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    Thread: DIY: "JB Mod" Auxiliary/iPod Input to OEM Head Unit via Tape Deck Hack

    1. Member
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      08-16-2010 11:58 AM #1
      WARNING: THIS MOD IS CURRENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION. PLEASE READ THREAD BEFORE ATTEMPTING.

      Introduction:
      This DIY was designed using a single DIN premium Monsoon stereo. It should be possible with any of the MK4 OEM VW head units but you will have to locate the tape deck preamp chip yourself using the images I’ve supplied below. Of course, with any other head unit there may be additional steps or changes you will have to make as you go along.

      And now for a disclaimer: following this DIY will be done at YOUR OWN RISK. You are responsible for any damage or loss incurred by attempting this procedure. I assume no responsibility for your mistakes or ineptitude.

      Tools Needed:
      OEM stereo from your vehicle
      Proper stereo removal keys
      Soldering iron (fine tip)
      Electrical component solder (silver solder)
      Donor cable with connector of choice (with leads stripped and tinned)
      Small zip tie

      Procedure:
      Step 0: Repeat after me: DO NOT USE FORCE. If you are using force, you've done something wrong and it's almost always going to lead to problems.

      Step 1: Before beginning any of this, make sure that either (1) you have the radio code to enter after you’ve reinstalled the stereo or (2) you know that taking out and putting the stereo back in will not permanently disable it.

      Step 2: Insert the key in the ignition and turn to the accessory position, then to off. This will disable the theft prevention system on the radio. The little red light on the radio should not be blinking when you perform the next step.

      Step 3: Insert stereo removal keys (or whatever you have built as substitutes) into the slots shown below and push them in all the way. Pull the keys out and the stereo should come with it. Remove the keys from the stereo by pushing the tabs on the sides and pulling the keys out.



      Step 4: Unplug the power (black), speaker out (brown) and multicolor (CD/Monsoon amp if present) connectors from the back by squeezing the tab on the side of each one before pulling it out. Also remove the antenna from its connection.
      UPDATE: If you want to leave the tape deck functional skip steps 5 and 6 and just move straight to the soldering. If you don't want to hear the tape you have in there each time you plug in/unplug your ipod continue with these steps to disable the audio input from the tape deck. When your ipod is plugged in the audio from the tape deck will be cut out btw.
      Step 5: Bring the stereo to a suitable workbench with good lighting as you’ll need to see very clearly where you’re poking a hot soldering iron. Remove the top of the stereo by prying it up from the back edge. This should expose the inner mechanism of the tape deck unit.



      Step 6: Unplug the ribbon which carries the signal from the tape deck head to the circuit board. The ribbon is shown here unplugged already. To do this, grasp the white connector shown in the next picture with a pair of needle nose pliers and rock it side to side until it moves upwards about ¼”. The ribbon should then be able to be freely removed with a gentle tug. Move it into the position shown and replace the top of the case. This will trap it under the edge of the case and prevent it from shorting anything inside the case. If at some point you’d like to listen to a tape, simply replace this tab into its connector. Then ask yourself why you just did that instead of listening via your new aux-in.



      Step 7: Turn the unit over and remove the case on the underside. This will expose the main circuit board of the unit. Be very careful about what you touch on this side. Preferably you won’t touch anything besides the component we’re working on. Grounding yourself is not a bad idea if you have a grounding strap.



      Step 8: We will be working on the near left corner of the stereo as it is seen in the above picture with the case removed. Make sure you’re looking at the correct part of the board.

      Step 9: The next image (taken from inside the stereo which you can’t see) shows the chip that we’ll be tapping into and the corresponding pinout for the chip. This chip takes raw signal coming from the tape deck head and performs preamp, and signal cleanup (among other things) before passing it out as R and L channels. If you’d like to learn more about this chip, just google the part number on the top of it. The image after that shows the chip on the board as you’re seeing it now (from the underside), and the correspondingly flipped pinout diagram. Again make sure you are properly oriented before proceeding.





