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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, we've had our secondhand 2007 EOS for a few months now and love it - after having fixed the A-piller leaks. Driving home with the roof down makes all the issues of the day disappear.

Just thought I'd let you know about our progress on replacement of the stock MP3 VW radio (RCD 310 I think) with an aftermarket model. I thought I'd give aftermarket a go as I really wanted the ability to have bluetooth phone calls and also to have inbuilt sat nav and be able to play music from sources other than radio and CD. I just couldn't see how VW could be asking AUD 2,000+ for the genuine satnav radio unit when you can buy laptop computers, 50inch tvs etc for half that price.

Anyway, I settled on the Witson W2-D9240V + reversing camera + Aussie Igo map - cost about USD 350. I paid for the unit via Paypal and it arrived at our post office less than a week later. Communications with the Witson sales staff were very prompt. http://www.witson.com/en/displayproduct.html?proID=101304096

The unit was very professionally packed and looked like it would be excellent quality.

I got Strathfield car radios to fit it - $300 so for about $650 I was hoping to have a great touch screen radio unit that would be wife friendly.

Here are my issues / observations so far:

1. Reverse camera works but when connected it stays on all the time - i.e. can't access any radio features. Kind of like the car thinks it is in reverse all the time. The installer at Strathfield thinks it could be a faulty CANBUS module and I've written to Witson asking for a replacement. I hope I can get this fixed - the picture from the reversing camera is amazingly clear not that I've ever reversed into anything before...

FYI the camera fits into one of the number plate lights.

2. Satnav works very well. I've got to say I think I prefer Igo to TomTom but my TomTom is over 5 years old so it's probably not a fair comparison.

3. Bluetooth connection to Iphone works perfectly - every time. Playing music on phone through bluetooth connection works very well.

4. Steering controls work to control radio, answer incoming calls. You can actually reprogram the steering controls through the radio unit if needed.

5. I loaded 10GB (16GB max) of music onto a microsd card (about 100 albums). This works well but I can't seem to select different albums while the car is moving - again this could be a CANBUS issue. There's a bit of a lag as the radio unit needs to load the SD card each time you access it although this only takes 30 seconds or so.

6. Software seems pretty good. Touchscreen is very responsive and works quickly.

7. You can move the icons in much the same way as on an Iphone. This is a bit clunky with icons moving that you didn't want moved etc.

8. For some reason I can't power the unit on without the ignition on. I'm sure with the old VW unit I could switch the radio on at any time. Again, possibly a CANBUS issue.

9. The user manual is pretty basic but does the job. "Chinglish" is not too bad.

10. Radio - no issues.

11. Reflection off the screen is pretty bad in direct sunlight (roof down). I might see if I can buy an antiglare screen protector like you can get for smart phones.

12. The unit fits into the dash as if it were designed by VW. It looks perfect.

In short, I'm pretty happy with the unit although I will be a lot happier once I can resolve the reversing camera issue - it will be interesting to see the aftersales support given by Witson.

Ultimately this unit is a mini computer and like anything that is operated by a Microsoft operating system there will be crashes. There is a little reset button on the front facia (paperclip needed to press it) which will restore everything to factory defaults if it locks up although in two weeks I haven't had to do it yet.

Stay tuned (pardon the pun). I'll let you know how I get on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Reverse camera woes

Well the reverse camera is proving to be a pain in the ####. Strathfield Car Radios installed the radio and camera and tell me something is wrong with the Witson CAN BUS unit. This unit has a reverse signal wire that provides power when reverse is engaged. This reverse wire is what powers the camera. Problem is that the camera always stays on - kind of like the reverse wire is constantly giving a reverse signal.

Witson say to just power the camera from the reverse light in the boot. So yesterday I took a couple of hours [much to my wife's delight] to pull the boot apart and powered the camera from the reverse light (grey / white lead on LH side of boot) with a wire also to earth. All pretty straightforward but alas, I couldn't even get the camera to switch on now.

Would appreciate any ideas anyone may have. I'm stuck in no man's land with the Strathfield installer saying its a Witson CANBUS issue and Witson's expert who hasn't even seen the install saying it hasn't been installed correctly. I guess that's the issue with buying from overseas...

Bluetooth connection to an iphone is also proving a bit clunky where more than one phone are paired to the unit. It then fails to auto pair to either phone needing a new bluetooth connection established, enter pin etc.

Any thoughts on the camera issues would be most appreciated.

BTW, I'm in Sydney Australia.
 

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I might be able to help here having fitted a similar chinese aftermarket unit in my car recently and having fitted aftermarket stereos in almost every car I have ever owned!!

The reverse signal wire from the back of the head unit should be an input not an output, this is normally a signal wire to tell the headunit that reverse is selected and therefore to switch to the camera view. I am surprised you got it to power the camera!

