Raspberry Pi Bluetooth Receiver for your Car Stereo

RasPi Car Audio

The ability to play music in your car over a Bluetooth connection is very handy. You can typically just leave your phone’s Bluetooth module turned on and it will automatically pair to your car. Then all you have to do is load up a music player app and press play. You don’t have to worry about physically tethering your phone to the car every time you get in and out of the vehicle. Unfortunately Bluetooth is not a standard option in many cars, and it can be expensive to buy an aftermarket adapter.

[parkerlreed] built his own solution to this problem using a Raspberry Pi. He first installed arch Linux on his Pi. He also had to install pulseaudio and bluez, which is trivial if you use a package manager. He then modified some of the Linux configuration files to automatically bring the Pi’s Bluetooth adapter online once it is initialized by the kernel.

At the end of the boot sequence, the Pi is configured to automatically log in to a virtual console as [parkerlreed's] user. The user’s bashrc file is then altered to start pulseaudio in daemon mode at the end of the login sequence. This allows the Pi to actually play the audio via the Pi’s sound card. The Pi’s stereo output jack is then plugged into the vehicle’s auxiliary input jack using a standard audio cable.

The Reddit post has all of the configuration details you would need to duplicate this setup. [parkerlreed] also includes some commands you will need to setup the initial pairing of the Raspberry Pi to your smart phone. Be sure to watch the video demonstration below. [Read more...]

Bluetooth bracelet hacked

[Jeffery] hacked the Bluetooth standard in order to use this bracelet as a custom display. He took up our challenge to hack the device when we first saw it back in February.

In order to display his own messaged he looked into how the HFP is implemented in the Bluetooth stack. The details are shared in his readme file but it goes something like this: The Bluez package needs to be compiled with a dummy backend that is not phone-specific and that will then allow external manipulation of the data being sent. This provides something of an API that a Python script can manipulate. His proof-of-concept allows for the script to be called with the message you want displayed as the command line argument. This should be simple enough to incorporate for just about any purpose that suits your fancy. Unfortunately, messing with the Bluetooth package in this way makes it impossible to use other devices with your phone, but that’s a hack for another day.