Originally I planned to install a Sony head unit to replace the dead Bose unit in my ‘vette but after thinking about it I decided to take things a step further and install an Android car computer instead. This is a bigger project but basically gives me a toy for my toy and that’s what Corvettes are about really. There are some practical reasons behind the decision:
- I can carry my entire MP3 collection to hand (I don’t listen to the radio and CDs are just too much of a pain)
- Built-in navigation through android apps
- Access to any number of other apps through the app store
- Ability to connect to OBD monitoring and diagnostic information
- Wireless and/or 3G internet connectivity
- Almost infinite customization possibilities
- Not forgetting the sheer coolness of it!
The unit I chose I found through an online forum and was recommended by several people online. Things being what they are it was only available direct from Chinese suppliers which involved a slightly worrying order process, but again online sources reported positive results that helped build my confidence. The unit I bought was a 2DIN Android 4.1 car PC with an impressive set of features, including:
- OS: Android 4.1.1 system
- CPU:Dual Core 1GHz
- Memory:1GB DDR3
- Nand Flash :8GB
- USB 2.0 OTG,HOST interface
- Video format:RMVB,MKV,MOV,WMV,AVI,MPG,TS
- Audio format: MP3,WMA,WAV,OGG,FLAC
- Stereo Radio
- ux in/RDS/
- Micro SD (Up to 32Gn
There are a lot more features such as reversing camera and steering wheel controls that were not applicable to my wants but no doubt would be for others. One feature that I really wanted were some good “physical” controls for switching between functions, volume control etc. While a touch screen is useful and works well in some circumstances I personal find that physical controls are just so much easier and less of a distraction.
It took a few weeks to arrive, which isn’t unusual for where I am located and when it came was very well boxed and protected which is always a good sign. The unit looks pretty handsome in my eyes.
Mine isn’t installed yet but here’s a shot from the manufacturer site with the screen active:
This should install the same way that any aftermarket head would. The problem with that is that installing a new head to replace the Bose system looks quite nightmarish to my inexperienced eyes. I’ve read everything I can find and worked out some of what I think I need to do from a number of sources but I’m still not clear of how this all fits together,
I have the dash and console mostly disassembled – so much that it looks like the dash exploded! I found some instructions to do this from Corvette Magazine. They’re good up to a point but lost me completely when it got to the CDM module and locating it. I’ve read the rest of the instructions and it’s geared to the installation kit they’re using and doesn’t seem very relevant to what I’m dealing with or the Metra 70-1857 harness I bought.