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Old 06-15-2020, 03:28 AM   #1
JFS
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2008 Astra XR
Default Connectivity Update (Bluetooth, Dash Cams, and Recent DIC Systems)

It has been years since others have posted about their Eonon and Parrot system fixes to break into the the audio and CAN bus systems. Probably a lot of us have been using something in your now vacant cigarette lighters to get Bluetooth capability to access content and apps in our smartphones. What works for you or what are you considering, if anything?

There are quick ways to access Google Assistant or an Alexa hosting device. Of course it is available on your phone, but Alexa is also being put into connected devices to respond to audio commands. I have always wanted to get some functionality of a pair of features that currently have no native capability in the Astra.

1.) A back up camera
2.) An easy to use dash camera
3.) While we are at it, an assistant to open Google Maps, Waze, or other apps without taking my hands off the wheel.

In California, I think the fine for being seen handling your phone while driving is close to $500. Police right now are pretty amped up and difficult to work with. I work in the periphery of emergency medicine where the police are in the ER or even ICU to get information or statements and it has never been as uncomfortable or difficult as right now. I would not look forward to being pulled over in the next year or so. Granted, messing with ones phone while driving is dangerous, but pulling over to do some hasty application opening on the side of the road is not without risk. I think I have found a dash cam that can help me with most of the three problems described above.

I have settled on purchasing a Nextbase 422 GW dash cam.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6US6jOLlLM

It has the same functionality of the current Nextbase flagship 522 GW, but in a smaller form factor. Yes, that means a smaller screen (2.5" vs. 3") for the rear view function, but I will adapt. This dash cam offers three different styles of rear view cameras, I prefer the ping pong ball looking unit that swivel mounts magnetically on the rear window. A modified HDMI connection brings power and imaging connectivity from the front camera. I tend to like British electronics since I purchased a Sinclair computer and Brit stereo components in the 80's.

Nextbase has a habit of announcing a new flagship and the price of the previous flagship and other dash cameras in their line up plummets. So is the case for the 422 GW as the 622 GW gets ready to come to market. The 422 GW was $279 in February and is now $229 on Amazon. The Honey shopping extension informed me of a price drop to $169 at Best Buy. Since I have no self control when it comes to shiny tech, I had to buy it.

There is a hardwire kit available to fit into our mini-fuse type connections. I do not want to interfere with the integrity of the fuse box under the hood by having a crimped wire partially holding the 12 year old cover open, so I plan to find an open slot in the back fuse box and run one wire forward (enough cable for an SUV) and the other to the rear mounted camera. I suck at car electronics, so I am open to any suggestions about which only-powered-on-when-the-car-is-running circuit I should use.

Also, please remember to let me know what works for you and what you think of my choice.
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Old 06-15-2020, 11:29 AM   #2
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Default Re: Connectivity Update (Bluetooth, Dash Cams, and Recent DIC Systems)

Bumping for interest. I'd be happy with something that would just pair with a phone to play music. Currently using a simple bluetooth-to-FM repeater in the cigarette lighter.

I spent some time a few weeks ago searching the forums. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell all of the "remove onstar and plug this into the wiring harness" systems (like the parrot) that people were installing in the 2008-2010 time frame are no longer available for purchase.
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Old 06-15-2020, 11:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: Connectivity Update (Bluetooth, Dash Cams, and Recent DIC Systems)

c. 2009 Best Buy installed a iPhone charger / audio player. Complete hack job. I wrote the brand of kit somewhere on the forum. Sound quality was terrible and I think it was draining power 24/7.

- They patched into the cigarette lighter for 12v DC power and added 2 fuses external in their new wiring mess tucked into the center console (both a clear glass tube and a bladed plastic auto type).

- They used a FM wireless transmitter at ~89.1MHz.

- They patched a 6-inch long antenna extension cable. I think that cable was probably unshielded and had the ability to disconnect the outside antenna via a separate on-off switch added to the console.
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Old 06-16-2020, 08:17 AM   #4
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Default Re: Connectivity Update (Bluetooth, Dash Cams, and Recent DIC Systems)

I've been using a cig lighter bluetooth transmitter like this for a couple years now. It also powers my dash cam, which means I have to plug and unplug it every time I drive because I've noticed our Astras keep the cig lighter powered with the key off.

It works well for apps like Spotify. My android phone will automatically connect to the car once I plug in the transmitter and start playing music. It's annoying for phone calls though because you have to switch audio outputs on your phone while driving, which is obviously very distracting and illegal, so I just let it ring.

...
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'72 Chevrolet El Camino
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Old 06-19-2020, 01:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: Connectivity Update (Bluetooth, Dash Cams, and Recent DIC Systems)

The price of my chosen camera is spiraling down, was $160 48 hours ago:

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/nextbas...?skuId=6346989
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Old 06-20-2020, 12:54 AM   #6
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Default Re: Connectivity Update (Bluetooth, Dash Cams, and Recent DIC Systems)

Quote:
Originally Posted by JFS View Post
The price of my chosen camera is spiraling down, was $160 48 hours ago:

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/nextbas...?skuId=6346989
So if these links above disappear, I'm noting an item I've purchased has dropped $34 since my purchase 2-3 days ago at Best Buy. This is after falling from $229 to $160 in the two weeks prior. More than $100 off. They have a price matching policy, so I called to ask if they would meet their own lowered price for my yet-to-be-delivered dash cam. They agreed to do that, and the item happened to arrive an hour later.

I love capitalism.
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Old 06-22-2020, 10:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: Connectivity Update (Bluetooth, Dash Cams, and Recent DIC Systems)

Quote:
Originally Posted by maschinenbauer View Post
I've been using a cig lighter bluetooth transmitter like this for a couple years now. It also powers my dash cam, which means I have to plug and unplug it every time I drive because I've noticed our Astras keep the cig lighter powered with the key off.

It works well for apps like Spotify. My android phone will automatically connect to the car once I plug in the transmitter and start playing music. It's annoying for phone calls though because you have to switch audio outputs on your phone while driving, which is obviously very distracting and illegal, so I just let it ring.

How does it work you just press that Green button to answer calls?
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