LIbrem 5 in a car setup

I’m looking at going on a road trip in the near future, and have figued out how to:

  1. Connect my librem 5’s healphone jack to the car’s aux input to play music/audiobooks
  2. gps navigation finally is working with puremaps abd dos’ agps scripts

Thus I’d like to see if I can get a good setup for the librem 5 to function in my car for said trip. (I’ll bring my normal garmin as a backup for the maps, should the phone not work well enough).

The things I believe I currently lack are:

  1. A way to mount the librem 5 to my dash somewhere. Was wondering if anyone had tried any car mounts that can handle its extra weight and thickness?
  2. A way to power the L5. I’ve tried the usb port in the car, but dmesg throws a lot of scary errors when I do this, and thus I’m afraid of frying the phone with that.

Has anyone else attempted this/know things that will work well?

The main problem with using the L5 in our car (a 2009 Opel Vectra), is that it just will not integrate with the cars radio system.
I can play music from my phone via a cable (mini jack) through the speakers. And I can charge the phone through the car’s lighter connector and a high powered (laptop) usb plug (although I did not check the dmesg messages).
But here is no way to connect the phone with the car’s bluetooth radio; so I can’t access the phones’ contact list, nor can I make hands free calls. So much for BT backward compatibility.

What scary messages do you get ?

Unless your USB ports of the car provide more than 5 volts you won’t fry the phone, if you car is not compatible with PD (power delivery), it will fall back to the lowest setting : 5V / 500mA => 2.5 W

I think it’s a work in progress see :

It’s the phone part I miss the most. Playing/streaming music by wire works well enough. Not longe being able to use the in-build mike and speakers for calls or the steering wheel controls and the lcd screen for dialing can be a real hassle - and even dangerous.

The L5 roadmap article mentioned better support for cars but didn’t get very specific.

It looks like MPRIS for better media streaming is in the works. I can stream to my wife’s car via BT but there are issues (changing volume pauses Lollypop, for example).

I’m really hopeful that call support is there too though. Not just for my car, but I’d love to be able to use my BT headphones to make calls. Currently I can only hear through it, it doesn’t show up as an Input Device.

As far as mounting the phone, I have been keeping my eye open for anything that will hold it by magnet the same way as the Lapdock kit. I am sure such a product exists, I just haven’t been looking that hard yet.
For now, my L5 chills out in the cupholder.

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My experience after 8 months daily driver on a 62 mile commute:

I use magnetic mounts from WixGear as found on Amazon to hold the phone to dash or vents in my different vehicles. They work well, but you may have to be clever to find what will work in some vehicles.

For me, BT works for media player in some cars, mostly older ones, but not for phone at all.

Wired worked fine for both, but it stopped recognizing my wired mic about six months ago. Using the built-in mic for phone calls works, but the audio quality for the other party ranges from OK (low speed, no A/C) to almost unusable (high speed, max A/C). If this isn’t fixed in the next PureOS version, I will try to mitigate things with Noise Torch.

I presume (you should confirm) that the USB port is not just for power i.e. is a full-function USB port, including data. This kind of port, for example, allows me to plug in a USB flash drive direct into the car (which for me is a way to play my entire music collection without using a smartphone anyway).

I have a cigarette lighter port to USB charger adapter, which works well for me. The charger has two outlets - USB-C for the Librem 5 and USB-A for e.g. an iPhone. Just make sure to get one that provides enough power on the USB-C port while still leaving enough power budget for the USB-A port - and of course also check the power rating on the cigarette lighter port itself.

There’s a pending merge request for hands free support for PulseAudio that’s going to get us a lot closer to automotive phone integration.

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I’m using mine with a bluetooth audio adapter that plugs into the aux port on my truck’s radio. That seems to work pretty well. As for the mount, what I did is I found an old Otterbox belt clip cradle that the Librem 5 fits into just nicely, then all I need to do is mount this belt clip securely and I have a drop in cradle for it. I also have attached a metal disk to the back of my Librem which I use with my lapdock but not sure how well it would do with a magnetic car mount over rough roads and potholes.

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