Plugging In Composite Plugs Into My Stock Head Unit? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 01-06-2005
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Plugging In Composite Plugs Into My Stock Head Unit?

i want to hook my ipod into my head unit. can i just plug composite plugs back there? is there some other way to do it?

the ipod has a :line out: or headphone jack that i can get a cord to go from headphone to composite... is there any way to make this work? and if so, how would it play?
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  #2  
Old 01-06-2005
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Hmm...Miranda was talkiing about me hooking it into her car for her, and she already has an aftermarket head unit. I'll have to do some research after we get home from dinner out on the town :)
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  #3  
Old 01-06-2005
 
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Most after market stereos have RCA inputs in back, or an accessory input on the front. Most all stock units have no provisions for plugging anything into it, so you may be up a creek, as I don't think yours has it.
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Old 01-06-2005
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My stock head unit has the changer controls but no changer hooked up. Surely there has to be an input but I'm sure it is not a headphone jack. Any adapters that are not $100.
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  #5  
Old 01-06-2005
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Technically they don't call an audio signal 'composite'. You may have a line-level audio signal that connects via an RCA connector, which just so happens to be the same connector used for composite video connections, but all audio signals are technically composite. There is no reall way to split it into components..

But as to your question, if you have a stock deck, I doubt it. You'll need a set of line level inputs on the deck, and stock decks don't usually have such features. But I'm no expert on Ford OEM head units. Many aftermarket sets lack this feature too. Or at least in a straightforward manner. My Kenwood, and the one I had in the last truck both had an AUX line level input via the changer controls. I had to buy a $25 adapter that has the line level input w/ RCA plugs and some electronics that tells the head unit that this is an AUX input instead of a changer. In the case of the Kenwood system it can even be daisy chained to some extent. My Sirius receiver connects via the same changer control port, but there's a pass thru on the receiver so I can connect my AUX adapter to it. I then select the source from the head unit as normal..
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  #6  
Old 01-06-2005
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I think the unused jacks on the back of the stock CD6 are output only. Not sure, but it would make sense because why would they build in a input on a device that is already a changer...

Think you're gonna have to go RF (which I think you didn't want to do), or go with an aftermarket stereo.

If you pick up an older Alpine head unit, I can sell you a Alpine CD-Changer for cheap. It'll hook up to anything that supports AI-Net (mostly alpine) But they switched to a newer interface in the last year models.
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  #7  
Old 01-06-2005
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I would suggest calling the guys at Visteon, and see if they can give you info on inputs into the Ford radios. My MP3 unit has changer capability, so I'm assuming one of those should be a low level input. It won't be RCA or phono jack because of the wiring harness, but the electrical requirements are probably the same.

The techs are usually very helpful when I've called. Sometimes you have to call back and try to get a differnet tech, but I've always received good advice.

Their number is 800-367-3333.
At the very least, they can tell you if it can or can't be done.
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  #8  
Old 01-06-2005
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... What Michael said holds true... Alpine has some products that are iPod compatible... IM me later and I can give you a link... And finish giving you those .zipped albums... lol
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  #10  
Old 01-06-2005
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You also have to have a signal wire to fool the radio into thinking the changer is operating. I could have connected sirius to the TT this way, but decided to go FM. I have a little iRock modulator that I was using at work with my friends Zen and that worked very well. Everyone in the garage can tune into my broadcast.
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Old 01-06-2005
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i looked into this a while ago and found this but have not had the money to try it.

http://www.logjamelectronics.com/piefrdnaux.html

it may work for your application????
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  #12  
Old 01-06-2005
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I was talking to the people at the apple store the other day and asked them how i could get this thing to play out of my stock stereo and the guy said something about putting it into or adding an outlet to the back of your stock stereo. he said there was some place you could take it to get it done. (i didnt ask him to many qs about it cuz i wasnt totally serious about getting one, but ended up getting one yesterday.) im planning on calling them today to ask more qs about it

i dont know if that was already stated above since i tried to read and understand what was said with no success. :o

so, when yall figure it out, im very interested in getting this to play off my stock stereo

hope i was some kinda...sorta...not really help...yeah...

