Saturday, 7 July 2012

Billie Becomes an Uplands Boy.

Thinking about a brand new radio, for a brand new van is a bit extreme I admit. We pondered on this for some time before taking the plunge.

The music system that came with the van was the standard bottom end van system that came with a Peugeot cab. It looked quite neat and played OK, the controls were wired into the steering wheel, presumably so "white van man" could control things as he happily sang along to the latest hits! Peugeot, in their wisdom, had decided that "white van man" was incapable of turning his music on and off and that 20 minutes at a time was enough singing for anyone! To prevent the battery flattening and consequentially late deliveries and ( I suspect to reduce the lunch break,) when the engine was off, after 20 minutes the radio turned off too. Fine, for "white van man", highly inconvenient for owners of motorhomes. After spending the weekend jumping up and down turning the music back on, enough was enough and we decided to update.

When we were decluttering we had culled the CD collection. We then loaded all our music onto an Archos media player. We now had a whole cupboard which was bare and all our music safely on one little gadget. Infact , enough music to drive around Europe and back without changing a CD. We wanted a system that would easily let us plug the Archos in and as a bonus ( for future basing and all that!) also to use the iphone, handsfree. We wanted a radio that did not turn off after 20 minutes and we wanted the whole lot at a reasonable price, fitted this week. Not much to ask!

Using trusty old Google, we narrowed the search to Uplands Radio based in Taunton.

Uplands had helped Jamie at Chipping Sodbury fix his van radio, so they knew about motorhomes. Following a few phone calls and chats to very helpful Nick at Uplands, we set a date for the fitting. Yes, they could do it this week. No travelling for Billie, Uplands provide a fitting at home service. The deed was done, the deposit was paid and the radio ordered. Friday afternoon, the rain and the Uplands man, also called Bill, arrived on time to fit the radio.

Great service and no travelling, Bill from Uplands arrived in his fully equipped van to do the job.

For the technically minded, we went for a Clarion CX501E radio with steering controls and new fascia. This would be rewired to stay switched on. We would be able to connect the Archos directly with a phono lead and use the iphone with bluetooth.

The initial system as fitted by Peugeot.

The super new system, pretty when lit up and ranges different colours through the rainbow display. Now works with the steering wheel controls. Also connects with my iphone, for hands free!

New system with the Archos connected ( that's the little square thingy in front.) The Archos will sit on the dash tray when driving.

Connection for the iphone to charge on the go, through the USB lead, neatly hidden in the dash tray.

All music systems are really "horses for courses" and a matter of personal preference! We are now very happy with our new system. Uplands did a brilliant job. Bill the fitter really gave  a brilliant service, giving loads of his own time to ensure that the job was done really well and that the bluetooth connection worked! The best part of his Friday afternoon off, was taken up getting our system to work well. Many thanks!!!

Nick at the Uplands office also did a stirling job, with phone calls to all and sundry, to find the information Bill needed to get the bluetooth connected. Hope Uplands realise their employees do go the extra mile when needed!

Now Billie is all set up for his first venture to foreign parts next week and music to sing along to.

Anyone want to buy a nearly new Peugeot van radio??

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