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Old 12th July 2020, 21:30   #1
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DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10

My 2nd car is the weird looking pocket rocket - Alto K10 - acquired it near the end of 2017 IIRC. Its a VXi (O) AGS (i.e. AMT). Technically the car is my wife's. Bought for her, by her. As her office ride but on my car make recommendation. Her 1st preference was Nano XTA. 2nd Preference was Tiago XZA. A Maruti was never really an option. Doing the math of the potential running (or none at all) that I had anticipated in my mind I suggested saving money and opting for the Alto K10 instead as a golden midway between the Nano & the Tiago. (for once, I wasn't proven wrong in that math!) An year or so after the acquisition, things took multiple turns for both of us and eventually she didn't have much of a need to drive the car. (With Covid19 around - this will change & if the offices open up again, she'll be going to office by the car of course).

We also use the car for errands within the city confines, school runs. Once in a while I drove it to office just to ensure it got sufficient running! Since I became responsible for the car & her upkeep, slowly but surely I started work on it to bring some good features into it. First of course was illumination upgrade with implementation of HID Bi-Xenon projector fog lights. The details for it are already documented here - Link - Alto K10 HID Fog-light DIY thread. (DIY - Maruti Alto K10 - HID Fog Light Installation)

Next is this project. A complete revamp of the In Car Entertainment - ICE - in the car from the stock setup - a Nippon CD player (with USB but without Bluetooth) and 2 front speakers.
Do note that the intention is to bring a better utility from the head unit and some good quality sound output compared to the stock setup. I was/am not looking at all for a pro setup that turns the car into a dance floor. So I have relied mostly on cost effective (cheap!) stuff that just about gets the job done in a daily rider. Nothing more.

Here is an index of steps for quick referencing -
  1. Understanding Head Unit Wiring
  2. Mounting Speakers in rear Parcel Tray
  3. Removing Stock Head Unit / Stereo
  4. Installing New Head Unit
  5. Amplifier Wiring
  6. Installing Reverse View Camera
  7. Testing, Experience & closure comments

(Yeah, finally mastered the art of making an in-thread index! Courtesy of @Aditya's thread here - Making Index in Thread. (How to add an 'index' to your thread))

This is how the car's dashboard is by default. (Lazy I am - siphoning a pic off the TBHP Official review!)

DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-k10dashboard.jpg

The car came with an age old CD player with 2 cheap speakers in the front door pads. Nice to see a CD player once in a while, but fact is - nobody uses them anymore. It has no Bluetooth for telephony either. We never thought of upgrading this system as such. But then came the Nexon to share the parking with the Alto. The music in that car really started to make the Alto disliked! Needed an ICE upgrade. At least a couple of ovals in the rear parcel tray. So lazily I did check the Pioneers on amazon.in but never really felt like going through all the hassle.

Around end of June 2020 I got a message from my friendly contact Rishi from whom I have acquired a lot of material (especially projector fog lights for my cars as well as for my friends). He was giving a whopper discount on Android touch screen systems for 2 days. An Alto K10 compatible unit (with OEM spec face plate included) would cost me ~8000 including a night-vision reversing camera he said. He had just lifted a big consignment of 1500 units of various car head units & was passing on some of the discounts. I had checked this system for a few months. It used to retail around 12000 for 1 GB and 14000 for 2GB RAM (More on that later in the thread. Do read!) & I didn't think about investing that much. But at 8000 INR - this was the push I needed to start this project. Ordered it from www.MotorBasket.com as usual and completed the payment with UPI in 10 seconds.

I'm sure there would be some anxiety among car accessory dealers regarding goods originating from the PRC. Covid19 related business hit + the pathetic overture by the Chinese up in Ladhakh have created a high anti China atmosphere & there were calls for boycott of Chinese made goods when I ordered it & when I'm writing this thread. (I don't know how this boycott is possible in short term of course but that's best discussed on the political threads). So - I'm sure I got this discount resulting from some sort of urgent Chinese stock clearance happening somewhere. I have a small guilt in mind of buying a Chinese made unit when there are/were tensions on the border unlike any since decades with the Reds.

General Specifications & features of the system -
  1. 9" Capacitive HD multi-touch IPS display with Gorilla Glass
  2. 1 GB DDR4 RAM (More on this later.)
  3. 16GB SD storage
  4. Quad core CPU
  5. Dedicated GPS module
  6. OEM Coupler converter for PnP installation
  7. Bluetooth + Mic
  8. AUX input (I didn't connect the wiring for it)
  9. 2 x USB inputs
  10. Video playback
  11. WiFi for full tablet like experience using phone's hotspot
  12. Reversing camera input with auto-activate when reverse gear is engaged
  13. I suspect that with an external USB adapter module for Android Auto / Apple Car play - this head unit will also support using Android Auto when connected with the phone via USB. But that's an investigation and potential project for later perhaps.
  14. Dedicated Sub/Amplifier pre-out & remote switching wire

Kit contents -
  1. The head unit
  2. Face plate
  3. Reversing Camera + its power wire + video input wire of sufficient length to HU
  4. GPS module with 3M tape on back
  5. 2 x USB cables with input sockets
  6. Conversion coupler to match with Alto K10's stock harness connector
  7. Output/Input cable set - Video OUT, Speaker OUT RCA, Video IN (reverse), SUB Pre-out RCA, AUX IN RCA
  8. FM Antenna connectors
  9. A drill bit to make the right-sized hole in rear bumper for camera installation.

DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-packagecontents_named.jpg

Head Unit Product listing -
Link : MotorBasket.com Alto K10 Android Head Unit
(Of course in this ever changing world, I don't know how long the listing will stay. But you can look up on Amazon and there is a crop of similar systems everywhere now.)

Ordered the 2 Oval Pioneer speakers to install in the rear tray. Ordered the necessary speaker wires with RCA connectors and a couple of RCA splitters (in case I need them somewhere during the project) & started the wait. Didn't go overboard with too much high-quality and costly stuff. I wasn't looking for anything jazzy in this little hatch.

List of items purchased -
Here is the list of items that I ordered in case anyone needs them -
  1. Pioneer 3 Way Oval speakers for parcel tray
  2. Inline 20A blade type modular fuse for amplifier wiring from battery
  3. Gold plated RCA stereo cables for connecting Pre-out to Amplifier.
    • These will take the signal from the head unit's SUB pre-out into the stereo input of the JBL amplifier. Preferred gold plated to ensure no corrosion on contacts & so hopefully no noise will be added over time.
    • Product Listing - Link : Amazon.in gold plated stereo RCA cable
  4. RCA splitter - 1 male to 2 female (Not used in the end. More on it, later.)
    • The head unit has a single SUB RCA pre-out while the amplifier has a stereo input. So I'll split the output from head unit & then route it to the amp input using the cables above.
    • Product Listing - Link : Amazon.in RCA 1 male to 2 female splitter
Since I have ordered all these from Amazon.in, I'm guessing I have paid at least 1.5 to 2 times higher price than what I'd pay at some local store. But considering the spike in Covid19 around my area, I had no intention of going shopping for a non-essential list of items. Deliveries from Amazon - I spray the whole packages with alcohol till wet & keep them in the terrace untouched for 3 days before opening. Have survived so far!


