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Discussion Starter #41
Step by step a little progress.

The front-end issue about not detecting some CAN messages when turning the MMI knob is solved. The programmer was kind enough to publish the source code and give me a hint what to change to make it look more often for updates on the CAN bus. With that change selecting songs and folders is now very smooth and working jsut fine.

I also got Bjarne's CANGate that not only allows me to keep the RNS-E turned on until I remove the key but also has an option to enable TV by sending the required CAN message to the RNS-E. Together with the VGA to RGB adapter I got I'm now able to display the computer screen without any additional hardware (e.g. no more RNS-E AV adapter required).

The issue with TV in motion is still an open issue. I know now which channel to change and I thought I had the login code figured out but the code is not accepted and I still got no TV in motion. So still a long way to go.
 

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Hi Dirk,

Well I am quite a bit behind on this project. Shows you how out of touch we can get. This is great work!

Keep it up and let me know if there is anything I can help with.

Steve



AudiA4B6US said:
Step by step a little progress.

The front-end issue about not detecting some CAN messages when turning the MMI knob is solved. The programmer was kind enough to publish the source code and give me a hint what to change to make it look more often for updates on the CAN bus. With that change selecting songs and folders is now very smooth and working jsut fine.

I also got Bjarne's CANGate that not only allows me to keep the RNS-E turned on until I remove the key but also has an option to enable TV by sending the required CAN message to the RNS-E. Together with the VGA to RGB adapter I got I'm now able to display the computer screen without any additional hardware (e.g. no more RNS-E AV adapter required).

The issue with TV in motion is still an open issue. I know now which channel to change and I thought I had the login code figured out but the code is not accepted and I still got no TV in motion. So still a long way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
Well, I'm currently facing a dead end regarding video in motion. I was working with Bjarne on getting TV / video in motion enabled and thought we found a way to implement this via his CANGate hardware. While the first part works great (enable the TV as source), the in motion part completely breaks navigation. We can detect whether or not TV is selected as audio source but we cannot detect whether or not one of the other screens (tel, info, car and most important navigation) is selected and this results in navigation not working when you listen to audio from the TV port.

I got confirmed that there is a coding change you can make with VAG-COM but I got nowhere trying to figure out how exactly this works. There are several sources in Germany where you can go and get your RNS-E unlocked for TV in motion. They don't even need your car, just the RNS-E. But since I don't travel that often to Germany with just the RNS-E in my baggage, that might not be an option. I would be willing to pay as much as a 1280 would cost if someone would enable TV in motion on my unit without me taking it somewhere but so far I haven't found any source in Chicagoland that would do this. There is one link to New York but I haven't spend time on figuring out if that's a reliable source. And nobody could yet confirm that any of the Dietz adapters would come with a hidden feature that enables video in motion.

So while the PC itself and getting controlled via RNS-E seems to be a no issue anymore, enabling video in motion without breaking navigation is an issue. Since I'm not willing to loose my navigation there might not be much progress until someone figures out a way to get video in motion enabled without breaking navigation.
 

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Discussion Starter #45
I'm not interested in TV, all I want is to connect a PC to act as audio player. The PC would act just as another audio source but I would want to see the title/artist on the RNS-E just like I do with MP3 from SD cards.

Also, even while the passenger is watching TV or video, I as the driver would want to have navigation working through the DIS and/or have voice guidance be correct.
 

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Do you think there is perhaps a hidden setting under adaptation channel 5 to allow this? Maybe "255" or something?
 

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Discussion Starter #47
NSX JR said:
Do you think there is perhaps a hidden setting under adaptation channel 5 to allow this? Maybe "255" or something?
There is but the question is how to set it. You can't simply program 255 in channel 5, based on some sources you need a login code and based on some other sources there are a couple more steps involved. There are only 10 channels in #37 that I don't know what they do. The question is now what is the right combination to get channel 5 changed to 255. Simply entering the login code doesn't seem to do the trick.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
That's a very interesting project but the 3pmdev is only compatible with the RNS-D where video in motion is much easier because it uses two speed wires. Nevertheless, I'm watching that space in case there is any progress in regards to the RNS-E.
 

