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Thread: Upgrading 2012 Headunit

  1. #1
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    2012 Mazda, CX-9 GT, Nav/RSES/BSM/Bose

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    Upgrading 2012 Headunit

    I am tired of the navigation and bluetooth provided by my factory system on my 2012 CX-9 with Nav/Bose/Sirius/Backupcamera/RSES (RES). I have been doing a fair bit of research and summarize it below for others that may be considering this. Please correct anything in my summary that is incorrect/incomplete.

    I do have a few questions which I have not seen addressed.

    1) After changing to an aftermarket HU, are the sounds from the BSM (blind spot monitoring) preserved (I'm not even certain if they are going through the headunit)?
    2) Does anybody have experience with Android headunits with canbus interface? If so,
    2a) Does this provide access to the volume up/down, and mode steering wheel controls (SWC)
    2b) Does this provide access to the pick-up, hang-up, and voice command SWC
    2c) Does this maintain factory A/C
    3) I have seen references to not being able to select the rear entertainment system (RES or RSES) when sirius is present. Unfortunately, I have not found the original threads for why this is the case. For my purposes, where is the audio out wiring from the RSES present near the head unit so that I can connect my new headunit to the RES?

    SUMMARY of what I have found so far
    Goals: Better connection to my phone, better voice recognition control, better navigation. Maintain back-up camera, maintain BSM alerts, wanted to maintain DVD/CD (have not found a viable option for this given my desire for voice control and specs for available headunits)
    1) With my goals, the main options are
    1A) the Pioneer NEX line ... these are more mainstream with better support ... that said, I had an Appradio in a car that I recently sold and while this is true in theory ... in practice, the difference is likely more subtle (but probably still present) ... that said, if you are going to have a professional install the new unit, I am guessing that they will be more comfortable with these ... these are significantly more expensive (at least from my quick survey of the market)
    1B) Chinese based Android devices (many resellers, only a few manufacturers). The best overview of this topic that I have found is https://forum.xda-developers.com/wik...roid_Head_Unit
    Currently, the best community support of a newer Android headunit is for the Joying headunits using the Sofia processor with at least 2G of RAM
    1C) I am planning on getting one of the Joying Headunits with the Sofia processor and 2G of RAM (what I have gathered from the discussions for this preference relative to other Android headunits is: quicker start, better handling of bluetooth) (for an idea of the level of adjustments being currently made, see https://forum.xda-developers.com/and...-tips-t3555249)

    2) The 2011 and 2012 have reports of the A/C not working after installing an aftermarket headunit (thus one of my questions above). One of the accepted solutions is MP4-MZ11 which I will likely purchase after input from the forum

    3) The SWC for the following 2 groups of functions grouped below go to separate untis (receiver and bluetooth) and as a result are not always both available given the implementation ... again the MP4-MZ11 addresses this.
    3a) Volume up/down, and mode steering wheel controls (SWC)
    3b) Pick-up, hang-up, and voice command SWC

    Note: the issues from "2" and "3" above are due to canbus (a serial bus implementation) that is becoming exceptionally commonplace now

    4) the Mazda backup camera requires 6V, while most aftermarket receivers provide 12V: the following items should address that: AX-MAZCAM and "SMAKN Dc/dc Converter 12v Step Down to 6V/3A"

    5) of course, the standard bezel and wiring adapters
    5a) Metra 99-7516B
    5b) Metra Electronics 70-7903

    6) I will likely pull the USB connectors forward ... replacing the factory cigarette lighter/plug ... with "USB RCA Flush Mount – Rerii"

    I am also attaching the wiring diagrams that I have found so far (two are for 2011 and 2 are for 2012)

    2011 amp circuit.jpg2011 head circuit.jpgmazda control adapter.pdfmazda radio wiring.pngmazda radio wiring2.png

    Thank you in advance for advice/insight/etc!
    -Broc
    Last edited by broc; 04-07-2017 at 04:43 AM.

  2. #2
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    Mazda CX-9 2007, Bose / Navigation

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    Hi Broc,

    I like the information on your research, well done, thank you.

