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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
links to manuals
PDF read online or download. searchable by pressing ctrl F

read online, w/ links in the Table of Contents

but neither manual is easy for me to understand. for example
  • my brain doesn't want separate sections called Monitor & Display
  • also they use termonology which is difficult to find elsewhere in the document like "Navigation Day/Night display setting"

1st look & 1st reactions w/ a grain of salt. the more I use it, the more I'll know how to use it efficiently. I might be critical of something now, that I will learn to appreciate. or, I may not know how to access a feature or setting. it's been in the car for approx. 24 hrs, but I've been busy w/ taxes, car shopping for Daughter & working my 2nd job, oh and a new snow storm. I'll update further in the thread as necessary

because my model does not have the center front dash speaker, the installer put the GPS antenna under the grill. seems to be working fine
the new mic is clipped onto the headliner between the visor & mirror. (photo to follow) Wifey reports talking on the phone seems normal
I've read that one can use the OEM car mic but you would have to splice wires

PROS
wireless CarPlay via WIFI not Bluetooth
if your phone has WIFI off & you try to connect via Bluetooth the phone displays a msg to turn the WIFI on to connect. which it does very quickly. then when you do that, that’s hows its connected & the Bluetooth is still not paired (don’t know if that’s good or bad). I may never need to use Bluetooth
certainly don't need a wire (unless I want to charge)
(using the MagicMount in this pic)
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layout of controls and GUI not nearly as easy & fast as the Jeep's OEM Uconnect radio/nav
no comparison, if your radio is working don’t change it!
this is a good option instead of getting the 8” jeep radio if you only now have a base model radio
but whoever designed the GUI & Nav of the Jeep’s, did a real nice job
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the Apple CarPlay nav screen (below) takes over the whole screen & is much larger than the map display with the built in Garmin (above). but maybe I haven't found all the display controls yet
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one can turn off the phone screen to conserve juice
this morning I opted to use the built in Garmin GPS so I could listen to a movie
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EVIC display still shows the synched GPS turns. which is cool. but actually I'd rather turn that off, but I can't figure out how. it used to be buried in the Jeep menus. if it's in there I'll find it. but now that it's there a lot, I just now realized it will display other details from the GPS such as ETA, Estimated Time of Arrival & DTD, Distance to Destination

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keeps SD card functionality but OEM slot in front console gets covered (not shown)
new SD card location is behind the radio screen, open the radio using the CAM button in lower right corner
installer said the kit included a new front console cluster w/ the SD card covered, an AUX input & power socket
the new front USB port, next to the power socket, is illuminated. which is cool
(not shown) but here's the motorized screen in action. kinda weird


easy access to climate control / heated seat & steering wheel screen
touch any climate control below radio, like temp up/down or fan speed & the radio switches to the climate screen (not shown)

you can view the backup camera while driving forward but I don’t recommend driving like that! it's weird! but I tried it BEFORE putting the car in reverse & that seemed like a genuine safety benefit!
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CONS

OEM Jeep acreens are more refined

the user interface, in general, is not very intuitive, for example, when you plug a device in, it doesn’t just start playing it (like the Jeep radio used to do)

for example you have to select the USB as the input source. flash drive plays music very well tho

usually setting a radio preset is the easiest thing to do. one has to press the ch# squarely & fully for it tio accept the save. the ch presests are large & unrefined & only 3 or 4 are displayed. so you have to swipe that channel bar up or down to see more. I remember the Jeep displaying 5 or 6 along the top. they looked nice & it displayed my most used stations w/o having to scroll

smaller screen

Jeep radio has waaaay more functions & capabilities, OEM Jeep radio doesn’t just look better, it does more (but maybe more than anyone needs?)

to access the SD card slot you have to activate the motorized screen tilt. yes, it tilts! I’d rather the radio head unit have a larger front (& screen) w/ an SD slot right there in front, or why not retain the OEM SD slot in the lower front console cluster? seems like having all that motorized machinery is an unnecessary extra annoyance

