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1st Gen 2003 Alphard theatre sound system, cameras and OBD

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Hello fellow gen 1 Alphard owners. We've had our 2003 Alphard since early 2016, but first time posting on the forum (not sure it was around back then, or at least I don't remember coming across it). Anyway, better late than never, as they say!😂

Anyway, back in 2018 I replaced the head unit with an android one (XTrons I think). It was a bit of a slog, but didn't do too badly as rear camera and most (I'll come back to that) speakers worked and even got steering wheel controls.

Unfortunately, I think I jumped too soon as initial joy turned into frustration as it became clear that the functionality of the unit (and to some extent android at the time) just wasn't up to the task and the 7 inch screen size (to slot into the space left by the original) and unresponsive screen compounded the issue.

From what I can see now, from the latest crop from T'eyes, Mekede and the like, Android Head Units look like they've come of age, with large responsive screens and decent ram and processing power, so my thoughts have turned to replacing the head unit again. But at the same time, I thought I'd try and resolve some  issues which I'd appreciate any help/pointers/advice on;

1. Connecting the centre speaker. So our Alphard has the theatre speaker system and while I think I got most speakers working the first time I replaced the HU, the centre speaker is not. It's not the end of the world, but the new HUs I'm considering are capable of 5 channels (FL, FR, RL, RR & C) and, if I'm honest, it niggles me that there is something that the car came with that we're not using. So if anyone knows where the wires for the centre speaker are and/or what they look like, their colour, how to connect etc. I'd appreciate it. I did see a wiring diagram on here, but I couldn't really make sense of it.

2. Connecting the front camera. Again, never got this connected or working. However, while at first I assumed I just needed to find the wires and connect them properly, these days I'm not so sure we actually have one. Did all gen 1 Alphard s have them? Looking at the front, I can't tell if it's a camera or a placeholder for one. Either way, given the age of tha car and the likely picture quality, I'm half inclined to try and buy and fit a new HD one, but looking at the front grille, there doesn't seem to be any way to do this easily/discretely, as cameras I've seen tend to be a 1 inch cube (and there isn't a convenient hole of the equivalent size). There also don't seem to be any specially designed ones, like there are for other makes, so would be interested to hear from anyone who's done it.

3. Other odds and ends

A - replacing the rear camera with a better hd one. This seems more straightforward than the front, but still would be interested to hear from anyone who has done it and any pitfalls to avoid.

B - fitting and using an obd(2) reader and external tpms (to show on the head unit). I hear that not all OBD2 readers work, which ones do?also there's the choice between Bluetooth, WiFi or usb. And where does it go?

C - Canbus decoder - does the 1st gen Alphard have Canbus? If so, do I need a decoder, where would I get one and what would it give me?

Sorry for the long email, but appreciate any help/tips/opinion given!👍🙂






Edited by TallGuy
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7 hours ago, TallGuy said:

I hear that not all OBD2 readers work, which ones do?

The Ancel JP700 works. It will give you the DTC that is illuminating the MIL (check engine light). Beyond that you need Techstream running on a laptop with an MVCI cable.

7 hours ago, TallGuy said:

does the 1st gen Alphard have Canbus?

Certianly not the 2003MY as I know from my own experience.


You can see my project notes here in case it helps but I don't have the complication of the theatre sound system.


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Welcome to the Forum. I'm pleased that some folks are having success with sound systems , but as I have posted before, I'm no expert with fitting different devices to replace the original Japanese equipment. We are quite happy with what we can get out of the O/E and our Dewalt Site radio picks up most of the DAB stations, and it fits nicely between the front seats.

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You do have a front camera, it is a split lens that gives a view to the left and right at the same time for use at "blind" junctions, not very good quality and the oem cameras are 6volt. I changed both cameras on my 2003 V6, the front requires a bit of modifying of the grille to fit but it gives a good view when parking www.amazon.co.uk/Dynavsal-Camera-Parking-Highlander-Corolla/dp/B07518B3DP  The rear is fully adjustable and mounted on a small angle bracket and fitted in the same place as the original then connected to a wifi transmitter behind the tailgate trim and the receiver is in the centre console just below the head unit www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07T3C7VHB/ the reason for the wifi unit was because I had trouble locating the correct wires for the camera at the head unit. With the theatre sound there is an amp under the passenger or drivers  seat that powers the speakers, depending on the model it could have upto 18 speakers. The front camera button on my steering wheel does not switch it on/off as the replacement Pioneer head unit has that facility plus I fitted a 3 position switch to control either camera and the dipping of the near side exterior mirror when reversing

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