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My Chinese sat nav


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#1 mikeholroyd

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 21:27

OK folk, I feel I need to post this before any other fellow Briskodian gets stung too.

I decided to go for one of the Chinese sat nav/DVD players from eBay I'm not saying which seller as I will be contacting him very soon for reasons that will become very obvious.

The unit is described as suitable for Passat B6 and Octavia, and is fully CANBUS compatible.

Anyway, I received this yesterday, 17 days after paying in full for it, a value of $420 for the unit, plus an extra $50 upgrade for the inbuilt digital TV DVB-T. As promised,the unit arrived with green LED backlighting to match the car, and a Skoda splashscreen on start-up.

Apart from the mass of extra wiring which is VERY tight to accommodate behind the dash, the unit went in fine, and started up as planned. However, despite what may be advertised, it is not simply a case of plug into the existing VAG wiring loom. The VAG plug goes into the wiring supplied with the headunit, and because of the differences in this, the first problem was evident - 1. THE BOOT MOUNTED CD CHANGER CANNOT BE CONNECTED UP

OK, so at first I was going to live with that, as it has full ipod control - WRONG - 2. ALTHOUGH THERE IS A SOURCE SETTING FOR IPOD, ALL YOU GET IS THE WORD IPOD ON SCREEN AND ON THE MAXIDOT (yes it does communicate with the maxidot). You cannot control the ipod from the headunit touch screen.

Radio aerial - on the VAG loom and headunits, this is a FAKRA connector. On these, it is a standard aerial plug and socket, with a booster attached. - 3. ALTHOUGH THERE IS POWER TO THE AERIAL AMP, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO LOCK ONTO ANY RADIO STATION so impossible to use the radio.

Whilst on the subject of radio stations, - 4. THE UNIT IS DESCRIBED AS RDS - YES, EUROPEAN OR CHINESE, BUT NOT UK, so it would be impossible to get radio station names showing, even if you could tune in to them

Inbuilt digital TV - 5. THE SUPPLIED AERIAL IS UNAMPLIFIED, AND IT IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO GET MORE THAN A COUPLE OF TV STATIONS, AND THESE ARE TOTALLY UNWATCHABLE.. I've priced up a decent DVB-T antenna, and I'm looking the best part of £50 for an Alpine one.

Finally, the maxidot -- I got all excited when I first saw the maxidot display WELCOME and radio, CD/DVD details, and, as I said earlier, just showed IPOD, AUX and DVB, but 6. VERY DISAPPOINTED THE MAXIDOT JUST SAID NAVI, AND THAT NO SAT NAV INFORMATION WAS RELAYED TO THE MAXIDOT

Also, on maxidot, 7.ONCE SHOWING ANYTHING RELATED FROM THE HEADUNIT, THE MAXIDOT FROZE TOTALLY, AND EVEN AFTER SWITCHING BOTH HEADUNIT AND IGNITION OFF, THE ONLY WAY OF FREEING THE MAXIDOT WAS TO DO A RESET OF THE HEADUNIT - not good as it would wipe any stored radio and TV stations, audio settings, navigation favourites etc and reset the unit to factory defaults. And this happened EVERY time I tried it out.

Finally -8. VCDS CODING - THE HEADUNIT IMMEDIATELY THREW UP FAULT CODES IN CAN GATEWAY, RADIO AND NAVIGATION CONTROLLERS WHICH WOULD NOT CLEAR EVEN AFTER PLAYING WITH ALL THE DIFFERENT VCDS SETTINGS

SO, there we have it it - that's my verdict on the Chinese headunits. I seriously regret getting rid of the Nexus now.
One or two folks did warn me, but never did I think things would be as bad as this.

Advice -- don't touch one of these with a barge pole

In future, I'm gonna listen to Simbo, Brimma and Pete8tch. But no, SImbo, I'm still not going for a Columbus.

EDIT:- Another thing I wasn't bargaining on was having to pay import duty/VAT to DHL before they would release the package to me. Nothing in the listing about that.


Mike (now with original Skoda Stream unit working perfectly in the car)

Edited by mikeholroyd, 30 June 2010 - 23:11.


#2 PhilP1903

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 21:33

Damn that must hurt. :(

#3 K1W1

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 21:59

Sounds like similar issues to the ones some people in Australia have had. Let's see if it manages to flatten your car battery after a couple of days of not driving.