cpl other pics
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
the mic may seem prominent in this photo, but honestly, I don't even notice it
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it's hard to tell in daylight, but the front USB port, AUX input jack & power port, have an illuminated ring around them. honestly don't remember what it was like before w/ the original Jeep unit (note the blocked off SD card slot)
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this is the original cluster that came out
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  • found the radio memory settings section of the manual, so looking forward to setting my favorite radio stations
  • found the AUX input jack info (see in later posting)
  • regarding satellite radio, shame on me, I didn't ask Crutchfield & no one asked me, & it wasn't automatically included in the list of items to order (mildly disappointed) a separate antenna connection adapter, so I no longer have the option of using satellite radio. when I try, the radio displays a "check tuner" msg. not really a problem, because I don't need it
the radio is OK looking & I figured out how to save a preset, push & hold a button on the right, but you have to push properly, that was my problem I guess. it may need a full fingertip to register. btw I don't promote this particular radio station, when they stray from sports, they really stray ...
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when off, getting out of the car it doesn't look bad & seems to blend well enough. the main thing is, it's functional & reliable, including the backup camera, which is so nice to have back. it was July 2020, when the original radio started to fail, seems like a lifetime ago. & not having it for my long awaited summer vacation (during the "covid year") was pretty annoying
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the small front console cluster does indeed illuminate all sockets except for the former USB slot
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*I still need to double check the Firmware Update. a 300meg file I downloaded to a flash drive. Tech Support said I may or may not need it. so, like the Jeep, one has to check the current version to the updated version. I read it should only take 5 minutes ... EDIT - less than 10 minutes (see later posting)
 

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How did you get the nav on the evic? Did your car come with factory navigation? if so that is prob how.
 

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Is the sound quality better with the Kenwood vs factory uconnect system? Louder? How hard was the install, did the installer say? I have done many many car stereo installs on older cars but never on a newer than 2010 vehicle. Tia
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
How did you get the nav on the evic? Did your car come with factory navigation? if so that is prob how.
yes, I had the OEM nav unit. but who knows, if you have the base radio & put this in, or the Jeep's 8.4, the EVIC might just display stuff too. I have no idea. look for threads where ppl upgraded to the Jeep nav unit
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Is the sound quality better with the Kenwood vs factory uconnect system? Louder? How hard was the install, did the installer say? I have done many many car stereo installs on older cars but never on a newer than 2010 vehicle. Tia
seems the same to me, but I may not have a discerning ear at age 62

INSTALLATION
  • installer said it was no biggie. I'll be posting some pics of the stuff that was returned to me
  • because the new radio was deeper, some bracket inside the Jeep comes out
  • there's a little black iDatalink Maestro box that gets installed somewhere in the dash, the installer said he would zip tie it somewhere, but honestly don't know the details of what he actually did. it's the size of 4 packs of cards, stacked in pars & side by side
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  • the front console cluster is plug-in easy, (photo in earlier posting)
  • the decorative trim (photo to follow) was the most labor intensive thing for just swapping little screws, the installer chuckled that something so NON-technical took the most amount of time
  • he said it was a 2 hour job, but he is pretty adept. charged me $200 & I tipped him
  • I offered to hang around & be his gofer, like for coffee & lunch etc. but he didn't want company. I know I would probably have been all up in there anyway, with my camera, so it's probably for the best
  • there are a very few install videos on youtube & there's a lot that's not discussed or shown
 

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Discussion Starter #7
took a look in the box this morning, here's more of what I got back
a tool
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faceplates
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some wire adapters. interesting that 1 has a mini jack on it
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2 USB extensions that weren't required
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the radio
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note that the dealer? blocked off one of the bar codes w/ a marker. the installer gave me a head's up about it. I won't publish his theory on that, because it's a serious allegation
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a little rubbing alcohol revealed the barcode underneath
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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
  • the separate volume control for the GPS turn-by-turn instructions is maintained, just like w/ the Jeep's you adjust it while "she" is talking
  • the original "Screen Off" button does not turen off the screen (see later posting)
  • the orginal "Back" button function in maintained
 

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the separate volume control for the GPS turn-by-turn instructions is still there. just like w/ the Jeep's you have to adjust it while "she" is talking. the volume of whatever you are listening to gets reduced while "she" gives directions, but you can still hear it. so, it's a balance one must make. it bothers me to miss something being said on the radio or other media while the GPS tells me to make a turn in 1/2 mile. so if you turn that down you can still hear the radio, or whatever, even tho it get's turned down a little
Thanks for all your detailed posts regarding this upgrade. It will come in very handy for someone else doing this in the future!
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Thanks for all your detailed posts regarding this upgrade. It will come in very handy for someone else doing this in the future!
my pleasure. it's torture trying to get accurate information in advance

it must be very difficult for companies like Kenwood & iDatalink to design radios & modules to interface with various vehicles' specific factory security & convenience feature control units. some things are bound to fall thru the cracks. Crutchfield makes their best effort to present features, benefits & compatibility, but I think only a vehicle owner, who has lived with their vehicle for a cpl years, can really explain what happens when a unit is installed. to be honest, I don't even know if I made the best choice. I kinda chose the least expensive unit that had a built in GPS

another challenge the designers have is, how close should they copy the GUI of original radios

I'm thinking I should show the climate control screen next
- the rear defroster, heated seats & steering wheel still comes on automatically, with remote start, when it is cold enough, which I am glad for
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
If you plug something into the "new" aux jack does anything happen?
thank you for asking, if you plug something into the "new" aux jack nothing happens. BUT! I finally found out how! one needs to select "Media Player" even tho the icon looks like a USB flash drive! argh!

