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hanzj
July 8th, 2007, 09:18 AM
The car is a 1995 Honda Civic LX. The car has the factory-installed default tuner/tape player head.

My digital audio player is the 5th generation iPod with video.


I would like to connect my iPod to my car's speakers somehow. What comes to mind is how someone I knew did his car. He had a relatively fat cable dangling from above the legspace of one of the front seats. The free end of that cable had a jack that simply plugs in to his digital audio player.

Here are some ways I do not want to connect, and reasons why:

* wireless FM tuner that connects to iPod (audio quality is not CD-quality)
* tape-deck (my tape player is broken, and audio quality not good)
* a high-tech new audio component to replace the factory-installed head (i would have to spend more money than is necessary)

I do not mind navigating my music my manipulating the iPod. I just want an inexpensive way (but with CD-audio quality) to connect my iPod to my car's audio system (its 4 speakers).
I'm willing to do some labor work (using screwdrivers, etc) in order to install whatever needs to be installed by myself.

To people who know cars and who know audio/electronics, I look forward to your replies.

Thank you in advance!


July 18, 2007 UPDATE: I've added photos of my head unit.

bionnaki
July 8th, 2007, 09:51 AM
just replacement the head unit with something that has an axillary input. radio transmitters suck and a conversion kit would cost just as much as a new head.

hanzj
July 8th, 2007, 09:53 AM
Thanks for the reply. I'm a newbie with cars and audio. What is that "something"? Can you give an example? What do I tell a store clerk that I want?
And isn't replacing the head a relatively expensive thing? Is there no way to bypass the factory head unit to connect the iPod to the speakers?

bionnaki
July 8th, 2007, 09:58 AM
head unit = the main component in a car audio setup - the part that put a cd or cassette into. just find one that has a front auxiliary input (so you plug your ipod directly into it). lower end models will be about a 100 bucks.

thisllub
July 8th, 2007, 10:24 AM
Chances are with that unit you are screwed.
Try the Honda forums.

I use a Belkin FM transmitter in my RX-8 and over the noise of the road and the engine :) it is good enough.

mips
July 8th, 2007, 12:45 PM
Check if your head unit has auxilary inputs in the rear. The headunit that came with my '97 civic has them but I dont use them.

infoseeker
July 8th, 2007, 04:58 PM
I have a Grundig car radio with a huge connector on the rear that was intended for a CD shuttle (which I never bought). On this connector are the audio inputs which (fortunately) was described pretty well on the users manual. I connected a stereo cable to the correct pins (jack on the other end) and am able to connect and listen to mp3 players, etc. in my car.

Best of luck.

mips
July 8th, 2007, 05:01 PM
I have a Grundig car radio with a huge connector on the rear that was intended for a CD shuttle (which I never bought). On this connector are the audio inputs which (fortunately) was described pretty well on the users manual. I connected a stereo cable to the correct pins (jack on the other end) and am able to connect and listen to mp3 players, etc. in my car.

Best of luck.

I also have a Grundig and that connector you are referring to does indeed act as the cd changed or Aux In connector.

notwen
July 8th, 2007, 05:07 PM
I personally have a Alpine receiver, majority of Alpine receivers are made ready for iPod, and all I had to do was fork out $20 for the connector and run it through to my glove box. I control my iPod using the volume knob and scroll through, artists/albums/songs just like on the iPod. Looks like the cheapest receiver on their site is around $150. I'm sure you could also find older/cheaper models in stores still, so shop around. Not sure but I believe Alpine is the only brand that comes out of box 'ready for iPod', maybe another brand has this built-in now, but when I bought mine roughly a year or so back, other brands needed a converter outside of your head unit receiver, so I went w/ an Alpine receiver + $20 connector and saved myself the trouble of having to buy a new receiver + iPod converter. This may be more than you're wanting to spend, but if you're so big on audio quality, then you'll enjoy the audio quality boost from your factory receiver to a new receiver. Happy hunting. =]

matthinckley
July 8th, 2007, 06:32 PM
http://www.amazon.com/irock-Beamit-Wireless-Music-Adapter/dp/B0000DK6II/ref=sr_1_47/102-1694892-0092910?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1183915897&sr=8-47

Best FM Transmitter I have ever used!

hanzj
July 9th, 2007, 01:35 AM
Thanks, everyone, for your helpful replies!


@mips
In order to do this checking, do I have to remove the head unit, or do I just put my head in the legs-area and peek underneath?

