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Kenwood KCA-WL100 Firmware Update Procedure for iOS 10 Support

As the owner of iPhone, you would have noticed that the KCA-WL100 stops working after you updated your iPhone’s operating system to iOS 10 since September 2016. The KCA-WL100 is an HDMI Wifi Dongle which allows you to mirror your iPhone’s display to supported Kenwood head unit, without the use of a HDMI cable. Hence, the KCA-WL100 is also known as the Air-Mirrorlink or Air-Miracast Wi-Fi Dongle.

A few days ago, the Kenwood engineers has finally released a firmware update that resolves the incompatibilities with iOS 10. So, for owners who are having problem earlier with their iPhone and KCA-WL100, this is your solution. Alternatively, get an Android smartphone ūüėõ

Before you begin, you will need Wi-Fi connection, preferably Wi-Fi from your home’s network or tethering from a mobile hotspot. You should not use the hotspot from the iPhone device you will be pairing the KCA-WL100 with later. In our guide below, we will be using an iPhone 7 (with iOS 10) as the device which we want to mirror with the Kenwood head unit and we will use 2 Android Phones- a Huawei P9 as the mirror link phone and a Samsung Galaxy S7 as our Wi-Fi access point. Take note that at this point, your iPhone 7 is not yet compatible with the KCA-WL100.

To avoid interruption during the firmware update, keep your engine running and battery power optimum.

Step 1: On your Head Unit, navigate to the HDMI source.

Step 2: In the HDMI menu, select mode ‘Wireless Link’. If you are automatically shown the ‘Wireless Mirroring Mode’, press the ‘Back’ button in the screen to go to ‘Mode Select’ Page, and then select mode ‘Wireless Link’.

Step 3: Once you are in the ‘Wireless Link Mode’ menu, use our Huawei P9’s Wi-Fi connection to connect to the KCA-WL100’s Wi-Fi Network, which should look something like ‘KCA-WL100_XXXXXX’.

If prompted to insert password, use the default ‘12345678’. If you’ve changed the password before, use the password you’ve assigned instead.

Step 4: On the ‘Wireless Link Mode’ menu, you should see a URL (web address). Type this URL onto our Huawei P9’s browser and press enter to go to the said webpage.

Step 5: Once the website loads completely, you should see a series of icons. Tap the Wi-Fi icon with the text that says ‘Touch Icon to Make Dongle Connect to Wi-Fi AP’.

Step 6: Next, on the website, click on the ‘Scan’ link. This will scan nearby Wi-Fi networks and asterisks indicates the Wi-Fi signal strength.

Step 7: With our Samsung Galaxy S7 nearest to the KCA-WL100, it should show the strongest signal and we should connect to the Samsung Galaxy S7’s hotspot.

Step 8: If the connection is successful between the KCA-WL100 and our Samsung Galaxy S7’s hotspot, you should see the screen on the Kenwood head unit showing a notice saying ‘Connected to Samsung Galaxy S7 Hotspot’.

Step 9: On the Huawei P9’s browser which we’ve used earlier to scan for nearby Wi-Fi networks, press back to return to the main setup page. Under ‘Firmware Update’ press the ‘Submit’ button to download the firmware file to the KCA-WL100.

Step 10: If the download process is correctly executed, the Kenwood head unit will indicate on the bottom left of the screen a message that says ‘New Update Found 3.21.20’. On the bottom right, you will also see the download progress in percentage.

Step 11: The download process is completely automated. Do not power off your Kenwood head unit during the entire process. Once the download is complete at 100%, the update will begin. You will see 4 rows labeled ‘Disk1’, ‘Disk2’, ‘Disk3’ and ‘Disk4’ with corresponding ‘Erase’ and ‘Write’ columns. Each of these ‘Erase’ and ‘Write’ columns need to reach 100% for the update to complete.

Step 12: Once the update is complete, the screen on our Kenwood Head Unit will show ‘No Signal’. Do not panic, this is the KCA-WL100 way of telling you it’s rebooting with the new firmware. You should panic only if the Kenwood Head Unit shows nothing.

