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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am getting an RTL and the 5 inch screen base radio that comes with it is just OK. I may install a 7 inch screen aftermarket head unit as many come with touch screen navigation, DVD player, bluetooth and voice commands. I could install one myself for about $1000 and that is cheaper than the $2200 price jump to the RTL-T. Yeah the T comes with a few other things, but I am not a huge fan of the touch screen head unit in the higher trims.

Anyway, upon researching, a few folks have done aftermarket swaps on civics at civicx.com and they say it works fine except you lose the multi angles in the camera. That got me thinking and I discovered that same radio is used in several cars now:
2015 Fit LX
2016 Civic LX
2016 HRV LX
2016 Pilot LX
2017 Ridgeline RT, RTS and RTL

Metra makes a double DIN bezel for the 2016 pilot, but does not say it fits the ridgeline. Steering wheel control interface is available as it is a universal Honda Acura one from Axxess. The wiring harness is the only thing needed, but connector pinouts are on the web if you search. With the list of cars above that use this same radio, it cant be too far off when it will be easy to pick up all the needed parts to install a better head unit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The camera is a 6v one, and many OEM cameras are that way. There are some cheap ways ($3 for a simple voltage regulator transistor) or for a few times more many can be found on the net to convert the 12v to 6v. Look up in the civicx.com site for instructions to do the cheap transistor version.

The one thing you will lose (most likely) is the way to swap the camera angles. That may have to stay in one view all the time. Honestly I don't see much difference between two of the views. Not sure I would fiddle around with the radio to swap the view to a downward angle during normal use unless that is the only way to see a trailer hitch ball.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Still awaiting my RTL as it was scheduled to be built in the next few days. I did get more info on the radio swap as well as my Pioneer AHV-4100NEX head unit, metra wiring harnesses for the 2015 Civic and steering wheel control interface.

SO after more digging, I found the civic audio wiring connector pinouts and compared them to the 2016 Pilot ones. As I mapped them, I found there are only about 6 wires in the correct spot in the 24 pin civic connector. This is not a direct plug n play deal (but I am fully competent and up for the challenge). I wrote down which wires needed to go where on one of the two the civic connectors to be able to become a plug n play. This is the main audio connector that provides power and speakers from the head unit.

The second large connector is a 24 pin in the Pilot, but a 32 pin version in the civic. This will not be able to be used as is, but we will just need to cut the insulation on the factory harness and solder the wires where they go,. There are other creative ways like to dismantle the stock head unit and take out the connector block plastic to hold the wires/pins removed from the 32 pin plug we can't use. I'll see what I feel like when I get in there. WHo knows, maybe Metra will come out with teh proper connector by then. I have not called them...

SO this 32 pin connector on the civic (24 pin on the Pilot/Ridge) really only houses the camera. You need 4 wires and that gets you the camera video and power. Unitl someone can figure out the Bit 1 and Bit 2 signals that tell the camera to change to the three different views, you will be stuck with one view only for the reverse.

You WILL lose ANC or Active Noise Cancellation. Reading about this in the Pilot forums, there are peopel who like it and many who don't. This uses the radio and some dedicated (non phone/bluetooth) microphones to monitor the cabin sounds. The radio then sends out an opposite sound signal cancelling out the noise. This is only effective on constant wind or engine noise. SOme people get feedback in their ears when playing certain music or if a window is open so it is not foolproof. It will go away with no ill effects other than a little more road noise if it is not hooked up. Your music may sound better as the speakers are now only being used for music rather than music and noise cancellation frequencies.

I know another person mentioned the Can Bus wires that go through the radio. According to the Pilot audio connector pinout, there is Can Bus High and Low wires in there. On the civic forum, they too have these wires and no one had issues with not hooking them up.

Another plug for the Pilot is for the USB connection. This is like a USB B plug typically found on printers. It would be the square plug with two angled sides. The Honda plug may or may not fit a USB B plug. Need to try it. The only issue would be that there are no angles to ensure the plug is turned the right way like the USB B plug has. If it fit, you would need to secure the plug in so it did not fall out and then don't remove and rotate it by accident later. The safer option woudl be to just use the USB cords that come with teh new aftermarket head unit and run them wherever you need and don't bother with teh Honda connector.

The radio antenna plug is easy as Metra makes a plug for that.

The last one is the 12 pin audio plug shown on the Pilot pinout diagram. It deals only with GA-Net. This is like the IP-Bus in a Pioneer or other audio brands. It is a data bus used to communicate to other audio sources. Not sure that this would need to be connected at all. The Ridge does not have a factory DVD player liek a Pilot, and you can use the Axxess Steering Wheel control interface to automatically decode the steering wheel signals and sent them to the aftermarket head unit. To me it would seem that this GA-Net connector does nothing above that for the base radio.