    I own a 2007 CX-9 with Bose/navigation/backup camera and I'm also researching to replace my audio unit.
    I was also looking for an Android based system. So far without finding a proper solution.
    Based on your input I emailed Joying yesterday if they have a unit which fits my car.
    Their website looks promising and as I live in the Netherlands it's good to see that they also can deliver out of Germany.

    I'll update this thread also with my experiences on their support etc.

    Best Regards, Jos
    Last edited by Jomoryja; 05-21-2017 at 06:09 AM.

  3. #3
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    2012 Mazda, CX-9 GT, Nav/RSES/BSM/Bose

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    A few updates after the install (life got in the way so I just completed the install this weekend)

    From my initial unanswered questions ...

    1) YES - the sounds from the BSM (blind spot monitoring) are preserved
    2) I used the MP4-MZ11 adapter ... this worked "nearly" as expected (find details below) ... fyi - when I contacted Joying regarding their CANBUS adapters, they do not have one which is compatible
    3) Regarding the RSES wiring near the headunit, from what I can tell, this is encoded over the databus (likely pcm, AC-3 or something like that) so I did not tackle trying to decode the signal. The MP4-MZ11 documentation directly states that the RSES will still work but will not be router through the headunit (I actually prefer this since I typically do not want to listen to what my kids are watching, but I know that mileage varies)

    What I installed------------------------------------------
    Backup camera
    Kept factory camera ...
    Used the AX-MAZCAM (worked as advertised ... I did wire the power to accessory instead of reverse).
    I added an RCA y-adapter to connect the backup camera video to the aux video in and the backup camera inputs so that I can use the camera whenever I want not just when in reverse (e.g. trailer towing)

    MP4-MZ11
    Worked largely as advertised (it did not correctly detect long presses of the SWC during programming)
    Tried a couple of different SWC settings - the Other/Pioneer worked the best (as anticipated)
    The mode button was a little tricky to capture because it only triggers briefly during button release

    Joying US-JY-UL135N2
    https://www.carjoying.com/android-5-...ersal-car.html
    The units dimensions are slightly wider and taller than the DIN2 spec (knew this ahead of time) - trimmed the Metra 99-7516B adapter kit
    - the way that the kit works is that there are 2 plastic panels that you attach to the headunit and these clip into the front plate which in turn screws into the vehicle mount points
    - cutting about 0.5 inches/ 1cm (if memory serves correctly ... I did this a while ago) allowed the adapter to clear the screw heads on the headunit that where troublesome
    - there is a small piece of trim which is optional and fills the gap between the head unit and the main faceplate of the adapter ... I trimmed a little of the plastic from the head unit with a dremel to allow this small piece of trim to latch in place ... In retrospect, this could likely be skipped ... if you choose to do this, be careful because there is a ribbon adapter going to the screen near the lower plastic on the head unit
    - In the end, the wife acceptance factor was high - she said that it looks like it came with the car

    Things that I considered and bought the parts for but did not do in the end---------------------

    1) Keeping the factory Aux connector in the armrest functional
    I performed a quick resistance check between the connector and the unused connectors from the factory setup and did not identify the wires so I opted not to do this

    2) keeping the factory mic functional
    I did some reading on this and there seems to have been some success on some Ford forums; however, given that ours first goes through the bluetooth module, I did not sink much time into this ... I routed the Joying provided mic up the A-pillar with good success

    3) I had the mazda to standard antenna adapter, but I did not need it for the 2012 ... amazingly, they used the standard connector

    4) I bought the higher power amplifier chip off of ebay that is buried in one of the forums in my original post - I temporarily connected the new headunit and was pleasantly surprised by the sound quality so I opted not to do this (despite this being an easy upgrade with my equipment) ... the sound to my ears was slightly better than the stock headunit (surprisingly)

    5) I considered installing a heatsink and cooling fan based off of a project from the XDA forums; however, the unit had no issues on a relatively hot day this weekend so I opted not to do this ... I will update this thread if this is needed at a later

    Things that could/can/will be improved beyond what is mentioned above----------------------
    1) The biggest thing is that the automatic detection of the vehicle going into reverse is intermittent. I soldered all of the connections so this is likely not the issue. This leaves there being an issue with the output from the MP4-MZ11 or an issue with the headunit ... if I had to guess, the headunit is the culprit given that the voltage change should be detected by the headunit and then trigger a software event (my guess is that the software event is the issue here) I have not upgraded the headunit software yet so I have not truly started troubleshooting this ... I the issue persists after upgrading the software, I will check the voltage on the wire to determine whether the MP4-MZ11 or the headunit is at fault ... it currently works often enough and I can always manually select it that this is mainly an annoyance