Step 13: The finale- connect our iPhone 7 that’s running iOS 10.

(i) On the Kenwood Head Unit, go to HDMI Source and in the menu, select ‘Wireless Link Mode’.

(ii) Using our iPhone 7’s Wi-Fi settings, connect to the KCA-WL100.

(iii) Press the ‘Home’ button on the iPhone 7 and swipe from the bottom of the screen to select ‘KCA-WL100 Mirroring Using the AirPlay’ function. And now, your iPhone 7 is finally connected to the KCA-WL100.

2016-12-22T00:04:56+00:00 December 21st, 2016|Car Audio & Video, Guides|0 Comments

Car Audio Equalizer: Do you need it?

Whenever you come across an audio system, you’re bound to bump into the word equalizer.

I’m sure many already know what it means, but I also believe many are either unsure¬†or know very little about equalizers and if you should have one. And more importantly, what function does it serve and do you need it. To get started on this subject, I guess its best to start from the word ‘Equalizer’.

A quick search on Wikipedia brings up this:

  • Science and technology -¬†Equalization, the process of adjusting the strength of certain frequencies within a signal.
  • Equalization (audio), frequency-dependent processing of audio signals.
  • An Equalizer (communications) used in telecommunications.
  • Equalizer (mathematics), the solution set of an equation.
  • A term sometimes used to describe a whippletree

‘Equalization (audio), frequency-dependent processing of audio signals’

This is what we are after. So, from that, we can gather that equalizer, in our context refers to hardware or software that carries out such functions.

Understanding Audio Equalization

Equalization is basically the process of adjusting the loudness of specific range of frequencies, and this can be done with software or hardware which we refer to as Equalizer or EQ for short.

Why would you want to do that?

The reason behind audio equalization is due to the nature of audio signals. Sound travels around by bouncing around surfaces, and this can sometimes be rather unpredictable. For example, if you were to shout in an open field, versus in a cave, it would sound different right? Same goes for speakers. When you put them in different locations and surroundings, the resulting sound will be different. So, with an equalizer, what an audio engineer could do, is adjust the loudness of a range of frequencies so that any spikes or dips in the audio signal can be compensated for.

Another reason behind equalization is also aesthetics. We all have different preferences when it comes to sound. What sounds good for one person, may not be for another.

Choosing an Equalizer

Firstly, you have to look if you already have one built in to your current receiver. Some basic one consist of just treble and bass. Some has an additional mid control. These are the more common ones available in basic car stereos. In more advanced models, you may find up to up to 30-band EQ’s. These allows for the user to fine tune the tones even further. I’d suggest you play around with the controls and see if you can achieve the sound to your liking. If you find the controls are insufficient, then you probably would need to consider an additional external EQ.

There is a vast array of EQ’s in the market and you have to decide what will suit you. Consider your audio setup (or what you would like it to be). EQ’s come in all shapes and sizes, but here are some common features you may want to look into.

1. Number of bands

2. Fader

3. Built-in Line Driver

4. Subwoofer output

5. EQ Preset Memory (Digital EQ’s)

6. Parametric/Graphic

There are also EQ’s or sound processors that come with a whole range of added features for advanced users. For example, Zapco has an entire series of amplifiers with built in sound processors.

7 Band EQ

Alpine PXA-H800 Audio Processor

Summary

So, do you need an EQ? Yes, if you do not have one at all.¬†But if you do, I’d suggest you tinker¬†about with your system and see if you are satisfied. If you are, then that’s it. Jobs done.¬†But if you feel that some frequencies¬†are too harsh, some to mild, and the existing controls just doesn’t cut it, then I’d say go ahead and get one. Don’t get one for just the sake of having one. We should all be smarter than that.

