Help picking and controling tablet

Discussion in 'Allwinner A10 Based' started by conkerb, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. conkerb

    conkerb Member

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    Hi,
    im looking to buy a tablet to install into my car, and need some help on which to buy, Must have GPS (not through 3g actual GPS) wifi and be 7 inch preferably an external gps reciever or bluetooth, must have android and must have either good internal memory or expandable with mem sticks (or usb host with HDD?) to at least 32gig
    im new to android so needsome help, do bluetooth gps recivers work with "these" tablets, and due to mounting in my car i need to be able to control it with seperate buttons on my wheel, i can do the wiring just need help on how it interfaces with the tablet (thought about IR but need the headphone jack for music out) any help is appreciated and recommend me a tablet,
     
  2. J515OP

    J515OP Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi conkerb, welcome. There are a few tablets that will work for this though it can get to be quite a complicated project. Some 7" Tablets with GPS would include the Samsung Galaxy Tab (2 versions), Acer A100 and the new Nexus tablet. However many non-GPS tablets can in fact connect via bluetooth or usb to receivers so that you don't have to have built-in GPS on the tablet. Again, many tablets will also let you connect to a usb stick or HDD using usb hosting so this shouldn't be a particular issue either. What you can probably do is get a powered usb hub and then you can connect both a GPS receiver (if you want better signal even if you do get a tablet with GPS), the usb memory and the steering wheel buttons. This last one is going to take custom work since you will have to write an app or otherwise program the tablet to take input from the buttons via usb.

    The possibilities are unlimited but much of the work is difficult if you are just looking for plug and play. In the easiest situation you can use the headphone jack for audio out, get a tablet with GPS and an SD card for expandable memory and then all you need to do is wire for power. Keep in mind that without data (tethering to a phone or a mobile wifi) means you will have to cache your maps for GPS. There are a couple of navigator apps (sygic and co-pilot come to mind) that can be helpful to use as a navigation device.
     
  3. conkerb

    conkerb Member

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    Hi, thanks for the reply.
    i was looking for a cheaper tablet tbh under the £150 mark incase someone breaks in and steals it :mad: , ahh i will probably go for the bluetooth or usb then, is the powered hub as simple as plug it in with power and it will work?
    As for the steering controls im good at wiring up circuits and really all i need is a remote or dock that lets you change song/volume and pause so will need 5 buttons and i could wire it up to work. (like an ipod can dock and you get a remote that lets you change song and volume, pause and play and so on)
    as for the gps app yes i will need it cached and are the apps you suggested all of england or just the route and need to be cache before?
    im planing on adding wifi in my car at a later date so could be feasable in the future but if i thethered will the gps work if it was an internet one?
    sorry for the questions but one more if i add a external USB HDD is there a size limit set by android and/or the device thanks in advance
     
  4. J515OP

    J515OP Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, if the tablet is capable of USB host most then simply wiring the usb hub up to power will allow you to use usb accessories as you normally would by connecting them to the hub (including keyboard and mouse if you wanted).

    This isn't so simple. The steering wheel will simply send an electrical signal but the tablet won't know what to do with it unless you run it through some sort of dock processor or make an app that knows what to do with that input. I don't know the specifics on how to do this but using some kind of media dock might be the way to go since that will pass the proper signal to the tablet. So you might hack up a media dock, plug it to the usb hub and then connect the steering wheel control to the proper inputs on the dock (e.g. vol+ wire on the wheel to the vol+ wire on the dock control).

    Generally you will want to cache an area so that you can navigate more than just the specific route. Google maps won't adjust the route or allow a new route without a data connection (I think they allowed this in Jelly Bean but for all practical purposes on the Nexus 7 has this right now). I believe the other apps will update as you go should you make a detour or select a different route though. Check out the apps I mentioned in the Google Play Store or by searching for more info.

    Internet GPS isn't very reliable particularly if you are moving. The best option would be to get a tablet with a GPS chip or a GPS dongle that can be connected by bluetooth or usb so that you have a direct satellite connection. The wifi is only needed so Google Maps and the route can update on the go.

    No, there shouldn't be a size limit on the HDD. Flash based is going to be better since it is more rugged. You can do a search on this site and read about people using 500GB drives with their tablet as long as it has power from a source other than the tablet. There could be limits but realistically getting something like a 100GB flash drive should be plenty.
     
  5. conkerb

    conkerb Member

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    Aha thanks for the help I'm looking at a tablet at the mo that supports USB otg so will get a powered hub and connect a gps receiver to one and a memory stick to the other, as for volume if I plug in a keyboard that has buttons for volume up down play and pause and next/prev song do those buttons work or do they do nothing?
    When I set it up I'll have the steering buttons control a relay that act like the keyboard button presses if the keyboard works as described above, oh one last question if I have my satnav program running can I play music and the music will get quieter as it tells me directions or can I not play music at allth
    Nks for the replys your helping to get my mind around this
     
  6. J515OP

    J515OP Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Not sure about the keyboard. Android works a little differently with keyboards than PCs so the best would be to test and see if the extra media buttons work. Maybe somebody with a connected keyboard can chime in. I think that should be ok though (they work on my Android specific keyboard). The music and volume wit the nav will depend on the app. Maybe somebody with experience will chime in on those or you can read the reviews in the Play Store.
     
  7. conkerb

    conkerb Member

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    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
  8. Odrade

    Odrade Member

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    Did You buy it already ?

    Android 2.2 is not a good os for tablet. You'd better buy one with Android 2.3 or -better- Android 4.0

    Odrade
     
  9. conkerb

    conkerb Member

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    no i havent bought it yet (thank god) might be buying one off a mate but need to find out the specs, can you tell me whether the keyboard will work with any android tablet or only motorola?
    thanks
     

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