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Radio replacement?

 
Old 05-05-2019, 06:28 PM
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Radio replacement?

I wanted to up grade radio as the plastic on the face is starting to release.Wrinkled looking. Also wanted to upgrade to Bluetooth and backup cam. My local audio store said they could do it. When they took it apart they found it had a amp int the trunk with fiber optic cable and could not get the proper fiber optic cable to hook up a new pioneer head unit. Any other options to get this done?
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Old 05-05-2019, 10:19 PM
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Although my stock system still works fine (for now), I ended up going with a specialized Bluetooth adapter to have hands free calling and Bluetooth music streaming. It installs in place of the cd changer. I haven't installed it yet, but it supposedly works great.

So I guess my response to your post is that it might be easiest to buy a replacement stock head unit and just buy the Bluetooth adapter thing. To me, that would seem to be the most hassle free, reliable, and reversible thing to do. This wouldn't have the backup camera, of course, but there are various other options for that.

Lastly, I might be a little leary of a car audio shop that tore my car apart while having no idea about the fiber optic thing (which is not all that uncommon).

Fiber optic bluetooth adapter: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bluetooth-A...1/222307380207

Last edited by nkx1; 05-06-2019 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 05-06-2019, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by nkx1 View Post
Although my stock system still works fine (for now), I ended up going with a specialized Bluetooth adapter to have hands free calling and Bluetooth music streaming. It installs in place of the cd changer. I haven't installed it yet, but it supposedly works great.

So I guess my response to your post is that it might be easiest to buy a replacement stock head unit and just buy the Bluetooth adapter thing. To me, that would seem to be the most hassle free, reliable, and reversible thing to do. This wouldn't have the backup camera, of course, but there are various other options for that.

Lastly, I might be a little leary of a car audio shop that tore my car apart while having no idea about the fiber optic thing (which is not all that uncommon).

Fiber optic bluetooth adapter: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bluetooth-A...1/222307380207
Thanks for the reply and link. I think this or something like this would work fine for me.
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Old 05-06-2019, 11:17 PM
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There are two options - run new analog copper wire from the dash to the trunk and tie into the speakers there at the disconnected wiring harness from the amp. Or, but a MOST interface adapter that will send your new radio's analog outputs via fiber to the Harmon-Kardon amp. However, that adapter only supports balance - not fader controls.
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Rudeney View Post
There are two options - run new analog copper wire from the dash to the trunk and tie into the speakers there at the disconnected wiring harness from the amp. Or, but a MOST interface adapter that will send your new radio's analog outputs via fiber to the Harmon-Kardon amp. However, that adapter only supports balance - not fader controls.
Thanks for the reply, I was looking at this
https://www.seicane.com/android-gps-...usb-sd-s018731 and they also said something about a fiberoptic interface box. I can't seem to find it in the email now.
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Old 05-07-2019, 12:51 PM
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What Rudeney said is true. Fiber optic adapter route is least expensive way to go and you basically retain your stock optic ring system. Rewiring a new head unit to speakers and amp can be costly because of the time and additional parts involved. I'm all for updating this older technology for what's available today! Good luck!
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Old 05-07-2019, 02:02 PM
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To get bluetooth in the car I initially used an FM transmitter. Worked just fine for phone calls and music from my phone. ~$20 well spent.

Not attractive, but it worked.

I later replaced it all - head unit, speakers, amps etc. Happier now, but more $ spent for sure!
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Old 05-07-2019, 07:50 PM
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Thank you all for the replies. They have been a big help. I need help with this
https://www.seicane.com/android-gps-...usb-sd-s018731
I have been looking at this head unit. Will it work as manufacture claims?
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Old 05-07-2019, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by handy1 View Post
Thank you all for the replies. They have been a big help. I need help with this
https://www.seicane.com/android-gps-...usb-sd-s018731
I have been looking at this head unit. Will it work as manufacture claims?
I believe I looked at that head unit (and similar head units) prior to going with the bluetooth device mentioned above. They look really cool. However, one common issue I found was that none of the Android head units have a fiber optic output to connect to the stock Harman Kardon amp, so a converter would be necessary which cannot fade between front and rear speakers (as Rudeney pointed out). The converters are around $100 to my recollection. The only other option would be to install an aftermarket amp along with the new head unit, which is more hassle and expense. So in the end, I felt the easiest and most cost effective way to achieve my objective (bluetooth music streaming and hands free calling) was to buy that bluetooth device. Anyhoo, let us know what you end up doing, as I'd be curious to know how the Android unit works out.

EDIT: maybe I didn't look at the one you linked to. It looks like it may come with a canbus decoder to connect to the Harman Kardon amp?

Last edited by nkx1; 05-07-2019 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:34 AM
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EDIT: maybe I didn't look at the one you linked to. It looks like it may come with a canbus decoder to connect to the Harman Kardon amp?[/QUOTE]
I don't know enough about them to know. It is the one recommended by the manufacturer for my car.
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Old 05-10-2019, 04:25 AM
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I emailed Seicane because I was curious about the connection issue to the Harman Kardon system amp. They said that you would just have to buy their adapter to make it work (for $129).

So that would put you over $700 (even if you did the install yourself) to put in the new system. It looks really cool and it would be nice to have a functional, modern interface in the dash. But to me, it wouldn't be worth it in a 10+ year old car. I've already spent thousands of dollars in repairs to bring my car up to daily-driving standards, so I'm not really willing to spend much more on it lol.

I think I'll stick with the $150 bluetooth adapter I mentioned (if I ever get around to actually installing it).

Seicane optic interface: https://www.seicane.com/2002-2012-me...interface-sc02
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by nkx1 View Post
I emailed Seicane because I was curious about the connection issue to the Harman Kardon system amp. They said that you would just have to buy their adapter to make it work (for $129).

