Technical Aftermarket radio replacements with GPS/DVD/Bluetooth

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Technical Aftermarket radio replacements with GPS/DVD/Bluetooth

jackstar

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Apr 23, 2014
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Sweden
I've recently purchased a 2008 Bravo 150 T-JET and I'm loving it except for the stock radio. I have the basic CD/Radio combo which doesn't even have MP3 support and I'm desperate for an upgrade. I know that there is the AUX-in possiblity but I'd rather just upgrade the whole thing with an aftermarket GPS/DVD/Bluetooth-multimedia unit and kill several birds with one stone.

I have found lots of different units on ebay, aliexpress, etc. and they all look splendid when it comes to their specs and price. What also makes these chinese aftermarket units desirable for the Bravo, IMHO, is that they are actually designed to fit perfectly into the cavity in the dashboard so you get a bigger screen and more and larger buttons than if you were to use a regular 2-DIN player + casing adapter. There are several youtube videos of these aftermarket units, for example this one: PS52F4vZyGY (search on youtube)

My question is that has someone here actually tried these chinese wonders and have there been any issues with installation and/or use? I haven't found any discussion threads regarding these units even though they seem to be quite popular :confused:
 
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Most Easterly Pandas

Speed Reader of the Year!
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Aug 15, 2007
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44,233
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Norwich, Norfolk
I believe one of two have and seem happy with them, but never had any luck with personal use of them, and always ended up ditching the cheaper Chinese units in favour of known decent brands such as Pioneer etc.
 

sswaras

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Aug 3, 2013
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113
When it comes to radios for me I rather spend a bit extra and get a good quality radio. with these cheap ones there was always an issue of sound quality as most of the time your stock one would preform better.
 

aurick86

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Sep 14, 2009
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2,068
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Bucharest
My personal opinion: don't invest to much for the GPS/DVD aspect of the new HU.
Because, everybody has a smartphone, and they have better and up-to date GPS info/maps/apps, as well as hd/ full-hd... +++ they are easier to input destinations.

For example i would invest in a decent HU with Bluetooth and a Nokia wireless charging phone holder.

Get a HU with:
- big volume knob (so you can use it without looking)
- easy to touch buttons for next/forward (so you can use it without looking)
- decent power output;
- can-bus connection and steering wheel controls
- Bluetooth
- AUX
- usb
 

jordan96

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Oct 20, 2013
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Location
Dublin, Ireland
I got an kenwood it wasnt cheap at 650 euro but its top of the range with satnav, bluetooth usb, aux, sattelite radio, tv and dvd. Its the best thing ever. If im ever waiting for someone whos in a shop or in the airport i just pop in a movie for 15 mins and the time flys in!
 

anipsl

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Apr 7, 2010
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North West
Hi take a look at this on youtube 6cuPJVpjsnQ I've had mine 2 yrs now, no probs, and bought in the UK

cheers:)
 
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jackstar

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Apr 23, 2014
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Location
Sweden
Thanks for all the replies :). I ended up ordering a Chinese HU from dx.com, you can find it by searching for item 315778. The price is really low considering all the features and it looks great as well but I do realize that buying one of these is a gamble. I ordered it yesterday so it will probably take a couple of weeks before I get it...
 

Insomnia

'09 Bravo T-Jet 150 Sport
Joined
Jan 10, 2006
Messages
210
Location
SE Kent
Please report back how you get on with it, I'll be interested to read your impressions.
 

aross95

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Mar 2, 2014
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140
Just checked ,looks a good piece of kit for the money ,please keep us posted on how it is , if its ok ill order one myself ?
 
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jackstar

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Apr 23, 2014
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Hi , any delivery yet ?

Nope, it took DX one week before they could resupply and ship my order. They finally shipped it this monday so it will still probably take at least one week, maybe two before I receive it. Ordering from DX.com is never fast, some of my previous orders have taken a month...
 

aross95

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Mar 2, 2014
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Ok cool ,im eager to see what its like ,thanks for your reply ,keep us posted
 
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Wow that looks brilliant, even has the same plastic colour the rest of the dashboard has. (Which leads me to wonder why fiat ever went for that as it matches nothing In the car lmao, also that green bronze colour of the vents boggles me).

I've always wanted a screen multimedia system. Though I'm fine with stock so shan't be getting one. Will it work with your steering wheel controls. Do update us with this. Intriguing.
 
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jackstar

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Apr 23, 2014
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It took a couple of weeks but I finally received the unit today, it was held in customs for a while and I had to pay the VAT for it before the post office delivered it. The actual box of the unit was very lightly and crudely packed (like most DX orders) and as a result it looks quite worn. Fortunately there is no real damage and all the things inside the box arrived unharmed. The front panel of the unit looks really great and it will fit the Bravo perfectly and the screen is genuinely 7". There are quite a lot of cables and connectors with no installation instructions so you need to know what you are doing if you want to attempt installing this yourself. A manual was included, in English, but it's basically only for using the menus and it's not translated very well. There is also a short appendix regarding troubleshooting, specifications and the package listing. The only thing the manual really says about the installation is:

  • Don't attempt to install, repair, and dissemble by yourself.
  • Do not try to install, repair and dissemble the system when the power is plugged in and turned on.
  • Only professional and trained person can perform the installation ore repair the system.
Fortunately the unit itself has a sticker on it with a simple diagram of the connectors and pin orders but there are only very crude descriptions of what the pins are actually for. There is also a mysterious external black box included with the text "CAN BUS DECODE-KED" on it and from what I gather it's probably only needed if you have steering wheel controls.

