Thursday, October 30, 2014

CX-5: AppRadio 3 Ep3

This post demonstrates how the whole setup works, from the phone to AppRadio 3. I recommend you to check out the other links at the end of the post for previous articles. 

I will also summarize some residual drawbacks for your consideration. 

Shall we start the video? No sound but caption. I tried but I am not used to record myself. LoL.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

CX-5: AppRadio 3 Ep2

Enough on the installation I posted earlier (link at the end of this post), let's talk about AppRadio 3. This official video is probably a good introduction...

In short, AppRadio is a simple head unit that provides basic car player functions like radio, Bluetooth phone and music streaming and CD / DVD playing. The key feature is to enable you to connect your compatible smart phone to it and have it take advantages on the smart phone apps. You can find AppRadio app in Play Store. This is the official app (basically a launcher app) that runs on the smart phone to cast the screen and touch control to/from the head unit. Here's how it looks like when connected...

There are quite a number of official supported apps (check out the link here). Find them on Play Store and install onto your phone if you want to view the apps on the big screen. Obviously Waze navigation apps is on the supported list...

Same goes to Google Maps...

Look interesting? Hang on, make sure you check all the prerequisite before you jump the gun. Read on after the break to find out what are the prerequisite. 

CX-5: AppRadio 3 Ep1

Look at CX-5 dashboard above. Now compare with my beloved 7 years old Civic FD2's below...

The CX-5 fails big time on the dashboard design, in particular, the head unit looks like a product of a decade ago. It does come with Tom-Tom navigation software, but heck, what is that piece of junk software on a pathetic 5" display compare to Waze with live traffic info on a full double-din display? 

Adding salt to the wound, the head unit is so handicapped that it can't play mp3 from USB properly. I have thousands songs of my CD collection and the head unit never ever plays from the last played song, it starts from first song all over again whenever CX-5 is started. Did I mention that the Bluetooth A2DP is so laggy that the head unit needs a second or more to act upon the commands from the steering wheel control? What a humiliation and insult to Bose speakers pairing with such a head unit, the speakers just sound like a piece of flapping cardboard to produce some recognizable voice noises.

Well, Mazda did not fail entirely, at least. The head unit is not an integrated head unit like other continental cars. It can be easily replaced with a better aftermarket head unit, and here is my sharing on my makeover project on CX-5, with a teaser below...

The Pioneer SPH-DA210 AppRadio 3. The rest of this post will be focused on this unit, but I believe some likely relevant if you plan to install other head units especially the Pioneer's local set like AVH-X8650BT. 

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engine!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

How To: Convert Shimano XTR M980 Triple to Double Chainrings

Searching around the internet on this matter has returned negative result. Many people asked about it but it seems no one has really done it. I started to have this idea when I realized I had not been using the 42T ring for long time and few friends jumping to Sram XX1 single chainring setup. I wondered if this is possible without changing a brand new crank which is costly. After some study on Shimano XTR components and technical details, I am glad to share the result here. 

Here's the "before" - Shimano XTR M980 Triple 42-32-24T setup...

Check out after the break for the result.