Volkswagen Eos Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our OEM radio still works but the LCD display cannot be seen and is mostly burnt out, its slightly visible driving at night with the interior lights on. Overall still very happy with the sound and I don't think we have a Dynaudio system but it does crank up and has the multiple 6 CD disk changer. I could get a used OEM radio but want to step up and have bluetooth availablity for our Iphones. I did some searching on this site and others and viewed several head units via Crutchfield but cannot seem to confirm a new head unit will be able to utilize the stock 6 CD changer? We still play quite a few CDs in the vehicle and would like to keep this option available unless it really is not worth it. If anyone knows or has a recommendation please let me know thanks.
 

·
Life is good... so far
Joined
·
1,182 Posts
To determine if you have Dyn Audio, there will be Dyn Audio logos on the speaker grilles on the doors. If you do have Dyn Audio conversion is much more difficult. If you do a search, you should find several excellent postings to help answer many of the questions you have. The cd changer, if separate from the head unit, is not likely to be compatible without major modifications. If you are going to a newer head unit, it is likely to have Bluetooth, Apple and Google Car play functions. It may also have SD card slots or USB ports. Would make it a good time to convert your CDs to MP3 files to load to your phone or memory card.
 

·
Registered
2008 Volkswagen VR6 Eos
Joined
·
593 Posts
If you want to keep the OEM changer, you will need to install a OEM headunit. If you go aftermarket, most likely it will have Apple Car Play/Android Auto and Bluetooth. My suggestion is either rip your CD's to MP3's and load the MP3's on your phone and stream to your new headunit that way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Confirmed no dynaudio logo on the speaker cover...and after reading both comments probably resigned to not use the 6 CD changer...looked at a few old posts after searching a bit but will keep reading, thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Our OEM radio still works but the LCD display cannot be seen and is mostly burnt out, its slightly visible driving at night with the interior lights on. Overall still very happy with the sound and I don't think we have a Dynaudio system but it does crank up and has the multiple 6 CD disk changer. I could get a used OEM radio but want to step up and have bluetooth availablity for our Iphones. I did some searching on this site and others and viewed several head units via Crutchfield but cannot seem to confirm a new head unit will be able to utilize the stock 6 CD changer? We still play quite a few CDs in the vehicle and would like to keep this option available unless it really is not worth it. If anyone knows or has a recommendation please let me know thanks.
hi...just a heads up, i bought my 3.2 eos which came with a aftermarket unit........the bloody thing does not power off and hence drains the battery (battery is another long story). in the end i had to replace the complete unit but this time the installer made sure it powers off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,066 Posts
The common problem with Chinese sourced head units is their CANbus compatibility or emulation (copying) of the V.W CAN control functions in their case. People forget when they have a genuine V.W radio it will be CANbus compatible with the rest of the car (and CD unit), including any later control unit updates which V.W may do and not tell you about when your car goes near them for a service. If there's an update for the radio control module, it may also require the radio to be updated and V.W can't do that. Most Chinese headunits are sold for Golf and Passat cars. They will probably have tested them well for those models in their biggest market, but you cannot assume the EOS is using the same CAN commands.

If you have a genuine V.W radio and scan its controller (Module 56) you should get no faults flagged. If you then go into the testing section of diagnostics you can run a test routine that 'pings' a tone around each speaker to test it. Diagnostics will also tell you if a speaker lead is disconnected or a speaker is faulty. Another tricky area can be steering wheel controls. Some claim to be compatible but may not work after you bought it. A Chinese clone radio may not have these V.W proprietary embedded software functions, they would have to exactly copy the EOS radio CANbus controller chip and firmware for the EOS.

Chinese head units sold under the same model or brand name are not all the same, even though their marketing may suggest they are! They are built from several circuit boards for different options and markets, then assembled inside the 'box'. They can come from many different Chinese manufacturers.

I've no personal experience of Pioneer, but it was the only aftermarket head unit which my local V.W stealer would offer to install a few years back.

I have an older model Chinese head unit. I like it for all the facilities at the price, even though I always get a radio module 56 error and a Gateway error. I don't have a multi function steering wheel and the radio only position on the ignition switch doesn't work. If you can live without these functions, the most you should expect is it intercepts the ignition switch 'on' CAN command and turns on/off the radio which mine does.

If you want all the functions of a modern Android head unit without battery drain problems the alternative is to buy an addon unit that picks up a power on line and generates a compatible power on CAN command to the radio. These addons are popular for people with older cars that don't have CAN controls. It essentially turns the radio into a manual unit. You can then disable the radio control module 56 with diagnostics so it won't be seen on autoscans and radio battery drain should never be a problem..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Some great information on this forum--after a TON of reading and reviewing the Chinese VW knock off radios from a variety of sources I finally decided to just go with a Pioneer model, I really do not want to purchase anything that is being shipped form China at this time and frankly was concerned if I have a problem with the unit and need service or want to return it. There were definitely some advantages to those units with features and such but just too many issues for me.

