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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

So I've trawled the internet trying to find a reasonably recent answer to this question, as well as bought (the wrong) parts to try to have a go myself.

Following my initial search I bought these items: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00G94X594/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 for steering wheel control, which I've been told is a must, and https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B079845P75/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 because I want a double DIN android auto head unit.

I also tried out this head unit from Halfords: https://www.halfords.com/technology...ith-apple-car-play-android-auto-and-bluetooth

Thinking I had everything ready to go I tried fitting everything before finding out that Android Auto has a requirement of knowing when the handbrake is pulled, and being a novice at best at this stuff I'm more than a bit confused as to how to get it all working.

I've also seen a thread pointing at a head unit like this: https://www.seicane.com/all-in-one-...ic-mirror-link-obd2-aux-3g-wifi-video-s126007 which I did like the looks of as it's clearly made to fit the interior and shouldn't require any extra faff (unlikely, but you know...) But I'm a bit worried about trusting the longevity of an unknown brand I can't pick up in the event that it fails.

So I've finally bit the bullet and made this post, can someone please shed some light on what I should do?

I just want the following:

Double DIN Android Auto compatible head unit with steering wheel controls still working.

I don't really care too much about the call buttons, volume up/down and track skipping would do me just fine.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Hi,
I have Bose and install noise vibration panels in my Brera and I want keep better sound, so I prefer some of standard manufacturers and finally select kenwood with android auto.
Steer controls with adapter workings good. Everything run immedietly after connected everything together. In post you do not write about connection cable from steering wheel adapter to headunit (for each manufacturer it is different - something like this https://www.amazon.co.uk/Autoleads-PC99-SON-Stalk-Adaptor-Patch/dp/B004S68LDK/ref=pd_day0_hl_107_5/262-3549453-0541700?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B004S68LDK&pd_rd_r=14075568-83a8-11e9-9ff2-d5fd6dee570d&pd_rd_w=lk8Hy&pd_rd_wg=gYrMC&pf_rd_p=92d624bb-a334-423e-8722-8024dd09667f&pf_rd_r=9HZ32AC3HB8T0VBACF6G&psc=1&refRID=9HZ32AC3HB8T0VBACF6G)
 

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To give you an insight, here's mine - fitted to a non-nav 2008 159 with Blue&Me

JVC KW-M730BT head unit wired in using original ISO plugs and the interface adapter you linked earlier - this has dedicated wires for the reverse light (purple), and handbrake cable (green, or vice versa) - I needed the handbrake cable connected before Android Auto would even set up. (the blue cable I attached to the new aerial amp so my AM/MW bands would work too.

You can buy all the parts, fascia panel and fitting kit, stalk adapter and a aerial antenna (if you wish) for about £75 from dynamic sounds - much cheaper than the Amazon link too.

The hands free microphone is fitted into the courtesy light, as per the original, and the GPS antenna is mounted just above the rear view mirror, and looks pretty factory.

Blue&Me module was relocated to under the dash and cable tied in place, I did buy the extension cable, but isn't really necessary, plus the original USB now doesn't work despite this having a dedicated plug.

All my buttons work with the exception of the phone and voice command button, skipping tracks, vol up & down, mute ans source work as before.

I have 2 USB tails which I fed to where the cigarette lighter lives one holds a USB with music on, the other is used to connect my phone. I also stuck a cheap ebay reversing camera in whilst there.

There is a link on the ICE forum here showing pics, also for the later nav units which require a couple more parts - https://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/ice...andquot-how-install-aftermarket-hu-159-a.html

I'd steer clear of any of the chinese Android stuff, others on here swear by them, others have noting but problems - and it's not as if it can be transferred to another car.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
To give you an insight, here's mine - fitted to a non-nav 2008 159 with Blue&Me

JVC KW-M730BT head unit wired in using original ISO plugs and the interface adapter you linked earlier - this has dedicated wires for the reverse light (purple), and handbrake cable (green, or vice versa) - I needed the handbrake cable connected before Android Auto would even set up. (the blue cable I attached to the new aerial amp so my AM/MW bands would work too.

