card updates for the MCU and ROM seem to work. If you are having issues using the SD card to update, you should try the method via computer below.

Here is a video on installing the drivers and updating the ROM via PC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BVZXn9n3LM

About the Rockchip software:

  • FactoryTool - allows you to tweak/replace files in the "factory" update.img Use it to change boot logos, animations, preinstalled apps, etc before flashing.
  • RKBatchV1.6 - Flashes update.img through either upgrade (doesn't wipe /data) or restore (wipes /data).
  • RKDeveloptTool - More precise tool for flashing individual partitions/images.

Update MCU

Warning: You should update the MCU before updating to a newer ROM version. Features found in newer ROM versions may be incompatible with older MCU code.
[NU Series] You must be connected to the head unit to update MCU.
  • Download the latest MCU update here
  • Extract the files burn_mcu.hex and updatemcu.bin to the root of a SD card
    • [NU Series] This must be on an external SD card, this will not work if placed on the internal SD or USB
    • [NR Series] This must be on the internal SD, this will not work if placed on USB
  • Open the MCU application and press "Check Update"
    • After ROM v1.1.1 the application is called "Update Setting" and you must press "MCU Update" on the left, then the "Check Now" button
  • A window will pop up, press the "Update" button
  • Allow MCU to update
  • After completion the Android box will reboot

Update ROM

[NU Series] Updates to the ROM should only require the Android box.
  1. Download the latest ROM (Stock or otherwise)
  2. Choose an update method (SD Card or Computer):
Update via SD Card
Warning: Updating via the SD card is not recommended if you are changing from the Stock ROM to a Custom ROM, or from a Custom ROM to the Stock ROM.
Note: SD Card method will not wipe your data
  • Extract update.img to the root of a SD card
    • [NU Series] This must be on an external SD card, this will not work if placed on the internal SD or USB
    • [NR Series] This must be on the internal SD, this will not work if placed on USB
  • [NU Series] Insert the SD card into the Android box and it should ask to update (this can take a minute or two for this to pop up)
  • [NR Series] After transferring the img file to the internal SD, a pop up message will ask to update
  • Press the "Update" button
  • Android will run a check of the file and reboot into recovery mode to apply the update
Update via Computer with RK Batch Tool
Warning: UPDATING VIA COMPUTER WITH THIS TOOL WILL WIPE ALL APPS AND DATA STORED ON THE CARPAD!
(The external SD card is not affected)
  • Use RKDriverAssistant (download) to install the required Windows drivers for the RK3188.
  • Download RKbatchtool v1.6
  • Open the config.ini file for rkbatchtool and change SUPPORTLOWUSB= to SUPPORTLOWUSB=TRUE
  • Conenct the CarPad to your PC
    • [NU Series] Use the mini-USB port. This is the client/slave/device port.
      The full-size USB port is a Host port (for connecting peripherals, KB, Mouse, etc).
    • [NR Series] Use the USB-OTG port (slot G on the back of the head unit) with a standard male type-A to male type-A USB cable.
      You need to go into the "Update Setting" app and ensure the OTG Model is set to "Connected PC".
      The male type-A to male type-A cable needed is a standard straight-through cable and should not be more than 1 meter in length (3 ft).
  • When drivers are installed correctly and Android is on and connected via USB, there should be a pink square on the program window.
  • Hit the button "SWITCH" and the box will reboot into bootloader mode (square will turn green).
  • Select the update.img as your file at the top of the program window. Then hit the button "RESTORE"
  • After completion the Android box will reboot and take you through setup.
  • If you have a model with physical buttons (example NU5261S), you may need to re-map the buttons with the Key Editor app to re-assign the buttons

Known Bugs

The following are reported bugs with firmware noted and all current ROMs based on that code level.

[1.0.9] With Nexus 5 connected via Phone Bluetooth, Incoming calls do not pause or silence the currently playing audio app. Other users have reported success.
Investigating -red13dotnet
[1.0.9] With Android phone connected via Phone Bluetooth, calls cannot be placed/received while phone is locked and/or no notification of incoming call will be received.
[1.0.9] Phone app can "forget" that phone is connected via Bluetooth, even though connection is active.
Seems to be ok in v1.1.1 firmware. -spoks
[NU Series] Available microphones are hardwired to the Bluetooth stack, so Android unit can't see microphone inputs.
You will need an external USB Microphone to use with Google Now, Skype, etc...
The NR Series microphones are wired to Android as well as the head unit
[1.0.9] The Bluetooth app contact sync seems to be duplicating contacts.
The app seems to create duplicate contacts if they have more than 1 number and/or email address. The app also doesn't seem to sync properly, creating more duplicates.
Solution: Until it is fixed, do not use it. Google Contact sync does work however.
[1.0.9] Music playing stops when you make a call, but does not resume after a call.
For now, you have to push play after the call.
[1.0.9] Music continues to play on the Android box once you have shut off your car.
The head unit turns off the audio, the screen, Wifi, and Bluetooth, but for some reason it does not send a pause event.

