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Grom Vline 2 - First impressions and a quick demo


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As some of you are aware, I bought one of these units back around the end of October but had lots of problems with it, all of which were due to a faulty main wiring harness.

Thankfully it's all sorted now and working brilliantly, so I thought I'd do a quick demo video. I know it's not brilliant but you'll get the gist of it and it may be enough to give someone that final impetus if they've been thinking of getting one.

It seems that a lot of people mount the unit in the glove box but we didn't want to lose that space, so I decided to put it in the 'spare' space under the centre console lift-out tray. The unit itself fits nicely in there and the tray doesn't interfere with it at all, but it's a bit of a faff getting access to run the wiring.


grom4.thumb.jpg.9fd316b35e8772688dda1532a19e9c18.jpg


Initially I thought it would be easy enough to get the side panel off but I discovered that you have to go in through the top of the console to do that, but doing that gives good access anyway and negates the need to remove the side panel.


grom3.thumb.jpg.24c9af4de7fdd7ffbab4464841d731e5.jpg


The green/yellow wire is what I used as a draw wire to get the harness where I wanted it to be, simply by taping the harness connector to the wire and feeding it in from the front as I gently pulled it towards the back.

This is when I discovered that the harness was just a smidgen too short. It did actually connect to the unit but it was under a bit of strain, so obviously that had to be sorted. There are 13 wires in the harness so I went to CPC and bought this reel of cable to extend the harness with. I know I didn't need a 100m reel but hey, it'll come in handy for something :thumbsup:

I then cut 13 pieces, each 10" long, and one-by-one I cut each wire of the harness in turn and spliced in the new pieces, soldering and double heat-shrinking each joint.


grom2.thumb.jpg.57be4d868cd30e4caf8f2a602fe1cdf0.jpg


This last photo shows the completed harness with the new length arrowed.


grom1.thumb.jpg.9ae0a25e796f30e1f993f80fb31f19ae.jpg


This video will give you an insight into how it works and what I think of it. I'm no expert on making videos and commenting on them so I apologise for my less than professional attempt, and also for the moments where the camera autofocus struggles for a second or two and the strobing effect that's sometimes present. I used the camera on an old Xiaomi Redmi phone for the video and it's not done too badly with it.

 

 

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22 hours ago, Herbie said:

As some of you are aware, I bought one of these units back around the end of October but had lots of problems with it, all of which were due to a faulty main wiring harness.

Thankfully it's all sorted now and working brilliantly, so I thought I'd do a quick demo video. I know it's not brilliant but you'll get the gist of it and it may be enough to give someone that final impetus if they've been thinking of getting one.

It seems that a lot of people mount the unit in the glove box but we didn't want to lose that space, so I decided to put it in the 'spare' space under the centre console lift-out tray. The unit itself fits nicely in there and the tray doesn't interfere with it at all, but it's a bit of a faff getting access to run the wiring.


grom4.thumb.jpg.9fd316b35e8772688dda1532a19e9c18.jpg


Initially I thought it would be easy enough to get the side panel off but I discovered that you have to go in through the top of the console to do that, but doing that gives good access anyway and negates the need to remove the side panel.


grom3.thumb.jpg.24c9af4de7fdd7ffbab4464841d731e5.jpg


The green/yellow wire is what I used as a draw wire to get the harness where I wanted it to be, simply by taping the harness connector to the wire and feeding it in from the front as I gently pulled it towards the back.

This is when I discovered that the harness was just a smidgen too short. It did actually connect to the unit but it was under a bit of strain, so obviously that had to be sorted. There are 13 wires in the harness so I went to CPC and bought this reel of cable to extend the harness with. I know I didn't need a 100m reel but hey, it'll come in handy for something :thumbsup:

I then cut 13 pieces, each 10" long, and one-by-one I cut each wire of the harness in turn and spliced in the new pieces, soldering and double heat-shrinking each joint.


grom2.thumb.jpg.57be4d868cd30e4caf8f2a602fe1cdf0.jpg


This last photo shows the completed harness with the new length arrowed.


grom1.thumb.jpg.9ae0a25e796f30e1f993f80fb31f19ae.jpg


This video will give you an insight into how it works and what I think of it. I'm no expert on making videos and commenting on them so I apologise for my less than professional attempt, and also for the moments where the camera autofocus struggles for a second or two and the strobing effect that's sometimes present. I used the camera on an old Xiaomi Redmi phone for the video and it's not done too badly with it.

 

 

Golly it looks rather involved! Glad you managed to get it going.

Did you get all the trim pieces back without gaining any rattles?

Happy new year.

Paul

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1 hour ago, PDM said:

Golly it looks rather involved! Glad you managed to get it going.

Did you get all the trim pieces back without gaining any rattles?

Happy new year.

Paul

To be honest Paul, it looks a lot worse than it actually is. 

The multimedia head unit has two 10mm bolts holding it in and there are two Philips head screws under the joystick unit and that's about it; everything else just uses clips.

There are quite a few videos out there showing how to get the head unit in/out but the 'extra' things are easy enough. Open the armrest lid and pull the power/USB board towards the rear to unclip that and remove the connectors. The joystick unit pulls up at the back and then slides toward the rear. Then use the shift lock to move the gear lever back and unscrew the knob, put your hand under the back of that section and pull towards the rear; then it's all just a matter of manipulating it so that you can unclip the connectors and that's it.

And yes, it all went back without a single rattle anywhere :thumbup:

And a very Happy New Year to you and yours my friend.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for posting Herbie….very informative. Been considering something for easy satnav/speed camera updates on my GSF and although I’m pretty happy with the OEM satnav interface, regular updates are not available and the infrequent updates are very expensive! Been watching video on the beat sonic system (US company I think) which is around half the price, but that is car play or Android auto only…this seems to be a more powerful option.