Thanks!

hanzj
July 9th, 2007, 01:36 AM
@matthinckley (http://ubuntuforums.org/member.php?u=51899)
Is the sound quality from the best FM transmitter just as good as a cable that directly plugs in an iPod to the car's audio system?

hanzj
July 9th, 2007, 01:37 AM
@thisllub (http://ubuntuforums.org/member.php?u=184176)
What do you mean that my head unit is screwed? How so?

matthinckley
July 9th, 2007, 03:03 AM
@matthinckley (http://ubuntuforums.org/member.php?u=51899)
Is the sound quality from the best FM transmitter just as good as a cable that directly plugs in an iPod to the car's audio system?
no but it is just as good as FM.. you will experience some quality loss but it also depends on how clean your stereo system is in your vehicle.. if it is a factory system you probably won't be able to discern that much of a difference between CD and a strong FM signal..

I have one of the iRock FM transmitters and I couldn't be happier.. I have it connected to my computer in my house so I can listen to my music on my shelf radio in the garage 250 feet away.. I can also pick it up in my car almost 3 houses down the street.. it's unbelievable

hanzj
July 9th, 2007, 05:22 AM
Hi Folks,
Just to let you know, I've added pictures of the head unit. Please see the original post at http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=2983615&postcount=1

mips
July 9th, 2007, 11:58 AM
Hi Folks,
Just to let you know, I've added pictures of the head unit. Please see the original post at http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=2983615&postcount=1

You have to use the round 8-pin DIN connector labeled CHG also known as the M-Bus.

Could you please provide a better picture of that connector, I just want make sure it is in fact a 8-pin connector.

http://www.nsxprime.com/FAQ/DIY/sound_system.htm
http://kiora.ath.cx/alpine/7513din.gif
http://www.discountcarstereo.com/detail.aspx?ID=884 Could possibly hack this cable or look for other stuff on their site.

forrestcupp
July 9th, 2007, 02:12 PM
Well, if you want the cheapest way, which is what your title implies, you can get a tape adapter. It's one of those things that looks like a cassette tape with a wire and a 1/8 inch plug coming out of it that you plug into the headphone jack on your iPod.

Or, like some other people said, you can spend a few extra bucks and get a wireless transmitter. The thing about those is that they transmit better if you plug them into the lighter instead of using batteries. So if you're going to have a wire hooked up to your iPod anyway, you might as well get a cheaper tape adapter and not have to worry about setting up radio stations and getting interference.

mips
July 9th, 2007, 03:19 PM
Well, if you want the cheapest way, which is what your title implies, you can get a tape adapter. It's one of those things that looks like a cassette tape with a wire and a 1/8 inch plug coming out of it that you plug into the headphone jack on your iPod.

Or, like some other people said, you can spend a few extra bucks and get a wireless transmitter. The thing about those is that they transmit better if you plug them into the lighter instead of using batteries. So if you're going to have a wire hooked up to your iPod anyway, you might as well get a cheaper tape adapter and not have to worry about setting up radio stations and getting interference.


Here are some ways I do not want to connect, and reasons why:

* wireless FM tuner that connects to iPod (audio quality is not CD-quality)
* tape-deck (my tape player is broken, and audio quality not good)
* a high-tech new audio component to replace the factory-installed head (i would have to spend more money than is necessary)

Hacking a cable will not be expensive at all.

hanzj
July 12th, 2007, 08:13 AM
Could you please provide a better picture of that connector, I just want make sure it is in fact a 8-pin connector.

Mips, thanks for your input on this post. I would love to take a better picture, but my camera is lost. I'll see if I can borrow a camera soon.

Are you just wanting to confirm that my connector looks like the acura connector with the 8-pins? If so, I think they are alike, just by taking a look at my pic and the acura pic you linked to.

hanzj
July 12th, 2007, 08:15 AM
Well, if you want the cheapest way, which is what your title implies, you can get a tape adapter.


As I mentioned in my original post: My tape deck is busted :(. A cassette tape is stuck inside the tape deck.

hanzj
July 12th, 2007, 08:18 AM
Hello,
It's me, the original poster again. Thank you all very much for your input and advice and sharing your wisdom. As someone who is quite new with cars and audio technology, I really appreciate it.


Yesterday, I acquired various FM transmitters so that I can know first-hand any possible differences, and to hear which one is best.

DLO TransPod (@ 2005)
Kensington pico FM Transmitter for iPod (model 33365)
Kensington Universal FM Transmitter for MP3 players
Belkin TuneFM for iPod (Part # F8Z075-BLK )
Belkin TuneCast Auto (F877101ttBLK)
Griffin iTrip (Part No. TG191VC/A)


When I tested them in the 1995 Civic I couldn't hear static. Yes, if you forced me to pay attention, I can tell that it's not exactly CD quality, but there was no "snap, crackle, and pop" with any of them. There was one of them... the tiny rectangular one that freely attaches to the dock... I forget which one now.. perhaps the Kensington pico FM transmitter or the Griffin iTrip, which "blanked/blacked out for a microsecond". But otherwise they all sounded ok.

