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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I don't post often but thought that I should share my wired reverse mirror camera / DVR and Parrot replacement with the KIENZLE CR1223BT, especially seeing that I had promised heelntoe and John4c.


I bought it off eBay from Germany. Kienzle brand is made in China and is the same company as Continental and VDO, that some of you may have heard of. They are OE suppliers to Renault and others.

https://www.kienzle.de/p_cmn_audio.html.



I wanted the mechless version with DAB but I couldn't find a supplier that would ship to Australia. All I needed was a reliable Bluetooth streaming unit and phone device. I cannot tolerate the Parrot long boot up time, reverse volume control issue, crackly startup during streaming, unreliable phone Bluetooth, no memory of last input (despite setting it on, it always defaults to radio) and repeated crashing. I suspect some units are more reliable than others. I've put up with mine for 3 years, but it had to go. It was frustrating, especially when I couldn't hear an incoming caller.

So......I installed a wired a mirror TFT and reverse camera ages ago. I thought the mirror may as well be multifunctional, so I ordered one with a HD DVR which works great, especially for spotting other 4Cs and 4C admirers (photo). I found a factory hole in the tub just under the A pillar which enters the footwell on either side which was a glorious find (even if I do say so myself) and very handy, so I posted it for general consumption a while ago. I took direction from DOCRON with my own variations, and ran the cables along the side of the car then up through the front wheel well, rather than the front underside grommet as he did. The camera fits the number plate light hole and was ordered on eBay (listed as a Fiat Punto Grande reverse camera). Bummer I couldn't find a camera without guidelines.

Having a TFT mirror screen meant that I didn't need one on the radio and I have my phone for GPS which is as good, or superior to, the GPS on headunits.

I didn't prefer the fold out screen of the Clarion or Pioneer (which are excellent units) as I thought it looked a little clumsy and not to the simple style of the car (as others who have a fold out have commented). However Apple CarPlay is tempting, but it must be wireless to be useful IMO. Maybe a single DIN one will come out in the future that I will swap the Kienzle out for.

This unit looks simple and OE style. There are no stupid flashy lights and logos all over it (Sony, I'm looking at you). Also, it doesn't have the plateface surround and fits the full single DIN opening which looks classy....unlike the OE Alpine. Under the dash, it fits in to the OE bracket (did you know it was there - I didn't despite being under there so many bloody times) with a grommet and screw (photo) so it's not bouncing around in the dash and mounting was super easy.

The wiring was also simple (ISO connector).The wiring does not need modification or pin swapping and is Plug'n'Play, except for the mic. I had bought an adapter that DOCRON and others have mentioned, and it doesn't work with the Parrot mic, so I used the supplied mic and positioned it at the top of the drivers side A pillar (photo). I left the old one in place above the mirror.

Impressions - it works. The sound is definitely better than the Parrot, I am not an audiophile and agree with many on here that there is no point in having an exceptional sound system in such a noisy car, but it is nice to have audible music in the background, at least when stopped at traffic lights. I also must have BT phone and GPS voiceover (I use NAVMI which is an offline GPS system (local maps are down loaded to the phone) no need for cellular on the move).

You can turn the unit on even with key at the 'off' position, something I could never do with the Parrot. It will turn itself off after 10 minutes or so, so your battery is safe. When the key is switched to off after being at the 'on' position, (e.g. after a drive) the unit does switch off, which I was worried it wouldn't seeing that it can be turned on without the key.

When you start the car, it is ready immediately, no boot up or spinning wheel - and get this, it remembers your last source! On AD2P BT streaming however, you do need to push the play button which is work, but it is instant, without the 5 minute Parrot start up time. Before, I used to switch the car on, go back upstairs to the kitchen, make an espresso and hope the phone had paired by the time I had finished my second shot.

Radio is easy to tune. AM (6 memory presets) FM 1-3 (each with 6 memory presets) and displays the station info. Also has traffic alerts, clock and other basic functions. That is, it does everything the Parrot does without the frustration, which is a shame as I really like the way the Parrot looks and its (theoretical) functions, if it actually worked as advertised.

CD..anyone, anyone, Beuller? Well it's there if you ever need to pull out an old fashioned music disc.

The phone auto pairs reliably and quickly. On a test call, I could hear and could be heard without the shouting, crying and pulling over.

It's all good baby...enjoy the pics.
 

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Thanks so much! Time to go shopping...

Have to dig up your rear view mirror post as well.

Does the Kienzle have any USB ports on the back or just the front one? I’m simply looking for phone charging sources.
 

