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Old 01-21-2004, 08:24 PM   #1
syminguy
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Smile Connecting an iPod to the factory Blau radio

Thanks to those who replied to my original inquiry about this thread before: http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/s...&threadid=5281

I figured out a solution. It was explained to me from PIE tech support (www.pie.net) that the Blau radio in the Focus is not really a true Blaupunkt radio. It is manufactured by Blaupunkt, but it has Ford's software protocol and Ford's guts inside of it. I originally bought a cable that would convert the 8 pin CDC to a 3.5m plug that would fit in an iPod. This wouldn't work because there was no compatible data signal coming from that cable that would tell the radio to switch to CDC mode, thus allowing the audio signal from the 3.5m plug (iPod in my case). When I tried this I had the iPod running, and then I'd switch on the CDC button on the HU, and nothing happened. "NO CHANGER" appeared in the display. Anyway, to do this you need an actual factory Ford CD Changer, that will be compatible with the "blau" radio. I'm told that no other aftermarket CD Changers will work because they won't fit Ford's data protocol. Then you need to get a go-between box from PIE called the X3. http://www.pie.net/x3_inst.htm This is a switchbox that has RCA inputs on it that interrupts the audio from the CD Changer and allows audio from anything you want. It goes between the CD Changer and the "Blau" radio. The CD Changer still sends the data link signal to the radio, so that the HU will switch to the CDC mode, but the audio signal is interrupted by the switchbox so that whatever audio you send into the RCA's on the switchbox will go through instead.

The only problem with all this is that I imagine the price of these factory Ford CD Changers is expensive, because you have to go through Ford to get it...I guess. Anyone out there know where else to get one?? Then there's the price of the X3 switchbox...$75 from PIE.

Why not just get an aftermarket radio with an AUX input? JVC makes the only ones I've seen, but I think they're pretty ugly, and they have stupid animation and more flashing lights on it than the space shuttle. Plus you have to get a mounting kit. So I don't know about that. Anyone know of other aftermarket radios that have an AUX input?

If anyone else has any thoughts on all this I'd love to read them! My quest to install an iPod in my Focus will not be deterred!

Syminguy


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Old 01-21-2004, 08:27 PM   #2
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By the way...I also looked into getting the ICE-Link for iPod, made by Dension http://www.ice-link.com/ but after several days of talking with tech support they finally told me that their product will not work with the OEM Blaupunkt radios. Bummer...
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Old 01-22-2004, 12:26 AM   #3
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Re: Connecting an iPod to the factory Blau radio

Quote:
Originally posted by syminguy
Why not just get an aftermarket radio with an AUX input? JVC makes the only ones I've seen, but I think they're pretty ugly, and they have stupid animation and more flashing lights on it than the space shuttle. Plus you have to get a mounting kit. So I don't know about that. Anyone know of other aftermarket radios that have an AUX input?

If anyone else has any thoughts on all this I'd love to read them! My quest to install an iPod in my Focus will not be deterred!

Syminguy
Heh heh. I was in the same boat recently. I did just give up and install an aftermarket head unit. Are you looking for one that has an aux in on the face of the unit, or do you mind if the input is at the rear? There should be plenty of aftermarket units with rear-mounted aux inputs. I was turned off by the monstrosities that are passing for car stereos these days, so I got a nice clean Nakamichi head unit. Looks good, like it actually belongs with the car. They (the installers; yes, I gave up on installing it myself, too) just hooked up an RCA to miniplug patch cord to the input, and ran the cord out near the cupholder on the right side of the console. Since the cord is black you can barely even see that it is there (the SVT interior is pretty dark).