      Step 10: We will solder the right channel in (usually a red wire off of your cable) to pin 16 and the left channel in to pin 2. The ground (usually copper/silver) can go wherever you please that’s grounded, however I found that the ground shown in the picture below was a nice one, as it’s nearby and connected to a mechanical switch which doesn’t mind being heated while you’re soldering, as opposed to surface mounted electrical components which are very sensitive. I took the additional step of insulating the grounding wire with some shrinkwrap to prevent it from shorting anything while it’s in there. I would highly suggest you take similar precautions.



      Step 11: Now that you understand where we’ll be soldering, pick up the unit and take off the cassette side cover again. Feed your cable of choice into the back of the case into the slot just next to the antenna connector as shown here from the inside of the case. Thread a zip tie around the bracket shown below and wrap it loosely around the cable. Once you’ve finished the soldering and adjusting of cable slack we’ll tighten this down. The zip tie will prevent any movement or force on the cable from disturbing your tiny solder points.



      Step 12: Feed the wire through the case so it comes out as shown in the picture below. Replace the stereo cover and turn the unit back over to begin soldering. Please excuse any continuity issues you may notice with my pictures.



      Step 13: Solder the R, L and ground leads onto the pins as discussed above. Make very sure that you use extremely short leads so they don’t contact any other metal and that during this process you do not short any circuit with your leads or solder.



      Step 14: Once you have the soldering complete, adjust the cable length so that the covers can both fit and tighten the protective zip tie very snug to isolate the solder points from movement.

      Step 15: Replace the covers and return to your car with the completed stereo. Thread the auxiliary input cable wherever you please through the dash.



      Step 16: Plug in all of the original cables and turn the key to the accessory position. Power on the stereo; you may have to wait a moment for the car computer to recognize the stereo, or input the radio code at this point. Once the stereo is functioning, put a tape in to get the unit to draw signal from your cable. Side A/B doesn’t matter just as long as the tape is rolling.



      Enjoy your new auxiliary input! If you have any questions, comments, corrections or suggestions please don't hesitate to contact me or post here. I'll be updating this DIY with improvements as I make them.

      Stay Tuned for DIY Updates:
      How to eliminate the need for a tape to be in the unit with the motors running.

      How to install an iPod docking cable which will allow you to both charge and play the iPod (12v charge models only).
      Last edited by TheLaughingMan; 09-05-2010 at 05:58 PM.
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      I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes.
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      Formerly known as Jermi4

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      08-16-2010 12:01 PM #2
      FAQ Section


      Reply to thread or PM with other questions, the FAQ will be updated with answers.


      Q: Does this mod work the same with the double DIN?
      A: At the moment I haven't been able to look at a double DIN yet. The chip which is soldered to should be located near the output from the tape deck head and once it's located the DIY should be the same. Once more information is known about this I'll put up pictures and info.


      Q: Can you still play tapes?
      A: Yes, if you don't pull the tape deck head cable in step 6 your tape deck will still play. This may mean however that each time you plug in/unplug your ipod you might get blasted by whatever crappy tape you have stuck in there.


      Q: Does this allow you to control the iPod at all?
      A: It gives you just as much control over the iPod as a set of headphones would. None.


      Q: Have you figured out powering the iPod yet?
      A: Yes I purchased one of the many aftermarket dock connector cables off amazon (http://www.metraonline.com/productsl...pod%203.5%20mm) and wired it into the 12v switched and grounded connections as detailed here (http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?2672579). There is some problem though with getting audio out of the iPod using the dock connector. Once I have this resolved I will post the information about how to get one of these cables working to both charge and listen to the iPod.


      Q: Can you just gut a tape so the tape deck never auto-reverses and is quieter when it's running?
      A: No, the tape deck works by driving one of the spools and detecting movement in the other one. Once the spool that is being monitored stops moving the deck goings through the auto-reverse procedure. So gutting a tape would result in a continuously auto-reversing tape deck.


