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  #1  
Old March 16th, 2007, 09:22 PM
johnlee johnlee is online now
John Lee
K6YJ
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 16,160
In-Dash Navigation Options For Defender

I want in-car navigation in my Defender. I used to have an old Garmin GPS III+ velcroed to the top of the dash, but it started looking GPSsexy after I installed my 706, so I removed the III+. But I miss the GPS. It was handy on the trail and road.

That III+ is a POS by today's standards. The current navigation systems are kick ass. Every time I drive an LR3, I marvel at the navigation. And from what I gather, the LR3's system sucks in comparison to what else is out there. I even marvel at Ho's Garmin 276. And Sheki's touch-screen nav is sweet as well.

So I want navigation badly. The challenge is how to fit navigation into the Defender while preventing the result from looking navigationsexy. As you know, I try to keep everything as factory looking as possible. Navigation in a Defender is hardly "factory", but I want navigation. The current systems are too bad ass and convenient to turn away.

I've been tossing around an idea and wanted to bounce it off you guys to hear your thoughts and possible alternatives.

You guys have probably seen the MUD-UK Defender Dash Console:




As you can see, there is a Double DIN recess in the face of the Dash Console. I was thinking of installing a Pioneer AVIC-Z1 into the Double DIN recess:





The AVIC-Z1 is a Double DIN unit and fits into the recess perfectly. I like this AVIC-Z1 primarily because it's not all pimped out like the vast majority of aftermarket mobile audio stuff. It's actually black or very dark gray, and either of those colors is fine with me. I think it would look pretty tame when mounted into the MUD-UK console.

I'm not sure, but I believe the AVIC-Z1's blue buttons can be changed to red or green if desired. I believe this because Pioneer's other units have this feature. Obviously, I would like green the best but if the blue cannot be changed that would hardly be a deal breaker because the buttons are very small in comparison to the video output of the monitor.

Here's an interactive overview of the AVIC-Z1's features:


http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/pn...unit=AVIC%20Z1


And here is a video on the AVIC-Z1:


http://www.cnet.com/Pioneer_AVIC_Z1/...1-6413241.html


This AVIC-Z1 is crazy. It'll do basically everything. The plan is to have this AVIC-Z1 replace my current factory stereo and CD changer in addition to adding navigation. The AVIC-Z1 features an FM/AM tuner and can hold 10 GB of songs. 10 GB is a lot of opera; I doubt I would ever use it all. And if I wanted, I could get an iPod interface (probably won't given the 10 GB of song space) and digital radio.

Installing the MUD-UK console and AVIC-Z1 would mean I would have to do some shuffling around. My current dash looks like this:




Installing the MUD-UK console and AVIC-Z1 would mean losing access to the 706, hazard switch, clock, and cigarette lighter.

I could mount the 706's control face on the top DIN recess on the console, but I'm hesitant to do that because I'm afraid the result will look hamsexy with the monitor sitting immediately below the 706. The reason I removed the Garmin III+ in the first place was because it was so close to the 706 and they looked hamsexy to me so close together.

So instead of moving the 706 elsewhere, I was contemplating replacing the 706 with an ICOM 7000 and running a video output from the 7000 to the AVIC-Z1's monitor like this:




The AVIC-Z1 would replace the factory head unit and CD changer, so I was thinking of mounting the 7000 in the factory head unit position or inside the center console. The 7000 features a DTMF microphone, so most of the radio's functions could be operated from the mic anyway:




And with the 7000's output going to the AVIC-Z1's monitor, I don't have to look at the 7000's control face anyway.

The 7000 takes the same mounting bracket, AT-180 resonant tuner, and head separation cable as the 706, so swapping out the control face and radio body would be a breeze. And I could just sell my 706 to one of the many guys who will have upgraded to Amateur Extra class by the time I finish the project.

The hazard switch and cigarette lighter switches are accommodated on the MUD-UK dash console. For the hazard switch, I would probably just use a UK-spec rear wiper switch in a worst-case scenario. If there is a lighter-shaped hazard switch available, of course I would use it.

I would lose the clock. I dig the analog clock but I think it's a worthwhile trade-off. I would rather have nav than a clock. I wear a wristwatch for the time anyway. And the AVIC-Z1 probably displays time anyway.

I would have to cut the factory dash like this to make clearance for the AVIC-Z1 behind the MUD-UK console:




So if I did this, there's no going back. Remember though that my dash is already ruined by the previous owner's drilling holes into the dash. I just checked and the holes would be covered by the MUD-UK console, which sweetens the idea for me. I would have to fab a bracket to hold the weight of the unit, but that should be easy.

So, what do you guys think? Good? Bad? Alternative nav units you can think of? Any other nav ideas you can think of that might work in a Defender?

Discuss.
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  #2  
Old March 17th, 2007, 08:49 AM
dchapman dchapman is offline
Daniel Chapman
KJ4BXR
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: VA
Posts: 1,126
I think that IS the system to have for in-dash. I don't like all the buttons associated with most units, they just look clunky. The Pioneer is one of the cleanest looking units out there.

The only real problem I have with those units is the motorized screens. I have not had the best of luck with a face plate that turns under its own power. They always break or get jammed up.

Personally, I like a big screen. I know it's not what you are looking for, at all, but I use a laptop with a 17" screen. I'm just not coordinated enough to look at a smaller screen and drive at the same time in congested, unfamiliar areas. Point being, I would go as large as you can with the screen.

