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Old 07-09-2013, 11:37 PM   #1
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Has anyone replaced their radio?

I have a 2003 Alpine with a Kenwood Krc-435 radio. I'm thinking about replacing it with a "smartphone ready" unit. If someone has already done that, I'd sure like to know how it went.
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Old 07-10-2013, 07:57 AM   #2
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Replaced the Kenwood in our 03 with a Panisonic several years ago [forget the model]. Works great compared to the Kenwood. The replacement model had the option of either [perhaps both] Blue Tooth or Sat. Satellite requires an external box and antenna. We havent activated either option. Key upgrade was sound quality and use of the USB port and wife's Ipod to store/play songs--no more disc stack. You need the removal tools [metals strips] that spread the hooks/fastners that hold the old radio in place. Also note that your surround sound is probably a 12v model so the interface is RCA jacks--not the newest technology, plus you are limited to what you can actually do with the built-in sound quality options on the new radio [eg equalizer] as they all tend to get washed out thru the RCA jacks and the surround sound...good luck. Kind of like the old saying---"no highs, no lows: must be Boses!"
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:01 PM   #3
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Thanks. That gives me some encouragement. Your information about surround sound RCA cables will keep me from wasting money on an expensive unit. A system is only as good as its weakest link!
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:26 AM   #4
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Replaced ours with a Jensen for the USB port (32gig chip with all our CDs burned onto it). It's very easy to change out although you do have to do some splicing of wires. We didn't have the surround sound system in our '99 so for those rare times the TV speakers aren't enough I use a 12' 3.5mm male/male cord run down the "A" pillar and under the dash for sound, input comes from the headphone jack on the 32" Visio LED/LCD.

I highly recommend upgrading as technology has come a long way in the last few years.
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:58 AM   #5
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Almost forgot, perhaps the best feature is the "credit-card-like" controller that comes with most of these radios. Allows the driver or passenger to control all/most of the radio functions from a hand-held card. Beats the heck out of trying to read/push the buttons on the old Kenwood.
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:14 PM   #6
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Thanks. The USB and remote are both features I plan to get.
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Old 07-13-2013, 10:55 AM   #7
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Here is what we put in. Bluetooth phone ready, Satelite Radio ready, remote control, CD player, USB player, Bluetooth wireless connection to iPod, iPad, Android device to play music from them.


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Old 07-14-2013, 12:21 AM   #8
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Nice looking radio. Looks like you modified dash to accommodate larger unit. How about wires in back? Do they match up?
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Old 07-14-2013, 12:41 AM   #9
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JVC

I put in a JVC double din radio with satellite input, Bluetooth that connects to iPad, iPhone for music as well as bluetooth phones. It has two USB ports which support iPods, smartphones, memory card readers, and even hard drives up to 1 TB. I tested it with a 500gig drive and it worked well. It also had front & back audio in ports.

What I really like about it is that the display color is user programmable and can be set up to match 'Freightliner Green' so well it looks awesome at night.

The reviews said it has a weak FM receiver. I didn't care! I listen to iPod, XM, or memory cards and haven't used FM in years.

It was an interesting install. I had to enlarge the hole, make the hole deeper, and make my own wiring adapter.
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Old 07-14-2013, 01:26 AM   #10
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Oops
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Old 07-14-2013, 01:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SRAlpine View Post
Nice looking radio. Looks like you modified dash to accommodate larger unit. How about wires in back? Do they match up?
My coach came with the larger size stereo. I bought this model on Amazon. It is last years model but has all the same features as the new model. This one came with a remote. I liked this model as it has a volume knob rather than the new model with a push button volume that I thought would be hard to find when driving without looking at the screen.
Here is a link to the Amazon ad for info.

http://www.amazon.com/Kenwood-DPX500.../dp/B00B7IR426

Kenwood also makes a Single Din (narrow) model with the same features.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:19 PM   #12
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Thank you for the information. I'm not thrilled with idea of making a wiring adaptor. Luckily I still have the manual and wiring diagrams that came with the coach, so it should work.
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:26 PM   #13
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Not that hard

Making your own harness is fairly easy. There will be two power wires, one always live and another that's either keyed or on when the radio on switch (if you have one) is on. Antenna is a no-brainer, as is the digital connection to the satellite radio.

Speakers? Use a 9 volt battery on pairs of wires to isolate front right, front left, rear right, rear left. Usually the wires are color coded in a way that almost makes sense. Red/White with red stripe, blue/blue with white stripe etc. I said usually, not always. You can always do some detective work on your current radio to figure out which is which. There may be something in the radio manual or in the wiring diagram for your chassis.

Phasing:
It's important. The sound will be tinny and dead if you get it wrong. Usually the striped wire is negative and the solid positive. But if your wires are not 'intuitive' you can always use the 9volt again and observe which way the cone of the speaker moves when you touch the battery terminals to it's two wires. Doesn't matter which way it goes, but you want them to all go in the same direction.

I use painters tape and a marking pen as I go.

Good Luck!
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:05 PM   #14
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Thanks. I ordered the radio today. I'll refer to your suggestions if necessary. The big project today was to find the removal tools for the current radio. Took a while, but now have the tools, the radio owners manual, the DHS instructions, and the Alpine owners manual with wiring diagrams.
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