RPi and Dongle Separated


Can I have the RPi in one location in the car and the dongle in another? I’d like to have the dongle under the dash and the RPi would be mounted in the overhead console of my truck. I was looking at the how-to that uses the SmartPi case. Can I have the under-dash mounted dongle on in-vehicle WiFi talking to the RPi running the dash app? Thanks!


I had a further thought. What about a dongle w/o a full OBD connector? that way I’ll have an easier job hiding the device.


Hi @davidbitton,

Welcome to the community.

The AutoPi 4G/LTE ships with an extenstion cable, making it possible to hide the device under the dash.

If you want to seperate them, then I suppose its possible. But you would some sort of IDC cable (2x6 pin cable) to connect the two boards.



Can I run the dash interface on one RPi and connect to an AutoPi WiFi dongle elsewhere in the vehicle? Is the WiFi dongle an access point or a client? The in-car WiFi (with it’s Internet access) would seem like the way to go.


Hi David

The device is both an access point and a client, at least it can be both. It will always act as a hotspot, and then you can configure the device to also connect to your wifi connection.


That’s great news. Oh, and one design suggestion for the dongle; OBD passthrough. Have a male OBD at one end and a female at the other end. That way it can inline with other devices connected to the OBD port.


I forgot to ask. On the webpage for the WiFi dongle, it says that it’s, “for those who dont (sic) need to access the AutoPi remotely over 4G”. However, if the dongle is connected to the in-car WiFi hotspot, will the dongle “phone home”?


It doesn’t care what connection it uses, so with a wifi connection in the car, the device will work exactly the same as if it was connected via 4G.

Note: If both 4G and Wifi is available on the device, it will prefer the wifi connection in order to preserve data.

Best regards


OK. So, if I set up a RPi as if I was using the RPi3 Adapter, how do I get the code on the RPi to talk to the WiFi dongle in lieu of a physically attached dongle? Would it make more sense to use the DIY Edition dongle under the dash? Ultimately, how can I have a “Raspberry Pi touch screen car computer” with the dongle and the RPi talking wirelessly to each other?

I do have one idea. The AutoPi platform installs a “minimal X-windows server” on to the dongle. Is there any reason I can’t connect to the x-server running on the dongle from RPi? Is that an easier way of going about it or should the AutoPi app be running on the “client” RPi too?