03Sep/19
car stereo accessories

Were the extra car stereo accessories you bought worth?-Lesson 5

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car stereo accessories

Four accessories here to talk: reversing camera, OBDII scanner, Android Auto/CarPlay dongle, DAB+ box.

Aftermarket backup reversing camera is the least accessory that people feel regret after buying, it is also the most wildly purchased head unit accessories. Both wireless backup camera and wired are diversified in the market, few things need to be noticed for user convenience. 1. Night vision and resolution (higher the better). 2. View angle (larger the better). 3. IP rating, the ideal number would be IP 68, number 6 stands for the highest level of dust-proof performance, number 8 stands for the waterproof performance of 1 meter depth at least. 4. Park line marking. If the camera you bought reached higher numbers of the above performance, congrats.

OBDII (on-board diagnostics) scanner has over 50 years of history, no doubt everyone cares about driving safety. Before check on the support system and years and brands of car models, think which type of OBDII reader you are looking, handhold one that can display the real-time data on its screen, or the popular cost-efficient WIFI/ Bluetooth OBDII reader which requires an extra APP to display the data on a car stereo screen. If you pick the last one, please be sure the APP in your car stereo is supported by the OBDII scanner. Bluetooth scanner runs faster and stabler than the WIFI one in most situations.

These two devices are about increasing driving safety, the rest two are about elevating your driving experience.

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay won their fame for a new creative technology being applied in our daily life in a really handy way, but little car stereo manufacturers found the right path to link them with the car stereo, and here comes the dongle to play as the media. Two main factors to be alarmed in case the dongle you bought didn’t end up in your garbage can. 1. Check the support operating system it fits in, Android? iOS? And which version exactly. If your car stereo is the classic WinCE system, extra attention cannot be wrong. 2. Check the car model it fits, too many car brands in the market now, no supplier can confidently say their dongles fit any cars. If it fits your car stereo and phone well, then no reason this media will not work well.

38 countries can receive DAB+(Digital audio broadcasting) service with more radio stations, better reception quality, and less unlicensed stations disturb. If you are looking for a car stereo with DAB+ radio, watch out for those “DAB+ optional” and “support DAB+” which means extra DAB+ box required. Some head units have built-in DAB+, such as PUMPKIN VA0402B, AA0447B.

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28Aug/19
car stereo useful functions

Small but handy infotainment car stereo functions -Lesson 4

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car stereo functionsThree infotainment car stereo functions I’d like to talk about: phone book access, MirrorLink, steering wheel control.

The phone book access function actually highlights the hands-free calling function of the Bluetooth by displaying the name of the caller, of course when you want to call someone, no need to find the name from your screen-limited smartphone, the head unit will do the same work.

I found the most useful function of MirrorLink is to mirror the Google map to the infotainment screen, which gives me a wider and clearer view of the map, the guidance voice is louder, and it saves me an extra cradle. (Be aware that MirrorLink function works for the Android phone mostly, if you want to use it to link to your iPhone, an extra CarPlay Dongle will be a smart choice, I will explain it more next time.)

If you have the same bad habit like mine, hate to hear the same song or get sick of some songs for a while, the steering wheel control function will save your day as well. Control to move on to the next song is only one finger away, if you want to sing with the song, the volume control is still just at your hand.

Next time, I was thinking to talk about the car stereo functions that require extra devices.

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21Aug/19
car crash

Safety related infotainment functions -Lesson 3

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No need to address how important safety is, but some infotainment functions are safety-related which shall be paid extra attention.

Hands-free calling, steering wheel control, rear view camera support.

Hands-free calling allows the driver to pick up a phone call by hitting the answering button from his car stereo, hear and speak through the infotainment system. Bluetooth can make the hands-free calling easily achieved after being paired, things you need to be sure if you want to have this function, both your smartphone and car stereo shall have Bluetooth, neither a speaker nor an embedded microphone in your infotainment system shall be missed.

Driving without music or radio could be tedious, while steering/ driving wheel control makes all the selection and changing work just at your fingertips. There are still different types of signal input of the steering wheel control, be sure it is matched with the infotainment system.

Parking a car is always tricky before the rear camera was invented, since it’s not a pricy device, there is not really a good excuse for not installing one. Of course, you need to be sure that your head unit supports the same type of backup camera as your old ones.

The infotainment system could be really helpful if you successfully unlock the right function. So I’d like to share some small but handy functions next time.

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