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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Alpine CDE-HD149BT head unit upgrade

I recently bought my Exige and was looking to add a more "modern" receiver to it.

I stumbled across the Alpine CDE-HD149BT - I had been a Kenwood person, and had a Excelon unit in another car and I wanted similar features.

I wanted:
MP3 playback
USB input
Line in via 1/8" jack
Bluetooth
A good DSP to customize the sound for the cabin

Also nice to have was an integrated HDRadio tuner

Well the CDE-HD149BT had all of those, and would match the stock Alpine speakers.

I grabbed the radio at a local shop and started in on the project. While I had visions of it going fast it took a little longer then I expected because I found out that the Exige has a 2 layer dash, and that the radio is on the "upper" level so you can just reach up and run the wires.

Still I managed to get the existing radio out and removed the storage panels to the left and right ( below the vents ) and was able to run the USB and line in to the cubby on the right. I then ran the Bluetooth mic to the cubby on the left and managed to get it to go in the corner between the dash and the pillar.

Overall the sound was improved because I was able to set the crossover, and use the DSP to set the proper time delay to give me a good sound stage.

I am still limited by the small stock speakers but at least I can bring a nice large collection of music into the car now, as well as use external devices like my phone.

While I don't plan on taking many calls while driving I did a couple test calls and even though the cockpit noise level is louder then most cars, I could hear the caller and they could hear me fine. The unit has adjustments for noise and echo cancellation that you can adjust as well.

I liked the unit/upgrade so much that I purchased the same unit for my Esprit - went to ABC Warehouse for the second one - originally it showed on their site they did not carry it, but when I stopped in they did stock it after all, and I got a lower price then on the first one. Install on the Esprit was easier - and now I have matching units in both my cars. I could not find a great location yet for the microphone in the Esprit so currently it is just tucked into the dash next to the radio.

I am including some pictures - since I hate threads with no pictures.

So far the HD radio has had good reception in both cars with the internal/stock antennas.

Only con so far has been that the Bluetooth implementation does not read me my text messages, where my Jabra hands free units I have in other cars do.
 

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I am also upgrading my Exige, early 2007 model, to the same head unit.
New wiring harness is very similar to stock setup except the HD148BT has an orange "Illumination" wire in the enclosed harness that I can't match up with any corresponding wire from the car. The previous radio, Alpine CDA-9820XM, did not have this wire in it's harness.

Anybody know exactly what this wire does and will I be missing anything significant if I don't hook it up? See photo

TIA


ImageUploadedByAG Free1402879683.491596.jpg





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If ILL is connected, when you turn on your headlights, the deck face lighting dims. The thought is that the deck's full lighting can be distracting at night. Some car manufacturers don't provide a ILL source. I don't think I had one when I install my Kenwood.

Just disregard the wire...
 

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If ILL is connected, when you turn on your headlights, the deck face lighting dims. The thought is that the deck's full lighting can be distracting at night. Some car manufacturers don't provide a ILL source. I don't think I had one when I install my Kenwood.

Just disregard the wire...

That's what I was thinking. Thanks for your advice.
 
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