#4 Raglits

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 22:03

Mike

Sorry to hear about all the issues and that settles it for me, I won't be getting one of these. I still can't justify a Columbus though so I'll stick with the dash mounted Sat Nav (at least for the time being)

Just one thing though. No head unit will ever control a device plugged into the AUX input as it's just a stereo input so item 3 isn't really an issue, not that that is much consolation for you

Steve

#5 mikeholroyd

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 22:08

Sounds like similar issues to the ones some people in Australia have had. Let's see if it manages to flatten your car battery after a couple of days of not driving.


It won't, it's out of the car ready to go back to Hong Kong!


MikeSorry to hear about all the issues and that settles it for me, I won't be getting one of these. I still can't justify a Columbus though so I'll stick with the dash mounted Sat Nav (at least for the time being)Just one thing though. No head unit will ever control a device plugged into the AUX input as it's just a stereo input so item 3 isn't really an issue, not that that is much consolation for youSteve


Corrected! and post edited, thanks

Mike

#6 Brimma

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 22:12

I'm really sorry to hear about this Mike...........


...........now will you stop taking the p*ss out of my (non) maxidot :wonder:

#7 blueR36

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 22:15

Wow sorry to hear of your issues Mike, just happy with my Tom Tom

#8 mikeholroyd

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 22:18

I'm really sorry to hear about this Mike...........


...........now will you stop taking the p*ss out of my (non) maxidot :wonder:

When was the last time I did that :giggle: Months ago. Its your grille I've been taking the p*ss out of recently :rofl:
Anyway, I wouldn't have the maxidot in my car if it wasn't for you.....

Will try to get to the meet on Sunday, if you could bring that chrome grille please? Ta!

Seriously, wish I'd listened to you, mate. Hopefully I'll get it refunded, otherwise, it's going on ebay to sell myself. However, I would not want a fellow Briskodian to buy it.
Mike

Edited by mikeholroyd, 30 June 2010 - 22:19.


#9 Hauptmann

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 22:41

Would you like to say which brand of headunit you purchased. There are numerous companies in China making these and they are not all the same.
I am currently using two units (one in a Fabia II and the other in an Octy II) and am reasonably happy with them.
They do not communicate with the Maxidot nor with the CD changer (which is not really a problem since they take SD cards and USB stick etc).
However radio reception is fine, and DVB-T (in my local area) is actually surprisingly good and I get a more or less perfect picture with the supplied antenna when parked. When moving the picture will break up, but this is normal with DVB-T unless you go for some fairly advanced antenna technology.
iPOD control is a bit clunky, but it works.
Overall, for the money paid, I would buy again.
Fitted in April and not had problems with flat battery, error codes or anything else so far.

Edited by Hauptmann, 30 June 2010 - 22:42.


#10 mikeholroyd

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 22:59

Would you like to say which brand of headunit you purchased. There are numerous companies in China making these and they are not all the same.
I am currently using two units (one in a Fabia II and the other in an Octy II) and am reasonably happy with them.
They do not communicate with the Maxidot nor with the CD changer (which is not really a problem since they take SD cards and USB stick etc).
However radio reception is fine, and DVB-T (in my local area) is actually surprisingly good and I get a more or less perfect picture with the supplied antenna when parked. When moving the picture will break up, but this is normal with DVB-T unless you go for some fairly advanced antenna technology.
iPOD control is a bit clunky, but it works.
Overall, for the money paid, I would buy again.
Fitted in April and not had problems with flat battery, error codes or anything else so far.


There's absolutely no branding on either the head unit, the packaging, the box, or the instructions. All that's on the box is "special car DVD player"

Here's a picture of the unit

Mike

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#11 Rhoobarb

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 23:09

Well its 'special' all right.

Sorry to hear of your woes Mike, its a lot of dosh to not work as it should :no:

Is the manual also in that god awful chinglish?

#12 mikeholroyd

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 23:10

Well its 'special' all right.

Sorry to hear of your woes Mike, its a lot of dosh to not work as it should :no:

Is the manual also in that god awful chinglish?


Yip. :giggle:

#13 Rhoobarb

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 23:15

They are as useful as a chocolate teapot, but they do make for hilarious reading

Edited by Rhoobarb, 30 June 2010 - 23:16.


#14 mikeholroyd

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 10:53

OK been in touch with the seller, and he wants to know if the radio is the same size as the original and if things would work OK if he sent me "wires specific to VW"

Have requested refund, also want return postage of around £40, and import duty of £15 paid, as I've already paid post for it to get from Hong Kong to here. If the item was incorrectly listed as OK, I don't see why I should be penalised for its return

Awaiting the sellers reponse

Mike

#15 jrw

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 11:22

Just setup a paypal dispute if you paid by that. They will always go in your favour and auto refund you and the postage.

