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Need opinions...ICE Replacement Service


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Evening all,

 

I'm replacing my Alpine unit *shiver* with a brand new Pioneer DA120 (Apple CarPlay and the works). The choosing and buying was easy. But the next bit isnt...

 

Its not a simple plug-play unit. Because the loom was wired with the Alpine in mind, it needs to be rejigged. That means a man who knows what hes doing @ £50ph. Thats not a problem as such either....the problem is which to choose:

 

Lotus Dealership -

 

Pros: They know the trim, they know the car, and I can bollock them in if anything goes wrong.

 

Cons: I cant sit and helicopter-parent what theyre doing, and i'll never know the ins and outs of my own car (matters a fair bit being a Westfield owner!). Furthermore its a free ticket to charge what they like. I also get the impression that they arent aware of the headache it is.

 

RoadRadio -

 

Pros: They know their stuff, they have all the tools and all the addons needed, and do it day in day out. Nothing on the radio will stump them. I can helicopter-parent, and learn the bits and pieces of the car, and can kick up a stink there and then if theyre doing it badly (to my untrained eye, naturally).

 

Cons: They dont know the trim, they have the replace the microphone (god knows how to do that?!), and if i'm left with a rattle or two....then i'm my own worst enemy.

 

I have an appointment tomorrow morning with RoadRadio, and a Service next week with Lotus. Wondering if I should just give the radio to Lotus, or go for the appointment tomorrow. Both are specialists....but it would be best if they were specialists in both their fields together :D

 

Thoughts?

 

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Thats what I thought at first. But maybe its just that this unit is completely different then. Either way, it took Road Radio two hours just to rewire bits and pieces and solder. Certainly wasnt a quick fix. So in that sense, glad I went to them. The GPS and Mic arent connected yet as trim would need to be removed, and I wasnt about to let them do that to the love of my life. :D

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A few pics of the unit in place etc :) Now officially all synced up to my iPhone, including google maps!

 

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Edited by Kalli
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Thanks Bibs

 

I assume you mean Apple Maps, not Google :(

I have CarPlay on my older Pioneer head unit, and for me, it's a little disappointing at this point. Maybe a future software update will improve things.

 

Apple Maps I mean, sadly! That said, its nice having a 'real' voice control function in a car, that can search the web for what you want. Even my z4 couldnt do that properly! A Lotus that now out-techs a BMW :D Mwha.

 

Its dissapointing for me with Spotify at the moment. Thats still quite buggy. But it still is an improvement on the original Alpine unit I had. My maps no longer look like a kid having fun on Microsoft Paint.

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Does that unit have a built in navigation system, or does it rely entirely on the phone?

I prefer the Pioneer navigation system to Apple Maps as it's far more accurate for POIs. On the other hand, Apple Maps is good for voice control, and of course it knows all of your contact details. It should get much better in time.

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I was under the impression the Alpine and Pioneer were not easily interchangeable, guess I read it on TLF somewhere as where most of my info comes from :thumbsup:, but B&C did think it was quite straight forward. I too was hoping for CarPlay but it seems Alpine is lagging behind on that front. Current pioneer units appear to have firmware to update to CarPlay where as all I can find on Alpine is the plan to release a unit only with a FM/AM radio and CarPlay before the end of the year.

BTW Bibs in your opinion which is better, got the impression from your articles you maybe slightly preferred the Pioneer compared with current Alpine, or did I mis read?

Tom you have a lovely car there, I had a good look at it, in fact I believe we met at B&C Friday before last when you came to view it :)

1982 DeLorean DMC 12 #16327, 1999 Lotus Elise, 1998 Lotus Esprit GT3 #2272, 2011 Lotus Evora S, 2013 Lotus Exige S,2016 Lotus Evora 400,2019 Lotus Elise Cup 250

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Relies on the phone, but has a GPS unit so you arent having to use your phone for location fix. Unsure on the exact workings, but I guess the 3G/4G to find where you want to go, and tracks your position using the GPS rather than the phones. Or maybe both? Heaven knows.

 

Truth is, with Siri, all I need to ask is for the closest petrol station for example, and it finds it. It doesnt 'display it' like the Alpine unit, but certainly just as practical in finding it.

 

Thanks Chris :) B&C said the same to me, but I cant imagine they'll be too used to the entire rewiring of radio stacks; could have been wrong, mind you! But atleast this way I could helicopter-parent and watch every action :D

 

I've also altered the colour settings so that it blends perfectly with the rest of the interior; in the dark it matches really really well.

