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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1999EX and I want to connect an external MP3 player to the CD Changer or Cassette source. But after searching the net for a solution, I get the impression that it is not possible (those who said it was possible hadn't published a solution yet :-( ). Anyway, here's a thought and I wonder if anyone has tried it out yet:
1. get an old Honda cassette deck on eBay,
2. tap into the audio outputs of the cassette deck (before the bus interface circuitry),
3. somehow fool the head unit into thinking there's a cassette present in the deck so it would switch its source to it. It would be even nicer if you can just keep the electronics and gut the mechanical stuff so that you can hide the whole thing out of sight. This should be cheaper than the solution where you get one of those "protocol converters" AND an aftermarket CD changer (I suspect they might work on a similar principle - i.e. tap into the audio signals and piggy back on the electronics that implement the digital protocol used by the HU.)

What d'ya all think?
 

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I'm pretty sure you can get an RF modulator for about $20 (Best Buy, Radio Shack, etc.) and "broadcast" your MP3's to the standard FM radio. You can easily place this under the driver's seat. If you want vehicle power, simply tap the power seat circuits under rear side of the driver's seat or run a controlled lead from the fuse block behind the driver's kick panel.

Since MP3 inherently doesn't provide the quality of CD recordings there shouldn't be any serious quality loss related to the FM frequency response. (Others' opinions may vary.)

Mel

[This message has been edited by Mel (edited 01-05-2002).]
 

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If you want a portable solution, you might be able to use the same cassette adapter that is used for portable CD players. The RF modulator would be a better candidate if looking for a more permanent solution.

Jeff

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Jeff

'01 SS EX
Cassette, Rosen Video System, Fog Lights, Splash Guards
Full Nose Mask

See photos at:
http://www.fototime.com/inv/B5EC5C7BC6CFA07
 

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I still love my Archos Jukebox. It holds 150 CD's and I use it with the cassette adapter from another external CD player that I had.

I only wish I had the new 20 GIG model. It holds 500 CD's (and yes, I have more than 500 CD's).

Take a look for yourself: www.archos.com

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1996 Odyssey 120,000 miles
2002EX Odyssey w/towing package
http://www.homestead.com/weaverhouse/index.html
 

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Hey HomerEpic,

To me that does sound like a VERY possible solution. The only real downside is you have keep the cassette unit. I was thinking of a similar idea but instead of actually getting an changer/tape deck I was thinking of just grounding one of the pins in the back to trick the headunit into thinking a changer/tape deck is connected. The only problem is not knowing which one to ground. But as for your trick - I say go for it! And tell us if it works...Good Luck!

-Nestor



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2000 CCS EX-NAVI
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by HomerEpic:

I have a 1999EX and I want to connect an external MP3 player to the CD Changer or Cassette source. But after searching the net for a solution, I get the impression that it is not possible (those who said it was possible hadn't published a solution yet :-( ). Anyway, here's a thought and I wonder if anyone has tried it out yet:
1. get an old Honda cassette deck on eBay,
2. tap into the audio outputs of the cassette deck (before the bus interface circuitry),
3. somehow fool the head unit into thinking there's a cassette present in the deck so it would switch its source to it. It would be even nicer if you can just keep the electronics and gut the mechanical stuff so that you can hide the whole thing out of sight. This should be cheaper than the solution where you get one of those "protocol converters" AND an aftermarket CD changer (I suspect they might work on a similar principle - i.e. tap into the audio signals and piggy back on the electronics that implement the digital protocol used by the HU.)

What d'ya all think?
</font>
Sounds like a pretty solid plan, assuming you can get an add on cassette deck off ebay for a reasonable price, that is!

Tapping the audio output will be easy, just cut the leads of the tape deck, and splice in the MP3 player at the head unit's input. You'll have to reverse engineer which ones are the audio leads, but that won't be difficult. Could be a common ground, so you may only find 3 leads used for audio.

Fooling the cassette deck to think there is a tape may be as easy as defeating a single switch, but I haven't looked at the mechanism. It may be just easier for you to stick in a dummy tape.

The Peripheral unit does just what you say, it fools the unit to think a changer or tape deck is playing and then just patches in the audio signal of another source.

One last comment and consideration is noise induced from using the MP3 player and a car adaptor or something like that. (disregard if planning on using batteries) You'll likely need to clean up the power/ground going to your MP3 player to prevent engine whine from ground loops, etc...

Good Luck!

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-Shin John
'01 DEP EX, and I'm workin' on it! (slowly)
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by nemogira:
I was thinking of a similar idea but instead of actually getting an changer/tape deck I was thinking of just grounding one of the pins in the back to trick the headunit into thinking a changer/tape deck is connected. The only problem is not knowing which one to ground.
-Nestor
</font>
Nestor, I don't think this would work. There is a digital protocol for communication between the head unit and CD changer/tape deck. At least that's what I've been told... Grounding a single wire wouldn't do anything... except maybe short something! (hee,hee)
Then again, I've been known to be wrong
.

