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rescue1 Profile
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Date Registered: 01-2009
TOTAL POSTS: 1384
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"Kitchen Sink" GPS/DVD & Multimedia Head units reviews & options


Due to a number of reasons, including one of the units being reviewed disappearing from the market I have had to redo much of what I had written. However I will be submitting a review of the 3 units tested as it gives an idea what is available and the companies involved. Due to work commitments this process has been slightly delayed.

Last edited by jalalski, 21/Sep/2010, 9:55 am


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Alan & Phillipa
2008 X-Trail TL White Diamond
Plumpton NSW
Our Mods
X-1112 (C)

18/Nov/2009, 11:06 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message
 
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Date Registered: 12-2008
Location: Sydney
TOTAL POSTS: 390
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Re: "Kitchen Sink" GPS review


This time of year is always busy with work
If you need a hand with something glad to help

Samuel

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2008 T31 TL DCI 6 Speed Manual X-Trail (x-1083)
with JAOS Strut Bar, K&N filter, Mats, Rubber Boot Liner, Tints, Cargo Barrier, Towbar, glove box light, dashmat, Geo ATS 225/60/17 & now with babyseat

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Date Registered: 01-2009
TOTAL POSTS: 1384
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Re: "Kitchen Sink" GPS review


First of all lets start by defining a "Kitchen Sink" GPS - well by description its a unit that's designed to mount in dash, usually Double DIN and has a a minimum GPS, Bluetooth phone interface, radio, full iPod control, reversing camera, CD & DVD. Many also have memory card and/or USB interfaces and some may have TV.

I reviewed 3 units from VMS, Brash Imports and Dig_Options. I originally purchased 2 Digi Options units on eBay but the size of the unit did not fit the Navara (VMS is the only one that would) and the second unit had significant problems which I will discuss in the review. The Dig_Options unit was replaced by one from Brash Imports.

Dig_Options operates only on eBay and sources product from China, Brash Imports whilst operating on eBay have their own website and business premises whilst VMS have a network of dealers throughout Australia.

All units are similar in appearance and utilise similar operating software, all use IGO software for the GPS and WhereIs map data. In addition the VMS AVNC 3000 has iTOPO 4x4 maps loaded as well.

PRICE
At $2399 plus the cost of the reversing camera (around $199) the AVNC 3000 is the most expensive, the BI6801 from Brash Imports was 1/3 of that price at $800 and included the reversing camera AND 4 sensors whilst the Dig_Options unit was $645 with the camera.

OUT OF THE BOX
Both VMS and Brash Imports have professionally boxed products the Dig_Options unit came in a plain white box. All units were packaged well for shipping which was why I was surprised to find one of the Dig_Options units had a badly damaged screen when delivered.

User documentation and installation instructions was generally good, some guess was required on the Dig_Options unit to locate the input for the reversing camera.

All 3 units have a similar appearance and the Brash Imports unit reportedly comes from the same factory as the VMS and appeared to be very similar to the previous VMS model.

FITTING
Here the VMS wins as it had an interface cable that matched the Nissan connector. Dig_Options had a connector matching pre 2007 Nissan models and Brash Imports supplies their units with ISO connectors. However I did loose the steering wheel controls as the 5V supply is obtained from the Nissan Radio. Both the VMS & Brash Imports units do have a [sign in to see URL] supply but this is not high enough to drive the steering wheel interface. Only Brash Imports supplied parts and instructions to convert the Nissan 3 wire steering wheel interface to 2 wire. The Dig_Options unit was not a nicer fit as the holes in the case did not line up perfectly so I could not use 4 screws each side as was the case in the original equipment and with the other units.

QUALITY
Unfortunately the Dig_Options unit developed a taste for reversing cameras destroying 3 of the suppliers cameras. An independently sourced replacement continues to function well. However the poor quality of both the Bluetooth and iPod interfaces led the unit to being returned for a refund. Other X-Trail owners have not experienced similar problems but a check of some other online forums shows that the Bluetooth fault has affected other people.

WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?
Unfortunately I did not have the Dig_Options unit long enough to photogaph it however you can see images of it |offset=20]here

Brash Imports
in or sign up to see linked image content--

VMS
in or sign up to see linked image content--

Brash Imports
in or sign up to see linked image content--

VMS
in or sign up to see linked image content--

Brash Imports
in or sign up to see linked image content--

VMS
in or sign up to see linked image content--

Last edited by rescue1, 19/Nov/2009, 10:58 am


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Alan & Phillipa
2008 X-Trail TL White Diamond
Plumpton NSW
Our Mods
X-1112 (C)

19/Nov/2009, 10:56 am Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message
 
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Date Registered: 01-2009
TOTAL POSTS: 1384
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Re: "Kitchen Sink" GPS review


Brash Imports
in or sign up to see linked image content--

VMS
in or sign up to see linked image content--

CONCLUSION
The Brash Imports unit lacked a couple of the features of the VMS but not enough to justify the price difference, in fact the only reason I fitted the VMS unit to the Navara was that was all that would fit in. Unfortunately the unit tested from Brash Imports has been discontinued and has been replaced by this unit

--Log in or sign up to see linked image content--

VMS also have a new unit that interfaces directly to the Nissan steering wheel controls and has the option of tyre pressure monitoring

--Log in or sign up to see linked image content--

Starting at $2800 it is for the off road enthusiast with a bit of spare cash.

