I’ve taken apart my wife’s stereo head unit so many times, I think I could do it blindfolded.  You remember last time, right?  Well, that mod broke.

The FM modulator box I used then was starting to die.  All kinds of bad noise was coupling into the head unit, possibly from other FM stations as you’d drive the car around.  Just not a good overall solution.

Plus, the charging power supply I used was a linear, which worked fine when she had a small iPod (read: not very power hungry).  But since she’s upgraded to an iPhone, a lot more power is required for charging.  And stepping down from 12V to 5, well, that’s a lot of drop.  Yeah I know, lazy engineering.  Should have been a switcher.  So you can imagine that the linear popped.

Both good reasons to get in there and fix it right this time.

I decided on a better approach to get a real line input (or “AUX-IN” as they call them) into her factory head unit.  A neat company called Jazzy Engineering makes a unique product specifically for Subaru Outbacks for $50.  It’s got an RCA right / left  connector jack on it.

My wife prefers the gooseneck type iPhone mount/chargers.  I found a good one from Belkin for $25 (on Amazon).  It has an audio output jack which is 1/8″ audio connector format.

So that presented a challenge.  I had to adapt from 1/8″ to RCA R/L.  For this, I found an old CD player and tore it apart.  Inside, it had a nifty little PCB subassembly with the RCA jack portion all ready to go!  It even had a ground loop interrupter circuit on board, consisting of a couple transformers.  I just had to add my 1/8″ female connector and I was good to go.

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1 Comment

  1. As the new proud owner of the iPhone 4, maybe I will have to look into the Belkin mount. Mostly, I just wanted to tell you I upgraded!

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