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-Shin John
'01 DEP EX, and I'm workin' on it! (slowly)
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by HomerEpic:

I have a 1999EX and I want to connect an external MP3 player to the CD Changer or Cassette source.
</font>
How about replacing the in-dash unit with an aftermarker CD deck that plays MP3s? There are several nice ones available now. I just purchased a JVC KDSH99 for $269 from bestpriceaudiovideo.com. You can put up to 255 songs on a single CD-R--that's up to 10 hrs of uninterrupted playing, making your CD changer obsolete. And the sound has to be better than your stock radio...




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Waiting for SS 2002 LX
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by shinjohn:
Nestor, I don't think this would work. There is a digital protocol for communication between the head unit and CD changer/tape deck. At least that's what I've been told... Grounding a single wire wouldn't do anything... except maybe short something! (hee,hee)
Then again, I've been known to be wrong
.
</font>
Shin John,

You are absolutely right. I did some research a few weeks ago and found that the radio uses a digital protocol (called m-bus, I believe, which was patented by Alpine http://www.delphion.com/details?pn=US05625350__) to communicate with the cassette deck and the CD Changer. These automakers just want to make life difficult for consumers who want to attach external devices. Anyway, check out this link to get an idea of the pinout of the cassette/CD changer connector http://integra.cyberglobe.net/caraudio/diagrams/DIN.html. Notice the Bus and Bus Gnd wires.

I suspect the protocol (signal levels, timing, etc) is probably implemented in an IC chip in the CD Changer or cassette deck, and thus is not trivial to reverse engineer. Hence I think that is the reason products like Peripheral require a CD Changer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by shinjohn:
One last comment and consideration is noise induced from using the MP3 player and a car adaptor or something like that. (disregard if planning on using batteries) You'll likely need to clean up the power/ground going to your MP3 player to prevent engine whine from ground loops, etc...

</font>
Shin John,

I am in fact thinking of tapping into the car's power. Any pointers on how to reduce/eliminate noise will be greatly appreciated.

Homer
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by stlody:
How about replacing the in-dash unit with an aftermarker CD deck that plays MP3s? There are several nice ones available now. I just purchased a JVC KDSH99 for $269 from bestpriceaudiovideo.com. You can put up to 255 songs on a single CD-R--that's up to 10 hrs of uninterrupted playing, making your CD changer obsolete. And the sound has to be better than your stock radio...

</font>
I have heard a lot of good things about this unit and was considering getting it. I put the idea on hold because it would mean I had to give up the steering wheel volume and channel/track controls which I really like.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by HomerEpic:
Shin John,

I am in fact thinking of tapping into the car's power. Any pointers on how to reduce/eliminate noise will be greatly appreciated.

Homer
</font>
First and foremost, common power and ground. Ground is esp. important. I actually don't use factory ground of the head unit on my installations. I find a solid point on the chassis (usually under a seat, could be the factory under seat ground location...) and then prep the surface by scraping off all the paint/primer/etc... This point I use to ground all components, including source unit, amps, etc... The main point is that all audio components should have a common ground point. If you get a good ground, you'll eliminate most potential noise problems. Ground loops occur when ground is taken at different points, and there's a voltage drop across two grounds.... Anyhow..yeah..

Next, used shielded cable for signal.

Next, look out for radiative noise sources... (big fat cables carrying lots of current) blower fans, etc.... Route all signal cables AWAY from this stuff.

These are the easiest and most straight forward things to look for. However, even if you do things right, some portable units just need an inline noise filter on the power.

Good Luck!

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-Shin John
'01 DEP EX, and I'm workin' on it! (slowly)
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by HomerEpic:
I have heard a lot of good things about this unit and was considering getting it. I put the idea on hold because it would mean I had to give up the steering wheel volume and channel/track controls which I really like.</font>
Actually, you don't....

http://peripheralelectronics.com/periph_products/steering_interface.htm

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-Shin John
'01 DEP EX, and I'm workin' on it! (slowly)
 

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I'm awaiting my 2002 EX-L next month, and am already contemplating mod's. We have 2 small kids, and when we go on longer trips take the lap top for movies, etc. On a car with cassette deck, there is a device (from Radio shack, etc.) that goes from the headphone jack to the cassette player and allows the use of the cars audio system. Can I hardwire in an "Audio In" jack to where the Honda Cassette deck would attach (I've got the CD player) that would work for a laptop, MP3 etc.? Sorry this is so long.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by roland:
Can I hardwire in an "Audio In" jack to where the Honda Cassette deck would attach (I've got the CD player) that would work for a laptop, MP3 etc.?

