Mounted 2DIN Pioneer DAB+ headunit in a Hymer Exsis-I

Urs4_2008

Free Member
Aug 12, 2016
266
178
Vestskogen, Norway
Funster No
44,561
MH
Hymer Exsis-I
Exp
Since 2009
Hi, just wanted to share this project since I found little information when I decided to tackle this. Our MH had an older, FMbased Pioneer 1DIN head unit. In Norway, the FM networks are shut down and not active any longer. Last was shut down last December. So to get radio in Norway now, one needs a DAB+ compatible head unit.

I also wanted the option to view DVDs in the front, since the kids used to do this in the previous motorhome. I also would like to get Apple Car Play to get a good integration with our phones.

I have good experiences with Pioneer head units throughout my lifetime, so I ended up buying a AVH-Z5000DAB unit costing about 470 GBP. Then the installation was next.

See a short video of the unit and install here:


The unit unboxed:
pioneer.jpg
 
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Urs4_2008

Urs4_2008

Free Member
Aug 12, 2016
266
178
Vestskogen, Norway
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44,561
MH
Hymer Exsis-I
Exp
Since 2009
To remove the old 1DIN player, just inserted the correct dismantling special tools (had some laying around) and pull the unit out. This Hymer is based on the Fiat Ducato, so the procedure will probably be a bit different on a different based coach. Next, I removed the black, plastic frame along with the 1DIN storage bin above the head unit. Now, there's a big hole where the new unit will be fitted.

The plastic frame has a separator-plastic fitting between the 2 DIN positions, which needs to be gently cut off (careful, it cracks).

The frame looks like this afterwards:
ducato.jpg
 
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Urs4_2008

Urs4_2008

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Aug 12, 2016
266
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Next, I had to figure where to put the new, active DAB+ antennae. It's a glass antennae, and needs access to the vehicle's chassis to work proberly. Inside the Exsis, finding bare metal for the antennae is practically impossible.

It would require large amounts of dismantling to get to the pillar, so another option would be to go for a roof antennae.

exsis i.png


Roof antennae dictates a hole to be made in the roof, and some clever cable hiding, which I wasn't to fond of doing. So I wanted to try the supplied glass antennae:
glassant.jpg

The black "L" on the antennae is a copper tape which needs to get to the car's chassis. I opted to try to just attach (solder) a thin earth cable, and taping this along the existing antennae cable, and attach it to common earth somewhere in the dashboard.

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Urs4_2008

Urs4_2008

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Aug 12, 2016
266
178
Vestskogen, Norway
Funster No
44,561
MH
Hymer Exsis-I
Exp
Since 2009
I also wanted to get an USB cable for charging and running Apple Car Play from the left side (LHD vehicle) of the steering wheel, where there's space for a phone. This meant I had to remove a lot to be able to run the wires hidden in the dash. The easiest way I found was to remove the left, center and right fresh air vents, along with the cooling compartment of the dash and the lid above the instruments. This gave me plenty of access to run the cables and find and connect the ground wire from the antennae.

IMG_3077.jpg
IMG_3078.jpg
IMG_3079.jpg
 
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Urs4_2008

Urs4_2008

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Aug 12, 2016
266
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Vestskogen, Norway
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I ran the USB cable from the head unit towards the left of the vehicle, and exited the dash drilling a hole next to the vent opening. Quite hidden and looks good. In this USB I can connect anything that needs charging (I think it's 1,5 Amp), and also Apple Car Play / Android car something something. I also wanted to reconfigure the existing backup camera, but this was not an easy option, so i did not do this for now.

I had to use the supplied harness since the existing (from the older Pioneer) fitted, but lacked the important handbrake wire (more on that later). So I changed it for the new one supplied in the kit. I had to reconfigure the power setup to get power to the unit and power to the HU's memory.

I got a surprise when trying to play a DVD movie. The following warning appeared as the movie was playing, but no image showing (from another HU, but equal message):
warning.JPG
 
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Urs4_2008

Urs4_2008

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Aug 12, 2016
266
178
Vestskogen, Norway
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Hymer Exsis-I
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There's a lot of information on the Internet regarding this. Some sell a kit with a relay, and provide some instructions of how to do this. I just connected the green cable marked handbrake to ground, and the picture reappeared. :) No kit (or relay) needed.
I would not use a "cable thief" like in this image. Solder and do it right the first time :)
handbrake.JPG

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Urs4_2008

Urs4_2008

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Aug 12, 2016
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Next, I installed the modified (cut) plastic frame, and inserted and fixed the new chassis for the 2DIN head unit. To fix it in place just insert completely and bend the little "ears" in the chassis. Next, all the connections were done on the head unit itself. The USB cable, the FM antennae (other countries have FM still), the new DAB+ antennae, the phone microphone, which I glued to the top of the dashboard next to the steering wheel. Then, it's just a little testing to make sure everything works, before inserting the head unit into the supplied and now mounted chassis.

Finished job (except cleanup) :):

IMG_3061.jpg
IMG_3062.jpg
 
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Urs4_2008

Urs4_2008

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Aug 12, 2016
266
178
Vestskogen, Norway
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I'm happy with the unit, but the Hymer Exsis-I needs more speakers / sub woofers. That's another project for another day :) I have some thoughts already.

The unit is very responsive on the touch screen and the software is quite fast, compared to what I've seen in the past.

Also, the power usage is about 1/3 of previous 2DIN units I've owned, which is great :)
 
Sep 3, 2009
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NW Surrey
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LHD Hymer exsis-i
Not wishing to decry a very useful post, but I would strongly recommend anyone thinking of a Pioneer unit to test it very thoroughly before purchase. I've a AVH-8400BT installed in my T%, and both the screen viewing angle and touch sensitivity of the screen are atrocious. The cheapest Chinese unit couldn't be worse. An expensive lesson.


Malcolm

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Urs4_2008

Urs4_2008

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Aug 12, 2016
266
178
Vestskogen, Norway
Funster No
44,561
MH
Hymer Exsis-I
Exp
Since 2009
Not wishing to decry a very useful post, but I would strongly recommend anyone thinking of a Pioneer unit to test it very thoroughly before purchase. I've a AVH-8400BT installed in my T%, and both the screen viewing angle and touch sensitivity of the screen are atrocious. The cheapest Chinese unit couldn't be worse. An expensive lesson.


Malcolm
This was also an experience I had to some degree with my AVH-3600DAB, but not similar with this unit. I've had cheap stuff before, and they were actually a lot worse than the older unit :)
 
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Urs4_2008

Urs4_2008

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Aug 12, 2016
266
178
Vestskogen, Norway
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Hymer Exsis-I
Exp
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I’ve been on a small trip now, and the glass antennae seems to work ok. Some dark spots somewhere, but I think that’s a feature with DAB+ I will keep the glass antennae until further :)
 
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Urs4_2008

Urs4_2008

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Aug 12, 2016
266
178
Vestskogen, Norway
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44,561
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Hymer Exsis-I
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Since 2009
Report of a roundtrip testing of the internal glass antennae: Mostly good reception, but probably not as good as a roof antennae - which is noticeable in areas with low reception. I will probably test an induction antennae which a whip, which is outside, and doesn't require a hole to be drilled anywhere :)
 
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Urs4_2008

Urs4_2008

Free Member
Aug 12, 2016
266
178
Vestskogen, Norway
Funster No
44,561
MH
Hymer Exsis-I
Exp
Since 2009
Now: off to find better speakers and fit a subwoofer. If anyone has experience with any subwoofers and speakers that might fit the Hymer exsis-i 2016, please share :) The Visaton speakers from factory is not very good.

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