Category Archives: Navi Replacement

Honda Navi Replacement – Drawing board

After staring at the original Honda navi documentation, I redrew the structure diagram to represent what I want.



Feature Rundown


This will be the brain of the entire navi unit. The current plan is to use the Atmel SAMA5 microprocessor. It’s an incredibly power efficient (~200mA at 500MHz) for the amount of work it does  and it can run Android no problem for an in car display.

IEBus Controller

Honda runs a protocol called GA-Net on the physical layer IEBus. It transmits button and touchscreen presses and also some control over the audio unit. The biggest issue will be decoding the GA-Net protocol and figuring out what to do , This shouldn’t be difficult as much as time consuming. The IEBus Controller will have to be it’s own microcontroller that handles the communication scheme and talks up to the microprocessor.


The F-CAN which is Honda’s CANBus is the interface with the car’s ECM which provides us information such as battery voltage and fuel consumption. This is not critical data but it would be useful to pull for some sexy displays.

GPS Receiver

The + and – of the GPS Antenna is brought out to the navi unit over a connector. This will allow using almost any GPS chip as long as I impedance match the antenna.


The documentation for the original navi notes a somewhat physically large gyroscope being inside the navi unit. I think it’s funny needing such a large device. I will be placing two MEMs(Microelectromechanical systems) chips that will provide accelerometer and gyroscope data. I currently am not sure why the navi system would need this data but would be cool to have.


In the 21st century, microSD is easy to plop into a circuit and use, so why not add some memory expansion capability


For now the USB is only meant as a debug port to the outside world, being in the trunk doesn’t lend itself to providing anything cool to do with it otherwise


To make my car even better, let me throw it onto the GSM network with a sim card! Then I can get live google maps and traffic data.

Other components

The other parts of the diagram are what the navi unit gets from the car and are basically required to make it work, i.e. the audio-hvac display module. One thing to do note is me ignoring the XM Receiver, I have no need for it so I won’t waste my time with it.


Honda Accord Navi Replacement

The Honda Accord 2006 EX trims(and newer years as well) have a Navi option that could have been bought with the car. This adds a touchscreen display with controls to the center dash. Unfortunately in the days of Android, it is incredibly dated and lacking.

The current navi system is based on what appears to be Windows CE. It’s UI is some tacky metal graphic and infuriating lack of modern UI features like auto-complete suggestions on entries. The map also sucks graphically(8-bit color?) and you need to pay yearly to get the latest “update” CD.

But the saving grace to these problems is the design of the navi system. The navi unit itself is a small DVD player sized box in the trunk separate from the rest of the car and center console. The pinouts for the navi unit are available and the connectors coming from the car provide all the signals needed to use the center console.

In fact here’s a diagram of the entire system from Honda’s Service Manual.



So what do I want to do?

Replace the navigation unit box with something running  Android, or maybe Tinzen!