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Ugh, Pioneer radios suck now.

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When I bought my truck 5 years ago, I wanted a backup camera as it's difficult to gauge how close things are for parking with the width and height of the deck my truck has, as well as CarPlay support for navigation.

At the time, I installed a Pioneer AVH-4000NEX, which was, at the time, the cheapest unit with support for both, and it's worked pretty good since then. For me, the only annoyances are it looses the radio station presets when the battery is disconnected, and when the backup camera is activated by putting it in reverse, it will briefly flash back to the regular radio UI, then return to the backup camera, about 2 seconds after putting the truck into reverse. There is also a warning dialog that you have to touch to make it go away, when connecting the phone up to the radio. It's not perfect, but it was working fine for me.

About 2 weeks ago, when it was really cold here, the battery was just barely getting by starting it cold, and then it didn't quite get there, something went wrong, and the radio got zapped and now gets stuck at the "Loading" screen. It was still playing the last station, but after trying to reset the deck, it no longer even did that.

So, I decide to buy a new deck, was going to get the cheapest deck with both, a JVC unit, but then went with a Pioneer AVH-1500NEX for $50, mainly because I think it's a better brand and I thought the last deck worked good until it died.

Buy it (after a runaround with visions.ca), go through the wiring and determine that all the plugs are exactly the same between the old and new decks, and install it.

Seems fine, UI is similar but a little different, and I go through and configure it, notice there's a newer firmware available for it and try updating to the newer firmware. The instructions for doing this are never precise enough to get everything right the first time, so I was powering the deck up and down a bunch of times trying to do it.

But, as part of this, I notice that every single time the deck is powered up, it comes up with a stupid lawyer "we're not responsible for anything" dialog that you have to either click away or wait about 7 seconds or so for it to go away.

From googling and watching some videos, it seems this is an across the board thing for their more advanced decks, where they all have this 7 seconds of stupid before their radio is usable (and this is after the radio boots up). And this is an improvement for Pioneer, as evidently before that (but fortunately, beginning with the model after my AVH4000NEX), they had this stupid dialog so you physically had to close it every single time, without the timeout.

So, the radio is going back. This will piss me off every single time I get in the truck.

I'll see if Alpine's lawyers don't have a stick up their butt.

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  • 1 month later...

To follow up, I returned the Pioneer unit, got an Alpine ILX-W650, wired it up using the harness  and mounting brackets I already had for the Pioneer AVH-4000NEX, and it works fine.  Other than the initial setup, there are zero stupid warning dialogs, so it's even better than the 4000NEX (which would display a warning every time I hooked my phone to it to use Carplay).


No warning on startup, and no warning when the phone is connected.

And it also installs a bit better, in that the Alpine is a lot shallower than the Pioneer units (as it doesn't have a cd/dvd player like the Pioneer units, which I never used after testing that it worked), so the wires & harness adapter aren't so jammed together behind the radio like before.

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