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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm still using the stock cassette player in my mk4.

Do we have a guide for installing a double din head unit and reverse camera?

I've noticed some search results on google which might be relevant, but the links just send me to the main forum page, and I can't find them using the forum search.

Preferably looking for a camera that requires no drilling, such as a license plate camera (are these crap?) or light fitting above licence plate, such as these:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32871419088.html (obstruction of number plate?)

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33025108226.html

Paired with an android head unit, as an example - https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33022700952.html

Hoping to do this under £100.

Cheers.
 

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Technically speaking the license plate light cameras where the camera is half of the surface are are illegal as they obstruct the license plate light. I did this, and my car did not pass yearly checkup, I have been given few months to remove it. So I had to remove it. But you seem to be in UK and there in the wild west rules do not seem to apply :D

If you buy the camera which is on the side of the license plate light, you will need to build some sort of light stuff behind the plastic part. It comes with nothing.

Keep in mind that the cameras you linked have slightly different installation angle. I think the one which is half of the plate light looks more down compared to the one where the camera is on the side. So you may end up seeing the floor only. You should ask the seller to be sure and if it does not work as seller describe, you can get your money back.

About the android headunit. The most important thing is the boot time. You want a unit with quick boot, like 2s boot. Sellers say their unit boots in 20s but well it is up to a minute after all the updates are installed :) the 2s boot time units stay in very low power standby. You should also ask yourself, do you want to buy a <£100 Android device? Sounds like a decision you may regret due to slow processor speed etc.

Many Android radios do not support RDS properly, you will end up not seeing station names. You may ask this from seller also. But you will not find sub <100GBP radio which works with RDS.

Also, there are nowadays AHD cameras which can transmit HD image over composite signal (if image quality is important). It seems incompatible with old/cheap radios. I think that this store on AliExpress sells great cameras. I bought few different models from different stores along the way. I mostly like disabling the parking lines feature. They seem to have a slightly better camera supplier somehow. Also their support actually responds to questions :)

https://greenyi.aliexpress.com/store/616809

I am looking at this radio for myself, the seller told it supports AHD also, did not ask about RDS yet but it is not so big deal to me and it should have 2s boot also.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33014370013.html

Ah yes, one more thing... if you do not need to see your bumper, you can install the camera behind the rear glass near the middle brake light. That was not something for me, but it is a solution without changing any components in the back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your advice.

I think your right about the number plate obstruction. This smaller one however should be fine, also it appears its 720p. I think I need to push the existing bulb into the back of it.

I didn't think about mounting a camera under the reverse light, this one should do it, if the number plate camera is not suitable, I might try that.

What are the android updates that need installing? If its never connected to the internet, is it an issue just to use the stock android the head unit comes with? Regardless, I'm fine with a 30-60 second boot time. I usually let my car idle for at least a minute anyway before I drive it.

RDS is not a concern as I don't listen to the radio anyway. Good to know of its existence though, I didn't realize it was needed for station names.

I think at least 2gb ram 32gb rom will be required, as I do intend to use offline google maps.

I'm fine with a cheaper android head unit, however I do still need to do more research into which to buy. A review of a £60 one on gear best showed that you couldn't listen to music and use any other app, such as a sat nav app, at the same time.

The head unit you linked to would be ideal, but its too expensive for me. With a camera, the cost would be 30% of the value of my car.

Have you seen this mod?


He posted a build thread to this forum. Unfortunately, direct links to threads on the forum no longer work.
 

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@goat all sellers say 720p but the composite signal can't carry it unless the camera uses AHD and also the headunit should support it. Composite signal can't exceed 576i.

Yes, but keep in mind that due to curvature of the hatch, you won't see the bumper if camera is near middle brake light behind glass. For me that is sort of important so I know that I am not bumping into the next car, but the image can be close enough. Get into your backseat, put your phone next to brake light and take a picture and see what kind of view you get from there :)

Usually play store says you have updates to blah blah when you want to install a program. I just let it update everything. I guess you are right that you don't have to install many of them. But sometimes play store says you need to install the update to be able to continue.

