Pioneer AppsRadio 2 (SPH-DA100) + Sub/Amp Install & Impressions
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This is a discussion on Pioneer AppsRadio 2 (SPH-DA100) + Sub/Amp Install & Impressions within the Electronics/Car Audio forums, part of the Interior Mods category; Finally thought I'd do a write up on my audio adventure I've been on as of late. With the weather ...

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    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    Pioneer AppsRadio 2 (SPH-DA100) + Sub/Amp Install & Impressions

    Finally thought I'd do a write up on my audio adventure I've been on as of late. With the weather cooling off too much to use the windows, and the blizzaks and cold road cutting back on the 'go fast' fun, my priorities shifted a bit. Did some reading and chose a pioneer head unit designed to work with either iphones or android phones with HDMI output capabilities. As all car audio installs, it's still a work in progress, and won't be finished for a long time. As of now, my install includes the head unit as well as a sub and amp. Some minor sound deadening and door speakers will be down the road. Amp for the door speakers is questionable as of now.


    [I'll update my google spreadsheet and post up a final materials & cost assessment here after I finish the build]


    The goods for the head unit install:
    AppRadio 2 / SPH-DA100



    Double DIN bezel (This is actually a USDM part number, not the JDM one, FYI), P/N 66065SC130:



    ASWC (steering wheel controls interface), Metra Nissan harness (mistake, should have gone with ae64's stuff), and the parking brake bypass (gotta play angry birds when in school zones... I can't race in the winter):



    Foam tape, interior trim removal tools, and some shrink wrap tubing (way cheaper on amazon, FYI):



    Finally, an MHL adapter to take a USB output from my phone to HDMI for the head unit input:

    Head unit install on next post
    Last edited by Heide264; 12-18-2012 at 02:11 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex
    He was throwing balloons filled with sulfuric acid and shrapnel at the swat team. They finally had to take him down with rubber bullets.
    2011 STi Build Log
    -Part 1 - Reading, Data Logging, and Analyzing Data
    -Part 2 - Turbocharger 101 & Basic Boost Control
    -Part 3 - EcuFlash, Experimental Defintions, and a Drive By Wire Intro

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    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    90% of the work for the head unit install is in the harness. Given the number of harnesses out there for our car, it can (and should) be done out of the car. I wish I would have bought my harness off of ae64.com, as opposed to the generic metra harness. The generic metra harness is missing a few pins that are required for the steering wheel controls as well as the parking brake bypass. I believe the metra harness is missing one other signal - maybe the headlight/dimmer signal.

    The harness came out fairly well.


    If you haven't constructed a radio harness before, the black plug on the left comes with the head unit. It'll have several color coated wires that match up (hopefully) to your factory radio harness. It's recommended that you leave your factory harness in tact, and get an 'extension' harness. This will allow you to simply disconnect the entire harness from the factory unit, and plug your new head unit in - no soldering/splicing required to the factory wiring.