    2) There are 2 illumination outputs from the MP4-MZ11, one based off of the databus and one directly from the harness. Based off of one thread, I used the one based off of the databus. Currently, the button lights of the headunit will not track based off of the headlight status. This was a known issue with the Joying units in January 2017. I have not investigated whether this has been resolved; although, they were working on it. That said I was and am planning on using the setting which sets the brightness based off of the time of day anyway, which I have been happy with. I was merely checking this functionality for completeness.

    3) there are multiple software tweaks mentioned on the forums in the original post, which I have yet to do. I will update this post once I get around to it

    Overall------------------
    I am happy with the upgrade and so is my non-techy wife.
    We have lost the ability to play CD's in the headunit (because of the unit I chose)
    The backup camera triggering is an annoyance, which I am guessing will go away with some troubleshooting.
    The navigation is ridiculously better than stock mainly because of the software (I mounted the GPS antenna beside the center front speaker under the speaker grill which is removed for the headunit install anyway)
    The sound is equal to or better than stock.
    I am now running Waze and Spotify for my commutes.
    There were some reports on the XDA forums of radio reception not being great with these units. I am receiving more stations, more clearly. I am in a metropolitan environment and have not done any rural driving with the unit yet.

    Here are the links to what I purchased and used
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (since I didn't use the harnesses included in this kit, I could have saved money by just buying the mount adapter)

    I hope that this helps somebody!
    Good luck!
    -Broc

  4. #4
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    Mazda CX-9 2007, Bose / Navigation

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    Hi Broc,

    Do you have a picture of your dashboard with the new unit?

    Best Regards, Jos

  5. #5
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    2012 Mazda, CX-9 GT, Nav/RSES/BSM/Bose

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    Picture

    Here is a quick picture from when I was stopped at a traffic light. The only thing that is not shown is the USB connector in the cubby to the left of the USB-Aux connector that is shown.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
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    Mazda CX-9 2007, Bose / Navigation

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    By using accessory power for the rear camera, does it mean that the rear camera is powered-on all the time while driving?
    In the original situation: By using the reverse signal I would expect that the rear camera would only have power when the gear is in reverse?
    Last edited by Jomoryja; 06-25-2017 at 04:23 PM.

  7. #7
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    2012 Mazda, CX-9 GT, Nav/RSES/BSM/Bose

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    You are correct. The main reason that I did this is that I placed a RCA Y-adapter onto the video output of the camera and split the video signal between the back-up camera input on the radio and the accessory video input on the radio. I have used this when I have had a bike rack mounted to my trailer hitch so that I could keep an eye on things while I was driving.

    If you don't have a need/desire to use the camera while driving forward, then I would power it by using the reverse signal, as you suggest.

  8. #8
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    Mazda CX-9 2007, Bose / Navigation

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    Hi Broc,

    Thank you for the explanation.
    You are now using this system for a month, are you still satisfied with your choice?

    BR, Jos
    Last edited by Jomoryja; 07-01-2017 at 03:15 AM.

  9. #9
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    2012 Mazda, CX-9 GT, Nav/RSES/BSM/Bose

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    I am still satisfied ... My wife is as well. The main continued benefit is the significantly better GPS. I recently used a couple of the XDA threads above to improve the voice recognition for dialing (now using "Ok Google") (the threads were the upgrade of the Android OS thread, the remap of Ok Google to the SRC button, and the modification and installation of Tablet Talk thread)

