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  Reply # 1605096 5-Aug-2016 16:27
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I must admit, I thought being geekzone, with its large number of IT, audio and car geeks, there would have had some interesting installations. I have looked at a lot of Chinese sourced head units online. Many seem to fit the bill for being able to swap out relatively easily with the oem unit but there is always that niggling doubt about whether it is going to be that simple, or a world of hurt trying to get things to work as expected.
Has anyone been brave enough to order through eBay, ali-express, etc? And what was your experience ultimately.




Areas of Geek interest: Home Theatre, HTPC, Android Tablets & Phones, iProducts.

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  Reply # 1605139 5-Aug-2016 18:00
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I just tweeted a member who was doing something awesome. I'm not sure what stage he's up to. Hopefully he'll be here soon.

 

:D

 

 

 

I can't do much to my car without losing the radio, cd changer, screen, and also the on board computer. Why wasn't BT around 21 years ago? Also, a double DIN unit is too deep and will hit the vent tubing :(

 

 

 

There are work-arounds, but they use genuine parts and they are waaaaay expensive. I was thinking of hiding another head unit in the secret panel above the drivers right knee, but then there's the 10 speakers to connect. And the car has it's own phone, and it works great, but it's 2g. :/


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  Reply # 1605148 5-Aug-2016 18:12
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Anyone know when you can buy the Knight Rider module to make your car super intelligent? tongue-out


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  Reply # 1605270 6-Aug-2016 08:15
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I've added a Chinese 2 DIN AV Windows CE type unit to my 2009 Lancer Hatch. Bought it off Trademe for $227. Has all the usual, incl BT and GPS. I also bought a $10 camera off Aliexpress and cabled it from the rear to the AV unit. Works well.

 

I also had to buy a fascia kit from the US to accommodate the 2 DIN unit. (Thanks to a couple of YT vids showing how to get things apart!). Expensive US postage boosted that cost.

 

It was a fun project and after 2 years it has shown no problems (there, I've hexed it!).

 

 




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  Reply # 1605275 6-Aug-2016 08:38
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linw:

I've added a Chinese 2 DIN AV Windows CE type unit to my 2009 Lancer Hatch. Bought it off Trademe for $227. Has all the usual, incl BT and GPS. I also bought a $10 camera off Aliexpress and cabled it from the rear to the AV unit. Works well.


I also had to buy a fascia kit from the US to accommodate the 2 DIN unit. (Thanks to a couple of YT vids showing how to get things apart!). Expensive US postage boosted that cost.


It was a fun project and after 2 years it has shown no problems (there, I've hexed it!).


 



I'm assuming an 09 Lancer would have steering wheel controls. If so, do they work? Some of the latest generation of Chinese Android headunits appear to offer the ability to map the SW buttons to the functions you want.




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  Reply # 1605337 6-Aug-2016 11:20
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No, mine doesn't have steering wheel controls but I have also seen the ability to use them as you say in your post.


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  Reply # 1605401 6-Aug-2016 13:03
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My car audio install is surprisingly analog although it largely relies on having a device to feed it

 

  • Analog 7 band EQ
  • 4-channel class AB amp for the main speakers, splits in the front using homebuilt crossover
  • class D amp feeding a 12" sub
  • Input via Bluetooth audio dongle
  • Aux input via iPhone/iPod dock cable (will probably retire this though as it's seldom used anymore)
  • Jabra handsfree unit on the visor
  • Phone cradle mounted on the dash with a microUSB charging cable attached
  • USB charging for everything provided by a 5V/5A supply and rewired USB hub.

I really don't miss FM radio or CDs at all.  Mostly I just use Pandora and just choose a station to suit my mood / requirement for fuel economy.


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  Reply # 1606748 9-Aug-2016 09:48
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I finally went with the JVC KW-V51BT headunit whcih gives me a nice 7" touchscreen with Bluetooth and CD/DVD.  I got the USB extension routed from the rear of the head unit to flush mount in the centre armest.  My old 4th gen iPod (the one with the greyscale screen and scroll wheel) wouldn't work though, so I had to finally decommission it and use an old iPod Touch I had lying around for an "always there" music collection.  My iPhone is paired via Bluetooth and I can switch sources easily between the USB-connected iPod or my Bluetooth connected iPhone to get the best of both a local music collection or streaming from Spotify, Google Music or whatever.  The head unit has a "Siri" button which connects to my iPhone and the external mic works pretty well (though I have to enunciate. very. clearly. to get Siri to recognise my mangled Kiwi syllables).  It even works for calling up map directions, though unfortunately the map directions aren't routed via the car's speakers (though phone calls are).  I also got a Mongoose MC3NV night vision reversing camera fitted which runs through the headunit.  It's not CCD though, but I find the quality is usable.  It has guidance lines but unfortunately the placement of the boot handle means that the camera can't be mounted dead centre and it's taken me a while to adjust my reversing when using the camera.  For the first few weeks I was sticking out about 10cm to the right in car parks.  The real winner, though, is my wife, who has never been a confident driver.  She took the car out at night shortly after all the gear was fitted and came home raving about how great it was to drive, especially with the night vision reversing camera when backing down the driveway.

