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Discussion Starter #1
The short question is this: Is it possible to do a modification to have separate audio sources for the front and rear speakers with a factory cd head unit?

The reason I am asking is this- We have a 2002 EX on order without the RES (can't afford it, would prefer VCP, and don't necessarily want leather). I know the factory RES will allow the radio to play through the front speakers and the DVD through the rear speakers. From what I can gather about the Honda IVES system you have 2 choices - headphones or FM modulator. We have 3 kids - the 7 yr old would keep headphones on, but the 17 mo old would have them off and be chewing on the headband before we left the driveway, and we don't want to listen to the video tapes through the radio, ourselves. It doesn't appear that the IVES system will allow splitting the audio among the speakers. Also, we can't afford the IVES system right now anyway, and may just use a TV/VCR combo (which, unfortunately, has side firing speakers) for the time being.

What I would like to do is this: I would like to have some kind of switch and plug (hidden behind/under the dash?) that I could plug another audio source into that would output to the rear speakers while the front speakers are still controlled by the factory radio. I have several questions about this:

1] Is this even possible or am I in some kind of audio/video fantasyland?
2] Can it be done reasonably easily and cheaply (I am pretty handy, know how to use a soldering gun, etc.)?
3] Would the headphone jack from the TV/VCR have enough output to drive the van's speakers or would I need some kind of electronic component in between?
4] Would it be possible to directly connect a VCR's coax audio output to the speakers or would it need some kind of amplifier/converter in between?

My ideal is this: Two RCA jacks and a miniplug hidden behind the center console with either a manual switch that I flip or some kind of automatic electronic switch (neater but probably much more expensive). Then, just plug in whatever audio component I want and let the kids listen in the back to one thing while we listen to another up front.

So, am I dreaming?
 

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No you're not dreaming. You will need a couple of stereo RCA jacks and a 4 pole / double throw non shorting switch. Clip the rear speaker wires behind the radio. Extend the wires that go to the rear speakers and attach them to the CENTER terminals on the switch (right +&-, left +&-). Extend the rear speaker wires that come from the radio and connect to one side of the switch. Mount your jacks in a convenient location and run wires from them to the other side of the switch. When the switch is in one position, audio from the radio is routed to the rear speakers. When the switch is in the other position, audio from whatever is plugged into the new jacks is routed to the rear speakers. The headphone jack on the TV/VCR might have enough output to drive the rear speakers to a moderate level but you would have to try it. The line level audio out on the VCR won't drive the speakers. If the TV/VCR has external speaker outputs, this is what you should use. Be sure to keep the speaker polarity consistent when wiring the switch. A good mounting location for the switch is on the easily removed panel under the steering column. Hope this helps.
 

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Curculio,
Some checking on the 2002 non-RES stereo is worth doing. If the non-RES stereo is the same one as the RES version, than in theory you should be able to feed a line level signal into the factory unit and use it just like the RES version. If the non-RES stereo is identical to the '99-'01 unit, you may be able to use the nav input, as I was describing in the thread below this one. I'm still checking into this, and was hoping to hear from a Nav owner on how the Nav/mute function and volume control works to figure this out. Basically, my idea is to use the Nav input for a second source, and rewire the speaker out so that front goes to rear speaks, and vice versa. The Nav with the use of a +12V mute lead, allows the Nav voice to play over the front speakers when giving directions. You should be able to wire into the Nav input, and use a switch to activate the mute. Then with the speaker wires switched, your input source would go to rear, without affecting front.
I guess it just needs to be tried out....
-SJ

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DEP '01 EX no-navi
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info, now all I have to do is convince my wife that the first thing we should do to our brand new van when it gets here is to rip the dash off and cut some wires! At least initially, is there a way I can test whether the TV/VCR will drive the speakers without cutting them?

Here is something else I was thinking of - Taking small speakers (1-2" diameter?) that I could build a little box around or that come in a little box and clamp them to the headrests of the kids seats. What would be nice would be a little box that exactly fits between the seat top and headrest, covered with closely matching cloth so that it blends in well and run the wires under the floor mats. The fidelity doesn't have to be great (I have never had one of my children say to me, "Hey Dad, the highs are muddy when Babe the pig speaks"). I would need 3 speakers (3 kids), and I was thinking I could put some kind of volume control on each one (in line on the wiring so the kids can adjust the volume?) What kind of volume control would I need? -(I have seen little sliders on the headphones of walkmans.) A little tinny speaker right behind your ear wouldn't need much to drive it, so I think I could just plug into the headphone jack of the TV/VCR. Seems like this would be a cheap, Radio Shack kind of deal, and would spare us from listening to the videos.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Curculio:
Thanks for the info, now all I have to do is convince my wife that the first thing we should do to our brand new van when it gets here is to rip the dash off and cut some wires! At least initially, is there a way I can test whether the TV/VCR will drive the speakers without cutting them?

Here is something else I was thinking of - Taking small speakers (1-2" diameter?) that I could build a little box around or that come in a little box and clamp them to the headrests of the kids seats. What would be nice would be a little box that exactly fits between the seat top and headrest, covered with closely matching cloth so that it blends in well and run the wires under the floor mats. The fidelity doesn't have to be great (I have never had one of my children say to me, "Hey Dad, the highs are muddy when Babe the pig speaks"). I would need 3 speakers (3 kids), and I was thinking I could put some kind of volume control on each one (in line on the wiring so the kids can adjust the volume?) What kind of volume control would I need? -(I have seen little sliders on the headphones of walkmans.) A little tinny speaker right behind your ear wouldn't need much to drive it, so I think I could just plug into the headphone jack of the TV/VCR. Seems like this would be a cheap, Radio Shack kind of deal, and would spare us from listening to the videos.
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To test driving the speakers, just pop the rear ones out of your van, and hook them directly up. Use the metra speaker wiring harnesses to even make it easier to connect to the speakers.

As far as your small speaker idea, I think it's a great idea. One thing you could consider (I've thought about this one myself) is to buy some home multimedia speakers, like those from Boston Acoustics or Cambridge Soundworks. Both companies systems use an external brick which outputs 12V (AC though, but the inputs are labeled AC/DC 12V). Anyhow, if 12V DC doesn't work, there's always an inverter too..

These systems are probably small enough for you application, and all you would have to do is figure out how to mount them... Amp, sub, everyting is included. Wanna do 5.1? Get a DVD player with digital out and you could use one of the 5.1 multimedia systems for a reasonable surround sound setup. Just an idea, but would require some work to solidly mount the speakers (prevent them from becoming projectiles) and getting it all wired up nicely.....

I think WAY too much about this stuff. I should get (back) to work.. Haven't done anything all morning....

-SJ

p.s.- the multimedia speaks also solve your volume control problem....

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DEP '01 EX no-navi

[This message has been edited by shinjohn (edited 09-10-2001).]
 
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