    Few general tips to making it nice and cleanly:
    • Get shrink wrap and have a hair dryer handy. Don't forget to put it on BEFORE soldering the joint (we've all done it)
    • Solder everything up pretty nicely. Some tips for those that aren't 'solder friendly':
      • Keep a wet sponge nearby. Use this to clean the soldering iron once the iron is hot
      • Tin the soldering iron with just a dab of solder. The liquid solder is more heat conductive than the clean soldering iron.
      • Important part most people miss - Heat up BOTH materials you wish to solder together. Push the soldering iron onto the joint of both wires, wait a few seconds to heat both wires up to the appropriate temp...
      • Feed a rather small amount of solder into the place where your iron contacts the wires. The wires should "wick" the hot solder right up. Don't overdo it. If the solder beads off, you didn't get the materials heated up. Try again.
      • Wipe the soldering iron off with the sponge afterwards, or continue to do the other joints you have laid out
    • Start with your speaker wires (assuming you are re-using factory wiring and using the head unit amps). This will get you started and get the harness set up a bit. The color codes match up for the most part as well (check out ae64.com for the color codes). After you have finished with them, bundle them up neatly with a few wire ties to sorta form one "cable" to keep things neat.
    • Work through the other wires one by one. Take special note of any 3 (or 4) way solder joints you'll need. You are on your own for those... they suck and being a bit OCD... I hate them. Apply shrink wrap over the end of any wires you don't use to avoid shorts to ground. Fold over any longer wires after soldering/shrink wrapping and zip tie them as well. Try to keep them all about the same length and to form one "cable".
    • Some special wires and explanations (ae64.com will help ya out here as well)
      • Illumination wire: Most aftermarket head units don't use an analog 'dimmer'. They use the headlight signal (digital... on/off) to apply either a "bright" or "dim" setting. Should be a one to one joint here and pretty straight forward.
      • Remote power: This is a big wire, especially if you are amping your system. If you have a glass mounted antenna (subarus do), they use this as an "antenna booster". Basically, the antenna requires a small amount of power to amplify its reception. Luckily this is low amperage and safe to use the remote power signal for. If its an older car with a motorized antenna, that may be pushing it. This may require multiple tie offs... Your head unit will output it and several things will use it including your amps, antenna, and parking brake bypass. DON'T USE THIS AS YOUR STANDARD POWER WIRE... I've personally ignited this wire by accident. Thin wires and large amperage do not mix well
      • Accessory power: This is on when the ignition is on 'accessory mode'. I think of it as a signal wire so the head unit knows when to turn on. Don't use this as your standard power either... It'd get annoying to reset your clock and presets every time you turn your car on. I believe this guy has a few things coming off of it as well.
      • Constant power: This is the guy you want. He supplies enough current (bulkier wire actually) for the head unit to do its thing.
      • Ground: Yup, Subaru includes a ground in their harness for the head unit. I used it. It's one of the few brands that do. Most just tie to the head unit body.
      • Steering wheel controls: I used ae64.com's guidance on these guys. I'd suggest you do the same.
      • Reverse signal: Found a post on iwsti. I grabbed a brown wire with a yellow stripe from the passenger kick panel. This is an input to the head unit & rear cam that gives a 12V signal when the car is in reverse.
    • Just be persistent and take your time. It's worth it to not have to hack the factory harness apart and use those stupid quick connects that always become quick-disconnects. I'd suggest avoiding "vampire taps" where possible. I cheated and used one to get the reverse signal. Who knows if it'll work long term or not.


    Actual head unit install is pretty simple:
    • Remove ground lead from battery for safety sake - Yours and the electronics
    • Pull dash bezel around head unit
    • Pull head unit
    • Wire up accessories as needed (mic/gps/hdmi/etc)
    • Put in new head unit
    • Put bezel back
    • Plug battery back in


    ...Really fairly easy. I had my doubts, but the head unit portion is pretty clean cut. The dash panel is pretty easy to remove for these cars. I'll attach some pictures of the process.

    I don't have one of actually removing the bezel - I'd look on youtube. Basically, wedge a thin screw driver or trim tool in the lower left or right of the panel (along that 45 degree bend part) and push and wiggle until it pops a clip loose. Then pull from the vent area and it should come out without too much fuss.

    After removal:


    Another one to show the location of where that clip is at. There are clips along the bottom of the bezel, and push pins along the top and sides:


    Vent piece removed. Jamming the steering wheel control module back there:


    Finished work:



    As far as accessories for this unit:
    • GPS Receiver: I did this at a later time with the amp install. I basically reached up to the left of the clock and stuck it on top of a vent duct under the defroster. It works well and isn't sitting on top of the dash board. As long as its level and not hidden behind metal, you should be okay. Its crazy how much faster it is to pick up the signal than the standard internal phone GPS.
    • iPhone/iPod Hookup: I just snaked it through an opening to the passenger glove box. It sits in there with my iPod hooked up 24/7. Works and is out of the way.
    • Microphone: I snaked the cable out towards the pedals actually, and then back up and stuck the mic on top of the steering column facing me. It's kinda an eye sore, but it picks up my voice pretty well and people can actually hear me. Oh the wonders of actually pointing the mic at your mouth.
    • HDMI: I managed to get this thing out in the little cubby under the head unit (with the cigarette lighter). I have a car charger plugged in there which supplies power to the MHL adapter. The phone plugs into the MHL adapter and sits in that cubby hole nicely


    ...Sub & Amp install to come shortly!
    Last edited by Heide264; 12-18-2012 at 02:55 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex
    He was throwing balloons filled with sulfuric acid and shrapnel at the swat team. They finally had to take him down with rubber bullets.
    2011 STi Build Log
    -Part 1 - Reading, Data Logging, and Analyzing Data
    -Part 2 - Turbocharger 101 & Basic Boost Control
    -Part 3 - EcuFlash, Experimental Defintions, and a Drive By Wire Intro