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Discussion Starter #50
After having a working proof of concept together I'm still putting my little CarPC project on hold for now because video in motion is not that easy to enable as I first thought.

The hardware solutions out there are all breaking navigation, which I'm not willing to loose. And those who know don't say anything because they are afraid to loose money by not selling their stuff or because they are not willing to risk their relationship with other parties involved.

I thought that this forum has shown that although the retrofit process is very well documented, there is still enough space to sell stuff and services to those who are not willing to do it on their own. And I also thought that although there is a lot information out here, there are still some things that didn't get posted because of personal agreements.

Anyway, I guess one day someone will figure out how that video in motion stuff works and the post that information on one of the many forums. And then it won't be a secret anymore and they won't be selling their stuff anymore. Or will they?

Anyway, it was fun to work with a couple people here and there on getting were I am now with my CarPC. For now there is not much I can do but playing with my RNS-E and try to figure out new stuff.

That's all...
 

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Wow, some really nice work being done here. I'd like to say first that I have not yet made the plunge with the RNS-E, unfortunately I don't quite have the budget for it atm, however I do plan on doing it within the next few weeks. Will be doing a retrofit in my 01' S4 so you guys will prolly get to know me better once I start on that ;)

The whole reason for my post is it looks like you've started doing exactly what I have been planning to do myself, it appears you're goal is to seamlessly integrate your CarPC into your RNS-E, and even using the buttons on the RNS-E to control your CarPC :D

If any of you guys are into the xbox hacking scene you might recognize my name from there as I'm fairly reputable amongst those guys and I'm anxious to bring that bit of knowledge and hopefully a few of my mates with me into the RNS-E world.

I've got a few questions though before I go ahead and make the plunge into this incredibly expensive hobby, first how are you using the buttons on the RNS-E to control your PC? I've seen a few people talking about devices such as Can2USB, etc. I assume this has something to do with it, but if you could direct me to more explicit info. on this I'd be interested in reading up on it. Also, it appears there are some people who have successfully enabled video in motion without rendering nav completely useless, but what's not clear is whether anyone has successfully cracked it so that both can be used at the same time, looks like that's where you are stuck at currently and I agree I wouldn't be willing to compromise in this area either.

I have some programming experience, just hobby though, a few little things I've done with XBMC (xbox media center for those that don't know, this is the project that won best multimedia project and best game project on sourceforge.net last year), and am a huge fan of open source. What I'd like to do is start a project specifically geared towards CarPC's used with the RNS-E, there seems to be quite a few hardware hackers in this scene, so I'm seeking to bring together the hardware guys and the software guys, this isn't going to be a project that we can throw together overnight, but it'll be well worth it after we get a stable build. A little more FYI, a major part of my reputation in the xbox scene is getting things done, primarily my function in that scene has been more project management and a little actual development, but I'm an organized individual that can get things done and in an orderly fashion.

A bit of what I envision for this project though and what my ultimate goal would be...no fuss setup, download, and run the installer, minimal required setup, etc. I'm thinking we should build a decent skinning engine and do a skin matching the RNS-E's OEM interface, Ideally I'd like to hit the tv input and not know I just switched to my CarPC, just let it look exactly like the RNS-E ;) So for starters we'd obviously have the installer setup our application as a terminal process and run at boot, no fiddling with launching it when we turn on our CarPC. the DashPC project has a nice little board they sell quite cheaply for proper startup/shutdown of your CarPC btw. This bit accomplishes what I'm after, a nice seamless interface, obviously controllable via the RNS-E's buttons, hence why I'm seeking info. on how it's done. ;) Now for me there's an array of things I'd like to be able to do, but I think essentially what we should be after is creating a good wrapper for all our apps we'll be using, there's a few open source projects out there already that we could implement quite cleanly and use for several primary functions like MPlayer for handling videos, dvd's, and audio. Something I haven't seen too much of in CarPC's is a dedicated sniffer running in the background for those who want to use some nice antennas and always have a net connection ;) Little things like this will make this project a success, but it's going to require the community support, it will be a community driven project. If the community isn't behind this project and making suggestions/requests to make it better then the project will likely die off, but as long as the community is strong, supportive, and contributing to development then we'll end up with something truly amazing.