Suggested Apps

Below is a list of Apps that current users have found very useful. Please feel free to add to this list:

Launchers/Interfaces
The default launcher is not a very good interface for a car stereo. Here are a few apps that should make the interface a bit less of a chore to use.
Device Control
DashCam Recording
ECU Monitoring
Maps
Music
Automation
Useful for running apps on certain events such as device boot or screen on
Maintenance

Interfaces

See Suggested apps

Fixes and Mods

Some of these were moved to the Tutorials page

Standby Mod (5 Hour) for stock roms

Replace BonovoMCU.apk to enable a 5 hour standby time. Copy to /system/app

https://mega.nz/#!edFgmRjL!EinoJhj9y6m3SphoMevW2PdNk6DLRqjnzha1YhuMok8

Microphone Navbar icon mod to open Google Now Voice Search

Modded SystemUI.apk from the stock 1.3.0 ROM so that the Microphone Navbar icon now opens Google Voice Search.

  • Requires Google App

SystemUI.apk - Copy to /system/priv-app
https://mega.nz/#!vN00BIjb!t_uD4qBJiAZvlfPXKji6KHYYToUVpGYsi7yWOAhHS3Y

GoogleApp - Install as normal
https://mega.nz/#!rNNU0CTZ!7QL8wAZdBtSheHuoXjKgNF32wjfDCwKb3-k97_6a43M

Modified Radio App

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=59600019&postcount=3519

Zaphod-Beeblebrox has modified the stock radio app with some new features

  • Radio 'Ducks' volume by 50% when Notifications (Nav, etc) occur.
  • Radio stops when another media player requests audio focus. Likewise, other media players (that behave properly) will stop when Radio starts.
  • The 'Favorites' button doesn't work. You can manually enter favorites (FM only), but their code for storing collections is fubar at best. My suggestion is to store a few FM/AM at your discretion and leave it at that.

The modified Radio app can be found in the xdAuto ROM or at the link above.


Modified for use without NavBar
Totoix has modified the Radio app found in xdAuto so it looks good without the NavBar
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=63888113&postcount=7761

Jumping/flickering screen and/or popping/buzzing sounds

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=60086762&postcount=3881

alaninsitges has figured out a possible reason why this could occur...

I did some more testing and narrowed it down: it occurs when my phone drops from 3G coverage outside the tunnel to 2G GSM coverage inside the tunnel. When the 2G radio wakes up it switches to full power and negotiates a time slot with the nearest tower. This high-power negotiation results in 1 to 2A peak draws from the phone's battery, occurring at 217 times/second. This of course generates a huge amount of EM radiation at 217Hz and it appears the Android box isn't shielded at all (what with Wifi and BT radios inside). If the phone is in proximity to the Android box this EM will cause the noise in the audio and interference on the screen. It's the same thing that causes radios etc. to buzz when you place an old GSM phone next to them.

This is all related to the current draw from the battery. At first, I was using a 3G/Wifi router and had this problem. Then I switched to a 3G dongle and the problem went away (no battery). Now that one of the ROM updates broke 3G dongles, I switched to using an old Galaxy note and Tasker with wifi tethering enabled, and of course there is that battery again and the problem is back worse than before.

The real solution is for Newsmy to fix the problem with dongles. In the meantime, I've had pretty good luck minimizing, but not eliminating, the problem by locating the phone away from and perpendicular to the Android box. Or you could always be sure not to drive through an area without 3G coverage if you're tethering.

Tuatara elaborates on the issue here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=60162809&postcount=3987

3G Dongle Issues

Try clearing the APN information (reset), remove the 3G dongle, reboot the unit, and then put the 3G dongle on the HOST port (not OTG port) - to see if the APN is then properly detected after reboot. The USB OTG port may have some issues within Android due to the nature of the USB mode switching required for OTG support. It is possible that the kernel firmware is not configuring the port correctly/in time/at boot for communications & thereby failing to retrieve the 3G dongle APN information.

Android Intents (Volume, Mute, and others)

You can control some actions on the CarPad using Android intents. There are also intents that fire when an action occurs.

The ( and ) represent a parameter list and the values inside the [ and ] are the available values you can pass with that parameter separated with |. So the parentheses, braces, and pipe are just for formatting purposes.

