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Old 9th September 2014, 02:01   #106
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Default Pioneer 8590BT AppRadio Connectivity....Mystery Solved!

I recently did a small addition to the music system which has opened up a lot of new possibilities with the Pioneer 8590BT head unit. I thought it might benefit a lot of folks who are running the Pioneer systems with AppRadio features and hence sharing whatever I've learnt so far. Pardon me for the long post!

It's been almost a year since we installed the HU but never got to experience the Appradio functionality since we didn't buy the required cable at the time of first install. It was going to cost me about 5-6K additional, so I decided to defer that decision until I was convinced about which one to buy. Now, the unit needs different set of connection kits if you have the iphone 4 (IU201S) vs iphone 5 (IH202) vs android (AH-200) and all of them cost around $50-60 with the exception of IH202 which needs additional Lightning to digital AV adapter which is about $50 more. Once connected, it's not an easy affair to swap the cables since they're connected at the back of the HU, so you need to make a choice on which one you're going to install.

IU201S for iPhone 4/4s - uses RGB connection + USB for power
Toyota Fortune-Her: A ride for the wife & maybe for life!-iu201s.jpg

IH202 for iPhone 5/5s - Need to purchase the Lightning to DV adapter separately + Lightning to USB cable
Toyota Fortune-Her: A ride for the wife & maybe for life!-ih202.jpg

AH-200 for Android phones with MHL - includes everything you'd need
Toyota Fortune-Her: A ride for the wife & maybe for life!-ah200.jpg

My wife uses the iPhone5 and I'm using the N7100 (we're so alike you see!), so the big question was which one to get. Somehow, I didn't feel like spending $60-$100 on a cable kit but the AppRadio was one of the top reasons why I had bought the 8590BT unit apart from the 3 RCA (4V) pre-outs which was #1 reason. I wanted to be able to use the navigation feature on the HU with Google Maps rather than the conventional systems that have navigation modules with MMI.

I tried exploring cheaper alternatives but there weren't any readily available, until the day I really studied what that damn kit was supposed to do. And what I found was quite surprising! All that the connection kit does, is connect your phone to an external display device which could be your TV or a touchscreen interface and provide power the phone so it can be charged when connected. The existing documentation tries to confuse you with all sorts of jargons, but essentially there is one HDMI/RGB cable that communicates bi-directionally for the screen information, and another one that connects to a USB power source so that the phone doesn't get drained when connected. The audio streaming is via BlueTooth and the cables have no role to play here. The mirrorlink is achieved via the AppRadio app that allows the HU to make some of the compatible applications interactive on the screen like maps, or phone book etc.

The iPhone5 connection kit was turning out to be quite an expensive affair with more than $100 of hardware, plus it needed some firmware upgrade etc on the HU to make it work. The main purpose of enabling connectivity was getting the navigation app to work, and that would be mostly needed when we're traveling out. So even if we got it done for the android phone, it was still a good deal. The decision had been made, android it was going to be!

Connection diagrams for iPhone and Android (from the manual)
Toyota Fortune-Her: A ride for the wife & maybe for life!-connection-diagram.jpg

The connection kit for android basically has a HDMI-HDMI cable, a HDMI to micro HDMI connection, a USB to USB cable and another USB to micro-USB connector and a MHL adapter that basically takes the HDMI and the USB input and combines them both into a single micro-USB connection that goes into the phone. The phone can now output on the HDMI and receive power from the USB connection. Now, I figured that all of this can be done with the help of just one single cable - MHL Micro USB to HDMI Adapter cable sold on ebay.in for about 400-450 INR (one of the several wonders from China!). It was time to put my theory to test.

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The cable was ordered and was promptly delivered, it said it was specific to the Samsung S4 or Note2, but I'm sure it will work with most Samsung phones that support MHL. It comes with a HDMI + USB port on one end and a micro-USB port on the other side. I connected the HDMI and USB into the TV and plugged in the micro-USB into the phone in anticipation of a miracle, but nothing happened! Several tries resulted in absolute blankness, the HDMI output was not being recognized by the TV at all. What a waste I thought, but it was an experiment, so my chances were anyway 50-50. The idea was put to rest and the decision to buy the AH-200 was being reviewed again.