 

Despite all this, the headunit seems to miss a few tricks.  It promises lots of smarts via the JVC app link, but in order to make use of it you need to connect an HDMI cable from the head unit to the iPhone, which also requires a bulky adaptor for the Lightning port.  I didn't like the idea of having to plug in a bunch of cables and adaptors each time I got in the car (I like that bluetooth just connects, automatically, every time), so I gave it a miss.  It sounds like it would have let me mirror my iPhone display on the headunit, but it wouldn't react to touch input (which seems kind of pointless).  So instead my fancy supercomputer sits mostly unused in my pocket.  That's the real shame of this - the huge potential seems to go untapped.  Carplay and Android Auto probably do more, but they seem to be stupidly expensive (at least, the ones I looked at were too expensive for what they were).  What seems to be missing from this market is a single, unified approach that "just works".  I think lots of people are optimistic for Carplay/AA but I don't think it's there yet.  I imagine when I buy my next car and look at this all over again, things will have improved a lot.  I had a wry smile when I compared the invoices for my latest headunit with the one that I bought for my Altezza back in 2006.  The JVC unit with 7" touchscreen , DVD/CD, articulated screen, bluetooth and many other widgets cost less than $600; my 2006 single-DIN Alpine headunit with CD, iPod integration (via a $100 cable that connected via firewire to the 30 pin connector) cost nearly $1000 (in 2006 dollars).  I expect that in 10 years time the capability will be mind-blowing (compared to 2016 anyway).


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  Reply # 1607339 10-Aug-2016 06:58
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blakamin:

 

I just tweeted a member who was doing something awesome. I'm not sure what stage he's up to. Hopefully he'll be here soon.

 

:D

 

 

 

I can't do much to my car without losing the radio, cd changer, screen, and also the on board computer. Why wasn't BT around 21 years ago? Also, a double DIN unit is too deep and will hit the vent tubing :(

 

 

 

There are work-arounds, but they use genuine parts and they are waaaaay expensive. I was thinking of hiding another head unit in the secret panel above the drivers right knee, but then there's the 10 speakers to connect. And the car has it's own phone, and it works great, but it's 2g. :/

 

 

 

 

My double din unit is about 75mm deep, without the CD mech these units don't need to be very large any more.




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  Reply # 1607506 10-Aug-2016 11:23
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Mechless makes life so much easier for a non standard replacement. Proof that a CD drive no longer matters to me, is that my Bluetooth adapter plugs into the port on the back of the headunit for the multi CD changer. And I don't miss it.

While i search for a replacement vehicle for my Maxima, I have found vehicles that are 'smart' enough, but only if you speak/read Japanese. I know European originated vehicles can often be changed from Japanese to English (for a price). But JDM vehicles from Japanese manufacturers cannot be changed (as far as I can ascertain). I would have thought there would be a market for a clever person to be able to flash English firmware on to Japanese hardware, but I guess the firmware is all proprietary to the OEM.

I found a replacement unit for a particular Subaru I was looking at from an outfit in Texas. I sent them an email asking some further details including whether it came in a different trim colour, whether it was available in Android rather than WinCE, and whether it has NZ maps.
The reply I got was "our unit doesn't fit RHD, the mounting is different" that's all, "no thank you for your enquiry", "have a nice day", nothing. So I went back and asked for a contact to see if I could source a RHD version. Again, a one line reply, "No, if there was one we would sell it to you". All I can say is I hope they have plenty of business walking through their door because their online manner leaves a lot to be desired!
So that episode led me to a search on Alibaba (eBay was fruitless). Found the exact same product (for 2/3 of the price) available in both LHD and RHD (there appears to be no difference) , multiple trim colours, and by the way, did I want 1 or 10000? But I'm a little unsure about Alibaba. Is it just a business to business site, or can private purchasers use it?
I looked on Ali-express but it didn't seem to have anywhere near as many products from the same search criteria. Ali-express appears to give the protection of being able to use PayPal. Is that correct?
Has anyone used either of these sites to purchase electronics from China?
I want to have the ability to 'smarten' any new vehicle up sorted out before I part with my hard-earned cash for that vehicle.

Edit : Symantics

Edit2: Sorry when I look back I see I have already asked about whether people had purchased from China. But any experiences shared would be appreciated.




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  Reply # 1649203 11-Oct-2016 14:16
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As an update, I gave up on the smartening idea and just bought a NZ new car that had all the smarts I was after.




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  Reply # 1649260 11-Oct-2016 15:04
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I'm still looking at options for my Pajero.

 

I've found a rear parking sensor package that installs in line between a camera and display and overlays parking sensor info on the reverse camera feed.

 

For head unit/screen I'm considering a double DIN solution.  That's a little tricky in the Paj as the A/C controls are between the single DIN head unit and the DIN pocket.  Possibly the AC controller can be moved down as it appears to be a DIN sized unit as well.

 

 

 

 





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  Reply # 1649393 11-Oct-2016 18:11
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Check the parking sensor is multi system for the video if you need it. Friend has one that is NTSC only and he bought a pal reversing camera because who the hell knows why. Doesnt work. Thought there may be a link inside the magic box to set it to pal as there are similar ones that are but no jumper link like thing.




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