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Please post more on the camera/mirror setup. I am interested in something similar. I had a pop-out in my last car but I never loved the look.

On the other hand, I am so used to the car after 18 months that I am questioning whether or not I want/need the camera at all, lol. I got my prior one installed the week I got the car so it was still very foreign.
 

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Please post more on the camera/mirror setup. I am interested in something similar. I had a pop-out in my last car but I never loved the look.

On the other hand, I am so used to the car after 18 months that I am questioning whether or not I want/need the camera at all, lol. I got my prior one installed the week I got the car so it was still very foreign.

Also don’t think I need the backup camera but I like the mirror for the novelty of it, and having a dash cam isn’t such a bad thing. One with a built in Homelink garage door opener would let me do away with my remote.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks so much! Time to go shopping...

Have to dig up your rear view mirror post as well.

Does the Kienzle have any USB ports on the back or just the front one? I?m simply looking for phone charging sources.
Yes it has one in the back (photo) that I have connected to an iPhone lightning cable which is threaded through to the glove flap(?) thing. There is also a USB and aux in at the front. A rear USB was a must and was the reason I didn't go for the Pioneer DVH-885AVBT (photo) which only has a port on the front that looks stupid with a cable hanging off it.

The other good point on the Kienzle is that you can plug in your iPhone and it still allows BT streaming which the Parrot did not. So you can have the screen on your phone constantly on for GPS or music without worry about losing charge.

BTW, the antenna plug fits without need for an adapter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Please post more on the camera/mirror setup. I am interested in something similar. I had a pop-out in my last car but I never loved the look.

On the other hand, I am so used to the car after 18 months that I am questioning whether or not I want/need the camera at all, lol. I got my prior one installed the week I got the car so it was still very foreign.



So John4c, for the camera install, I created my own wiring loom. I wanted a switch inside the cabin which allowed me to turn on the camera at anytime without needing to engage reverse which is mounted just under the steering column on the left side (photo). In order to do this, I used a "double diode isolation" setup after I tapped the reverse light using the grey/black clip (pictured). You can search the net for videos on how to set it up. This is required to prevent the reverse light turning on when you activate the camera from the switch inside cabin. So the camera is powered either by the reverse light when you engage reverse, or by the switch inside the cabin. I think Kmarei has described how to tap the reverse light – it’s pretty easy to find and a multimeter helps determine which wire is power vs ground.


I used a 5m length of RCA with power cable (pictured) which can be found on eBay by searching “security camera RCA cable” and ran it inside the black flexi tubing (pictured) and used TESA tape and wire ties to seal it every 6 inches or so. I then ran the cable from the rear camera (installed inthe number plate light) down to the chassis, picking up the reverse light tap on the way. Thank you to CallmeAl for the naked photos of his car, you can see the line I used marked by red dots on the left side of the car. I followed the existing OE wiring loom whenever possible to keep the install neat and stealthy.


Once you have the cable over the rear wheeI well, I followed the cooling pipe along the side of the car as described by DOCRON. Note that this pipe runs to the radiator or intercooler and gets very hot. So I found these clever double wire ties on eBay of course (pictured – they look like a figure 8) to fix the AV / power cable to the cooling pipe along the side of the car. I used an insulating heat wrap on eBay by searching “exhaust wrap” (pictured – silver backing with white insulator cloth) at the sites where the double cable tie was fixed to the pipe so it wouldn’t be affected by heat. You can access this pipe from under the car by removing the underbody protection panel which is simply affixed with Phillips head screws and bolts. At no time did I jack up the car, but it would make it a hell of a lot easier if you can (I now have flat jack stands and race ramps to do so if needed - photo).


I then ran the cable up the front left wheel well behind the liner (just pull the liner forward when the wheels are turned full lock to the left) and I accessed the hole in the tub (photo with red arrow) to enter the cabin. It opens up to a little hole just under the dash. You can then run the wiring to the radio harness.


I purchased a male to female ISO connector which connects tothe OE ISO plug, on eBay (like a little extension cable), which then plugs into the back of the radio. I tapped into the extension cable ISO connector using the red wire taps (pictured) in order not to hack into the OE car harness. I accessed power, accessory power and an earth to supply the power to the DVR /TFT mirror and the cabin switch for the camera (3 taps).