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My experience of Apple Maps is that they have a massive problem with locating POIs with any accuracy. They're frequently placed in the wrong town as they seem to rely on the first 3 characters of the postcode combined with street name. Or several businesses are located in the same spot where they should be spread along a mile of road. Maybe it's better near cities, but out in the sticks, it's pretty shocking. I've spent a lot of time recently reporting mapping errors to Apple, and in fairness to them, they've fixed quite a few of them.

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Aren't they just ISO connectors to swap them out with removal of a few modules eg bluetooth/GPS? I'm sure a few people on here have been ok doing it themselves? 

No! The Evora has a unique system connector with a unique Alpine harness that has nothing to do with ISO. Still, not a big job for a pro with a soldering iron (who knows which end to grip :huh: ), but not a simple plug and pray.

If you have the choice between a Stairway to Heaven and a Highway to Hell don't forget the Nomex®!

Captain,  Lotus Airways. We fly lower! 

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Kalli, you don't have to remove much more trim when fitting the stereo to fit the gps and mic. The gps aerial can be fitted behind the instruments where the panel just pulls off (as its velcro'd on). As for the mike you can feed it to the door pillar, run it behind the door seal and fish it across to the rear view mirror without removing anything. Obviously if the stereo is in and fitted then you are going to have to remove it to connect the gps and mic into the back of it.

The pioneers and alpines ve played with both have the same compact connector which does seem to be standard (but not the normal iso) however the pin arrangement on the connectors is completely different! Its a bit time consuming to sort but not difficult.

 

Gav

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No! The Evora has a unique system connector with a unique Alpine harness that has nothing to do with ISO. Still, not a big job for a pro with a soldering iron (who knows which end to grip :huh: ), but not a simple plug and pray.

 

I thought i'd be fine buying a pioneer unit and buying the loom adaptor for the 930BT pioneer they fitted to the evora at one point.

 

I was wrong and Murrays (who were doing it FOC as part of the sale) had to ship it out to a specialist.   It's not a simple job apparently.

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So dropped the car with B&C today, with the GPS and Mic on the list of things to do. I was tempted to do the mic myself, but truth be told...when I tend to do things myself, they always end up half-finished! Hence why I bought a kit-car at the start of the year, rather than building one :D

 

The two downsides of the unit i've found so far (beyond the initial bugs of the new unit/car play malarky); LCD screen, so screen glare does occur, and greasy fingers ofcourse.

 

Second issue is the reliance on 3G or greater. Trying to set destination last night, and it just didnt want to know :D

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I agree the screen suffers glare more than the old Alpine unit, and I really can't rely on mobile data for navigation. Even if you start a route with a good 3G connection, you run the risk of a diversion taking you away from the route. At this point, a lack of 3G will leave you without any help.

CarPlay was the reason I chose the Pioneer unit, but I'm glad I got one with its own navigation system built in.

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You dont need to replace the mic when going from alpine to pioneer, you can just use a jack adapter for a few quid from maplins.

Suprised a dealer outsourced it, the wiring is by far the easiest bit of the job!

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Alpine Electronics In-Dash Digital Media Receiver with Apple CarPlay
The iLX-700 is Available for European Markets from December 2014

 

http://www.alpine.co.uk/media-center/newsreleases/newsdetails/apple-carplay.html

 

Alpine are charging £499 compared to the £350 for the Pioneer DA120 that Tom has, Any thoughts between the 2 offerings Tom?

 

I was hoping Alpine update the firmware on their current units to include AirPlay like Pioneer have already but not seen any mention of that so far.

1982 DeLorean DMC 12 #16327, 1999 Lotus Elise, 1998 Lotus Esprit GT3 #2272, 2011 Lotus Evora S, 2013 Lotus Exige S,2016 Lotus Evora 400,2019 Lotus Elise Cup 250

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Having not used the Alpine one, I can't comment truthfully; but if I'm honest....I'm loving the pioneer. I've set the lights up to match the car dash lights, the background to the car, and so on. Furthermore, the buttons on the alpine are actual physical ones. The pioneer are glass touchscreen ones. Makes cleaning far easier and looks far cleaner too, in design.

I can't see what the alpine could offer that the pioneer isn't, for an extra couple of hundred quit. Heck; the bugs that the CarPlay has at the moment is on apples side, not the radio. So the alpine will suffer from it too!

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Going off the fact the original alpine headunit sucked, the reversing camera sucks and lets water in then fails, the subwoofer sucks, the amplifier sucks + has reports of failing and the front door speakers are not great.. I am no longer interested in anything made by Alpine! My evora will be a much happier place when I have finished the alpine purge and replaced with with better quality stuff (like pioneer).

IMO of course :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

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