So that led me down the Pioneer HU route as a few other club members installed Pioneer's with success. Member 2phast came out with some threads and some awesome youtube videos last summer installing a Pioneer DMH-1500NEX and another member GrahamCracker50 installed a similar 4100NEX unit in 2015 with a great thread with links and photos. So I looked at multiple Pioneer units that offered CD, bluetooth, apple carplay, etc and just ordered the AVH-1550 NEX which is really the same radio as the 1500 but with CD/DVD drive. Pricey at $445 on Amazon and the HU is discontinued as it is a few years old. The next model up is the 2550 for $550 or so but not much more to it except it offers Android compatability and HD radio stations. My EOS does not have the steering wheel controls so really no reason to add the idatalink wiring harness at all, just a Metra harness which I also just ordered along with the special antenna harness. Hopefully it won't be too difficult to install, I have done a few radio installations but this one is rather unique.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,066 Posts
I think you should get better support from Pioneer than the 'Box movers' in China. I'd be very interested to know which model you install and how it looks after an auto diagnostics scan (Radio Module 56).

One thing I didn't mention in my reply is antenna support differences between the V.W OE radios and the Chinese clones. V.W use a very clever intermediate frequency antenna diversity system for FM based on a special Philips chip requiring 2 antenna inputs - one to each of the Fakra sockets. It's more important for the EOS because the antennae choice is either the heated rear window or top down it's a trunk lid mounted antenna. Top up, the radio is able to select the best signal and switch antennas so fast you hear no glitches. I don't know if Pioneer incorporate something similar but if so it's worth paying the extra for. Don't waste money on a cheap 2 into 1 Fakra adaptor - it's only a couple of cables with connectors and resistors - useless!

I didn't know they were still available with a CD drive which is something you could live without to get a larger screen if there were sockets for USB flash? I would also look at what processor and speed it runs at. When you stream music and run satnav + phone BT that's a lot of application load. If they throttle back the cpu for multi tasking it can slow down satnav map screen refresh. It's not always obvious until you drive into a tunnel or switch on the satnav some miles from your last location. Many of the Chinese Androids are running 1200 mHz plus on dual and quad core cpus but their heat sinks and cooling aren't always adequate.
 

·
Registered
2008 Volkswagen VR6 Eos
Joined
·
593 Posts
I think you should get better support from Pioneer than the 'Box movers' in China. I'd be very interested to know which model you install and how it looks after an auto diagnostics scan (Radio Module 56).

One thing I didn't mention in my reply is antenna support differences between the V.W OE radios and the Chinese clones. V.W use a very clever intermediate frequency antenna diversity system for FM based on a special Philips chip requiring 2 antenna inputs - one to each of the Fakra sockets. It's more important for the EOS because the antennae choice is either the heated rear window or top down it's a trunk lid mounted antenna. Top up, the radio is able to select the best signal and switch antennas so fast you hear no glitches. I don't know if Pioneer incorporate something similar but if so it's worth paying the extra for. Don't waste money on a cheap 2 into 1 Fakra adaptor - it's only a couple of cables with connectors and resistors - useless!

I didn't know they were still available with a CD drive which is something you could live without to get a larger screen if there were sockets for USB flash? I would also look at what processor and speed it runs at. When you stream music and run satnav + phone BT that's a lot of application load. If they throttle back the cpu for multi tasking it can slow down satnav map screen refresh. It's not always obvious until you drive into a tunnel or switch on the satnav some miles from your last location. Many of the Chinese Androids are running 1200 mHz plus on dual and quad core cpus but their heat sinks and cooling aren't always adequate.
There are no aftermarket radios I am aware of that accept two antenna inputs. I used a amplified two into one adapter, which was recommended by Crutchfield, but it was not 100% compatible and required a bit of modification to make it work. I can't claim its a perfect solution as I don't really listen to the over the air radio, I steam via Radio.net using Apple Car Play. My initial tests did net good radio reception but I did not test with the roof down.

The Pioneer head units in question are not top tier, that is, they don't come with digital radio or GPS, which really isn't needed anyway. They do offer some of the best features and internal power output, especially at these price points. The only downside is visibility of the screen with the top down and the sun shinning on it. You will need to crank up the brightness and install a UV filter/screen protector to help with visibility, still not a 100% fix though.

On older model MK5's aftermarket radios can cause battery drain issues. The canbus simulator or in the case of the Pioneer, the Idatalink Maestro solves these issues along with giving you radio button control (if applicable) and a ODBII plug in that will provide diagnostic information about your vehicle on the radio screen. Climate control data, TPMS data, MFD display info (only on white MFD displays), backup sensor data and a couple of other features Idatalink claims you get, do not work on the MK5 platform though.

