Unichip CarPlay

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smokey
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Unichip CarPlay

Post by smokey » Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:15 pm

Does anyone have a Unichip CarPlay Smartbox system on a PFL model. I have a an early 2015 model with COMAND NTG4.7 and was wondering if it was worth the £300 or am I just as well off with the COMAND system as it is?
Any info you could share would be gratefully received.
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2015 AMG A45, Northern Lights Violet, 19" AMG Alloy Wheels, AMG Exclusive Pack, AMG Memory Pack, COMAND NTG4.7 and Carplay, Panoramic Sliding Sunroof, Privacy Glass, AUTOWATCH Ghost.

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Re: Unichip CarPlay

Post by gotbass » Thu Dec 27, 2018 8:46 pm

Did you end up purchasing one?
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Re: Unichip CarPlay

Post by smokey » Thu Dec 27, 2018 9:49 pm

I did gotbass and I learnt a few things on the way which I would be happy to pass on. The sales staff were happy to help up until the point you have bought the item. Then when you receive the installation information it gets a bit scary as they only seem to have done this in a few Mercedes cars and not one of them is an AMG A45. It was about this point I found how thin the seat of my pants felt when it comes to flying solo. My biggest issue was fitting the device out of sight, I have a PFL model and discovered the generic info they provided did not cover the AMG A45 and so I had to improvise. The smart box would not fit behind (above or below) the head unit so in the end the best place for it was in the centre console under the 12V connector and the little covered cubby hole. It was a little fiddly but not difficult and once in and working you don't need to access it after that. The only other point not covered well is that you need to turn on the AUX setting in the COMAND unit which was easy and quick to do. So in operation to switch between the normal COMAND and the CarPlay you just press the C button by the COMAND control knob for 5 seconds and this is how you toggle back and forward. Your iPhone has to be connected by a lightning cable which I routed into the cubby hole behind the two front cup holders. Then using the provided microphone (which I mounted by the rear view mirror) you can use Siri to search for music, read text messages, select destinations and have directions read out to you. Despite the issues I had I would say it is worth having depending on how much music you have on you iPhone and how extensively you use it in your life.
I hope this helps, should you want to ask anymore questions I will do my best to answer them if I can.

P.S. I also fitted a cheap after market reversing camera whilst I was at it which was very easy to integrate and easy to enable it to come on when reverse is selected. I would however now buy a slightly more expensive camera as the picture quality of the one I have is not great. This is the camera's fault and nothing to do with the CarPlay unit.
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2015 AMG A45, Northern Lights Violet, 19" AMG Alloy Wheels, AMG Exclusive Pack, AMG Memory Pack, COMAND NTG4.7 and Carplay, Panoramic Sliding Sunroof, Privacy Glass, AUTOWATCH Ghost.

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a45lm
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Re: Unichip CarPlay

Post by a45lm » Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:51 pm

Pictures plz
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gotbass
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Re: Unichip CarPlay

Post by gotbass » Fri Dec 28, 2018 12:49 am

smokey wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 9:49 pm
I did gotbass and I learnt a few things on the way which I would be happy to pass on. The sales staff were happy to help up until the point you have bought the item. Then when you receive the installation information it gets a bit scary as they only seem to have done this in a few Mercedes cars and not one of them is an AMG A45. It was about this point I found how thin the seat of my pants felt when it comes to flying solo. My biggest issue was fitting the device out of sight, I have a PFL model and discovered the generic info they provided did not cover the AMG A45 and so I had to improvise. The smart box would not fit behind (above or below) the head unit so in the end the best place for it was in the centre console under the 12V connector and the little covered cubby hole. It was a little fiddly but not difficult and once in and working you don't need to access it after that. The only other point not covered well is that you need to turn on the AUX setting in the COMAND unit which was easy and quick to do. So in operation to switch between the normal COMAND and the CarPlay you just press the C button by the COMAND control knob for 5 seconds and this is how you toggle back and forward. Your iPhone has to be connected by a lightning cable which I routed into the cubby hole behind the two front cup holders. Then using the provided microphone (which I mounted by the rear view mirror) you can use Siri to search for music, read text messages, select destinations and have directions read out to you. Despite the issues I had I would say it is worth having depending on how much music you have on you iPhone and how extensively you use it in your life.
I hope this helps, should you want to ask anymore questions I will do my best to answer them if I can.

P.S. I also fitted a cheap after market reversing camera whilst I was at it which was very easy to integrate and easy to enable it to come on when reverse is selected. I would however now buy a slightly more expensive camera as the picture quality of the one I have is not great. This is the camera's fault and nothing to do with the CarPlay unit.
Wow, thank you for the detailed and quick response.

Scary opening the a45 up i imagine, where did you end up buying from and would you recommend doing this installation yourself?

Thanks again
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Re: Unichip CarPlay

Post by smokey » Fri Dec 28, 2018 12:13 pm

To be honest it's not as scary as you might think. As a test if you can remove the ait vents above the head units easily (it only needs to be the left and right ones) then that is the hardest bit done! See viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1463 for some help on removal. Once the air vents are out the head unit and removing the centre console is really easy. I did double check everything worked before I put it all back again. Removing the air vents and finding out where I could put the smart box took the longest time between them, in fact far longer that fitting the whole unit and setting it up and testing it. So if your air vents come out easily it should be a doddle.

Here is a link to purchase one but I would suggest you talk to them first just to check you are getting the right thing for your vehicle and screen as they pre-set some DIP switches. http://www.unichip-tec.com/h-pd-14.html#_pp=119_693
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2015 AMG A45, Northern Lights Violet, 19" AMG Alloy Wheels, AMG Exclusive Pack, AMG Memory Pack, COMAND NTG4.7 and Carplay, Panoramic Sliding Sunroof, Privacy Glass, AUTOWATCH Ghost.

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Re: Unichip CarPlay

Post by Marrow » Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:30 pm

Does this only work with command on pre face lift ?
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Re: Unichip CarPlay

Post by smokey » Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:39 pm

Hi Marrow, I can't answer that for certain I suggest you contact Unichip and provide your VIN and they can advise you whether it will work with you vehicle or not.
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2015 AMG A45, Northern Lights Violet, 19" AMG Alloy Wheels, AMG Exclusive Pack, AMG Memory Pack, COMAND NTG4.7 and Carplay, Panoramic Sliding Sunroof, Privacy Glass, AUTOWATCH Ghost.

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Re: Unichip CarPlay

Post by smokey » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:32 pm

Sorry a45lm some how I have only just seen you post. What did you want pictures of ?
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2015 AMG A45, Northern Lights Violet, 19" AMG Alloy Wheels, AMG Exclusive Pack, AMG Memory Pack, COMAND NTG4.7 and Carplay, Panoramic Sliding Sunroof, Privacy Glass, AUTOWATCH Ghost.

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