Check out what we have in our stores.
 Resource

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2015-07-22T20:07:08+00:00 April 8th, 2015|Car Audio & Video, Guides|0 Comments

Battle of Car Audio Brands

Battle of Car Audio Brands

Legends
HU = Head Units
A = Amps
SW = Subs
Sp = Mids/Highs
M = Multimedia
All = Entire Line

Grade: Stay Away
American Pro (All)
Audiobank (All)
Blackmore Mobile Electronics (All)
Blitz (All)
DHD (All)
Diesel Audio (All)
Kenford (All)
Kole Audio (All)
Legacy (All)
Majestic (All)
Performance Teknique (All)
Phase Linear (All)
Pyle (All)
Pyramid (All)
Rockwood (All)
Sherwood (All)
SPL (all)
Solid Audio (All)
Sound Storm (All)
Street Edge (All)
Ultra Linear (All)
XFile Audio (All)

Grade: Entry Level
Alphasonik (All)
Alto Mobile USA (All)
Alumapro (All)
Ample Audio (All)
Audiobahn (All)
Audiopipe (All)
Audiovox (All)
Autotek “SS Series” (All)
Bazooka (All)
Blaupunkt (All)
Boss (All)
Bostwick (All)
Cadence (“All” tough decision just shy of high quality)
Cerwin Vega (“All” except Strokers which go in Comp’)
Clarion (A, SW, Sp)
Clif Designs (All)
Concept (All)
Coustic (All)
Crossfire “P Series” (SW)
Crunch (All)
Cutting Edge Audio (All)
DB Drive (All)
Diablo Audio (All)
Digital Audio (All)
Dual (All)
Dub Mag Audio (All)
Elevation Audio (“All” except EX Series (SW) which go in Comp)
Emerson (All)
Harrison Labs (All)
Hifonics “Zues Series and lower” (All)
Hollywood Sound Intl. Corp (All)
Infinity (All)
Interfire (All)
JBL (“All” except ??? Series which go in Comp’)
Jensen (All)
JVC (All)
Kenwood (“All” except Excelon series which go in HQ)
Kicker “Comp/Comp VR” (SW) “RS Series and under” (Sp)
Kove Audio (All)
Lanzar (“All’ except Opti Drive series which go in HQ)
Lightning Audio (All)
MA Audio (“All” except larger/upper model HK Series amps which go in HQ)
Matrxx Audio (All)
MB Quart (SW)
Memphis “PR Series” (All)
MTX (“All” except 9500 Series (SW) which go in HQ)
Niche Audio (All)
Phoenix Gold (SW)
Pioneer (SW,Sp,A)
Planet Audio (All)
Polk Audio (All)
Power Acoustik (All)
Powerbase (All)
Profile (All)
Rockford Fosgate (“All” except Power Series which go in HQ)
Sanyo (All)
Scosche (All)
Sony (All)
SoundStream (All)
Swiss Audio (All)
US Acoustics (All)
Visonik (All)
Xsite (All)

Grade: High Quality
A/D/S/ (All)
Adire Audio (All)
Alpine (All)
American Bass (All)
Ascendant Audio (All)
AudioControl (All)
Audison (All)
Avionixx (All)
Boston Acoustics (All)
Brax (All)
CDT Audio (All)
Clarion (HU, M)
Critical Mass (All)
Crossfire “W Series” (SW) “VR Series” (A)
Crystal (All)
Diamond Audio (All)
Directed (All)
DLS (All)
Dynaudio (All)
Earthquake (All)
Elemental Designs (All)
Eclipse (All)
Focal (All)
Fusion (All)
Genesis (All)
Helix (All)
Hifonics “Brutus Series” (All)
Image Dynamics (All)
Incriminator Audio (All)
JL Audio (“All” except lower W series (SW) which go in Entry)
Kenwood “Excelon series” (All)
Kicker “KX/SX Series” (A) “L5/L7” (SW) “SS Series” (Sp)
Lanzar “Opti Drive” (A)
MA Audio “HK2000/HK4000” (A)
Massive Audio (All)
MB Quart (Sp)
McIntosh (All)
Memphis (MC Series) (All)
Milbert (All)
Morel (All)
MTX “9500 Series” (SW)
Nakamichi (All)
Orion (A,SW,Sp)
OZ Audio (All)
PHD Audiophile Sound System (All)
Phase Evolution (All)
Phoenix Gold (A)
Pioneer (HU,M)
Powerbass USA (All)
Precision Power (All)
QAS (All)
RE Audio (“All” except MT Series (SW) which go in Comp)
Rockford Fosgate “Power Series” (SW,A)
Seas Lotus (All)
Sinfoni (All)
Treo Engineering (All)
TRU Technology (All)
Tube Driver Blue (All)
US Amps (All)
Xtant (All)
Zapco (All)