Last edited by Bailey; 01-06-2005 at 06:12 PM.
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  #13  
Old 01-07-2005
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an FM Modulator is the only easy way, and you'll lose "true digital quality," but for most MP3s that doesn't matter anyway.

You'd probably need to wire in a switch somewhere to turn it on and off since theres nothing to send an "on-off" signal the way, say, a DVD player does.

We use FM modulators for all the DVD players (and most of the satellite radios) we install in Ford products since none of them have an RCA input on the factory HU, and they don't deserve the bad rap they get for sound quality.
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  #14  
Old 01-07-2005
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i don't want radio quality from my ipod... all of my mp3's are at least cd quality... my bass sounds ghey with the radio... when i plug my ipod into my home theatre system it sounds great... when i listen to it through the fm modulator or whatever, it sounds no better than the radio...

there are plenty of ways that people get their playstations, xboxes, etc to play audio through their stereos... it is the same thing "red" and "white" av plugs...

hmmm...
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  #15  
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Just that stock HU's don't have the Red and White RCA jacks in them, thus you need a different HU to use them.
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  #16  
Old 01-07-2005
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i got a 12 disk cd/mp3 changer for mine and its the fm modulated kind and honestly i dont think the sound quality is any worse than say a burned cd... i wanted the ipod but i didnt want to spend $300 when i got this off ebay for $100... but ill prob get a ipod anyways :)
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  #17  
Old 01-07-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevelyn1015
there are plenty of ways that people get their playstations, xboxes, etc to play audio through their stereos... it is the same thing "red" and "white" av plugs...

hmmm...
There is simply NO way to connect an RCA cable to a factory head unit. At all.

Opinions differ, but honestly my radio and store-bought CDs sound better to me than my burned "CD quality" MP3s on discs.

That said, "CD quality" MP3s are a myth.. theres a reason that only 80 minutes of full-quality audio fits on a CD and so many more minutes of MP3s will fit..
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  #18  
Old 01-07-2005
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so, what are some good head units that would have rca hook ups? i have never looked into buying a new head unit...

can my stock ranger stereo work in my 77 f150?
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  #19  
Old 01-07-2005
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I don't know a ton about aftermarket stuff (I work on all factory stuff) but alot of aftermarket HUs have RCA inputs. As for your stock HU going into the 77.. its probably possible in theory, but not without a metric **** ton of headache.
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  #20  
Old 01-07-2005
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Yes it can Christian, (your 2002 radio in your 77) you would just have to fabricate the entire wiring harness. Easiest way is to clip the pigtail off your 2002, but that would then require you to make your own harness for Both trucks. (Not really hard, just running the right wires, ground, power, switched power, etc) The rest is just signal wire, speakers, antenna wire, and the illumination input if you want to do a full conversion(not required though).

http://www.alpine-usa.com/products/l...h_kca-420i.htm
http://www.crutchfield.com/S-LJLtW2g...o&i=500KCA420I


Here's a listing of head units with Auxillary input:
http://www.crutchfield.com/S-LJLtW2g...CYCAUX%5FInput

Alpine uses AI-Net which is how the Head unit connects to the Ipod interface, allowing you to navigate, search and play songs with the head unit's controls, but from the Ipod's hard drive. Pretty Cool. You can also daisy chain a CD-Changer onto the same network down the road if you really miss 6 cd's in the changer. But with an Ipod connected, that shouldn't be missed.

Last edited by Mnemonic; 01-07-2005 at 03:37 PM.
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  #21  
Old 01-07-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevelyn1015
i don't want radio quality from my ipod... all of my mp3's are at least cd quality... my bass sounds ghey with the radio... when i plug my ipod into my home theatre system it sounds great... when i listen to it through the fm modulator or whatever, it sounds no better than the radio...
Well they certainly can't sound any better than CD's, which is where they came from. Lossy compression is always a losing battle when it comes to sound quality, you sacrifice quality for file size. I have found that WMA sounds a bit nicer than MP3, though I can only tell on the Maggies. But you ipod people can't use that codec.