The mirror was purchased on eBay. It is wider than OE and enhances rear vision without impairing forward visibility. It allows you to see through the rear hatch vents without moving your from head side to side and minimises the blind spot.


http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/FHD-1080...521851?hash=item2372d698fb:g:tIgAAOSw0fhXmHl1


You must specify the FIAT mirror adapter so it fits straight onto the windscreen metal bracket without modification. The mirror cable was run under the roof liner and down the A pillar on the left side of the car (DOCRON has described how to remove the A pillar cover without damaging it) to reach my wiring loom at the back of the radio. Easy and awesome!


The photo shows all the bits I needed including 1 amp diodes. I used black heat shrink tubing (pictured) to tidy up any cabling and solder heat shrink terminals (pictured) for wire connections using a heat gun. I bought everything on eBay. It takes 6 weeks for it all to come from China, but everything is super cheap.


I hope that covers it John4c.....
 

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The other good point on the Kienzle is that you can plug in your iPhone and it still allows BT streaming which the Parrot did not. So you can have the screen on your phone constantly on for GPS or music without worry about losing charge.

Hmm. This is the only way I use my Parrot - plugged into a lightning cable all the time, mounted on the Baseus mount (thanks again!), and GPS + Spotify/music via Bluetooth. And it charges. Not sure why it didn’t work for you. Hope that info didn’t just cost you all this money and effort ;)

The primary annoyance I find is that I always need to have some music playing along with GPS or the Parrot switches the Bluetooth connection off because it thinks nothing is playing - I guess because the GPS speaks so infrequently.

Doesn’t matter. All these annoyances will be old news for you now :)
 

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The other good point on the Kienzle is that you can plug in your iPhone and it still allows BT streaming which the Parrot did not. So you can have the screen on your phone constantly on for GPS or music without worry about losing charge.

Hmm. This is the only way I use my Parrot - plugged into a lightning cable all the time, mounted on the Baseus mount (thanks again!), and GPS + Spotify/music via Bluetooth. And it charges. Not sure why it didn?t work for you. Hope that info didn?t just cost you all this money and effort


The primary annoyance I find is that I always need to have some music playing along with GPS or the Parrot switches the Bluetooth connection off because it thinks nothing is playing - I guess because the GPS speaks so infrequently.

Doesn?t matter. All these annoyances will be old news for you now
There were so many reasons why I changed out the Parrot, much like others have done already. So the time and expense was worth it.

When I plugged the phone to the iPod USB on the Parrot, it only allowed music to be played from iTunes not BT. This could be overcome by switching the lightning cable to the non iPod USB port.

Non issue now. Bye bye birdie...
 

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Awesome write-up. Glad I could help to some degree...lol. :)


HU looks very classy. Simple non-obtrusive design.


One suggestion would be to move the mic to the center of the headliner near the dome light. Mounting on the A pillar is convenient but can get some wind buffeting even when the windows are just cracked. ;)


Otherwise, great work. Didn't you feel extremely accomplished after completing this mod? :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Awesome write-up. Glad I could help to some degree...lol.



HU looks very classy. Simple non-obtrusive design.


One suggestion would be to move the mic to the center of the headliner near the dome light. Mounting on the A pillar is convenient but can get some wind buffeting even when the windows are just cracked.



Otherwise, great work. Didn't you feel extremely accomplished after completing this mod?
Thanks Docron. Credit where credit is due, I say.

This site is an excellent resource for us all and although some mods might not be for everyone, we can all learn from each other's experience. You have certainly been a great contributor.

I'll take your suggestion on board about the mic. It's really not a big deal to move it to the centre. I thought it might be better on the A pillar because it is closer to the driver than the mirror mount but didn't factor in wind buffeting. I'd probably shut the window on calls considering the race exhaust noise is amplified with the windows down.

I like the look of this head unit and it does all I need it to very well in a subtle package. I like buttons rather than scrolling menus to keep functionality simple. I think the 4C should have come with something like this in the first place, even more so than the Alpine replacement.
 

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Thanks for the diy Knievil! I went with the same parts from ebay, except went with the non-dash cam auto-vox mirror. The dealer on eBay said our adapter is called #95. It fit without any modification. Here is a pic with the oem mirror, and installed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
[P² said:
;903065]Thanks for the diy Knievil! I went with the same parts from ebay, except went with the non-dash cam auto-vox mirror. The dealer on eBay said our adapter is called #95. It fit without any modification. Here is a pic with the oem mirror, and installed.
Awesome. Did you do the install yourself? Double diode and switch. Did you route the wiring the same way? Plate light camera? So cool. I’m glad that it helped.
 

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Great work and thanks for the write up! I'm considering adding a switch for the backup camera as well. Have you considered using one of the unused factory switches on the dashboard? Are they real switches or just blanks I wonder?
 
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