Instead of the RCA Splitter & a stereo RCA cable, you can opt for a single product - 1:2 split RCA cable. This will reduce 1 extra connection that can potentially induce some noise over time.
  1. Gold plated 1-Male-To-2 Male split RCA cable 8 feet
    • To connect the 1 RCA SUB pre-amp output from the head unit with the 2 channel RCA input of the amplifier.
    • Should be long enough to reach the amplifier from the back of the head unit. Length especially important if you keep the amplifier in the boot like I did.
    • Please pick the 15 feet one.
    • Product Listing -
      Link : Amazon.in Product listing
    • This product was not available in stock unfortunately due to Covid19 disruptions, so I used the splitter + cable approach. This one is now in stock as I write the thread.


Now scroll up & see the last item in the head unit's features. An amplifier pre-out. Yey! The moment I saw this in the rear of the system - I was reminded of the JBL amplifier & sub-woofer box lying in storage with me. The set that I had removed from my Vista before sending her off. Had planned on installing it in the Nexon - but simply didn't have the need given the potent stock setup of the Nexon & very usable large boot!

Items used from my existing inventory -
  1. JBL Amplifier
  2. JBL wooden box 1100W subwoofer
  3. Polycab 1 sq. mm. copper wires for power connections (Amplifier power from battery & remote signal from HU)
    • I did the math around the power, current draw & decided on using these 15A capable wires with Teflon shield along with an inline fuse.
    • I don't think considering the low volume level & minimal gain that I configure on the amp, there will ever be any overheating.
    • I have plenty of stock of black & red wires at home always. However - this meant I used the same red wire for REMOTE and POWER both connections to the amplifier.
    • I ensured I labeled them throughout the installation to avoid any incorrect connections.
    • it is highly recommended to simply use 2 different colours (like Red & Brown/Blue) for simple identification forever.
  4. Wire nipper/cutter
  5. Wire stripper
  6. AmazonBasics 16 Gauge speaker wire for connecting amplifier with subwoofer. Already had it since I used it to setup my 5.1 home theater at home.
  7. T-tap connectors
  8. Bullet/Spade type inline modular wire connectors
  9. An LED illuminated 12V DC mechanical push button switch (To be able to switch off the amplifier when not needed)
  10. Universal stripper/crimper
  11. Resin thread-lock
  12. Wire connector strips
  13. Solder gun-wire-flux
  14. B&D Hand-held drill machine
  15. Multi-bit screw driver set

Last edited by Reinhard : 23rd July 2020 at 23:47.
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Old 12th July 2020, 22:09   #2
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re: DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10

Understanding the Android HU Wiring

Wire connection mock-up -

I have connected all the leads of the wires where they should be connected & named each of them. This should simplify understanding what goes where.
All the connectors are smartly coordinated with unique couplers with orientation guide notches so you simply cannot get any of them wrong. The connectors fit only their intended socket & nothing else. So no thinking needed.

DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-wiringconnectionsmock_withlables.jpg


DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-headunitrearpanelwires.jpg


Camera & Amplifier signal connections -

If you are not going to install any reverse camera (or the wiring for that is already in place in your car) and / or amplifier + sub-woofer - as soon as you understand the wiring as in the image above - you are good to go in the parking & install the system. It is a plug & play setup & you hardly need to do anything at all. Just take out your old system if you have one, make these wire connections and couple it with the OEM harness present in the car with the provided OEM coupler. Fit the head unit into place & you are done!

The only 2 things that need manually arranged connections are -
  1. The reversing camera activation trigger.
  2. The external amplifier remote activation wire.
(Both of these are applicable only if you are indeed connecting the devices. If not - then just leave these wires aside, properly insulated and zip tagged to something sturdy.)

Amplifier Signal -
Pink is the wire that sends signal to the amplifier when the head unit is ON. This means it works as a remote switch so that the amplifier activates only when the head unit is ON & doesn't use battery power when head unit is off.

Reverse Signal -
Brown wire is the 12V input signal, that tells the head unit when reverse gear is engaged. The way to do this is painfully simple.
  1. The camera's power input is taken from the reverse white bulb's +ve.
  2. So it gets power ONLY & exactly when reverse gear is engaged.
  3. Along with the video wire that runs from camera to the head unit - is another single red wire.
  4. This wire runs the length from camera to the head unit.
  5. Simply tap this red wire into the 12V source of the camera itself. I have used simple insulated T-Tap connectors to achieve this.
  6. Connect the other end of the red wire into the BROWN wire at the back of the head unit.
  7. When this brown wire gets 12V input - the head unit will stop whatever it is doing, activate the video input port & show the feed on the screen.
  8. Simple!!

In the image below, you can see that I have used the humble wire connector for doing these connections. I simply cannot stand insulation tape over twisted wires! when a proper molded connector is not possible - I resort to these cheap wire connector strips. To ensure the screws do not loosen up with vibrations, I fill up the connectors with silicone as the last step of installation when everything is tested. You can also see that I have also left 1 extra connection terminal available. In case I need to make any more connection for something at the back of the head unit (even unrelated to the HU for that matter.)

(I'm sorry - I did an incorrect zoom while editing the images & the inset text comments that I have added appear too small in these thumbnails. Please click on the image and open it in full size to be able to read the tips and notes that I have written in them (mostly red font.)).

DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-ampsignalandreversesignal.jpg

In the image below, the red wire in this small connection, goes to the +ve terminal wire of the reverse bulb on the RHS. Black to ground.
The connector pin - goes to the camera as the power input. Turns on when reverse light turns on. The T Tap will be connected to the insulated connector crimped in the image above.

DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-rearcamerapowerwiretap.jpg

Additionally, we have to add a pair of scotch tap OR T-Tap connectors to both the black & red naked ends of the wire. I had T-Taps in inventory so went with them. These would tap into the stock wiring for the reverse light in the RHS tail lamp. That is covered in detail in the post below for installing the reverse camera.

Last edited by Reinhard : 17th July 2020 at 19:54.
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Old 13th July 2020, 10:24   #3
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re: DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10

Mounting Oval Speakers in Parcel Tray

As mentioned earlier - the Alto K10 doesn't have any speakers in the back. Nor any provision in the door panels to mount a pair later. So - the only (and better) option left was to mount moderately good oval speakers in the rear parcel tray.