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while it's playing it looks like this. no song info of course, cuz it's just an audio jack. sound quality seems perfectly fine
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so now I know how, but why would I want to use it, w/ all the other, more informative input options available?
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on to the next mystery
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
CLIMATE
- cycle thru the center flow direction button, to get the Feet & Front Defroster option (w/o pressing the original hard button for the defroster, under the radio. that button still works but using the soft button on this screen is needed for the foot/windshield combo. for some reason it doesn't cycle thru all options so easily. maybe it's the way I'm pressing it
(it helps to try these things while you're parked / not driving in a snow storm)
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so many more settings to review ... like adding background photos & changing color schemes ... still think the Jeep screens are more refined
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
did the firmware update
  • Crutchfield Customer Support emailed me the link for the 300 meg download which I unzipped to a USB flash drive
  • took very little time (5-10? min) to update the radio w/ the engine running
  • the radio, out of the box, seemed to be working as designed, but the version # needed updating
  • lost nothing. kept all setting changes & saved presets, such as moving the soft buttons on the diff. screens
  • haven't noticed any difference using it, after the update
 

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Nice swap. I do like the uconnect unit but there are a couple of things I wish were different. I had a JVC touchscreen media unit in my suburban and I really liked the way it did some things. Like auto-reconnecting to my phone for BT playback. But the factory unit is pretty capable so can't really justify a swap in my '19. My JVC system required a special adapter for the aux cable and since they are the same company that may be true on the Kenwood. I would certainly miss the climate controls for sure. but wireless android auto would be nice.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Nice swap. I do like the uconnect unit but there are a couple of things I wish were different. I had a JVC touchscreen media unit in my suburban and I really liked the way it did some things. Like auto-reconnecting to my phone for BT playback. But the factory unit is pretty capable so can't really justify a swap in my '19. My JVC system required a special adapter for the aux cable and since they are the same company that may be true on the Kenwood. I would certainly miss the climate controls for sure. but wireless android auto would be nice.
(y) yeah it connects nicely especially with the WIFI connection. maybe it's a stronger or faster frequency?

  • the phone is paired w/ Bluetooth so if my phone WIFI is off, the phone still connects using Bluetooth, but if my WIFI is not on, it really wants you to turn it on, instead of relying on Bluetooth. I hope to know more about all that as time goes by
  • wireless is pretty sweet. helps manage the phone battery recharge cycles
  • I have all climate controls
  • was just playing with using photos. there diff. things you can do like single image & slide show. but I think it's a distraction I don't need. kinda fun using a pic of my own car tho, haha
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  • I would like to change or delete the box on the top left of the screen (it's called a "Widget")
  • and change the size of the time display. this is so raw, just plastered out there
  • wouldn't mind seeing the outdoor temp near the date & time, along the bottom maybe
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  • learned how to set the backup camera not to come on, unless I press the cam button. not sure why I wouldn't want it to come on in reverse (it's a camera "interrupt" setting)
  • this pic below doesn't do it justice. was just taking out the recycling & got a view from the back. it was all lit up w/ matching other dash lites w/ blues & reds. doesn't really show tho. shud use a real camera
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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
  • pressing the Jeep's Screen Off button does not turn the screen off anymore. it stops whatever is playing & goes into "STANDBY". similar to pressing the volume button, but also clears the screen of display info. there's also a "Standby" soft button on one of the screens
  • pressing the volume button mutes any audio, but Kenwood added a nice touch that the audio doesn't just cut out, it fades out
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  • need to figure out dimmer settings, currently it does not dim when I dim the instrument panel. there's a selection for syncing the dimmer, which I've selected but it doesn't seem to sync. & another selection for synching with the navigation, but I can't it any setting to work
  • there's a separate setting for screen brightness
  • related: would like to change the NAV brightness at night. the Jeep used to switch automatically at a certain time of day. but have only found a single mention of "Navigation Day/Night display setting" (which can link to the dimmer somehow)
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
CONNECTIVITY
- funny that it took getting a new radio to use the TALK BUTTON on the steering wheel. also cool w/ wireless CarPlay. pressed the button & was able to send 3 text messages & 1 phone call w/o taking my hands off the wheel
 

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Discussion Starter #20
MORE RADIO
- after saving a cpl more preset radio stations this morning, I realized some stations transmit their logo. which gets set as the icon for that channel!

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