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OT: Radio wiring question


ThreeSheds
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MY Range Rover has a pioneer KEH-5800RDS radio/cassette which I don't particularly want to change, but I would like to run my MP3 player into it.

I tried one of those things that's like a cassette with a wire on it but the sound quality is crup.

So I wondered if there is a way of getting an aux input into the radio and I was hunting around the web for a wiring diagram but - other than paying a subscription to a site that claims to have one - I can't find one, so my questions are:

1. Do you know of a source of free wiring diagrams for car radios?

2. Do you know of a cassette adapter that works well?

3. Is there a way of wiring in my MP3 direct? (I don't have any cassettes any more so perhaps I could use the cassette-head wiring in some way?)

Cheers,

Rog

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You don't need a manual to tell if there's an aux input - it will either have a pair of RCA jacks on the back, or a 3.5mm headphone socket either on the back or front. If it doesn't you're basically stuffed and either going to have to use the tape adapter (rubbish sound could be due to the volume adjustment on your MP3 player, you need to get it right or it'll distort something awful), or use an FM modulator (£20 ish) and pick it up through the radio setting.

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You don't need a manual to tell if there's an aux input - it will either have a pair of RCA jacks on the back, or a 3.5mm headphone socket either on the back or front. If it doesn't you're basically stuffed and either going to have to use the tape adapter (rubbish sound could be due to the volume adjustment on your MP3 player, you need to get it right or it'll distort something awful), or use an FM modulator (£20 ish) and pick it up through the radio setting.

Brilliant! :)

Thanks FF - there are a pair of (what I now know to be) RCA jacks on thick grey wires coming out of the back - but I had assumed that these were outputs for extra speakers or something... :ph34r:

Cheers,

Rog

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Not tried one myself but am told the FM modules work really well.

If you've not seen them they plug to the mp3 or ipod and transmit whatever is playing. You then tune your car radio to the required frequency and put that into one of your memory buttons.

Steve

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I have been surpised at how good the converter cassettes sound. Not all are the same, not all will work with all players, some require converters that have gears inside to simulate the tape moving so it does not trip the autoreverse continually.

If the heads are dirty or not in alignment, it will sound pants (and will also sound pants on normal tapes) but it should sound at least as good as a good tape if not better. I used one in my '93 RRC. I was reluctant to change the stereo because the radio reception was among the best of any radio I have used. Never found an FM transmitter that sounds any good , but have not tried the type that plug inline into the actual aerial cable.

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In the past I have tried and not liked both the transmitter and cassette simulator options (although admittedly not both in the RRC) and have found:

Cassette simulator (with gears, but cheap - about £5, I think):

  • Noisy operation (I could hear the gears)
  • Poor sound (the player would play the last of my usable tapes fine, but the cassette adapter lost a lot of treble)
  • Sometimes difficult to insert/eject.

FM Transmitter (Belkin)

  • Another bl@@dy charger/power-supply
  • Not loud enough
  • Need to stop and re-tune it on long journeys (wherever a local radio station used the frequency I had chosen)
  • Only worked when the unit was high up, so I used to put it on the dash with a bit of bluetac

I had not heard of ones that plug into the aerial lead - that sounds useful - I might have a look for one of those if these two RCA plugs turn out to be 'outs' and not 'ins'. (They don't have the word AUX next to them so I guess that doesn't bode well).

Also I think that I only tried the Belkin unit in the old Pug which had a conventional aerial - maybe it would work better in the RRC with it's heated-rear-screen type of aerial... I am thinking that I could set up an installation with the transmitter mounted somewhere at the rear of the car - that way it may be powerful enough to override any external stations perhaps...

I guess what I am really looking for is a permanent solution that I can wire in and just have a mounted 3.5mm jack lead for input (possibly in the cubby-box). Last night I did another web-trawl looking for a wiring diagram or fitting instructions or even a user manual for the radio, but I can't find anything :(

My current plan is to see if the RCA plugs/sockets (it's sort of hard to tell with these - I think they swing both ways ;) ) are outputs or not, is to get the unit playing and then put my meter (set to AC Volts) across one of them and see what I get - anybody know if this would work? Failing that I think my next option is to resurrect the Belkin and give that a go.

By the way (a bit of LR content here ;) ) I am impressed with the performance of the heated-rear-screen-aerial in the RRC - it pulls in loads of stations :)

Rog

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From the manual,

http://www.service.pioneer-eur.com/peeserv...EH-P6000RDS.pdf

it appears that the 2 RCA's are Preamp out.

Stereo's are getting that cheap now, it would probably be more cost effective to replace with a new head unit that either has Aux in, or MP3 reader. Some of the newer ones will read MP3s on DVD - 1 DVD with upto 4.7gb of music - that's ~30 times more than any available portable music player. I tried the Belkin FM player - it was fine in a normal car, but rubbish in my RRC.

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I agree with Classic Nut - I fitted a £50 JVC MP3 CD player in the freebie and it works great, the quality these days is probably better for £50 than a £250 unit that's a few years old. CD-R's are cheap enough you can have a few in a CD wallet and be carrying days of music without the faff of plugging wires in or carrying your MP3 plater about.

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Thanks for the manual Classic nut - that saved me some messing (and possible damage to the radio or my MP3 player?)

I tried the Belkin that I found in my "wires and chargers" box (you know the one - it has scart leads, phone leads, network leads, usb leads for your last five cameras, fifteen assorted chargers and that old mini-disc player :lol: ) and to say it was rubbish would be an overstatement - in fact I thought it wasn't working at all and had to try it on the hi-fi in the house to be sure! I guess that the window aerial doesn't get internal signals, although I can't see why. Some sort of Faraday cage effect perhaps?

I will take the advice that you and FF proffer and nip down to Halfords to see what they have. It's a shame though because I like the look of the old unit - most modern ones seem much too bling to me..

Thanks for all the help :)

Rog

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