Dimmer on Jeep Grand Cherokee, RR, CH2, Kenwood DNX995S

Group using the CH1, CH2 and CH3 firmwares for uConnect, steering wheel controls, OEM amplifier retention. compatible with select Mitsubishi and Volkswagen vehicles * see specific firmware for full feature list.
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Max44
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Dimmer on Jeep Grand Cherokee, RR, CH2, Kenwood DNX995S

Post by Max44 » Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:45 pm

I just got through an initial install of a Kenwood DNX995S head unit into a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee with Maestro RR and CH2 harness. A road test at night has the Kenwood display way too bright and not responding to the dash dimmer control. The factory Jeep nav system did dim with the dash controls.
Some online research indicates Kenwood units do not respond to the PWM used by my Jeep for dashboard LEDs and just have an input to tell if the lights are on or off. I have the orange wire on the CH2 connected to the orange/white wire on the Kenwood unit (labeled ILLUMI).
I tried the different display settings on the Kenwood unit to manually turn the dimmer on or off. It doesn't do anything. The only thing I could do to dim was reduce the backlighting to minimum.
Any suggestions on how to fix this?
BTW everything else seems to be working nicely so far. There's a lot still to test however.
Thanks, Max
Last edited by Max44 on Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Zack Flynn
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Re: Dimmer on Jeep Grand Cherokee, RR, CH2, Kenwood DNX995S

Post by Zack Flynn » Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:38 pm

Is there voltage present on the orange wire when the dash lights are on in the vehicle?
Zack Flynn
Automotive Data Solutions
Technical Support & MECP Master Installation Technician
Zachary.flynn@adsdata.ca

Max44
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Re: Dimmer on Jeep Grand Cherokee, RR, CH2, Kenwood DNX995S

Post by Max44 » Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:24 pm

Not so easy to test at this point. Can I try to probe a connector? I'd need pin mappings and pin location diagrams.
Alternately, if you think it would work OK I could try to plug in a bare CH2 harness and test what's being presented to the Kenwood unit.
Let me know what voltage I should expect to see. And maybe what the next steps would be based on that reading.
Thanks, Max

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Zack Flynn
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Re: Dimmer on Jeep Grand Cherokee, RR, CH2, Kenwood DNX995S

Post by Zack Flynn » Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:27 pm

The wire you would be testing is the one from the CH2 harness that connects to the illumination lead on the back of your new radio. We are looking to see if we get 12 volts from that wire when the lights in the vehicle are turned on. There is no true illumination lead (analog) in the original harness. It is generated by the RR from the CAN messages that are received on the data lines going in.
Zack Flynn
Automotive Data Solutions
Technical Support & MECP Master Installation Technician
Zachary.flynn@adsdata.ca

Max44
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Re: Dimmer on Jeep Grand Cherokee, RR, CH2, Kenwood DNX995S

Post by Max44 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:19 pm

Sorry for the delay getting back to this. I decided to re-check settings before prying the dash apart again.
Based on your info, I checked that the OBD connection was providing vehicle data to the Kenwood head unit. That looked good …. tachometer, voltage, and temperature readings were present and responding. I'm assuming this means the CAN bus connection is good.
Then I reviewed the display settings. The Kenwood unit has 4 settings for the dimmer: Off, On, Sync, And Nav Sync. Sync is supposed to "sync" with the vehicle light switches so I selected that. I switched the vehicle lights on and off. The display responded, but the opposite of what you would want. When the lights were on, the display was bright. When the lights were off, the display was dim.
Is it possible the Maestro is giving the wrong polarity here? I have no information on what the Kenwood unit expects and their "tech support" seems to be unresponsive.
I can still try to take some voltage measurements at the connector, but won't get around to it for a few weeks.

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Dara DeGrand
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Re: Dimmer on Jeep Grand Cherokee, RR, CH2, Kenwood DNX995S

Post by Dara DeGrand » Tue Sep 25, 2018 8:20 am

The absolute way to know if the maestro is operating like it should is to test the voltage on our orange wire. It should be giving you 12V when the parking lights are on.
Dara DeGrand
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T 514.807.2888
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