iPod / MP3 aux in for 9-3 - Page 2

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Thread: iPod / MP3 aux in for 9-3

  1. #16
    I did my Aux input hack today to great success. I seem to of done it slightly differently to most. I took of one of the blank buttons on the dash and mounted a switch and a 3.5mm socket in it then connect one of the sides of the switch to the socket. The out then went to an male xlr with left right and a common ground the other side of the switch went to another female xlr with all the 3 ground binded at the switch ( The idea of the xlrs is on the head unit side there would be a male out from the cd player and a female input to the amp so you could plug them together and the head unit would be the same as when you started =).

    In the inside of the head unit i just removed the bottom panel and where the cd left and right channels came into the amp i cut the tracks wired left and right to the amp which would go to the out of the switch and with the other cable to a couple of solder pads further upstream of the cut trancks and the ground to a hand ground pad that was right next to them.... =)

    So in conclusion i now have a switch on my dash that switches between the in dash cd and the mini jack input on my dash......

    the only oddites being that when I came to look at others ideas my head unit seems to be of a different design to everyone elses on the inside but the same on the outside.

    ********* The only catch is when the cd comes to the end there is 3 seconds of silence as it goes back to the being (oh well beggars can't be choosers)*********

    http://homepage.mac.com/jrumball/PhotoAlbum1.html (forgot to take some of the amp side soldering opps wil do at some point soon though =) )

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  3. #17
    That's a neat solution. Might give it a go myself.
    Nice touch with the XLR's to bypass the lot. Any particular switch you've used to maintain earth shielding?

    What'd be really nice is if there's a way to fool the unit that the CD Changer is connected and hijack the L/R inputs for that ...

  4. #18
    Cheers No switch in particular all the earths go to the same place so its just a matter of switching the signal wires 1 per ch. so a switch with 6 poles that switches between the 2 sets with an out. The earthing seems to be good the way I've done it. at the switch all i did was solder all 3 earths together at the switch and then at the board end as you'll notice in the photo ( may be a bit hard to see) I soldered it to the ground plane of the stereo only need the one as there all bonded together at the switch......

    You can do it with the CD Changer inputs It just seems that my stereo is a different design to most (a 2001 9-3) so I just chose the CD ones as they had some easy to use solder pads up the tracks and a close ground point. There are some other photos in this thread that talk about doing the same thing with the CD Changer inputs, you just need to use the inputs for it. But this all assumes you have a CD changer connected so the head unit will switch to the input with the right commands from the can-bus so If you don't have a changer try the in dash CD input instead

    The xlrs are easy for me (I'm a sound engineer) and they're 3 way so 2 (left and right) signals and an earth (as its an unbalanced signal) compared to the 2 signal (single source) compared against earth of a normal balanced xlr.

    Very important that you insulate the PCB and all your joints from shorts as all the casing is metal =)

    Any other questions please ask =)

  5. #19
    I think I'll give it a go - I've popped an Alpine MRP130 amp behind the glovebox and stuck a pair of infinity Kappa's in the front doors - and the sound quality from the stock headunit isn't too bad with this set up - so rather than replace the headunit with an mp3 capable one (with all the attendant hassle that involves) - I'll try this out instead - although I'm going to opt for using a switched 3.5mm socket so the socket and the switch is combined.. (example)
    I'm also hoping I might be able to find a way of mounting the socket onto the headunit facia and keep everything contained in the headunit if possible....

    will let you know how it goes!

  6. #20
    Took the plunge yesterday - Inspired by Joshua's approach - I've done it slightly differently from him in order to try and keep everything self contained within the head unit and automatically switch the signal when the input source is connected.

    So you now have a choice! - if you prefer to leave the Ipod/Mp3 Player permanently connected and have manual switching between the CD player and the Ipod then use Joshua's approach. If you want the Signal to switch to the input source when you plug it in - use my approach

    You may not like where I've mounted the 3.5mm Socket - it's not Ideal, but it's about the only place I could find enough clearance to mount it - even then with some hacking of the top cover plate - as you'll see!

    Remember no guarantees or comebacks! - this is what I did and it worked for me.