Thanks
</font>
Unfortunately in a word, "No". The reasons were given in earlier posts.

You have a few options, though, starting with the cheapest to the most expensive. None of which require any hacking:
1. battery-powered FM radio that plugs into your audio source output
2. FM modulator that connects between your car radio and antenna
3. one of those cassette adapters that you mentioned, plus a factory cassette deck so you can use this device.
4. an aftermarkets HU with AUX input. On paper the JVC KD-SH99 w/MP3 is such a HU. It has internal LINE input as well as an external AUX input.
5. a Peripheral "protocol interface" device, plus an aftermarket CD Changer so you can use this device.

The sound quality is best for options 4 and 5 because the signal path between audio source and speakers is the most direct.
 

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Look at www.phatnoise.com. Its a little expensive but it will seamlessly interface to the standard unit's CD changer interface. It will have 20-30GB of storage thats 100 CDs and 1000 songs per CDs.

You can load the unit by removing the portable disk and hooking it up to your USB cradle on your PC and using the CD ripper.

They will supposedly be providing Honda support sometime this month.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by zalusky:
Look at www.phatnoise.com. Its a little expensive but it will seamlessly interface to the standard unit's CD changer interface. It will have 20-30GB of storage thats 100 CDs and 1000 songs per CDs.

They will supposedly be providing Honda support sometime this month.
</font>
Nice unit, but IMHO it seems a bit of a waste on the Honda HU because the HU can't display text needed for CD Text and ID3 tags. Also, you still need the Peripheral HONIL protocol interface. My guess is that the new version of the unit will probably implement the Alpine m-bus protocol since the HONIL works with Honda radio and m-bus compatible changers.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by HomerEpic:
Shin John,

You are absolutely right. I did some research a few weeks ago and found that the radio uses a digital protocol (called m-bus, I believe, which was patented by Alpine http://www.delphion.com/details?pn=US05625350__) to communicate with the cassette deck and the CD Changer. These automakers just want to make life difficult for consumers who want to attach external devices. Anyway, check out this link to get an idea of the pinout of the cassette/CD changer connector http://integra.cyberglobe.net/caraudio/diagrams/DIN.html. Notice the Bus and Bus Gnd wires.

I suspect the protocol (signal levels, timing, etc) is probably implemented in an IC chip in the CD Changer or cassette deck, and thus is not trivial to reverse engineer. Hence I think that is the reason products like Peripheral require a CD Changer.

</font>
HomerEpic,
Actually, the current Gen of Honda radios use Pioneer P-Bus, not Alpine M-Bus. M-Bus, IIRC was used for '92-98 era Honda radios. I also remember someone inegrating a Pioneer in dash 6 CD changer to their OEM head unit in a '99+ Ody.


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-Shin John
'01 DEP EX, and I'm workin' on it! (slowly)
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by HomerEpic:

Unfortunately in a word, "No". The reasons were given in earlier posts.

You have a few options, though, starting with the cheapest to the most expensive. None of which require any hacking:
1. battery-powered FM radio that plugs into your audio source output
2. FM modulator that connects between your car radio and antenna
3. one of those cassette adapters that you mentioned, plus a factory cassette deck so you can use this device.
4. an aftermarkets HU with AUX input. On paper the JVC KD-SH99 w/MP3 is such a HU. It has internal LINE input as well as an external AUX input.
5. a Peripheral "protocol interface" device, plus an aftermarket CD Changer so you can use this device.

The sound quality is best for options 4 and 5 because the signal path between audio source and speakers is the most direct.
</font>
You could alsp tap the navi input if you have an EX, but that only gives you front channel inputs...

------------------
-Shin John
'01 DEP EX, and I'm workin' on it! (slowly)

[This message has been edited by shinjohn (edited 01-12-2002).]
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by stlody:
How about replacing the in-dash unit with an aftermarker CD deck that plays MP3s? There are several nice ones available now. I just purchased a JVC KDSH99 for $269 from bestpriceaudiovideo.com. You can put up to 255 songs on a single CD-R--that's up to 10 hrs of uninterrupted playing, making your CD changer obsolete. And the sound has to be better than your stock radio...
</font>
Well, the Jukebox concept is a bit more flexible, convenient. With these we won't have to sort thru CDs and have libraries to keep orderly in our autos. The 6GB Nomad Jukebox can be upgraded to 20GB (or maybe 40GB). Even at 6GB it can hold about 40 complete CDs ripped at 256bit rate (one ripping rate for home and auto is also easier to keep libraries straight.) Now that I have the nomad, I don't desire an MP3 head unit.

I just want something with a "line in" or "aux", to plug the nomad into.
 
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