Grade: Competition
Alpine F1 (All)
Atomic (SW,A)
Autotek “MM Series” (All)
Cerwin Vega “Stroker” (SW)
Digital Designs (All)
Elevation Audio EX Series (SW)
Hifonics “XX Series” (All)
JBL “JBL/Crown Series” (A) “G TI Series” (SW)
Kicker “Solo X” (SW)
MMats Professional Audio (All)
MTX RFL (SW)
Pioneer TS-W5000SPL (SW)
Rainbow (All)
RE Audio “MT Series” (SW)
Team RF (SW)

2015-04-08T01:31:00+00:00 February 28th, 2015|Car Audio & Video, Guides|0 Comments

Car Audio & Video Guides : Head Unit (Stereo, Receivers, Players)

Car Audio and Video Guide - Choosing a head unit

How do I decide on which head unit to get?

So, you’ve decided that your car stereo system just isn’t cutting it. Or perhaps its busted and you need to replace it. Thankfully, with the break-neck pace of technology advancement these days, there is a plethora of systems to choose from with all sorts of functions from basic AM/FM to high-end WI-Fi capable systems. It can be intimidating and overwhelming trying to decide. Hopefully this article will help you understand and narrow down the choices to come up with a candidate.

There a few factors to consider before being able to decide on the right car stereo system. I’ve broken these down to 3 main categories. Some are physical limitations and some are based on preference or needs.

For those who don’t know, the car stereo is also referred to as receiver, head unit, CD player and DVD player. It is all referring to the same thing which is the unit in your car that either plays CD’s, DVD’s or just tunes in to FM Radio stations.

1. Choosing between Single Din, Double Din or OEM Fit head units

 

SINGLE DIN

Buyer Guide - Single Din Head Unit Car Stereo

Single din units come in a variety of brands, features and functions. Some of the features and functions include:-

  • WMA, MP3, AAC, FLAC playability
  • CD, USB, SD card input capabilities
  • Auxiliary input
  • DVD, VCD, DivX Playback (an additional LCD screen is needed for units without the in-dash motorized LCD Monitor)
  • Bluetooth Hands-free and music streaming
  • Ipod/Iphone control
  • 5.1 Surround Sound
  • AM/FM/SW Stereo

Check out some of the single din head units in our store

 

DOUBLE DIN

Buyer Guide - Double Din Head Unit Car Stereo

Double din units typically have all the features the single din units have. The biggest difference would be the LCD touchscreen. Some standard features of the double din include:-

  • HD LCD Touchscreen in a variety of sizes such as 6.2″, 6.5″, 7″,¬†8″ and 9″
  • GPS Navigation (either built-in or add-on module)
  • Steering Control support
  • Built-in TV Tuner
  • Reverse Camera and/or Front Camera capabilities

Choices for double din head units on fasmoto.com.

 

OEM Fit (Sometimes called Factory Fit or Perfect Fit by manufacturers)

Buyer Guide - OEM Fit Head Unit Car Stereo
These days, many cars no longer come with the standard single or double din size. They are designed to fit in and blend in with the dashboard design. If you are lucky, some manufacturers do produce units that will plug-n-play to your vehicle. What this means is that you do not have to go through rewiring the harness as they will just plug in and work.

Another option you have (depending on the car) is getting an installation trim kit that will enable you to either install a single or double din units. Below is an example of such a kit.
Buyer Guide - Head Unit Installation Trim Kit

 

Sometimes, the choice between single, double din or OEM fit is set by the physical limitation of what is available and will fit the car. See the next section on fitments to get a better picture.

Take a look at our factory fit head units and installation trim kits on fasmoto.com.

