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CarPlay installed in '06 TSX w/ Navigation

Old 10-20-2018, 07:48 PM
  #1  
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Thumbs up CarPlay installed in '06 TSX w/ Navigation



I bought my '06 TSX new and it's been one of my favorite cars I've ever owned. At over 160k miles, it's still running great. I've been looking for ways to extend the life of the car by making upgrades here and there and bring some new tech into this old car.

I really wanted CarPlay since it came out a few years ago. But installing an aftermarket CarPlay head unit isn't practical for TSX models with navigation since the entertainment stack is integrated into the dash.

About a month ago, I came across and had an installer put in a headless CarPlay unit from Naviks that uses the car's 8-inch navigation screen as a CarPlay display. It turns out the navigation system in the TSX has a second video input, and, with some extra hardware, I'm able to switch the nav screen display between the factory nav user interface (map, A/C controls, audio, etc.) and the second video input feed. The extra hardware comes with a switch, but it's a push button that's a little clunky, so I had an installer replace this push button with a Honda fog light switch that fits neatly into one of the blank switch panels to the right of the "VSA Off" switch, which gives it more of a stock look:



Pushing the "fog light" switch toggles the nav screen display between factory nav UI and second video input (CarPlay)

Since the touch events on the screen are recognized only by the car's factory nav UI, I can only control CarPlay UI with the CarPlay unit's remote, which I mounted on the steering wheel. This isn't ideal since I'd prefer to control CarPlay by touching the screen, but the remote works well enough to get around the CarPlay UI. I can bring up Siri by holding down the center button on the remote and then speak into the CarPlay unit's mic that I mounted by the gauge cluster just behind the steering wheel.



Remote to control CarPlay. Pressing the arrow buttons moves CarPlay's focus state. Pressing the center button translates to a tap on the currently-selected focus state and double-pressing it brings CarPlay to previous menu. Holding it down invokes Siri.

The video resolution on the car's nav screen isn't the best by any means (it's an analog, non-HD display, after all) and the color reproduction is pretty mediocre compared to smartphone screens, but the nav screen is good enough to read the displayed content:




To more easily change audio tracks and pause the audio while driving, I use
a Bluetooth remote a Bluetooth remote
with tactile buttons that I mounted by the steering wheel. Once paired, this remote automatically connects to my iPhone whenever I get into the car, which is nice.

Using the larger nav screen to display apps like Google Maps, Waze and Apple Maps is nice, and. of course, so much more useful than using the stock DVD-based navigation maps:



I unpaired my iPhone from my the car's HandsFreeLink Bluetooth profile to use the Phone app in CarPlay, which allows me to see the caller's name and call duration.




Overall, CarPlay on this unit from Naviks (which appears to be a re-branded version of a product called Carlinke/Carlinkit made by a Chinese company called Huizhou Vlink Technology) works fairly well in day-to-day use. But, annoyingly, it does crash and restart occasionally, and so far I can't tell if the crashes are due to the CarPlay unit's firmware or the iOS device. I'm using an iPhone Xs with iOS 12.0.1.

Still, I'm pretty happy that the navigation screen now has some added usefulness. Despite the low resolution of the factory nav screen, it's a "good enough" upgrade that I've gotten rid of my phone mount.
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Old 10-22-2018, 05:26 PM
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very well done......now post a picture of your steering wheel lol
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Old 10-25-2018, 02:25 AM
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awesome. i have non-nav in my tsx and the backlights are out... soooo annoying. so i've been looking at alternatives. this is awesome though, i bet you must be happy. hope it doesn't glitch too much
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