Question: Since they all sounded okay, should I just go with the least expensive one?

Today, I brought the DLO TransPod with me to a 2004 Honda Pilot. I was surpised to hear a lesser sound quality, as compared with the Civic. And Cnet.com gave DLO Transpod its seal of approval. It made me think that if DLO TransPod had some static in the Honda Pilot, the others, which are supposed to have weaker transmission strength, would probably sound worse.


I don't know why there was this difference between cars. And, I thought, if there was to be any difference, I thought a newer vehicle should have sounded better.

Question: Do you why there was this difference?

I wish there was a scientific experiment done with these and other FM transmitters. It would be cool if we had some hard facts as to which of them really have stronger transmission strength, and put the strength down quantitatively. What I mean by this is: For a laboratory to say something like "Based on our FM Transmission Receptor Machine, the DLO Transpod has a transmission strength of XXX units, while the iTrip has a transmission strength of YYY units." All I want is some hard facts/numbers.

Question: Is this sort of information available?

hanzj
July 12th, 2007, 08:19 AM
In my Original Post (now updated with what I'm going to say in this post), I described in general terms how my friend wired his mp3 player. In this post, I would like to add more details as to what he did:

He rewired his car so that his mp3 player was using the tape-player connection; when he wanted to listen to his mp3 player, he pressed the Tape button on his head unit. There was a relatively fat cable dangling from above the legspace of one of the front seats. The free end of that cable had a jack that simply plugs in to his digital audio player.

I'm still waiting to hear what parts were used.

hanzj
July 12th, 2007, 08:26 AM
mips,
if in fact my head unit has a 8-pin connector that is exactly alike the acura pics/links you sent, does that mean that all I have to buy is Alpine ALP/M-POD Mini-Bus Audio + Charging Cable for iPod (by PIE) (as in http://www.discountcarstereo.com/detail.aspx?ID=884)? (http://www.discountcarstereo.com/detail.aspx?ID=884%29?)
Wouldn't I need an Alpine Head unit and other stuff?

I usually equate Alpine to "expensive" but 30 USD is not bad, but I wonder whether i wiring thingie that connects to my 3.5 stereo jack (on the top of iPod) would be a less expensive alternative.?.?

Thank you, mips and everyone, for your help!

mips
July 12th, 2007, 11:30 AM
mips,
if in fact my head unit has a 8-pin connector that is exactly alike the acura pics/links you sent, does that mean that all I have to buy is Alpine ALP/M-POD Mini-Bus Audio + Charging Cable for iPod (by PIE) (as inhttp://www.discountcarstereo.com/detail.aspx?ID=884)? (http://www.discountcarstereo.com/detail.aspx?ID=884%29?)
Wouldn't I need an Alpine Head unit and other stuff?

I usually equate Alpine to "expensive" but 30 USD is not bad, but I wonder whether i wiring thingie that connects to my 3.5 stereo jack (on the top of iPod) would be a less expensive alternative.?.?

Thank you, mips and everyone, for your help!

I'm not sure about that Alpine cable but it would still require you to hack the cable in order to swap pins 4 & 2 around else the left & right channels will be out of phase. I dunno if that cable has any special electronics in it, I would not like to be held responsible if it does not work out for you. Maybe call the company and ask them if it will work on a honda HU if you swap those two pins around.

You could use the 3.5 stereo jack. You just need a cheap 3.5 jack with a length of cable on it which you can then solder up to a 8pin DIN connector which should be obatainable from a place like radio shack etc for about a dollar or so.

mikevutler
September 3rd, 2008, 11:56 AM
I am trying to locate a simple amplifier/speaker setup to feed from my airport express (via AirTunes). I have the optical cable (to keep it neat and it was free) from the AirPort Express to connect to the digital Optical input of a receiver or amplifier.



Mike



Car auctions (http://www.gov-auctions.org)

linasandy
September 6th, 2008, 09:04 AM
We can connect the iPod to our car by connecting the free end of the cable to the digital audio player. There are facilities available now to connect the iPod by using some connections also.
================================================== ================

linasandy
Used Cars (http://used.gov-auctions.org)

hanzj
September 6th, 2008, 06:33 PM
(BTW, we settled for a DLO Transpod. In other vehicles, the sound is bad, but in the Civic, the audio quality is better.)

chris4585
September 6th, 2008, 09:09 PM
my friend the easiest way to transmit (anything with a regular audio port) mp3 player, cd player, dvd player.... etc.. is with this device http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=2569450

just plug it into the device, choose your radio station on the device and change your radio to the same frequency and its done, you may get static but that depends sometimes, it usually works perfectly and with no pain

linuxguymarshall
September 7th, 2008, 01:34 AM
You killed all my systems. FM and tape are my key ways.