Hardware Review: Car2PC Alpine MBUS review
Device: DashPC.org - jbor Car2PC adapter (Alpine MBUS old-version)
HU: Darn old Alpine TDM-7534S.
CarPC: my Supra install.
Player: Winamp2.x, winamp5.x, and RoadRunner with Winamp2.x
Rating: 1 = worst, 10 = best.
Build quality: 9
I didn't open the box to see how it look inside, but the box looks pro. Cable to M-BUS 8-pin seem to be cheap. 3.5mm stereo plug/cable and USB cable are just typical cable you can buy off the shell. I will give a 10 if the MBUS cable is of better quality like Alpine factory cable.
Sound quality: 9
The only problem is when no sound coming from the PC, there is NOISE in the system. The noise is like a clock ticking. Once music is playing, it's crystal clear like it was connect to CDC.
I would give 10 if it ressponse faster to the button press. The problem could be the driver or because my install is darn slow.
(Disk selection button 1-6): 10
Work as expected on both 2.x and 5.x. With default RoadRunner implementation/commands, only couple command response to the button. For example 5 is set for GPS but it doesn't switch. Whereas Video (2)/DVD(6) switch just fine. iG is my GPS app and config to run on GPS command (external_GPS.skin). However it did response to the Up-Down Disk selection on the remote (weird isn't?). So the problem could be RoadRunner implementation or the button on the HU is ****up (no the botton works fine on radio and tape). It's a 10+ years new radio, mine you? :rofl:
Song selection with in playing work perfect on Winamp. RoadRunner response a little slow, but works fine. I have to do some modification (remap the botton) to the RoadRunner command for NEXT and PREVIOUS command. There is a BIG limitation to the number of song you have in a playlist. Yes it only 99 songs MAX. I am sure this is a limitation of the Alpine M-BUS. I heard people have problem with 99 song max on Alpine-Ipod too. Here is how the limitation is. If you have 110 songs in the playlist and you are at song 99, the next song show is 00 on the HU, but 100 on winamp/RR (101 on Winamp/RR => 01 on HU). Now if you hit NEXT on the HU, you are going back to song 01, 02, 03 .... If you hit PREV, you are going back to song 02, 01, 99. Now that screw. I don't think this is anything the device (car2PC) and do to change that, this is something you guys should expect when you have BIG playlist.
- Does this device (car2PC) worth money: I pay 48 bucks shipped and it worth every peny. My HU doesn't have an option for AUX input. I have been using tape adapter for the pass 2 years and the sound quality is the same or better than this adapter. One of the reason is that while using tape adapter, I have no noise if nothing is playing from the carPC.
- DashPC customer support: I don't have any problem yet so I don't know. You guys all know how jbor response to your questions in this forum right? ;).
- Is it recommended: Yes, definitely. I am waiting for the Alpine Ai-Net version for my Matrix install. Althought some of you guys are going HU-Less carPC installation, but if you still have an HU that car2PC is compartible, you should get one. It make controlling carPC much easier especially the HU is RC ready. I do have Ir RC for my carPC setup to use the same remote as the HU, but it doesn't work as good as Remote->HU->CarPC (because of the Ir I built and Girder Plugin that run at highest priority cause a short pause when switch song).
Overall rating: I give it a 10 as it works the way it was design for and first of it kind ;).