      Q: What audio devices does this work with?
      A: For some unknown reason (hopefully worked out soon), there are some audio devices which don't seem to work properly with this hack. Ones that I can tell you work for sure are as follows, and this list will be updated as people send me their information:

      Works with hack:
      iPod Shuffle 2nd generation
      iPod Nano 2nd generation
      iPod Classic 160GB
      Sansa Fuze
      Samsung Eternity

      Does NOT work with hack:
      iPod Classic 20GB
      Motorola ZN5
      Last edited by TheLaughingMan; 09-24-2010 at 02:25 PM.
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      I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes.
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      Formerly known as Jermi4

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      08-16-2010 04:54 PM #3
      Rockin, can't wait for the tape player delete DIY to rip er apart. Can i expect to have to take it apart again if i don't wait.

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      08-18-2010 09:25 AM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by Atae View Post
      Rockin, can't wait for the tape player delete DIY to rip er apart. Can i expect to have to take it apart again if i don't wait.
      As I'm planning it, the tape player DIY delete should be able to be done in your car with a few homemade jumper wires and a screwdriver. It would only really involve pulling the radio out of its slot, taking the top cover off and pulling power cable just for good measure. I'll link to it from here once I'm done.
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    5. Moderator j. Kush's Avatar
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      08-18-2010 10:08 AM #5
      This is awesome!

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      08-19-2010 07:38 PM #6
      bump in case you missed it
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      08-20-2010 10:08 AM #7
      Is the DIY almost ready for the tape player delete?

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      08-20-2010 10:29 AM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by Atae View Post
      Is the DIY almost ready for the tape player delete?
      chill chill. i'm working on getting the dock connector working so you can charge and play out of the single dock connector cable. the tape player really doesn't make that much noise when it's running with just a normal tape in it.
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    9. Member Gonzzz's Avatar
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      08-20-2010 10:30 AM #9
      That looks sweet! Nice to see some creativity around here with electronics
      I haz too many cars. PM me your email for a reply.

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      08-20-2010 01:46 PM #10
      Does this mod work the same with the double din?

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      08-20-2010 01:49 PM #11
      And also, can you still play tapes?

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      08-20-2010 08:13 PM #12
      Bump for my two questions /\

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      08-20-2010 08:35 PM #13
      Re: double DIN- I have no experience with the double DIN but would believe that if you trace the input from the tape deck head it will lead you to the chip which is referred to in the DIY. Please let me know what you find out after doing this.

      Re: playing tapes- If you read the update after step 4 you'll see that you can leave the ribbon from the tape deck head in place and it will allow you to still play tapes. The signal from the aux in cable will override and shut off the signal from the tape deck once you begin playing an ipod.

      Thanks for the questions! It'll help anybody else who wants to do this. I'll update the thread with an FAQ in the future.
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      08-21-2010 12:26 AM #14
      Fantastic! I'll be sure to get back to you on Sunday or so. This circuit board stuff scares me, so I'll probably try to upload some pics if I don't see exactly what you posted.

    15. Member ryanj's Avatar
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      08-21-2010 02:06 PM #15
      the "JB mod" is officially awesome. I just did it this afternoon and it took all of 30 min and 0$ because i allready had everything I needed at home. I did somewhat over come the tape problem. I cut the cord off an old cassette tape adapter and put that in so the tape never has to reverse. Thanks for a great DIY!

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      08-22-2010 02:32 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by ryanj View Post
      the "JB mod" is officially awesome. I just did it this afternoon and it took all of 30 min and 0$ because i allready had everything I needed at home. I did somewhat over come the tape problem. I cut the cord off an old cassette tape adapter and put that in so the tape never has to reverse. Thanks for a great DIY!
      another satisfied customer folks.
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    17. Member morbs_gt's Avatar
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      08-22-2010 05:19 AM #17
      In for sure! Thanks for that write-up.
      Sent from my vwvortex account.

      When in doubt..

    18. 08-28-2010 06:59 PM #18
      is there any further progress on the 12v power. Really interested in doing this but want it a little better.

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      08-28-2010 09:26 PM #19
      I just got back from my attempt with the double din and well.... I'm not the guy to do this circuitboard exploration.. I took off the top plate, bottom plate, started on the side when I realized I'd need to take off the back plate... I think when you take the back off, everything comes apart, so I didn't go that far:/ I'll still wait for an update of someone who succeeded with it, but for now, circuit boards give me chills...