    You will need:
    1) A switched 3.5mm Stereo Socket (I used maplin part # FK20W - see Here)

    2) Some twin screened cable

    3) A soldering iron

    4) Hacksaw

    5) 7mm Drill

    6) some insulating tape

    You need to be reasonably competent /confident with a soldering iron but by no means an expert (I'm certainly not!)
    1. Take out the head-unit
    2. Remove the Top and Bottom Covers (2 screws hold the top cover on, 1 screw - on the back- holds the bottom cover on)
    3. Remove the volume knob (just pull) and remove the facia panel - two plastic clips either side. (to make thinks even easier I also unscrewed the small PCB which holds the power LED in place - this allows you to completely remove the facia for drilling)
    4. Cut away a square of material from the top cover and deburr - just over 1cm square to provide clearance for the socket body * (* You might not need to do this if you've found a different socket chassis). One side of the cut positioned at the centre-point so that the cut-away is just off-centre - this simplifies the mounting of the socket on the plastic facia - avoiding the centre strengthening 'web'
    5. Drill a 7mm Hole in the facia to accept the socket above the CD loading slot with the centre in-line with the cut-out in the top plate
    6. Remove the CD loader Sleeve from the inside of the facia panel - (there's a locking clip at each end which you need to pull back slightly to release the sleeve)
    7. Check the socket for mouting and pin clearance - I had to bend 1 pin of the socket 90 degrees to allow clearance for the socket with the loader sleeve replaced (the top pin in the picture)
    8. Cut a length of twin screened cable 9 or 10 inches long, and prepare one end. Piggy back the inner cables onto the Lch and Rch connectors of the ribbon cable coming from the CD mechanism - be very careful here not to short any of the connectors! You don't really need to worry about the ground(screen) cables on this connection as we're not going to break the original ground tracks, but make sure the screening's tided away and can't short any pins/connections on the PCB.Photo
    9. Cut another similar length of twin screened cable and prepare one end. Solder the inner cables to the LCh and RCh marked points on the PCB adjacent to the ribbon cable as shown in the photo, and solder the screening to the oin marked GND nearby - all in this picture :
    10. Don't forget to make sure you insulate everything effectively with insulating tape - and in particular watch that the Screening isn't going to be able to make accidental contact with the pin marked +8V which is nearby.
    11. Now - look for two tracks on the PCB which run between the points you've just soldered. They run around the left hand corner of the ribbon cable as shown in the photo above (note the photo above shows the tracks still in-tact) - Cut these two tracks carefully - use a modelling knife or miniature screwdriver to scratch them away - Carful not to break any other tracks nearby!
    12. Now, work out your cable routing, route the cables and prepare the other ends of the cables.
    13. Identify on the Socket which contacts should take the default signal ( from the CD player) - look through the transparent cover on the switch - the pins you need are the ones that will get disconnected when a plug is inserted. Solder these pins to the inner cables of the lead which is piggy-backed onto the ribbon cable - conventionally Left is the Tip, Right is the ring.
    14. Solder the inners of the other cable to the corresponding remaining Left & Right (Tip & Sleeve) Pins on the Socket.
    15. Bring all the screens together at the socket - This is a bit tricky - especially given the envelope within which it's all got to fit when the socket is mounted. I extended two short runs out from the common earth pin to simplify:
    16. Make sure all is neat and tidy and wrap the socket with insulating tape.
    17. Mount the socket in the hole you've prepared and secure with the locking ring.
    18. Replace the CD loader Sleeve
    19. Carefully replace the Facia Panel (and the power LED if you removed this!) making sure everything's lined up properly and your modifications are not fouling or getting pinched.
    20. Check your cable routing - make sure the cables won't foul anything in the CD mechanism or obstruct CD Load/Eject, & tape the cables into position:
    21. Replace the Bottom cover carefully and tape over the clearance hole you cut.
    22. Replace the top Cover
    23. refit the head unit into the car and cross your fingers!

    When nothing is plugged into the socket the Unit should function as normal with Radio & CD.

    When a device is plugged into the socket, the sound from the CD player should be replaced by the sound from your input source.

    Like all the other hacks I've seen, this means you have to have a CD playing and sound from the input source will be interrupted for a few seconds every time the CD restarts.

    If there's enough interest, and when I get some time, I'll try and put this together including the photo's into a PDF and make it available somewhere!



  7. #21
    Just been mulling over what method to take, and had a thought on what could potentially be an easy way if you have the optional CD changer.

    Once the signal to change to the external player has been sent via the HU, the HU is waiting for audio input from the external CD.

    From an audio point this would be Ground L & R chanells.

    Surley if you were to intercept the audio feeds, and put a switched socket, you could effectivly stop the music from the cd getting to the amp , and then feed

    your MP3 output in via a stereo mini headphone plug.

    This would also have the advantage that there would be no 74 minute pause, as the amp woudnt know when the end of a CD is reached.

    You wouldnt be able to use the hands free controls to change tracks, but i guess thats a small price to pay

    is it feasable


  8. #22


    I like your post and method to bring the barge's (the 93) sound system up to date with an Ipod connector.

    Being cautious, before i rip my radio into bits, your photo for step 8 appears to be adead link - any chance you could check it / repost that link please...


