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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
I'm one of those - like others, as I've read in the forum recently - who's been let down by the CD player.
Mine died the first time on 1st Dec, then started working again for a few days, then dead again till now.

The radio and all the rest is working, so I've read a lot of posts here and done some research and looks like a good solution to this is xcarlink, so I'm thinking of going for that.

Before buying the product, I hope some of you can answer my final questions please, thanks in advance! :D

1) My car is a Civic 2008 SE with i-shift, NO SAT NAV, but has the Honda factory/dealer fitted Bluetooth and factory/dealer fitted rear parking sensors. Is there any problem connecting xcarlink in this scenario? Y cable required?

2) The ideal place to fit xcarlink seems to be the front small compartment below the radio Do I need the extra Honda Y cable for length? (I suppose not)

3) Does anybody know size limit for the USB stick? I've got a 16 or 32 Gb to reuse.

4) Can xcarlink display mp3 data (track names etc) through the radio display like playing an MP3 CD using the "Disp" button?

5) I may be able to fit it myself but I have neither time nor will to do so. Any suggestions on who can do it properly and maybe for a reasonable price? I'm in the Milton keynes area: would Halfords be ok?

Thanks
 

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Hi

I have it in mine and personally find it a good unit. I mainly use the USB input and it works well.
Your points:

1) don't think you will need Y cable as no Sat nav but I'm not sure how Bluetooth is connected so you may end up needing it.

2) I have mine fitted in the cubby hole under the arm rest which I personally prefer

3) I use a 16gb stick but make sure it's one with good data access speed. You may also need to split larger mp3 files for it to access them but there are plenty free programmes on the web

4) mine doesn't and unless they have changed it, no track data is shown on the display

5) there is a really good how to guide on here on how to fit it. It's really not that hard would recommend having a go yourself. I'm pretty useless but only took me three hours. Personally I don't trust halfords to do anything

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #3
1) don't think you will need Y cable as no Sat nav but I'm not sure how Bluetooth is connected so you may end up needing it.
Thanks kayeabl,

1) that's the bit I'm not sure of, as the Bluetooth is connected to the stereo in some way as it interrupts (doesn't pause) the audio when a call is made or received.
I may be better off buying the cable just in case, it's not a big cost and it could be useful anyway.

2) That's personal preference. My idea is that fitting it below the radio needs less wiring around and potentially less problems.

3) I don't remember how big my stick is (16 or 32 Gb) but should be a decent speed as I was using that to record from the TV and I've used it in a hire car for audio recently.

4) I was not expecting that much and it's not a big deal: they say it displays track time though, which is something the Honda CD player doesn't do for MP3 CDs.

5) I've seen the how to: it's really good but I don't have a lot of time to do it, although I'm reasonably confident I can do it right. :)

Cheers
 

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Thanks kayeabl,
....My idea is that fitting it below the radio needs less wiring around and potentially less problems.
That's where I was going to fit mine (did it last week). By the time I had removed all the trim necessary to get to the stereo (the centre console has to come out anyway) and finding an existing hole with grommet in the armrest compartment, I thought I may as well route the cable into there. I positioned the Xcarlink unit adjacent to the handbrake (under the centre console).

EDIT Re read your post, didn't originally spot that you are going to use USB stick. I've got Ipod and Aux lead model.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
By the time I had removed all the trim necessary to get to the stereo (the centre console has to come out anyway) and finding an existing hole with grommet in the armrest compartment, I thought I may as well route the cable into there. I positioned the Xcarlink unit adjacent to the handbrake (under the centre console).

EDIT Re read your post, didn't originally spot that you are going to use USB stick. I've got Ipod and Aux lead model.
So you mean it may be actually easier to fit inside the armrest compartment?

Another reason to fit it below the radio is that is easier to access when driving if needed, unless there is a specific problem with doing so.

My idea is to mainly use the USB stick, but I don't want to rule out other options, so I'm planning to buy this unit so I can use ipod and jack as well.

BTW, I haven't found any info on the size of the unit on their web site: anybody who could please post the dimensions?