You can buy all the parts, fascia panel and fitting kit, stalk adapter and a aerial antenna (if you wish) for about £75 from dynamic sounds - much cheaper than the Amazon link too.

The hands free microphone is fitted into the courtesy light, as per the original, and the GPS antenna is mounted just above the rear view mirror, and looks pretty factory.

Blue&Me module was relocated to under the dash and cable tied in place, I did buy the extension cable, but isn't really necessary, plus the original USB now doesn't work despite this having a dedicated plug.

All my buttons work with the exception of the phone and voice command button, skipping tracks, vol up & down, mute ans source work as before.

I have 2 USB tails which I fed to where the cigarette lighter lives one holds a USB with music on, the other is used to connect my phone. I also stuck a cheap ebay reversing camera in whilst there.

There is a link on the ICE forum here showing pics, also for the later nav units which require a couple more parts - https://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/ice...andquot-how-install-aftermarket-hu-159-a.html

I'd steer clear of any of the chinese Android stuff, others on here swear by them, others have noting but problems - and it's not as if it can be transferred to another car.

Heya, thanks for the reply. I don't think I have any USB ports by default on my car, will this make any difference? If I understand correct they're meant to be in the glove compartment but they aren't I was going to run the lead through there anyway for Android Auto.

I'm looking at the dynamicsounds stuff and I'm a bit confused on what I need - https://www.dynamicsounds.co.uk/alf...stereo-fascia-steering-stalk-fitting-kit.html is the kit they have for the 159 but it has optional extras, am I correct in thinking I need the MULTILEAD.2? Or do I need something else?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi,
I have Bose and install noise vibration panels in my Brera and I want keep better sound, so I prefer some of standard manufacturers and finally select kenwood with android auto.
Steer controls with adapter workings good. Everything run immedietly after connected everything together. In post you do not write about connection cable from steering wheel adapter to headunit (for each manufacturer it is different - something like this https://www.amazon.co.uk/Autoleads-PC99-SON-Stalk-Adaptor-Patch/dp/B004S68LDK/ref=pd_day0_hl_107_5/262-3549453-0541700?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B004S68LDK&pd_rd_r=14075568-83a8-11e9-9ff2-d5fd6dee570d&pd_rd_w=lk8Hy&pd_rd_wg=gYrMC&pf_rd_p=92d624bb-a334-423e-8722-8024dd09667f&pf_rd_r=9HZ32AC3HB8T0VBACF6G&psc=1&refRID=9HZ32AC3HB8T0VBACF6G)
I might be being a bit dense but I'm not sure how that would work with this harness? https://imgur.com/a/0bOAXdE
 

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Heya, thanks for the reply. I don't think I have any USB ports by default on my car, will this make any difference? If I understand correct they're meant to be in the glove compartment but they aren't I was going to run the lead through there anyway for Android Auto.

I'm looking at the dynamicsounds stuff and I'm a bit confused on what I need - https://www.dynamicsounds.co.uk/alf...stereo-fascia-steering-stalk-fitting-kit.html is the kit they have for the 159 but it has optional extras, am I correct in thinking I need the MULTILEAD.2? Or do I need something else?
No worries, if you don't have Blue&me then that's made your life a bit easier! you can route the USB quite easily into the glovebox as a temporary measure without removing it, as I did, or you can remove the whole thing and put a proper installation in.

Assuming you don't have factory NAV, you'll need the fitting kit, the CT.Multilead.2 is what connects your new stereo to the steering wheel control adapter - it is a generic lead which you will need to modify depending on your brand of stereo, by connecting certain wires and/or clipping others (see pic) you 'll need to clip one or more of the orange, purple or green wires and connect either the GND, Key 1 or Key 2 wires to the new stereo's remote control lead wire - it does come with instructions so you'll probably understand better when you have it in your hand.