In Tasker, for the intents that can send values such as "channel" or "volume", that parameter needs to be sent as part of the "Extra" field. More info can be found in the Tasker Intent documentation.

Example
Action: android.intent.action.BONOVO_SET_SOUND_BALANCE
Extra: channel:2
Extra: volume:50

List of Intents

  • Volume Up
    • android.intent.action.BONOVO_VOLUMEADD_KEY
    Turn up the volume by 1
  • Volume Down
    • android.intent.action.BONOVO_VOLUMESUB_KEY
    Turn down the volume by 1
  • Mute
    • android.intent.action.KEYCODE_BONOVO_SYSTEMMUTE_KEY
    Toggle the sound off/on
  • Brightness? (more info needed)
    • android.intent.action.BONOVO_UPDATEBRIGHTNESS_KEY
    Possibly displays the adjustable brightness bar
  • Volume? (more info needed)
    • android.intent.action.BONOVO_UPDATEVOLUME_KEY
    Possibly displays the adjustable volume bar
  • Power button
    • android.intent.action.BONOVO_SEND_POWER_KEY
    Same as pressing the power button on the head unit screen.
  • Screen off
    • ACTION_SCREEN_OFF
    • android.intent.action.BONOVO_SLEEP_KEY
    Puts Android into sleep mode, disabling WiFi, BT, requesting audio focus, and shutting off the screen. BONOVO_SLEEP_KEY is fired after the ACTION_SCREEN_OFF intent.
  • Screen on
    • ACTION_SCREEN_ON
    • android.intent.action.BONOVO_WAKEUP_KEY
    Brings Android out of sleep mode, re-enabling WiFi, BT, releasing audio focus, and turning on the screen. BONOVO_WAKEUP_KEY is fired after the ACTION_SCREEN_ON intent.
  • Radio Power On? (more info needed)
    • android.intent.action.BONOVO_RADIO_POWER_ON
  • Radio Power Off? (more info needed)
    • android.intent.action.BONOVO_RADIO_POWER_OFF
  • Sound balance set
    • android.intent.action.BONOVO_SET_SOUND_BALANCE (channel [0-3], volume [0-100])
    Adjust the balance level for each channel.
    • Accepts value channel - Specifies the channel to adjust the level
      • 0: CHANNEL_LOUT1_VOL (Left front?)
      • 1: CHANNEL_ROUT1_VOL (Right front?)
      • 2: CHANNEL_LOUT2_VOL (Left rear?)
      • 3: CHANNEL_ROUT2_VOL (Right rear?)
    • Accepts value volume - Specifies the level of the channel
      • 0-100
  • Sound balance get
    • (string) android.intent.action.BONOVO_SOUND_BALANCE
    Returns the level of all the audio channels in the following format.
 LOUT1_VOLUME volume_level
 ROUT1_VOLUME volume_level
 LOUT2_VOLUME volume_level
 ROUT2_VOLUME volume_level

More intents not specified above can be found in the source code: https://github.com/Nu3001/packages_apps_bonovoapps/blob/master/bonovoHandle/src/com/bonovo/bonovohandle/HandleService.java

xdAuto adds even more intents than the stock ROM, see Android Intents in xdAuto

Google Play Services Missing

It seems that the newer versions of the stock ROM are missing Google Play services. All of the custom ROMs include this by default.

You can download the APK here - http://www.apkmirror.com/uploads/?app=google-play-services

Choose a build with 030 (Any DPI), 032 (160 DPI), or 034 (240 DPI) at the end.

Requests to manufacturer/Custom Rom makers

  • Option to select boot logo in settings app
  • Hide navbar while maintaining keyboard functions
  • Navigation volume and Audio Channel: Set Navigation volume level for when sound is presented from the navigation software, select whether navigation sound to come from front left and right speakers or all speakers. Allow navigation volume to override/mute audio volume when voice navigation is present from navigation software.
  • Navigation App to Monitor: Have an option to select which GPS app to monitor for navigation volume level & also give the user the ability to adjust the navigation sound independent from the overall system volume.
  • Show parking grid lines - Add ability to show/hide parking grid lines on the screen when in reverse for people who have reverse cameras without grid lines.
  • Key Editor app: Allow long-press actions, such as the ability to hold the volume up/down buttons to increase/decrease volume instead of having to tap the button multiple times.
  • Enable previous apps last used on last boot / power on to auto launch on the full boot
  • Auto screen dimming option by time in addition to illumination wire
  • RDS enabled for Radio app
  • Better Translations, the community could work on this
    IN PROGRESS: There have been translations provided to the xdAuto community ROM.
  • Option to Disable backup camera features for those who do not have a backup camera
  • Option to turn on / off CANBus features for those who have CANBus enabled units (ie NU5261 VW specific) ie. disable the open door notification on screen.
  • Some Android stereos have the ability to swap audio/video inputs for outputs. Is this possible with this device?
  • Allow music or video apps to resume playback when ending a phone call. It's a pain to do this manually especially while driving.
  • Add intents to allow the master volume to be set specific values