A few days later it struck me that maybe it was my phone that was a problem and not the cable. I run a custom OS and not every functionality works with these "home-cooked" ROMs. So I summoned a friend who also has the N7100 to check the connection with the stock ROM, and voila, it worked with his phone! The HDMI out was able to display the phone's screen on the TV, the cable was worth the money afterall.

So now the issue was that my phone which wasn't compatible with MHL, a new hunt had begun to get a custom ROM that allowed MHL connections. Apparently, Samsung has not released the drivers for MHL and so the developer community can't get it to work on their custom ROMs. A new plan was devised to install the official Samsung KitKat ROM that was released for the N7100 and then root it and customize it to the way I want it, rather than installing a custom ROM directly. This way, I would have the drivers for MHL that come with the custom ROM and I'll still be able to get rid of all the bloatware etc and modify the device as per my needs. It wasn't an easy decision since I was pretty much in love with the ROM I had, but somewhere a sacrifice had to be made.

I installed the official Samsung ROM and tested the connectivity with the TV and it worked, then slowly and steadily I kept checking the functionality at every step as I rooted the phone and deleted most of the bloatware etc that comes with Samsung, and it still worked!

Toyota Fortune-Her: A ride for the wife & maybe for life!-screenshot_20140909005708.png

So now, I had a phone that I could use with the HU. Next step was to get the cable installed which was done promptly in under 20 mins by my dear friends at AutoShop (Koramangala). Checked for functionality and it worked just fine. Felt pretty happy that I was able to get it running at about 1/10th the cost even if I would have gotten the cables from the US.

Will put up a detailed review on the Appradio functionality and AR Unchained once I get some time to play around with it. With the AR Unchained app, I should be able to use almost all the apps without any restrictions unlike the Pioneer AppRadio application. Hopefully, now I'll be able to enjoy the HU to its full potential without burning a hole in the pocket.

PS> Images used for illustration purpose only. Copyrights belong to the respective owners/websites.
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Old 9th September 2014, 02:33   #107
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Default Re: Toyota Fortune-Her: A ride for the wife & maybe for life!

Quote:
Originally Posted by amolpol View Post
The service centers are always crowded like a bus stop, good for them, but bad for the owners who have to hunt for a place even to wait.
Certainly not the case with Viva Toyota where I visit. They have ample seating facilities, and the impressive part is that the side facing towards the service area is purely made of glass - making it easy to see the service in progress.

It is on the new airport road and should be a good distance away from the city for other customers though.
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Old 12th September 2014, 10:30   #108
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Default Pioneer Appradio woes - damn thing wont work!

Good for you , it's just too far for me to even try!
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Certainly not the case with Viva Toyota where I visit.

It is on the new airport road and should be a good distance away from the city for other customers though.

On the Pioneer Appradio connectivity update, luck hasn't been on my side too much. I couldn't get it to work properly when I tried to connect the other day. All that sense of accomplishment with a 400 buck cable and the notional savings associated with it etc, started fading as I hopelessly tried every trick I could think of.

It was working but losing connectivity quite often and then I had to go through the whole connection process again. So it's not that the cable is completely broken or incompatible. The issue is, I didn't know if it was my phone, or the cable, or the app, or the unit itself that was causing the dysfunctional behavior. So, to isolate the problem, I tried the elimination process.
  • First: I tried removing the Appradio Unchained application and going back to the stock Pioneer app - worked but with very limited improvement
  • Second: I tried the limited time ARLiberator application (mind you the full version costs about $30) but this too didn't seem to work
  • Third: This was the most painful one. I reset my phone completely, back to the stock unrooted 4.4.2 firmware that is supplied by Samsung. This did help a bit and I was able to keep the connection going for much longer, but it was still dropping once in 15-20 mins. Also, I couldn't get the Google Maps to get a fix on my location, so although I could get the map mirrored on the screen, it wasn't moving with the car.

Finally, I gave up! Didn't seem worth the time to try more troubleshooting options, one of them was testing the setup with original Samsung MHL adapter instead of the cheap Chinese solution I have. Not sure if there are happy campers out there who are effortlessly using the Appradio on the 8590BT. I'd love to hear back from you wherever you are!

So for now, the efforts to get Appradio working have been put on hold. I can still connect my phone and use the screen like a projector to see the map while navigating (without using the Appradio interface). So I'm going to try living with that until the next breakthrough happens.