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@Herbie

Wow Herbie, congratulations for going all the way with this and for the first impressions video. 
Any more updates since the first impressions video? Is the “Snap to” feature available ? From the first impression video it is not clear? Any issues with the controls being unavailable at first car switch on until you switch over input with the Media button? 

 

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3 hours ago, ic2alpha said:

@Herbie

Wow Herbie, congratulations for going all the way with this and for the first impressions video. 
Any more updates since the first impressions video? Is the “Snap to” feature available ? From the first impression video it is not clear? Any issues with the controls being unavailable at first car switch on until you switch over input with the Media button? 

 

Cheers mate :thumbsup:

Due to not feeling too good recently (definitely not Covid as all tests negative) I've not had chance to explore or play with it as much as I would have liked, so I'm afraid I can't give you those answers yet, except to say that yes, the 'snap-to' feature does work - you'll see it in the video above when you get a red box around the icon. I'll demonstrate it better as soon as I can, along with answers to the other things.

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5 hours ago, Herbie said:

Cheers mate :thumbsup:

Due to not feeling too good recently (definitely not Covid as all tests negative) I've not had chance to explore or play with it as much as I would have liked, so I'm afraid I can't give you those answers yet, except to say that yes, the 'snap-to' feature does work - you'll see it in the video above when you get a red box around the icon. I'll demonstrate it better as soon as I can, along with answers to the other things.

Thank you Herbie, and I hope you get well soon.

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I have the Grom Vline 2 too and wireless android auto works brilliantly.

It auto connects when I get in the car and resumes playing Spotify or Youtube Music (whatever I had open last).

Using Google Maps or Waze whilst leaving my phone in my pocket is very convenient too.

It's a great product.

 

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16 hours ago, Exdee said:

I have the Grom Vline 2 too and wireless android auto works brilliantly.

Just as a matter of interest Exdee, why do you use Android Auto on the Vline?

As I understand it, AA is basically an app that allows other apps (such as Waze, Google Maps etc., etc) to run inside it, for want of a better term.

The Vline is a self-contained Android Computer that allows you to download and run almost any app directly from the Vline itself, which sort of makes AA a bit redundant.

The reason I ask is that I'm running everything from the Vline and not using AA, but I'm wondering if there's a 'right or wrong' way of doing it. Using AA or not using AA gets us to the same end goal, but is one way 'better' than the other? Is one way right and the other wrong? Or does it not matter and it just boils down to personal taste/preference?

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1 hour ago, Herbie said:

Just as a matter of interest Exdee, why do you use Android Auto on the Vline?

As I understand it, AA is basically an app that allows other apps (such as Waze, Google Maps etc., etc) to run inside it, for want of a better term.

The Vline is a self-contained Android Computer that allows you to download and run almost any app directly from the Vline itself, which sort of makes AA a bit redundant.

The reason I ask is that I'm running everything from the Vline and not using AA, but I'm wondering if there's a 'right or wrong' way of doing it. Using AA or not using AA gets us to the same end goal, but is one way 'better' than the other? Is one way right and the other wrong? Or does it not matter and it just boils down to personal taste/preference?

For day to day use I find the integration of the phone with the car useful. 

When you are using Android Auto, you are using your phones data so the Vline does not need to be connected to Internet. You can for example choose a destination from the comfort of your home on your phone and when you go sit in the car it will start showing on the cars infotainment system. You also get things like Whatsapp notifications on the centre screen which is nice and you can have them read out to you too.

I probably use Android Auto 80% of the time. Android Auto is locked down for safety purposes and you can't run every app on your phone on the car so there will be instances where you would want to use the android that comes with VL2.

It's just one tap to exit android auto and go to the vline interface.

I don't think there is a right or wrong way to go about this. It's just personal preference.

I do think that anyone wanting to use the Vline interface exclusively should get an internet dongle.
Using the phone as a wifi hotspot is ok for occasional use but its not practical in the long run.

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On 1/9/2022 at 3:13 PM, Exdee said:

For day to day use I find the integration of the phone with the car useful. 

When you are using Android Auto, you are using your phones data so the Vline does not need to be connected to Internet. You can for example choose a destination from the comfort of your home on your phone and when you go sit in the car it will start showing on the cars infotainment system. You also get things like Whatsapp notifications on the centre screen which is nice and you can have them read out to you too.

I probably use Android Auto 80% of the time. Android Auto is locked down for safety purposes and you can't run every app on your phone on the car so there will be instances where you would want to use the android that comes with VL2.

It's just one tap to exit android auto and go to the vline interface.

I don't think there is a right or wrong way to go about this. It's just personal preference.

I do think that anyone wanting to use the Vline interface exclusively should get an internet dongle.
Using the phone as a wifi hotspot is ok for occasional use but its not practical in the long run.

@Exdee is this installed in your GSF?

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  • 1 month later...
1 hour ago, agent_dess said:

What is the boot up time like in the Grom? Do you still get the default lexus interface on engine start?

I believe that if you leave the Grom system onscreen when you turn the car off, it will boot back up to the same place when you start the car again. I haven't tried it so far because I've only been doing short runs recently and not needed any of the facilities that the Vline provides, but I'll try it tomorrow.

I can say that I usually have the OEM Lexus interface set to Planet Rock on DAB radio, so once that's up and running two or three presses of the Media button takes me into the Vline, which opens up to the Agama Launcher that I use.

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