Tag Archives: Audio

Pumpkin Android player, 8 months on

Well it’s been 8 months already using this unit so maybe it’s time to say a bit on what it’s been like to live with.

Overall it’s been a good investment. It’s done everything it’s promised so far with few complaints.

So what have been the positives?

The sound quality is good and it has enough volume for all situations.

It runs Android apps great although there’s really only a couple I use on the move.

The interface is fine and fluid with no lag.

It looks cool with its blue back-lit buttons.

It starts up pretty quickly and I like having the Nissan logo displayed while it’s booting.

Integration with the buses steering wheel controls is a great feature.

Here are the negatives then…

Often poor radio reception.

The buttons sometimes seem to take a couple of presses to register.

Can’t enable Mock locations in Android so I can’t use my external GPS receiver.

Technical support is pretty poor with them just quoting the manual, or saying x is not supported in this version.

It’s lost paired Bluetooth devices a couple of times.

Only DVD can output to external devices and not movies played from SD etc.

Final thoughts: I would buy one again as this one is fine for what I need and they will only improve with newer versions of Android. It’s a shame the external outputs are only for DVD (actually they also output what is coming into the input but the sound is only sent to the rear speakers for the latter). Not being able to use an external GPS receiver is my biggest gripe.

DigiHUD Speedometer Pro
DigiHUD Speedometer Pro



Sumvision Cyclone Micro 4

I recently bought a Sumvision Cyclone Micro 4 multimedia player so that we can watch movies from SD/USB/HDD if out on a long trip.


This thing is pretty small and neat so here are my pro’s and con’s (so far):


  • Small
  • power, AV out, optical out and HDMI connectors are all at the back
  • Powered by USB, comes with a mains plug and cable
  • Simple interface and controls
  • Remote control (ir)
  • Plays a lot of file formats
  • NTSC or PAL
  • Miracast and many more features


  • SD card slot and USB port are on the side, limiting where it can be mounted. The front only has the ir sensor so I’m sure there would be room
  • Auto-on when powered up, stopping the Pumpkin playing music etc through the rear audio channels. A con for me but may not be for you
  • Curved bottom could make mounting to flat surfaces trickier
  • Generates noise through the AV IN line, making annoying buzzing sounds when navigating the menus
  • Can’t power up a 2.5″ laptop HDD, would need externally powered drives

I managed to fit it today and whilst doing so found a problem with my bus’s AV.

Previously I had just run a single RCA (yellow) to the middle row socket so that the Pumpkin could output video to the bus’s screens and drive the speakers itself. Worked fine, but with the Cyclone I thought I’d try to connect it directly to the sockets independently of the Pumpkin. Found that no matter what I pressed up front or on the AV remote I could get no sound from the speakers. The Cyclone was playing sound fine as I’d just connected it to the Pumpkin’s AV IN.

So my plan to just put the Cyclone in the back somewhere and plug it in when required went out of the window.

Now I have it connected to the Pumpkin’s AV IN plugs, and it works on all three screens. I’ve moved my camera feed to ‘CAM IN’ but it needs 12v to the reverse wire to switch to that input so connecting that to my video mixer’s trigger switch is a job for another day.

I removed the multiple power feed unit from the middle drawer in the console and put the Cyclone in there.



The wires come through the back of the drawer, along with the Pumpkin’s USB/iPod connectors. The power wire and my dashcam power wire both come through under the centre console.

I’ll sort out the position of the power unit soon, or come up with some solution that has several USB ports flushed with a panel.

My first job today was actually replacing the single AV cable with a three way cable which has now been a waste of time (unless I can work out what the heck is causing no sound to be played from that port).

Strangely whilst doing all this the only controls on the bus’s AV remote that work now are volume and power. I’ve lost the rear screen tilt adjustment and who knows what else that was working when I last used that remote.

Weekend jobs

I found time to glue the new foam onto my super-woofer today. It was simple enough and I was very careful to get it lined up on the cone exactly.

Once the cone had dried for a couple of hours I painted the speaker chassis with glue where the foam would touch and delicately pushed the foam straight down on to it. I placed a piece of thin carrier bag over it and put a roll of masking tape on top, luckily it was exactly the same size as the foam. Added some weight and went off to wash the bus.

Later on I removed the tape and plastic and the foam was down lovely and flat. Here it is plugged in and installed again.

Hey, guess what?! Yep, not working. Not a peep out of it since installing it again. I know that the last time I tried it I still had the Japanese factory MD player in it. I’m not sure if anything is sending sound to the rear amp…hmm, do I need to connect the Pumpkin’s Amp turn on lead to a wire somewhere?

Most of the rest of the day was spent washing it (for the first time since I’ve had it). It’s come up ok so far but areas like the tail-gate are covered in tiny specks of what looks like rusty metal which is leaving orange stains behind. Needs more clay bar and polishing. Fitted new wiper blades too.

I set about the headlights with Peek metal polish and they’ve come up really well. Wax was applied to help them stay like this for a while.

In this photo only the middle light area has been polished:

And when the lights and grilles were done (see the garage’s ‘repair’ lol):

Later on I spent some time in the head-unit’s apps getting Google and the Play Store logged in, including installing my favourite app *cough* which I’m hoping will work well enough with the built-in GPS. Once I get ‘Bluetooth GPS’ app installed I want to try connecting my Garmin GLO high-accuracy GPS receiver and see how much faster than the built in receiver it is (my bet is around 10x faster). That’s if the Pumpkin allows setting ‘allow mock locations’..

Cables. I hate (cheap) cables.

Firstly I’d just like to point out that I have no idea if the problem with the wires was caused by me soldering them, or just cheap shonky wire. The wire was breaking down a good 6 inches from where I had soldered them.

This was a set of audio cables to convert Nissan Micra to ISO plugs. Because of the restricted room behind my double-DIN head unit I unclipped the pins from the ISO connectors and connected them to the head unit harness wires with solder and heatshrink.

While I was soldering one wire I noticed that it just came away from the pin with next to no tugging or wiggling. When I tried to strip the insulation back the wire was very brittle and powdery and just seemed to crumble. I replaced this wire with some from an old Skyline engine wiring loom and that was fine.

I put the harness in the vehicle tonight and found I was only getting audio from the right channel. That’s odd, and annoying. I immediately thought of the dodgy wire and wondered if there might be more. I got my meter out and started testing continuity…to find four wires with no connection.

Each wire I replaced was all powdery and was breaking up. The harness that came with the head unit was perfect with clean bright copper wire. The dodgy wires weren’t even copper colour.

Here’s the item. I strongly suggest avoiding this one.