The Metra mount kit for the radio looks really nice. It is for the Pilot and I got the gloss black. There is a textured black one as well.


More to come as now it will be a waiting game to get the unit installed in my Ridge when it arrives
 

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I just got the Metra gloss black kit. The gloss black and silver match the shifter surround perfectly however they continued the gloss black over the hvac vents which makes it not match the factory or the left/right vents. If you look at a Ridgeline with the 8' screen the center is gloss black but the vent trim is the plain black plastic. Not sure if there is any other gloss black in the higher trims but the only gloss black on my RTS is the shifter surround so having the gloss around the vents makes it stand out. I ordered the matte black kit which should be here next week to see which looks better to me.

Hope that description makes sense. I'll post a picture up tomorrow.

And I agree with Tommy, you are doing us all a service with your wiring investigation. thanks

hopefully it will all be worked out and there will be a metra wiring kit by the time I do the install. So far I'm OK with the factory sound, its not audiophile by any stretch but i didn't think that the RTL-E system sounded better, just maybe a bit louder. Most of my listening at the moment is kids music, podcasts or old detective radio shows so it will do for now.

As far as the camera, I don't see the point of the 3 views. the standard and wide view are almost identical and the 3rd is a 'straight down' at the tow hitch. The problem as I found out yesterday when I moved my utility trailer is that there is a lot of resolution lost when the hitch is zoomed in, and if you are backing/lining up to the trailer you can't see it until you are on top of it. Since the camera is the same on all models, I would think on the bigger 8" screen it would be more 'fuzzy'. In any case I used the standard widest view to line up and it worked the best for me. I agree with zroger, I don't think we are missing out on anything by having only one view
 

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I just got the Metra gloss black kit. The gloss black and silver match the shifter surround perfectly however they continued the gloss black over the hvac vents which makes it not match the factory or the left/right vents. If you look at a Ridgeline with the 8' screen the center is gloss black but the vent trim is the plain black plastic. Not sure if there is any other gloss black in the higher trims but the only gloss black on my RTS is the shifter surround so having the gloss around the vents makes it stand out. I ordered the matte black kit which should be here next week to see which looks better to me.
8' screen? How does that even fit? ;)

The RTL-E has gloss black trim running from one side of the dash to the other, around the air bag in the steering wheel, and above each front door handle in addition to around the shifter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I know Fargin meant to say a 7" screen.

Anyway, since I work at a dealership, I had my Honda service Tech guys print me off the 2017 Ridgeline audio pinouts. It is the exact same as the 2016 Pilot for the "color radio". The touch screen is called the "display radio". Another post about this radio has the Pilot pinouts in it. Ill search for that and post the pics here too so they stay with this topic.

I did confirm that while the front of the radio looks identical between the 2016 Civic LX, 2015 Fit LX and the Ridge, the rear of the radio is NOT the same based on what the Honda tech drawings show. One audio connector is the same physical size but with wires in different places, and the antenna is the same. The USB and other audio connector is in different spots, the Ridge has an additional connector for the GA-Net stuff that the civic does not. I mention this in my previous post here. Nothing that is a show stopper.

Tonight I took the Metra harness I bought for the 2016 Civic and moved around all the wires in the 24 pin audio plug so they will match the wires on the Ridge pinout sheet. Unfortunately this is all I can do for right now till my truck comes, but in the mean time I am searching for a good 9 or 10 inch LCD screen to mount on the back of my headrest for my daughter to watch. The Pioneer head unit I bought has dual zone AV so she can watch and hear any DVD or video on an SD card from my head unit even while I enjoy another source up front.

The other thing I want to figure out is how the camera displays the three different angles to see if I can make those views show in the radio. The stock head unit only has the one video signal input and uses a Bit 0 and Bit 1 wire to send a signal to the camera for the different angles. Kenwood makes a camera that does the same thing and the controller is a tiny little round button so not much is going on in there...Need to do some searching on how these cropped views from the camera are done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You need to hook up the following wires:
A1 thru A6
A9, A10
A11 to the black wire on the Axxess ASWC-1 syeering wheel interface
A15, A16
A19, A20
A22 to the red wire on the ASWC-1
A23 to the white/grn wire on ASWC-1
A24 Switched 12v

C2- Camera power ground
C11 to new radio remote wire
C15, C16
C19

None on connector D

E1 to new radio remote wire
E2, E3 (Use available metra harness)

None on connector F unless a USB-B cable fits. Otherwise new head unit should have a USB output
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It could be a USB-B as mentioned above a few times, but I have not been able to confirm it yet.

I did a little investigation on the Metra dash kit due to the comments by Fargin about the gloss vs matte black finish on the trim. I did see that the higher models RTL-T and UP, all have gloss black on the trim around the radio as well as the area around the Hazard switch. The RTL and LOWER trims are all a matte/satin black.