Fixed/Working

  • Make the microphone available for Android system and not only Bluetooth, so we can use it with Google Now, Skype. May not be possible since both mics are wired to the head unit.
    Partially FIXED: With the NR Series, the mics are available to Android.
  • Option to turn on/off/adjust 2 hour standby after ignition off
    FIXED: MCU v40 and xdAuto ROM v1.1.6 have the ability to adjust the standby time.
  • Stop/pause media after ignition off in all apps
    PARTIALLY FIXED: Music stops when ignition key is off. Music doesn't stop when CarPad is switched off with power button. See workaround above to "fix" this.
  • Sound Priority/Audio Ducking: Stop/pause/mute radio when 3rd party/media app is turned on, or choose which apps to receive higher audio priority over the other - system sound (e.g. radio), 3rd party sound (e.g Poweramp), or Intelligently (let Android choose).
    Partially FIXED: Zaphod-Beeblebrox edited the stock Radio app to support audio ducking and is included in the xdAuto community ROM. Work has started on the Bluetooth app.
  • Color app for physical buttons - Integrate a color changing app with MCU to change the color of the physical buttons.
    FIXED, sort of: LED color app added to firmware v1.1.3. Unfortunately the LEDs on the NU3001 are white, not RGB. However, the LED app (use the blue setting) does control the brightness of the LEDs when they are on. The NR3001 LEDS are RGB.
  • Support for SDXC SD cards
    WORKS, for some cards: Some users are reporting that SDXC 64GB cards work, see #Compatible SD Cards below
  • AVin app: ability to turn on / off video feed & have it able to run in the background. If being used just for audio (no video) enable an option to have a image displayed vs the blue screen.
    FIXED: The xdAuto ROM comes with a video/audio selector complete with Android intents.

Accessories

Steering Wheel Control (SWC) Adapters

The universal head units have inputs key1, key2, and key-ground for steering wheel control signals. For resistive SWC, connections from the resistor ladder(s) to the head unit can be made directly and then programmed with the key-editor app. For cars where the SWC are sent to the radio using the CANBUS network, an adapter is required:

  • Connects2 adapters with either the CTCHINAHULEAD or CTMULTILEAD.2 patch lead will work out of the box, connecting the patch lead outputs to the identical head unit inputs (ie key1 to key1, key2 to key2, and key-gnd to key-gnd).
  • The Axxess ASWC-1 adapter has been shown to work by manually programming the ASWC as a Pioneer/Jensen radio and attaching the brown/white lead from the ASWC to key1 of the headunit and the brown lead from the ASWC to key2 of the head unit. No connection is made to key-gnd. For more information see here
  • PAC adapters - also shown to work. See here

Power Adapters

[NU Series] The NR Series Android box is integrated with the head unit.

Power adapters to power the Android Box separately from the head unit

  • 12v Charger Adapter 2.5mm
  • The Android Box can also be powered separately from the head unit through the mini-USB port with a smartphone USB adapter offering enough current (mA) (tested by Yellow Beach).
    • Thin mini-USB leads don't tend to work. The thicker ones seem to work better.

Compatible SD Cards

[NU Series / NR5261] Most of the NR Series does not have a SD card slot. The NR5261 has a microSD slot under one of the buttons on the left.

The specs for the Android box state that only SDHC cards are compatible, but it seems that some have used SDXC SD cards as well. - Black6spdZ
The Android box takes standard size SD cards. You can use adapters to use mini and micro SD cards.

Compatible USB devices

Bluetooth Dongles

None reported at the moment

3G/4G Dongles

Scebbo - I've also tested two 3G dongles, with two different operators. All combinations required absolutely zero config (no manual APN settings, whatsoever) and were immediately working. Just plug & play. What I've noticed is that when the screen goes off, connectivity drops, and it doesn't get back online until screen is on again. It takes some 15 secs or so to get connected again. Of course there is a workaround for this just simply setting the screen never go off.
Here are instructions claiming to allow any dongle to be connected to Android here
Nogginboink - The Huawei E303 dongle works with a T-Mobile SIM card with no special configuration, or with an AT&T SIM card by creating a custom APN as described here.
Zerahtul - The play store app "PPP Widget 2" has made Huawei K3565 working. All there is to do is add the widget to the home screen, configure the APN in the widget, and click on connect.

