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Discussion Starter #1
I've looked high and low, and there doesn't seem to be an easy, straightforward way to add an aftermarket HD tuner. Have looked at after market headunits, but then there's the loss of some functionality, and finding adapters to use oem antenna, mic, gps, steering wheel input, oem backup cam, etc

I'm just looking to keep the unit the same, but have HD Radio. Have read the hd-radio 2017 discussions, wish I could just buy the tuner for that model and install it (indications are it wouldn't work - but I don't know). It clearly should have come with those vehicles that said on the sticker it was included.

Anyone have info regarding this? Sure SiriusXM has the radio station I want to listen to (npr), but not fond of paying a monthly fee. I'm not even sure who the mfg of the 2014 headunit is, either pioneer or mitsubishi. Some pioneer units (certain versions) have an ip-Bus connection (and an hd-radio module add-on - if u can find one), but pics I've seen don't show that type of connection on back of my headunit (I haven't actually removed mine yet).

Any thoughts on this appreciated, something I'd hoped would be simple has become quite frustrating.

Cheers
 

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There’s a tiny model name in the corner of the head unit. Mine’s 2VN3 (Alpine).
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks mrtn, I've noticed the same on mine, so that at least solves that mystery.

Unfortunately, the aftermarket HD-Radio module Alpine made, no longer available, also I can't find on ebay etc etc. And, that's assuming the 'interface' plug, which is only available on 'select' models, would even be there on our units.

So what to do? Thought I'd share, in case anyone is also trying to accomplish this. To keep the same headunit, there's really only 1 option, use a 'universal' hd-radio module. Most of these also are out of production, but at least one I found is available (through normal channels):

The first one I found is mfg by Grom Audio. They have (basically) 2 units that interface with the headunit through an 'multi-CD changer plug' or through an Sirius-XM plug. What that means is you would then access the HD-R through either the CD changer interface or the XM interface. It's awkward, but I think most of the functionality; seek, skip, favorites, etc are maintained. This is an expensive option as you need one of the mentioned interface units and then a separate hd-radio module added to it.

The second one I've found is a bit more 'universal'. No longer mfg, but can be found on Ebay for 50 bucks. It doesn't try to 'interface' with any user interface of the headunit. It comes with it's own small lcd display which also controls seek, skip, fav's, etc. Most people will mount this somewhere on their dash. Because of this, it's 'universal' in that all you need to hook it up is an antenna plug, power, and either RCA connections for the audio or an Aux connection - considered the better of the 2, (which we have with the 2014 ex-l w/nav).

You can find the 2nd unit on ebay by searching for' Model DMHD1000I', they are new and original price was 199.00. I know, these things seem way over priced from the beginning! all of them are like that.

So... why bother with this? what's the point? I of course can only speak for myself, recently had a vehicle that had HD-Radio. Was astounded how much better npr (the only station I listen to) was received. It wasn't so much the quality of sound, it was that it didn't constantly lose the signal (always in the same spots where I drive).

When I would occasionally drive from Tucson to Phoenix, there was almost a 1/2 hr that I couldn't get the tucson station or the phoneix one. Not the case at all with HD-R, when the tucson station started to fade slightly going to phoenix, the phoenix one came in loud and clear immediately. Driving back I changed to the tucson one just a few miles before tucon, Never skipped a beat, no loss of signal at all.

It's obviously an individual thing... whatever your needs are. I'm sure some couldn't care at all, but it's a significant help in my circumstances. Once I get the dmhd-1000 and install it, I'll post some pics and results in case some are interested in doing the same.

Cheers
 

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Once you discover podcasts you'll never worry about radio signals again.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Once you discover podcasts you'll never worry about radio signals again.
Lol mrtn, I'd suggest re-wording that for accuracy... something like:

'I really like podcasts and listen to nothing else' ?

Hey if it works for you, great. It's not for me. I've listened to them, and do like them, but in my car, on the short trips I take (almost always), it's npr all the way.

Basically, don't assume, as I have discovered them, they just don't fit my needs.

Cheers, and good luck with your podcasts.
 

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"My podcasts" is not correct, they're for all of us. I'm not familiar with US radio (apart from some NPR) but over here all relevant radio stations publish all content in podcast form for listening at your convenience so time constraints and bad reception does not ruin the experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I didn't say they were 'your' podcasts, personally. I said podcasts, generally. I know what they are. We in the states have various ones available, including the types you mention.

I just want up to the minute, possibly breaking news, if I'm going to listen to the news. Not hard to understand. And have good reception, HD-R does that.

