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iPod into car via a hard wire

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by markbingo, Feb 21, 2005.

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  1. markbingo

    markbingo
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    I have recently bought myself an iPod, and was looking forward to using a lot in my car. The thought of having my entire CD collection in the car with me, and available at the press of a button was very tempting !
    So I bought an iTrip to go with it, good in theory but rather rubbish in practice. Mine picks up distortion from the power steering :thumbsdow
    So my next idea is to have a cable poke its head out of the ashtray, that I can plug straight into the iPod headphone jack.
    Herein lies my question, .....

    I have a CD auto-changer in the back of the car, that is connected directly to the header unit of my factory fitted stereo (The car is a Renault Laguna Sport Tourer :thumbsup: ) and I was wondering if anybody knows of a cable/cable company that might provide a wire that I could replace this with. Lets face it, with the iPod in the car, who needs an auto-changer ? !!

    Any thoughts on how I might achieve this, or what I might need to create the wire myself would be VERY appreciated. :confused:

    Cheers

    Mark
     
  2. cwick

    cwick
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    Possibly a little more than you are looking to spend, but the Dension Ice>Link would do the job nicely.
     
  3. lovegroova

    lovegroova
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    Or some 2004+ Alpine HU's along with their adaptor.
     
  4. markbingo

    markbingo
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    Thanks for the link, but like you say, way more money than I was looking to spend. Nice solution though.

    I was hoping for a cable only really, as I dont want to drill a cradle into my dashboard either. The Laguna has a great center armrest tray, that even has a power socket in it, which would be the perfect location for it, just need a wire.
    I suppose the other thing I could do is just bust open the exisiting auto-changer cable and play around with the wires until I get the connection I need, but I dont want to risk damage to either unit, or ending up with a "mono" sound !!

    I am a complete novice when it comes to auto stereo wiring !

    One thing for sure though, I dont want to change my header unit, or connect the ipod via the FM aerial socket, as I also want my radio.

    Are there any wiring experts out there who have tackled this issue before ?
     
  5. simon100

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    You might get some replies to your query on the ipodlounge forums http://www.ipodlounge.com/
    However I have never come across anyone who has self wired the ipod to the head unit. Everyone seems to use the Denison ICE links or equivalent.
     
  6. markbingo

    markbingo
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    Nice one, I didnt know that site existed. I'll give a shout over there.

    :thumbsup:
     
  7. mick's cat

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    I know you've not had good experience with the iTrip, but part of its problem is the relatively low transmission power of its FM broadcast. There are others, including the CarDock FM (which I can personally certify works very well). It plugs into a cigar lighter socket, so gains power for its higher FM transmission (upto 10m broadcasts) - and also charges your iPod - from there.

    http://www.dolphinmusic.co.uk/page/.../category_id/a8cb013923875898f601498f8aa49a9f

    It might sit nicely on the Laguna armrest, within easy reach...
     
  8. JUS

    JUS
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    Not an elegant solution...I too got fed up with trying to get my itrip working...always seems to have problems with interference. I now use one of those tapes with a headphone cable attached. It's quite a long cable so I just stick the ipod on the passenger seat or in the ash tray. I've then got another cable that plugs into the ciggy lighter to charge it. Sound is OK. Not the best ever going through the tape until but it does give me access to 100's of albums :)
     
  9. dood

    dood
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    Well I tested the diff between FM and hard wire yesterday. Iused my midi system and compared: iTrip vs headphone out vs line out.

    As I suspected, FM is very inferior even when there is no interference. The dynamic range is squashed making the music sound flat. The volume output is also lower than line out.

    Line out gives a richer sound which comes close to CD. The output is equivalent to connecting an external CD player.

    Headphone out sounds fine but the volume needs cranking up as the output is much lower than line out.

    This correlates well with using the headphone out from my laptop into an external amp, vs using line out from my desktop.

    Overall, line out is by far the best solution and this makes a very good case for anyone undecided about buying the docking station for the iPod.
     
  10. markbingo

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    Thanks for your replies on this.
    I too have tested my iPod on my home sterio with both iTrip and a hard wire, and i completely agree, that the hard wire makes the sound much better, and more crisp.

    So........... did a lot of homeowrk, and have discovered that I can tap into my CD Auto-changer in the car, and replace it with my iPod for ........ about......... £10 ! By changing the input in the back of the header unit, with an AUX wire from Maplin. Will need to get my soldering iron out, and be careful not to break anything permanently, so I can reverse it all when i sell the car in the future.

