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I finally got around to installing all this stuff that has been here for weeks. My wife has been out of town in the vehicle for over a month. Well, here's my experience so far...

First, GM/Buick has a lot to learn about quality engineering. You can really tell the difference in vehicle quality when you start tearing one apart and see how the stuff that you don't normally see is made and put together. All cars these days have a lot more plastic and "cheap" looking assemblies when you look behind the scenes, but there are still pretty large variations among manufacturers as to just how much attention to detail they have. It is clear that cutting cost was #1 on GM's list. Not necessarily a bad thing, as you get a **** of a lot of vehicle for the price paid... but it really seems that the "luxury" is only skin deep (if that, at times). Still my choice over any minivan on the market, but I digress.

OK, rant time. What the **** is up with that spare tire jack? It's very obvious that the jack is put into place before interior panels are installed, since there are no scratches and marring of the panels that would otherwise HAVE to be there. The thing only fits with a bright light, plenty of time, and some scraped knuckles. I'd hate to be the guy out in the rain at night trying to get it out to change a tire... call OnStar I guess and just sit there. Just absolutely atrocious ergonomics engineering.

Unfortunately, the XM receiver box is only accessible after removing the tire jack. And then you realize that the receiver box was put into a large assembly, and the assembly placed into the side before interior panels are installed. Without ripping apart half of the rear of the Enclave's interior, it is very very difficult to get to. The harness plug that you need to remove has a locking clip that is on the other side of the plug... that's right, it's sandwiched right between the harness and the external body sheet metal. It took half an hour just to remove the harness plug.

So I got the iPod pick installed, and routed the wire up to the center console (it just makes it there). Comes up through the bottom of the "drink cooler" storage area, and lies in the little coin/junk tray. Pretty handy place. Sound is good, user interface could be better. Probably as good as it gets for a non-GM product, and even then I'd have to see the PAL in action before I'd think it will be any better. Doesn't seem to have an easy way to do a lot of the "normal" iPod stuff like random shuffle, but with some effort and practice you can navigate your way through folders by artist, genre, album, etc.

Next up was the TellPhone mic placement. I found a great place in the overhead light/homelink panel in the headliner. Remove by using a credit card under the corner... four clips hold it in, and it comes loose easily. The OnStar microphone is mounted behind the slots on the left side. On the right side are blank slots that don't go through, with some space behind to work with. A little plastic work to make matching thru-slots on the right side and trimming of internal plastic to make room for the mic, and all is well. Wire is routed to the passenger A pillar, down into the dash, behind the glove box, and to the center dash area. Completely hidden. Mic reception seems to be good there, though some have complained during calls that the gain isn't high enough. The TellPhone unit allows for the gain to be adjusted up, but I haven't done so yet. Right now, it understands voice commands well and there is little to no feedback (echo).

On to the Lockpick. Remove the trim around the radio again using a credit card at the corners, starting at the top. Pull the radio out, and marvel at how there is no room behind or underneath for these modules to be mounted! There was just enough room above for one of the three modules (tellphone unit, tellphone video adaptor, lockpick), and the lockpick was small enough to fit and had the shortest wiring harness, so there it lives. There is an access hole on the right side of the radio cavity that you can route other wiring harnesses through towards the glovebox area. Just to the left of the glovebox cavity is a pretty deep (if narrow) opening down into the dash where a lot of the wiring and modules can live. I'm still playing with placement of the main tellphone unit in that area - there are some aluminum structural elements and we've had intermittent blueetooth dropouts at times. I think there is room above the glovebox opening, but haven't played with putting the module there yet.

