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Radio upgrade to 10 Inch Android


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Thought I'd share a success story. I replaced the Magnadyne radio in my Diplomat with a big Android radio. It looks great, check out the attached picture. I picked a Vanku 10 inch radio mainly because it was single DIN and I wanted a big screen for GPS. Quick boot is also a nice feature. It has AM/FM, WI-FI, Bluetooth, USB, Microphone, and several other features as well. It comes with an external microphone, WI-FI antenna, and a magnetic GPS antenna that stuck nicely under the dash and picks up satellites well. It was $240 on Amazon. The magnadyne had a 3 inch high opening (1.5 DIN), so there was a gap that I built a plate to cover. However the large screen hid it well and was not really necessary. There weren't many reviews on the radio, so it was a bit of a gamble, but with free returns, not much of one. All in all I'd give the conversion a 10 though I will miss the CD changer.

Vanku Android Radio.jpg

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If you "rip" your CDs to digital mp3 format, you won't miss your CD changer at all.

there is likely a USB connector, possibly on a short wire on the backside of the head unit that you plug a USB flash drive.  Then the head unit's "app" for music will likely find that content, organize it and make it super easy for you to access your entire music library (not just the couple of discs in the old fashioned changer).

 

It's also safer as you aren't messing with CDs while you are driving.

You can "rip" (copy) the CDs using a laptop or desktop computer's optical drive to convert to digital mp3 format.

You can put a USB extender cable accesible to the front side of the dash to swap flash drives for different content or to update the firmware of the head unit (an advanced user task).

Edited by DavidL
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Nice set-up with the huge Android screen.  I went a different route for hands-free music.  There is a dedicated phone using Visible cell service tethered to a small wireless router so the bus has it's own always-on WiFi Network.   The original head unit was replaced with a Pyle CD player that has an auxiliary input.  The aux input is fed by a Chromecast audio device on the network.  And finally, there is a Google Home Mini, also on the network.   The result is a voice controlled juke box while parked or going down the road.  "OK Google play Elvis from YouTube Music on the Monaco Chromecast Audio" and it is piped through the coach.  Volume is also voice controlled.

 

wifi1.thumb.jpg.a52e45683b2bda316666a525da293be7.jpgdash1.thumb.jpg.d8fffaa206705a7ab9f4bdd2f66ff77a.jpg

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Thanks for the feedback guys. I'm already in the process of ripping CD's to MP3's.

I tried to port a phone to Visible, but they couldn't get it working. Unhappy that i lost service for 3 days. I'm going to get unlimited data for the months we travel with 10net for $50. When 5G phones come down in price, I'll buy one and port it over to Visible or whomever is cheaper.

Joe, carplay and android auto require a USB dongle that is in the neighborhood of $35.

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21 hours ago, oldsqueezer said:

Thought I'd share a success story. I replaced the Magnadyne radio in my Diplomat with a big Android radio. It looks great, check out the attached picture. I picked a Vanku 10 inch radio mainly because it was single DIN and I wanted a big screen for GPS. Quick boot is also a nice feature. It has AM/FM, WI-FI, Bluetooth, USB, Microphone, and several other features as well. It comes with an external microphone, WI-FI antenna, and a magnetic GPS antenna that stuck nicely under the dash and picks up satellites well. It was $240 on Amazon. The magnadyne had a 3 inch high opening (1.5 DIN), so there was a gap that I built a plate to cover. However the large screen hid it well and was not really necessary. There weren't many reviews on the radio, so it was a bit of a gamble, but with free returns, not much of one. All in all I'd give the conversion a 10 though I will miss the CD changer.

Vanku Android Radio.jpg

Very nice!

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1 hour ago, oldsqueezer said:

I tried to port a phone to Visible, but they couldn't get it working.

When I signed up for a new number thru Visible it was a smooth process.   When I tried to port a number over to them, it was a 2 week nightmare.
Visible's business model of only on-line customer service is far from stellar.  Downright sucky. 
But once I was able to fight through the issues, it has worked great for 2  years.

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