Do Not Sell My Personal Information Jump to content


Android Auto or Apple Carplay - Carlinkit Decoder 2.0


Recommended Posts

Given that there are no plans by Lexus to make an Android Auto/Apple Carplay retrofit available for the 2018 RX and given also that I can neither afford, nor justify, the best part of £600 on a Grom Vline, I decided to order a Carlinkit from AliExpress for just under £200.

Estimated delivery is 7 to 15 days from China and is free with DHL.

I'll let you know how I go on and if I can remember to do it I'll also post a 'how to' video of the install.


2021-04-23.thumb.png.7967c574af1ea6df68589d6953050d32.png

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ordered on Friday 23rd at 8pm, arrived from China at 2.30pm today, Wednesday 28th, just five days later and all for the sum of £199.08 including delivery!

Because I can't get the car under cover I'll need a dry day to fit it but I'm hoping sometime over the weekend will be dry enough.


carlinkit.thumb.jpg.accbf610f4becec1bea7b066abaefbf8.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Finally, my 'spare time' and some good enough weather managed to come together today and I'm glad to say that the unit is in and working.

The kit only comes with installation instructions and there's nothing to tell you how to actually work it or use it, so it's a matter of 'suck it and see' really. Obviously you'll need the Android Auto app (or Carplay if you have an iPhone) on your phone and I've just discovered that as of Android 10 and upwards, it's actually baked into the OS and will automatically open when you connect the phone to the decoder unit. If you have Android 9 or below, the Android Auto app is available to download from the Play Store and you have to open it yourself when you want it.

I would have done a 'How to' video of the installation but I don't believe in reinventing the wheel if I don't have to, so at the end of this post I'll link to a YouTube video that explains it all very well. Referring to the video and the instruction sheet that comes with the unit makes it a reasonably easy job.

The video shows you how to remove the trim pieces and how to get the head unit out. NB: When removing the trim, he only removes the passenger side piece of the centre console, not the driver's side. However, I spent ages trying to replace the trim piece containing the Power Button until I found out that part of it sits under the driver's side centre console piece. It sounds more complicated than it actually is but once you realise why it won't go back on it'll all fall into place.

This first photo shows the head unit out of it's mounting. To wire the decoder unit in, it's simply a job of removing some of these connectors from the head unit and diverting the wires to the decoder and back.


aa1.thumb.jpg.ac3d5c714fc8b4a5443ea288dbebc5a4.jpg


This second photo shows the decoder unit. I initially stuck it to the bulkhead with Velcro but discovered that there is plenty of room below there to just tuck the unit down below, so I did that and all the wiring is now neatly zip-tied and out of the way.


Inkedaa2_LI.thumb.jpg.3791b2028e656594d6994df09b64328d.jpg


A couple of wires have to be fed up from the decoder to the screen and that's about it. Test it, and if all good replace everything and then try to work out how to use it :laughing:


aa4.thumb.jpg.eb808e6ca02777176c414f6c53c3a56f.jpg


aa3.thumb.jpg.c2196774ece46001f40fef4b28ed22ae.jpg


And here's the video of how to get the trim off and other stuff. You'll notice that he takes out the glove box but then finds out he didn't really need to, so I didn't bother doing that.

 

 

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Herbie changed the title to Android Auto or Apple Carplay - Carlinkit Decoder 2.0
  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, great tutorial! I have the same RX 2018 as you. Does the maps etc show on full screen? Is it possible to see some more pictures of it in action if possible please? Also which buttons did you have to put “up” and “down” on the decoder box for the RX?

 

Many thanks

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Josh12345 said:

Hi, great tutorial! I have the same RX 2018 as you. Does the maps etc show on full screen? Is it possible to see some more pictures of it in action if possible please? Also which buttons did you have to put “up” and “down” on the decoder box for the RX?

 

Many thanks

I promise that when I've mastered using it myself I'll post some more stuff, maybe a video, but right now it's very much a matter of playing with it and see what happens. I'm hoping to get more apps on the screen but not much success as yet.

As for the DIP switches, I think it was either 234 or 235 on, everything else off. They only control the display so if you get it wrong it maybe shows nothing, maybe top half or whatever, but at least it does no harm when playing about with them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Herbs.

Interesting.

Is this the same as the one you bought: https://www.ebay.de/itm/402769125496

And without taking the car apart will this do the same: https://www.ebay.de/itm/Drahtloser-Carlinkit-V2-0-Bluetooth-USB-Aktivator-fr-Autos-mit-OEM-Wired-CarPlay-/402338630302  ?

We have a CT Luxury I think from October 2016.

Only reason for me to be interested is that the Navigation system in the Lexus is useless. A lot of streets are not in there and the way to destination has once been against a one-way street (no I did not drive as the navigation system told me).

Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Las Palmas said:

Is this the same as the one you bought: https://www.ebay.de/itm/402769125496

Hi John,

Yes, that does look the same. This is the one I got from China (Aliexpress)

27 minutes ago, Las Palmas said:

No, sadly it won't.

The first device is the actual decoder unit and is basically just an interface that allows the phone to talk to the car in such a way that you can display your phone screen on the bigger car screen. It's like screen mirroring in a way, but specifically set up for cars and their drivers.

You'll still have to take the car apart no matter what, because that's the only way to connect into the big screen and also connect to the steering wheel controls so that you can continue to use the originals. If you think of it like this: phone > decoder > car.

apple Carplay can connect the phone to the decoder wirelessly, whereas Android Auto needs a USB connection between the phone and the decoder. That second unit you linked to does this job. The unit has a physical connection to the decoder but it can be hidden away in the centre console armrest or any other cubby hole and will connect to the phone wirelessly.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you,

Too lazy to take the car apart and have an old Garmin with lifelong free updates and it is far better than Google maps so if ever this stupid virus situation go so much away that we get to mainland Europe the Garmin navi will come with us. Have a bike navigation also from Garmin with free updates that can be in pocket so the car model can be in the car and the bike navi is fine to have in pocket if in Paris, where everybody can get lost and nobody speak anything but French. I like Cartier and many other French things, but French is a language I still have not bothered learning.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...
27 minutes ago, Dylanlewis2000 said:

Quick question... do any of the wires need splicing for power? Could you, theoretically, add this in, then remove it without a trace?

Yes, everything is easily reversible and no cutting of wires necessary at all.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...




Forums


News


Membership