I'm looking forward to working with you all, I feel very strongly that this community will be the turning point for CarPC's (yes I'm aware they've been around for several years already), mainly because it's and expensive hobby and generally I don't think there have been communities as large as this one with the economic funding or desire this community has, but I assure you once one community has done it and left it open sourced for another community to look through and see the things we've done and the progress we've made, we will start seeing a revolution happen, and it starts here! :D

You can catch me on irc if you'd like to chat more...
irc.us.efnet.info
#xbmc

or drop me an email
[email protected]

Regards,
Los93soL
 

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Discussion Starter #52
Getting the RNS-E to talk to the CarPC is pretty easy. I used a front end application from Germany called cPOS. The main reason why I selected cPOS was the fact that it's developer also sells a CAN2USB adapter that creates a virtual COM port and can be directly used in cPOS. After some fine tuning (thanks to the Open Source idea the source code for cPOS is available from the developer) I was able to connect my RNS-E to my CarPC and control it using the button on the RNS-E (including turn button) that are active in TV mode. cPOS is skinable and the only issue was that the PC is running in 800x600 while the RNS-E downscales this to 400x234. I have only created one menu, the MP3 media player menu, but cPOS can integrate almost any external program that can somehow get controlled. cPOS can also play almost any kind of video/audio that Windows Media Player can play because it's written in VB and uses WMP to play media files. The only thing it can't do is using Flash objects. That's probably the only reason why I would look at RoadRunner as well because RoadRunner can use Flash objects and has also an excellent backend support.

I got my Windows XP SP2 stripped down using nLite to be pretty small (less than 1GB including pagefile and hibernation file on a 512M machine), and after removing most services that are not used on a media player PC I got it also to boot in less than 30 seconds. The stripped down XP SP2 got a little tuned using some files from the XP Embedded package and I successfully ran it off a 1GB SanDisk Ultra II CF card. The nice thing about the embedded tools is that you can power off the PC without shutting it down and without risking to lose any data because it runs in read-only mode. So using CF card as a boot device to load the OS and front end I used an 80GB USB2 external hard disk for my media files. The disk is easily to remove from the car and could also be stored in a warm/cold place if the temp gets too extreme.

Initially I started using an Aopen Pandora mini-PC because of its size (almost fits in a single DIN cage) but also used a ThinkPad X31 for testing. Both platforms have advantages but at the end a desktop mini-PC with an automotive PSU might be the better choice. I got a Carnetix P1900 PSU that gets it's "ignition on" signal from the RNS-E (same signal that the Bose amp is using). This way the PC turns on when the doors get unlocked and thanks to Bjarne's CANGate doesn't turn off until x minutes after you remove the key. In a test the PC was ready at about the same time when my RNS-E was ready to play from my 4GB SD card (which takes a few seconds also).

I also used Bjarne's CANGate to send a few packets from the CarPC back to the car. Since it accepts commands via its serial port, someone could write a small application to display custom text on the DIS or do other things that can be controlled via the Infotainment CAN. We got the CAN messages for the multifunction steering wheel as well as the RNS-E so either can be used to control the CarPC. Once the PC is up and running it's only a matter of time to figure out what all the CAN messages mean. So far I have only listened to the infotainment CAN and only a limited amount of engine related data is available there. The comfort CAN might be the better place, or the power train/Engine CAN but the latter is nothing someone should start playing with as a beginner. To easy to screw up things badly ;-)

So the whole project was very promising until I reached the point where I actually tried to use it in the car. That try made it obvious that without video in motion the whole CarPC idea is useless. Even when not using route guidance I frequently show the map to see where I am or what street I'm on. Without the proper speed signal anything navigation related works on GPS only. And although navigation got more accurate after driving a while (almost as accurate as driving with a speed signal), entering a tunnel or underground parking garage made the arrow immediately stop working. And after about 6 360 degree circles without GPS my position was off several blocks.