Metra make two different dash kits and one part number ends in HG (High Gloss). I apparently have the wrong one... I will need to swap it out for the one without the gloss for my RTL.
 

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8' screen? How does that even fit? ;)
Must have been thinking about the Canadian version! LOL

The RTL-E has gloss black trim running from one side of the dash to the other, around the air bag in the steering wheel, and above each front door handle in addition to around the shifter.
I have never seen a RTL-E or BE in person, all the ones around me are presold and gone by the time I get there. I think the glossy metra-kit would look very nice in there.


Here are the pictures of the kit. As you can see it matches the gloss and silver well, and the gloss around the radio might add some pizazz to the dash, however at least to me in the RTS it makes those vents stick out (since other than the shifter surround there is no other gloss black in the truck). The back of the kit has crews that holds the silver pieces on separate, it may be possible to dremel the vent surrounds off and epoxy on the ones from a matte black kit, since the silver would hide the seam. Should have the matte kit kit this week and I'll take some pics to show you what I mean.

RZR, I found last night when we needed to put her directly behind a front seat that due to the stadium rear seat her feet can touch the upper seat and headrest. If your daughter is still in a car seat that might be something you would want to check before mounting a screen. Even when she is in the middle she can reach the lower seat backs when my wife and I have our seats set where we like them.
 

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I can think of a couple more on connector C:

C1/13/14/20(?) might be able to repurpose the HFL microphone instead of running the one that comes the radio.

C8/10/22/23 in the RTS there is a 1/8" input jack with the USB jack in the center console. The Metra kit for my wife's RAV4 has a 1/8" connector that can be used with an aftermarket radio.


Also, I find it odd that the camera itself is doing the processing for the additional modes, I would have thought that would be done in the headunit itself. I'd have to throw a scope on it but it may be a simple selection scheme by voltage. For instance bit 0 low/bit 1 low is standard view, bit 0 low/bit 1 high is wide view, bit 0 high/bit 1 high is hitch view.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
My daugther is 8 so she will be watching a screen mounted on the headrest (not IN the headrest).

I just now ordered another mount kit. The one from Metra in satin black is part number 95-7811B (B for Black). I got the gloss black version free from Crutchfield by buying my head unit. It came in cracked so now they already sent me a replacement one. I have two gloss black ones. Strangely, Crutchfield does not carry the satin black version so I cannot send one back to exchange. I had to buy one online and I just did. I too like Fargin, will have two options for mounting. I think I will like the satin version better. The gloss would look great in upper trims (especially the BE with the tons of gloss black trim that one has).

I am pretty sure the microphone in connector C is used for the ANC (active noise cancellation) system as well as the phone voice. That may not be tuned well to use for an aftermarket head unit. I know my Pioneer head unit works best with the factory mic according to other sources, but I will probably try to take out the mic and mount it discreetly where the factory bluetooth/phone mic resides. Ill see on this more when I get the truck.

The AUX jack shown in connector C is just a 3.5mm headphone jack in the console. I know I could care less if I lose that because I'll never push line level sound into the head unit. It would be pretty easy to connect to the aftermarket head unit though if one wanted to. Only wires C10, C22 and C23 are needed.

On the Honda multi angle camera: Kenwood has had one out since 2014 and sells as model CMOS-320. It is about $270 new, but I just bought one off ebay for $150 gently used. I am gonna give the controller a try as that kenwood camera has the same multi angle views as the Honda camera does. Looking at the CMOS-320 manual, there are only two wires from the Kenwood camera controller button to change the views just like the Honda. Maybe they used similar technology and this controller (small 1.5" button) can change the views on the factory cam too as it is just a digital signal. You could mount the button near your seat and tap it for each view as needed. You have to tap the radio screen/button on the Honda system anyway so this would not be any different to use...

Ebay has just the camera button for $50 if someone wanted to try that. I figured I would dive in and get the full camera setup so if it did not work I could resell it all easier. If the control button does actually work on our factory camera, I'll just throw the Kenwood camera part up front in my grill as my Pioneer Head Unit can take two camera inputs anyway.
 

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RZR, you'll get more functionality out of mounting the additional camera somehow to show the passenger side of the truck. Let me explain...
On my Leaf, I have the top trim and it comes with multi-cam views. From up top looking down you get a birds eye view, then the rear, and finally the passenger side, isolated. There is a camera in the front grill, under both mirrors, and the last around the license plate area. By far the most useful for me, is the passenger mirror camera. What this enables, is for you to park against a curb in a parking lot and line the vehicle up so that you have moved over the most extreme you can and without curbing a wheel. This has enabled me to stay away from door dings. I mean I've always chosen a spot in a parking lot where I can put one side of the vehicle against a curb. I used to do this driver's side and just hang my head out the window. With the camera and functionality there no more sticking my head out the window and I do it passenger side instead.

That can bus high and low, do you think that is used for speed sensitive volume?
 
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