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Thread: Wiring/Installation/Configuration for PX5 based Android Head Units

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    Wiring/Installation/Configuration for PX5 based Android Head Units

    Hey everyone, I was writing responses in the Electrical thread and figured, I might as well make it a "how to." It really is awesome having a fully (more or less) functional Android platform in the car. I had the MMCS before and this is far superior. The only thing I am currently "losing out" on is the automatic mileage tracking for fluid changes, and the various ETACs customizations that were controllable from the MMCS like the door lock sounds, how long the lights stay on after closing the door, wiper speeds, etc.

    I'm going to split this into 4 posts.

    1. General Information/Comments
    2. Suggested "mods" even BEFORE you install your head-unit
    3. Wiring Information
    4. Software (and Firmware) Configuration (ROMs, MCUs, etc.)


    Thanks!
    verkion
    Last edited by verkion; 09-02-2017 at 01:21 AM.

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    General Information

    What type of head unit should you get? There are a number of choices available, a 7" model with DVD, and 10.2" models (yes multiple ones) without DVD player. Which one should you get? I don't use DVDs so I opted for the 10.2" size. As for the particular model, there seems to be 3 common hardware configurations:

    1) Intel Sofia CPU
    2) Rockchip PX3 CPU
    3) Rockchip PX5 CPU

    I personally selected the Rockchip PX5 units because they are Octa-core units with 2GB RAM and 32GB ROM and are the latest generation hardware to be released. (IIRC it was PX3 --> Intel Sofia --> PX5.) I picked it up from this reseller (notice I did not say manufacturer, I'll explain later) Autojeta on AliExpress. They've been very good in terms of communication and even after-sales support. The other common reseller that many like is Dasaita (Hot Audio).

    Other Considerations
    If you have a Rockford Fosgate amplifier in your car and plan on continuing to use it, YOU WILL NEED TO GET A CANBUS adaptor. Ask the reseller to include or add it to your order. The guys at Autojeta simply substituted the "free backup camera" for the CANBus adaptor when I asked them. Please be aware that there are TWO revisions of the CANBus adaptor, one from 2008-2013 and one for 2013-2015 cars. Don't forget to specify this to your reseller!

    Head Unit Manufacturers
    There are a whole series of different manufacturers of the MCU (the hardware layer that sits between the hardware that runs android and that interfaces with your car). By and large, the CPU board (the hardware running Android) is the same which is why Android ROMs from the multiple different manufacturers can be used with little to no issue on any equivalent CPU board unit regardless of manufacturer. The MCU's however, are quite different. Some use different WiFi ICs, others have different Radio tuner ICs. Some have a front-facing microSD and 3 USB ports on the back, others have no microSD card slots and only 2 USB ports. This means that MCU firmware updates are by and large, not inter-operable. That said, many people do test other MCU updates on their systems and report their findings. I'll cover this more in the Software section in Post #4.
    Last edited by verkion; 09-01-2017 at 02:00 PM.

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    Suggested Mods (Pre-Installation)

    These units are cheap. Not necessarily in terms of cost, but in terms of "build." There are two, what I would consider "essential" mods to be done, even on brand new units.

    First, check if your unit has two SMA antenna connectors on the back (the small gold plated connectors that WiFi antenna connect to). If it does not, you should probably do the following mod.

    Adding an (or two proper) Antennae
    So, here's a picture of my PX5 based head unit. It is made by KLD and so, do expect yours to be a little different if made by another manufacturer. The general considerations are the same however.
    Head Unit - Top View.jpg

    Notice the red circle and my comment regarding the WiFi antenna? In my case, it was literally, the coaxial antenna cable with the outer shield stripped, sticking out the back of the unit. That's it. No wonder people complain about the poor WiFi reception!

    1) To fix this, you'll need two female SMA-bulkhead connectors, with attached wire. I actually cracked open an old router I had sitting at home and ripped off the connector on the other end...tada new cable!
    2) Connect the SMA-bulkhead connector to some free holes in the back of the head-unit. Since we don't have DAB in North America, I used the two DAB antenna holes.
    3) Solder the cables to the WiFi (and Bluetooth) solder pads on the MCU. See picture below (sorry about the slightly out of focus photo). Please note that the center pin of the coaxial cable and the ground shield connect to different pads! Don't short them together. It would be best to test continuity with a meter to ensure no short has occured after you are done soldering. (Keep in mind the exact location of your Wi-Fi connection pads may be different than my photo! Just check where the stock wire runs...the 2nd set of pads should be in a similar place/configuration.)
    4) Find some proper antennae and screw them on. I managed to squeeze the old router antennae that are nearly 6.5" long each, into the dash! There's quite a cavernous hole there in the dash.
    Head Unit - WiFi.jpg


    CPU Cooling
    After doing the antennae mod, and while you still have the unit open. You'll notice what I've labelled PX5 in the first picture has next to no heat-sinking on it. It's basically a thermal spreader...and that's about it. People have been recording temperatures of nearly 100C on the CPU in warmer weather under low to moderate loads! So, add a heatsink. I'll let you get creative with this because I don't particularly *like* my solution and will likely change it in the future.

