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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is going to be a very long and geeky post. Thus I'm only posting the first few paragraphs here, with the full post (all 4 pages!) available as a PDF attachment. If you’ve arrived here looking for a simple way to replace the factory OEM radio, with or without the OEM navigation option, using a name-brand head unit (Alpine, Pioneer, Kenwood, etc.) and commonly available aftermarket harnesses and parts, all while retaining most steering wheel controls and the right-side LaneWatch camera, just read the first 4 paragraphs. I purchased a Kenwood DDX9905S, but I would guess a Kenwood DDX9904S (if you can still find one) would also work, as should future successors to this head unit. This is a rather expensive head unit, but worth it (the built-in speakers sound much better with the Kenwood), and of course, we know it works in the HR-V. Simple, remember? Download the full PDF and take it to your installer, who will be grateful for saving him or her lots of time. Plan on spending up to $600 on additional parts and labor beyond the head unit, which is typical for any car with steering wheel controls, extra cameras, and myriad other functions.

This is the car and aftermarket equipment I have that is working nearly perfectly:
  • Honda 2016 HR-V EX-L (OEM factory nav with 7” screen)
  • Kenwood DDX9905S
  • iDatalink Maestro Rr replacement radio interface
  • iDatalink Maestro HO2 installation harness for Honda

Might you have success with a different Kenwood head unit? Probably. Other brands? Also likely, but note that Maestro support told me that of all brands, Kenwood is best about taking their suggestions for updating signaling and interface protocols. Since the HR-V (and Fit) are problem cars in getting the LaneWatch camera and steering wheel controls to work correctly, I’d stick with Kenwood. That said, any head unit that works with Maestro and has a second camera input with signaling should (ahem) work. If you want to purchase a different (or cheaper) head unit, look at “Before you buy ANY head unit” in the PDF attachment. Good luck!

From here, the post gets geeky. If you want the simple solution installed by a professional, just skim. Near the end I point out 2 steering wheel buttons that still don’t work quite right. However, there are other buttons easily take their place. My tech-averse wife is quite happy with this setup after driving with the OEM head unit for 2 years. If she is happy, then that is success in my view. If you are ready to dive into geeky detail, its all in the attached PDF.

Many thanks to Peter at Mobile West in Portland, OR. and Dara DeGrand at Maestro customer support for going above and beyond. Mobile West and Maestro both deserve your business.

Note: PDF has been zipped due to the forum's antiquated file size limits.
 

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Thanks for the info. I installed a Kenwood DDX9704s on my wife's CRV earlier this year and I mentioned here that the "front camera" input could be used for the lane watch camera and the only thing needed was the right adapter. I used a Metra wiring adapter and the only thing that I miss is the oem subwoofer. I never use the voice or call buttons on the steering wheel so I'm not sure if those even work with the Metra adapter.
 

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...and a little OT, I've been absent from the forums awhile but where the heck did the "like" button go lol. Am I blind or is it really missing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm brand new to the forum. If there is a Like button, I've never seen it. I can see in the statistics that it is possible to give and receive both "thanks" and "likes" but I don't see any way of doing that. Hello moderator? Help!

(Hey, I'll always take some thanks and likes:))
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
… I installed a Kenwood DDX9704s on my wife's CRV …
… I used a Metra wiring adapter …
I'm not surprised to hear that other head units and other wiring adapters will work. I think the missing link in all this has been the lack of secondary camera inputs in generally available aftermarket head units, plus the lack of knowledge that a secondary camera input with signaling is all it takes for an aftermarket head unit to respond appropriately to LaneWatch camera display-on and display-off commands.

As for the other widely held misconception (in this forum and others) that Hondas generally, and HR-V and Fit models specifically, won't play nice with regard to steering wheel button controls in addition to the LaneWatch camera, that also seems odd to me. Perhaps people just didn't want to shell out for the additional harnesses and OBD-II interfaces that are required to make this work. Thus was born the idea that it can't work. The more I've gotten into this, the more the HR-V looks pretty standard in its requirements to properly interface with an aftermarket head unit.

