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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks! I have a 2021 Promaster I just got. Coming from a 2021 Tundra that had Android Auto/Apple Carplay. I am missing this quite a bit, also the screen is quite a bit smaller in the Promaster. I see plenty of radio harnesses, install kits, and nice radio upgrades, but there is a lot of tech integrated into my factory radio. I see that Maestro offers an RR2 module that retains steering wheel controls, back up camera, but... how does it do with blind spot monitoring and the rest of the vehicle settings in the standard radio setting menus? Any reports on these? Thanks!
 

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2019 159 EXT HR (3500) in WA
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We put a Kenwood and Maestro in our 2019. Everything seems to come through great.

We do not have blind spot monitoring though . . .
 

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If you get a Maestro capable head unit (can be found on their website - i went with an Alpine ILX-407) and properly install it, you should keep all of your factory head unit capability.

@Baxsie - if you get the iDatalink SP1 Chime speaker you can get your blind-spot monitoring chime back too! iDatalink SP1 Chime Speaker

It has to be connected to the maestro unit, and a setting needs to be turned on ( I forget if it's in the head unit or in the maestro settings ). LMK and I can help you get it set up. Mine works great, have it mounted under my dash. it's a little quiet, but it works, and certainly is better than not having it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If you get a Maestro capable head unit (can be found on their website - i went with an Alpine ILX-407) and properly install it, you should keep all of your factory head unit capability.

@Baxsie - if you get the iDatalink SP1 Chime speaker you can get your blind-spot monitoring chime back too! iDatalink SP1 Chime Speaker

It has to be connected to the maestro unit, and a setting needs to be turned on ( I forget if it's in the head unit or in the maestro settings ). LMK and I can help you get it set up. Mine works great, have it mounted under my dash. it's a little quiet, but it works, and certainly is better than not having it.
Thanks for the info! It's something I am definitely looking at doing. Need to finish going broke on my solar setup and then radio I next.
 

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Thanks for the info! It's something I am definitely looking at doing. Need to finish going broke on my solar setup and then radio I next.
Yeah no problem, this was unexpected for me as well for a few reasons:
  • it seems to be undocumented (at least when I was looking about 8months ago)
  • the "car stereo professional" who I initially had installed my head unit (unsuccessfully) failed - and I had to do it myself

I actually had just bought this chime unit on a whim while I was ordering the parts I wanted and installed it when I was shoving everything back into the dashboard cavity. Imagine how happy I was when everything worked as expected ☺
 

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2014 136” HR
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Flashpunk, I note on Crutchfield's site that "
  • You'll lose UConnect functionality when you replace the factory radio."
How much of this functionality is restored by the Maestro unit? Do all the steering wheel controls still work? Is there still a Settings menu?
 

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2019 159 EXT HR (3500) in WA
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From memory, my Kenwood + iDataLink gives: TPMS (per tire, nice) -- that page also shows if doors are open, a page to view and reset the trip meters, a "gauges" page (I have a ScanGaugeII so I don't look at it often). On the backup camera screen, it will show an indicator if the proximity sensors are tripped.

Edit: added pictures - - sorry for the brutal camera reflections. Let me know by PM if you want your money for the photo shoot back.

TRIP METERS (they still show in dash cluster):

Vehicle Motor vehicle Gadget Automotive design Personal luxury car


VEHICLE INFORMATION PAGE (yellow indicates open doors) :

Vehicle Car Gadget Automotive design Motor vehicle


Predictably, the factory TPMS does not agree with the cheesey, aftermarket, always-visible TPMS. The aftermarket TPMS does agree well with my ancient analog inflator:

Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Automotive mirror Mode of transport Automotive side-view mirror


ALERTS TOGGLES:

Output device Gadget Gesture Audio equipment Communication Device


BACKUP CAMERA (showing proximity sensor tripped by red toolbox - - it colors should also work) :

Plant Mode of transport Gadget Rectangle Television set


GAUGES PAGE:

Light Vehicle Audio equipment Auto part Electronic device


There is no functionality missing that I am aware of.
 

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2019 Promaster 3500 Silver high top 159"
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606 Posts
I installed a cheap android radio with analog controls and an Axxess interface - somewhat cheaper than Maestro. I eventually got steering wheel controls working but they are unreliable and only door locks and time set are supported via Bluetooth app. Everything else I do through add-ons. Looking back, it satisfied my need to tinker but was probably not worth it. If I were to do it again, I would spend the extra $500 on an iDatalink radio and maestro. More reliable and plenty of extras (TPMS, etc).

The only positive is that my lash-up is basically an Android cellphone with a 10" screen so I can surf, email, install all the apps usually on a phone (e.g. Torque, AlfaOBD, weather apps). So, for example, large screen google maps without needing my cell phone connected. Also, off-line maps (OsmAnd+ in my case) so able to navigate out in the boonies.
 

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Ok, just to clarify some stuff, I recorded a quick video and uploaded to YouTube. It's a little dark because it's 9pm here, but should be good enough - happy to re-do it if it's really unwatchable.


