As promised, here's the review on the "Koolertron" Stock sized replacement All-in-one Navigation/Multimedia center.
At $400+ Shipping it was a high risk high reward situation I had to try. I ordered on a Thursday and had it on Monday, quick shipping. Initial impressions from the box were, "Oh shoot, it's a junk white box no brand Chinese POS."
Luckily I opened the box up and was pleasantly surprised with the actual faceplate design (I'll show these installed later). The back end was another reminder that it was a cheap knockoff though.
And of course a ton of extra stuff, including the cables for camera inputs and amp outputs, the microSD card with NAV software, remote, stylus and the adapter harness (Pay attention to the section on this later)
The stereo did not line up with the guide pins, the top of the radio interfered with the opening. In order to clear the opening, the plastic support needs to be trimmed by approximately 3/16". This took all of 3 minutes with my Fein Multi-tool and the all purpose cutter.
You can hardly tell, but the square opening for the stereo has been trimmed on top.
The stereo now fits fine.
Connects to my Droid-X via bluetooth, makes calls (External MIC is required, and is supplied. Built in MIC does not work with this), and seamlessly plays the audio from my phone over bluetooth. The iPod hookup works, although it does not charge the iPod and is the cheaper serial style hookup. I haven't yet figured out how to access my phonebook, or if it's even possible. The DVD player requires the parking brake cable be grounded out; the easiest route is to solder the parking brake cable to the adapter harnesses ground connections, keeping everything plug and play and simple.
Major problems: GPS does not find the receiver. It appears the Chinese forgot to put the port and baud rate settings in the sys.txt file. This takes all of 10 minutes to modify, but is a pain and luckily I'm a half decent geek. I can provide the steps for others if people need this.
Voila GPS works:
Major Problem #2: No bass from the sub. None. Sounds awful. Figured out that Chrysler used a +--+ Wiring convention for both the front and rear speakers, meaning their stock radio outputs sandwiched the negative terminals for left and right speakers between the positive terminals. When China made their adapter harness they simply used traditional convention of +-+- and this causes one side of the car to be out of phase. Since the sub feeds off both rear channels, the in and out of phase sides caused the sound to cancel out at the sub. This requires 4 wires to be resoldered or crimped. Reinstalled the harness and the stereo actually sounds great now. Quite impressed with the quality considering how cheap the setup is.
Well now here's a night shot-
A random menu in the iGO Primo software (Which contrary to other commentary is a great piece of software and very user friendly, as well as highly customizable and sophisticated, huge support and the Pioneer AVIC line uses an older version of this software):
I really think this was a great bargain buy with a ton of options at a cheap price. No it is not the quality of an OEM headunit, but for a factory fit and finish there is no greater economical value with the extra options this comes with.
And most importantly, my 3 month old nephew approved.