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Rear Admiral Rickard Onmi
5,810 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Alright. So i figured i would start a little thread before i start looking into warranty stuff, mostly because i'd like to see what people suggest. So the basics to start, installed a Pioneer AVH-W4400NEX head unit into the truck, used an Idatalink Maestro to connect to the truck. I've done many radio installs in the past and this is no different, connect the correct wire to the correct wire, verified per wire diagrams for the Idatalink and the head unit. GPS and XM antennas are not hooked up. Steering wheel controls are connected through Idatalink. OBD port not currently hooked up, as i run my Insight for guages. I could hook up the OBD port if anyone thinks it is really needed, i have everything to do it, just haven't had a chance. Radio is wired/bypassed for video in motion. And for those of you that are looking from your phone/tablet and can't see my signature, truck is a 2012 Ram 3500 Longhorn Laramie, so an every option truck.

Onto the brass tax, radio installed easily, no issues. got a little rushed at the end as something came up and i needed to get going, and needed my truck. I did the wiring several days previously, as i was waiting until the weekend to do the install. Took out the factory radio, cut out the brackets, used the new harness adapter, with the Idatalionk, and put everything in. Tested most all of the feature, and everything worked great, except the answer/endcall button, and the voice control button on my steering wheel, as i had left those set up for the Uconnect system, and hand't changed them to be used for the radio, like i did the other buttons on my steering wheel. Okay, not a big deal, planned on taking it apart and reflashing the Idatalink to change those 2 features buttons to control the radio, instead of do Uconnect things. Beyond that, everything worked great. Love the radio, all my steering wheel buttons worked as they were programmed to, everything was great. about 5 days after install, i drive to work. not a single problem. I put in a DVD to test the video in motion, figure it'll be great on road trip with other people, but wanted to make sure it worked before planning on it, and having it not work. Worked great on the way to work. Awesome. everything works exactly as it was supposed to. Get off work, fire up the truck, and this is where things get weird. radio starts up the DVD where it left off, as it should. But, it starts randomly attenuating (lowering the volume, with the ATT sign in the corner of the radio) for no reason, not immediately responsive to pressing the volume buttons. Then, it starts randomly changing the input. I have been mainly using this connected to my phone through android auto. It would jump from android auto to HD radio, to accessory input, to everything else. Basically, it would do its own thing. with no regards to what i wanted it to do. And during he entire time of it wanting to make it's own decisions on inputs, it would attenuate the volume as well. So here i am. Okay great, gremlins. this is magical. So as precaution, i do a full factory reset, maybe it's something i did , maybe a changed a setting that messed with it. lets check that first. no change

Now, i decide i will take things apart, reinspect the wiring, check connections, check the idatalink, ect ect. I take everything apart, and when i take the dash bezel off, i noticed the microphone wire go pinched into one of the push clips. When i see this, i think, oh wow, and suddenly remember seeing the microphone symbol with an X on the radio occasionally, when it started freaking out. Okay, so the microphone wire got pinched, and was shorting or trying to ground out, creating an odd signal for the radio, and being that it has voice controls, maybe it was trying to figure itself out, and was getting weird signals so it had no idea what to do. I've seen stranger, so okay. here is an issue, and a potential reason for my gremlins. great. While i was in there, i decided i might as well reflash the Idatalink unit to get the 2 steering wheel buttons changed that i wanted changed. Take her iside to the computer, and bam. done. Put everything back together, and everything seems to be working correctly. Alright. i'm happy. I go out for a 20 minute drive into town, no issues. Alright. The issues would normally start within 0-5 minutes of driving and just get worse from there. So things are looking pretty nice. On my way back from town, i have some jack wagon right up on me. I'm curious how close they are to me. So i go into the AV menu, pull up the backup camera, and look out the camera to see how close they are to me. And yeah, they were close. Alright, whatever, i'll keep an eye on them and drive accordingly. I press the back button to go back to my previous source, i believe it was the radio at the time, because there is no reason to have that camera running to distract me from what is in front of me, i'll pull it up when i want to check on him. well, 5 seconds later, the camera comes back on. Okay, that's odd, press the X to close out of it. goes back to my radio screen, 5 seconds later, camera is back. I decide to ignore it and concentrate on driving, radio is playing so it's not to annoying, and now i can watch the guy that is tailgating me. Stays on camera until i get home. Now i play with it, i try changing my input to this or that, and 5 seconds later, pops back to the camera. I know it's 5 seconds, as i timed it. This morning on my way into work, i snap a pic of the serial number for the head unit, thinking i'll need it here soon to make a warranty claim. I drive to work, and no issues. everything works, the camera isn't messing with me, nothing weird is happening. I listened to pandora through android auto the entire way to work. No issues. If it continues with no issues, i am going to try and replicate the camera coming back on after 5 seconds in a couple days.

So, here is what i am thinking, and i'd love to hear more. Original culprit for gremlins being the microphone wire, replace microphone if any issues remain or return. If issues remain or return, disconnect steering wheel control input to radio to ID source of problem as Idatalink, or Head unit. If issues remain, head unit is source of issues, replace head unit with warranty. If issues go away at this point, reconnect steering wheel controls, see if issues come back. if they do, warranty Idatalink. Since i have re flashed the Idatalink, and i have done a factory reset on the head unit, and have not messed with any settings since, at this point it would be a hardware problem, not a software problem. Now that i've kinda laid out my plan, does anyone with more experience see something i don't that i need to check? I am by no means a novice in 12v installations, but i am also not an expert. I install a radio every couple of years, not every day, so i don't deal with this every day. I have always had great luck with Pioneers in the past, that's why i went with Pioneer over kenwood for this install. (requirement was wireless android auto for when my phone supports it, really narrowed down my choices, and being a 12, i can't get the cool options out there for the 13+ trucks.) But i would love to hear other thoughts, or things i should double check. Wiring has been triple checked, all 3 times while sober no less. Open to checking while drunk or tipsy if someone thinks it will help.
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