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Discussion Starter #1
So, I have a 2012 JKU with the standard radio 130 and uConnect and no sound system.

The radio sucks because it doesn’t dial European fm frequencies after I brought the car over here. I don’t need Sirius sat over here.

uConnect also feels like a nuisance, whatever it is supposed to do.

To replace the radio, get rid of uConnect, retain steering wheel controls, what is the gear I need? I believe this Maestro product with iDatalink is overblown for my purpose? I don’t need data screens and they say European radios are not compatible anyways.

Instead of uConnect I guess a modern multimedia radio allows me to directly connect my iPhone with all amenities replacing uConnect.

Thanks Felix
 

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I just put a Kenwood 994s w/ Maestro unit in my 12 JKUS replacing a 430N. I'm about to start a write-up now, so stay tuned. Works great... kept steering wheel controls. Didn't enable Uconnect (I'll explain why in the post, but well documented).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. Certainly looking forward to that.

I thought/hoped I might not even need that Maestro unit just to retain steering wheel controls.

Maestro is complicated for me because it doesn’t work with European radios.

Do I need a CAN adapter in any event (for what functionality exactly?) and is there a simpler version that is not so picky about the installed radio?
 

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Not sure I follow. Maestro/Steering wheel controls are only that - controls. Not sure why, Euro or not, this would make any difference. It has nothing to do with the tuner.

You do need a head unit that specifies that you can retain steering wheel controls. If yours doesn't, you're out of luck.

If you have controls now, you should be able to retain them. The buttons, I believe, communicate thru the CAN bus, which is what the Maestro then reads and sends to the radio.

You can retain Uconnect for streaming, but I didn't need to, as I now have 2 connected USB up front. The USB in the console is still connected - but with Uconnect turned off, can't be used for streaming, but should still be ok for power.

So what I did, technically "gutted" the Uconnect. I could probably have removed it entirely. I disabled Uconnect on the Maestro.

Not sure if the PAC cable is just a Maestro without the Uconnect connectivity or not.
 

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The signal for the steering wheel controls come through the network, so you need a Maestro or something similar. I think that PAC also makes a steering wheel control adapter. The nice thing about the Maestro is the ease of setting it up and then it just works. Load the frimware, connect the wires and plug it in.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, I looked into that PAC RP4 and that night be the solution.

The problem with Maestro is that the firmware flash requires a specific radio model but Maestro only support North American units. They refuse to support European instals.

I need a European radio for FM and DAB and map data, but the European ones do not have this iDatalink port that Maestro uses.

So it seems the PAC unit is my choice.

I guess that will make uConnect obsolete from every angle. The phone connects with the radio and the steering wheel buttons will re reassigned to the radio. The radio provides two USB ports, that replace the USB port in the center console.

Is uConnect a part of the factory radio or is that a stand alone module?

Thanks, Felix
 

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Thanks, I looked into that PAC RP4 and that night be the solution.

The problem with Maestro is that the firmware flash requires a specific radio model but Maestro only support North American units. They refuse to support European instals.
I am surprised that there is no alternative for European radios.

Is uConnect a part of the factory radio or is that a stand alone module?
On a 130 uConnect is an add on module. I am not sure if steering wheel uConnect buttons will interface with the RP4
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It seems the steering wheel buttons would interface with PAC according to their manual.

Where do I find that uConnect module? Do you advise to kept the module in? It seems uConnect is between the vehicle connector and the factory radio. So I guess uConnect just goes out with the radio and I can use the space in the a pillar for the radio mic and reuse the external usb port.

Regarding the radio: I was very surprised too how complicated things are about the head unit. US radios dial fewer FM frequencies than European ones. With the current 130 listening to radio in Europe is a PITA because you cannot dial or loose stations all the time. Some radios allow you to toggle between a US and EU setup, though. Then, European digital radio is entirely different to US. Then, EU radios don't have the datalink so many features of Maestro just won't work, if it will work at all. Still, I don't want to use a US head unit because of all the radio limitations... sigh...
 
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