I have my camera (same as yours, a replacement license plate light one) powered from the ignition switched power, this is because my previous Alpine head unit had the option to manually switch to rear camera view as well as auto switching, the new unit does not have that feature so could equally be powered from the reverse lights.

The reverse signal to the head unit can either come also from the reverse lights at the back or do what I did and pick up the reverse light power from under the dash. Tricky to get to but has the desired result.

The reason you are not getting a picture when the camera is powered from the reverse lights is that you don't have a signal to the head unit to tell it that reverse is selected. You would have thought this would come from the CANBUS but even though my headunit gets other info from the CANBUS (like when the lights are on) it does not get the reverse signal from there.

Where in Sydney are you? I am up on the Northern Beaches, happy to take a look one evening or at the weekend if you need some help.

Adam
 

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Hi all, we've had our secondhand 2007 EOS for a few months now and love it - after having fixed the A-piller leaks. Driving home with the roof down makes all the issues of the day disappear.

Just thought I'd let you know about our progress on replacement of the stock MP3 VW radio (RCD 310 I think) with an aftermarket model. I thought I'd give aftermarket a go as I really wanted the ability to have bluetooth phone calls and also to have inbuilt sat nav and be able to play music from sources other than radio and CD. I just couldn't see how VW could be asking AUD 2,000+ for the genuine satnav radio unit when you can buy laptop computers, 50inch tvs etc for half that price.
If a mp4 radio will be better to me, and how do you think about car Mp4 player with FM transmitter? Do you think it can really replace radio?
 

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Reverse camera woes

Hi all, I have the same issue as Stripesmeow. I have a unit with a can-bus decoder that has a reverse-in line emerging from it. The line switches to a +12V voltage when the car is placed in reverse, and down to 0 when it is not. I can power the camera with it when the car is in reverse, but the unit doesn't know it should switch inputs.

It seems to me like it is supposed to be a switched power supply for the camera, and that the head unit should know to switch inputs whenever it receives a signal from the camera, but of course it doesn't work that way.

Having limited knowledge of this type of thing, is it possible that the reverse-in wire could still want an input signal, even though it is +12V at the time of reverse?

Regards :)
 

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Reverse camera woes

Well look at that, right after I posted I got it to work. This specific unit (http://www.witson.com/en/displayproduct.html?proID=101304096) has a can-bus decoder box with a reverse-in line as previously mentioned. It is indeed intended as a swithed power supply for the camera.

After the head unit was unplugged for a while, I plugged it back in, with the reverse-in on the v+ line of the camera and the video feed plugged in. It went into reverse mode even though the head unit was off. When the head unit was turned on, it wouldn't switch to reverse mode until I toggled a setting (radar enabled) to off in the options screen.

Works like a charm.

Regards :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi clydefr0g, Witson told me also to switch the 'radar' to off - whatever that is. I've tried switching it off but still have the same issue with the camera staying turned on even when not in reverse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi clydefr0g, Witson told me also to switch the 'radar' to off - whatever that is. I've tried switching it off but still have the same issue with the camera staying turned on even when not in reverse.
I should clarify that what I mean is that the reverse camera image stays displayed on the head unit and can only be turned off by removing the power from the camera or unplugging the camera video input lead.
 

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Ah ha! Based on what you have both described I now understand what Witson have done. They have employed the same technique to detecting reverse is selected as a lot of manufacturers use to detect if the park brake is on or not (for preventing video playback unless the car is parked).

The reverse line is a +ve output but it is designed to be connected to the battery side of the reverse switch. When reverse is not selected then the reverse switch is open so there is no drain to ground and therefore no current flow. When reverse is selected there is a path to ground through the switch and the reverse lights, resulting in a current flow.

By connecting the camera to this reverse signal wire you certainly can power the camera but there will be a constant drain to ground through the camera. Therefore the unit thinks reverse is selected and switches the display to the video signal. Hence it is on all the time!

What you need to do is find the reverse power line on the battery side of the reverse switch and connect the reverse signal wire from the head unit to it. Probably the best place to find that is at the fuse box if you can identify the fuse for the reverse lights, be careful though, if that fuse is shared by other lights you can't use that point to connect it. You will also need to power the camera separately, either from the reverse light power on the light side of the switch or from an ignition switched source.

If it is too hard to find the battery side of the reverse switch then you may need to install a switch which you can use to manually select the camera, not very elegant though.

I hope that helps.

Adam
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Camera reverse wire

Hi Adam,

What do you think about connecting the reverse lead wire from the Witson to the reverse signal (C12) per your post in this thread: http://www.vweosclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5126.

I could then power the camera from the 12v line going into the Witson unit?