Thanks :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8

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Discussion Starter #9
Xcarlink ordered, waiting for delivery now.
I've been recommended a local garage for fitting it, will have a word with them.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've installed xcarlink last weekend! It took me about 3.5 hours (I take my time :-D) but I've got that done myself and I think it was well done. A couple of issues I've found that I haven't seen documented in other posts that may be useful to others: my Civic has the factory/dealer fitted Honda Bluetooth but it doesn't connect to the Aux port, which was unused, but I've bought a Y cable just in case, so I've decided to use it leaving one of the two connectors free. When I've connected xcarlink to the Y cable for testing it, my radio couldn't find it! As soon as I've connected xcarlink directly to the Aux port without using the Y cable it worked fine. Not sure whether I've got a defective Y cable or you need to have all three ends connected to get it work. Ideas?
The next issue is a side effect of this: after taking all apart, I was thinking of installing xcarlink in the armrest storage, so I've routed the cable for that and I've realised it was too short, with the device barely reaching the back of the handbrake! That makes sense as the excellent how to was based on having the Y cable, which provides some 20cm extra length. So if you buy the USB-SD-IPOD "all in one" model, bear that in mind.
So in the end I've had to install xcarlink inside the little storage area below the radio, as per original idea. The only problem with that is that unless you have tiny USB sticks, the little door will not close completely when the stick is inserted, so to have a cleaner thing I've switched to SD cards for my music, and that fits perfectly and I can keep the little door shut all the time. Also, if you want to connect an iPod, the connector for that is on the back of the unit with an extra cable so I need to pull the unit forward to use it that way. It works because I've left some loose cable length at the back so I can pull it out and push it back inside. The little storage area may not be big enough to accomodate xcarlink, the iPod cable and the iPod itself.

Sound: to me it sounds as good as the factory CD player, no noise anywhere and I'm pleased with that. The display just shows "CDC x-track y" and I can use the CD+/- keys on the radio and the Track+/- commands to navigate, better than nothing. I still need to figure out the best way to organise my music on the SD card. The information on the xcarlink website is out of date and you don't need to name your folders CD01, CD02 etc. Mine just works with the original names but doesn't seem to read ALL the folders: I think it can read 15 but not sure where is the limitation, so I'll try email them for info.

Thanks to all the guys who posted good info on this and the excellent how to! :-D
 
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I've installed xcarlink last weekend! It took me about 3.5 hours (I take my time :-D) but I've got that done myself and I think it was well done. A couple of issues I've found that I haven't seen documented in other posts that may be useful to others: my Civic has the factory/dealer fitted Honda Bluetooth but it doesn't connect to the Aux port, which was unused, but I've bought a Y cable just in case, so I've decided to use it leaving one of the two connectors free. When I've connected xcarlink to the Y cable for testing it, my radio couldn't find it! As soon as I've connected xcarlink directly to the Aux port without using the Y cable it worked fine. Not sure whether I've got a defective Y cable or you need to have all three ends connected to get it work. Ideas?
The next issue is a side effect of this: after taking all apart, I was thinking of installing xcarlink in the armrest storage, so I've routed the cable for that and I've realised it was too short, with the device barely reaching the back of the handbrake! That makes sense as the excellent how to was based on having the Y cable, which provides some 20cm extra length. So if you buy the USB-SD-IPOD "all in one" model, bear that in mind.
So in the end I've had to install xcarlink inside the little storage area below the radio, as per original idea. The only problem with that is that unless you have tiny USB sticks, the little door will not close completely when the stick is inserted, so to have a cleaner thing I've switched to SD cards for my music, and that fits perfectly and I can keep the little door shut all the time. Also, if you want to connect an iPod, the connector for that is on the back of the unit with an extra cable so I need to pull the unit forward to use it that way. It works because I've left some loose cable length at the back so I can pull it out and push it back inside. The little storage area may not be big enough to accomodate xcarlink, the iPod cable and the iPod itself.

Sound: to me it sounds as good as the factory CD player, no noise anywhere and I'm pleased with that. The display just shows "CDC x-track y" and I can use the CD+/- keys on the radio and the Track+/- commands to navigate, better than nothing. I still need to figure out the best way to organise my music on the SD card. The information on the xcarlink website is out of date and you don't need to name your folders CD01, CD02 etc. Mine just works with the original names but doesn't seem to read ALL the folders: I think it can read 15 but not sure where is the limitation, so I'll try email them for info.

Thanks to all the guys who posted good info on this and the excellent how to! :-D
I've got mine ready to be fitted but I'm pretty scared to do it haha, was it hard or just takes time? I literally am not a DIY person haha :(
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I've got mine ready to be fitted but I'm pretty scared to do it haha, was it hard or just takes time? I literally am not a DIY person haha :(
I think it's not difficult but it takes time: reading and understanding the instructions whilst working, going in an out to grab some extra tools etc.

Figuring out the right position of the handbrake to to get the rear centre console out and how to remove the front center console were the most difficult bits.

Reassembling everything was the easiest job: it's more difficult to remove things as you may use too much force and break little things, which is something I'm not sure I've done or not!

Basic DIY skills are required, like using a screwdriver, a wrench and connecting electrical cable. In my case I've had to use a drill to make a hole in the back of the front centre console for the xcarlink cable/connector, and smooth around the edges with a rasp.

If you are fearless you should just go for it! :D
 
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