Author Topic: Quality Japanese CarPlay aftermarket unit (Axis AX-1870CP) - $299 (yes!) and self-installed for unde  (Read 356 times)

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  • Posts: 41
  • au Australia
Just wanted to bring to Aust members’ attention, an incredible deal I’ve had the privilege of taking advantage of ... sourcing and self-installing a quality CarPlay unit to replace our glitchy GD-01 unit in our 2013 GD i30 Tourer CRDi:

Up to this point it would have to have been 2 years of planning research on my part as I umm’d and aah’d over splurging for a starting brand name aftermarket head unit like Kenwood or Sony or Pioneer - while their base models are often on sale for about $400, what held me back was most HU’s still required a steering control module-equipped harness which in itself is about $100, in addition to the double DIN fascia and primary and secondary Hyundai-ISO conversion cables. By the time it was all added up, I’d be spending $550-600+ in total.

Anyway I recently found out this lesser known brand Axis was otherwise well known in industry as a supplier of much equipment, including these head units of which they are apparently just branching out in the own name these days. After checking it out and reading reviews, I figured it’s worth giving it a go as not only was it on sale for about $378-399 a week before Christmas, what drew me to this unit was:

- it used the standard ISO connector ie. no need for extra cost and sometimes space-challenge hassle of trying to fit the extra secondary harness conversion cable (eg. Pioneer socket to ISO socket, so it could connect to the Hyundai/ISO primary harness).

- this Axis unit had self-learning capability of the car’s steering remote buttons - basically what some of the old Kenwood units used to offer. In other words, no need for the $100 harness with the SCW module.

- Japanese design - OK I can tell it would be made in China (it is), but from the reviews I read, I could see the user interface would be more in line with OEM quality than a cheap nasty Chinese UI (which for the record I had installed one of these in my dad’s old Camry just a month ago - incredible the CarPlay worked but gee the UI was like playing 80’s Space Invaders on an Atari ...)

In terms of all the install cables required, I just went to the Aerpro site for the i30 GD:

What I did end up getting:

- Aerpro APP087 primary harness for Hyundai-ISO conversion
- Aerpro FP8120 double DIN fascia - there is the FP8057 as well with metal mounting brackets instead of the plastic brackets in the FP8120, but I found the plastic ones were just fine ... saved $50 there too.
- Aerpro APUNIPL2 self learning patch cable - you basically use this to patch/splice the Axis head unit's 2 steering wheel wires into the 2 two steering button wires in the Hyundai harness (more details below)

What I didn't bother getting as these weren't needed:

- Aerpro APA47 antenna adapter, as the GD-01 unit uses a standard antenna plug
- Aerpro CHHY8C or APUNISW2 or APUNISW5 steering wheel cables, given this Axis head unit had self-learning steering wheel capabilities as discussed previously

What I COULD have got, but I didn't bother for now:

- Aerpro APHYUSB4 - this is to retain the Hyundai USB socket in front of the gear lever (bottom of centre console), but to save $100 I thought I'd just plug my iPhone directly into the new Axis head unit's USB socket instead - this is all personal preference of course.

So how did my install go? An absolute breeze, after the following YouTube video in particular which spelt out so well how to remove all the required panels on the GD i30:

This other YouTube video also helped with the programming of the steering wheel buttons of the Axis unit:

Above all, thanks to you guys, this Hyundai pin out for the GD-01 was especially super helpful to identify the two wires to tap into for the steering wheel controls:

Another steering wheel control/programming resource I found helpful was from Kenwood, because it appears their older units utilised this same method of Axis to tap into the car harness' two steering wheel button wires - what this confirmed was Hyundai's two wires did indeed line up with the GD-01's pin out diagram:

The two minor snags I initially encountered were:

- head unit settings like time and equaliser would not retain after the ignition was switched off ... a quick call to this retailer and I was advised to simply switch the yellow (constant voltage) and red (ignition) wires on the primary Hyundai-ISO harness bcoz this particular Axis unit somehow had its wires built the other way round. As the 3 power wires (red yellow black) of the primary harness (Aerpro) was plugged-interchangeable, a quick swap of the red and yellow wires solved this issue.

- there was no AM reception. Googling it revealed that the Axis head unit’s “P-CONT” blue output wire, which would otherwise be the 12v trigger cable for an amp, needed to be plugged/spliced into the Hyundai harness’ “Remote Antenna” wire (this wire is blue after all so I suppose that was a clue...), because this 12v output powers the car’s AM amplifier ... again, a quick splice and the AM reception was good as gold .

The end result has been incredible - with the black gloss Aerpro fascia almost matching perfectly to the rest of the i30’s gloss black console, and the fact the Axis head unit’s small lettered model details on the bottom of the front screen is actually obscured by the Aerpro fascia, you’d swear this unit was part of the car when it rolled off the factory production line ...

What about the performance of the unit? The sound quality is good, definitely better than the original GD-01 unit (I’ve retained the car’s original speakers as they weren’t bad). The supposedly capacitive touchscreen is not as responsive as I would like, but it’s not a dealbreaker. Bottomline is just having CarPlay in the car now ... oh my, has it transformed our enjoyment of driving this car ... my wife is thrilled at being able to not only have Google Maps or Waze on the big screen now, but also the artist and song details on her favourite radio app (Hope1032 if u really need to know ).

Check out the photos below ...

While I was kinda bummed when I found out in on Boxing Day that this Axis unit had been further discounted (down to an unheard of $299 for a quality CarPlay unit!!!), I looked on the bright side and simply jumped at the chance to upgrade the head unit in my other car too ...

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  • Posts: 10,631
  • au Australia
    Perth, WA
Great write up, well done :goodjob:

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  • au Australia
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