 

2. Fitments

Once you have considered the above, the next step is to figure out what will fit. If you are willing to have custom work done to fit the unit, then it will not be an issue. However, if cutting up panels isn’t your thing, then there are solutions out there which may work for you. Take a look at your dash, and see if you have a rectangular opening. Here are some examples of what I mean.

Buyer Guide - Single Din Example 1

Many cars, especially older Japanese models, come with the ability to fit single or double din as seen above in a Perodua Kelisa.
Buyer Guide - Single Din Example 1

Older European car models will typically only take a single din like in the image above of the BMW E36. Some do take double dins but its not as common.

 

Buyer Guide - Single Din Example
The Toyota Altis in the photo above is my favorite as it will take a single din, double din and even Toyota’s custom 200mm din which is about 20mm wider than typical double dins.

 

Buyer Guide - OEM Fit Example

Above is an example of a OEM Fit (Factory Fit or Perfect Fit by manufacturers)

  1. You will need to determine if your car will fit single din or double din or both. Sometimes referred to as single ISO or double ISO size. (refer to pic above)
  2. For the double din, there are 2 common sizes. The double ISO and the OEM Toyota size (sometimes referred to as the 200mm size). The double ISO is the common size found in most vehicles. Branded head units are usually this size. The OEM Toyota size is usually found in Toyota’s (stating the obvious here :P). They are wider than double ISO by about 20mm. Another difference to take note of is the rounded edges they have as opposed to the sharp edges of a double ISO.

 

Buyer Guide - Double Din and Toyota 200MM

Double ISO and OEM Toyota Comparison. Some Toyota’s will fit double ISO players, but will need spacers to cover the gap on each side (see Toyota Altis image above)

  1. If you do not have the mentioned rectangular opening as mentioned earlier, you may consider an installation trim kit (installation casing to some). They look like these.

Honda Civic FD Head Unit Trim Kit

Honda Civic Installation Kit
Toyota Vios Silver Installation Trim Kit Toyota Vios Install Trim Kit

Hanns OEM Fit Head Unit for Honda City 2015

HANNS HS-30-016 Factory Fit Head Unit for Honda City 2014 with GPS Navigation
Kenwood DNX535VBT Factory Fit Head Unit for Volkswagen

Kenwood DNX535VBT for Volkswagen Golf, Passat, Jetta and more
Pioneer AVIC Factory Fit Head Unit for Toyota Camry

Pioneer AVIC Head Unit for Toyota Camry

  1. If there are no OEM head units made for your car, then the only final way is to do custom work to fit the units. Get a reputable installer to have a look and advise on the work needed. In most cases, trimming and cutting the original dash will be required.

3. Head Unit Wiring Harness

Now that you have figured out the fitment for your vehicle. The next thing to consider is the wiring harness. The harness is basically wires with sockets at the end that connects the head unit to your vehicle. The common ones found in most cars are the ISO sockets. But more recently, many car makers have been doing away with the standard ISO sockets and using their own design sockets.

Here are some examples:

ISO Connectors - Fits BMW, Volkswagen

BMW / VW wiring harness (female)
Honda Civic Head Unit Wiring Harness
Honda Civic Head Unit Wiring Harness (female) with Antenna Adapters

If you have opted for OEM fit units, then you don’t even have to read any further as these units will have all the proper connectors necessary to plug in to the vehicle.
However, if you have opted for other than a OEM unit, then you may want to find out what harness is provided. Then compare that to the harness from your vehicle. If it isn’t a match, then some cutting and rewiring will be necessary. However, if you are worried about cutting anything on your vehicle, then you can purchase a wiring harness socket. What this does is it allows for the cutting and rewiring to be done on the head unit side, so no wires on the vehicle side will be cut.
Alright, you have come this far, so what next? Ideally, with all the information you have, you would be able to narrow down your search to a handful of units that will fit your needs and vehicle. The next logical step would be to narrow it down further based on your budget and finally decide on one! Hope this has been helpful and good luck in your pursue of the perfect Head Unit!!

2015-10-17T07:10:44+00:00 February 7th, 2012|Car Audio & Video, Guides|1 Comment