There are three ways to get video in motion. The easiest is to configure the RNS-E to simply not blank the screen when the speed is above 5mph. There are a few I Germany who sell this service but it's obviously not easy for me to get my car over there to get my RNS-E unlocked. There are also several references to a magic CAN message that, when sent to the RNS-E, enables video in motion. This would be the second best option because it doesn't require to cut the CAN wires to the RNS-E. And the last option is some kind of filter that removes the right CAN message before it gets to the RNS-E. Any of these options would be usable but none are available to the public right now and it makes no sense to proceed until this issue got solved. Since I got confirmed that video in motion can be enabled on the RNS-E only (without a car connected to it), there must be a way to do this.

There are only 12 channels in #37/#56 that I don't know what they are doing and now that it gets warmer outside it actually makes fun to drive around, change values and see what happens. And as anything else we figured out about the RNS-E, it's only a matter of time before this secret is no secret anymore...
 

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Fantastic job Dirk :D :D you are in the right way and I am sure that you will discover the secret soon.
About the video in motion since last january I temporary solved in this way the problem:
I'm using my A4 RNS-E coded as an A6 one with a switch in the Gala signal and I have the video always open. I've been driving my A4 with this setup for about 10.000 km. in Italy and Germany and I can watch DVD and TV and Navigate at the same time. There are some critical situations where the accuracy of the navigation become a little bit difficult (less than 2 satellites)) but in the 90% of cases I can navigate and use my video. I know this is not the perfect solution but limitedly to the zone where I leave it does the work.
In any case when I was using Dietz 1280 the navigation was impossible.
Awaiting the discovery ..... :roll: :roll: :roll: .
 

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Discussion Starter #54
I didn't drive 10000km but only a few miles but you are right, for some people GPS alone is sufficient. I'm living downtown Chicago in the middle of all the highrisers and I park in a garage on the 6th floor. This means that when I leave my garage the RNS-E thinks I'm about 2km away from the position I really am, and a couple hundert meters in Lake Michigan. It takes usually more than 10 minutes for it to recover. That's why I say for me GPS only is not a solution. But I'm still working on this...
 

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AudiA4B6US your project intrigues me, probaly because I was thinking about something along the same lines.

I'm a geek from way back and when I was building my HTPC (home theater PC) I wanted to hook my Video Card up to my 65" Pioneer HDTV using the RGB interface on the TV.

A program called Powerstrip http://www.entechtaiwan.com/util/ps.shtm allows one to change the frequencies of the video card output to match that which is expected at the monitor, TV, Plasma, what have you.

One can also set the screen resolution, pitch, refresh rate, and a whole lot more.

It works by creating profiles which then can be stored and called/switched to at will.

I think it would be perfect for what your trying to accomplish, but you would need to know some basics like the refresh and scan rate and frequency that the recieving device needs or is expecting.

Gimme a holla if you want to know more.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #56
I tired PowerStrip at the beginning and got a stable picture at some PAL frequency and resolution. There were a couple of issues though that caused me to look into a hardware alternative. PowerStrip doesn't support embedded Intel Graphics, only a couple of ATI, Nvidia and Matrox GPUs are supported for custom resolutions and timings. And PowerStrip launches with Windows which means that you won't have a stable picture until Windows is fully loaded. Since it didn't do any scaling, I had a lot lost lines resulting in unreadable small text and distorted graphics. Nothing critical for a graphical front end in a car pc application but not ideal.

In the meantime I learned about another alternative, especially for embedded Intel GPUs. Intel provides a specicial driver packaged for embedded systems. It allows to write a video BIOS using custom timings and works under Windows Embedded as well as Windows XP. While I haven't looked further into this option, it seems to be ideal because no hardware is required.

If I ever figure out that video in motion issue, that might be the next area for improvements for this project. For now the hardware converter is sufficient.
 

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Discussion Starter #57
Some updates, no progress but new questions.

All it takes to enable TV as source is to send a message with ID h602 to the RNS-E. It doesn't really matter what kind of message, sending a single h00 every 500ms already enables the TV option. Not that knowing this really helps but at least it's nice to know.