The only thing ill point out is im a little fuzzy on how I managed to get the USB to connect to the factory port, because I had tried 2-3 cables, that weren't quite right, eventually I found a solution. The factory "module" pops right out of the dash with a bit of pushing from behind, there may be some clips holding it in place, but it was pretty easy to remove and disconnect the wire that no longer did anything after I removed the factory radio.
  1. ILX-407 head unit
  2. This is is the iDataLink Maestro iDatalink ADS-MRR2 module
  3. This is the iDatalink HRN-RR-CH3 harness
  4. This is the iDatalink SP1 Chime Speaker
  5. This in addition to this is an adapter I think I used to adapt the head unit USB to the dash module (Metra AX-USB-MINIB USB Port Cable and Digikey.com Product Number 900-1110145001-ND) - you can see how they might go together, the head has a USB port, that connects to the Meta wire, then that connects to the digikey wire, which goes into the factory module - i believe i had to snip off a small piece of plastic to get it to work, but it's been fine for 8 months now.

I had some correspondence with iDatalink - they encouraged me to call them on the phone to troubleshoot some minor issues I was having, turned out I was looking at the wrong page of the manual and crossed some wires at one point. Additionally, it's important your Maestro module is flashed with the correct firmware. I know that the RR2 module allows you to do that from an iOS app (not sure about android), but the previous model must be flashed from a computer - I paid the extra because I didn't want to have to deal with that, and I was worried about compatibility with my Mac computers. Since installing the maestro unit, i've upgraded the firmware via my phone once or twice, it takes maybe 5 min and you lose your settings, but it's pretty easy to get up and running again.

NOTE: to get into the settings screen (at least for my alpine head unit) the parking brake wire must be wired properly, and you have to pull it and release it 2x (as I show in the youtube video).
 

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If I was doing a radio upgrade in one of these modern vehicles; I would install it as a completely separate system. Don't touch the factory head unit or speakers.

Install the aftermarket head unit someplace else and have all its own speakers, sub, and amp.
 

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If I was doing a radio upgrade in one of these modern vehicles; I would install it as a completely separate system. Don't touch the factory head unit or speakers.

Install the aftermarket head unit someplace else and have all its own speakers, sub, and amp.
Modern head units use a harness system that is essentially a custom adapter, so this is completely reverseable.
 

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‘20 159 HT window van NH Seacoast
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If I was doing a radio upgrade in one of these modern vehicles; I would install it as a completely separate system. Don't touch the factory head unit or speakers.

Install the aftermarket head unit someplace else and have all its own speakers, sub, and amp.
That’s fine if you’re only looking for a radio/entertainment center but if you want a decent GPS you really have no choice but to replace the existing junk uConnect.
 
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That’s fine if you’re only looking for a radio/entertainment center but if you want a decent GPS you really have no choice but to replace the existing junk uConnect.
No choice, eh? What about a stand-alone, extremely-decent Garmin GPS? ;)
 

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2019 118" Silver
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Since I prefer quiet these days (so wouldn't use the stereo much anyway) the Uconnect 3 is 'adequate' but with no GPS I bought a 7" Garmin DriveSmart shortly after getting the van in 2019. Maybe not as large or multi-faceted as the bigger tablets folks have installed but a great GSP none-the-less.

 

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2019 Ram Promaster 136 HT Gasser Stealth Work Van Weekend Camper
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If I was doing a radio upgrade in one of these modern vehicles; I would install it as a completely separate system. Don't touch the factory head unit or speakers.

Install the aftermarket head unit someplace else and have all its own speakers, sub, and amp.
Makes sense , nothing but praise with Uconnect 5 .
My cheap phone can handle GPS/ Navigation just fine .
 

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2019 Ram Promaster 136 HT Gasser Stealth Work Van Weekend Camper
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Google maps is sufficient , when I power up van , phone is automatically connected to Uconnect through Bluetooth, enter address on phone , press media button on Uconnect ..... voice directions come through speakers ... easy peasy 🙂
 

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‘20 159 HT window van NH Seacoast
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A $85 android unit will do everything your phone & unconnect rubbish will do better, faster & easier. Why wast your time with a junk uConnect radio and then have to fool with your phone? I went with delux cheapy android radio,($225) and I wouldn’t even think about using my phone or a uConnect with wireless Apple CarPlay!
Product Telephony Mobile phone Telephone Communication Device
 

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2019 118" Silver
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Already having the Garmin for navigating on the road I mostly use the phone while stopped, mainly for looking up campgrounds and other places along the way, planning various routes, etc for the next day(s). If I didn't already have the Garmin I would definitely go the tablet route too, in fact if I keep the van I may stick one in and put the Garmin in my wife's (no GPS) Forester - she finds it more distracting than helpful but I miss being able to check it when I'm at the wheel and she can just turn it off.
 

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2019 Promaster 3500 Silver high top 159"
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There are issues with the cheap android head unit but having a browser and being able to install all your favorite phone apps (Torque, AlfaOBD, off-line maps, etc) can be pretty nice. Plus, that big 10" screen for looking at the maps while navigating (google maps built in)

It was a pain to get it installed and all working but now that it is over, really nice having a proper computer (android) to access all my gadgets. I pretty much just use the phone for taking photos and talk/texting. I probably could install an app to do all those functions as well.

Motor vehicle Car Vehicle Steering wheel Steering part


I recently instrumented my solar/electric with something called "home assistant" and then accessed it from the browser.
Output device Gadget Communication Device Font Display device
 
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