Might as well upgrade. Since you enjoy your music enough to have bought an iPod, then look at it this way. Someday you'll probably want to upgrade the system (speakers, amps) and by installing an aftermarket head unit you'll be making that much easier to do when the time comes.
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Old 01-22-2004, 12:34 AM   #4
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Belkin makes a little battery powered FM modulator thats works well and is pretty inexpensive @ $20....this is if u just want a quick hookup
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Old 01-22-2004, 12:48 PM   #5
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Good point SVT. I don't care where the aux input is, as long as it can be done. I don't mind a cord dangling somewhere that I can connect/reconnect an iPod or other source. I mainly don't want an ugly HU. I don't want/need goofy lights and animation like seeing dolphins in the ocean or rockets flying through space. I haven't done a lot of researching of HU's but I guess that's the way I'll have to go. I used to have a Mitsubishi Eclipse and I bought an aftermarket radio for it and it got stolen. This happened not once, but twice. That's another reason I'm not so fond of installing what would look like an aftermarket HU. And removing faceplates all the time is a pain in the ass.

I'd go the FM Modulator route, but they sound like crap. I had a Belkin FM Mod that is specifically designed for an iPod and there's a constant whine in the background. Really noticable, especially on more quiet music.

I'll look into Nakamichi and I also heard that Alpine makes some clean looking ones too.
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Old 01-22-2004, 12:56 PM   #6
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FM modulaters are crap - maybe okay for a temporary solution, but they sound awful. I've tried several and they all stank. Just FYI, I got my Nak on eBay new in the box for $299, it's the CD-400 model. Has multiple pre-amp outputs, the aux input, a 24-bit DAC for the CD player, switchable illumination (green/amber), and it looks good and works great. Alpine is also good, I've had an Alpine HU in another car for about 8 years now with no problems other than the buttons starting to wear out and the CD can be slow to respond. Obviously, 8 years is far longer than most keep a HU, so Alpine gets a from me.
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Old 01-22-2004, 01:44 PM   #7
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Yep, I agree on Alpine. You can get Aux-in on may of their models with some optional Alpine accessory, so it would be a good bet. Also, in my opinion they look very clean compared to many flashy units out there.

The cable you need for an Alpine Ai-Net HU if you decide to go that way is:
http://www.crutchfield.com/S-AjKPWCZ...0KCA121B&o=&a=

Good luck :)
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Old 01-22-2004, 08:19 PM   #8
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MP3 Head Unit Aux In adaptor

I've found two web sites that claim to offer FORD aux in adaptors for the MP3 Head Unit...

http://www.soundgate.com/products/aux-in/ford.htm

I've emailed them but haven't heard back.

Then tonight I found this:

http://www.autotoys.com/x/catalog/FO...NLY_p_335.html


Now both these seem like should work: they both mention specifically adding an MP3 player. Has anyone heard of these???
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Old 01-22-2004, 08:29 PM   #9
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Smile The Holey Grail?

Here's a photo of the connector from Autotoys.com
$71 big fat American Dollars. They call it:

"FORD AUX INPUT ADAPTER 1999+
(FOR COUGAR & FOCUS & ZX3 ONLY!) #335
Aux input adapter for 1998+ FORD FOCUS & COUGAR radios
without CD changer and a free CD changer port.
Direct AUX input via 2 RCA stereo jacks.

Requirements:
Requires a free cd changer port. If you have a CD changer
connected or a in dash cd changer from the factory which uses
the CD changer port, this adapter will not work.
This adapter takes sound directly (stereo) via 2 RCA jacks
and feeds it directly into the car stereo (just switch to CD changer
mode - See factory manual) and voila, direct input sound. Great for
XM radio connections, MP3 players, in car entertainment video feeds, etc. "


Obviously this would work with whatever car has the correct radio... a
ZX5 or wagon or whatever, right?

And how does this thing work exactly? I mean, I understand the two
RCA inputs (what we've all been looking for) but why are there TWO
other plugs? One obviously plugs into the CD changer port... the other,
what does it plug into?


PS... I'm hoping to hook up and Iriver... not an IPOD. Iriver = $346 = 20gig,
Lith/polymer battery with 16 hour play time, FM receiver built in,
includes remote and case, plays Mp3, WMA & OGG formats.
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Last edited by pcm84; 01-23-2004 at 06:09 AM.
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Old 01-22-2004, 09:07 PM   #10
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A fellow at Autotoys just responded to my email... the harness has two plugs, one is for options (?)... the other plugs into the CD changer port.

Is this IT guys... what we've all been looking for?
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