So that would put you over $700 (even if you did the install yourself) to put in the new system. It looks really cool and it would be nice to have a functional, modern interface in the dash. But to me, it wouldn't be worth it in a 10+ year old car. I've already spent thousands of dollars in repairs to bring my car up to daily-driving standards, so I'm not really willing to spend much more on it lol.

I think I'll stick with the $150 bluetooth adapter I mentioned (if I ever get around to actually installing it).

Seicane optic interface: https://www.seicane.com/2002-2012-me...interface-sc02
Thanks for the help. I think I will try the Bluetooth adapter first and see how that works ,but not decided at this point. I have 3 levels fused in my neck and have some limited movement. The back up cam really helps. My car is more of a pleasure vehicle. I don't drive it in the winter or when it's raining,but if I am out and it starts raining that doesn't bother me.. Yesterday I pull ke out of my pocket to unlock door at work ,and the manual key is gone. Not to sure how I managed to loose it.
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:42 AM
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You are going way to far . Go on Ebay and look for android head units hey are around $300 . Message the seller and ask them for the extension cable . It should be around $40 more . Once you get both the unit is plug and play you remove the old unit out and install the new one . it will have Bluetooth USB navigation backup camera etc . Then you just run the extension cable to the trunk and you simply unplug the harness from the oem amp and plug into that and your done . This is good for the future so if you want to add an aftermarket sub woofer .
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by irokdastar View Post
You are going way to far . Go on Ebay and look for android head units hey are around $300 . Message the seller and ask them for the extension cable . It should be around $40 more . Once you get both the unit is plug and play you remove the old unit out and install the new one . it will have Bluetooth USB navigation backup camera etc . Then you just run the extension cable to the trunk and you simply unplug the harness from the oem amp and plug into that and your done . This is good for the future so if you want to add an aftermarket sub woofer .
I've seen these also, from various name brands - the question is, which one is the best quality, assuming they're not made on the same production floor?

Then there's my vibrating door speaker to deal with...
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Old 05-10-2019, 03:05 PM
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I've had good luck with XTRONS - they sell on both eBay and Amazon. I have one in my W211 and it's still working great over a year after installing it.
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Old 05-10-2019, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by irokdastar View Post
You are going way to far . Go on Ebay and look for android head units hey are around $300 . Message the seller and ask them for the extension cable . It should be around $40 more . Once you get both the unit is plug and play you remove the old unit out and install the new one . it will have Bluetooth USB navigation backup camera etc . Then you just run the extension cable to the trunk and you simply unplug the harness from the oem amp and plug into that and your done . This is good for the future so if you want to add an aftermarket sub woofer .
I've seen those and looked up reviews on Amazon. It seems like they are a bit of a crapshoot regarding how well they'll hold up (kind of like a Mercedes lol). Some people have good luck, other people have had them malfunction in some fashion or another. I would be willing to take the gamble, but it's such a headache and a waste of time tearing the dash apart in the (somewhat likely) event that you have to replace the unit.

Also, I didn't know about the amp harness thing. So does this directly link the head unit to the speakers so that the speakers are powered by the head unit? Does the same cable also support the backup camera?

Last edited by nkx1; 05-10-2019 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 05-10-2019, 04:34 PM
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If you have the Harmon Kardon audio system, then you have a fiber optic connection to your amp. Both my W211 and W209 were this way. In this case, you have to buy an additional fiber optic converter box (about $100) which takes the line-level RCA outputs from the back of the head unit, and converts them to MOST fiber optic for the amp. That allows you to retain the stock amp. I can't speak for non Harmon Kardon setups though, since both my cars have it. This is the converter I'm using for my CLK:
Amazon Amazon


As far as reverse camera, unless your car came with one, you'll need to run additional wires to the trunk (power, video, and optionally ground) and mount a camera. This is the camera I used:
Amazon Amazon

Last edited by Ward83; 05-10-2019 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 05-10-2019, 09:22 PM
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Thanks for the information! I do have the HK fiber optic system in my car.
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Old 05-10-2019, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by handy1 View Post
EDIT: maybe I didn't look at the one you linked to. It looks like it may come with a canbus decoder to connect to the Harman Kardon amp?
I don't know enough about them to know. It is the one recommended by the manufacturer for my car.[/QUOTE]

"canbus" has nothing to do with the H-K amp. The CAN bus interface is used to enable the steering wheel controls to operate the volume and channel selection. Talking to the H-K amp over the MOST fiber optic requires a different interface. They are available, but you lose the H-K "Logic7" feature and fader control.
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Old 05-28-2019, 01:21 AM
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`


This thread needs an idiot to ask a question -

And that idiot is me -

I have a 2003 W209 CLK500 with the "810"

unit in the dash - HK

I am looking to replace the OEM unit in the dash

without replacing the cable / harness that runs from the

OEM unit in the dash to the amp in the trunk -

Would "an additional fiber optic converter box (about $100)

which takes the line-level RCA outputs from the back of the

head unit, and converts them to MOST fiber optic for the amp"

(see post 17) make the current OEM "810" cable / harness

to the trunk work with a newer head unit -


Thank-You
D.B.


.
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Old 05-29-2019, 10:18 PM
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D.B., a MY2003 with code 810 has the Bose (not Harmon-Kardon) system and D2B fiber, not MOST. HK/MOST came out for MY2005. I don't think you will find as much in the aftermarket for D2B as you will for MOST. The reason being that D2B was MBZ's proprietary system and was never designed for 3rd party components (though some like Ice Link or Dice did make them). MOST was an open architecture system where, theoretically, 3rd parties could make add ons.

In your case, I think I would just run some new analog wire from the dash to the trunk and then abandon the Bose amp and install your own. There are plenty of good places to run wire in under the door sill trim
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