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Surprisingly advanced Alpine unit

Peter.h

Electric Newbie
Dec 16, 2017
117
124
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
At times the Alpine unit in my 2.5 roadster really surprises me.

The other day I had my phone plugged in for charging and was on a conference call using WebEx -- and I could hardly trust my eyes when I saw the audio screen.

Even more interesting, the cover art shows the mute symbol - and it actually changes when I unmute the app.

Welcome to the future!
 

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Rotarypower

Member
May 3, 2016
215
138
Cary, NC
Ha! Well at least yours works!! Mine apparently died during shipment of my car from California to North Carolina. Spent hours trying to bring it up from the dead with no luck. Have been waiting to replace it, but was seeing when the next gen wireless carplay units would come out. Aha, they are out! Alpine and Pioneer now have wireless carplay. Uh, my next big roadster purchase.
 
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DeedWest

2008 VP & 2011 2.5 Sport
Feb 5, 2014
860
902
Dallas, TX
Ha! Well at least yours works!! Mine apparently died during shipment of my car from California to North Carolina. Spent hours trying to bring it up from the dead with no luck. Have been waiting to replace it, but was seeing when the next gen wireless carplay units would come out. Aha, they are out! Alpine and Pioneer now have wireless carplay. Uh, my next big roadster purchase.

Definitely look into the Alpine iLX-107. It has wireless and works effortlessly in the Roadster. My buddy & I stuck one in his 2.5 and it completely upgraded the car in the best possible way.

1151-9-1.jpg
 

MCroadster

Member
Apr 15, 2018
76
32
California
Definitely look into the Alpine iLX-107. It has wireless and works effortlessly in the Roadster. My buddy & I stuck one in his 2.5 and it completely upgraded the car in the best possible way.

View attachment 327871

Nice work!

I have been consider installing this unit in my 1.5 instead of the F309 as I think it's a better fit for the car, and I really like the wireless Android Auto. Unfortunately, the whole conversion process seems quite involved, and sourcing parts appears to be difficult.
 

DeedWest

2008 VP & 2011 2.5 Sport
Feb 5, 2014
860
902
Dallas, TX
Nice work!

I have been consider installing this unit in my 1.5 instead of the F309 as I think it's a better fit for the car, and I really like the wireless Android Auto. Unfortunately, the whole conversion process seems quite involved, and sourcing parts appears to be difficult.

You're absolutely correct there...the parts are very hard to source and it requires some cutting of internal dash framework, as well as re-routing of the A/C vents in order to accommodate the Double-DIN setup. I haven't been able to bring myself remotely close to doing the conversion myself. Ugh.
 

gregd

Active Member
Dec 31, 2014
2,544
1,769
CM98
Is the Alpine iLX-107 single or double DIN? I couldn't find the specs on Alpine's site.

Their F309 is a single DIN unit, so no cutting of dash would be required. It's display, however, is just too big for the 2.0 dash, as it would cover the climate control knobs. In a 1.5, it might work, but would still be a bit overpowering. The 107 might work better, if it's a single-DIN unit.
 

DeedWest

2008 VP & 2011 2.5 Sport
Feb 5, 2014
860
902
Dallas, TX
Is the Alpine iLX-107 single or double DIN? I couldn't find the specs on Alpine's site.

Their F309 is a single DIN unit, so no cutting of dash would be required. It's display, however, is just too big for the 2.0 dash, as it would cover the climate control knobs. In a 1.5, it might work, but would still be a bit overpowering. The 107 might work better, if it's a single-DIN unit.

The 107 is the double-DIN unit that I posted in the photo, which is installed in my friend’s 2.5. It was a straight swap into his double-DIN enclosure. Will only work with 2.5’s with Infotainment Group or prior cars with the retrofit.
 

tonybelding

Active Member
Aug 17, 2006
1,477
792
Hamilton, Texas
The 107 is the double-DIN unit that I posted in the photo, which is installed in my friend’s 2.5. It was a straight swap into his double-DIN enclosure. Will only work with 2.5’s with Infotainment Group or prior cars with the retrofit.

Infotainment Group? Not sure about that. My unit looks just like the one at the beginning of this thread, so does that mean it's an easy swap for me? (And the backup camera will work too?)
 

DeedWest

2008 VP & 2011 2.5 Sport
Feb 5, 2014
860
902
Dallas, TX
Infotainment Group? Not sure about that. My unit looks just like the one at the beginning of this thread, so does that mean it's an easy swap for me? (And the backup camera will work too?)

You have a white 2.5, right? If you have the Double-DIN setup with the original Alpine KCE-400BT, it'll be a straight swap.

The Infotainment Group is just the term Tesla used for the upgrade offered on the 2.5's. It was $4,000 and included the Double-DIN setup. Prior to the 2.5's, it was called the Electronics Group and did not include Double-DIN, as you may already know.

My local audio shop did the install for a few hundred in labor.

The backup camera, however, was interesting. We upgraded to the Alpine HCE-C1100 and I believe he needed to change some of the wiring. What's even MORE interesting, is that on the car we installed (VIN 1151), the wiring for the backup camera was completely different than the wiring on another 2.5 that he'd worked on prior (VIN in the 1200's), which required no modifications.

Hand-built cars, man...;)
 
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tonybelding

Active Member
Aug 17, 2006
1,477
792
Hamilton, Texas
Unfortunately, the first attempt to get the new Alpine unit swapped in was a bust. I took it to a shop here, and their man claims to have five years of experience with car stereo, but he couldn't figure out how to connect the new unit and make everything work. If I understood him right, the main problem was getting the unit to recognize when the car is placed in reverse and switch on the back-up camera. He also tried calling Tesla for information, but they told him they don't give out any technical info about their cars, and basically told him to get lost.
 

