AutoPi VW HEXCAN and Music control support

Hi, I want to know, if AutoPi (especially the 4G/LTE edition) is able to communicate with VAG cars (in my case a Golf 6 Match from 2012) and utilize the HEXCAN features of such cars. I want to know if I can control my official VW pre-heater remotely and if I may be able to play music via the AutoPi (for example having music on it’s sd or a USB stick attached to it and play it via the VW-RCD310 and skip songs or pause via the steering wheel controls).

Thanks in advance

Hi Colin

I’m note sure about controlling the pre-heater, it depends on if and how it’s connected to the CAN-bus, but if it is connected to the CAN-bus, you should be able to send commands to it.
It seems that your car is using the K-Line / ISO 14230-4 / Keyword Protocol 2000 CAN-bus
This protocol is supported by the autopi dongle, so it should be possible to do all kinds of stuff.

Playing and controlling the music playback is very doable.
But although the autopi dongle contains a speaker, it would probably be preferable to connect the dongle to the car speakers, either through bluetooth or the AUX input in your infotainment system.

If you go the AUX route, you can plug in a usb sound card (You can get cheap, plug and play sound cards), or alternatively solder a mini jack plug to the output on the dongle board, but i’d just get a small usb sound card.

First, thank you for the fast answer.
The thing with VW cars is, that only the main ECU is accessible through “normal” CAN-Bus, is the other ECUs are only accessible through this special HEX-CAN thing…is this what you meant?

About the music: I also had this aux idea, but will i be able to control this using the steering wheel buttons and maybe even see song information in the cars display?

I have been looking into this HEX-CAN, and all i can seem to find, is some expensive device, but I have also found a few bits and pieces about projects, where people read and write data from vw cars, without any specific mention about “HEX-CAN”.
This situation about it being hard to find detailed information, is quite common for CAN-bus, OBD2, car-debugging etc.
Do you have any more information you can send me?

Regarding being able to control it from the steering wheel, you can listen to/snif the can traffic using the autopi dongle, to identify which messages are sent on the CAN BUS when you click the buttons, and then setup the dongle to trigger actions when it sees these messages. This of course depends on the steering wheel functions being connected and controlled via the CAN bus (which it should be).

Regarding the display, this is entirely dependent on your infotainment system. The dongle can send various commands, so if it’s supported, you’d need to find out what commands to send.

Check out this project: Mazda Infotainment + AutoPI [Idea] I think he is planning to send commands / messages to his infotainment system. But it is an entirely different car, so although you most likely can’t use anything directly in your project, maybe there are useful info anyway.

Thanks for the information :smiley: the problem about vw cars is, that you cannot access the “smaller” systems without hex can…for example the one directly responsible for engine controls…
Everything else sounds great :smiley: it’s a shame that i can’t get one now…

Usually the different systems in the car is layered and connected via different busses based on criticality / speed. So that the ABS system is on a high speed bus, and stuff like the infotainment system is on a low speed.

So if the HEX CAN is only needed for access to the lower engine controls, you may have access to the infotainment via the OBD plug without hex.

I don’t know if you’ve seen, but we opened a webshop where people who missed the kickstarter can preorder.
And you are right, it is still only preorder, unfortunately you can’t get your hands on one quite yet… - but we are working hard to fix that :slight_smile:

That sounds pretty good… I think I’ll see what works and what does not…
I would’ve pre-ordered if I knew I had the money when it comes out but I don’t…

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