    I had some Pentium II and III heatsinks lying around so I attached it to the back of the heat-spreader with thermal paste and came up with a few ways to ensure it would not shake loose while I am driving. (It involved superglue on the corners, silicone on the edges, and a screw through the top cover that holds it down.) I'll probably switch over to Heat Pipes like these ones from eBay, and conduct the heat to the BACK of the unit as the rear panel is quite a thick piece of metal which would be quite appropriate as a heatsink.

    I've checked the temperatures while running typical loads (Google Maps open in backgroun + Google Play Music paused while on a Bluetooth phone call), and it seems to be sitting around 45-60C now depending on ambient temperatures. Much improved I would say!
    Last edited by verkion; 09-01-2017 at 02:43 PM.

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    Wiring Information

    So, I'm not going to go over head-unit removal in detail. That is covered in other guides easily locatable online. Basically, it consists of the following:

    1) Remove glovebox.
    2) Remove glovebox side trim (1 screw).
    3) Remove front trim (1 screw).
    4) Remove hazard light control (3 screws).
    5) Remove MMCS surround.
    6) Remove MMCS (4 screws).
    7) Unplug old unit.

    For Installations without CANBus adaptors
    This is not the configuration I have so please following the wiring diagrams that come with your radio just to be sure. I also don't have any pictures for what the pre-amp outputs might look like for the particular head unit you might pick up. My unit came with a 2x7 rectangular connector that breaks out into Front R, Front L, Rear R, Rear L, Subwoofer and Video Out x 2. The video outs are kind of cool I guess, if one wants to install screens into the back of the Recaros, not that I am planning on doing that anytime soon!

    CANBus Adaptor
    Keep in mind that the picture to follow of the CANBus wiring harness may be different, depending on your model year car (mine is an 08 Evo X) and the particular revision/manufacturer of the CANBus unit. Pardon the blurry picture...
    CANBus Wires.jpg

    1) Red Circle = Dark Blue Wire = Antenna Power = Connect to pin 14 - pink colored wire. Be aware the wiring harness does not seem to have the pink wire in pin 14! If I were you, trace the pink wire back to the two pin connector further back on the right side of the dash to be sure. Contrary to popular belief, this is NOT an extra wire that doesn't need to be hooked up on our Evo X's. Have a look at the following diagram. It turns out that we do have an active antenna amplifier. Without power to it, radio station reception bites. Hook it up!
    Evo X Antenna Amplifier.jpg

    2) Green Circle = Orange Stripe Wires = Reverse Camera Signal = Connect Together. The wire coming from the red CANBus box contains the decoded reverse signal (from CANBus obviously). It goes high (12V) when the lever is in Reverse. The orange stripe wire going to the black plug (black connector goes to the head unit) also labelled reverse, is the line that triggers the head unit's MCU to show the reverse camera on-screen. Something to note, if you camera does not have backup lines like my Pionner ND-BC2, the head unit itself can display lines. Very useful! (Check the software section down below for configuration info.)

    3) Yellow Circles = Brown, connectorized wires = KEY 1 Wires = Steering Wheel Control Wires = Connect white harness' brown wire (on the far right) to the black connector's, brown wire (at the top). The Steering Control Info is actually supposed to be passed over the CANBus (supposedly), but I found that by NOT connecting the CANBus brown wire (bottom yellow circle) to the car, it was much more straight forward to program/reprogram the various keys on the head unit using the included Steering Wheel controls program.

    4) Lastly, the light blue circle = Black Wires with Red and White RCA connectors = Auxiliary Audio Line Ins = Connect to Aux Audio Line Ins on the other (included) harness that plugs into the back of the head unit. You'll notice its missing the Aux Video Input which many of you with Rockford Fosgate systems will have. If you want to add that, connection (so that you can connect an RCA video in on the stock location plugs), find connector C-106 (see picture below), and tap the Green and Blue wires, with Blue being the center pin and Green being the ground shield. Attach a standard RCA plug to that so you can plug into the Aux Video In (yellow RCA connector) on the other (not pictured here) included harness.
    Aux Video Diagram.jpg

    Aux Video.jpg

    GPS Antenna
    So, if your car came with the MMCS unit, you'll have a GPS antenna on a metal bracket mounted on the underside of the dash. It's held in place with two screws. I decided that this was probably a pretty good place to mount the GPS antenna as it has a fairly unobstructed view of the sky (through the front window) and wouldn't require me snaking more cable throughout my car. I'm sure the signal would be a bit stronger if it was further forward but Mitsubishi did provide such a handy bracket.