The one thing I like about iDataLink Maestro is that they have a tool on their website that makes it very clear what functions will and will not be retained for various combinations of cars and head units. If Metra has a similar tool, do tell! I have suggestions for how to use the Maestro tool to your best advantage in the PDF attached to my original post. (I will also say that Maestro's tech support was fast, friendly, and accurate, though it took 2 calls to get to the person who had the right information.)
 

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I think most of the posts questioning full compatibility of aftermarket head units and the HRV are older and there wasn't as much support for the HRV back then. I'm definitely glad to see more aftermarket and even OEM accessories available.

Crutchfield typically offers a couple different installation packages for each car and it also lists the features that would be retained per package.
 

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...and a little OT, I've been absent from the forums awhile but where the heck did the "like" button go lol. Am I blind or is it really missing?
Yeah, looks like it was removed. I hadn't even noticed since I usually use the internet on my phone in mobile view.
 

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When you get a chance, can you post pictures? I am looking into either doing an aftermarket head unit or seeing if I can replace my 2016 head unit with a 2019 to get CarPlay.


Do you know if the DDX9905S support multilink Bluetooth (2 phones paired at once)?
Any reason to get a higher model Kenwood? (DNX875S or DNX995S - couldn't find major differences at Crutchfield)
Does this tap into the existing USB ports?
Can this all be reversed (easily) if needed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think I've read elsewhere that the HR-V head unit is serialized to the car so you can't trade out Honda head units. Perhaps someone else can chime in who actually knows.

As for your other questions, it would probably be best to consult manuals and specs. I don't know anything about those other models and it really depends what you want. I think the DDX9905S supports multilink BT, but I haven't tried it and with my current schedule, I won't be able to do so until February at the earliest. Racing to finish my grad requirements.

I've attached a rather inelegant photo - just no time at the moment to make this pretty showing a nice CarPlay screen, good lighting, etc. As you can see, the head unit fits right in to the OEM space. I had this installed professionally, so if there was an additional trim kit used, I just don't know. But it looks sweet. No gaping holes, everything lines up nicely like it is stock. Fingerprints are not noticeable in actual use.
 

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Thanks. That looks really nice! Only real question is about the stock USB ports and if those connect to the new head unit through the wiring harness or some other way.

Good luck on your exams!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Unfortunately, the OEM USB ports are not connected. Apparently Honda uses some non-standard form factor for their USB ports. Its the size of the hole, or the size of the clips, or something like that, which is the problem. I would guess that if you want to (gently) pry the USB ports out of there, cut them from the existing harness, then hand-solder them to a harness or aftermarket plugs that fit the Kenwood, that would be possible. What my installer told me (I wanted to use the OEM USB ports also) is that there isn't a commercially available USB port that fits in those holes. That isn't such a horrible thing - those USB ports are in an odd place. There is another thread on this forum where somebody said he just jammed some aftermarket USB ports in there and it worked, but it wasn't pretty. I think he said he might have used the hole for the HDMI port because he didn't need HDMI for the replacement head unit, and he found that two standard USB plugs could be jammed into the old HDMI hole and would fit snugly. I don't recall seeing photos of his handiwork, so I can't tell you if what he did was ugly or nice looking.

The new ports my installer put in look nice, and are a heckuva lot easier to reach. For my Kenwood head unit he put in a dual USB receptacle.
 

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Thanks RadicalDad for this write-up and post!

I just got back from CarToys to get a quote for this (and for a Kenwood DMX905S - similar to the DDX9905S except no DVD/CD and no tilting/motorized screen). Yikes! Spendy as all get out.

Regarding the dual USB ports your installer put in, where did they put them? Somewhere on the dash or in the center console?

Thanks again!
Dale
 

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I would also be interested in how they mounted the USB ports. I would be fine with one exposed and one hidden.....I have a ProClip mount for my phone and could just plug that in and tuck it away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My installer put a dual-USB port insert in the side of the center console, near the driver's knees (but not where the knees will hit the plugs, just trying to describe the general location). At first I thought a USB plug sticking out there would get in the way, but I've never hit it and the USB cable remains in the car permanently. Actually my wife's car, and she doesn't hit them either. The installers do this all day long, I'm guessing they know where to put these things so they aren't annoying. And it's soooo much more convenient than the location of the stock HR-V location, though truth to tell, access to the plug location is rarely required since we just leave the cable in the car.

