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mdf



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# 173739 3-Jun-2015 22:11
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Short query:- are Aliexpress (or equivalent) video, GPS, touchscreen etc. head units any good?

I'm trying to tidy away a few of the things that have been on the to-do list for a *loong* time. The current item is a reversing camera for the car. I was originally looking at a basic wired camera with a separate analogue screen, but I like the idea of an all-in-one unit that would consolidate some of the many devices littering my dashboard. It needs to be cost effective though, as I can't really justify (or get Mrs MDF's approval) for spending a lot on this. The car is geting on a bit and hopefully will only be the family vehicle for a couple more years. I'm aiming to keep the whole project under $500, which I think will be easily doable for just a basic reversing camera, but I suspect might be out of reach for a better/all-in-one solution.

Name brand all-in-one head units go for between $500 and $1000, trademe no-name brands at $300-$500 (both without cameras), and Aliexpress for $200-400 (some with cameras). From the looks of it, the trademe ones come from Aliexpress anyway.

BUT do no-name brands support NZ radio frequencies? Most seem to make claims of being pre-loaded with NZ maps - is this actually right? How good/bad are the maps? Or do they just knock off NZOpenGPS? Other forum posts mention slow boot times (problem for the android ones in particular), though I can probably live with this (within reason). Have the trademe sellers actually done something to the Aliexpress supplied units to deal with NZ specifications?

I guess I'm just trying to weigh up the cost-benefits. Obviously a cheap generic isn't going to be as good as a name brand, but for half the price are you getting more (or less) than half the benefit?

If it helps, the car is a Ford Focus. The factory supplied head unit is double din and has the remote control stalk on the steering wheel. I'm in Wellington. I'm reasonably handy and have all the tools I should need, so was planning on doing this myself. Possibly famous last words.

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  # 1317132 4-Jun-2015 08:10
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I've been through exactly this. Don't go through Aliexpress as I found it dearer and no NZ map. This is the unit I bought on Trademe (but from a different dealer). 
http://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/car-stereos/dvd-video/auction-897769416.htm

M
ine cost $207 on a $1 starting auction.

I am very happy with mine and can help with a pointer or two if you go this route. You have an advantage with a 2 DIN housing. I had to buy a new fascia for my Lancer Hatch. 

I bought a darn good reversing camera from Aliexpress for $US10 with free freight! 

I live in Plimmerton so if you want to visit to see mine you are welcome. PM me if you feel it would be helpful.

mdf



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  # 1317349 4-Jun-2015 12:37
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Awesome, thanks for the response.

How does the unit work? Radio stations and NZ roads okay? Can you update the maps? What's the boot time like?

 
 
 
 


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  # 1317410 4-Jun-2015 14:20
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Boot time is 13 sec but the reversing camera doesn't rely on booting so is up earlier. 

Radio stations are fine. The GPS and maps probably depend on the supplier. Mine had two GPS products, IGO and Aponia but I have used IGO in the past so used a later vers from an old GPS. The map was OK but it has some misses on road speed locations so doesn't look like the latest. As for getting updates, a unit supplier may offer these. You need to ask them. 

Just a note, the GPS is independent of the hardware so different software can be used. The hardware just has to be pointed to the GPS start program.

DVD play OK. SD card music play OK. There is USB socket but haven't used it. No doubt it is OK. Bluetooth works for phone music and calls. 

Make sure you get a socket/leads that fit your car. Matching wires is fun!

The radio front end sensitivity can catch you. Mine seemed to be set for the old large aerials but modern cars have small amplified aerials that overpower the front end. I had to attenuate mine. 

It was a fun project and I am very happy with the result. YMMV!!!


Hmm, what to write...
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  # 1317412 4-Jun-2015 14:27
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I got one, same thing but through cars-electronics.com

everything works fine. included NZ maps etc. not only was it cheap but the declared customs value was even cheaper




Matthew


mdf



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  # 1317435 4-Jun-2015 15:58
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Anyone tried www.i-carus.com?