Lesson learnt -
  • Good things don't usually come for cheap (let alone free!).
  • Things may not be as simple as they seem. (there may be a similar murphy's law as well)
  • If you're using a non-standard OS, don't think that the world loves you and that inter-device connectivity will be seamless!
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Old 7th December 2014, 13:21   #109
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Default 30000kms update

It has been 14 months now and before we knew, the T-fort has already clocked about 31500 kilometers as of today. Last week it was due for the 10k interval service and here's a list of the work that was done:

- Regular service for 30k kms, synthetic oil replacement with oil filter and fuel filter change
- This time the ASC also replaced the air filter and the a/c filter and it has made a huge difference in the pickup as well as the cooling inside the cabin.
- The brake pads still had about 4mm left on them which could have lasted another 5-7k kms, however there was some juddering at high speeds (maybe because of uneven wear). So I got them to replace the pads and now there's no more issues.
- The only pending issue is a small squeaky sound coming from the dashboard which I haven't been able to isolate. The ASC guys don't want to open the dash since there's a risk that it may start up a series of squeaks (I'm with them on this). It's actually not too bad and is only experienced on bad roads, so I'm going to leave it alone for now.
- Cleaning was a bit of an issue with some water marks seen on the lower parts of the car. The dealership has offered another round of free cleaning to make up for it, hopefully that should take care of things.

Total bill was about 17k including parts and labor of which about 8-9k was for the filters and brake pads. Not bad considering that this was my first bill that crossed 10k.

Other than that, there's absolutely no issues with the beast. It runs and runs and does that very effortlessly. Now that's a bit boring in my opinion but with a jeep to maintain alongside, I'm not complaining!

To end on a happy note, here are a few shots of the beast from our trip to Goa.

Toyota Fortune-Her: A ride for the wife & maybe for life!-15447236137_802b22352f_h.jpg

Toyota Fortune-Her: A ride for the wife & maybe for life!-15609517446_699cecf9fe_h.jpg

Toyota Fortune-Her: A ride for the wife & maybe for life!-15633208855_ee96de32f1_h.jpg

Toyota Fortune-Her: A ride for the wife & maybe for life!-15447645680_4257d0b611_h.jpg

Toyota Fortune-Her: A ride for the wife & maybe for life!-15634071502_f8b3908407_h.jpg

Toyota Fortune-Her: A ride for the wife & maybe for life!-15447997057_3a30efad37_h.jpg
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Old 7th December 2014, 20:28   #110
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Default

Hey Amol
Have you ever felt the vsc getting triggered ? Wanted to know more about the vsc behaviour of the fortuner, when does it start to beep ?
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Old 22nd January 2015, 12:30   #111
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Default 39000 kms munched!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dean5545 View Post
Hey Amol
Have you ever felt the vsc getting triggered ? Wanted to know more about the vsc behaviour of the fortuner, when does it start to beep ?
Havent noticed the VSC flashing/beeping as yet, maybe I'm not taking enough risks eh!

The beast had gotten serviced in December as it touched 31500kms and it's soon going to be due for the next service with 39000kms on the odo currently. Yeah, you read that right! We drove about 7000kms in December, and most of it was totally unplanned, "just sit in and drive" type of a trip. Keep a lookout for my travelogue....coming soon!

One thing I must acknowledge is that with the T-fort I don't have to worry about a thorough readiness check before a long trip like how I used to do for my Safari. In all these 15 months, all that I'm troubled with is a small squeak from inside the dash somewhere, that's about it. And that too it happens only when going over some really bad roads at decently high speeds, whereas with my Safari I had to get a mental checklist ready for the SA before dropping the car to the service center.

For now, enjoy the view we had in our trip to the mountains while I prepare for the travelogue. Will post a more comprehensive update post the 40k service.

Toyota Fortune-Her: A ride for the wife & maybe for life!-tfortsnow.jpg

Toyota Fortune-Her: A ride for the wife & maybe for life!-tfort3.jpg
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Old 22nd January 2015, 15:21   #112
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Default Re: 39000 kms munched!

Quote:
Originally Posted by amolpol View Post
to be due for the next service with 39000kms on the odo currently

I noticed that in the list of work done on your car, you dint mention "propeller shaft greasing", which is required every 10k kms. on the 4wd Fortuner. Also all the best for the 40k service, make sure, double check that both the front and rear differential oils are replaced.

Wish you many more happy miles!
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Old 7th April 2015, 13:42   #113
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Default Re: 39000 kms munched!