I ordered Pioneer speakers off Amazon.
  1. Pioneer TS-R6951S
  2. Approx INR 2300.00
  3. 3 Way Co-ax ovals
  4. Product Listing - Link : Amzon.in
  5. Delivered to home in 3 days

Didn't even think once about them being "duplicate" items or about checking the authenticity etc. The car has nothing right now. So anything is going to be better & I don't want to create a dance floor in the car as such.

Fitting the speakers -

To my surprise - the PU plastic panel that forms the parcel tray is very tough. I didn't expect such a thick & sturdy item from MSIL in an Alto K10. I'm not joking when I say this - the panel is far stronger than any external metallic body panel. All the external sheets easily deform without any resistance just with a thumb. This parcel tray is STRONG.

  1. Marking the Cut-outs -

    As with any speaker boxes - these speakers came with pre-marked cout-outs to use as a stencil to make holes on the tray if needed. Including marking for speaker holes, which is quite precise.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-preparingspeakercutouts.jpg


    Mark the cutting edge with a simple ball-point pen using this stencil on the tray.
    The key point here is - the weight of these 2 speakers will be borne by the parcel tray. If you use the OEM PU tray like I did & don't buy a wooden tray, the position of the speakers needs attention. You should ensure that they are as near as possible to the groves/ridges near the edges & not too much at the flat center of the panel. This way - the weight is handled better & the tray won't sag. Keep the speakers near the strongest part of the tray.
    • Use the top grill to first make 4 hole marks by keeping the grille to the edges.
    • Then use the hole marks as reference points for the stencil & mark the ovals.

    Important - you are to cut the INSIDE oval of the stencil on the tray.


    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-markingspeakercutout.jpg

  2. Making the cut!

    I used a simple handheld drill to make holes along the marked oval with a 2mm distance between each hole. Then used a humble wire nipper-cutter to just cut those 2mm gaps between the holes. A very crude method - but I was done with both the oval cut-outs in 15 minutes. After the oval is cut away - use a nipper / file to make a smooth curve of the edges of the parcel tray.

    Use the smallest available drill bit to make the 4 speaker mounting holes for each oval. This will ensure a snug fit of the provided self threading screws. If you feel - you can get a better solution by using nut-bolts instead. Will have to procure them separately of course.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-parceltrayunderside.jpg

  3. Installing the speakers

    Just screw in the speakers along with the top grilles. Simple step. Et voila!


    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-speakersinparceltraytop.jpg


    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-parceltraywithspeakersinstalled.jpg

    There is a pair of strengthening grooves perpendicular to the length of the tray. 1 near each side. For now - I have screwed the speakers over it. This means, the speakers are mainly resting on these ridges & not all along their circumference. For a cleaner cut & fit - we can do a better sculpture to cut away some extra area from these ridges. Or - use a heat gun to bend the ridge a bit to let the speaker sink in better into the oval cut-out.

  4. For reference, details of the sticker behind the speaker. It reads "Made in Vietnam". (But I don't see why such a sticker can't also be made and applied in China along with the rest of the speaker.) You can also see - one of the pins is wider than the other. The wider is +ve. Smaller is -ve. Simple.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-pioneerspeakerdetails.jpg

As you can see above - when installed together with the top grille - the speakers are as much to the edges/corners of the parcel tray as possible to ensure better structural stability in the long run. As an extra benefit - this spaced out installation also aids in a proper stereophonic listening experience via the two channels.
The wiring - we'll do together with rest of the items. So at a later dedicated step for the wiring.

Last edited by Reinhard : 20th July 2020 at 13:59.
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Old 13th July 2020, 15:14   #4
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re: DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10

Removing the Stock Head Unit

This is a pretty simple step & won't need much explanation or expertise at all. I'll let the pictures do the main talking. The only 3 things to do in this step -
  1. Use a screw-driver to undo the clip locks on the edges of the surrounding face plate.
  2. Undo the 3 screws holding the head unit in place.
  3. Disconnect the OEM harness connector + the FM radio antenna pin at the back.

Well - let's get on with it then!
  1. The OEM head unit seen in place before removal


    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-oemheadunitinplace.jpg


  2. Unlock the clip on the LHS or RHS top corner of the face plate. I found LHS easier.


    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-removal_lhstopcorner.jpg


  3. Now gently move to the other edge sliding the screw driver and pulling the panel towards you by the other hand. (Instead of sliding, you can insert the screw driver in steps also.)


    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-oemsystem_centertopclip.jpg


  4. Reach the other edge doing this.


    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-oemsystem_rhstopcorner.jpg


  5. Gently continue to do this around all the edges till the face plate is completely removed.
  6. Undo the 4 screws marked by the red arrows in this picture (Sorry I didn't notice that the RHS screws weren't really visible when I clicked! But you get the idea, eh?)


    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-oldsystemscrews.jpg


  7. That's it. Very gently pull the head unit outward towards you. MSIL has given such a horribly short radio antenna wire that within 2 mms of sliding, the connector will drop out.

    Be careful because the wires in the main stock harness are not exactly best quality. The main blue connector has a latch on top & if pulled quickly - the wires might snap. Gently does it. Press the latch on top & then disconnect the connector.

    In the image below, yellow arrow marks where the antenna pin goes. Red arrow marks the antenna pin.


    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-oemsystem_rearconnections.jpg


  8. Once the wires are disconnected - you'll be left with a void in the dash with these 2 connectors -

    The blue OEM connector meets flawlessly with the provided OEM coupler that comes with the head unit kit!

    The stock connector also has 2 output wires that drive the front 2 speakers. As a pleasant surprise, that has also been taken care of in the kit coupler. So the front speakers continue to work via the stock harness - no change or rewiring needed whatsoever. NEAT! Similarly, for the rear speakers also, the head unit sends the output in this coupler. We'll need to add 2 pairs of wires for each of the 2 rear speakers that we are adding. That is detailed in the next post.


    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-oemconnectors.jpg

Well that's it. This step is over in no time. It took me far longer to write about it than to actually carry it out.

Last edited by Reinhard : 21st July 2020 at 14:56.
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Old 13th July 2020, 15:16   #5
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re: DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10

Installing the Android Head Unit & its Wiring

The head unit installation itself is actually very simple! If you are doing this in a car that already had all speakers etc in place - this step shouldn't take more than 30 minutes. Its that easy. Just attach the provided coupler with the one existing your car, fit the new head unit & face plate in place & you are done!