You can have timeout so unit can stay on up to 2hours or something when you are in store etc. Usually units use about 500mAh maximum in that mode so in 2 hours you lose 1AH battery only. I myself don't like anything which use power once the car turns off, because it does wear the car battery when it is not fully charged for long periods. But I am paranoid so :)

Yes, perhaps you mean you could not listen to actual "radio" and use navigation. Also in my unit many navigation apps do not function properly when radio is on. The instructions just cut off in middle etc. I found only 1 app which works fine with radio on. I think it has something to do with radio chip being external to chipset and system has to mix audio.

That said, if you are listening to internet radio, MP3s or something (anything else than actual radio) then you should be fine. Read that review again carefully :) I bet the person meant the actual radio listening.

ISO harness is almost fine, there is few wires which are non-standard on mk4. Like there are two 12v inputs for some reason and also you should make sure that k-line wire is not connected to something accidentally. Also you need to tap into reverse light to activate reverse camera. I used a connector to one of the slots on the rear light block.
 

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you are better off buying a used 2din headunit of a big brand they all have AV in... yes even the older models... one of my favourite brands is pioneer when it comes to 2din headunits and the range you'll want to look at is either the AVIC range or AVH range and all of them have an AV in so are really not brand specific meaning as long as you get a rear view camera that switches on when you select reverse the headunit can switch to it automatically if you set it to do so in the menu.

I'm not a fan of the cheap andriod car radio's period... there are a few that make car model specific radio's that are alright but boot times are usually an issue...
 

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Thanks @yurtesen. Which camera did you use? Did you drill it in and where?

I'm considering installing rear parking sensors in the bumper, so I'm not adverse to drilling some holes for a camera. Or I might try the number plate light camera and just make do with 576i, because the AHD head units seem to be £200+.

https://www.ross-tech.com/vag-com/aftermarket-radio.html

Some of the aftermarket harnesses faithfully reproduces the older, non-diagnostics radios with a loop of wire between +12 and the pin where the K-line is on newer models.
radio-k.gif


I think this explains why my previous mk4 couldn't connect to diagnostic tools, it just made a repeating clicking sound.

@adam-

The £70-90 head units have Quad-core 1.3-1.5 GHz Cortex-A7 and 2gb ram, shouldn't this be enough for google maps? If not, I will need to use a lighter weight sat nav app.

@northpole I hadn't considered a used 2 din head unit, perhaps this is the better option and just continue to use my standard sat nav.
 

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Thanks @yurtesen. Which camera did you use? Did you drill it in and where?

I'm considering installing rear parking sensors in the bumper, so I'm not adverse to drilling some holes for a camera. Or I might try the number plate light camera and just make do with 576i, because the AHD head units seem to be £200+.

I think this explains why my previous mk4 couldn't connect to diagnostic tools, it just made a repeating clicking sound.
@goat I have a golf variant so I used a trunk handle camera right now (the handle is different in variant) You have to develop your own solution unfortunately. I just don't like making holes...

Yes, you do not need AHD if you just want to see that you are not bumping into the next car.

I don't know about google maps as it got really slow recently, even in my phone! but more importantly it is not nice to use google maps without internet connection. There are many good maps applications. I like Here Maps and one program called Offline Maps (basically due to the fact that it works fine with radio!). I have this unit with MT3561 processor and 2GB ram and it runs every navigation program. My only complaint is the boot time which is 30-60 seconds. It is a pretty old unit nowadays, maybe I update it at some point...

It is not as cool to have old unit and use your phone as navigator. I never found a good place to put my phone when I used to have it for navigation. My friend bought a brand new skoda rapid and he was upset when he had to use his phone for navigation even though he had this huge screen on there :)

I think if you put the camera, the parking sensors is redundant. At least when I use cars with parking sensors I always wonder how accurate is the sensor and if there are dead areas. Also sensors sometimes beep at bushes etc. which is a nuisance.

