EC Offroad CarPlay Solutions For 2016+ 200 Series LC (NEW SEPT 2020 MODEL) (1 Viewer)

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oh intestering. and that's the new version huh? Sad to hear, as I've been thinking about adding that one....
Yes in a 2021 cruiser. The worst part it... if you need nav, you may lose Google or Waze but then you can't even access the native navigation on the Toyota unit
 

greynolds

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Yes in a 2021 cruiser. The worst part it... if you need nav, you may lose Google or Waze but then you can't even access the native navigation on the Toyota unit
Sorry you're running into problems.

Are you absolutely certain it's the newer Sept 2020 version of the EC Offroad unit? Do you happen to have any photos of it? And it sounds like you had someone install it for you - it's certainly possible that one of the cables has something like a bent pin or simply wasn't installed correctly.

I will say that I had lots of issues similar to what you're describing with the earlier version of EC Offroad's unit in my 2020 LC and it eventually completely bricked when I followed the procedure they provided me with to do a factory reset to attempt to revive it. The Sept 2020 version of their hardware has been extremely reliable so far and I think you're the first to report any significant issues.

But it sounds like your best option is to remove it and, if you still have the energy to try again, swap it for a replacement. If you're even remotely handy, removing/installing it yourself is really pretty simple, especially if you already paid someone to run things like the microphone cable to an ideal location.

Your 2021 LC's dash and infotainment should be identical to my 2020, so there shouldn't be any compatibility issues.
 
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Sorry you're running into problems.

Are you absolutely certain it's the newer Sept 2020 version of the EC Offroad unit? Do you happen to have any photos of it? And it sounds like you had someone install it for you - it's certainly possible that one of the cables has something like a bent pin or simply wasn't installed correctly.

I will say that I had lots of issues similar to what you're describing with the earlier version of EC Offroad's unit in my 2020 LC and it eventually completely bricked when I followed the procedure they provided me with to do a factory reset to attempt to revive it. The Sept 2020 version of their hardware has been extremely reliable so far and I think you're the first to report any significant issues.

But it sounds like your best option is to remove it and, if you still have the energy to try again, swap it for a replacement. If you're even remotely handy, removing/installing it yourself is really pretty simple, especially if you already paid someone to run things like the microphone cable to an ideal location.

Your 2021 LC's dash and infotainment should be identical to my 2020, so there shouldn't be any compatibility issues.
I would think. I mean it was purchased directly from ec in January. They have not been very helpful honestly. Tell me to call them...which I'm unable through Verizon or VoiP. I would think it could be reflashed. I do not have images of the actual unit.
 

greynolds

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I would think. I mean it was purchased directly from ec in January. They have not been very helpful honestly. Tell me to call them...which I'm unable through Verizon or VoiP. I would think it could be reflashed. I do not have images of the actual unit.
Reflashing won't fix it if it's a cabling issue. And yes, their support is definitely less than ideal - unfortunately that seems to be typical as people seem to complain even more about support from Grom.
 

greynolds

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I suppose another question is - have you installed any additional Android apps, tweaked any of the Android settings, etc.? Or are you using it as delivered with CarPlay / Android Auto?
 
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I suppose another question is - have you installed any additional Android apps, tweaked any of the Android settings, etc.? Or are you using it as delivered with CarPlay / Android Auto?
Not at all. I have an android phone. All I want is Waze and Spotify. I don't use anything else
 

DomSmith

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@ZRTactical -

I’m disappointed to hear about all your troubles. Definitely frustrating especially when you invest so much time and money.

My box works 99% of the time as I would expect. Occasionally I have to connect from my phone when it doesn’t auto connect but that’s about it. The only other issue is BT connecting to the “local host” (EC Box) for calls instead of the Toyota System. Another easy manual fix.

I only use CarPlay at this point. Are you having these issues using Android Auto?

Maybe you can test an iPhone using zlink to isolate? Or maybe you’ve already done that.
 
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@ZRTactical -

I’m disappointed to hear about all your troubles. Definitely frustrating especially when you invest so much time and money.

My box works 99% of the time as I would expect. Occasionally I have to connect from my phone when it doesn’t auto connect but that’s about it. The only other issue is BT connecting to the “local host” (EC Box) for calls instead of the Toyota System. Another easy manual fix.

I only use CarPlay at this point. Are you having these issues using Android Auto?

Maybe you can test an iPhone using zlink to isolate? Or maybe you’ve already done that.
It will glitch before the phone is plugged in. Like the background android will freeze. It's independent of the phone.
 