Since I originally got an 8 bytes message from the 1417 I used as template, I though it might be a good idea to figure out what the individual bytes do. Well, the last 4 bytes tell the DIS what video source is used. The DIS is accepting any 3 digit string as video source, 3 digits only although there are 4 bytes available. Sending a 39 39 39 39 results in CH 999 in the first DIS row, sending 39 39 39 20 does the same. Characters are possible as well. This is of course only after I used Bjarne's CANGate to block the 261 messages coming from the RNS-E.

Knowing this, there are only 4 bytes left that do something in regards to TV input. One task for the next couple of weeks is to try all of the possible combinations and check that there is none that would enable TV in motion.

The second approach is to check what the last 10 undocumented channels in #56 do. There might be a channel that enables TV in motion or at least allows to change channel 005 to 250 or 255 (one of those two values is supposed to enable TV in motion but the value cannot simply be set).

While I was playing with the various software versions I have access to, I found some interesting differences that may point into the right direction.

I started with the Euro 0050 software and documented the channels available in that software. Most were already documented on openobd.org, some other weren't documented there but I knew what they did. I used Euro software 0050, 0100 and 0140 and US software 0020 and 0110.

When updating from Euro 0140 to US0020, channel 005 changes from 0 to 1. The documented values are 0 for no TV in motion and 1 for TV in motion up to 5 km/h. As we know by now, a value of 250 or 255 would enable TV in motion at all speed but neither value can be set.

Channel 004 is a channel that only exists in US sw 0110. I haven't tried the Euro sw 0330 or higher and it may exist there too but it doesn't exist in any software I tested but the US sw 0110. I don't know yet what this channel does.

Channel 16 is another channel that is interesting. It was at 0 with Eu 0050, then changed to 1 in Euro 0100/0140 and back to 0 in US 0020. Beginning with US sw 0110 I get a "Security Access required" error when accessing this channel. Even entering a number in VAG-COM in "Security Access - 16" and getting a "Security access accepted" back, I cannot access channel 16. very interesting. I know the Ross-Tech guys won't provide any meaningful answer when being asked but maybe someone with access to VAS at the dealer can try to access channel 16 and see if there is any documentation for this channel.

There are a couple more channels that change when upgrading from EU sw to US sw, the details a listed below:
Channel 129 changes from 10 to 3840, setting 10 with US sw 0110 is possible but setting 3840 isn't.
Channel 130 changes from 5 to 10, either value can be set with the US sw 0110.
Channel 137 changes from 60 to 10, either value can be set wit the US sw 0110.
Channel 138 changes from 3 to 10, 3 is not a value that can be set with the US sw 0110.
Channel 139 changes from 0 to 60, 0 is not a value that can be set with the US sw 0110.

Obviously checking all the channels has not really anything to do with TV in motion, except probably that those who can enable TV in motion (and don't tell how) can only do it with Euro sw 0100. But I thought a side product of my research, maybe there is a setting that disables the nasty disclaimer in the US software. So far it looks like there isn't but you never know.

Enough for today. But if there is anybody out there who reads this and either knows how to enable TV in motion or works on his own trying to figure out how to get TV in motion enabled, maybe you can send me a mail and we can talk.
 

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AudiA4B6US, I'm in and use me as a resource. I run a technology consulting company and have access to some good resources and other guys. PM me if you want my email.

Looking forward to contributing in CarPC mod.
 

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Discussion Starter #59
ehartley said:
AudiA4B6US, I'm in and use me as a resource. I run a technology consulting company and have access to some good resources and other guys. PM me if you want my email.

Looking forward to contributing in CarPC mod.
Thanks for the offer. I think right now we need someone who can disassamble QNX Neutrino code. Or one of those black boxes the guys over in Germany use to enable TV in motion via OBD.
 

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Hey AudiA4B6US, I have been talking to some of my developers and they have been talking to some of their software guru buddies...and one of the guys thinks he may be able to disasseble the QNX Neutrino code for the RNS-E, but I need to know where I can get a copy to give to them to see if they can open it up. If they could, we could make this thing do all sorts of things...please let me know if you can send the latest version so I can see if he can indeed disassemble the code, thanks. I want a car PC something fierce, for MP3's, DVD's, etc...but I want it to work though the RNS-E and I think this may be our best bet...it is a long shot, but you never know. (I am keeping my fingers crossed)
 
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