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Old 07-25-2020, 02:48 PM   #1
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how to add an external audio source to Axerra

These questions are for anybody who is familiar with the 2017 E450 dashboard and/or the Axxera AV615BMH radio.

Our Freedom Elite 23H has a 40" Seiki TV mounted in the over-cab bunk on the passenger side. But, the audio is awful through the tiny speakers in the flat screen and there isn't enough volume to hear anything when the AC is running. I would like to feed the TV audio through the camper's sound system.

I decided that I need to hard-wire the audio output from the TV to the external audio input on the Axxera. No video - just audio.
According to the user manual that I got from Axxera, there are 9 RCA jacks on the back of the unit. Two of them are labeled L-IN and R-IN. If I'm right, these will allow me to select AV-IN from the touch screen. I just hope they are allowed to work when the vehicle is moving.

I've watched a YouTube video on how to pry off the dash trim, so the front of the Axxera is now exposed. I can't quite get my hands behind the radio, so my next step is to remove the 7mm mounting screws and pull it out slightly.

I bought this 15-foot dual-male to dual-male audio cable from Amazon for $13.49. It will easily reach from the TV to the radio. Now, all I have to do is figure out how to run it under the bunk floor, over the headliner or under the door trim, down inside the windshield trim, behind the dash, and over to the Axerra.

Does anybody have any advice on the easiest way to do that? I'm going to test things before I started tearing out trim panels.

While I'm in there, I may want to do something about the terrible FM radio reception. Has anybody found an FM antenna that will outperform the stock antenna from Ford? How is that thing supposed to work with a metal roof over it? I'd like to find a way to tie the Axerra into my TV antenna.
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Old 07-25-2020, 04:29 PM   #2
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A $100 replacement TV or a $100 soundbar is the easiest.
The axxera speakers aren't placed to be anything but annoying with the TV hooked to them.

I would not take the path you're taking.

And
You're dealing with a much hated axerra worthless, or soon to be worthless, head unit.
An android 10 inch screen radio head is $159 for a great unit.
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Old 07-25-2020, 05:02 PM   #3
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I think I agree with "DuckY: a better TV might be easier, and it can certainly offer other advantages as well...
But please let us know how this all works out for you: good luck!
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Old 07-25-2020, 05:09 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ducksface View Post
A $100 replacement TV or a $100 soundbar is the easiest. The axxera speakers aren't placed to be anything but annoying with the TV hooked to them. I would not take the path you're taking.

And
You're dealing with a much hated axerra worthless, or soon to be worthless, head unit. An android 10 inch screen radio head is $159 for a great unit.
I'm sure that is all great advice, except for a few points:
- my post was asking how to pull a cable from point A to point B. You didn't offer any useful advice on that issue.
- your solutions cost $259, combined, and a ton of time to install.
- my Seiki TV is 40". It barely fits under the roof and it scrapes the bunk mattress when I swing it into travel position. There is no place for a sound bar unless I velcro it to the ceiling near the AC unit
- any replacement TV would have the same crappy speakers

I will investigate the head unit you recommend but a new head unit won't solve my TV issue. I am not a fan of the Axxera but anything that replaces it would have to fit nicely in the dash and come with backup cam support.

Care to provide a model number or a link to a discussion?
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Old 07-25-2020, 05:12 PM   #5
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I'll withdraw.
It wasn't a definitive.
It was said in a way so some extrapolation could be done.
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Old 07-25-2020, 05:16 PM   #6
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You've mentioned perhaps replacing the Axxera... My rig has a Kenwood system in it that would fit perfectly!
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Old 07-25-2020, 05:27 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Wiley1 View Post
I'm sure that is all great advice, except for a few points:
- my post was asking how to pull a cable from point A to point B. You didn't offer any useful advice on that issue.
- your solutions cost $259, combined, and a ton of time to install.
- my Seiki TV is 40". It barely fits under the roof and it scrapes the bunk mattress when I swing it into travel position. There is no place for a sound bar unless I velcro it to the ceiling near the AC unit
- any replacement TV would have the same crappy speakers

I will investigate the head unit you recommend but a new head unit won't solve my TV issue. I am not a fan of the Axxera but anything that replaces it would have to fit nicely in the dash and come with backup cam support.

Care to provide a model number or a link to a discussion?
I run a 1/8" headphone cable from the TV to the AUX in on my Axxera radio that's right on the front. We just plug it in when we are parked and unplug when traveling. Does your head unit have an aux in on the front face?
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Old 07-25-2020, 08:04 PM   #8
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I agree with Petefoss. I have the same head unit, and it does have an aux port on the front. I also have an Axxera 40" TV in the RV in the overhead bunk. I checked and it does have an aux port on the back. I think an aux port is pretty common. If your TV has a aux port, the aux cable would do what you are wanting to resolve your sound issue. I know this isn't a "hidden wire" solution. You'll just have an exposed cable running down to the head unit while your camping. Wouldn't take more than a minute to plug in/unplug.
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Old 07-25-2020, 08:10 PM   #9
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Also, the headphone out signal is not a "line out". It depends on the tv volume setting so you set the Axxera at a reasonable level and adjust volume with the TV remote. Rather than deal with the Axxera remote as well.

I do something similar at home with a pair of Bluetooth RX/TX units for a remote speaker. But it adds a delay I find obnoxious if in watching the tv vs background noise in my shop
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Old 07-25-2020, 08:26 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by petefoss View Post
Also, the headphone out signal is not a "line out". It depends on the tv volume setting so you set the Axxera at a reasonable level and adjust volume with the TV remote.
I was testing it today and you are correct. The headphone jack behind the Seiki is controlled by the TV volume. My Seiki also has an optical-out jack. I was thinking of getting a $10 device from Ebay that converts the digital audio to L/R analog.