    1) Remove two screws from metal bracket mounted to top of the dash. Just trace the existing GPS antenna wire...it's super easy to find.
    2) Remove one screw securing the GPS antenna to the bracket.
    3) Peel and stick, or if your antenna is magnetic like mine, stick + tape over the GPS antenna (so it doesn't slide around on the bracket), to the bracket.
    4) Reinstall the mounting bracket to the top, inside of the dash.

    Checking Connections
    It is always a good idea to check that everything works before "snapping" it all back together. (I've now succeeded in losing 4 of those white plastic clips inside my dash because I didn't follow my own advice. Thank goodness they are $1 for 50 on eBay.) Here's what I would probably check.

    1) That the unit turns on...duh!
    2) Check your Radio app (plug in your stock radio antenna)!
    3) If you have a reverse cam wired in...shift lever to R to check if it powers on and the image from the reverse cam is visible.
    4) GPS (there's a GPS signal app that will show you what/how many satellites it is tracking).
    5) WiFi/Bluetooth connection. If you did the suggested mod, check to see your signal strength/reception is fine. i.e. join the head-unit to a wireless network.
    6) Audio check...I wouldn't be surprised if the stock balance/EQ app does not work with your Rockford Fosgate unit. It doesn't on mine! Don't worry, we'll root and install Viper4Android which will at least, give you back a working EQ.
    7) Steering wheel controls. There's an app for that as well. Steering wheel configuration or something. Start the app, hit a button, select what button it maps to. Pretty simple! Oh...it can differentiate between short and long press too. Handy eh?

    I'll cover an troubleshooting/software/firmware related configuration details in the next post.

    Optional Disconnects
    I decided to remove the Mitsubishi bluetooth module entirely (yay weight reduction!) from the underside of the passenger side dash. (Accessible through the glovebox hole.) Really, you just need to unplug the harness. I also unplugged my Satellite radio, but didn't remove it because I got lazy.
    Last edited by verkion; 09-06-2017 at 01:53 PM.

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    Software (and Firmware) Configuration (ROMs, MCUs, etc.)

    It's time to finish up the guide...and the head-unit installation! I'm assuming the head unit has now been installed in the vehicle and everything has been tested to work. If not, (and by not, I mean, the head unit powers up but R doesn't trigger the camera, or your RF amp doesn't power on etc.) the first thing to do is to enter the factory configuration menu.

    Factory Configuration
    1) Head on over to the settings menu in Android and near the bottom you'll see "factory settings/configuration." When you tap on it to enter, it'll pop up a password prompt. Enter 126, then OK and a new screen will pop up.
    2) There are a few things one can do from these menus. Bootup logos can be changed (I changed mine to the Mitsubishi logo...boring I know) from the "Bootup" tab. But, what you want to have a look at first is the CANBus tab if you have a CANBus decoder and nothing seems to be working.
    3) In the CANBus tab, there is a vehicle type dropdown. I noticed that mine had 2014 Outlander selected. If you're runnning an Evo X, that's probably the "correct" setting. What I've noticed is that, although additional status settings for HVAC and doors pop up once you select 2014 Outlander, none of them actually "work" or are displayed on screen which is, kind of disappointing, but you didn't really buy this unit to have HVAC/car door statii display did you?
    4) The final tab on the right (other settings I think?), has a few useful settings here and there. For example, I like having the audio attenuated by -3dB when in Reverse.
    5) Hit apply, (if you've changed anything), then click exit. The head unit will reboot. (This is a full "reboot" not just a "fast reboot.")
    6) Check again that your backup camera is functional, and you now have audio, if you've had to make changes.
    Last edited by verkion; 09-06-2017 at 02:15 PM.

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    One of these days i'm going to jump on this train to shave a few lbs from the super heavy stock headunit. How is the audio quality coming out of this? With my stock base model audio system hooking up to my ipod, i can play high bitrate files and they sound AWESOME! I was debating running a seperate USB DAC whenever i get there.
    Quote Originally Posted by Erik@MIL.SPEC View Post
    Technically speaking, modding cars is a "waste of money." But here we all are. On a car forum. Modifying our cars
    Racing cars makes a heroin addiction look like a vague craving for something salty.