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Originally Posted by shady_lawyer View Post
I noticed that in the list of work done on your car, you dint mention "propeller shaft greasing", which is required every 10k kms. on the 4wd Fortuner. Also all the best for the 40k service, make sure, double check that both the front and rear differential oils are replaced.

Wish you many more happy miles!
Coming back to the thread after a while now so apologize for the delay in response.

Yes, the diff oils were replaced and the prop shaft greasing was done too. I've not really had an issue with the ASC guys not following service instructions, everything has been done as per schedule until now. It's the washing that is a pain area in most of my services, the car had to be sent back almost everytime because there are black marks even after it was washed. Other than that, no real complaints with the ASC guys.
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Old 9th June 2015, 12:42   #114
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Default 45k KMs service update!

The beast went in for the 45k Kms service last week and now it's running better than before.

Summary of work carried out:

- Brakes were juddering when used at higher speeds, had asked the SA to skim the discs to resolve it. Later I was told that the discs have worn out to below threshold and hence they couldn't skim it any further. The thickness was at 26.3 vs 27mm required at a minimum (as per SA). 46k for a brake disc replacement seemed a bit early to me, but then these are life saving components and it's better to be safe, so asked them to replace the discs.

- Brake pads were replaced at the 30k service so they still had some life in them left. SA told me there's still 5mm pad left so it may run for another 3-5k kms. But I thought it'd be better to get the pads changed along with the discs so got them changed too.

- There was a small rattle noise that used to emerge intermittently, especially when the car vibrated at lower RPMs in 3rd gear. Wife was able to reproduce the sound when the engineer came for a test drive. He immediately isolated the issue and told her that it'll be fixed. And he did, no more irritating rattle sounds now.

In another incident a month ago, I managed to blow the rear right tyre in an offroad environment rendering it totally useless. The sidewalls on the Dunlops doesn't seem to be very tough, it suffered a 2 inch cut although there weren't any huge sharp rocks to cause it. So now, I replaced that tyre with the spare Dunlop and decided to move to Michelin Latitude Cross as the next change. Have had a good run with the Michelins on two of my older cars and I'm hoping it'd be the same with this. For now, the spare tyre is changed to Michelin, but by the end of the year I'm guessing it'll be time to change all of them.

Overall, it's been a fuss-free ownership for the past 20 odd months and with 47k on the ODO the beast still feels as fresh as new.

Toyota Fortune-Her: A ride for the wife & maybe for life!-img_30883.jpg
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Old 6th July 2015, 19:47   #115
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Default Re: 25000kms update!

Now, the first anniversary is coming up in October and I'm already being harassed by calls to renew my insurance. I've got Tata-AIG Pearl plan (bumper to bumper) as of now and the renewal premium is being quoted approx 46k for an IDV of 21L after 20% NCB benefit. They had initially quoted about 41k for an IDV of 18L to which I had asked them to give me the highest IDV possible. Now, my question is, does this sound reasonable since I'm not getting any further discounts from Tata-AIG whereas Bajaj Allianz is offering me a similar plan for about 40K for an IDV of 20L.

I know that Tata-AIG has cashless facility with Nandi Toyota in Bangalore, but have to find out about Bajaj Allianz. Does anyone have experience with Bajaj Allianz for the T-fort, good or bad?

Attachment 1277040[/quote]

Hi amolpol-
Nice to see you are enjoying your Fortuner.
a query - My one year Insurance is coming up this month & I too have taken the Tata Aig pearl Plus plan.
For the renewal they are quoting me Rs.50283/ for an IDV of Rs.20.52 Lacs.
Is this on the higher side or do you think that's Reasonable?
Thanks ,
Nariman.
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Old 6th July 2015, 19:55   #116
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Default Re: 25000kms update!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nariman View Post
Hi amolpol-
Nice to see you are enjoying your Fortuner.
a query - My one year Insurance is coming up this month & I too have taken the Tata Aig pearl Plus plan.
For the renewal they are quoting me Rs.50283/ for an IDV of Rs.20.52 Lacs.
Is this on the higher side or do you think that's Reasonable?
Thanks ,
Nariman.
Thanks Nariman. I paid around 45k for the same IDV value last November. Still on the Pearl plan with AIG. You can negotiate a bit with them, not sure if the insurance rates have gone up since last year.

Hope this helps.
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