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I'm planning on ordering a tape module for the head unit, and splicing a stereo aux connector into the tape pick-up head on the module.
If I am able to do this, I would intend to route the AUX line in, in the form of a 1/8" stereo headphone jack, back to the center console storage compartment, for connection to my audio soure (In my case, an Archos Recorder 20).
I'm interested in seeing some decent quality pics of the tape module on its own, to see how easily I could 'chop' into it to get the line I need.
If it can be done, I would use a dummy tape case, with the tape reels removed, to fake out the tape presence sensor to allow it to accept the audio in source from the tape.
The only thing to watch out for, is hacing the line level up too high, and possibly blowing up, or shorting out the tape module.
Anyone got pictures, or comments?
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Before you go through all of that with a tape adapter, why not try to determine which pins are the pre-amp lines on that connector?
The button setup makes it seem like one would just need to select the "Tape/MD" button to get that particular input without having the tape player play, and you would not have to worry about the poor connection to that tape head.
"The truth is faster than fiction."
Well, I figure this will be the best way to do it, bypassing the actual tape mechanism should give me the best quality audio to the amplifier and be pretty good.
It also doesn't break the tape unit, so if I do want to play a tape, I still can. Just have to avoid feeding two live audio sources in simultaeously to get messed up sound, and it'll work with the button.
I like overkill, if it completely solves all the issues. I think this way will work well. The only problem with trying to find a pinout on the module, is that it's probably a bus-based audio carrier, which means I'll have to get in at the tape pickup head, otherwise, I could probably hijack the connector at the back of the module.. I want the lowest risk tho, and don't want to blow up my Head unit...
This is an interesting idea... actually, I'm planning something similar because I too want to use a hard drive-based MP3 player (Neo). Hearing your goal using the Archos is a good one too.
My current plan is (once I'll have my RX-8) to have the stock head unit modified so it will have an AUX input. I had this once done to a regular Ford head unit and it worked quite well, but it obviously requires hacking the stock RX-8 radio. My mod back then was done by some fellow at a Monney Audio shop. The AUX input was used with a 10-disc CD changer, so whenever the CD changer was turned on, it overrode the radio as the music source.
If this trick with hacking the tape input would work, it might be even a better (at least a simpler) way. I wasn't planning on ordering a tape unit though... so it would be interesting to see if you can make this to work.
It's a little doodad for $29 you plug into the stereo jack on any MP3 player or the like, and it broadcasts over FM to the stereo. Tune into the channel, and you hear the output. Pretty elegant. Sound quality would be max FM quality, however, but it is simple .
RX-7 Bad Ass
'94 RX-7 R2 Brilliant Black - building the perfect FD
Originally posted by dcfc3s It's a little doodad for $29 you plug into the stereo jack on any MP3 player or the like, and it broadcasts over FM to the stereo. Tune into the channel, and you hear the output. Pretty elegant. Sound quality would be max FM quality, however, but it is simple .
Well, my current Neo MP3 player that I want to install in my future RX-8 did come with such an FM modulator - but I want to avoid using that if at all possible.
Reason being that earlier I had an FM-modulated CD changer installed in my car, and suffice to say, the sound quality simply sucked.
Stay far away from those FM modulator thingies - IMO the sound quality doesn't even reach that of the FM's, and even if it did, it would still be far from what one would expect from an MP3 player hooked up directly.
I'm on board with you all. I was contemplating ordering the cassette deck to hack into it. Need good pinouts. I'm wanting to hack into the NAV screen to display other inputs there and to be able to supply audio through the cassette inputs. There are audio/video switching units out there and I already have a small car DVD player that could be used for the setup. Also would be groovie to have an input just for a mp3 player.
My 1993 Mitsubishi eclipse had a jack on the front of the equalizer just for this purpose and it worked great for portable CD players and such without having to use some kind of FM modulator or cassette adapter. I've never seen another car audio system from the factory that had such and option -- and yet it makes total sense!
I got my Tape player module yesterday. It looks very promising. After opening the module, there is a PC board labeled "EQ & AMP board".
