Installing an Android Headunit Fixed My Amp/Sub AND Gave Me a Coolant Temp Gauge - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 06:50 AM Thread Starter
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Installing an Android Headunit Fixed My Amp/Sub AND Gave Me a Coolant Temp Gauge

I originally thought the factory speakers were inherently terrible. All I ever got from them was shrieking highs/mids with absolutely zero bass.
Honestly, the speaker on my Samsung Galaxy S10 sounded better. It turns out, the factory Alpine INE-W960 HU must not have been communicating properly with the factory amp and sub, because all of those issues were solved after installing a new head unit.

Besides the sound issues, I have been really bothered by the fact that this car does not have a Temperature gauge. I live in Texas and our summers hit 100 degrees F, and my biggest concern is how hot the engine and coolant get since this is my first mid engine car.

With these things in mind, I decided to install an Android head unit to address them. There are a ton out there, but I chose the Atoto A6 Pro for $259 on Amazon. Post install, I'm glad to report that the RCA jacks for the backup camera/amplifier/subwoofer plug up directly to it just like on the stock Alpine radio and all work properly.

Miraculously, after installing the new head unit, the factory amp and subwoofer are working properly now! There is deep bass coming from the sub as well as balanced mids again! It sounds like a totally acceptable OEM radio, and I now have zero desire to replace any of the speakers. For whatever reason, even though the factory amp and sub were plugged in properly on the Alpine unit, they never seemed to be on or working. On top of that, this HU also gives me access to essentially any app on the Google PlayStore (Google Maps, Spotify, Netflix, Youtube, Torque, etc). I use an app called Tasker which turns on WiFi tethering on my phone automatically so that there is always internet for Spotify, Maps, Youtube, Netflix, etc while I'm in the car.

Lastly, for car status monitoring, I also bought the Veepeak Mini Bluetooth OBD2 reader from Amazon for $11. With it plugged in and the Torque app running on the radio, I can get access to a real-time Coolant temp gauge, boost gauge, intake temp, etc. After a few days of spirited driving in the Texas heat using this, I can report that the coolant temperature in my Evora 400 never rose above 190 degrees. It seems that the cooling system in these cars is up to the challenge, and I no longer have to rely on a blue light, no light, or red light on the dash to tell me if the car is overheating. As for the boost/vacuum gauge, it seems to max out at ~18in/hg (~9lbs) of boost from the supercharger at WOT.

Overall, this install is no more difficult than in my old Honda Civic, with the hardest part being the need to modify the plastic brackets and bezel with a dremmel for fitment. If anyone else out there is disappointed by the OEM sound system or their factory amp and sub do not seem to be working properly, try changing the head unit out first to rule it out. It might be easier than replacing the amp in the backseat.






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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zthang View Post
I originally thought the factory speakers were inherently terrible. All I ever got from them was shrieking highs/mids with absolutely zero bass.
Honestly, the speaker on my Samsung Galaxy S10 sounded better. It turns out, the factory Alpine INE-W960 HU must not have been communicating properly with the factory amp and sub, because all of those issues were solved after installing a new head unit.

Besides the sound issues, I have been really bothered by the fact that this car does not have a Temperature gauge. I live in Texas and our summers hit 100 degrees F, and my biggest concern is how hot the engine and coolant get since this is my first mid engine car.

With these things in mind, I decided to install an Android head unit to address them. There are a ton out there, but I chose the Atoto A6 Pro for $259 on Amazon. Post install, I'm glad to report that the RCA jacks for the backup camera/amplifier/subwoofer plug up directly to it just like on the stock Alpine radio and all work properly.

Miraculously, after installing the new head unit, the factory amp and subwoofer are working properly now! There is deep bass coming from the sub as well as balanced mids again! It sounds like a totally acceptable OEM radio, and I now have zero desire to replace any of the speakers. For whatever reason, even though the factory amp and sub were plugged in properly on the Alpine unit, they never seemed to be on or working. On top of that, this HU also gives me access to essentially any app on the Google PlayStore (Google Maps, Spotify, Netflix, Youtube, Torque, etc). I use an app called Tasker which turns on WiFi tethering on my phone automatically so that there is always internet for Spotify, Maps, Youtube, Netflix, etc while I'm in the car.

Lastly, for car status monitoring, I also bought the Veepeak Mini Bluetooth OBD2 reader from Amazon for $11. With it plugged in and the Torque app running on the radio, I can get access to a real-time Coolant temp gauge, boost gauge, intake temp, etc. After a few days of spirited driving in the Texas heat using this, I can report that the coolant temperature in my Evora 400 never rose above 190 degrees. It seems that the cooling system in these cars is up to the challenge, and I no longer have to rely on a blue light, no light, or red light on the dash to tell me if the car is overheating. As for the boost/vacuum gauge, it seems to max out at ~18in/hg (~9lbs) of boost from the supercharger at WOT.

Overall, this install is no more difficult than in my old Honda Civic, with the hardest part being the need to modify the plastic brackets and bezel with a dremmel for fitment. If anyone else out there is disappointed by the OEM sound system or their factory amp and sub do not seem to be working properly, try changing the head unit out first to rule it out. It might be easier than replacing the amp in the backseat.
I agree with the subwoofer comment, I replaced the factory Alpine with another Alpine and the subwoofer performance was the same between the two. I got fed up with the replacement Alpine and put a Pioneer unit in, and all of a sudden the subwoofer started bumping, I actually had to turn it down!

