Modify your car stereo to accept your iPod (like the bitch it is)

So I finally got fed up with burning CDs and having them pile up in my car (I’m also horrible at remembering to label them so I need to spend 20+ minutes looking for the cd I want to listen to).  So today I took apart my car stereo and figured out how to add my own auxiliary input since my stereo lacks one.

So if you’re like me and are a broke ass student and are sick of having burnt CDs pile up in your car follow these instructions.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • A car stereo (Tape or CD)
  • A soldering iron & solder
  • Google
  • a 3.5mm jack cable (you can use an old pair of headphones, or like me, a 3.5->3.5 jack socket)
  • An ipod/mp3 player/laptop/ipad whatever
  • A brain (not 100% necessary but it is recommended) and a steady hand

STEP ONE: Take your stereo apart

I didn’t document this, but generally there are two parts to the stereo, the CD assembly and the mainboard.  What you want to get at is the mainboard, so isolate that from the CD assembly.
STEP TWO: Locate the circuit you need

What I did was look at the main circuits on the board, look at the model on the circuit and google it.  Eg. I had three circuits on my board which were: LA6565, BD3445 & TEF6601.  I googled all three.  I determined that the:

  • LA6565 was used for the CD assembly (ie. moving the laser, reading & processing the data) – not what I needed.
  • BD3445 was used for faceplate processing (eg. skip forward, tuner, on/off, eg etc)
  • TEF6601 was for the FM tuner.  This is the one we need.

I googled around for a datasheet for the TEF6601 circuit (which wasn’t too hard to find) and used the diagram to determine which pins (legs) on the circuit was used for FM in, was fairly straight forward.

STEP THREE: Solder audio jack onto L&R in pins on the circuit and the ground shield onto the casing (or a ground point if you have a multimeter)

I didn’t think to take too many pictures throughout the process but here’s a pic of my job done:

solderpoints

Finally, all I did was reassemble the CD player, switch to FM and go nuts.

So basically if I want to listen to my ipod I can switch to FM (and play), when the ipod is switched off or disconnected, the radio will work as normal.