 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,066 Posts
There are no aftermarket radios I am aware of that accept two antenna inputs
I had to find a partial schematic for my old V.W radio to discover how they did the diversity and understand the widely discussed Fakra inputs. For anybody with wireless design knowledge, it's smart and true antennae diversity done at i.f in a Phillips custom chip. The Fakra 2 into 1 adaptors you see all over Fleabay are just simple resistive combiners with a 3-6dB power loss on each port. Not only does that degrade the signal to noise ratio of reception, but it introduces phase cancellation of signals. Many don't realise how bad these are because they drive in strong signal locations. But drive a long distances across the boundaries of weak reception and the radio will drop out sooner.

In U.K FM is still the most reliable on signal strength coverage, DAB for mobile is slowly getting there but not yet. The frequency bands for both are similar and true diversity done the v.W way would still help. Nobody listens to A.M anymore which tends to be blocked out by digital interference from inside the car. Personally, I play music from USB sticks which has no interference.

My old RCD300 was consigned to storage when I replaced it with a Chinese unit. I've attached the V.W SSP of the day which explains how their diversity works.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
There are no aftermarket radios I am aware of that accept two antenna inputs. I used a amplified two into one adapter, which was recommended by Crutchfield, but it was not 100% compatible and required a bit of modification to make it work. I can't claim its a perfect solution as I don't really listen to the over the air radio, I steam via Radio.net using Apple Car Play. My initial tests did net good radio reception but I did not test with the roof down.

The Pioneer head units in question are not top tier, that is, they don't come with digital radio or GPS, which really isn't needed anyway. They do offer some of the best features and internal power output, especially at these price points. The only downside is visibility of the screen with the top down and the sun shinning on it. You will need to crank up the brightness and install a UV filter/screen protector to help with visibility, still not a 100% fix though.

On older model MK5's aftermarket radios can cause battery drain issues. The canbus simulator or in the case of the Pioneer, the Idatalink Maestro solves these issues along with giving you radio button control (if applicable) and a ODBII plug in that will provide diagnostic information about your vehicle on the radio screen. Climate control data, TPMS data, MFD display info (only on white MFD displays), backup sensor data and a couple of other features Idatalink claims you get, do not work on the MK5 platform though.

Thanks so much for the antenna mods/pics, that is the same part that I ordered/received and will make a few cuts like you did so it can fit on the new HU. I also was not aware of radio.net and will definitely check that out once I get everything installed. I have had a few other Pioneers in my past and look forward to this new HU. I did look at other brands but was concerned they may not work well with the EOS and its issues. Will definitely look out for the brightness issue as well. The other poster from 2015 installation used a single Fakra and mentioned he had no radio signal issues at all.

My 09 EOS does not have the steering wheel controls so hopefully will not have any issues using the Metra adapter I just received, from what I gather this should work as the other poster from 2015 also had an 09 EOS and used the same adapter with his Pioneer 4100NEX. Also my MFD is red so really no advantage that I know to use the idatalinkmaestro. Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
2008 Volkswagen VR6 Eos
Joined
·
593 Posts
Thanks so much for the antenna mods/pics, that is the same part that I ordered/received and will make a few cuts like you did so it can fit on the new HU. I also was not aware of radio.net and will definitely check that out once I get everything installed. I have had a few other Pioneers in my past and look forward to this new HU. I did look at other brands but was concerned they may not work well with the EOS and its issues. Will definitely look out for the brightness issue as well. The other poster from 2015 installation used a single Fakra and mentioned he had no radio signal issues at all.

My 09 EOS does not have the steering wheel controls so hopefully will not have any issues using the Metra adapter I just received, from what I gather this should work as the other poster from 2015 also had an 09 EOS and used the same adapter with his Pioneer 4100NEX. Also my MFD is red so really no advantage that I know to use the idatalinkmaestro. Thanks again!
You don't need to use both antennas FWIW. When I ran a RCD330, I used the trunk mounted antenna only and it worked fine with the top up and down. You wouldn't want to use the top antenna by itselff, as the reception is compromised when you lower the top (hence why there are two antennas). Vox knows more about that system than I do though.

Correct, with the red MFD, you don't get any display data on it, but you still get the canbus functionality and ODBII interface, but the big sell point is steering wheel control integration and button programmability. What you also don't get is track select, as the right side buttons control the MFD. The canbus interface for the RCD330 gave you track select from the right side buttons but at the same time, it also controlled the MFD display, so as you switched tracks, your MFD display changed at the same time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,066 Posts
For local FM reception you will only discover the antenna senistivity problem (top down) when you are in a weaker signal area. Compared to digital which pops and splurges on a weak signal, FM analogue holds better until you reach the cliff edge of low signal. If FM signals are strong in the area you drive, you won't discover the antenna problem. That's why what may work for one and be recommended, doesn't work for everybody.