To each his own I always say.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So I guess I'm about half way there. Made some mods (according to comments on Amazon) that are 'shortcomings to this specific device. The first one was to ground the rca output jacks (seems to be a design flaw all units had). To do that, soldered in a piece of 24ga wire between the input ground pin and a common rca ground pin. The 2nd, because the units are said to get quite hot, was to drill holes top, bottom, sides. It doesn't look new anymore, but no one see's it ;)

Also, have removed the kick panel and getting ready to wire it up, have the harness all set. Removed the vents next to the H.U. but not the unit itself just yet. Also have the antenna adapter. It has the male input on one end and the female on the other, so just unplug from HU and insert in this, then insert adapter end into HU. That way just the antenna is split out and can go into the new module.

Decided to mount it in the glove box. The module itself is about 5" x 4" x 1". it's a bit large to put under the dash somewhere. And in the glove box, it will be easy access if needed. Also, the lcd display / control will go in the glove box. I don't change stations a lot, usually on only one, so in the box should be fine for me.

These are some pics of the mods I made. If the thing still gets hot I'll put a 50mm brush-less fan on the top ;) Have already identified the fuses to use for 'add a circuit', the #10, unoccupied if you don't have trailer harness, is an 'always on'. And #28, washer, I'll use for 'ignition'. Common grnd is right there behind the kick plate. It's a pretty fun project, not without it's issues though.
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Discussion Starter #9
Well, to finish this off, for posterity...

Got it completed today. Getting the headunit out was kind of a bear. Had the same experience as another owner reported, a loud crack when getting the bottom out, but couldn't find anything broken or any tab damaged. Went back in fine, very solid.

Upon examining the back of the unit, couldn't guess which plug was for Aux input? Have the outlet plug in the center console, but if it goes into the back of the head unit it must be using (again) some kind of propriety plug. So decided to use the other alternative of FM modulation over the antenna wire. It's suppose to not have quite as good sound quality though.

But I can say for sure the (HD-R) sound quality is outstanding. Way better than normal FM sounds. Even regular (non HD-R) stations seem better. But the HD-R ones are just awesome. I'd describe the sound as much more nuanced. There's a lot more there than normal. It's very easy to tell where a reporter is, like outside, etc. It's a little hard to describe but much like cd quality (digital) difference was when it first came out. It really is as though the dull 4th gen speakers / unit all of a sudden come to life.

Well no one has commented much so guessing not much interest in doing this. But I'll check the thread now and then in case someone has an interest.

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I may give it a try in a couple months when I have more time. I have a used 2016 LX with basic radio/cd and don't like the FM sound quality but don't want to spend the money for a new aftermarket headunit.
Does your unit get that hot requiring drilling all those holes?
What do you use to tap into the two #10,#28 fuses?

thanks for posting.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I may give it a try in a couple months when I have more time. I have a used 2016 LX with basic radio/cd and don't like the FM sound quality but don't want to spend the money for a new aftermarket headunit.
Does your unit get that hot requiring drilling all those holes?
What do you use to tap into the two #10,#28 fuses?

thanks for posting.
I decided to drill the holes before ever installing it, due to comments other buyers made about very hot units. It makes sense because taking it apart (which is very simple), you realize it's completely shut, no air at all. I used some drill bits but found subsequently it would have been much easier to use a 'step bit'. They are made for sheet metal and would do a much better / easier job (and better looking).

The 'add a circuit' thing I got on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01BU59QA8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

You'll also find that where these plug into the fuse box, there's a 'common ground' bolt there. That's what I used for the ground connection.

They work perfect. I'd get a soldering tool also if you don't have one to be sure you have solid connections. And heat shrink.

Was in the same boat as you, just didn't want to spend the enormous sum for a new head unit with HD-R, then have loss of some of the basic functionality, etc.

It's worked out very well. The only 'adapter' needed is for the antenna (I got the one by Metra). It's needed because the Honda antenna plug is proprietary (it includes not just the antenna wire but also a low voltage power wire in it's harness). So the adapter 'splits' these wires out, and results in your having a basic antenna hookup that can be used for the HD-R tuner (the 2 blue wires have to be soldered together so the oem antenna still gets the power).

This is the adapter on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003R7KYUO/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I'm ecstatic with it honestly. Having HD-R is astounding compared to regular FM. The reception difference alone is massive. I can only speak for where I live of course, but it's much much better. Here's a website that can give HD-R broadcasts in areas by zip: https://hdradio.com/stations/

For me, because I am not changing channels constantly, I installed the 'controller' against the far panel inside the glovebox. So it faces me in the drivers seat (when I open it). That way I can open the box and use the remote control (from the drivers seat) for the occasional channel change. So the remote can actually be handy.

Good luck with it. Cheers
 

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I decided to drill the holes before ever installing it, due to comments other buyers made about very hot units. It makes sense because taking it apart (which is very simple), you realize it's completely shut, no air at all. I used some drill bits but found subsequently it would have been much easier to use a 'step bit'. They are made for sheet metal and would do a much better / easier job (and better looking).

