Replacing my old Kenwood with a Pumpkin 7″ Quadcore Double Din Stereo

Back in 2009 I remember I got a Kenwood DNX5120 Double Din. It was really convenient, no need to pull out my phone to use the GPS, no need to burn CD’s for music; I could just plug in my flash drive and update the music and you could change the colors to match your cars dashboard lights. People were always asking about my stereo and would get surprised when I told them I installed it myself.  After 7 years of using it the screen would turn a bluish tint and the only way to correct it is by slamming the with my first. Eventually I got tired of slamming the dashboard and decided to replace the stereo.

So when I was researching stereos I was surprised that the big names such as Kenwood and Pioneer didn’t have any Android based stereos. The only maker that had an Android platform stereo was by Parrot and Hu Fei. If you didn’t know Hu fei is the manufacture and there are many branding companies such as Pumpkin, Volsmart, and Joying that will rebrand it.

 

The Parrot Asteroid

Or

Pumpkin Quad Core Double Din Stereo

I decided to go with the Pumpkin Quadcore Stereo for a few reasons:

  • Runs on Android 5.1 compared to Parrot’s Android 2.3 (Few years old)
  • Bigger ram. 1 GB vs 512 MB
  • Faster processor speed: Quad Core 1.6 Ghz vs Texas Instruments 800 Mhz
  • Has a volume nob. Trust me this is a nice convienent factor because you’ll be concentrated on the road and when Linkin Park hits the speakers at a volume level  of 30, you can just reach out and touch the volume nob instead of looking to see where the volume icon is.
  • Price is around $200 cheaper

Installation

The wiring was simple! All the colors matched up to my previous radio wiring harness I used so there was no issue or guessing needed. There was an issue with the GPS antenna  installation. The plug would hit a metal frame in my Nissan Xterra. The only way around it was to either cut the frame or look for a right angle connector which luckily exist.

Right angle GPS Antenna for Pumpkin Stereo

The Fit

The stereo did fit into my dashboard. It was a little snug from on the sides with my Nissan Xterra. There was no noticeable gaps on top but the bottom there is a small gap on the bottom of the stereo.

 

Overall Impression

Pros:

  • The screen is crisp and clear and has multi-touch feature.
  • Bluetooth is easy to use and connects right away when I’m in the car. I can stream music through my phone or answer phone calls.
  • No issue with voice calls through bluetooth
  • Good radio reception.
  • Installed the rear camera. It came in handy and works well.
  • Compatible with Torque. Really nice if you want to see real time data on your car or trouble shooting codes.
  • Solid Android Platform.
  • The was able to install Google maps and Waze to use as my GPS. The provided GPS navigation works fine, I just prefer Google maps or Waze since they have live traffic information.
  • Sound is good. Don’t notice a lost of quality compared to my Kenwood.
  • Easily swap out SD cards to update my songs.
  • Plays Youtube videos and check emails. Which you shouldn’t do if you’re driving.

Cons:

  • WiFi connection to my router was sketchy. It’ll disconnect a lot. However it worked fine on my phone hotspot.
  • Not the fastest boot time. Around 25 seconds but this does not bother me. I’m pretty patient.
  • Not a standard double din. For me it was a little tight on the side with a gap on the bottom but I did not need to cut anything to make it fit.

 

Overall I do like my Pumpkin Android stereo and would recommend it to others.

Nissan Xterra Air Bag SRS light and Autel AL619

A couple of days after replacing my suspensions I notice my airbag light (SRS) started to blink.  At first I thought I’ll just do a simple reset procedure to turn it off.  I tried the procedure but after a few trips later the SRS light started blinking again. I knew this would be a nightmare to deal with since the car has multiple airbag devices that will trigger the lights. So I came up with a bright idea, why not take it to O’Reilly and see if they can read SRS codes. So when I went down there I found out that their OBD2 reader Bosch OBD 1200 can actually read SRS codes but for some reason it was giving errors and was not able to pull any codes. When I researched more into the Bosch OBD 1200 I found out it was actually rebrand of Actron CP9680 where it does list Nissan as compatible for SRS code reading but for some reason it was not pulling any SRS codes.

I didn’t want to take the car to the dealership because as you know they’re pricey. I do have an OBD2 code reader at home so I researched all different ways to pull SRS codes using an OBD2 reader. I discovered OBD2 can only read engine error codes and I would need a specialized SRS reader for SRS codes. So I googled SRS code reader on Amazon to see what options came up and it was an Autel AL619.

Autel AL619

It was cheaper than taking it to the dealership and I get a code reader out of this whole ordeal. So when the Autel AL619 came I plugged it into my car right away. Navigating through the menu was easier than the Bosch. I didn’t need to set the model, year, and make of the car. I could just simply choose the SRS option and it prompted the maker of the car. It read the code and gave me two codes. It was B1049 and B1054. A light researched indicated that these codes meant I needed a new spiral cable (clock spring.)  Bought a replacement clock spring, installed it and then used the Autel AL619 to erase the SRS codes. After driving the car for a few months and no new SRS codes it’s safe to say that the clock spring was the culprit that’s now fixed.

Here are a few extra notes from my experience:

  • Most models of cars have procedures where you can pull SRS codes without a need for a code reader. For the Nissan, the air bag light will blink in a certain sequence to let you know the error.
  • Sadly, when I did the procedure for my Nissan Xterra it gave me 0 blinks. Which meant:
    • Self-Diagnoses result (previously stored in the memory) might not have been erased after repair
    • Intermittent malfunction has been detected in the past.
    • These were really broad explanation and the only repair order mentioned was to use Nissan Consult II. Which you know cost thousands of dollars if you want to buy your own.
  • The procedure is only good for pulling one code. If you have two SRS codes stored like my situation then it might just give you 0 blinks which can only be read by a SRS code reader.
  • The clock spring was most likely damaged when I was replacing the suspension. I probably turned the steering wheel past the allowed limit and damaged the clock spring.
    • Surprisingly, even though my clock spring was damaged my horns and steering wheel controls were working fine.
  • I did not need to update the Autel AL619 before using it. It’s recommended that you do just in case. It also doubles as an OBD2, SRS and ABS code reader.

Xiaomi Mi Hybrid Earphone Experience

My personal experience with cheap headphones were mediocre.  They weren’t anything amazing and sounds were just only okay at best. So I decided to buy an expensive Panasonic Zirconia Headphone for around $100 when it was on sale from $200. The headphones were good with clean and crisp sound. Sadly the right earbud died so I needed a replacement headphone. I did my research and everyone was recommending the Xiaomi Mi Hyrbid Earphones.

Xiaomi Mi Hybrid Earphone

I was skeptical at first. I lost my trust in cheap headphones but I decided to give it another shot since it was recommended by lots of people when I did my research. So after a few days the headphones came in and I was surprised.

  • The construction of the headphone wire was sturdy. Lots of coworkers complimented the wires when I told them to test out the Xiaomi Mi headphones.
  • The earphones fit into my ear fine and  were comfortable. I didn’t need to change the stock tips.
  • The media button worked for my Android Oneplus One phone.
  • The mic on the earphone was able to pick up my voice and friends complimented on how clear I sounded.
  • My first impression of the sound wowed me. The sound was clear and crisp. At first it was a little more bassy than my previous headphone. After running the headphones for 20 hours the bass has subsided.

 

I highly recommend these headphones. At first I was expecting to be let down by a low price headphone but to my surprise I didn’t know a headphone under $25 can be made with such quality and wow factor. Try them but be careful where you buy them. There are lots of fake Xiaomi headphones out there due to their popularity and demand. The ones I bought were through this Amazon page.