As said, the factory head unit has an aerial antenna built in, most aftermarket ones don't - you can fit this: https://www.dynamicsounds.co.uk/aut...a-roomster-superb-iso-iso-aerial-adaptor.html - it's a standard part (ignore the Skoda reference) - although this part is only necessary if you listen to MW broadcasts.

So in basic terms:

head unit => head unit adapter lead (which comes with stereo) =>steering wheel adapter's big ISO plug => car's 2 ISO plugs & the 3 small green white & blue (I think) plugs too, these relay your steering inputs.

Steering wheel control (ctmultilead.2) => Connects2 interface => appropriate leads for your stereo cut/joined as per instructions

3x flying leads from Connects2 interface => corresponding wires on back of stereo - as below:

Blue - Amp remote switch, normally unused (unless you connect an antenna amplifier - mine is hooked up to this).
Purple - Reverse feed (if you have a reversing camera)
Green - Handbrake signal wire

I can't recall if I have the green/purple ones the right way round, they're ISO-coloured, so should be the same regardless of manufacturer, and the Sony one should helpfully have labels on them

You'll end up with a hell of a lot of wiring, and this doesn't take into account the microphone, USB tails, GPS antennas etc, but above is in it's simplest terms as far as I can recall - you should only need to join at most 4 or 5 wires without direction, and they're usually the same colours & labelled.

With it all in place, you can connect some of the wires temporarily to see if they work before slotting the whole thing in place.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I feel like this is one of those things that feels more complicated than it really is. I'm returning everything else I got, but I did do a bit of a mock up of what I had at the moment: https://imgur.com/nqjfPck is the harness I have put together, cutting the key wire into the harness seems like what I'll have to do but it's pretty scary sounding, on the back of my unit it says "remote in" with the jack lead, I guess that's where the headphone jack is meant to go for steering control?
 

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Also the one you have linked is DAB, you might find you need a specific antenna for this and Sony's website doesn't mention one in the box, likewise GPS antenna.

I've attached the wiring diagram below which might help.

The one I fitted isn't DAB so just uses the standard aerial.
 

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Hi

Anything that worked using the CAN bus on your car should NOT need any bits of wire or mad boxes to make the same function work as part of a head unit. So Key wires - noooo, handbrake signals - noooooo, reverse signal noooooooooooo!

The point of the CAN bus is to pass all of the parameter values to any bit of kit that needs it using just the CAN bus wires.

If any product seems to require hard wiring to functions that already worked over CAN bus - don't buy it! They just don't know what they are doing.

Cheers
James
 

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I feel like this is one of those things that feels more complicated than it really is. I'm returning everything else I got, but I did do a bit of a mock up of what I had at the moment: https://imgur.com/nqjfPck is the harness I have put together, cutting the key wire into the harness seems like what I'll have to do but it's pretty scary sounding, on the back of my unit it says "remote in" with the jack lead, I guess that's where the headphone jack is meant to go for steering control?
It really is

Your harness looks spot on, all to do is join the green and purple wires on the interface to the matching wires on the stereo lead and you're good to go.

The wiring diagram for your stereo doesn't show a dedicated steering wheel remote wire, just the 3.5mm plug/jack lead, having looked at the instructions you don't need to clip any of the wires either...

Yours (for Sony) states J1, J2 & J3 (coloured wires) remain joined and the 3.5mm jack is used.

Mine for instance (JVC) means I had to clip the green and purple wires, (J2 & J3), insert the jack into the back of my stereo and attach Key 1 wire to the steering wheel remote wire (which the Sony doesn't have)

Making a bit more sense now?

Also - check the note on the instructions for the interface, you have to connect 1 end to the adapter before the other or it won't work - stumped me first off.
 

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Hi

Anything that worked using the CAN bus on your car should NOT need any bits of wire or mad boxes to make the same function work as part of a head unit. So Key wires - noooo, handbrake signals - noooooo, reverse signal noooooooooooo!