DomSmith

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I know you said the guys at EC have not been much help but I’ve been meaning to ask them if there’s a hard reset option like the previous box. The old one would hard reset with a certain button combination.

Any chance you asked them that?
 
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I know you said the guys at EC have not been much help but I’ve been meaning to ask them if there’s a hard reset option like the previous box. The old one would hard reset with a certain button combination.

Any chance you asked them that?
Yep. Mode and volume down. Doesn't work
 
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Sounds like the Android unit pretty much bricked. Not sure if software issue or wiring led to it. If you have the initial email you used to order, it would be nice to see how they've described the unit , which could help us see if it's the new or older one. I think they still sell the older one as it had different functionality, could be y you've ordered the previous version by mistake.

I think at the least, they should send a replacement unit. If not responsive by email, I would try to find them on social media (do they have a Facebook page? Active on other LC forums or fb groups? They should be backing a unit that completely bricked if it was installed and used properly.
 
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Sounds like the Android unit pretty much bricked. Not sure if software issue or wiring led to it. If you have the initial email you used to order, it would be nice to see how they've described the unit , which could help us see if it's the new or older one. I think they still sell the older one as it had different functionality, could be y you've ordered the previous version by mistake.

I think at the least, they should send a replacement unit. If not responsive by email, I would try to find them on social media (do they have a Facebook page? Active on other LC forums or fb groups? They should be backing a unit that completely bricked if it was installed and used properly.
Here is the invoice.

I've been communicating through Facebook.

SmartSelect_20210424-135322_Word.jpg
 

greynolds

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I don’t remember the reset sequence for the old unit off the top of my head, but maybe give that a try. If that resets the unit, you know you’ve got the older version.
 

greynolds

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Another option is to exit CarPlay or Android Auto and post a photo of the EC unit’s home app launcher screen. It’s very different on the 2 versions of the hardware.
 
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Another option is to exit CarPlay or Android Auto and post a photo of the EC unit’s home app launcher screen. It’s very different on the 2 versions of the hardware.
Thanks for all the help guys. I really appreciate it!
Here is the launcher screen

SmartSelect_20210424-141358_Photos.jpg
 

greynolds

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I just ran an experiment regarding having the CarPlay functionality work while simultaneously having an Internet connection via one of the USB ports. I had asked Michael at EC Offroad about doing this, and he told me it would hopelessly confuse the Zlnk CarPlay app. It looks like he was incorrect on this point.

In addition to the EC Offroad unit and the wireless CarPlay connection to my iPhone via Zlink, I connected a StarTech Ethernet to USB adapter (part number USB31000S) to one of the USB ports on the EC Offroad unit and then connected the Ethernet port on the USB adapter to an unused port on the network switch in my basement (using a long Ethernet cable).

CarPlay continued to work just fine and the EC Offroad unit also obtained an Internet connection that showed up in the Android settings as an Ethernet connection (so in addition to the WiFi settings). I was able to open native Android apps that require an Internet connection and use them just fine and then switch back to CarPlay without any issues.

I then walked far enough away with my iPhone for the CarPlay connection to drop. When I walked back to the car, Zlink didn't automatically reconnect to the iPhone. However, going into the iPhone Bluetooth settings and selecting the entry for the EC Offroad box (mine shows up as "BNR-EOAC") initiated a reconnection and CarPlay started right up again.

I then tested several combinations of turning Bluetooth and WiFi off on the iPhone to force CarPlay to lose the connection. Generally speaking, Zlink doesn't automatically reconnect for CarPlay, but the same solution of going into the iPhone Bluetooth settings and selecting the entry for the EC Offroad box worked every time to restore the CarPlay connection.

I don't know if this same trick would work using a USB to WiFi adapter and I don't know if the unit would be smart enough to be able to give you a user interface in settings to select the WiFi connection and enter the password. However, I'm very confident that an external WiFi access point with an Ethernet port that can be connected to the USB to Ethernet adapter or a MOFI adapter (for cellular data service) with an Ethernet output that can be connected should work just fine and allow simultaneous use of CarPlay and native Android apps with Internet access as the Android unit shouldn't see any of those options any differently than the network switch I connected to.

@DomSmith - depending on what combinations will actually work, this may give you a way to have a simultaneous connection from the Android box to a WiFi OBDII reader that can work with the Torque Pro app. I don't have the right adapters to test with, but it could even be possible to use 2 USB adapters with one providing Internet access and the other providing an extra WiFi connection for an OBDII reader.

I'm going to order a few more adapters and gizmos to experiment with and will report back with my findings.
 

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