DeedWest

2008 VP & 2011 2.5 Sport
Feb 5, 2014
860
902
Dallas, TX
Unfortunately, the first attempt to get the new Alpine unit swapped in was a bust. I took it to a shop here, and their man claims to have five years of experience with car stereo, but he couldn't figure out how to connect the new unit and make everything work. If I understood him right, the main problem was getting the unit to recognize when the car is placed in reverse and switch on the back-up camera. He also tried calling Tesla for information, but they told him they don't give out any technical info about their cars, and basically told him to get lost.

Sorry to hear about your experience! Sounds like exactly what happened to my friend’s 2010 2.5. The shop had to replace a section of the wiring in the rear and install a new compatible backup camera in order for it to work. If I recall, it had something to do with the stock Alpine unit’s camera wiring pulling a different voltage than the new unit.

Which headunit did you attempt to install?
 

tonybelding

Active Member
Aug 17, 2006
1,477
792
Hamilton, Texas
Which headunit did you attempt to install?

It's an Alpine xLX-107.

I just got through talking with Tesla on the phone. Here's what I was told:

1. Tesla does not install third-party accessories, meaning anything that's not sold through the Tesla website.

2. Tesla does not give out any technical information about their vehicles.

3. Tesla will not help me in any way with my problem.

I am spitting nails right now. This is a matter of swapping out the original Alpine unit for a newer Alpine unit. It should be the easiest thing in the world, but Tesla won't do it and won't provide the basic info for anyone else to do it. That's insanely stupid! I feel like they are just jerking me around.
 

Rotarypower

Member
May 3, 2016
215
138
Cary, NC
Yeah, well, installing a radio isn’t rocket science. Quit spitting nails. This is solvable.

Start from the beginning. We can give you some guidance but need clear information

1. Which roadster version is this?
2. What is the model # of the radio you are replacing. It should be on the outside of the radio or at least the back where the serial number sticker is located.
3. Are you using the original backup camera or a new one. If new, which one?

Start with that.
 

markwj

Moderator, Asia Pacific
Apr 10, 2011
4,606
1,219
Hong Kong
1. Tesla does not install third-party accessories, meaning anything that's not sold through the Tesla website.

Entirely reasonable, IMHO.

2. Tesla does not give out any technical information about their vehicles.

Pisses me off as well. I cannot see any reason why Tesla will not generally release the service manual for this 10 year old discontinued car. At least for the general systems (excluding high voltage components like PEM, ESS, etc). It is almost as if they wish it would just 'go away'. Perhaps Elon's decision to send his personal car up on a rocket into space is indicative...

I am spitting nails right now. This is a matter of swapping out the original Alpine unit for a newer Alpine unit. It should be the easiest thing in the world

This is an Alpine unit. The existing wiring harness for Alpine is documented (by Alpine) and that documentation is available. Picking up the 12v reverse signal is trivial, and easy to test. The dashboard stuff is basically lotus (although you will need to purchase replacement airbag clips as a spare part from Tesla). In this case, I am not sure what technical information Tesla needs to provide. A reasonably competent car stereo installer should be able to handle this. The only potentially tricky (and Tesla specific bit) is ensuring the vampire load (during sleep and car ignition off) of the replacement unit is not too high, and that is easy to measure.

Despite Tesla's reluctance to provide a service manual, there are several people here who obviously have the required technical information (and abilities). I am sure that if you provide the questions (and details of your car and the Alpine units), you can get the answers here.
 
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supersnoop

Tesla Roadster #334
Mar 24, 2014
1,111
221
Pflugerville
It gets complicated because there’s a radio harness way back under the dash which is, I believe, a Volkswagen spec harness. Then there’s likely an Apline adapter plugged into it (mines a JVC). The wire colors may be different at the original harness versus the adapter.

I believe the vehicle speed wire is light green with a yellow stripe. That’s based on the 1.5, so they may use something different on the 2.x.

Your best bet is probably to find the pin out for the existing radio. You should be able to reverse engineer from there.
 
Oct 22, 2011
202
122
Reston, Virginia
Here are two things that might assist here. First, here is the radio harness wiring diagram for the 2.5 Roadster (the diagram in PDF is also attached below):
Tesla Roadster Radio Circuit Diagram.JPG

Second, a route to take if the part is still available is to order a 2nd radio wiring harness from Tesla and that way you can simply disconnect the one in there, and use the new one for your new radio working off the connections to the old radio, and not have to worry about labeling each wire as you disconnect things.
Tesla Roadster Radio Wiring Harness.JPG
 

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Rotarypower

Member
May 3, 2016
215
138
Cary, NC
So, the other way to easily figure this out is to use the installation details from the actual radio that you are removing, which I believe is the IVA-NAV-10. This allows you to back trace the wires from the radio connectors to the Roadsters harness. I have included the entire installation section from the IVA-NAV-10 double DIN Alpine unit that was installed in 2.5 cars. This clearly shows the reverse wire and all of the other Roadster inputs and outputs. Again, this isn’t rocket science and I’m afraid your installion expert just wasn’t all that. Now, if you are installing a different camera, or the new radio isn’t compatible with the existing camera it is entirely possible that you won’t be able to use the existing Roadster harness that sends video to the old radio....this isn’t the cars fault, just something that your installer should have determined first.
 

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