barebones ipod-car integration

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Whosawhatsis's picture
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I was attempting to hack an aux connector onto my '94 chevy cavalier's radio and, long story short, I shorted something out and bricked my amplifier. I soldered it up so that I could drive the speakers directly from a headphone jack, but obviously I'm not getting much volume this way.

The car is a piece of crap, and I don't want to put a lot of money into it, but I would like to be able to listen to my iPod over the internal speakers at a decent volume until I send the car off to the big car crusher in the sky. I don't care about radio, cassette or CD capability... I could even live without the clock, so all I really need is a cheap amp that I can run off of the 12 VDC that's supposed to be powering my radio and will output channels for the 4 speakers from a headphone jack (with a little modification, if necessary).

Any recommendations?

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walmart /assorted other place

walmart /assorted other places have REALLY cheap headunits that would give you decent volume, i'm sure some of them have aux in. Probably cheaper than buying a real 12v amp.

Whosawhatsis's picture
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I'll take a look, but I've he

I'll take a look, but I've heard that aux in is only available on more expensive units. You'd think that it would be possible to just get the amplifier part with input and output jacks cheaper than a whole head unit, but in our industrialized, consumer-driven economy, I guess that might not be the case...

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dankephoto's picture
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older used highend headunit

I'd suggest you look at the secondhand market. Over the years I've purchased several older aux-in-equipped-Blaupunkt units on eBay, cost has been very low, say $25 - $50 for some very nice hardware. While cassette/CD mechanisms are prone to failure, that doesn't matter since the rest of an old high-end head unit is likely work just fine.

In my '85 Golf (w/819,540 miles), I have a Blaupunkt Aspen CM147 ($47 on eBay) to which I attach my gen2 iPod, mounted at the top edge of the dash with a custom-made bracket and powered by a fused 12v power line.

just a thought,

dan k

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cwsmith's picture
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It ain't pretty, but it works

It's not beautiful, but I got a Jensen CD player with aux in, with a pair of 5.25" speakers, at Wal-Mart for $88 US.

Not gonna win any contests, but I can plug in my iPod (or my wife's 1988 cassette Walkman) and listen to just about anything in the car.

Sometimes you actually do luck out.

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davintosh's picture
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Re: I'll take a look, but I've he

Whosawhatsis wrote:

I'll take a look, but I've heard that aux in is only available on more expensive units...

They are more common and affordable than you'd think. I got a $95 AM/FM/CD unit at Best Buy that has an aux-in for my daughter's Civic. That was the regular price, but they had a deal going where you'd get a free pair of speakers with the stereo. Huge improvement over the stock radio & speakers they replaced.

Another trend I noticed whilst shopping for that unit was that a lot of manufacturers are putting USB ports on the front panels of the things to allow you use thumb drives for media. The lowest price I found for one so equipped was about $150 or so.

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Blaupunkt units?

First off, congrats to Dan on his 819,540 miles! I have 106K+ on my 1988 Acura right now and I thought I was good...out of curiosity, is that the original engine?

Secondly, are the Blaupunkt units good on either a 1988 Acura Legend or a 1996 Volvo 850? The only time I've seen Blaupunkt is in a tourbus last year when they were the DVD player manufacturers. I want something that will be easy to install in one of those two vehicles, both of which have regular tape players right now. The equipment is currently original in both, neither have the highest-end system from the factory either for the record (I always buy the middle trim line on cars).

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dankephoto's picture
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re: Blaupunkt units?

My Golf has its original gasoline (petrol) engine, only replaced the pistons, rings (one broke) and conrod bearings, otherwise motor internals are all original.


I'm quite partial to the mid-to-late 90's Blaupunkt models, that's my Aspen just above. No flash, just nice classy tasteful all-black design. The more desirable models with aux-in, listed in the order I preferred, included:

cassette

CD (sX = series3, 5, 7 - higher = better, pre-sX = same unit, earlier name - M in model number = CD changer controls)

They're all DIN-sized, so if your dash-holes are DIN-shaped then I guess they'd fit.

dan k

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Look around and see if you ca

Look around and see if you can find an old Pioneer IP-bus head unit.

Building the AUX-In adapter is very simple.

http://www.gutterslide.com/ip-bus_hack/

I have a 8 year old Pioneer Cassette deck I use with my iPod shuffle. In fact I pulled the factory CD player out of my truck to use it. Don't really need a CD player when you have an iPod.

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Whosawhatsis's picture
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I decided to go with a [url=h

I decided to go with a Dual XC4100 that I found on amazon for $22 US (the installation kit and wiring harness ended up costing a little more). It's all mechanical and analogue and doesn't even have a clock, and the faceplate was too big for the installation kit and had to be left off, but the 3.5mm jack on the front makes it more useful to me than the original head unit ever was.

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iantm's picture
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Blaupunkt and Volvo/Acura

Back in the heady days of 2001 when I was young and burned CD's, I bought a Blaupunkt RPD545. Good head unit. Worked nicely with the 89 Acura Integra I had, and it worked even nicer in the 90 volvo 740 I bought to replace the acura with later on. (though the 90 volvo had to have the speakers rewired due to a misunderstanding on my part). Blaupunkt also does OEM work for certain auto manufacturers.

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i install car audio for a liv

i install car audio for a living and let me tell you its mega easy to get a cd player with aux in these days. pioneer makes one fairly cheap, aiwa, sony, all that stuff. if your going walmart there is even cheaper stuff, most of the time come "ipod ready" with a dash mount AUX-IN block. iPod has changed car audio as we know it.. everyone and their mother wants one in their car now. a 1994 chevy has a very easy deck install too. try to avoid hacking the wireing harness on the car as much as possible regardless of it being cheaper, things go wrong when you hard wire. adapter harnesses arent very much money.

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I picked up an older equaliser/booster for $5 from a garage sale. Name brand, forget which one, maybe Pioneer. Takes line level or speaker level in, puts out 4 x 25 watts RMS (ie -real- watts), and as a bonus has a 5 band graphic EQ built in. And all the connections were labelled (phew)

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