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    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    Saved for Sub/amp/wiring goods
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex
    He was throwing balloons filled with sulfuric acid and shrapnel at the swat team. They finally had to take him down with rubber bullets.
    2011 STi Build Log
    -Part 1 - Reading, Data Logging, and Analyzing Data
    -Part 2 - Turbocharger 101 & Basic Boost Control
    -Part 3 - EcuFlash, Experimental Defintions, and a Drive By Wire Intro

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    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    Saved for sub/amp install pics & thoughts
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex
    He was throwing balloons filled with sulfuric acid and shrapnel at the swat team. They finally had to take him down with rubber bullets.
    2011 STi Build Log
    -Part 1 - Reading, Data Logging, and Analyzing Data
    -Part 2 - Turbocharger 101 & Basic Boost Control
    -Part 3 - EcuFlash, Experimental Defintions, and a Drive By Wire Intro

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    Pro Manscaper Mikie13's Avatar
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    well crap...read the compatible phone list...Droid Bionic isn't one of them. Bastards.
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    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikie13 View Post
    well crap...read the compatible phone list...Droid Bionic isn't one of them. Bastards.
    I'd be surprised if it supported HDMI and didn't work with the head unit. I don't run Pioneer's app to connect to the HU (it blows for android) - I will go over that one eventually. You'd have to look up ARLiberator... Best (and only) $30 app ever lol.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex
    He was throwing balloons filled with sulfuric acid and shrapnel at the swat team. They finally had to take him down with rubber bullets.
    2011 STi Build Log
    -Part 1 - Reading, Data Logging, and Analyzing Data
    -Part 2 - Turbocharger 101 & Basic Boost Control
    -Part 3 - EcuFlash, Experimental Defintions, and a Drive By Wire Intro

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    \_(ツ)_/ Rambo's Avatar
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    Thoughts on the AppRadio 2? I was all set to buy the first gen version back a couple years ago, but the horrible reviews kept me from pulling the trigger. I love the concept, though.
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    Nice, watching!
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    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    Re: Pioneer AppsRadio 2 (SPH-DA100) + Sub/Amp Install & Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambo View Post
    Thoughts on the AppRadio 2? I was all set to buy the first gen version back a couple years ago, but the horrible reviews kept me from pulling the trigger. I love the concept, though.
    It takes some fiddling... But it is exactly what I wanted. That arliberator app really has come a long way and is just about perfected.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stu_Gotti View Post
    Nice, watching!
    It really isn't anything special compared to a lot of systems out there, but I appreciate it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex
    He was throwing balloons filled with sulfuric acid and shrapnel at the swat team. They finally had to take him down with rubber bullets.
    2011 STi Build Log
    -Part 1 - Reading, Data Logging, and Analyzing Data
    -Part 2 - Turbocharger 101 & Basic Boost Control
    -Part 3 - EcuFlash, Experimental Defintions, and a Drive By Wire Intro

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    Registered User Axex's Avatar
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    This is great man. I have been eyeballing a good android compatible headunit for a while and it's crazy how long it's taken to arrive. I was pretty disappointed to hear the not-so-great reviews of the app radio headunit too, but now that I've seen the arliberator I am definitely considering this unit again. If you end up doing some instructions for how you got that working, it would be greatly appreciated! I would like to know (in detail) your thoughts on using the headunit with that app.

    Some questions: Does your phone have to have an HDMI to get that to work? Samsung skipped that on the Galaxy Nexus so all I've got is USB. Will it charge while it is connected? Thanks

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    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    Re: Pioneer AppsRadio 2 (SPH-DA100) + Sub/Amp Install & Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Axex View Post
    This is great man. I have been eyeballing a good android compatible headunit for a while and it's crazy how long it's taken to arrive. I was pretty disappointed to hear the not-so-great reviews of the app radio headunit too, but now that I've seen the arliberator I am definitely considering this unit again. If you end up doing some instructions for how you got that working, it would be greatly appreciated! I would like to know (in detail) your thoughts on using the headunit with that app.