Anyway, FM is limited to 30hz-15khz as far as bandwidth goes. You will lose some lows and highs. For a stock stereo setup there is little point in going through the trouble to not use an FM modulator. If yours sounds that bad, maybe it is a crappy unit. My iRock sounds very good and is strong enough to blow away even strong stations on the same frequency if you wanted to. Sometimes at work I will tune to one of the local station frequencies and annoy the guy listening to the radio next to me in his car.
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  #22  
Old 01-07-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wowak
That said, "CD quality" MP3s are a myth.. theres a reason that only 80 minutes of full-quality audio fits on a CD and so many more minutes of MP3s will fit..
Not (necessarily) so! The reason that only 80 min of CD audio (called 'red-book') fits on a standard CD is because it is totally uncompressed. MP3's are compressed, usually in a manner very carefully devised to make it sound nearly identical to the original recording to the end user. Sure, you could graph the response from the MP3 and the CD source and there will probably be slightly different, but the average human ear will be hard-pressed to hear the difference. I attest that in a blind comparison I can put together an MP3 that will sound absolutely identical to you as the original recording. It's even easier to do in a relatively low-def, high-noise environment like the cab of a pickup truck.

The reason that CD audio is uncompressed is because in the early/mid 1980's-when CD audio discs & players were introduced-the average microprocessor didn't quite have the power to decompress something as sophisticated as MP3 digital audio. Also the codecs and algorigthms weren't quite as advanced. I remember when I was in college (~1997) a 128kbps CBR MP3 played back in Winamp would take 30-50% of my processor's time running in Win95. Now I can playback VBR MP3s at will on my PC and barely ever be aware that it's running. The playback/recording algorithms and processing power has come so far that it is really that easy. Now ipods and such portable devices have this kind of horsepower in a little package. Things have, w/o argument, changed a little bit in the last 20 years..

But anyway..

Christian, you're gonna have to bite the bullet and go for an aftermarket deck. I'd probably second the vote for Alpine. I like there stuff and am sort of kicking myself for not going that route myself. I have a Kenwood set, which as I've described already, has an AUX input via the changer controls (w/ a $20-30 adapter). Kenwood is fine too. My beef w/ them is they removed the mute/att function from the head unit itself. The function is still there on the remote, but is useless to me as I never use the remote.
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  #23  
Old 01-07-2005
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The problem with most Aux input's is that they expect you to switch the head unit to "Aux" input, then you have to use the ipod to play/pause/search for songs. Alpine does it right, by keeping the controls on the head unit where they belong.
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  #24  
Old 01-07-2005
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If there was a perfect codec, everyone would use it. To get MP3 to sound close to a CD defeats the purpose of compression. With the Maggies I could tell between the CD and ~500K/bit VBR. Some of that may be due to the limitations of the source player's electronics more than the codec.

While I am on the subject, the same bitrate MP3 and WMA would always have the WMA sounding better. In fact, I think 90K/bit WMA sounds as good or better than 128K/bit MP3.
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  #25  
Old 01-07-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave and Julie
With the Maggies I could tell between the CD and ~500K/bit VBR. Some of that may be due to the limitations of the source player's electronics more than the codec.
Uh, yeah, I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest it was the hardware more than the codec. BTW, how the hell are you making 500kbs VBR MP3s? Last I heard Lame and most other encoders topped out at 320kbps..

Personally I can't hear the difference. At least not w/ what I'm listening to and the system(s) I'm listening on. But then I'm also one of those people that can't hear the difference between the $30/ft exotic speaker cable and a chunk of lamp cord from the Depot!

I dunno man. Even at 320kbs CBR, MP3s are usually somewhere around 1-2 MB/min. CD Audio on the other hand is 44.1k/sec x 16-bit x 2 channel = 10.5 MB/min. That's 1/5 the size of the original recording. I was originally using 320kbps for ripping all of my albums (now I use a VBR method) and I still got 4-6 albums per disc. Even if there was a noticable reduction in audio quality-and I don't think there is-it's worth it for the convenience of having 40 discs to carry around instead of 200..
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