Gee, I think I'll be coming to visit you with a case of beer when my wife takes off to the UK in a few weeks! Chris
 

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Hi Chris,

No that would not work. That feed is on the light side of the switch so if you connect the reverse signal wire from the unit to there it will not only think that reverse is selected all the time (because it goes to earth through the lights and your camera) but also the reverse light will be powered on too!!

You must attach that reverse signal wire to the battery side of the reverse switch so that when reverse is not selected there is no path to ground (the switch is open).

The C12 connection is a good spot to get a +ve signal for units like mine that are looking for a +ve on the signal wire but this will not work for units like the Witson where they are looking for a current flow to ground.

Is the reverse light on its own fuse? If it is then the fuse box would be the best place to get the connection you need.

Adam
 

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Camera? Do you need it?

Question: I too have been looking to replace my 2007 EOS factory installed radio. The one you chose looks awesome and i am hoping it is available in the US. I will need to find someone to install it obviously, i cant do that stuff!

I was wondering though, with the problems you had with the back up camera. Can you have it installed without it? I mean, everything else sounds good, so can i just ask to have it not installed?

Or i could read though all the posts here to try to fix it, but i honestly dont need it although it would be cool to have.

Thanks in advance.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Witson car radio - reverse camera

Hi Mark,

I bought the radio direct from Witson - you can buy direct from the manufacturer so I wouldn't bother trying to find a local retailer. I'm sure they'll ship direct to you in the US. Just send them an email and they'll quote a price delivered to your door. http://www.witson.com/en/products.html

Re the camera, I've kind of lost interest in it and disconnected it. I got the camera because it only cost $30 so in answer to your question, just don't buy the camera and then you won't need to worry about installing it. Also, the radio installation cost will be a lot cheaper because there's probably a couple of hours of labour in running the camera wires from the radio to the back of the car.

Just buy the radio from Witson and take it to your local car radio store for installation. Easy.

All in all I'm reasonably happy with the radio. It has its bugs (like only being able to connect one blue tooth device) but I'm sure the genuine VW unit at $2000+ will also have its issues. At about a quarter of the price of the genuine unit I really doubt that the VW genuine unit would be 4 times better than the Witson. With the money saved you could buy a 50" LCD tv and probably still have change!!

A couple of updates on the unit after having used it now for several months:

1. As mentioned above, if I pair my wife's iphone with the unit it works fine. If I also pair my phone it fails to recognise it until I remove my wife's phone from the radio's memory. Easy enough to do but a bit of a pain. Would have been great if both our phones could be paired at the same time but no luck here.

2. Each time you turn on the radio and want to play music from the SD card it takes about a minute for the radio to retrieve the data from the SD card. Not sure why it needs to do this if the card hasn't been removed. A bit of a pain but not the end of the world.

3. As indicated in my original post, once the car is moving you can't select music from the SD card by using the touch screen. I've grounded the 'handbrake' wire on the unit by connecting it up to the black 'ground' wire and this has fixed this issue not that I advocate the car driver watching movies or using the touch screen while the vehicle is in motion!

4. Sat nav works great.

5. Radio works great although doesn't show name of song being played.

6. All in all the Witson unit has passed the 'wife test'.

7. After sales service from Witson speaking 'Chinglish' is pretty average at best.

8. DVD player works fine for music. Haven't bothered playing a movie DVD yet.

9. No software issues. Haven't needed to do a hard reset of the unit at all.

10. Playing music from Iphone / Ipod works really well. Phone charges while plugged in.

Hope this is helpful for everyone.
Good luck - Chris
 

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Does your car have steering wheel controls?

My 2009 Komfort doesn't have that-- can I still use this unit?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yes, mine has steering wheel controls. I guess it wouldn't matter if you didn't have steering controls - you just wouldn't connect the steering interface on the radio. You can control every function manually on the unit so you don't necessarily need the steering control. Best check with Witson though.
 

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Not being able to answer a call is my biggest gripe with the official vw bluetooth kit I have in my car. When a call comes in, it interrupts the music and rings on the speakers. I then have to pull the phone out of my pocket to answer it, and then I can use the blue tooth mike and the speakers to do the call.

I have a komfort, and steering wheel buttons weren't available. I had hoped/assumed that I'd be able to hit an "answer call" button on the radio itself-- but that's not an option on the RCD 510.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
When a call comes in on the Witson the music stops and the phone rings through the speakers. You can accept or reject the call on either the radio's buttons or its touch screen so there are no issues if you don't have steering controls.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Witson supply the satnav map for about $20. Yes, the unit has lots of possibilities but I guess the risk is that some of these 'possibilities' are going to work better than others. No-one should kid themselves that the Witson software on a $300 unit is going to get Apple / Microsoft levels of testing.
 
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