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not to offend anyone but I just don't trust electronics (except Lenovo) and things with moving parts from China. China bought Lenovo from IBM , so that's something I may trust in terms of longevity, Now China bought Volvo, not my favorite brand so now it's another reason to stay away from Volvo... I bought a few garbage disposals - made in China - and I am glad that Costco returned my money when those things broken down.. Our company bought a manufacturing plant in China and we had to replace lots of equipments because they were made in China and continuously broken down....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
though seriously i am not a fan of my current CT's stock audio system, especially without nav
 

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This looks pretty awesome but you have to make sure all the connectors will match. I think I remember reading on another thread that the audio connectors are different in different countries. I'd almost be willing to try it though. I can tell you getting the stock radio out is not technically difficult but it is time consuming and there is a risk of breaking parts as you have to remove a bunch of trim pieces. See the pictures in my audio system thread to see what I mean.
 

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Using the brand and model name in the ad, I found the actual manufacturer's website which has more info and a couple pictures.

OEM design Lexus CT 200H DVD GPS and Lexus CT 200H Navigation, Lexus CT 200H GPS

I tell you this LOOKS like the prayer we have all been asking for and the price is excellent! Unfortunately I have no idea if this would even work in a US car, let alone the quality of it. I did spend about 2 minutes looking at the manual that the site has, and the back of the unit does not look like a direct plug-and-play connection. It looks to me like they have their own connector and you would have to splice it into the various Lexus connectors (there were 5 or 6 connectors if I remember right). Someone please try it and post your results! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
i have zero experience in car audio to be honest, but here's the back of the unit if it helps:

 

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And here's yet another one:

LEXUS CT200h OEM stereo radio car DVD Player navigation TV IPOD bluetooth SWE-L7344_Car dvd player GPS navigation Manufactory

So I'm guessing these are all Chinese brands because the websites are all full of bad grammar and a lot of the same pictures are used on multiple sites. Another thing I noticed is that I don't see anywhere where they talk about XM radio on these. Probably because they don't have XM radio in China, so they wouldn't have thought to build that in. I gotta have my XM so that I can listen to Liquid Metal!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
i dont need XM or pandora or ipod support myself, nor any DVD playback or tv broadcast.....heck i can live without a CD slot to clear up space.

but ya, there is no such thing as subscriptions in china when everybody pretty much downloads for free lol

bluetooth audio, AM/FM, USB, phone pairing and integration, GPS is all i need. do u think the plugs work at the back?

the semi-good side for the website with the expensive price is that it seems to accept paypal, so i guess its a bit more secure
 

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I've been researching head units and came up with some options:

- Chinese unit ($355) PROs: Cheap. Can probably do the install myself. Especially if I/we can find someone to translate this PDF (http://www.smartauto24.com/docs/installation_guide/I7105LC.pdf) CONs: Have to ship back to China for issues. Only one year warranty. Aliexpress doesn't take PayPal. Need to put the GPS antenna somewhere...

- Alpine ilx-007 ($600 just for unit + wiring harness + installation). Another member (thread linked below) showed that the Alpine unit dimensions fit pretty well aside from needing a bottom insert.
loving the car stereo - Club Lexus Forums

- Pioneer AVH-4000NEX ($500+). More features than the Alpine but may not fit w/o a lot of custom work.

- Parrot RNB6 ($?). Not out yet, but looks nice from CES videos.
 

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I don't speak Chinese but the majority of the slides were just how to get the trim on and off, which you can find in the Lexus service guide. It looks like you just plug everything in, I don't see them cutting or splicing anything. I love how it has a little module to put in the space where the screen tilt is on a NAV model. For non-NAV models it's just a useless little space.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
i can translate chinese, slow but doable. can help if needed

i wouldnt get their aftermarket nav that sits on top of the dash. looks like their non-nav models in china doesnt even have the storage compartment like we do if we dont have nav in our CT. this requires cutting off the dash, which is something i wouldnt do
 

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I love how it has a little module to put in the space where the screen tilt is on a NAV model. For non-NAV models it's just a useless little space.
Yea I noticed that little module too and was wondering what it does. Do you know what it controls? BTW, thanks for your DIY speaker guide, putting in the Infinity Reference was one of the best upgrades I've done :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
source: http://www.smartauto24.com/docs/installation_guide/I7105LC.pdf

ok here goes:

1. OEM audio unit
2. using a pry tool, take off the small black panel to the right (above glove compartment)
3. using a pry tool, take off the small black panel below the A/C control unit
4. pull out A/C control unit
5. unplug all wiring thats on the back of the A/C control unit, and remove the A/C control unit
6. remove both side panels on the armest
7. using a pry tool, carefully remove the cup holder cover panel
8. unplug all wiring thats on the back of the cup holder cover panel
9. carefully remove deck cover board
10. unplug all wiring thats on the back of the deck cover board
11. remove the 4 screws/bolts thats attached to the OEM audio unit as shown in photo
12. carefully pull out the OEM audio unit and unplug all wiring that's at the back
13. remove the braces that's on the OEM audio unit, and attach it to the "new" one
14. UNSURE hook up the wires that came with the "new" audio unit as shown in photo
15. attach the "new" power wire adapter to the car's original power wire. attach one end of the "new" USB cable to the car's original USB cable, and the other end of this "new" USB cable, attach it to one end of another "dual USB cable". for the other end of the "dual USB cable" wire it into the glove compartment
16. remove the little coin holder that is above the cell phone holder slot, and replace it with the button switches
17. attach the wires to the back of the "new" audio unit
18. insert the "new" audio unit in place and secure the screws/bolts
19. reattach the wires on the deck board and put it back
20. reattach the wires on the cup holder cover panel, this includes the wiring on the "new" button controls you installed on the coin holder slot, as well as any original wiring
21. put back the cup holder panel
22. put back the side armrest panels
23. reattach the wires on the A/C control unit and put it back
24. reattach the small black panel underneath the A/C control unit
25. reattach the small black panel above glove compartment
26. installation complete

to update map at the later time:
1. remove the side armrest panel to the right of the audio unit
2. remove microSD that has the map data in it

installing GPS antenna
- GPS antenna can be installed inside the car such as on top of the dash, or outside the car such as the roof
- GPS antenna must have a clear and unobstructed view to the sky. if the car window has some sort of film or tint on it, it may greatly reduce the strength of the GPS signal. in this case you should put the antenna outside the car instead
- caution: do not change the length of the GPS antenna, adjusting the length may short-circuit or malfunction
- caution: GPS antenna should be placed on a flat even surface if possible, for maximum accuracy
- caution: never place the GPS antenna in such a way that will interfere with the steering wheel or shift knob, for safety reasons

reminders:
1. do not use strong chemicals solvents or detergents to clean the machine
2. use a soft dry cloth to clean the screen. do not use tissues or paper towels
3. please use the touchscreen with a stylus, do not use sharp objects as it may scratch of damage the screen
4. please do not install or maintain the unit by yourself. when installing please turn off all power and unplug the car battery. it is very dangerous to have this installed by a non-professional
5. before installation, please ensure all audio functions and speakers are functioning properly
6. when removing components, be sure to protect the dashboard. removed parts should be stored properly, and use the OEM screws/bolts to secure the "new" audio unit. "dual usb wire" can be lead to the glove compartment
7. GPS and backup camera are only for assisting purposes only. driver is responsible for being concentrated on the road
8. this manual only covers the installation of the "new" audio unit. for installation of GPS antenna, backup camera and digital TV, you are on your own
9. when installing digital TV, connect TV-CONT wiring
10. when installing the external microphone, you can put it on the driver's sun visor
11. this product is compatible with the following cars: lexus 2012 CT200h different trims
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
so it looks like you can attach 2 USB sources to this chinese unit

though not sure how or where to put the GPS antenna, and looks there is a external microphone to attach too.....
 

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so it looks like you can attach 2 USB sources to this chinese unit

though not sure how or where to put the GPS antenna, and looks there is a external microphone to attach too.....
Wow, thanks for translating for us! Think you'll put an order in soon?

One USB is probably for the current USB outlet and the other is for an additional USB maybe if someone wanted to do a direct USB to lightning setup.

I saw a diagram somewhere for the GPS antenna that said you can put it in various places but the best would be to put it on top of car...I assume that means hiding in the head liner and not actually on top of the car. Not sure about the microphone though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
dunno if i can trust aliexpress, and plus there will be a customs brokerage charge if shipped via EMS or FEDEX or DHL

and plus i dunno where to put the gps antenna without ripping other areas apart. need some guidance on this first.

dunno about microphone, i thought the OEM integrated microphone would work? or possibly not?

anyways, maybe u can try lol, now that i have done the translation
 

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Haha, I've already taken a $750 risk when I picked up the 2014-15 rear spoiler w/o knowing if it was going to fit, so I don't know if I should press my luck with this...but I might! Before though, I plan to get a couple quotes from a few stereo shops to install those head units I listed in one of my previous messages. I also want to see how much that Parrot head unit is going to cost when it comes out.

I know they say that customs may charge a fee, but I've received at least 50 packages from China over the last decade and haven't had to pay any customs fee.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
ya i know, but if its courier like fedex and ups and dhl, you are guaranteed with brokerage fees unless the package is below 20 bucks in value

regular china post or postal service like USPS, you get to dodge the bullet if they dont put the value too high

i am comtemplating...maybe in the future, but not right now because its too cold outside (15F).....and despite how simple it appears to be to swap the unit out (even on your own), someone has to figure out how to place the GPS antenna without much hassle (and if the OEM car microphone will work) before i can take the leap
 
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