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      08-29-2010 06:36 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by Project.Blacked.Out View Post
      is there any further progress on the 12v power. Really interested in doing this but want it a little better.
      First off, I'm back in school right now so most of this project is on hold.

      Here's the deal with power: I purchased this cable (http://www.metraonline.com/productsl...pod%203.5%20mm). After wiring it into the system as above (using a homemade RCA female->1/8" stereo female adapter) and hooking it up to the switched 12v and ground of the vehicle it will charge the iPod just fine. This will only work for 12v charging devices which excludes any of the later model apple devices. Unfortunately I can't get audio to come out of the ipod dock connector properly. Because the cable has the 1/8" stereo jack in there already I could just plug in both the dock connector and 1/8" jack and then it would both charge and play. However this looks goofy so I'm still working on it. And of course as with any device which utilizes the vehicle power you will get a ground loop and be able to hear the alternator while the engine is on. Your options to get around this are pretty standard: (1) buy a ground loop isolator or (2) unplug the power because your ipod has a battery.

      I'll be working on getting the audio out of the ipod dock connector and will update when that's complete. This whole project is definitely a work in progress but hopefully when I'm done there will be a quick and easy way for people to integrate iPods in their cars for super cheap.
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      08-29-2010 06:37 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by grkboy707 View Post
      I just got back from my attempt with the double din and well.... I'm not the guy to do this circuitboard exploration.. I took off the top plate, bottom plate, started on the side when I realized I'd need to take off the back plate... I think when you take the back off, everything comes apart, so I didn't go that far:/ I'll still wait for an update of someone who succeeded with it, but for now, circuit boards give me chills...
      I have a friend with a double din who's going to let me take a look. Unfortunately the radio keys for it are different than my single DIN. Would you be willing to mail your keys to me so I can pull his radio?
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      08-29-2010 10:22 PM #22
      Mine are home made. I COULD send them to you, but it literally takes 5 minutes to make them. All you have to do is cut a credit card into 4 strips approximately the size of he opening and cut an angle of like 25* on one side of each. Then, put them in the slots, push outward, and pull it out from either the tape deck slot or the top of the radio when the cupholder cover is up. I assume the single din keys work the same way as the double. If you hav any questions (I know this was a mouthful), don't hesitate to ask

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      08-29-2010 10:51 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by grkboy707 View Post
      Mine are home made. I COULD send them to you, but it literally takes 5 minutes to make them. All you have to do is cut a credit card into 4 strips approximately the size of he opening and cut an angle of like 25* on one side of each. Then, put them in the slots, push outward, and pull it out from either the tape deck slot or the top of the radio when the cupholder cover is up. I assume the single din keys work the same way as the double. If you hav any questions (I know this was a mouthful), don't hesitate to ask
      Excellent, thanks. I had tried to make some for my single DIN and they didn't work very well. I figured out later on it was because one of the catch mechanisms had been mangled by some PO but wasn't sure if the home made versions really worked. I'll give this a shot and post pics after I tear into it. I'll be getting a few for my buddy and his misguided faith in my ability to not turn his deck into a brick.
      Last edited by TheLaughingMan; 08-29-2010 at 10:54 PM.
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    24. 08-30-2010 07:43 AM #24
      Great write up! I cant wait to try this!!

      For the tape noise issue...instead of cutting up a tape adapter, couldnt you gut an old cassette tape so it wouldnt autoreverse? Or wont it play with a gutted cassette?

      There's gotta be a way to just trick it into thinking there is a tape in there. Even though the tape doesnt make much noise, it'd be nice to not have the door opened and having things moving that dont need to.

      Im going to get a spare radio since they're so cheap and play around with this.

      Now Im just trying to decide what type of audio cable I want to use and what type of plug I want to terminate this with. Probably just going with a 1/8" audio connector, just not sure if I want to put a female or a male end on it.

      J.

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      08-30-2010 09:35 AM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
      Great write up! I cant wait to try this!!

      For the tape noise issue...instead of cutting up a tape adapter, couldnt you gut an old cassette tape so it wouldnt autoreverse? Or wont it play with a gutted cassette?
      FAQ updated
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