Looks incredible, and I like the idea of basing it on a rasp pi.

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  # 1317474 4-Jun-2015 17:51
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mdf: Anyone tried www.i-carus.com?



Depends how close to the sun you drive i would think...

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  # 1317493 4-Jun-2015 18:38
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I have bought a couple through deal extreme. They are decent and good for the money. The ones I have bought run windows Ce for the gps so you can load whatever you like for gps. The only real criticism I have of the one I have is that I can't playback music through Bluetooth and run the gps at the same time.

Also make sure you buy one with a loom for your car it'll save you a heap of work.

 
 
 
 


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  # 1317535 4-Jun-2015 20:14
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Biggest complaints from a friend who has been thru a few are rubbish feeling controls, like a $20 DVD player has, and numerous software issues which it will never see an update to solve.

Android doesnt seem to nativly support being the headset or target for music to be streamed to, so they have their own user interface to set that part of it up. And it is terrible.




Richard rich.ms

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  # 1317548 4-Jun-2015 20:28
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Handle9: Also make sure you buy one with a loom for your car it'll save you a heap of work.


Am I right in saying this is the bit that connects the existing speaker wires etc. to the head unit? I'm not sure what I'm looking for here. Doesn't help that my car is the last of the old generation, so the year actually spans two different possibilities.

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  # 1317550 4-Jun-2015 20:34
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Old cars will typically need a loom that goes from their propriatory plug to an ISO one, which you can get from repco or supercheap. Repco seem to be cheaper. The iso plugs are a standard, and any new stereo should come ready to plug into them. Unless you get NZ domestic models which seem to come with just a bunch of wires on them. Aliexpress ones seem to be hit and miss, some come with a loom with iso plugs on them, some take iso plugs in the back directly, and others just give you a bunch of wires so you have to get the crimps and heatshrink out.




Richard rich.ms

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  # 1317578 4-Jun-2015 21:05
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richms: Old cars will typically need a loom that goes from their propriatory plug to an ISO one, which you can get from repco or supercheap. Repco seem to be cheaper. The iso plugs are a standard, and any new stereo should come ready to plug into them. Unless you get NZ domestic models which seem to come with just a bunch of wires on them. Aliexpress ones seem to be hit and miss, some come with a loom with iso plugs on them, some take iso plugs in the back directly, and others just give you a bunch of wires so you have to get the crimps and heatshrink out.


Awesome, thanks. I take it from this that the best way is to get a head unit and then get the loom later locally once you can match everything up, rather than trying to guess online what to buy?

I've spent quite a bit of time looking at some of the suggestions for suppliers on this thread, as well as on Amazon. It struck me that the Amazon stuff looked *way* better and more professional (and not just the English but the whole marketing spiel). I had to keep reminding myself that by and large it's probably exactly the same thing as on Aliexpress, DX et al.

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  # 1317583 4-Jun-2015 21:17
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One loom is car specific. The way the local scumbag retailers have it, is you buy one for the car to take it to ISO because most Japanese cars are still propitiatory, and then another to go from iso to the sony or alpine or whoever plug on the back of the stero. If you buy the same stereo in europe, it comes with that loom because iso plugs are the norm in cars over there.

You need to see whats on the stereo when it arrives. If its a bunch of wires, then just buy the ISO loom for your car, chop off the ISO plug and get joining things on.

If you buy a direct fit one from asia, chances are it might just plug straight in. I know that one of the ones for a porsche did for a friend, but it was useless. But there are plenty on aliexpress etc that are made for the Chinese domestic sold cars and will not be appropriate for Japan or NZ spec ones as far as plugging in.




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  # 1317648 5-Jun-2015 06:55
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I guess make sure the head unit you buy has an ISO socket. That way you could get either the plug-in loom from Repco, or wire up your own ISO plug beforehand. And, if you don't like the head unit, it will be easy to replace.


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