Now if somebody can add the features of the Scan Gauge II to one of these all in one units then they'd have a real winner......

Last edited by rescue1, 19/Nov/2009, 11:10 am


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Alan & Phillipa
2008 X-Trail TL White Diamond
Plumpton NSW
Our Mods
X-1112 (C)

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Date Registered: 09-2009
Location: Leamington, Ontario, Canada
TOTAL POSTS: 404
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Re: "Kitchen Sink" GPS review


Well done review Allan and thank you, save me some time in narrowing down some options. You got more patient than me.... emoticon



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Michael
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2005 SE Red,Auto, 2.5l, Cosmo Racing CAI, AlphaMirror Auto-Dimming Mirror, RedlineTuning Gas Hood Struts, Rear Brake Decal, Modified Centre Armrest


19/Nov/2009, 11:51 am Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message MSN
 
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Date Registered: 12-2008
Location: Sydney
TOTAL POSTS: 390
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Re: "Kitchen Sink" GPS review


Thanks Alan and well done - Ditto what Michael said

I dont understand electronics that well, although if these units are [sign in to see URL] for the steering wheel controls and for the xtrail controls is 5v (I have heard) is it possible to add a resister in between the unit and the steering wheel to boost the voltage?

Samuel

---
2008 T31 TL DCI 6 Speed Manual X-Trail (x-1083)
with JAOS Strut Bar, K&N filter, Mats, Rubber Boot Liner, Tints, Cargo Barrier, Towbar, glove box light, dashmat, Geo ATS 225/60/17 & now with babyseat

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Date Registered: 01-2009
TOTAL POSTS: 1384
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Re: "Kitchen Sink" GPS review


No the resistor would drop the voltage, however I'm working on a simple interface

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Alan & Phillipa
2008 X-Trail TL White Diamond
Plumpton NSW
Our Mods
X-1112 (C)

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Date Registered: 02-2004
Location: SUTHERLAND, SYDNEY
TOTAL POSTS: 28983
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Re: "Kitchen Sink" GPS review


Hi Alan,

Thanks for the detailed review.

I do believe that ALL of these products are manufactured by one or two companies in China and they only differ slightly based on what the importer (VMS and others) requests them to include.

I don't see a point in paying 10 times the manufacturing cost for any of these units when the guys in China are selling them direct to public. It is true however that buying locally can get you covered with warranty issues (but only if you're lucky and only if the importer is true to his word regarding warranties, as I have experienced this first hand when they stated that they can't do anything unless they send the unit back to China for troubleshooting).

As I said before, for a premium price tag like $2,800, you might as well stick with known and trusted brand names and for $600 bucks or so, you might as well buy 3 of those directly from China and keep throwing them in the garbage bin every 6 months or so when they expire emoticon

Last edited by jalalski, 19/Nov/2009, 9:29 pm


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Date Registered: 10-2006
Location: Mona Vale, Sydney, AUSTRALIA
TOTAL POSTS: 5285
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Re: "Kitchen Sink" GPS review


The Brash Imports unit looks to have a clearer screen with less sunlight glare to wash out the colours.

quote:

rescue1 wrote:
Now if somebody can add the features of the Scan Gauge II to one of these all in one units then they'd have a real winner......


With my carputer and its USB ports, there should be no problems connecting my ELMscan 5 USB OBD2 interface emoticon

Regarding the [sign in to see URL] - 5V DC step-up converter, you could try ]this simple circuit


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Kev X450(c) T30 Guru
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19/Nov/2009, 9:35 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
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Date Registered: 12-2008
Location: Sydney
TOTAL POSTS: 390
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Re: "Kitchen Sink" GPS review


Forgot to ask in my earlier post, are these units straight plug and play or did you use 3PL connectors, if so can you please supply part numbers

Samuel

---
2008 T31 TL DCI 6 Speed Manual X-Trail (x-1083)
with JAOS Strut Bar, K&N filter, Mats, Rubber Boot Liner, Tints, Cargo Barrier, Towbar, glove box light, dashmat, Geo ATS 225/60/17 & now with babyseat

19/Nov/2009, 10:00 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message
 


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