How does it work? The lockpick is still a mystery. There shouldn't be any auto-unlocking of features as far as I understand things, but when we put a DVD in it plays whether in motion or not on the front screen. That's fine, but the navigation does not track while you have DVD unlocked. So I'm trying to figure out if it is defaulting to that state automatically when the car is started (not cool), or when a DVD is inserted (would be cool), or if we are somehow leaving it in the "unlocked" position all the time without returning it to locked. That's probably most likely, but it isn't easy to figure out in the limited testing I've done (my wife drives the car almost exclusively, and she doesn't like me dictating "hit that button, now that other one four times, now this one..."). But it does seem to unlock what it claims it will. The button presses are a little annoying, and they don't always register (the "4 in six seconds" or whatever), but it seems that there is no better alternative. If you want to ever unlock these functions, you have to live with the button pressing routine (except maybe DVD? I'll report more later).

The biggest flop so far has been the tellphone, which is a shame because it is supposed to be perhaps the slickest unit on the market. I'd try one from Motorola or Parrot, but as of now they don't have the video interfacing that Raytel/TellPhone does, and I don't want another display/control unit mounted in the interior. Right now, it at least looks completely stock.

First, the things that work right about it... Pairing with a cellphone was painless. It took maybe ten seconds, and automagically downloaded the phonebook. Incoming calls trigger the lockpick to automatically put the radio in OnStar mode (separate volume control), mute whatever was playing, and display the call video for a ten seconds. So you see who is calling, your signal strength, and battery life, along with other info sometimes. After ten seconds the screen blanks and you get a "service rear camera" text on the screen. I suppose that is so that whatever you were watching/viewing on the screen before comes back, but the GM/lockpick combo doesn't work that way... it doesn't insert the video into a nav feed, but uses the rear camera input, so when the tellphone blanks the video there is no other signal. I wish you could set it to just keep the call info for the duration of the call - I've contacted Raytel to see if that is a software update/modification option. Call volume can be adjusted during the call from both the TellPhone unit and the radio control (which also is changing the OnStar volume level, so you have to be careful how you balance the two). Backup camera takes precedent over video when in reverse, but you still get the call audio. Voice functions work well... it recognizes my voice better than the factory OnStar system.

What is not right about it... There is a constant static noise during a call. I haven't been able to improve this much through manipulating OnStar/TellPhone volume levels because you can only change the OnStar volume so much before it is either way too loud or soft when you actually call OnStar for something, and I refuse to be constantly changing that volume setting from one to the other. RayTel's site mentions a filter for both input power and output audio for noisy/interference environments. Perhaps this would help. The bigger audio issue is a tremendously loud POP (crackle, snap, whatever) during the process of executing a voice activated command. The initial hand off of audio to the TellPhone by the lockpick is smooth... the noise is coming directly from the TellPhone unit. You get a horrible pop every time the TellPhone starts to responsd with a digitized voice (such as "the number please..." or "dialing..."). After talking to an electrical engineering buddy, I feel that this just should not be and might be a defect in the voice synthesization chip inside the TellPhone unit. I have a customer service request in asking about this issue, and I'll post more feedback later. Hopefully it is just a defective unit and can be fixed with a simple replacement. The other issue is the dropped bluetooth connectivity - probably solvable through better placement. The tough part is that the Enclave does not leave much room anywhere for stuff like this. Much like the XM tuner module in the back, you can tell that the majority of this vehicle was pre-assembled in large chunks, and then put together as big assemblies, and that during the engineering process they really didn't give a rat's ass about how you'd get access to the stuff once it was all put together. I'd hate to be the mechanic working on one of these at the dealership and have to rip the dash out entirely to get to a tiny box that should have been accessible somewhere else. I know something has to be buried deep, but the goal is to provide for a layered removal approach so that you can access things by removing the stuff superficial to them. Often you find things that have screws or clips that are only accessible from the back side, so even when you can see something you can't remove it without tearing out a large chunk of interior. Thankfully, you don't need to remove any of that stuff to do this install... you just see it as you "get in there" and I feel sorry for the people who may one day service it.