We'll run the wires in 2 groups. 1 set along the LHS, another set along the RHS of the car.
  1. RHS Wire Set -
    • RHS rear speaker wire pair
    • 12V +ve supply from battery in engine bay to power the amplifier in boot
    • Remote power ON signal wire from head unit to amplifier in boot
  2. LHS Wire Set -
    • LHS rear speaker wire pair
    • Reversing camera video input from camera to HU
    • SUB pre-out audio signal from HU to amplifier RCA input
      • You can run this on the RHS along with other amplifier wiring
      • I kept it on the other side to isolate as much as possible from the power wires to reduce noise/interference
      • And this way I split the bunches of wires symmetrically between RHS and LHS rather than loading up the RHS with too many wires. Have an OCD about symmetry I'm afraid.

So separate these out on both the sides before we start the wiring & ensure they aren't entangled or twisted. Keep it clean as it gets!

Before we start the actual wiring - do these 3 steps for easy access under the dashboard -
  1. Open the glove compartment. Then push the LHS and RHS top edges of it towards each other to slightly bend it inwards. This will take out the retainer from stoppers in the dashboards. Then let the glove compartment simply swivel down & hang into the foot-well on the hinge at it's base. You'll be able to get full access to the LHS dashboard underside to run wires.


    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-gloveboxunhooked.jpg

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-behindglovebox.jpg


  2. On the RHS, undo the 2 screws that fasten the beige panel under the steering wheel in the foot-well. The screws are at the lower edge of it. Once screws are removed - gently pull it outwards to release the clips & take it out. Careful - it has a cable tucked into the panel itself - so don't pull it too far away. Just let it lie on the floor below the steering.



    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-rhspanelopen.jpg


    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-rhswiresoutfromdashboard.jpg

  3. If installing amplifier - Run a high quality copper power wire from the battery +ve terminal through a firewall grommet into the cabin. Rest of the wiring you can do later. But run this wire to your amplifier already along with the other RHS wires for structured cabling. In the image below - I have just pushed through the wire to run the distance while the end in the engine bay is simply kept aside. We'll complete & secure this wiring later on. The connection with the battery +ve terminal should be one of the LAST steps of the project. This ensures no short circuits with loose naked ends of the wires touching surfaces inadvertently.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-amplifierwirefrombattery1.jpg



RHS Wiring Detail
  1. Unlock the 2 press-fit clips in the grey panel in the footwell below the A pillar. Press the centre circle in, then pop out the clips. Easy.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-rhsfootwellclip.jpg

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-wiresunderapillar1.jpg

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-wiresunderapillar2.jpg

  2. The grey plastic panels on door sill edges are simple press fit units. Gently pull them upward & they'll pop out. Front and rear door sill panels have 3 clips each.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-rhsdriverdoorsill.jpg

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-driverrhs_wiresinsill.jpg


  3. When running the wires from the front part of the cabin to rear - ensure you run the wires BEHIND the seat belt fixture at the bottom. Tuck the wires properly & deep into the grey plastic trim over the B pillar. No need to remove this panel.
  4. Also unlatch the triangular panel at the front edge of the rear seat base.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-rearseattrimsremoved.jpg

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-rhs_rearseatwires.jpg

  5. Run the wires under the grey panel on the inside of the boot, over the wheel well, and bring it out under the panel inside the boot. This is how it will come out from under the carpet then -

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-boot_rhswiringcomplete.jpg

  6. The speaker wire connected. Things yet to be tidied up of course.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-wiresinboot_speakerconnected.jpg


  7. Properly secure the wires using zip-ties. Then press fit all the removed plastic trim panels. Reattach all the removed clips & screws. RHS will look like this - work is done on this side!

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-rhs_driversideinstallationcomplete.jpg

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-rhsrearseat_installationcomplete.jpg



LHS Wiring Detail

The steps are more or less identical on this side as well, just the wires are different. So I'll let the pictures explain most of the things.
  1. Route the wire for the GPS antenna from besides the dashboard under the A pillar. I preferred installing the antenna on top of the dashboard to aid in some line-of-sight to the sky. You can place it anywhere under the dashboard too.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-gpsantennamount.jpg


  2. Keep the wires snugly zipped together with any existing metallic members / thick stock harnesses to ensure they don't hang around / move about too much. Here you can see the GPS antenna wire, reverse camera wire, rear LHS speaker wire & amplifier stereo input wires neatly tucked together behind the glove box.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-behindglovebox1.jpg


  3. Run them under the dashboard using existing supports & zip-ties to the rear of the head unit & connect to their corresponding partners there.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-behindglovebox2.jpg


  4. Remove the plastic trims near the door sills at the base of both LHS doors & route the wire along an existing cable/harness.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-lhsfrontwiring.jpg

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-lhs_nearfrontpassenger.jpg


    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-lhs_underbpillar.jpg


  5. Tuck the wire neatly under the body trims, secure using zip ties.
  6. Ensure you run the wires BEHIND the front LHS seat-belt & tuck it neatly into the B Pillar plastic trim from bottom edge.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-bpillar.jpg


  7. Run them into the boot under the trims & connect to the rear speaker, amplifier.


    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-lhs_rearpassengerside.jpg

  8. Remember - we have connected the camera behind the bumper earlier. So this wire runs from the camera towards the head unit during installation. The speaker, amplifier wires are easier to run from the head unit to the boot.

  9. Reinstall the removed trims carefully & ensure all the clips / latches are properly secured.


    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-fronttrimsreinstalled.jpg


    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-reartrimsreinstalled.jpg


  10. Simply route & drop the USB connector wires into the glove box. Do securely tie them at at least one place using zip ties behind the head unit.
  11. Reinstall the glove-box back into position. We are done here!

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-usbinglovebox.jpg


  12. Now test that everything works -
    • The reverse camera activates correctly & shows the image properly.
    • Audio output is coming properly from all 4 speakers.
    • Audio output from subwoofer is as expected.
    • GPS signal reception is fine when using a map application.
    • USB connectors are working fine.
  13. And now - push the head unit's face plate fully into position. Secure all edge latches & clips. The installation is complete.


  1. Tips for Rear Speaker Wiring -

    1. The speakers come with a pair of wires each for each speaker. Each has +/- relay pin connectors to hook up with the speaker. But the other side is naked. No connector.
    2. Note that the RCA stereo outputs from the back of the head unit cannot be used here since those seem to be pre-amp outputs. They don't have the power to drive speakers directly without an external amplifier.
    3. We have to wire the rear speakers via the stock harness connector instead.
    4. This stock blue connector in the AltoK10 is shared across almost all entry-mid level cars from MSIL. In the cars / trims that don't have a rear speaker - the 4 pins for rear speakers are kept blank, while they have female pins and wiring in cars that have a pair of rear speakers. Simple.
    5. The Alto K10's stock head unit actually has these output pins! And so does the new Android head unit. We just have to add the wiring of the new speakers into this stock connector.
    6. Hold the connector pointing outwards from dashboard - i.e. wires at the back / far end from you. Keep the retaining latch clip on the top for correct orientation of the next step.
    7. From YOUR right edge of the connector, count leftwards.
    8. The 5th vertical pair of pins is for the RHS rear speakers.
    9. The 6th vertical pair of pins is for the LHS rear speakers.
    10. Upper pin is +ve, lower pin is -ve.

      DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-speakerwiresstockcoupler1.jpg

    11. The speaker wires are marked as well - the -ve wire has a black band along the edge. Easy to identify.
    12. If you can't source the pins & crimp them - simply strip the wires & push them deep into the connector till they are visible from the front holes of the connectors.

      DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-speakerwiresstockcoupler2.jpg

    13. Secure them further by inserting a small piece of a matchstick along with the wires.
    14. Then make this arrangement vibration proof by covering the 4 pin holes from back side using a resin / silicone based sealant.

  2. Tips for Reverse Camera Wiring -
    1. I have covered the camera installation & its local area wiring of the Video & signal wire with the camera here - Jump to Post.
    2. Run it behind the glove box & hook it up with the female yellow receiver pin and reverse signal wire as shown earlier at the start of the thread with a wiring mock-up image. (Jump to Post)

  3. Tips for amplifier wiring - (More details about amp in the Next Post).

    1. A +12V power wire from the battery +ve terminal.
      1. Out of these, the 12V power wire is to be hooked up via an inline 15/20Amp fuse to the +ve terminal of the battery in engine bay.
      2. Puncture a small hole in the firewall rubber grommet and insert this wire into the cabin - it will appear under the steering wheel.
      3. Then route the wire around the fuse box, into the plastic body trims around the doors under the RHS A pillar.
      4. Run it the whole length just like the speaker wire into the boot & connect it to the amplifier's +12V input pin.

    2. A remote signal wire from the head unit to the REMOTE pin on the amplifier.
      1. As shown in the mock up & head unit wiring images earlier in the thread (Jump to Post)- connect a good quality wire using your preferred connection method / solder to the pink remote wire coming from the back of the head unit.
      2. Run it just the same way & along the 12V power wire - behind the steering, into the plastic body trim, along the floor on RHS & into the boot.
      3. Connect it with the input pin marked "REMOTE" / "REM" on the amplifier.

    3. Stereo input RCA wire pair from the head unit (since mine is a dual channel amplifier).
      1. The head unit as mentioned earlier - has a single pre-amp SUB output RCA pin. While our amplifier is a dual channel one with stereo input, that we'll be using in a bridged mode for better performance of the woofer.
      2. So - we use a Y splitter to convert this mono output into a faux-stereo one.
      3. Connect the Male side of the splitter to the output pin on the head unit.
      4. Connect the 2 stereo Male RCA pins from our sub-woofer's wiring to the 2 female pins on the Y Splitter.
      5. Try and source good wires for this purpose. Preferably with gold plated connectors & shielded coating.
      6. Run this wire along the same route as the power / signal wires for the amplifier as explained above & bring them out into the boot.
      7. Connect these to the 2 female input pins on the amplifier.

  4. Other Useful Tips -

    • Zip tag the 2 USB input wires properly to some bar / existing harness behind the glove box at 1 point, then drop them both into the glove box. I kept them there. Simple to use & out of the way for routine usage.
    • Route the wire of the GPS antenna towards the left of the dashboard & fix the antenna to the top of the dashboard or the LHS A pillar. Depends on how much effort you are ready to spare to route the wiring.
    • Wherever you have multiple wires coming together in a bunch, ensure you use sufficient zip ties to structure them well. Don't let them hang around loose. They'll entangle and will also induce a bit of rattle / vibrations while driving in case they have plugs / pins attached to their ends.
    • Wherever you use a cable connector like I did - ensure you fill up the screw-wells with a resin based thread lock after connection is confirmed. This will ensure the screws don't come loose due to driving vibrations over time. The red you see in those connector dimples is thread lock.

      DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-threadlock_connector.jpg

Last edited by Reinhard : 23rd July 2020 at 22:56.
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re: DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10

Wiring the Amplifier & Sub-Woofer

The generally followed approach with amplifiers tends to be keeping the amp below the front passenger seat. I generally don't find it best considering it doesn't give proper ventilation to the amp. The floor mats tend to go over the amp. And also - the wiring & amplifier keep getting trampled under the rear passengers' feet! In an Alto K10, already space is nonexistent for the rear passenger. Depriving them of even a few square inches to rest feet would be a crime against humanity. So right from outset, I decided that the amplifier will sit together with the sub-woofer back in the boot. That would mean a few more feet of power wire from the battery to the amplifier, but the installation would be cleaner & far easier to maintain also.

On Demand Bass! - Turn it off when not needed.
Occasionally in the Vista some passengers used to feel the woofer output was too much for them. So this time, I'll have a switch to turn-off the amplifier. First I thought of installing the switch in the dashboard. However - that would fill up the single remaining dummy switch position. The number of times I'd actually need to switch off the amplifier would be fairly low. So I decided to use an illuminated press button switch at the back, stuck on the amplifier itself. When I need to switch off the amp - it would take only a minute to open the boot & turn it off. I can use the blank dummy position in the dashboard for something else in the future if I add it.

The Amplifier -
  1. JBL GT5-S422 Dual channel amplifier
  2. Stereo input & dual channel output (Left +/- & Right +/-)
  3. Now this amplifier can be used for powering the speakers also to get a great output from them.
  4. However, since the head unit's built-in amplifier is more than enough to power the 4 speakers, I'll be using the amp purely for the sub-woofer.
  5. When using a dual channel amplifier for a sub-woofer, generally its recommended to use it in a bridged mode. I.e. - the system uses both channel amplifiers as a single unit to give higher power to the single device connected.
  6. Most car amps are bridging compatible. And the output pins are marked to show which 2 pins to use for bridging (As shown in the image below).
  7. Simply put - to bridge the output, use the +ve of 1 channel and -ve of the other.
  8. The other connections are -
    • +12V power input - straight from the battery +ve through an inline fuse.
    • REMOTE - this will be connected with the pink remote wire behind the head unit. This works as a power on switch for the amp. We'll be putting an inline switch in this wire additionally.
    • Ground - The usual "-ve" termina. We'll connect it into the chassis using a nearby bolt somewhere. Not hard to find.
    • Stereo RCA Input - this is where the pre-amp output from the head unit will be connected.
      • Since the head unit like most of them has a single RCA output, we'll use a Y Splitter to make it a stereo 2 pin output (same signal on both channels) & connect the other end of it to the white & red input female sockets of the amplifier.
      • For a moment I pondered about using a single channel input & to use the single output channel of the amplifier. This would leave half the amplifier unused! But then saw the recommendations everywhere that to drive a sub-woofer, it is better to bridge the amplifier as single amplifier power may not be enough to properly drive a large sub-woofer.


DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-ampinputs.jpg



DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-ampoutputs.jpg



Amplifier Wiring Detail -
  1. The in-line blade fuse we'll use near the battery +ve terminal for safety. We'll draw clean wire for the amplifier through this fuse from the battery directly.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-bladefuse.jpg


  2. Connecting the blade fuse to the battery +ve & to the wire from cabin for amplifier input.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-fusetobattery.jpg


    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-ampwiretofuse_connected.jpg


  3. Properly & safely routing the previously hanging power wire for the amplifier to the battery.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-enginebayfinalwiringtidy.jpg


  4. Complete the wiring & secure the fuse properly with zip ties.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-finalpowerwireinstallation.jpg


    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-fusesecured.jpg


  5. Amplifier in boot - ON DEMAND SWITCH installed on top with 3M & its wiring connections explained -
    • The switch I used has illumination & not a simple in-line rocker switch to complete the circuit. So as an added overhead, it needs it's own ground connection also. I have simply hooked it into the ground pin of the amplifier, that in turns is grounded into the seat-base bolt.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-amplifier_switchwiring.jpg


  6. Connecting the amplifier's ground wire to the seat's base fixture. Look closely to find the black wire marked by arrow!

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-ampgroundrearseat.jpg


Modular Connection Tips -
  1. As you can see - I have tried to make all the connections with spade pin-connectors. This makes everything modular & I can take out any components.
  2. For now as you can see - I have kept a bundle of slightly longer than needed wires for 12V, Remote, ground. This is just to allow me to move the amplifier to the other side of the car in case its needed. This is temporary & once I finalize the final place for the amplifier - I'll shorten these wires to an optimal length. They are currently secured & zipped together to avoid any mess.
  3. When using these connectors - make sure you use the female socket with cover on the wires on the car side of the circuit (not for the removable device). This way - when you disconnect the device - the wire hanging around cannot touch anything causing any short circuits and blown fuses.

The On Demand Amplifier Demo -




Audio Input to Amplifier -
  1. As you saw earlier - there is a dedicated SUB pre-amp output from the head unit.
  2. My Amp has a 2 channel input.
  3. So I connected these 2 using a Y Splitter to convert the single channel sub-woofer output into a dual channel one.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-rca_connectionwoofer.jpg


  4. Turned out - the SUB pre-amp output didn't really give out any signal to my amplifier. No matter how I tried, there was no output on the woofer!
  5. Finally - I took away the splitter & used the stereo RCA pre-amp outputs instead of the SUB output.
  6. Et Voila! The amplifier & woofer came to life & all is well again! So - while the image above shows a Y splitter connected to the single SUB (green) pin - this is not how the installation is now. I have used the RCA red & white stereo pre-amp outputs for 2 channels.


Installation Finished -

DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-final1.jpg


DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-final2.jpg


Wires neatly secured, tucked into the carpets. On RHS of the image is the back of the rear seat. LHS of the image is where the hatch opening is. Picture taken from RHS rear passenger door, seat slightly folded forward.

DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-wooferwiringcomplete.jpg

Last edited by Reinhard : 23rd July 2020 at 22:55.
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Old 13th July 2020, 15:19   #7
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re: DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10

Installing the Reversing View Camera

The camera sits in the rear bumper, midway and at a suitable height above the number plate. Fairly common positioning & no rocket science involved in zeroing in on the installation spot.
As seen in the kit contents picture at top, the correctly sized drill bit to make the precise hole in the bumper is included along with the camera. This is a very good thing indeed, especially for DIY enthusiasts as now there is no need to find the exact size drill bit additionally. The Chinese sure do a good job of making packages self-sufficient since last few years.

Originally I thought & planned on removing the rear bumper to complete the wiring & installation of the reversing camera. The moment I removed the tail lamp cluster on RHS - it was evident that bumper removal was not needed at all. Things were all fairly accessible!
(The bumper by the way is held in place by just 3 bolts on top covered by the hatch, 2 press-fit-button type clips on the lower edge near mud-flaps & a couple of latch-clips on the sides around the wheel well. I was expecting at least a couple of more bolts.)

So here's the step by step guide -
  1. Remove the RHS tail lamp cluster. It has 2 screws (marked by red arrows) and a pair of retainer clips (at locations marked by yellow arrows).

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-taillamp1.jpg

  2. Identify the pair of +/- wires that lead to the reverse lamp. In the AltoK10 - this is the bulb at the top of the cluster. Marked by red arrow.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-taillamp2_opened.jpg

  3. Fix the T-Tap wire splice units on the + & - wires. (Or whichever mechanism you are going to use for this pairing.) One tip - try to do this connection as much to the lower edge of the assembly as possible so that the camera's wire has plenty of length available to play with.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-taillamp3_t_tapcpressed.jpg


    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-taillamp4_tapaslowaspossible.jpg


  4. Connect the red & black powering wires of the camera's power wire into these T-Taps.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-taillamp5_camerawirestapped.jpg


  5. Drop the camera's power wire & pin into the cavity under the tail lamp, in the bumper. You can access it easily from under the bumper. The image below is taken from top, viewing downwards from where the tail lamp assembly sits otherwise. The dark areas are basically inside of the rear bumper & we can see the ground below.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-taillamp_6_dropcamerawireintobumper.jpg


  6. Re-install the tail lamp cluster & tighten the screws.
  7. Now grab this power wire from under the bumper & by just touch and feel - run it along the top edge of the bumper running it through any rigid supports and wire harnesses you find. This is important - this will ensure the wire doesn't hang lower & too close to the exhaust muffler. Its very important to ensure this.
  8. Open the boot, take away the parcel tray & the floor panel over the spare wheel.
  9. Now look towards the bumper inside the spare wheel well. You'll have to find the rubber grommet that has a wire going out for number plate lights. Here is a picture taken looking backwards from the rear passenger seat. The arrow denotes where to find the grommet.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-findinggrommet_sparewheel.jpg


  10. Pull the grommet out.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-grommet_removed.jpg


  11. Now carefully make a puncture & widen the hole to about 3mm diameter using a nipper. Marked by an arrow.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-grommet_cut.jpg


  12. Now pass 1 end of the camera signal wire along with the single red wire through this hole towards the bumper and outside from this hole we made. Remember - we already attached a T-Tap pin to this red wire right at the start when explaining the head unit wires.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-wireinsertedingrommet.jpg


  13. Connect the reverse signal wire to the power wire drawn from the tail lamp.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-camerawiring-1.jpg


