PiLink Android Auto Upgrade

PiLink Android Auto Upgrade

SKU: pilink-android auto upgrade

PiLink Android Auto Upgrade

IMPORTANT NOTE - Bluewave Studios, maker of the OpenAuto Pro software used in this upgrade, have discontinued the ability to upgrade existing software installations after v16.0.  This prevents me from updating my Pilink version that has OpenAuto Pro installed.  Thus in order to use later versions I would have to completely rebuild Pilink on top of their image every version release, and unfortunately that is just not worth the time.  So IF you want to use this Android Auto upgrade option you must accept that you will only be able to use v16.0 of the OpenAuto Pro software, which will likely work well with Android phones for quite some time, but eventually may stop working due to Android changes.  Also, you won't get updates from Bluewave Software anymore but those were quite rarely impactful to most users.

This is a full upgrade package for PiLink so you can use Android Auto in your car while simultaneously capturing logs and tuning with ECMLink.  This includes the hardware and software license you need as well as an updated PiLink image that integrates properly with the Android Auto software.  

It does NOT include a display and input devices (touch screen strongly recommended, and hey John Freund Racing has a really great 6.8" display that works with this!  See Related Items below).  It is up to the user to supply these.

It does not provide amplified sound.  Output is a 3.5mm stereo jack you'll need to feed to your amplified sound system (i.e. 4 or 5 channel amplifier).  The software does provide volume control but no balance/fade controls, so you'll need to also manage those through your system (usually via gain dials on your amplifier).  This is left as an exercise to the customer as I don't have a car stereo to play with in my race car.  I think it's as simple as getting a 3.5mm to RCA splitter for most amplifiers.

What this includes:

  • USB Sound Card - for microphone input and 3.5mm sound output to your sound system
  • USB 2.0 Hub- expands port capacity of your Pi to accomodate all the USB devices needed for this upgrade
  • USB Bluetooth dongle - can't use the built-in bluetooth on the Pi as it doesn't support the necessary bluetooth profiles
  • Microphone - needed for Android Auto for phone calls and Google Assistant, long wire so you can place it anywhere though mounting solution is up to you.
  • Microphone mounting clip - with 3M doublesided tape for attaching the mic wherever you like, either on your dash or hidden.  I 3D print this, you won't get this if you order the components yourself.
  • Heat Sinks and Fan - Adding OpenAuto Pro on top of the existing system adds significant system load necessitating heat sinks and a fan to maintain proper operating temperatures, especially when running inside a car.  The PiLink case is redesigned to include fan mounting provisions.  Requires splicing the fan into the 5V power/gnd from the power management board and surgery on the Pi board to clear the airflow path by removing the unused DSI connector.
  • OpenAuto Pro License - Currently building with OpenAuto Pro v9.1.  This is the software that provides the Android Auto functionality.  Note any and all support for OpenAuto will be provided by the developer Blue Wave Studio and not John Freund Racing.  Read about the software here:  https://bluewavestudio.io/index.php/bluewave-shop/openauto-pro-detail

I'm not really making any money of this.  Here's the breakdown of this upgrade price:

  • - My price for the hardware
  • - My price for the software license
  • - Upgrade charge to use a Pi 4 2GB system (these are more expensive than the standard Pi 3B+ that I usually use with the PiLink systems)
  • - $20 fee to install and test this software (if I'm building the device with a PiLink purchase)

In fact, if you'd like to just purchase the components yourself here are the links for the products:

  • Pi 4B 2GB Ram - Only if your PiLink has a Pi 3B+ system (the standard unless requested).  You'll need to find your source to buy this.  These are hard to find and prices are painful due to the worldwide chip shortages.  Expect to pay over $100.  
  • Open Auto Prohttps://bluewavestudio.io/index.php/bluewave-shop/openauto-pro-detail
  • Panda Bluetooth 4.0 USB Nano Adapterhttps://amzn.to/2ZblC2s
  • UGREEN USB Sound Cardhttps://amzn.to/2ZKLoJM
  • Sabrent 4-port USB 2.0 Hubhttps://amzn.to/31W8kII
  • Lavalier Omnidirectional Mic https://amzn.to/3eiitSN
  • Heat Sinkshttps://amzn.to/3hGb0iU (you have to buy these in a multi-pack)
  • Fans - https://amzn.to/2YWwnFl (you have to buy these in a multi-pack).  Adding the fan is non-trivial as you need to splice its power and ground into the 5V lines from the power management board (or solder directly to the board).  Also, you need to cut a hole in your case, figure out a way to install the fan in your case (adhesive or screws), and ideally perform some minor surgery on the Pi board to remove its DSI display connector to clear the airflow path.

Also if your system was a Pi 3B+ based system you'll need a new case.  I can print one for you at relatively low cost but you'll need to reach out to me via email to discuss.

If you do buy the components yourself, reach out to me and I can provide a link to a PiLink image containing the OpenAuto Pro software already integrated (trust me, it wasn't easy getting it to work) and instructions on how to assemble everything (you can't just pick random USB ports).  

I just thought this was cool to have and since the core of the Android Auto software isn't mine, just the integration, I didn't feel right profiting off it. 

Integration with ECMLink is fairly seamless.  In OpenAuto Pro you simply go to the Applications menu and select ECMLink to display and work with ECMLink.  To return to OpenAuto Pro you click the "autoapp" section of the task bar.  OpenAuto remains running in the background while working with ECMLink.

NOTE!  This product is MADE TO ORDER.  I do not keep inventory, so I will need to order all these components after you place your order.  Please be patient.  This means I am subject to current parts availability though I will communicate any delays with you.


1 year warranty against defects in workmanship and materials under normal use and conditions.  Does not cover anything regarding OpenAuto Pro.  John Freund Racing LLC agrees, at its option during the warranty period, to repair any defect in material or workmanship or to furnish a repaired or refurbished product of equal value in exchange without charge (except for a fee for shipping, handling, packing, return postage, and insurance which will be incurred by the customer). Such repair or replacement is subject to verification of the defect or malfunction and proof of purchase.


Please read our Disclaimer here at https://jfracing.net/disclaime...