So, in summary, I have mixed feelings about this $700 package of electronics. The iPod interface works, but I'm not sure if it is really any better than just plugging in to the aux port. Since it doesn't pass video through, it is something I could take or leave. The other lockpick functions "seem" to work, if I can ever figure out the magic button combos and can tell when things should and should not be locked. The phone interface "should" be slick, if it weren't for the audio pops and noise problems. Solutions for those seem possible, so I'll just have to wait and see how it works out. Right now, my wife has the attitude that "she loves how the bluetooth phone works... if it worked!" and that she'd "be embarrassed if a friend rode with here and heard how loud the pop was and how 'rigged' it sounded."

So for now, the phone looks stock, "operates" stock as far as automagic switching and video display, but certainly does not sound stock. Sound quality on the whole is just horrible. Hopefully a replacement or something will correct this, or else the unit might be going back.
 

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I realize that I'm probably missing many excellent points that you've just made. But all I can focus on is the fact that you just ripped apart your wife's Enclave. If she managed to make it through the day without commenting then she is a better woman than I. :)
 

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Just had to say thank you for convincing me NOT to do it! This took much time and I, and I'm sure the others, appreciate you sharing it! :thumb:
 

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osli -

Did the replacement unit ever come and did that fix your issues? I'm interested in doing the same thing for my 2008 Acadia.

Help,
Keith
 

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I wished I had read the review before purchasing the devices. Luckily, I am still within the 30 day window for the return and plan to send the units back tomorrow. This is what I experienced.

I started with a professional installer who had little success in contacting Coastal Electronics for support. The units should be plug and play, but that not exactly correct. First of all with the lockpick, as mentioned there is little room in the radio compartment for the extra harnesses and lockpick box. I was able to install the GMX320 lockpick after a little time and effort. The GMX320 harness has 3 female plugs whereas the radio has 4 male plugs connected. Accordingly to the literature all you need to do is to connect the originial connectors that fit into the radio into the lockpick harness and then place the lockpick harness plugs into the radio. This works OK, but since the harness only has three plugs it takes a little bit of time to determine which of the original plugs stays in the factory radio. When I tried the lock pick device, I was able to view a DVD when the car was in motion, but was unable to unlock the navigation system where I could scroll through my address listings once the car was in drive. I don't need to watch a DVD with the car in motion, but it would be good to select a name in the address book past the first page without stopping the car. When I tried the key seqence of pressing the window lock out button followed by 4 presses of the mute button, the lockpick is supposed to cycle on and off. When I do this, I get a message on the NAV screen that reads "Service Rear Vision System". Not sure what is causing this error, but I was never able to use the lockpick as advertised. Since I didn't have any luck with the lockpick, I gave up on trying to install the bluetooth telephone hookup for the Tellphone 5000vi.

I thought I would though use the ipod hookup, but was unable to find the XM tuner until I read your review. These devices may work great in other GM products like the Cadillac Escalade, but as to the Buick Enclave it's not an easy retrofit. I am still looking for that magical set of devices that will enable us to have a bluetooth phone much like you would find in the Acura MDX. So far no luck!!! Using a professional installer might help, but mine gave up trying to install the devices after 3 hours. :confused:
 

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hrreece,

CoastalETech has a video on the Tellphone/GMC-320 install.

http://www.coastaletech.com/TellPhone5000demo.htm

Doesn't seem to be too difficult. I'd be curious to know the experience of your installer.

osli,

It "sounds" like you may have an impedence variance between the 5000iv and the stereo. Did you try using a hi/lo converter to get rid of the "pop"? With a lot of other bluetooth options, you need to use the converter to adjust the speaker outputs to RCA inputs. It seems like the 5000 is already meant for RCA inputs but the problem your experiencing seems to be centered around the audio.
 

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I just checked the 5000vi manual. They mention connecting to speakers directly or using a ~5W external speaker (purchased separately). This is the same as most bluetooth car kits. The PROBLEM with that is there IS an impedance difference between RCA inputs and speaker inputs. I believe this is the culprit for your impedance issue.

Here's a link to another bluetooth install that required a hi/lo converter. Note the kit used was designed with a 5W external speaker.

http://ridersontheweb.com/avalanche/bluetooth.htm
 
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