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D2 - Sat Nav, ICE, Audio & TV All in car entertainment discussions

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  #11  
Old 16th January 2020, 09:36 PM
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OK so I ordered it from icebox on 04/01/2020 and received it today. I didn't get a tracking number until day before the arrival which is odd, its probably drop shipped or something.

Upon opening the box I've noticed that the silica gel bag has opened in transit and lots of tiny balls fell inside the unit itself:





I probably could have gotten this RMA'd but it would take ages so i just took them all out myself.

I've reported this to Rob from Icebox who allowed me to open up the unit to get rid of all the silica balls from inside so I thought I may as well take a look at whats inside the unit in general.

It was a tough job getting it all out:


A lot of them fell inside the dvd drive gears etc:





The bag of cables has everything needed to get it to work and Bose system is also supported.


Components wise:

All caps are cheap Chenxing capacitors

Amplification:
No-name TDA738 Amplifier - On the icebox website it says its a Toshiba 7851 which now we know it isn't

I/O:
Geniune Realtek RTL8188ETV is the WLAN/USB comms chip

Audio:
ROHM BD37033FV-M DAC:
Current upon no signal: 31mA
Total harmonic distortion: 0.002%
Maximum input voltage: 2.1Vrms
Cross-talk between selectors: 100dB
Ripple rejection -65dB
Output noise voltage: 5.5ÁVrms
Residual output noise voltage: 3.5ÁVrms
Operating Range of Temperature: -40 to +85

A few pics from inside:
Decent amount of lube on DVD drive:



Inside the box itself, it looks good compared to other Android systems I've opened





Amp section:



Next will be installing this in the car which i don't have access to until late next week as its getting its timing belt done and a few other things.
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Last edited by Ronin; 16th January 2020 at 09:40 PM.
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  #12  
Old 16th January 2020, 09:58 PM
MikkiJayne MikkiJayne is offline
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Thanks for going in to that much detail Kinda handy you had to open it up really!

The DAC specs seem pretty good which bodes well for sound quality and if you've got Bose then the built in amp IC doesn't really matter.

I wonder how noisy that fan will be - not much in there to cool really, but cheap chinese fans never seem to last very long. That might be something to upgrade later on. I keep wondering about taking a cold air feed from the hvac to cool the stereo down. B5 Passats actually had a pipe from after the evaporator which fed cold air in to the glovebox which was a great idea. Never seen it on anything else though.

Its a shame they put the optical drive in there really - it could have been 2" deep without it, instead of a big empty box.
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  #13  
Old 17th January 2020, 11:04 AM
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The fan itself does seem cheap but its standard size and can be easily replaced with a quality fan if needed. I will probably make a video showing how loud the fan is with volume off.

Looking at the way the box is built they have one "can" andnjust screw on the required fascias as needed.

I agree about the dvd drive but i guess they have to cater to all age groups and most A8 owners are from the CD-era so to speak so it won't hurt having it there.

Once i get this installed I'll take apart my rns-d and at least compare its DAC to the Android one on paper
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Old 17th January 2020, 11:05 AM
PsYcHe PsYcHe is offline
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There's quite a wide range of boxes appearing with OEM style fascias on them. Looked at a few for SWMBO's X5, but also considering an android auto/carplay unit as it's a bit more future proofed and the youngest gets discount at halfrauds
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  #15  
Old 17th January 2020, 11:41 AM
MikkiJayne MikkiJayne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronin View Post
Once i get this installed I'll take apart my rns-d and at least compare its DAC to the Android one on paper
I've got one in bits on the healing bench but would it even have an audio DAC? Afaik the internal drive is just for nav isn't it? The only digital audio source (apart from the nav processor) is the CD changer and that's got the DAC on-board so sends analog audio to the head unit.

The nav board is mostly Bosch ICs with a 4mb Intel flash. The main board is a Blaupunkt CPU / ASIC (its a Blaupunkt chassis) and then an assortment of other ICs. The amp is an ST TDA7376.
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  #16  
Old 17th January 2020, 12:18 PM
HPsauce HPsauce is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikkiJayne View Post
Afaik the internal drive is just for nav isn't it?
The internal drive is indeed just a component of the NAV unit, which is the top half, connected by a ribbon cable to the main (lower) part.
You can actually swap the Nav unit over between RNS's, there's no component protection or security coding in it.

All the external connections on the main/lower section are analogue, except possibly commands/status to/from the CD changer (and the NAV unit cable).
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Last edited by HPsauce; 17th January 2020 at 12:22 PM.
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  #17  
Old 17th January 2020, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PsYcHe View Post
There's quite a wide range of boxes appearing with OEM style fascias on them. Looked at a few for SWMBO's X5, but also considering an android auto/carplay unit as it's a bit more future proofed and the youngest gets discount at halfrauds
This is one of 2 i found that are made for the d2 and fit it oem style with no cutting or sanding etc. The other one was from a company called seicane (some ali express brand)

Have you found any other ones?
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  #18  
Old 18th January 2020, 03:47 AM
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A few years back when I looked around there were several Android head units for retrofit into the A8.

Two of them looked like the RNS-E (ie: the unit being discussed here), the difference being the location of the micro-SD card slots.
One of those even purported to support the DIS screen, though I've since never been able to find this claim.

The other type I found looked sort of like a cross between an RNS-D and the VW RNS-510, with blue button backlighting/surround.

I have no idea on the manufacturers, though I have heard of Seicane before via the Tavarish YouTube channel (he put one of these in his Gallardo).
My looking online would have been AliExpress, Banggood, HCSale, and general Google searches.


The only issue with the Android units from 3 or 4 years ago (or whenever I last looked) was the state of Android being used outside of phones or tablets, especially modified versions in media players and the like. Plus the quality of the Chinese components (which do seem to be getting better).
I've used two Android based media players in the last few years, and have been singularly unimpressed. One was a Minix Neo, the other some generic box. Slow, difficult to use, would 'hang' after a while, would randomly cut out during playback of video files (using several programs including Kodi/XBMC and including updating software and firmware).
I ended up back on the good old WDTV!
Now moving to a Roku and Plex...

Maybe with a dedicated Android Auto setup, these units may work quite well now?
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Last edited by 27litres; 18th January 2020 at 03:51 AM.
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  #19  
Old 18th January 2020, 04:20 PM
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Additionally I will be trying to make this unit work with FIS, there's already people over on android programming forums that managed to get it to work on the newer models so as least I can establish its not impossible.

https://forum.xda-developers.com/and...s-mfa-t3803020
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  #20  
Old 6th February 2020, 04:42 PM
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Sorry for the slow progress i started a new job and all that

The radio is now in. It fits and looks OEM




Even the corners fit perfectly:



I haven't wired in the reverse cam yet but the Radio sounds as good if not better as RNS-D and so do CD's, DVD's and high quality spotify streams.

The menus are fluid and dont glitch out.

Only down side i've noticed so far is a slightly longer boot time (kind of like on an android phone) but this shouldn't matter much unless you're a parcelforce driver..

I will be posting more info as soon as I get some time.
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