The 'add a circuit' thing I got on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01BU59QA8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

You'll also find that where these plug into the fuse box, there's a 'common ground' bolt there. That's what I used for the ground connection.

They work perfect. I'd get a soldering tool also if you don't have one to be sure you have solid connections. And heat shrink.

Was in the same boat as you, just didn't want to spend the enormous sum for a new head unit with HD-R, then have loss of some of the basic functionality, etc.

It's worked out very well. The only 'adapter' needed is for the antenna (I got the one by Metra). It's needed because the Honda antenna plug is proprietary (it includes not just the antenna wire but also a low voltage power wire in it's harness). So the adapter 'splits' these wires out, and results in your having a basic antenna hookup that can be used for the HD-R tuner (the 2 blue wires have to be soldered together so the oem antenna still gets the power).

This is the adapter on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003R7KYUO/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I'm ecstatic with it honestly. Having HD-R is astounding compared to regular FM. The reception difference alone is massive. I can only speak for where I live of course, but it's much much better. Here's a website that can give HD-R broadcasts in areas by zip: https://hdradio.com/stations/

For me, because I am not changing channels constantly, I installed the 'controller' against the far panel inside the glovebox. So it faces me in the drivers seat (when I open it). That way I can open the box and use the remote control (from the drivers seat) for the occasional channel change. So the remote can actually be handy.

Good luck with it. Cheers
Thanks for posting the links for the antenna adapter and fuse taps. It will save me many hours searching.
Now to search Ebay for the radio unit.
Also, thanks for taking the extra time to post a comprehensive summary of your installation with photos and explaining why you chose this HD-R unit. It helps others, like me, understand if your solution will fit their needs or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for posting the links for the antenna adapter and fuse taps. It will save me many hours searching.
Now to search Ebay for the radio unit.
Also, thanks for taking the extra time to post a comprehensive summary of your installation with photos and explaining why you chose this HD-R unit. It helps others, like me, understand if your solution will fit their needs or not.
No worries, glad to help. This is the ebay seller I bought from: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Directed-E...rentrq:a71aca8716c0a4e883b1d7f2fffff71c|iid:1

There appear to be others at a lesser price but I've no experience there. You can also find this particular unit on Amazon - the Amazon seller originally wanted 280, now it's at 250. They ebay seller is 50 ;) (interesting comments on the Amazon site, worth reading).

It's amazing really. These units originally sold for 199. But the history of HD-R is kind of on again off again. But... at this time, newer cars are coming with HD-R, so it seems they may be on again?

I was baffled by all of it but figured this, bottom line, the station(s) I listen to broadcast in HD-R at this time. I couldn't find any indication that it would be discontinued in the near future. Because it's a better signal and better reception, I bought one, that simple.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #14
One additional (kind of) recent discovery: I normally listen to npr - which is essentially just talk radio (as you know). But with the recent pledge drive, I'll tune in something else. After having reviewed (mentioned above) website listing all HD broadcasts in area, I tuned to npr hd-2 station, all Jazz (no commercials).

So this is when you realize for sure the tuner in the oem HR is pretty bad. Because using the HD-R tuner results in much much better music quality. Good bass, treble, focus, etc. It really does make the oem system sound like an upscale sound system. Over all quality of sound is vastly improved.

So, no changes to speakers, no after market HU, no loss of imid etc etc etc functionality... and all for 50 bucks plus your time to install it.

Giving it a serious recommendation :)
 

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So, if i May ask, why did you have to solder wires to the inside of the circuitry ? And if I want the box to turn off when I shut the ignition off, what method do I want to use ? Did you have to install a fan onto the case ?

So I guess I'm about half way there. Made some mods (according to comments on Amazon) that are 'shortcomings to this specific device. The first one was to ground the rca output jacks (seems to be a design flaw all units had). To do that, soldered in a piece of 24ga wire between the input ground pin and a common rca ground pin. The 2nd, because the units are said to get quite hot, was to drill holes top, bottom, sides. It doesn't look new anymore, but no one see's it ;)

Also, have removed the kick panel and getting ready to wire it up, have the harness all set. Removed the vents next to the H.U. but not the unit itself just yet. Also have the antenna adapter. It has the male input on one end and the female on the other, so just unplug from HU and insert in this, then insert adapter end into HU. That way just the antenna is split out and can go into the new module.

Decided to mount it in the glove box. The module itself is about 5" x 4" x 1". it's a bit large to put under the dash somewhere. And in the glove box, it will be easy access if needed. Also, the lcd display / control will go in the glove box. I don't change stations a lot, usually on only one, so in the box should be fine for me.