    Some questions: Does your phone have to have an HDMI to get that to work? Samsung skipped that on the Galaxy Nexus so all I've got is USB. Will it charge while it is connected? Thanks
    I have a galaxy nexus as well. The key is hdmi output.. Not actual hdmi. Look up MHL. It's a parallel circuit to the usb hardware that allows you to output an hdmi stream. It will only allow it to charge at usb rate... Which is about what it consumes. I am going to add inductive charging to the pogo pins to allow wall charging rate while streaming hdmi.

    I also get a random bad connection time to time where the screen goes staticy for a second. I blame it on either the MHL adapter or my phones usb port currently.

    Also, my parking brake bypass is funky time to time. Sometimes I have to back out to the main screen and back to the android display to hit ok and close the warning. Not sure what is up with that yet.

    Right now, the app is plug and play. Turn car on. Plug phone in. Comes up on screen. Those two issues I listed above seem to be the only ones.

    Not tinker free.. But I think it's worth it. Google navigation is bewbs on the head unit.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex
    He was throwing balloons filled with sulfuric acid and shrapnel at the swat team. They finally had to take him down with rubber bullets.
    2011 STi Build Log
    -Part 1 - Reading, Data Logging, and Analyzing Data
    -Part 2 - Turbocharger 101 & Basic Boost Control
    -Part 3 - EcuFlash, Experimental Defintions, and a Drive By Wire Intro

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    Registered User floods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heide264 View Post
    I have a galaxy nexus as well. The key is hdmi output.. Not actual hdmi. Look up MHL.
    Subbed.

    You only use MHL to HDMI because the Nexus has no HDMI, correct?

    Doing it all over again, would you change anything about the install, other than going with an ae64 harness/ASWC?

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    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    Re: Pioneer AppsRadio 2 (SPH-DA100) + Sub/Amp Install & Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by floods View Post
    Subbed.

    You only use MHL to HDMI because the Nexus has no HDMI, correct?

    Doing it all over again, would you change anything about the install, other than going with an ae64 harness/ASWC?
    Correct. I can't personally offer any experience on phones that offer hdmi that pioneer doesn't list as supported. Just assuming they would work if you could get an application to connect to it (arliberator). I would prefer if the phone had an hdmi output though. Could plug a higher amperage charger in to the usb port and wouldn't wear the usb port down by constantly plugging it in.

    I wouldn't do anything differently head unit wise. Pretty happy with it. The sub and amp install was long but could use some cleaning up.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex
    He was throwing balloons filled with sulfuric acid and shrapnel at the swat team. They finally had to take him down with rubber bullets.
    2011 STi Build Log
    -Part 1 - Reading, Data Logging, and Analyzing Data
    -Part 2 - Turbocharger 101 & Basic Boost Control
    -Part 3 - EcuFlash, Experimental Defintions, and a Drive By Wire Intro

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    Registered User crash55's Avatar
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    This unit only allows you to use certain apps that it supports, not any app on the phone correct? Or did I miss something.

    Edit: I think I answered my own question. Looks like this app arliberator is the key to getting full android control. Very cool.

    What are your thoughts on audio improvement from stock to this head unit before the amp install? (assmuming you haven't installed it yet). I'm not an "audiophile" but like others would love a little boost to the stock sound. I'm not into alot of bass or loud music or anything like that.
    Last edited by crash55; 12-19-2012 at 08:38 AM.
    2013 DGM Hatch WRX - STI STS currently only mod

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    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    Re: Pioneer AppsRadio 2 (SPH-DA100) + Sub/Amp Install & Impressions

    The after market unit has much clearer sound. I didn't realize how mucky the stock audio was until I switched the head unit. The feature set of an after market unit really makes a nice jump as well.

    Arliberator is awesome ;-) .

    I am pretty picky audio wise. I have a feeling I will be making another box in the future, do some sound deadening in the doors and hatch, and add a set of components up front. Sounds pretty good compared to other cars I have done audio stuff with though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex
    He was throwing balloons filled with sulfuric acid and shrapnel at the swat team. They finally had to take him down with rubber bullets.
    2011 STi Build Log
    -Part 1 - Reading, Data Logging, and Analyzing Data
    -Part 2 - Turbocharger 101 & Basic Boost Control
    -Part 3 - EcuFlash, Experimental Defintions, and a Drive By Wire Intro

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