My new radio has android auto, I'd love to see if Torque would work the same way.

Current:
2018 Evora 400 Metallic Black Manual
1998 Volvo V90 silver L59/4L60 swapped
1970 Honda CT70 Red

Sold:
2017 Audi R8 Silver V10/DCT
2010 Evora Carbon Grey Manual
12 others...
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 01:09 PM
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@tye-bo I have a Pioneer Avic 8200NEX that I installed a couple years ago (their flagship at the time) and I am able to do this with DashCommand that's very similar to the Torque app. You can view parameters and set up all sorts of gauges on the HU's display.

2005 Elise- Katana II Supercharged and other fun bits
2011 Evora - Daily Driver
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 01:40 PM
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I like the brand new lotus badge on your display!
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 07:51 PM
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Great project. Good info on coolant temp monitoring -- we've had lots of discussion here over time on engine heat management, so having that data point is useful. Thanks for posting!
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 01:09 AM
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As another Texan monitoring coolant temp (OBD2 pull with AIM Solo2DL) and oil temps (SPA pan sensor) on an Evora S410, I can report that the most probable temps are 84 C (183F)coolant and 74 C (165F) oil, typical 10 C lag.

My peak readings over a 5000 mile timeline, including hard runs in 103 F ambient air track day and a 800 mile days run, has been Water 96C (205), Oil 89C (192).

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 02:11 AM
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Thanks both for the temp info. I'm just about to fit a gearbox oil cooler on my S1 and it gives me temps to expect.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 03:07 AM
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Sucks that I spent like $1,200 on a Alpine HU so I could get Apple CarPlay but no way to put an obd app on it. So I put my phone on vent clip to monitor. I’m pretty surprised that even with tune temps stay very low

Current:
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2015 Huracan VF800 Supercharged
2018 Audi SQ5

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 04:58 AM
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Thanks @Mobius97 I'll give that a shot!

Current:
2018 Evora 400 Metallic Black Manual
1998 Volvo V90 silver L59/4L60 swapped
1970 Honda CT70 Red

Sold:
2017 Audi R8 Silver V10/DCT
2010 Evora Carbon Grey Manual
12 others...
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tye-bo View Post
Thanks @Mobius97 I'll give that a shot!
No Prob! I use a GoPoint BT1A OBDII adapter. It also included the full DashCommand app along with it ($50 value). If your Pioneer supports installing apps via the Pioneer AppRadio, DashCommand is fully suported via the HU.

https://www.pioneerelectronics.com/P...e+for+AppRadio

DashCommand™ (Version 2.9.0): Utilizing the built-in GPS and accelerometer sensors of the iPhone®, DashCommand displays advanced vehicle and driving statistics. When connected to a compatible vehicle’s OBD-II data port (optional OBD-II interface sold separately), advanced data monitoring, logging and analysis are enabled. Users can create and display up to 27 virtual dashboards with many styles including digital gauges, analog gauges, indicator lights, and more, which can all be accessed on the AppRadio screen. Compatible with more than 13 OBD-II compliant interfaces, the app can also be used as a scan tool to read vehicle trouble codes.

Quick vid I did after install testing it out.


2005 Elise- Katana II Supercharged and other fun bits
2011 Evora - Daily Driver
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobius97 View Post
No Prob! I use a GoPoint BT1A OBDII adapter. It also included the full DashCommand app along with it ($50 value). If your Pioneer supports installing apps via the Pioneer AppRadio, DashCommand is fully suported via the HU.

https://www.pioneerelectronics.com/P...e+for+AppRadio

DashCommand™ (Version 2.9.0): Utilizing the built-in GPS and accelerometer sensors of the iPhone®, DashCommand displays advanced vehicle and driving statistics. When connected to a compatible vehicle’s OBD-II data port (optional OBD-II interface sold separately), advanced data monitoring, logging and analysis are enabled. Users can create and display up to 27 virtual dashboards with many styles including digital gauges, analog gauges, indicator lights, and more, which can all be accessed on the AppRadio screen. Compatible with more than 13 OBD-II compliant interfaces, the app can also be used as a scan tool to read vehicle trouble codes.

Quick vid I did after install testing it out.

https://youtu.be/V9pRiroqVeA
Ooooo that's a nice looking app. Might have to look into that. My biggest concern with these is battery drain from leaving the OBD plugged in. Just have to be really diligent about plugging in the battery tender every time.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by zthang View Post
Ooooo that's a nice looking app. Might have to look into that. My biggest concern with these is battery drain from leaving the OBD plugged in. Just have to be really diligent about plugging in the battery tender every time.
I have had mine plugged in for a few years now without issue and do leave the car off the tender for a couple weeks. I know some of the cheaper BT adapters will drain your battery if left plugged in. The GP essentially shuts off with the car.

Yeah dashcommand is a pretty cool app and has come in useful!

2005 Elise- Katana II Supercharged and other fun bits
2011 Evora - Daily Driver
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