These are some pics of the mods I made. If the thing still gets hot I'll put a 50mm brush-less fan on the top ;) Have already identified the fuses to use for 'add a circuit', the #10, unoccupied if you don't have trailer harness, is an 'always on'. And #28, washer, I'll use for 'ignition'. Common grnd is right there behind the kick plate. It's a pretty fun project, not without it's issues though.
View attachment 135142 View attachment 135143 View attachment 135144 View attachment 135145
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So, if i May ask, why did you have to solder wires to the inside of the circuitry ? And if I want the box to turn off when I shut the ignition off, what method do I want to use ? Did you have to install a fan onto the case ?
Hi, good questions. The reason for the soldered wire is because the rca outputs aren't grounded well. That was noted by people who used this originally and there are 2 options: 1) wrap a wire (multiple times) around the 2 rca outs, and then ground it, or 2) solder the wire as I did.

It's important to understand though, there are 2 ways to get the sound to your Head Unit; 1) obviously, the just discussed rca outputs (into an aux jack), or just use the built in FM (over the wire) modulation. So, if you plan on using the 2nd option, wiring the rca outputs to ground isn't necessary.

As wired (by the directions), the box shuts off when ignition is off. There is a feed to it that is 'always on', but that wire is just to keep the pre-sets in memory, it uses like no noticeable power.

A fan? no, if you drill the holes like I did, it does not warm up at all. I thought I might need a fan initially, with prior reviews indicating it got really hot. But, without the holes, it's basically a completely closed system, absolutely zero air flow, no dissipation of the heat whatsoever. So, with the holes though, it doesn't warm up at all, it's ideal.

Here's a few pics I've been meaning to take, I put everything in the glove box with that 3m pronged tape connection type and it could be completely removed if desired, thus no trace of the install. Also, leave enough loose wire above the glove box, so it can be lowered down, then unplug the plugs and it can be lowered all the way for a new cabin filter if needed.

I'll tell you this, every time I drive the vehicle, I get a smile on my face with how happy I am having done this and how great the radio sounds.

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Oh...and how did you get the RCA connectors into the radio sytem ? Is there a harness junction that you bought for that ?

Hi, good questions. The reason for the soldered wire is because the rca outputs aren't grounded well. That was noted by people who used this originally and there are 2 options: 1) wrap a wire (multiple times) around the 2 rca outs, and then ground it, or 2) solder the wire as I did.

It's important to understand though, there are 2 ways to get the sound to your Head Unit; 1) obviously, the just discussed rca outputs (into an aux jack), or just use the built in FM (over the wire) modulation. So, if you plan on using the 2nd option, wiring the rca outputs to ground isn't necessary.

As wired (by the directions), the box shuts off when ignition is off. There is a feed to it that is 'always on', but that wire is just to keep the pre-sets in memory, it uses like no noticeable power.

A fan? no, if you drill the holes like I did, it does not warm up at all. I thought I might need a fan initially, with prior reviews indicating it got really hot. But, without the holes, it's basically a completely closed system, absolutely zero air flow, no dissipation of the heat whatsoever. So, with the holes though, it doesn't warm up at all, it's ideal.

Here's a few pics I've been meaning to take, I put everything in the glove box with that 3m pronged tape connection type and it could be completely removed if desired, thus no trace of the install. Also, leave enough loose wire above the glove box, so it can be lowered down, then unplug the plugs and it can be lowered all the way for a new cabin filter if needed.

I'll tell you this, every time I drive the vehicle, I get a smile on my face with how happy I am having done this and how great the radio sounds.

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View attachment 138720
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Oh...and how did you get the RCA connectors into the radio sytem ? Is there a harness junction that you bought for that ?
And boy did I ever look for one! Even bought one I thought I could just plug in the back of the Head Unit. But no, sadly. Even pulled out the head unit to see all the various connectors. There are many possible options, use the XM radio plug etc etc. But you'd loose xm, or use the cd changer plug if you have one... It seemed every possible plug (using the pin out website) also had other things plugged in, and you'd then lose that functionality.

Alas, the problem is that all the Honda connections are proprietary. The only AUX input, that's normal, is the one at the bottom of the center console. So I ended up running a 3.5mm jack wire behind the Head Unit and under the console, drilled a small hole near the AUX jack and pulled the wire through and plugged it in there. It really turned out to be quite easy, just drill the hole and use a coat hanger to fish through up to the inner kick plate on the passenger side (have to remove that), Tape the wire to the hangar and pull it into the console. Easy.

Would have loved to just plug it in the H.U. but it was turning into way more effort than it was worth.

cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So were the soldered wires necessary to prevent a 'humming or static'y' sound ?
Yes, that's exactly what people said was the problem. And those that wrapped a wire around them and grounded it said it went away. One person did the wire solder thing and I decided to do the same, just in case I wanted to use the rca jacks. Glad I did now.
 
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