    The remaining issues (all of which I believe to be addressable) are
    1) I still haven't had the time to troubleshoot the reverse trigger signal or the dimmer signal mentioned in my first thread ... given the behavior, the first thing that I will try is improving the grounding (although there is no evidence of a grounding issue with the sound) the OEM install grounded the radio chassis with a metal L-bracket under the radio ... when I pull the radio for troubleshooting, I plan on making a simple grounding strap (wire with a crimp on islet at each end, which I will connect to the chassis of the Joying radio and to the original L-bracket location
    2) Tweaking of the software definitely improves the experience so as long as you don't mind this, I would expect that you will have a similar experience to mine
    2a) apps that have helped (there are a million different ways to tweak this system though ... I already had all of these apps except for Tablet Talk) ... Titanium Backup, ES FileExplorer, NovaLauncher, Tablet Talk, Waze, Spotify
    2b) Tweaking that I plan on sometime in the future - i) change from the current map "ok google" to src tweak to one that maps it to the voice command button and allows for me to assign which apps are cycled through by src (I will likely choose Spotify->FM1->FM2->FM3->Home), ii)customize the reverse camera lines for the CX-9, iii) Make my phone automatically start bluetooth when charging -> then start a wifi hotspot when it detects the radio's bluetooth and make Tablet Talk autoconnect (I will likely use Tasker for this along with autoinput), iv) I may try to make the radio audibly read SMS messages received also

    Caveat - I have only recently gotten the voice dialing to work (hadn't tried until recently) ... I do not know yet how well it will work if my wife tries to connect her phone instead (my concern is that it is potentially tied to my Google contacts since I have set the headunit up with my accounts)

    3) The phone mic is fine, but the clarity could be a little better because of some minor feedback from the speakers ... I may try moving it about the cabin to find the best spot (this is a low priority currently)

    4) The summer heat in the middle of the US has been a non-issue

    5) If I try to skip songs when I have recently launched multiple apps, there is occasionally a delay before the headunit responds (almost always better than the OEM headunit though unless I have been truly ridiculous with what I have launched)

    6) still happy with the sound

    Overall - happy and getting better

  10. #10
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    CX9

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    Hi Broc,
    firstly thank you very much for the useful information in your post and job well done.
    I am planning to swap my CX-9 2014 Bose/back up camera, NO Navigation with an 8" Android based system which i bought from AliExpress, as i am fed-up of the small screen and lack of navigation.
    I did an exploration and found the following factory connecters (I labeled them in the attached image as A, B, C, and D). I am planning to retain these connecters and not do any cuts in the original wiring. If I use the MP4-MZ11 will it provide direct plug and play connecters to the original factory connecters (A, B, C)?
    For connecter D, I assume the AX-MAZCAM will be used for this purpose, correct?
    where you able to retain all the controls on the steering wheel, including phone controls, Crouse control, etc?

    Thanks,
    OS
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
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    2012 Mazda, CX-9 GT, Nav/RSES/BSM/Bose

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    Forgive me for my brief replies ... I am between meetings right now.

    but as I recall

    Not all of the harness was connected to the adapters (this is partially because of the separate bluetooth unit ... which I do not use in my current setup, I use the aftermarket stereo's bluetooth)
    Connector B is the primary connector for the MP4-MZ11
    I believe that you are right that it was connector D for the MAZCAM adapter
    I did not have to cut any part of the Mazda factory harness

    I don't recall what I did with A and C right now ... I believe that C is the connector that is not used and I don't recall A, but since I don't see that connector to the antenna that I used for my radio, it is possible that A is your system's antenna (check the pictures of the antenna cable that I reference to see if they match A)

    If you are not is a hurry, I will likely be checking a couple of things with my harness in about 4 weeks if that is soon enough.

    About the radio that you are considering, just double check XDA threads to make sure that the unit that you are considering doesn't have bluetooth dropout issues and that it isn't one with microphone issues (these issues eliminated some of the radios for me when I was originally looking!)

    Best of luck!

  12. #12
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    thanks for the quick reply. very helpful.

  13. #13
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    Hi
    I connected everything but there is no sound coming from the speakers.

    any idea?

    Thanks

  14. #14
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    Mazda CX-9 2007, Bose / Navigation

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    Quote Originally Posted by oshboul View Post
    Hi
    I connected everything but there is no sound coming from the speakers.

    any idea?

    Thanks
    Hi,

    I had the same (although I'm not using RP4-MZ11 but a CTSMZ010.2)
    My Bose amplifier was not activated.
    I had to connect a wire from the headunit (called "amp cont") to "Amp Remote".
    That solved my issue.

    BR, Jos

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