#16 Brimma

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 12:17

Just setup a paypal dispute if you paid by that. They will always go in your favour and auto refund you and the postage.

You have to try to enter into negotiations with the seller first before you go down the dispute route, even if you paid with Paypal

#17 mikeholroyd

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 12:36

Just had email back from seller, he's agreed to take it back for full refund, awaiting confirmation that includes return post and import duty as well.

Mike

#18 cheezemonkhai

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 12:41

You have to try to enter into negotiations with the seller first before you go down the dispute route, even if you paid with Paypal


Has done now, so just make sure you log it before the deadline to do so expires. Many vendors try and delay things so that you do pass this deadline and can't get a refund.

#19 GlenM

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 12:55

In future, I'm gonna listen to Simbo, Brimma and Pete8tch. But no, SImbo, I'm still not going for a Columbus.



What is the reason why you wont go for a Columbus, are they not very good?

#20 mikeholroyd

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 12:58

What is the reason why you wont go for a Columbus, are they not very good?

Between £450 and £500 second hand, plus cost for a CANBUS upgrade as well. Very nice units, but way too pricey for me.

Mike

#21 Dodgy

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 13:04

I'd be surprised if the seller refunds your import costs, but hope he does.

#22 jrw

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 13:51

You have to try to enter into negotiations with the seller first before you go down the dispute route, even if you paid with Paypal


He had done by emailing to send it back - you always start a dispute as soon as you can - ive never had a problem with paypal before.

#23 Hauptmann

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 15:54

Just as a matter of interest why didn't you go to one of the factories direct? They are quite a bit cheaper than the Ebay resellers and you can still buy via PayPal and get buyer protection. I went to Timelesslong and they were very helpful with prompt replies and pretty good English.
I don't recognise the unit in the picture. There are some units that are known to work well and are discussed on the German China-RNS forums.

#24 JohnMcL7

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 16:13

It's very difficult to tell many of the units apart as the one here looks very similar to another 'better' one but with no proper model numbers it's hard to search on them or find decent information.

John

#25 DionJ

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 20:15

Might be a bit late replying on this one... I think I dodged a bullet as I was going to get one from China as they do look really good and full of features. God myself a 2nd hand MFD2 which will hopefully be here for the weekend.

Had to order a new trim too, should be around £15 then some kind member in Hinkley said he would code it to my car with the CAN3.

Maybe it's not a Columbus but at least it will work better than those crappy ones from China

#26 jjc

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 21:26

I have had two of these supposedly "crappy" Chinese units in different vehicles. I will admit that they are not a "straight" swap in a Skoda but the one I have now does everything I want it to do, yes it took a bit of thought on how to connect it in to the existing wiring especially as my unit has TMC and I wanted to feed both receivers from the existing antenna. However by searching the web and checking what "connectors" were available all is working great. So whilst there may be some bad ones out there and also some bad sellers I think you get this even with the OEM parts.

John

#27 DionJ

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 10:36

I have had two of these supposedly "crappy" Chinese units in different vehicles. I will admit that they are not a "straight" swap in a Skoda but the one I have now does everything I want it to do, yes it took a bit of thought on how to connect it in to the existing wiring especially as my unit has TMC and I wanted to feed both receivers from the existing antenna. However by searching the web and checking what "connectors" were available all is working great. So whilst there may be some bad ones out there and also some bad sellers I think you get this even with the OEM parts.

John


Nice one, guess you were one of the lucky ones. The thing that put me off is the poor language they use (i know they're not English), and all they say is how much better their units are better than someone elses.

The thing that really puts me off is if something goes wrong with it... oh and the extra charges you get for bringing them through customs, they don't mention that on their ebay pages do they.

#28 Skoda-Man

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 12:58

I must admit that those chinese players, with their cheap price and "all included" features sound tempting. But then, when I think about it and those possible warranty issues etc, I can`t see any good reason to buy. I`ll save the the money from something else and buy a good, well-known brand. I`ve had a JVC player in one superb for 3 years now and no problems.

#29 wardth

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 14:26

Hope it all works out Mike.

I think this just goes to prove that you can't beat a Columbus. Not only are they well made, they work. Yeah they are expensive but that old maxim "you get what you pay for" springs to mind :thumbup:

#30 mikeholroyd

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 18:42

Whoa! This thread is nearly 2 years old! The Chinese unit went back for a full refund over 18 months ago, and as per signature on here, I got a Columbus in its place. And very, very happy i am with it too.

The Chinese saga is well and truly dead and buried (except for the lemon chicken fried rice I've had tonight :happy: )

Mike