On this board are two very distinct connectors macked "L-CH" and "R-CH", that are next to a big test-point each. I'm most likely going to hook my line-level output directly into these two, and run the signal return into a nearby via that looks like a signal return.
If this works, I'll have a 1/8th" headphone jack for audio line in. I've taken some pictures, which I'll post later..
This seems like a great plan --- the only thing I can think that might be a problem would be that when you select 'TAPE/MD' the motors on the cassette drive are going to activate and run as long as you are using your MP3/AUX device. Also, if the L/R wires are soldered onto test points and the output of the cassette deck is joined, you're going to add whatever noise the cassette head on its own throws into the mix.
What would be great is if we could just get the board that's attached to the cassette deck rather than the cassette deck itself... that way the head unit would recognize the presence of a cassette deck, but only return the audio from an aux device. You also wouldn't have to have a cassette deck hole in there.. .and perhaps someone could fabricate a way to use that space to hold my iPod.
The module of the tape deck is surprisingly filled..
The most likely thing at this point, is that almost all of the mechanical components could be removed, but some other considerations have to be followed first.
I did a whole bunch of looking around, and the board is made by "FMS Audio".. kind of difficult to find info... However the tape module and CD modules are identical to the modules sold with the Mazda 6.. If anyone knows or can find out info from this it would be neat.
There is an OP Amp for the pre-amp input from the tape, on the tape read-head board. There are no moving mechanical components, and I have found an easy pathway into the module to tap my wires into the unit.
I will be trying this out tomorrow...
The only possible problems I forsee right now, is that the tape might mutes it's amp, unless it detects the presence of a tape in the unit. Although I could overcome this with a dummy tape housing, with no tape in it.
Then, there's another idea. I could lift the traces off the op amp board, and but in a bypass circuit that would allow me to switch off the tape unit, and switch on the Aux input. Many more wires, but much nicer.
It is likely that you could do a similar thing with the CD mechanism, or even the radio tuner, however with the radio tuner, you are pretty much guaranteed to get tuning noise from, from active stations coming in, and the CD mechanism is likely to be muted unless it's actually playing. To be able to play a CD and only hear the AUX in, you'd possibly have to put in a specially prepared "Silent CD"..
The tape aux module as I've suggested doesn't break anything. You'll still be able to put in a tape to listen to, however if you also have your Aux in on, you'll hear both sound sources simultaneously.
Strikes me that you'd only need to determine what signals are going through the connector. If any of these signals contain logic, this becomes a little more complex as you're not checking for current only...
With any luck, a chap I'll be talking with on Monday will be able to shed some light on this as I'm told he repairs these very units.
I had the same problem with my Toyota MR2 Spyder. CD/Cassette but no AUX input. As it turns out the head unit in this car could also control a CD changer (that they didn't tell us about) and a company named PIE makes an adapter to fool the head unit into thinking it's talking to a changer. It just has two line level inputs and all I have to do is to tell the head unit to use the "changer". It always comes up with disc 1 track 0, but the audio works just fine and MUCH better than the tape adapter I was using. You might want to check out their site or call them and find out if they make an adapter for your head unit. You may need to know who acutally makes the head unit for Mazda. Here is the web site.
Originally posted by OverLOAD ...It looked to me as though both one of the connectors from the back of the head unit, went to this connector box, and one of the harnesses on this box went to the amp in the rear decklid...
I'm sorry, I don't normally hack at people about grammar, but in this case it actually makes a difference.
Could you go over that part again?
"The truth is faster than fiction."
Pardon me.. That was the result of some bad editing before submitting... Let me rewrite:
It looked to me as though ONE of the connectors from the back of the head unit went into this adapter/multiplexor/logic unit.. (Whatever you would like to call this unit).. The other connector that was in the unit appeared to run back to the rear deck-lid amplifier.
There were two unused harness connector points on this 'Box'... I am hypothesyzing that they are used to connect to the LCD screen, and the DVD drive unit. I will post a pic later tonite, It's a pretty tight shot.
Does anyone who has the NAV option, interested in taking some pics of thier unit?