You know the best use for parking sensors I found is for the front sensors. When I was driving my brothers car and was stuck in terrible traffic jam, I just moved close enough to car in front of me until it started beeping. Then I press brakes and take a short nap until sound stops ( meaning the car in front of me moved away :D ) That is the best use I can think of for any parking sensor hehe
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
@yurtesen Thats an interesting use of front parking sensors. :D

I've decided to buy the android head unit I linked to and this number plate light camera. I will try Offline Maps if google maps won't run smoothly. I don't mind about the boot time, as I usually wait about a minute before driving anyway.

Since the mk4 has the points for drilling in parking sensors in the plastic strip on the bumper (why didn't VW install parking sensors?), I might install some. They are as cheap as £10 on ebay with an LED display, don't know how accurate they are though.

I'm also considering a front camera that attaches behind the badge.

I'm going to try this heads up display also. Only requires a 1 square inch film sticking to the windscreen. Its an OBD2 device, so it should work on my 2003 TDI.
 

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@yurtesen Thats an interesting use of front parking sensors. :D

I've decided to buy the android head unit I linked to and this number plate light camera. I will try Offline Maps if google maps won't run smoothly. I don't mind about the boot time, as I usually wait about a minute before driving anyway.

Since the mk4 has the points for drilling in parking sensors in the plastic strip on the bumper (why didn't VW install parking sensors?), I might install some. They are as cheap as £10 on ebay with an LED display, don't know how accurate they are though.

I'm also considering a front camera that attaches behind the badge.

I'm going to try this heads up display also. Only requires a 1 square inch film sticking to the windscreen. Its an OBD2 device, so it should work on my 2003 TDI.
Each to their own, and I'm a massive tech fan, but this all seems a bit much? Just throwing cheap tech at the car feels like its going to be messy.....

Thanks for your advice.

I think your right about the number plate obstruction. This smaller one however should be fine, also it appears its 720p. I think I need to push the existing bulb into the back of it.

I didn't think about mounting a camera under the reverse light, this one should do it, if the number plate camera is not suitable, I might try that.

What are the android updates that need installing? If its never connected to the internet, is it an issue just to use the stock android the head unit comes with? Regardless, I'm fine with a 30-60 second boot time. I usually let my car idle for at least a minute anyway before I drive it.

RDS is not a concern as I don't listen to the radio anyway. Good to know of its existence though, I didn't realize it was needed for station names.

I think at least 2gb ram 32gb rom will be required, as I do intend to use offline google maps.

I'm fine with a cheaper android head unit, however I do still need to do more research into which to buy. A review of a £60 one on gear best showed that you couldn't listen to music and use any other app, such as a sat nav app, at the same time.

The head unit you linked to would be ideal, but its too expensive for me. With a camera, the cost would be 30% of the value of my car.

Have you seen this mod?


He posted a build thread to this forum. Unfortunately, direct links to threads on the forum no longer work.
The mk6 golf reverse camera is doable, but pricey and involved. Sadly mothball appears to have mothballed himself, the threads been dead for years. Its a shame because it was a masterclass in OEM+ tech
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Which piece/s of tech? The front camera and rear parking sensors are a bit much I admit. The simple HUD appears to work well even without film in youtube video reviews, and if its crap then it can just be unplugged.

The mk6 mod looked great, I wasn't considering attempting it however, way above what I would be capable of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Perhaps a bit late, a third of the way down this page is how I installed and wired up my reverse camera. Dash is still out, so can't show how it works with the head unit.

https://uk-mkivs.net/topic/56798-what-have-you-done-to-your-car-today/page-502?

The other consideration for me when choosing 2 DIN was a volume knob.
Cheers for posting how you installed it. I agree a volume knob is essential. Mind telling us which head unit and camera have you installed? I notice your camera doesn't have led lights on the face of it, what's its quality like at night? Is the off centre positioning noticeable?

I've read of a few problems with android head units, notably power drain whilst the engine is off and unable to listen to mp3s whilst GPS navigation is active.
 
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