Now, about the quality:
The general build quality is "ok" at best. Straight away I had to make some small mods to some plastic bits that didn't quite sit like they should. More worryingly the connector which includes the power and ground for the unit wouldn't connect/fit properly. The problem was that the +12V and GND pins are a bit larger than the others in the connector and they were at a slight angle. But the even bigger problem was that the connector housing in the unit seems to be soldered directly to the PCB with no added support and it's a quite tall connector because the fuse of the unit is under the pins and so when I tried pushing the connector in place the whole housing and PCB would move inside the unit. If I would've just forced it in and wouldn't have bent the misaligned pins first I would have broken the connector or even cracked the PCB. The other connectors aren't that much better and I'm somewhat sceptical regarding the insulation in some of the wires, especially since some of them have been soldered(?) into each other mid-cable. They also had placed the sticker with the wiring diagram so that 90% of the ventilation holes at the top of the unit were covered by the sticker. Furthermore there were no radio removal keys included in the kit.

I'll upload some pictures of the unit and packaging later on. I won't be installing it straight away because I still lack the radio removal keys for the Bravo and I don't want to tackle the installation alone.
 
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aross95

New member
Joined
Mar 2, 2014
Messages
140
It took a couple of weeks but I finally received the unit today, it was held in customs for a while and I had to pay the VAT for it before the post office delivered it. The actual box of the unit was very lightly and crudely packed (like most DX orders) and as a result it looks quite worn. Fortunately there is no real damage and all the things inside the box arrived unharmed. The front panel of the unit looks really great and it will fit the Bravo perfectly and the screen is genuinely 7". There are quite a lot of cables and connectors with no installation instructions so you need to know what you are doing if you want to attempt installing this yourself. A manual was included, in English, but it's basically only for using the menus and it's not translated very well. There is also a short appendix regarding troubleshooting, specifications and the package listing. The only thing the manual really says about the installation is:

  • Don't attempt to install, repair, and dissemble by yourself.
  • Do not try to install, repair and dissemble the system when the power is plugged in and turned on.
  • Only professional and trained person can perform the installation ore repair the system.
Fortunately the unit itself has a sticker on it with a simple diagram of the connectors and pin orders but there are only very crude descriptions of what the pins are actually for. There is also a mysterious external black box included with the text "CAN BUS DECODE-KED" on it and from what I gather it's probably only needed if you have steering wheel controls.

Now, about the quality:
The general build quality is "ok" at best. Straight away I had to make some small mods to some plastic bits that didn't quite sit like they should. More worryingly the connector which includes the power and ground for the unit wouldn't connect/fit properly. The problem was that the +12V and GND pins are a bit larger than the others in the connector and they were at a slight angle. But the even bigger problem was that the connector housing in the unit seems to be soldered directly to the PCB with no added support and it's a quite tall connector because the fuse of the unit is under the pins and so when I tried pushing the connector in place the whole housing and PCB would move inside the unit. If I would've just forced it in and wouldn't have bent the misaligned pins first I would have broken the connector or even cracked the PCB. The other connectors aren't that much better and I'm somewhat sceptical regarding the insulation in some of the wires, especially since some of them have been soldered(?) into each other mid-cable. They also had placed the sticker with the wiring diagram so that 90% of the ventilation holes at the top of the unit were covered by the sticker. Furthermore there were no radio removal keys included in the kit.

I'll upload some pictures of the unit and packaging later on. I won't be installing it straight away because I still lack the radio removal keys for the Bravo and I don't want to tackle the installation alone.

Sounds a bit to much for my liking ,i was hoping for a plug and play type ,but good luck and i hope it all goes well im eager to see if it works ok
 
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jackstar

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Joined
Apr 23, 2014
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Sweden
As promised, here are some pictures of the unit, accessories and packaging (in the last picture you can see the sticker with the circuit diagram that was originally placed on the air vents) :

a2XI1SP.jpg

Nu1eMEq.jpg


TLL63NW.jpg


Sly3hHU.jpg
 

Tad-bravo

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Joined
Jun 3, 2008
Messages
2,495
Jackstar, I hope you're not an audophile because the sound quality on those headunits is the worse... Not even an amp and expensive speakers can save them.
 
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jackstar

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Apr 23, 2014
Messages
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Location
Sweden
Jackstar, I hope you're not an audophile because the sound quality on those headunits is the worse... Not even an amp and expensive speakers can save them.

Yes I have read comments about poor sound quality and I do care quite a bit about how my audio sounds but I still decided to buy the unit because the comments have been in regard to older Chinese HU's. I'm hoping that they have improved the audio quality since then but I know it's still a gamble, I'll compare the stock radio with this one for sure and let you know if I notice any difference sound quality wise.
 
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