  14. Now attach the drill bit that came with the camera to your drill machine.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-drillbit.jpg


  15. Make a hole at the center of the bumper. Do not let the drill slide. You'll have a damaged bumper!

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-holemadeinbumper.jpg


  16. Now we'll be inserting the camera in this hole. Remember - first route the wires from the camera into it followed by the camera. There is a horizontal panel behind the bumper right where we drill the hole. Route the wires OVER it to get better wire management & ease of routing. I have marked this panel with an arrow.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-camera_hole_insideplate.jpg


  17. Important - Do not Fix the camera fully in place. Let it be lose. It is to be permanently fixed only after a test - after confirming the image orientation & alignment of horizontal plane. Let it protrude out a bit for now.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-cameranotfullyinstalled_testing.jpg


  18. Now we connect all the wires together. Connections are explained in the image below. They are simple - coordinated connectors. No intelligence needed.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-camerawiring2.jpg


  19. Now zip tag this bundle together at 2 places for a compact bundle that can be properly stowed behind the number plate lights. (Sorry I couldn't take a picture of this step as I was alone.)
  20. Now - pull the video signal wire from inside the car (through the grommet) till it gives a tug. This means now you have no hanging/dangling wires behind the bumper.
  21. Plug the grommet back properly as it was. Remember - we have to seal the hole we made using a silicone sealant properly at the end of the project to ensure proper insulation from dust.
  22. Now - We test!
    • Reverse gear engaged.
    • Reverse lights illuminate.
    • Camera active (as shown by its illuminated LED ring) - so our wiring is correct!

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-cameraactivewithreverse.jpg

  23. Connect the camera wiring to the head unit as explained in the wiring step.
  24. Complete a visual test, align the camera by rotating it gently as required.
  25. Carefully and slowly push it into the hole & fix it permanently. Flush fit. Final result in the image below.

    DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-cameraflushinstalled.jpg

Last edited by Reinhard : 18th July 2020 at 19:28.
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Old 13th July 2020, 15:21   #8
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re: DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10

Testing & Closure Comments

Initial Impressions -

To say the least - I was blown away by how it turned out. For the price I paid (~8000 INR) I didn't expect the result I got.
  1. The HD display is really crisp. Its no AMOLED of course, but the IPS is bright, sharp image production and pixel density is more than enough for a car.
  2. Touch is very sensitive, in a good way.
  3. Mic is fantastic. Great sensitivity.
  4. The interface is flawless. Very bug free operation, neat layout.
  5. ZERO LAG! This I didn't expect from a 1GB RAM system. Maps, music, videos, launcher - everything worked smooth together & jump between apps had no issues.
    • Common sense says the system will get lag directly proportional to the increase in apps / user data over time. But given what is pre-loaded, I don't see the need to install anything at all!
  6. HD Video playback from USB is great.
  7. YouTube stream using mobile's wifi hotspot is effortless!
  8. Audio output is good! The junk stock front speakers also started speaking in a different voice with the new system.
  9. It has good settings & customizations on offer.
  10. It does use the illumination input from stock harness. When you turn on the parking lights or more - the screen automatically dims for night mode. Many systems miss out on this!
  11. The reverse camera's image quality & pixel definition is very good. However, it could have done better on the viewing angle. I'd have preferred a bit wider-angle view from it. The extreme corners of the car are probably still left to judgement if one doesn't have the reverse parking sensors in bumper. (In newer cars this won't be an issue since the sensors are mandatory by regulations now anyway.)
  12. The system does lower the music volume when reverse gear is engaged for a better sense of the surroundings. This is quite good. The level to which the music lowers (can mute also) is also customizable.
  13. Fit & finish is exquisite. Even the face-plate is great. Looks so much better than what I got as the OEM unit with the car. Nowhere are there any cheap bits, poor finishes. It looks GOOD.
    • I used the costly (20K INR!) SONY AX-5000 head unit in my Vista for more than an year. And I can easily go on to say the build & finish is equal if not better than that one.
    • The fluidity of the touch interface is better than the Sony. One drawback in comparison is - this system doesn't have physical push button for volume control & one has to rely on the soft-touch control surfaces on the side (like at the lower edge of a mobile phone).

I think I said it before but I'll reiterate. A 10" tablet without 4G SIM slot and around 2GB ram - costs about INR 10-12000 or so. This system packs the same punch as that one, has GPS navigation, pretty powerful amplifier, works in a car & fits flush. Provides cool entertainment while driving! For 8000 with a 1 year warranty & rear view camera I got a steal deal beyond any doubt. (Of course that was a limited period sale price & wasn't available 4 days later when I checked for a friend.)

Here are the first images after power-up -
(Do note - I had just rested the unit on its edge & not fixed it properly in place for this test. Hence it looks a bit protruding outwards. Better images below. After the test, I removed it and put it back in the box, now waiting for the connectors and wires for other equipment.)


DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-firstimpressions1.jpg

DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-firstimpressions2.jpg

DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-systemconfiguration.jpg



Look closely & you'll see that the MCU version starts with "CVD"! What an unfortunate coincidence that it has all the consonants from "COVID". 2020 really is a wicked year.

Also note - the head unit is pretty slim since it has no optical drive in it. It doesn't have a bracket to reach & mount on the 4 stock screw-holes in the dashboard like the stock head unit. Instead - this android system is mounted with screws into the face-plate. And the weight rests on the surrounding edges of the face-plate & the clips into the dashboard. Its light weight so won't be an issue, but be mindful to ensure that all clips fit properly & don't pop out while driving.

Here are a couple of snaps after the installation was completed & I pushed the head unit into place. It was already getting dark & my mobile camera does a poor job in such lighting conditions I'm afraid.

DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-finished1.jpg


DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-finished2.jpg



Reverse Camera Test at Dusk -

Here is a quick test of the reverse camera at quite late in the evening when it was starting to get pretty dark. As you can see, my camera is not able to properly cope up with the exposure due to the lack of ambient lighting. The camera output is more than satisfactory for the use even in full darkness.




The RAM Conundrum!
2GB or 1GB? Or are they all 1GB with just a software hack? Naughty Chinese?

So like I mentioned in the opening post, going back to the RAM scenario. Originally I had planned on buying a 2GB RAM system assuming more fluid response & faster behaviour by the OS. Rishi from MotorBasket kept me assured that even if I went with a 1GB system, I'd not notice any relative lag. So went with a 1GB system.

I checked the RAM chip number from the ventilation gaps in the rear housing of the HU. Found 2 chips from SEC with IC number K4B2G0446D. These are DDR chips of 512MB each. 2 chips = 1GB RAM. I checked with Rishi & honestly he confirmed that it seems the units that he got from his supplier in China seem to have same 2 chips even in the 2GB options. Now unless the PCB in the 2GB system has another 2 chips on the underside - those are also with 1GB RAM & just have a software that shows 2GB. Smartly played Chinese folks!! But then, there are some of us who take the pain to verify & know how electronic items are made! Take that China & dealers in India who might be aware of this!