  9. #23
    I like your post and method to bring the barge's (the 93) sound system up to date with an Ipod connector.

    Being cautious, before i rip my radio into bits, your photo for step 8 appears to be adead link - any chance you could check it / repost that link please...


    Can't edit my original post - but all the photo's are in this photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tynymynydd/se...57604515046331/

    I think the URL for photo8 must've changed when I added the text overlay.

    Happy Hacking!

  10. #24
    Why not hardwire an FM transmitter?

    You could fit something like those cheap transmitters (search ebay for FM transmitter) in the ashtray or centre consol, and simply hardwire to the car. You could locate a 3.5mm stereo jack to one of the free button blanks in the dash if you wanted to.

    Surely that would be easier, and you'd not lose any existing functionality.

    I have an FM transmitter so if i get the chance, I'll do this and let you know how it goes.

  11. #25
    That'd work fine so long as you're not too fussed about the sound quality

    Even encoded at 256Kb/s + the signal's already gone thru enough mangling to get onto and out of your i-Pod/Mp3 Player. To then modulate it, Mux it transmit it, recieve it de-mux and demodulate it seems a bit harsh!!

    (tongue firmly in cheek!)

    At the end of the day - it's horses for courses - I'm a bit of a stickler for good sound quality (I can't tolerate MP3's coded at anything less than 196 Kb/sec for example) and I think it's worth the effort to maintain the purity of the signal. (If I could wire up my ageing turntable reliably into the car I probably would!!) I've tried FM transmitters and Cassette adaptors (uurgh!) in the past and have never been happy with them, So for me I'd prefer to do it this way. Full existing functionality is maintained - unplug the i-pod and the unit operates as normal.

    The great thing about this thread is that there are now a variey of ways documneted and tested of achieving a result with varying degrees of complexity and functionality - so there shoudl be something for everyone.

  12. #26
    Can i suggest an easy fix - though it does mean an extra unit in the car. It's called a Pure Highway & what it does is so simple. It is actually a digital radio receiver & you put a small wire in the windscreen to pick up the digital radio, though that is very easy to do, but here's the clever bit, it takes the digital signal & broadcasts it to your analogue radio in your car & as it broadcasts from inside your car the signal is perfect, you just tune your radio to it. but one of the best things is that it has an aux input to plug in your mp3/ipod & it does the same with that - broadcasts it to your normal car stereo. It works i both my grand voyager & our little kangoo, though i must confess i haven't tried it in the saab yet - though i see no reason why it shouldn't.

    bought it in argos for about £75 i think.

  13. #27
    Saab Newbie
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    You could of course just buy the lead that connects behind the dash and pay the £30 to have the computer recognise the input. about £70 in total.

    Elkparts sell the lead for about £40.

    No fuss, and no problems soldering/splicing/ no need to run a 74 minute blank cd/ can play CD's if still needed

    This is what i'll be doing

  14. #28
    where's the fun in that ?

    anyway - I don't think that option applies to the 900/9-3 classic - otherwise there'd be no need for this thread!

  15. #29
    My 2001 9-3 TiD has an FM modulator wired in. Its one of the ones that sits behind the dash and has hard connections to the aerial, stereo and 12v supply. The only thing visible is a power switch which I added to a blank switch on the dash, and I also hacked in a small LED indicator so I remember to turn it off. It plays through the radio on any of three switchable FM frequencies (just use an FM preset).

    The input lead for my MP3 player headphone socket is wired into the bin on the centre console.

    The FM modulator with all leads and power switch was about £20-25 on eBay a couple of years ago. Its worked great ever since I installed it and the sound quality is pretty good, i.e. better than FM radio.

  16. #30
    I have an 05 convertible that I wanted a better ipod connection in and a parrot. I have been trawling through many many pages on this and other forums looking for a solution. I went for a parrot MKi9200. I did not want to play through the front speakers only so I got a 't' harness off Ebay that connects into the EHU. The fibre optic cable and bus lines come out of the OE connector and plug into the new connector. The parrot lead plugs straight into the T harness and music comes out of all 7 speakers when using my phone or ipod. I did have to connect the yellow mute wire from the parrot into pin 4 of the 375 plug.
    All in all I would say this took about 2 hours....mainly because I couldnt work out how to remove the EHU. Again, dead easy when you know how.

    When I use the Parrot, the display shows 'telephone'.
    The lead was £12 on ebayand the Parrot was £159 on ebay. THe parrot charges the ipod and it displays the ipod menus on a colour screen.

    I hope this helps anyone with upgrading. Options are quite limited with upgrading and the saab ipod connection is pretty poor so if you want a quality ipod connection AND a parrot.....this is the surely the best route.

    ps i am a newbie so please scuse any omissions or errors.

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