BTW, You may hold off a month or so on the Z1. It appears in April, a Z2 will be released. So, the prices may drop a tad on the Z1. http://www.crutchfield.com/S-p1ZXmB9...50&I=130AVICZ2

......and trade in that Opera for some Flogging Molly
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  #3  
Old March 17th, 2007, 10:08 AM
parantaeyang parantaeyang is offline
Won Park
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ventura, California
Posts: 503
only thing about having touch screen interface on the dash is that it takes your eye and attention from the road.

My G500 has a nav/radio monitor in the center console. When compared to where the MUD-UK double DIN opening is, it is little lower in relation to the driver position. The thing I don't like it is any kind of input (such as changing routes or detour programming) while driving requires taking attention from the moving traffic. It is usable only because it has a secondary quick disply in the dash for upcoming turns and has voice instructions.

Compared to that, having 276C on top of the dash close to the 2 o'clock position of my steering wheel, it is more convinient and safe. I do admit it looks ugly and bulky up there, but.....

John, another thing you should consider is the reflection. With the 276C it is possible to tweak the unit incase you get reflection or sun in the screen.

With hard mount to the MUD-UK dash, which is high on th dash directly facing the flat rear glass, if you get reflection, only remedy would be to change your driving position? Maybe a mock-up trial mount with something close to TFT screen (or some shiny plastic surface) is in order before you hack the dash?
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  #4  
Old March 17th, 2007, 12:02 PM
johnlee johnlee is online now
John Lee
K6YJ
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 16,160
From what I hear the AVIC-Z2 is merely an AVIC-Z1 with software upgrades. I'm far from sure though. But if I drop the coin to get the nav, I would probably get the Z2.

The reflection is a big concern. I don't like tinted windows and refuse to tint my truck's windows. Every time I see a Defender with tinted windows I want to barf. The AVIC-Z1 has a tilt feature that can tweak the monitor slightly to avoid bad glare. I believe the tilt works only up and down and not side to side. I'm sure the tilt would help but I doubt it would eliminate glare entirely. I'll just have to live with the glare.

The AVIC-Z1 also comes with a microphone and accepts voice commands. I'm not sure how well it works, especially in a very noisy Defender environment, but at least it's there.

I just can't do the 276 thing. It's a sweet unit but it's too GPSsexy for me, especially with my 706 mounted right below it.
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  #5  
Old March 17th, 2007, 12:30 PM
sheki sheki is offline
David Shechter
KC2PFB
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: NYC
Posts: 571
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnlee
...And I could just sell my 706 to one of the many guys who will have upgraded to Amateur Extra class by the time I finish the project.

Maybe Aaron's son Evan can buy it off you, you should be done with all this by the time he gets his Extra ticket.

first of all I have to say I am beside myself with amazement that you are even thinking about this. I think it is an awesome project and something I too have given thought to. Off-road I don't know how useful the GPS will be, I have had issue with mine. Mine doesn't give thousands of seconds when it comes to coordinates, so it rounds up or down. Jack and I figured it could be off by as much as 5 miles off road using the coordinated and a paper map. On road it is awesome and works very well, easy to program and view. I have no glare on my screen, it sits in the same location as yours would. The screen on mine has an anti-glare matted finish and the screen is brighter than the suns reflection.

All the features on that system seem pretty kick ass, it definitely would give you everything and then some. Seems more like something I would do as opposed to you. Think about my last statement and then decide if it's right for you. Remember how you scoffed at all the wiring in my center console? Welcome to my world.
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  #6  
Old March 17th, 2007, 03:11 PM
johnlee johnlee is online now
John Lee
K6YJ
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 16,160
Oh please. I've seen the inside of your center console. Unpretty. If there's so much stuff in there that Pendy won't touch it, that's very telling.

I wonder just how long this AVIC install would take. The 706 install took me forever because I thought I might as well do my flooring to install the antennae, and then I might as well install my roof lights if I'm going to install the flooring and run the wires for the antennae, and so on. In contrast, this AVIC installation is largely within the vehicle. Of course I would have to run the GPS antenna somewhere but that's nothing. And the AVIC install would require very little handwork and hand fitting. The roof flooring install was a nightmare because it was all hand fitting.

But even if I could pull off this install quickly, it would be a lot of work. There's no doubt about that. And I would have to cut into the dash and ruin it for any other purpose.

I have to take a closer look at your navsexy system. I had largely ignored it up to now, but now I'm intrigued.
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  #7  
Old March 17th, 2007, 03:58 PM
sheki sheki is offline
David Shechter
KC2PFB
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: NYC
Posts: 571
You'll have plenty of time to look at while you help me rewire my aux lights and figure out what the hell happened to my tail lights. While we're at it we can do a Lee wiring job on my heated windshield to get thing to finally work... now that summer is almost upon us.
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  #8  
Old March 17th, 2007, 04:20 PM
johnlee johnlee is online now
John Lee
K6YJ
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 16,160
Here's the heated windscreeen relay installed:




I'll walk you through the install when you're ready to get started.

I'll also teach you how to use the Power Probe.
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  #9  
Old March 18th, 2007, 03:24 PM
dmarchand dmarchand is offline
David Marchand
KB1NYP
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 177
An interesting install to say the least. Had I not been so gauge and switch happy, getting the GPS off of the dash would have been a great use of the console.

As you have probably realized, you can buy the major components and "place" then on the console, mock everything up before cutting your dash (and the console even). I spent quite a bit of time doing this to make sure I would be happy with the results.

Otherwise, I say go for it. Update the interior and make it very functional yet professional.
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