The point of the CAN bus is to pass all of the parameter values to any bit of kit that needs it using just the CAN bus wires.

If any product seems to require hard wiring to functions that already worked over CAN bus - don't buy it! They just don't know what they are doing.

Cheers
James
The Canbus signals specifically relate to the reversing signal, and handbrake signal, they are just passed through, not altered in any way, and you're not modifying any of the existing
loom on the car, just the new wiring elements. Likewise the steering wheel controls, which are resistance-based differ from manufacturer to manufacturer so these have to be modified again, using an adapter - I'm aware that many of these aftermarket units possess a learning function, but most don't.

On the standard (non-nav stereo) these reverse/handbrake signals don't seem to perform any function - I can't speak for the nav ones however.

I've not had any issues since fitting mine a year ago, and the car can be returned to factory spec without any trace of another head unit having been fitted.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Awesome, thanks for the clarification.

I'm returning all the stuff I had to replace with the kit from dynamicsounds instead hopefully it all fits! I'll probably post pics as I go as well.

Hi

Anything that worked using the CAN bus on your car should NOT need any bits of wire or mad boxes to make the same function work as part of a head unit. So Key wires - noooo, handbrake signals - noooooo, reverse signal noooooooooooo!

The point of the CAN bus is to pass all of the parameter values to any bit of kit that needs it using just the CAN bus wires.

If any product seems to require hard wiring to functions that already worked over CAN bus - don't buy it! They just don't know what they are doing.

Cheers
James
With regards to the reverse signal and break signal, what do you suggest I do instead of following the instructions for the cable? When I tried it earlier, Android Auto on my phone refused to do anything other than display a message saying I needed to have the handbreak on. From what little I've checked online, it apparently just wants ground signal, which some people say just do anywhere to the chassis of the vehicle. The reverse signal I'm not bothered about for now, unless I put a reverse camera in or something.
 

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Oh and for the reverse thing just earth it to the body of the car. I did that and it worked fine, tricks it into thinking it's connected
 

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Awesome, thanks for the clarification.

I'm returning all the stuff I had to replace with the kit from dynamicsounds instead hopefully it all fits! I'll probably post pics as I go as well.
Just double check everything is correct for your car before proceeding, their website is pretty good, and they're on the phone if you need them.

Can't comment on whether the handbrake looks for earth or + signal - appreciate it's directed at James' comment though - he may have the answer you're looking for.
 

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All the cars I've fitted similar units to I have just earthed the handbrake feed...always worked fine. It's just a safety thing if you go for the TV receiver to stop you watching it whilst driving....believe me some morons will try...lol. No offence jamesinnewcastl but you do need the adapter and wires for the can bus to work properly...if you get it to work without you were very lucky. Although most cars...run a certain standard of can bus...the stereo companies don't. The car PROBABLY won't understand the stereo without the adapter. Never got it to work without myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So it was actually simpler than I thought it was going to be - I didnt need a double din cage conversion after all since I had a single din back end on my head unit (live and learn I guess!)

The fascia bit had a clip broken, but isn't really all that noticeable unless you press it hard and it fits snugly. The kit that dynamic did had everything I needed, and even stuff I'd forgotten I'd need as well which was really handy.

I was curious about if it's possible to use the cars stock microphone on an aftermarket head unit, but haven't found if anyone has done that yet? I did use the one that came with my head unit while taping the cable to the ceiling (for now, more permanent solution later on)

Thanks for all the patient help guys, really appreciate it!
 

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Glad it's sorted anyway - I've also broken (bent) one of the clips on my fascia so the damn thing needs pressing back in every few days - I wouldn't have thought you could use the OEM mic (at least without butchering it) and it's on the wrong side of the car too (LH) I popped my interior light panel down and there was plenty of space to put the new one in there, and it's on the right side of the car too.
 
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