USB Hubs

So far it seems any USB hub will work with this unit. Attention needs to be paid to current draw of attached devices, a externally powered hub is recommended.

USB Storage Devices

About any Mass storage compliant device should work. Attention needs to be paid to the power consumption of the devices, external power supply or powered hub is strongly suggested for non solid-state hard drives.

USB Microphones

So far it seems some USB microphones will work (not all). If it also functions as a sound card, the sound that is normally sent from Android through the head unit will be disabled and only available through the USB device.

Known working mics that do not take over Android audio output:

USB WiFi Adapters

None reported at the moment

Infrared Capabilities

The NU3001 has a built in IR receiver that you can assign IR remote button to commands using the Key Editor application.
The NU5002 does not seem to have an IR receiver.

It is currently unknown if the other variants have IR capabilities.

IR USB receivers will not work with the KeyEditor application. KeyEditor is designed to capture events from the MCU (SWC, Panel buttons, etc).

Bluetooth Capabilities

Remote control (does not control volume on the stock ROM, controls volume on the xdAuto ROM):

Hardware and Cables

The CarPad comes with 2-3 connection bundles for the NU series, and multiple bundles for the NR series.

The Steering Wheel Control wires detect pulses via resistive connection. There are three wires (KEY-1, KEY-2, KEY-GRND), most cars will only require KEY-1 and GRND. Most original stereos in cars use this resistive connection. Some newer cars don't use resistive connections, these cars provide the SWC signals over the CANbus. Please search the internet on your car model to find out if your car uses resistive SWC controls or CANbus SWC controls.

CarPadIIS connectors

ISO wires

Connectors for car audio
The following known functions are linked to the names/colors:

ISO block A:

  • A1 - Blank
  • A2 - Blank
  • A3 - Blank
  • A4 - Battery 12V + / Yellow
  • A5 - Power antenna 12V / Blue
  • A6 - Blank
  • A7 - Ignition 12V + / Red
  • A8 - Ground - / Black

ISO block B:

  • B1 - Right Rear audio / Purple +
  • B2 - Right Rear audio / Purple Black -
  • B3 - Right Front audio / Grey +
  • B4 - Right Front audio / Grey Black -
  • B5 - Left Front audio / White +
  • B6 - Left Front audio / White Black -
  • B7 - Left Rear audio / Green +
  • B8 - Left Rear audio / Green Black -

Power cables and others

  • V. CONT 12V - Reverse Video controlled 12V Power
  • P. CONT - Amplifier signal / Ignition 12V signal / Power antenna
  • ILLUMINATION - Illumination signal when you turn your headlights on
  • CAN-L - CANbus low signal
  • CAN-H - CANbus high signal
  • TXD - unknown, Chinese label says "serial data transmit"
  • RXD - unknown, Chinese label says "serial data receive"
  • WHEEL-KEY1 - Steering Wheel Cable 1 (always connect if possible)
  • WHEEL-KEY2 - Steering Wheel Cable 2 (not always needed when KEY1 is connected)
  • WHEEL-KEY GROUND - Ground signal
  • REVERSE - 12V signal for rearview camera when gear is set in reverse

Pictures

CarPadIIS Wire bundle 1

CarPadIIS Wire bundle 2

Resources

Firmware Factory Tool

Modify the build.prop, change the boot logo (of course), and build your personalized ROM

Download

Allows you to change

  • Boot logo
  • Boot animation
  • Kernel
  • Add/delete system apps
  • Add/delete pre-installed apps
  • DPI
  • build.prop

Links

Information

Images

Videos

Boot Animations

Boot Logos

How to change kernel logo (1st boot screen)

FAQs

(See FAQ)

Tutorials

(See Tutorials)

  • Manually modify Radio Name Data, How to change kernel logo (1st boot screen), Configure Viper4Android, Increase /data partition size, Install TomTom GO with no map data limit, and others.

Variations & Pictures

All models use the same Android hardware and the same MCU unless otherwise noted. 1GB RAM is only found in some NU3001 models while all the other models have 2G RAM. This means MCU updates and ROMs will work on all variations. The biggest differences are physical, where the vehicle specific models are customized to fit.

The NU/NR5002 models have screens that are larger than the standard Double DIN opening (193.9mm wide) so modifications may be required for installation. However, the chassis is standard Double DIN.

Note: Most modern VW-Skoda-Audi models use a dual fakra connection. The VW customized models have a single fakra connection for the antenna. To get a good radio signal, a dual to single fakra adapter is needed to connect your existing antenna. You might also want to look into "diversity adapters" to get the best reception possible.

NU Series Photos

NR Series Photos