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Old 06-10-2006, 01:23 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 372
iPod: My ridiculous solution

There are always tons of posts on here about people looking for solutions to the iPod + Boxster problem. Truth is I don’t think there is a really good answer. After about a year of messing around I think I have finally found the setup I am going to stick with. I figure at least a few people would find this interesting, and if nothing else maybe trigger some fellow owners into “thinking outside the box.”

For background: I have an ’02 with the CDR-220 head unit and no CD changer.

I started off by trying the easiest method using an FM transmitter. However, I found this really only worked when I was out in the middle of nowheresville where there are few radio stations, and even then the sound from FM can not equal CD quality no matter how good a signal is obtained (this is a communications theory fact). So the FM transmitter was out.

I then had to choose between the Dension icelink product and the Becker AUX cable. I went with the icelink because it had a professional looking dock and included power and control of the iPod through the head unit. Well, in honesty this thing never worked right. I would get it to work then it would freak out for a few weeks, and then start working again. I finally got sick of messing with it so I ripped it all out and ordered the AUX cable.

I then started looking for a new dock while the AUX cable was on order. I realized I liked the Dension dock more then any of the others and I really wanted to be able to charge the iPod without using a cigarette lighter charger if possible.

so I started thinking . . . .

For those who have never seen it the icelink, it consists of an iPod dock and a package of electronics which hides behind the console. I spent a few hours with an iPod pin diagram, CDR-220 pin diagram, my iPod, the head unit and a digital multimeter until I had convinced myself that I could rig something up with all the stuff I had accumulated over the past year. Here is what I finally did

1. Cut the proprietary end off the Dension dock cable
2. Separate and strip the ends off the wires leading from the dock
3. Splice male RCA plugs onto the appropriate audio wires from the dock (they were the Blue and White wires)
4. Connect these plug to the AUX cable
5. Split the connector from the dension unit that connects into the CDR-220 and cut off and throw away the blue half.
6. Replace with the blue connector of the AUX cable connected to the dock through the RCA plugs.
7. Connect the 12 volt wire (I think it was pink) coming out of the icelink to the pink wire from the dension dock.
8. Trim off all the remaining wires and electrical tapped the crap out of everything.

The net result is the cool Dension dock sending the audio through the AUX cable, however running power to the iPod using the icelink as a glorified power supply. If somebody wanted to duplicate this approach without the icelink, I’m pretty sure a “power supply” could be rigged up using a Zener Diode and a resistor (look up 9 volt USB batter charger on Google.). The power out of the back of the CDR-220 is not the correct voltage to charge the iPod. The iPod requires either +5v (USB) or +12v (Firewire) DC.

Anyway this got a bit long in the tooth, but I just wanted to point out this stuff is not rocket science. I’m pretty sure somebody could duplicate this setup from scratch using the AUX cable and some stuff from RadioShack and Best Buy for less then $50. (Don’t ask what I spent over the past year on this)

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