Part 3 - Android computer setup and configuration

Now it's time to configure the Odroid computer and calibrate the touchscreen.

The AR-1100 touch controller requires calibrating to the specific resistive overlay being used, and has to be done with a Windows computer with HDMI video output (I use a laptop with HDMI out).

Download the AR1100 configuration utility from the microchip website here: http://ww1.microchip.com/downloads/e...ilityV2.20.zip and install.

Connect the AR-1100 to your Windows computer as well as the HDMI going to the RTD board, so that the new LCD panel is working as a second monitor and then launch the AR Configuration Utility.

First press 'Options' and the configuration window will appear

Select Startup as 'Secondary', Configuration as 25 (for 25 point calibration), and importantly you need to set Communication mode to 'HID-Generic' in order to perform calibration and change configuration parameters, but then afterwards set it back to 'Digitizer' mode before plugging into the Odroid for it to be detected as a touchscreen. Always press 'Verify Communication' after changing Communication Mode so that the changes take effect.

Close that Options window then choose 'Calibrate' on the left side, and you can perform touch calibration by following the instructions on screen.

I found that I needed to set a few different parameters for optimal touch, otherwise clicking and dragging was a bit too sensitive. Along the top there are a number of parameters, set them as the screenshot

Then importantly press 'Save to EE' which writes these configuration parameters to the internal memory of the controller (the EEPROM). Finally go back to 'Options' and set it back to 'Digitizer' mode (then Verify Communication to save).

On to setting up the Odroid. Be aware that the Android version you receive on the eMMC with your Odroid will likely be out of date. I recommend that you download the latest 6.0.1 image version Odroid mirror and flash it to your eMMC card using Etcher (You will need a Micro-SD to USB card reader to connect the eMMC to your computer via the eMMC to SD-card adapter).

I found it easiest to connect the Odroid to my TV and connect a USB mouse and keyboard whilst doing the first configuration.

When you boot the Odroid it will take a little while the first time to self-install and setup the various disk partitions etc that it needs, but then it should boot into Android. Make sure the Wifi dongle is connected and you should be able to connect to your wifi network. You'll want to install Google Play so that you can start downloading and installing Apps - in the Android Browser go here: http://turala.com/tag/odroid-c2/ and choose one of the GAPPS installer options and run the package when downloaded and follow the instructions.

Launch the Odroid Utility App and make the necessary changes.

The next configuration change that you now need is to change the DPI setting so that objects and text on the screen are scaled up to a larger than normal size, so that everything on screen is easily accessible at arms reach. Unfortunately this can only be done by editing a text file on the Android system which can be a little tricky if you're not used to it. There are a number of ways to do this, but this is one way:

Open the 'Terminal' App and run the following commands in order:

  • su
  • mount -o remount,rw /
  • nano /build.prop

Now you're in the 'nano' text editor, editing the build.prop settings file. Scroll down to find the ro.sf.lcd_density setting and change it to 174. To enable bluetooth audio streaming capability you need to scroll to persist.service.bt.a2dp.sink and change 'false' to 'true' then save the file. Reboot the system.

You'll probably want to install a custom Launcher app that's suited for a car frontend, I use one called 'Car Launcher Pro' from the Google Play store which is a very user friendly frontend that runs instead of the default Android launcher. It has some built in stats linked to the GPS data so can show you current speed, 0-100km/h time, trip distance etc etc, plus can control media players such as Spotify etc all from the launcher screen.

Here's the Home launcher screen with media controls enabled

And this is the 'pop-out' customisable stats screen

Then just install whatever Android apps you want! I use the TomTom Mobile App for Navigation as it has the advantage of being able to download complete maps for offline use, which is essential when you have no data coverage.