Category Archives: Tech Stuff

Replacing Hummer 2 Stereo

The issues I have with the factory stereo in the 2005 H2 really bothers me enough that the the first thing I would do with the truck (assuming I get one) will be replace the factory stereo.

I did a little research, and so far, the best option I can find is an Alpine based system, but it has some “issues” of it’s own.

IVA-300 Deck

For starters, I like the IVA-D300 DVD receiver with 7″ monitor. In some ways, the IVA-D901 is a better one (it has higher resolution on the screen and has 2 independent video out options instead of just one), but it also has some things that are nicer (specifically the PulseTouch and DVD direct-touch features). If a Hummer 2 actually had room to mount an Xbox, the IVA-D901 might be a better option if you had 2 LCDs in the back (one person could watch a movie and one could play a video game independently).

The system has an input for a backup camera if you want (the monitor automatically switches to it when you put the vehicle in reverse). Might not be a bad idea with such a large truck. It also has a generic A/V input which you could use for an Xbox (if there was room) or to playback video on a camcorder or something.

KCA-420i iPod Interface

I don’t really care for CD changers in the car, because I’m too lazy to actually change the discs, so I just end up with 6 CDs that I listen to forever. The KCA-420i is a nifty Alpine module that is a true iPod bridge (you can control everything from the touch-screen). This is much better than the iPod <-> BMW bridge since you are limited because it simply tricks the factory stereo into thinking the iPod is a CD changer. The Alpine option actually lets you browse by Artist, playlist, genre, etc. just like the normal iPod interface. This isn’t out yet, but is supposed to be out next month.

Metra VT-GMOS-02 Bus Interface

An interface bus to hook up the Hummer 2 electronics to the after market system. This allows the door chime, ONSTAR and audible safety warnings to continue functioning. It also allows you to utilize the Bose amplified speaker system that is already in the vehicle.

PAC SWI-X Steering Wheel Interface

This nifty little interface allows you to retain the steering wheel functions for the stereo for an after market stereo. One nice thing is that since it really just turns the steering wheel controls into an infrared remote, you could reprogram any of the steering wheel buttons to do other things if you want.

Vizualogic Video Headrests

This makes it easy. The screens are built into the headrests (the factory headrests and simply replaced with ones to match). The only problem with this is black leather is new for 2005 in the Hummer, and Vizualogic doesn’t yet have a replacement for the black interior (that I could find at least). But I’m sure they will be coming out with it shortly.

NVE-N852A Navigation

Now this is where things go terribly wrong with this setup. The in-dash monitor has nice touch-screen controls, but the navigation system is not touch-screen compatible. That means you can see the navigation on the monitor, but you actually have to control the navigation from a separate hand-held remote. This part makes the navigation system useless in my opinion (the nav system came out before the touch-screen systems). I’m *hoping* Alpine updates their navigation offering and comes out with one that is touch-screen compatible (I can only assume they would). So for me, the whole system is on hold until that happens.

The other problem is trying to “hide” all this equipment within the Hummer somewhere. I looked under the seat of a Hummer 2 at the dealer, and it didn’t look like the equipment would fit under the seat. The above setup would have 3 boxes that would need to hide away (one each for the deck, navigation and iPod bridge). Maybe some will fit behind the dashboard or something.

2005 Hummer 2 Factory Stereo Options

Did a little research on the stereo options for the Hummer 2 today. New for 2005 is the option for a touch-screen navigation system. Sounds cool, but check this out…

  • If you get the navigation system, you can’t have the CD changer.

  • The DVD that holds the maps goes in the normal CD/DVD slot on the main stereo.

  • That means that if you want to actually *use* the navigation system, there is no option to listen to a CD. Now that just seems idiotic to me.