But, my Axerra is one of the newer models after they deleted the remote control sensor. I like your idea better: set the Axxera to midrange and use the TV remote.

I'll have to see what happens when the cell phone rings and overrides the Axerra AV-in audio with BlueTooth audio.
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Old 07-25-2020, 08:27 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
You've mentioned perhaps replacing the Axxera... My rig has a Kenwood system in it that would fit perfectly!
Model number?
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Old 07-25-2020, 08:37 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ducksface View Post
I'll withdraw.
It wasn't a definitive.
It was said in a way so some extrapolation could be done.
I went to college, but I am going to have consult an online dictionary for some of those big words and abstract concepts.

Seriously, if you have a model number of an Android head unit with backup cam, I'd like to take a hard look at it. Maybe it will even have an optical audio input.

I don't need it to play DVD's. Just get good FM reception and sound amazing. I'm sure any Android box would have phone mirroring for navigation.

If it could handle two BlueTooth devices at the same time, that would be bonus. Axerra can't do that.
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Old 07-25-2020, 08:41 PM   #13
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If I was buying new I'd look for a head unit that supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Much superior to mirroring.
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Old 08-05-2020, 08:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducksface View Post
A $100 replacement TV or a $100 soundbar is the easiest.
The axxera speakers aren't placed to be anything but annoying with the TV hooked to them.

I would not take the path you're taking.

And
You're dealing with a much hated axerra worthless, or soon to be worthless, head unit.
An android 10 inch screen radio head is $159 for a great unit.
My rv is at the stereo shop now. Having the Sony touchscreen put in. I’ll post pics tonight.
Axxerra is very low quality although the TVs have a pretty clear picture. Samsung smart tv is the way I went. Rv had a WiFiRanger on the roof. Got a SIM card to have cell data plan. It boosts WiFi signals really well when they are available. WiFiRanger service department is top notch. They send me the upgrade package for 60$ an I was up an running
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Old 08-05-2020, 09:06 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Mrtbone49 View Post
My rv is at the stereo shop now. Having the Sony touchscreen put in. Iíll post pics tonight.
I'm in the process of ordering a new head unit right now.
I think I want Android 10 with a 10 or 10.1" screen. Would like to keep it under $250. Must have back-up cam input. Don't care about CD or DVD because we have those covered on the two TVs. Can take or leave Nav.

I have a Sirius receiver with lifetime service. Would be nice to get that integrated.

What else should I be looking for?

Which Sony model did you pick?
I'll be watching to see how you like it.
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Old 08-06-2020, 03:36 AM   #16
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This is it. Its pretty nice. Simple dashboard.
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Old 08-06-2020, 11:57 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Mrtbone49 View Post
This is it. Its pretty nice. Simple dashboard.
Looks great! But, what is it?
Model number?
Price?
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Old 08-06-2020, 12:04 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Wiley1 View Post
Looks great! But, what is it?
Model number?
Price?
So you started with a wired solution, balked at replacing the TV, and insist on having multiple bluetooth connections to the head unit (a rare capability)? Video in for a backup camera is on almost all head unit now.

I would have kept it simple and just put a bluetooth transmitter on the TV for use when camped when the A/C is running. I'm not sure why you need your phone connected to the Axerra when not traveling.
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Old 08-06-2020, 01:07 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
So you started with a wired solution, balked at replacing the TV, and insist on having multiple bluetooth connections to the head unit (a rare capability)?.
That's right. I am still implementing the "wired solution". But, I'm simultaneously exploring whether this Axxera should be trashed while the dashboard is torn down. I am also running a new 93 ohm antenna cable to the radio from the King pre-amp. One tear-down - three upgrades.

If you've been following along.... you will remember that there is nothing wrong with my 40" Seiko TV.
Replacing it wouldn't solve anything because any replacement TV would suffer the same deficiency.

I may not have mentioned that I have a Windows-10 laptop semi-permanently installed in the overhead compartment behind the passenger seat, next to the Blu-Ray player. The laptop is connected to the TV by HDMI and controlled by a BlueTooth mouse and keyboard. This will provide many new capabilities that I haven't full explored yet. But, the most glaring benefit is the ability to feed laptop audio through the coach's 5-channel sound system by way of the TV. Of course, all that needs to work whether or not the coach is in motion.

Are you going to tell me that's a bad idea, too?
Or, perhaps it just isn't the way you would do it?
Regardless of what you would do in your MH, this is what I am going to do in my MH.

Most likely, my next head unit will not have a DVD or CD player. I'm sure you can appreciate the benefit of wired audio in that situation.

Multiple BT connections to the radio would be useful if only to have two phones connected at the same time. You never know which one is going to ring next. But, if I find a radio that has all the other features I want, I can live without that one.
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Old 08-19-2020, 11:22 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducksface View Post
An android 10 inch screen radio head is $159 for a great unit.
I've searched for three weeks but I can't find anything like what you're describing, new or used, on any continent.

Perhaps I'm being too picky, but.... so far, everything I've seen is missing something:
  • no double DIN
  • no HD radio
  • no front audio input for my portable Sirius receiver
  • no rear aux audio input for my TV
  • no Android Auto
  • no Android ver 9.1 or newer
  • no 80w RMS speaker outputs
  • no 10" screen
  • no touchscreen
  • no BlueTooth
  • price not under $350

Don't need DVD or Nav. Just want great sound.

Unless you can tell me where to look,
I think I am going to have to suffer with the Axerra for a while longer.
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