Parrot Asteroid + UNIKA in my Nissan 350z

So I recently changed cars from a Volvo S60 to a Nissan 350z Roadster.  The 350z came with the GT pack which includes a Bose sound systems however surprisingly the standard double DIN head unit had a tape deck!  It also had a 6 disk changer but no support of MP3 playback, something I needed to change.

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The GT pack also means there is a built in Sat Nav so there was no need to get a large double DIN unit with full touch screen and navigation.  I decided instead to remove the double DIN, install a double to single DIN harness and force in a single DIN head unit, one with built-in Bluetooth hands-free, but which one?

Actually the decision for me was easy.  For a long time I’ve been using Parrot handsfree units, CK-3100 and MK-i9200 specifically.  These are essentially ‘bolt-ons’ to the installed head unit.  Since I installed my last Parrot handsfree unit, the MKi-9200, Parrot have released a range of head units with Bluetooth handsfree embedded as standard. The unit I went for was the Android powered Parrot ASTEROID, and I found a promotional pack including their UNIKA steering wheel controller on Amazon UK.

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Parrot ASTEROID

The Parrot ASTEROID is an Android (1.5 Cupcake) powered device which has no CD (or tape) playback.  But it does have;

  • Large 3.2 inch display.
  • Support for MP3 playback from either an SD card or USB thumb drive. 
  • Support for GPS via a USB GPS puck.
  • Bluetooth v2.1+ EDR; Profiles: HFP, Bluetooth Stereo (A2DP), OPP, PBAP, HSP,SPP and AVRCP
    • Voice Calls and Stereo Music playback.
  • Install additional Apps.
    • APRSDroid
  • Decent Speaker output options.
  • Steering wheel controls (via UNIKA).

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UNIKA

The UNIKA is an interface which sits between the cars steering wheel controls and most Parrot products.  It supports CAN-Bus, K-BUS and resistive steering controls.

Steering-Wheel-Interface

In summary I initially had problems getting the system (Asteroid + UNIKA + Steering Wheel Buttons) to work, this was mainly due to lack of documentation for how to wire it up.  It was not a real problem as I had the wiring harness diagram from the Nissan 350Z so connecting up the UNIKA to the steering wheel was quite easy.

Parrot do have a 350z installation guide which I’ve made available here, however I couldn’t make that work so done my own method, but another 350z owner called Adrian emailed me and he got his working as per the Parrot guide.

Doing it my way I started by checking the steering wheel wiring and connections in the Nissan 350Z service manual.  I’ve shown with the Blue and Green lines how I wired it up to the steering wheel controls to my Unika, I had to use an additional resistor to combine the 2 separate circuits of the controls into a single sense wire to the UNIKA.

350z_UNIKA_Connection

This is how the Parrot interface documentation, which wasn’t so clear to start with, after I’ve again added my wiring solution. Note the diagram below is of the back of connector M39, i.e. the side the wires go into the plug.

UNIKA_Connections

I never got a good photo before I Sugru’ed up the connector.  The scotch connectors at the back are the Green GND and Blue V1 connections, under the white Sugru over the front is the 270Ohm resistor between pins 32 and 24 of M39.  It really is very simple when you know the correct wires.  Once it’s wired up follow the UNIKA manual to program the specific steering wheel control vs function.

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