A single whip external antenna has always worked the best for me on previous cars because it was ideal - A long whip mounted on a metal fender used as the ground plane and screened from the ignition. I looked at an external antenna for the EOS and the only place where I think it might work cosmetically is in the center at the top of the windshield - but it means making a hole and I chickened out doing it. I tested several printed internally mounted antennae with a pre-amp and they don't work well.

As far as the rear screen antenna goes, it relies on all the heated strips connected. Radio reception can degrade if due to excessive condensation, some strips become corroded and broken.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Once again great information! Unfortunately the antenna part that was shipped was the wrong one, I received Metra EU55 (single Fakra) and not the EU56 (dual Fakra). Apparently the part was mislabeled on the bar code as EU-56 but it really is not, I am returning that and I reordered the same part and hopefully the correct one will arrive today but just in case I end up with just the single Fakra how can I tell which antenna goes to the trunk? Guess just pulling on the cable itself and see where it goes?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,066 Posts
Both go into the trunk lid! Well they go into a V.W box behind the lid lining. Therein is a point because when I was looking into this ages ago, I think that's an active pre-amp and the radio may have a software switch option to send 12 volts down the antenna cable? It's also something to think about with the Ebay Fakra combiner junk because some can pass the d.c power and some cannot.

If you are curious, you can lift the lid liner away (a few poppers and 2 hidden screws). Haven't tried it, but raise the top, unwrap a roll of kitchen foil over the top of the lid and try to tune the weakest FM station you can find. The Fakra antenna cable working the best should then be the heated rear window. Lower the top into the trunk and with the kitchen foil across the top of the lid with both antennae shielded, reception of a weak station should be poor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So the new radio was delivered Saturday and I took the time to connect both the new Metra harness and the radio harness. Then took my new hard plastic pry tool and took the silver bezel off without any issues. I was then able to get the OEM HU out aftere removing the 4 Torx screws and I disconnect the main wire harness and 2 Fakra antenna cables. I had ordered a fairly basic Metra faceplate and attached that to the new radio. I still have not received the dual Fakra antenna kit so went and plugged in the single Fakra to the new radio. I read several posts where the advice was to initialize the new wire harness to the vehicle first so I closed the doors and plugged in my new harness to the car main wiring harness and turned the key to the ACC position but did not start the car, waited about a minute and turned the key off and removed it. I then plugged in the new radio and turned the key on, it began to power up but not actually turn on but pressed the on button for a few seconds and it came on. Thankfully it works, at least most functions so far. FM reception is fine using the single cable and I tried connecting it to each of the car antenna cables but am getting no AM which isn't huge but would like to be able to get it so at this point I am stuck waiting for the new antenna part to arrive, I may just go get it at a local Best Buy. We did take the car on a nice road trip with the top down yesterday and it was a blast cranking the tunes, so far really enjoy the new Pioneer HU. Hopefully it will be fully installed soon. Thanks again for all the tips and advice, really excited for this new addition for our Eos.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So I went and picked up the dual Fakra antenna harnes, trimmed it a bit as it does not fit the car's antenna cables, basically FM radio tunes infine, AM zippo in the garage. Pulled the car into the driveway and it barely pulls in a station I had no issues with previously using the OEM radio. Not sure if any AM booster or anything is worthwhile, guessing not, oh well. Still happy with the radio and will hopefully get it fully installed in the next day or so.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,066 Posts
A car radio designed by the car manufacturer has several components matched together in a system to make it all work. If you buy aftermarket parts without understanding what the manufacturer did you can't expect the same performance. As I explained, radio performance isn't just tunes you get out in your garage, it's the experience when actually driving.

Satnav reception is the same. You might get locks to several GPS satellites in your driveway, but fewer when driving about.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
FIXED IT! I did not know the Fakra harness came with an inline amplifier as there were no written instructions on how to rig it up to the receiver. I had it all plugged in as a regular antenna would be but it also came with a blue wire attached to a small narrow amp and I did not touch that. Started doing some research on the part and thankfully found a few reviews where it was noted to connect the blue wire to a power wire---checked the Pioneer wiring description and it stated the blue/white wire is connected to system control of power amp with 300 mA 12 V DC. I do not use a separate amp so this wire was not connected at all. Connected blue to blue/white and my AM now brings in a few stations yay!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
We are really enjoying the new head unit but it is a bit tough to see in direct sunlight with the top down, not impossible but it could be better with anti-glare sheet so just ordered Tuff Protect anti-glare sheet for this specific radio, hopefully will help.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top