On my head unit, it was necessary to put in 2 USB ports. One is best for an iPhone, the other is best for an Android. The "socket" that was installed on the side of the center console is a "dual" - 2 USB ports in one unit. Quicker to install, I'm sure. Only one hole to drill.
 

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Did an install myself yesterday. I also went with a Kenwood unit (DMX905S) and had pleasant results.


Lanewatch camera is still being weird. I cannot figure out how to get it to kick on when I use the turn signal. I'll continue poking with it as time permits, but I honestly ignore it most of the time so I'm not missing it.


Default rear-camera view is messed up. I can't tap the screen to change the views... it's stuck at a fisheye view. I'll also continue poking at that.


Everything else works as expected. The climate control doesn't echo properly to the radio screen (didn't expect it to) nor does the tire PSI sensors.


I'd do it again in a heartbeat. The stock unit is terrible.
 

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Figured out my issue with Lanewatch camera and the rear-view camera.


1. Lanewatch camera need to be assigned in the Maestro settings first. Settings -> AV -> OEM Setup. I don't remember the rest of the settings in this menu off of the top of my head, but if you're installing your radio you are probably capable of figuring out how to do it from here. Long story short: Assign Camera 1 as the Lanewatch camera and then you can modify the Lanewatch camera parameters (on with signal, stay on after X seconds, etc). Amusingly, since I figured it out, I remembered how annoying it was to come on and have since shut it off.


2. The rear-view camera would simply turn off if I tapped the screen while it was on. The trick on my radio (DMX905S) is to tap the sides of the screen, not the middle of the screen. It appears as though the left side of the screen is one view, middle is the default view, and right side is some other view. I wish that was more intuitive, but it does appear to stick once you find the one you want.



For anyone who is looking to do this job yourself, you'll need the following stuff:


1. Maestro ADS-MRR (retains most of the vehicle features including Steering Wheel controls and cameras)
2. iDatalink HRN-RR-HO2 (wiring harness for the stock Honda connections.)

2. Metra 95-7810B Dash Kit (fills in the gaps to make the stereo look clean. This had subpar reviews everywhere I looked but it looks fine. It's not great to look at, but it's certainly not as awful as some of the reviews make it seem.

3. Metra 40-HD11 (antenna adapter)

4. (Optional) Sirius XM Tuner. I went with the SXV300V1. The antenna that comes with this unit is a magnetic mount intended for mounting on the outside of the vehicle. If you don't feel like running cable all over your car, you can two-way tape it and place it inside the dash while you have the radio pulled. There's a few nice flat places close to the windshield that you can place it and it'll still get a solid signal.



Things to know:
1. The dash is incredibly easy to take apart if you know what you're doing. There's youtube videos on how to disassemble the entire thing. You only need to take off the front bezel (where the long vent is on the passenger side) as well as the glove box. There are four screws (8mm socket) that secure the glove box to the dash. Everything else is simply affixed via clips that you can pull straight off.

2. You'll end up doing some splicing, even with the relatively plug and play nature of the setup. I ended up splicing about 10 wires. I'd strongly recommend some solder seal wire connectors.

3. You'll lose the factory HDMI and USB ports. They won't be plugged into anything when it's all said and done. My aftermarket radio came with USB female connectors that I just dropped down by the existing ports. Not perfect, but acceptable.
 

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This thread alone is pushing me towards keeping my HR-V. Question for those of you who have done this. RE: Bluetooth microphone. Does it connect to the existing microphone or do I have to run a line to their microphone and clip it somewhere?
 

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This thread alone is pushing me towards keeping my HR-V. Question for those of you who have done this. RE: Bluetooth microphone. Does it connect to the existing microphone or do I have to run a line to their microphone and clip it somewhere?

You'll lose it. The existing microphone is actually in the upper left of the factory radio, built into the unit itself.


Routing the new mic is easy enough. While you have the glovebox off you can pretty easily mount it by the gearshifter. I simply wedged it between the AC/Heat control box and the center console and it sits comfortably and Voice Commands work just fine.
 

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Has anyone done this for a 2019? I cannot find any information on the idatalink site for 2019, and I would love to replace the entire audio system in the car. Any help?
Thanks
 
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