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    Thank you for posting this! I didn't realize there were so many options for Android head units. I was planning on picking this one up, but the price difference from Autojeta is pretty significant...

    How can we be sure the headunits come with a PX5 CPU? The one I linked to has 2gb RAM and 16gb ROM, but it doesn't say much else about the CPU. I'd like to pick something up that's capable of running Nougat and has enough capacity to run 2-4 apps simultaneously without overheating or lagging (Spotify, Google Maps, RaceCapture/Harry's Lap Timer, phone calls, etc).
    @stephenemersondickens
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    No problem! Still in the process of updating the guide. Got a little lazy the past couple days but will make an effort to finish it all up soon!
    @HispanicPanic Re: audio quality. If I simply say it's better than stock MMCS, someone will jump on me saying I still have stock amp and stock RF stuff...and they'd be right. But it does actually sound better than stock. Likely the pre-amp signal processing is slightly cleaner. Remember, I have an 08 model so the revised MMCS models from later years might be better.

    As for USB DAC...I haven't tried it but I suppose I could try it. Some others have asked about that on XDA and people were saying they didn't get it to work.

    It can play from iPod, but you could also just throw the files on a USB stick/HDD and leave it plugged in. Or put it on your microSD card that most units come with.
    @flawlessninja that one from Amazon is a PX3 unit. How do I know? It's running Android 7 (which isn't out yet for PX5 units) and the description says quad-core. You want an Octa-core unit. That's the dead giveaway that it is a PX5 unit. The PX5 units have deep sleep so they draw sub-10mA when in sleep. They will then fire up right away (resuming exactly where you left off) without any bootup time. I typically have Google Maps (driving mode), Google Play Music and TuneIn Radio open at a minimum. I do use Torque (but more rarely now), and I suppose I have Google Hangouts running in the background...not to mention Viper4Android for audio tweaks. It isn't as snappy as my S7 Edge, that's for sure, but it really isn't bad. Definitely no worse than my stock touchscreen unit.

    As for overheat, probably won't (it'll just throttle) but I'd probably stick a heat sink on it. The best way is what I mentioned above and not what I actually did. Use some heatpipes to sink to the back of the unit. Someone actually did that (using a heatpipe he salvaged from what looks to be an Asus motherboard) and it dropped his temps even more than mine.

    If you guys have any questions, let me know. More than happy to try to answer them. Honestly, this is one of the best upgrades I've done for the car (no insult to TJ and the work he did!) simply because I use it everytime I'm in the car.

    Sent from my Nexus 9 using Tapatalk

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    Anyone else having issues with the screen flashing when hot? After my A/C has run for a while it is fine. But when I first turn the car on after a few seconds the screen will begin to flash.

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    Maximum thanks for the guide Verkion.

    I'm trying to figure out how to mount the heat pipes. In the photo there are two screws that appear to keep the heat spreader on. Is the idea to unscrew, take the spreader off, then mount the heat pipes using some thermal paste and small screws/nuts, then refasten with fresh paste?

    Alternately I found these:

    3/4" wide burly looking clips
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Aavid-6043B...53.m1438.l2649

    heat-pipe-mounting-idea.jpg

    Mockup of pipes plus clips.

    .: pl

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    Quote Originally Posted by dropknox View Post
    Maximum thanks for the guide Verkion.

    I'm trying to figure out how to mount the heat pipes. In the photo there are two screws that appear to keep the heat spreader on. Is the idea to unscrew, take the spreader off, then mount the heat pipes using some thermal paste and small screws/nuts, then refasten with fresh paste?

    Alternately I found these:

    3/4" wide burly looking clips
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Aavid-6043B...53.m1438.l2649

    Mockup of pipes plus clips.

    .: pl
    Oh man, I'm sorry I didn't notice your post for so long. Actually, I would have the heat pipe run to the BACK of the unit not the side panel. And no need to actually remove the heat spreader. The PX5 gets hot but really its just because they have a poor excuse for a heat sink (actually just a heat spreader). It might take a few careful bends but it should work just fine. Just have it flat over the center of the heat spreader, then angle upward and then one more bend to touch the back of the head unit which actually has fins moulded into the back.

    BTW, if you guys have not installed Malaysk Oreo ROM yet...you really should. It breathed new life into the unit. I find it is SOOOO much smoother than the Android 6.0 ROMs. Just be sure to read the installation instructions VERY CAREFULLY. It IS possible to brick your unit if you don't follow the instructions to a T.

    Thanks!
    verkion

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