Rishi immediately removed all the 2GB listings from their portal after finding this. Afterwards - the Chinese dealer apparently accepted that a wrong batch was sent. The most recent consignment apparently has started seeing proper 2GB RAM chips on the units. I suggest buyers if opting for 2GB systems - better confirm the authenticity.

(There is always a possibility like I mentioned - with 2 additional chips on the flip side of the PCB. But I don't know about it since I don't have a 2GB system & don't want to open and break the warranty seal. Considering how these things are generally structured, the chances of another set of chips are low. For a 2GB system, generally the approach is to install 2 chips of 1GB each instead of 512GB each so that the assembly line needs no extra step of flipping the PCB during soldering. Just load the banks with different chips & you get a 2GB system on same assembly line.)


So that's another DIY complete. At a leisurely pace this time around as some of the items I ordered took eternity to deliver from Amazon thanks to random lockdowns all around the nation due to Covid19. I hope folks find it useful. Happy to help as always should one have a query!

Last edited by Reinhard : 23rd July 2020 at 22:53.
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Old 24th July 2020, 02:57   #9
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re: DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10

Note from Support: Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the DIY section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 24th July 2020, 03:01   #10
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re: DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10

Very informative & detailed write-up of the installation, Reinhard!

May I suggest to disconnect the negative battery terminal before tinkering with electronics.
Also, if you like fooling around with the car, invest in a trim removal kit. They're inexpensive and the kit will come with an assortment of trim removals in plastic & metal. That way nothing is marred.
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Old 24th July 2020, 10:13   #11
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Re: DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10

Very good work. Nice setup. One thing which I wanted to share with you is that, people generally use thicker (Lower Gauge) power wires for the amplifier. The reason being 12V DC means its a low voltage but high power (ampere) drawing equipment. I would advice you to feel the wire after about an hour of usage, if it's hot to touch, better to go for thicker ones.
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Old 24th July 2020, 13:40   #12
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Re: DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10

Excellent DIY sir loved it

I'm shocked to see such good results especially the reversing camera. That aftermarket reversing camera is better than my Fortuner's system, heck the entire ICE is better than what Toyota gives!
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Old 24th July 2020, 15:28   #13
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Re: DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10

Can you please explain the wiring of the amplifier switch for me once.
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Old 24th July 2020, 16:23   #14
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Re: DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10

Quote:
Originally Posted by aah78 View Post
Very informative & detailed write-up of the installation, Reinhard!

May I suggest to disconnect the negative battery terminal before tinkering with electronics.
Also, if you like fooling around with the car, invest in a trim removal kit. They're inexpensive and the kit will come with an assortment of trim removals in plastic & metal. That way nothing is marred.
Thanks aah78! Glad you liked it. Indeed - yes best to remove the -ve terminal of the battery. During my install I basically kept all the setup isolated. Connected the 12V wire of the amplifier to the battery right at the end & also hooked up the head unit coupler when everything else was in place and secured. Will keep in mind to undo the -ve terminal of the battery for better safety.

As for the trim remover kit - I had ordered it an year ago from AliExpress. It never reached & I got a refund. Tried looking up on Amazon.in a few times and the cost wasn't justified (retailing over 1000 INR when I last checked). So when I suspect there will be a scratch risk - I cover the screw driver with a rag. A very crude way indeed. I'll be ordering the trim remover kit soon.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TN13Sleeper View Post
Very good work. Nice setup. One thing which I wanted to share with you is that, people generally use thicker (Lower Gauge) power wires for the amplifier. The reason being 12V DC means its a low voltage but high power (ampere) drawing equipment. I would advice you to feel the wire after about an hour of usage, if it's hot to touch, better to go for thicker ones.
Thanks TN13Sleeper. Yes - The amplifier by my calculations will pull a maximum of 15 Ampere current on full load (the amplifier's fuse is also 15Amp) - i.e. full volume, max gain etc. Nominally it should pull around 5-10 amperes which is well within the limits of the very good quality Polycab copper wires. The wires also have a dual layer coat including Teflon layer for extra security. I have already tried using it for a full hour with more than average volume & the wires were cool as a cucumber. Indeed - this is something I'll keep monitoring for a while & will change the wire should the need arise. Its a pretty simple job.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CEF_Beasts View Post
Excellent DIY sir loved it.
I'm shocked to see such good results especially the reversing camera. That aftermarket reversing camera is better than my Fortuner's system, heck the entire ICE is better than what Toyota gives!
Thanks CEF_Beasts. Glad you liked it. Yes - the same feeling I share for the stock setup from my Nexon. The camera output in the Nexon looks like pictures transmitted from Mars in comparison with what I get now on the Alto. The finish of the Android unit is certainly top notch & can put a lot of OEM systems to shame. What needs to be tested of course is its endurance & longevity. Something we'll know with time .
Quote:
Originally Posted by viXit View Post
Can you please explain the wiring of the amplifier switch for me once.
Perhaps this simple circuit diagram I made will help you & others. I have used a 12V DC illuminated switch which I had in stock. So it has 3 wires. 1 for input, other for output (where you connect the load) and one for ground.

I have simply installed it in series with the REM wire that goes from the head unit to the amplifier (which in itself is a wire working as a switch). If you use a simple AC/DC 2 pin rocker toggle switch - you'll simply have to connect the REM wire coming from the head unit to 1 pin of the switch & the wire from the other pin of the switch to the REM pin on the amplifier. When the switch is "ON" it will complete the circuit and send the 12V to REM wire. Simple.

I have drawn the diagram quickly using PowerPoint. So please excuse the absolute massacre of electronic circuit diagram principles and standard symbols.

DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10-circuit-diagram.jpg

Last edited by Reinhard : 24th July 2020 at 16:31.
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Old 24th July 2020, 19:23   #15
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Re: DIY - ICE ICE Baby! Audio System Revamp in my Alto K10

Enjoyed reading the DIY Reinhard! I am tempted to do this myself on my K10 too, though won't go for the rear camera and rear speakers setup. I am not really stepping out of the house unless needed and the crappy stock system is not allowing my Morels at the front to sing.
Few questions:
1. How is the output without amp? I don't have one now, but will purchase one in future. Not keen on buying amp from Amazon. If we compare the output with a sub 15k unit from Pioneer / Sony,
2. Can you share the various sound customization options. I see this unit has DSP as well
3. My installer told me not to go for Android head units, any reason - apart from the fact he will lose on profit
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