    Will be doing the wiring this weekend, so will let you know how I get on and how it sounds.
     
  11. markbingo

    markbingo
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    Well the £10 idea didnt work out, but I did find a Widget for £55 by Connects 2, and it worked a treat.
    Sound is superb, and is easily as good as CD.

    Very Happy to have my entire music collection in my car with me !
     
  12. Tejstar

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    markbingo - any good pointers on how to do this? I would like to do this via the cd changer input but don't know where to start? :confused:
     
  13. RussB

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  14. Tejstar

    Tejstar
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    Is this sold in the UK?
     
  15. markbingo

    markbingo
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    I bought this link
    for my Laguna. It plugs in place of the Auto changer.
    Tracked the cable round to my arm rest, and very happy result.

    The same thing is available for a lot of makes of car see here

    Hope this helps

    Any more questions, just ask

    Mark

    P.S. What make model of car do you have ?
     
  16. markbingo

    markbingo
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    Check out my reply above for the links.

    If you let me have your make/model of car, I will help you work it out.
    I spent alot of time researching this, and may be able to help.

    The links above are a solid bet though, and delivery is very swift.

    Install was easy too.

    If you have a Laguna, I can help you with more install info. I made a large thread over at ipod lounge, you could also do some research over there.

    Mark
     
  17. RussB

    RussB
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    Thanks markbingo

    I have a Vauxhall Vectra, if you know anything for that car

    Cheers
     
  18. Tejstar

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    Cheers Mark very helpful!

    I have a Toyota Corolla (2003), this may sound ignorant but how would I attach this device - would it require diy skills as I don't have many! :blush:
     
  19. alancolledge

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    I tried with some success to make an aux in from my sony headunit and cd changer. Like most, the head unit to changer wire is made up from the control wire which powers and tells the changer what to do and the normal coaxial line level cable as you would know as interconnects on your home hifi.

    If you splice into the line level wires while playing a disk then you can use this as an auxillary in, as the sound would be coming from your MP3 player as opposed to the cds the changer is playing.

    I did this and burnt a cd with 74 minutes of 1 track that way the signal doesn't interupt when the changer changes tracks.

    Most of these boxes fool the head unit into thinking it is connected to a changer so you can do the above.
     
  20. markbingo

    markbingo
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    Check out this thread
    at the ipod lounge. Apparently you need something like this, and just buy yourself a headphone jack to two phono lead converter cable from Maplin or somewhere like that (I bought mine for about £3 from Maplin)

    If you can take your stereo out of the car, you have all the skills to complete the job. If you are worried about doing that, then you should "phone a friend" or ask a professional car stereo company to do the install part of the job for you. I'm sure you will be able to haggle a price with them.

    Here is a link to a site in the UK that sells AUX adapters for Toyota and other cars.

    Hope all this helps you out

    Mark
     
  21. markbingo

    markbingo
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    Russ,

    Here is a link
    to a product that would seem to do for Vauxhall cars what my widget did for my Laguna.
    Dont take my word for it though, please check it for compatability to your headunit before buying it.

    It might also be worth you popping over to ipodlounge and do a search for the exact model of your header unit over there (i dont know what yours would be) and see what comes up. I found this site to be quite useful, as a lot of people have been through the pain of trying to do this, and are happy to help others with the same headunit/car.

    I hope the above links help you out.

    Mark
     
  22. Tejstar

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    Cheers Mark & Alan - that's very helpful! Thank you! :thumbsup:
     
  23. simon100

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    I have been searching for a solution for my 2004 Honda Accord and have found the following links useful:
    http://store.yahoo.com/logjam/
    http://icelink.densionusa.com/
    http://www.mp3yourcar.com/
    http://www.ipodmycar.com/
    http://www.speed-detectors.co.uk/catalog/product_152.html
    http://www.ghc.co.uk/acatalog/ice_Link_Plus_Car_Connectors_for_iPod.html
    http://www.soundlinx.co.uk/ (This is only a holding page, but they have answered a number of questions)

    Unfortunately Dension do not yet do a system for UK Accords yet, but I am waiting in hope.
    Carphone warehouse do a fitting service.
    If you search on US sites you can often find instructions for how to get access to your radio/head unit.
    I have found the forums at http://www.ipodlounge.com/ an invaluable source of information and detail, which convinces me that I can take apart a new, to me, car and get away with it.
    Hope this helps
    Simon
     

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