1. beingbenjamin's Avatar
    Well I decided on the Alpine ilx-007 after doing a little research and reviewing. It, along with the dash kit for my car and a backup camera, will be here tomorrow. I've done a little car audio work before, but nothing like this. My primary concerns are 1) how to run the camera cable from back to front and 2) ensuring I don't know steering wheel controls.

    I'm pretty excited about this from an early adoption standpoint. I know CarPlay has a long way to go. But the three apps I would want the most are there. Overcast, Spotify, and Maps.

    I purchased the head unit from Alpine for $599 and they were running a special of 1/2 off dash kit when ordered together. Then I got a Clarion CC510 camera and license plate frame mount on Amazon.

    You'll notice I asked about wireless CarPlay in another thread. I found enough evidence to suggest that this Alpine unit has a WiFi chipset inside that Alpine can activate with a firmware update and support wireless connection. But even if it doesn't, it's really not all that big a deal to plug in the phone, especially considering the charge.

    I'll post pics and progress as I go, as well as what I think of the CarPlay experience.
    muchmaligned likes this.
    05-28-2015 03:12 PM
  2. mikeo007's Avatar
    Good luck with your install. I haven't tinkered with car audio/video in a long time, but when I used to, I'd run the wires under the carpet/trim down the passenger side and into the trunk. You can hide it easily that way.
    05-28-2015 03:45 PM
  3. beingbenjamin's Avatar
    Well I knew I would hit snags, but right off the bat??? I have no idea how to get the camera cable from the outside of the car (license plate frame mount) to the inside in order to make the run. Drill a hole??!?! That thought is horrifying!
    05-29-2015 09:23 AM
  4. mikeo007's Avatar
    Depending on the car, there could already be some holes, for example for your license plate light bulbs, so you may be able to re-purpose those instead of drilling.

    But baring that, drill a small hole, clean it up and apply some sealer around the wire to stop it from moving and stop any moisture from getting to the metal.
    05-29-2015 12:40 PM
  5. beingbenjamin's Avatar
    Well I almost got done Saturday but not quite. Hit a snag near the end. We did end up going through the license plate light with the cable. Just filed a tiny slit in the plastic and inserted. The run was much better than I thought it'd be, though it is pretty scary popping off those panels.

    Got the old radio out and started connecting the dash kit and Alpine unit. There were two wires I couldn't figure out. They were a lot longer and were for the reverse light and parking brake. But heck if I knew how to tie into those. So I set aside and tried out the unit. Started the car. Nothing happened. Eventually we troubleshot (troubleshooted?) to the ignition wire. By touching it to the constant power wire, we got the unit to come on. But when tied together as it should be, nothing. A call to Crutchfield (who provides EXEMPLARY support, btw) answered both my questions. The two wires actually and conveniently tie into a couple dash kit wires that were different colors. And it turns out I've got a bad adapter box that the ignition wire goes to, so they are sending me another. So I've got a big gaping hole in my dash for 2-3 days while I wait on that. But I also had to order a USB to mini-USB adapter because the Alpine has the former port and the car has the latter cable. Not able to test the camera yet, but everything else is coming together slowly and surely. Not bad for being a novice, I'd say.

    Installation [Car]Play by Play-14abfe2a-5870-4506-b010-562a4a20b476.jpg
    Installation [Car]Play by Play-54d466ab-fe73-40cb-a8fa-8785e253031a.jpg
    06-01-2015 12:15 PM
  6. beingbenjamin's Avatar
    Success! It took 5 days and a replacement part, along with quite a bit of troubleshooting, but we got it! Here's how we worked around the final issues.

    1) Unit would not come on when starting car. Turns out the adapter box's wiring instructions neglected to mention a wire that had to be tied together as a three-way. We took a guess with an extra wire that we initially thought we didn't need and it turned out to be right. So that solved that problem.

    2) The backup camera would not come on. Our first sign that something was wrong was that the Alpine unit would go into demo mode. Nor could we access any options because even with the car in accessory mode, it would say we could not operate it while driving. Turns out that the dash kit's wiring was not completely compatible with the Alpine unit. For whatever reason, we ended up having to run the parking brake wire under the dash and tap that line directly (Pic below of my buddy working in a very awkward space). But the reverse light wire of the dash kit worked. Go figure.

    I'm on Day One with Carplay. I used my podcast app, Overcast, and just for grins ran Apple Maps to work. Both work just fine. Interestingly, my Apple Watch did the turn taps for the directions on my CarPlay unit. I will say I have one concern. My phone (iPhone 5S) got significantly hot. Like, I didn't want to put it in my pocket when I got out, hot. If this continues, I'll probably send a request to Apple about it.

    The first time I plugged in, I was told to unlock my phone to operate CarPlay. I didn't like the fact that I'd have to end up doing this every time, but the second time I plugged in, my phone asked me if I wanted to operate CarPlay while locked. Yes, indeed I would! Great!

    I'm looking forward to the direction this tech will go. The Alpine unit does have a Wifi chipset in it, so whenever they (Apple and Alpine) are ready to flip the proverbial switch on wireless CarPlay, I hope I'll be ready for it. I guess no big deal if I have to stay connected though.

    Installation [Car]Play by Play-img_0639.jpg

    Installation [Car]Play by Play-img_0641.jpg
    06-05-2015 11:38 AM
  7. remains's Avatar
    very nice. i have been on the fence but anxious about this alpine unit. this weekend i made a lowball offer on an open box/return at best buy, and walked out with it. I ordered the dash kit, the PAC interface, the antenna adapter, and the install went very quick in my Jeep. I was pleasantly surprised that everything seems to work, including steering wheel controls, parking brake, etc.

    Today was my first day driving with it. And so far I love it. Siri is so very useable, much more so than I expected. The interaction between maps, music, now playing, podcasts, messages, and phone is very well thought out. I've owned a Pioneer navi and the Parrot Asteroid, and while they do a lot of things, the interfaces are a mess and functions don't work very well together. The few simple things I want to do are simple, clean, and very useable on the 007.

    The only thing I'm not totally thrilled about is the low quality of the sirius xm phone app streaming. Music quality is worse than the satellite. However, when Sirius is selected via the phone, Carplay does show a complete song/artist/timeline on the screen, so it is useable. edit: just noticed there's a music quality setting in the sirius app. i had it on low. i'll try the higher settings later today.
    Last edited by remains; 06-10-2015 at 03:50 AM.
    06-09-2015 06:54 PM
  8. guy24w's Avatar
    I got mine installed last week and I'm really liking it. Apples own apps work fine but I've had problems with both tune in and spotify.
    06-09-2015 11:26 PM
  9. beingbenjamin's Avatar
    Here's a few more thoughts after a few days with CarPlay. There's often more to say about things that don't work than do, so I'll lead by saying I *do* like it. Siri and Maps are particular highlights for me. I don't mind having to plug in my phone but as of Monday, there's a glimmer of hope to gain wireless CarPlay. This Alpine unit, as I think I said above, is known to have a WiFi chipset inside, but Alpine has been coy about it. They've worked closely with Apple though (as signified by the "made for iPhone" label) so I'm crossing my fingers that an update will activate the ability to create the ad hoc wireless network.

    Here are a few issues:

    1. My phone gets REALLY hot. Not to the point of shutdown, but definitely uncomfortable to hold. I haven't seen much about this so maybe it is fairly unique or perhaps an iPhone 5S issues, but sometimes I cannot even put my phone in my pocket after I get out of the car. It seems the longer I have driven, the less hot it gets, if that makes sense. Short trips, the phone is hotter than long trips is what I mean.

    2. This is specific to the Alpine unit. I can't figure out the magic formula for the right order to do things when I get in my car. Sometimes CarPlay will boot right up and my podcast or music will pick up where it left off. Other times, it goes to the radio and stays there. Still other times, it starts on radio and switches to CarPlay on it's own after a few seconds. I've tried plugging in before starting the car, as well as after. I'm really not sure why I'm seeing variable results.

    3. In similar light, apps that play music or podcasts don't default on-screen to what's "Now Playing". They seem like they are going to the menu level right before whatever it is I'm listening to. So every time, I have to tap the arrow in the upper right corner to see the now playing screen itself.

    4. Spotify is an unmitigated disaster on CarPlay. It is unusable and downright unsafe. The list of issues is long. I'll tap to shuffle a playlist and it'll show it's playing but there is no sound. Known issue. Playlists will not load. Known issue. When accessing Siri (or tapping pause), sometimes it'll cut off Siri and just start playing again on its own. Known issue. Unresponsiveness and crashing. Playing from my full library of songs rather than from the playlist I left off on. All of this--which has happened in less than a week of use--is enough to make me consider bailing after YEARS on Spotify, and try Apple Music when it debuts later this month, even if it means rebuilding all my playlists from scratch. (Coupled with a CarPlay unrelated issue of syncing with library items for offline play and their lack of support/usability for other devices.) I'm "all in" with the Apple ecosystem now, so as much as I have spent, I expect these things to work and if it doesn't, I'll find the application that does. Period.

    5. I'm not hearing a sound when I get a message, but I think that may be because I have an Apple Watch and the notification is sending to my watch with the haptic tap, rather than a ping on my phone.

    All in all I am very pleased with the product itself. The biggest complaint is born from a specific app developer. The other things are nuisances that you just have to chalk up to early adoption. The Alpine unit is a very classy addition to my car and it was an interesting experience installing it. I kept most functions in my car, a 2012 Chevy Sonic. Things I lost were some options dealing with locks and lights, which i haven't accessed since purchasing. Sirius XM radio which I never used past the free trial. Temperature display. Push to talk on the steering wheel, but all other buttons and controls work. Bluetooth, but it is unnecessary for CarPlay. And the car's built in chime for turning signal and key in ignition. This one is weird because apparently the data for these things was routed through the car's radio unit. It was a surprise when the job was done. My dash kit came with a new speaker that I stuck under the dash but it is entirely too soft to hear over the engine or road noise. I called Scosche but they said there is no way to increase the volume. So that will take getting used to.

    Regrets? Nah, none. I enjoy it and look forward to the great integration that comes with living in the Apple ecosystem. It just works, indeed!
    06-10-2015 10:37 AM
  10. remains's Avatar
    Which brand/model wiring harness did you use? I used a PAC, and the phone button steering wheel does not work. I called PAC, and it turns out I need the newer firmware for that to work with alpine in my case. Options are to return the PAC or find a local installer. I ended up buying the PAC-UP updater device off Amazon. Gonna try the update myself tonight.

    The only other factory function that I notice missing is the line on the dash that states what the radio is doing. No biggie here, it was useless and you wouldn't know it even existed.
    06-10-2015 03:41 PM
  11. beingbenjamin's Avatar
    I used a Scosche kit. Crutchfield had a deal that if I ordered the head unit with the kit, I'd get 50% off. Every button on the steering wheel works except push-to-talk. Not a huge deal as the head unit has a dedicated Siri button.

    Update on Spotify. I've been emailing over a week now. It is completely maddening. The support guy will ask one question, I'll immediately answer, then it will be 2-3 days before a response which has thus far been another question. They are all: what is the model, what is your phone, what is your cell signal, what is your version number. They've got until June 30th to come up with something and convince me they see the issues and will fix them. That's when Apple Music comes out and I'll have no hesitation moving over. If I can't use the app, then what's the point?
    06-20-2015 09:36 AM

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