Ipod'ing an Audi

Thomas Edwards tedwards at nycap.rr.com
Wed Aug 8 13:33:15 EDT 2007

I think it's virtually impossible to get an all-black faceplate radio with
orange/amber/red illumination nowadays.  I recently put in a Kenwood Excelon
KDC-X491 which came close.  You can check it out on crutchfield.com.  The
faceplate is almost all black, with the exception of the volume control
which is silver (I plan on painting it black).  It has red illumination
except for a blue ring around the volume control which I had anticipated
changing to red (however, now that I have seen the size of the SMD LEDs
inside, I'm not sure if I will) and light blue LCD display which doesn't
look half bad, but can be configured to blank out after 5 seconds.  I can
take a picture of it installed in my 90 if you are interested.

It plays MP3 CDs and has a USB port on the front allowing you to plug in a
USB flash drive or Ipod.  (The Ipod can be simply plugged into the aux-in
(rear of unit), but if you want to control it with the head unit, you will
have to use their Ipod adapter as well ($20), and it will be sticking out
the front of the head unit)  I use a 4GB flash drive with mine.

I recommend tapping into a switched power lead.  I used the seatbelt warning
control unit as suggested on 20v.org.  I imagine your 100 is similar.  I had
wanted mine to stay on until you open the door just like the power windows,
but the load reduction circuit complicated that - the radio didn't pull
enough power through the "turn-on" lead to keep the circuit at 12V.

Not sure what to suggest as far as the rear speakers are concerned, the PO
had replaced mine with unamplified speakers, so that simplified my

Overall, I'm quite happy with this one, and it looks pretty good in the
vehicle.  But if you can rig up the stock radio with an aux input, that
would be pretty cool IMO.

Tom E
91 90Q20v

-----Original Message-----
From: quattro-bounces at audifans.com [mailto:quattro-bounces at audifans.com] On
Behalf Of mboucher70 at hotmail.com
Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2007 9:38 AM
To: quattro at audifans.com
Subject: Ipod'ing an Audi

I'm looking for some ideas for integrating an Ipod into an Audi.  The ribbon
connecting the removable faceplate bracket to the Clarion CD player failed
for a second time and I'm thinking I should just replace the unit now.  ( I
replaced the ribbon last time--difficult solder job).

I'm questioning the need for even a CD changer since really the source of
music will largely be an Ipod.  For the past 2 years, my setup had been to
run the L/R audio from the Ipod to the pre-in going to the rear speakers.
Since the rear speakers are amplified, by simply powering on the Clarion,
the amps for the rear speakers would be powered and would cleanly amplify
the sound from the iPod, with volume control from the Ipod.  If I needed the
radio or CD, it worked acceptably through the front speakers.

Here are three different scenarios I'm currently considering:

1.) Re-Use Original Car Cassette deck as in above method:
I could put back the original Audi cassette deck, and if I can figure the
wiring, send the Ipod to the rear speakers to be amplified as in the setup
above.  Its not elegant, but its probably the simplest and most cost
effective.  Moreover, I return to the 'stock' interior look, including
radio/dasboard light colors

2.) New Changer with AUX Input or even better, IPOD compatible
With this option I can simply pick up a new player for $100 or less at
BestBuy and feed the Ipod through the Aux-In.  Some nice to haves with this
option would be: 
-A player that is fully ipod compatible, ie you can control the Ipod and
change tunes from the stereo
-A player that has matching colors to the audi-orange/red dashboard lights
-A player that is low in power consumption when turned off, since my Audi
model (Audi 100) continues to fully power the radio with the engine off, I
needed to remove the faceplate from my previous Clarion when the car was off
for extended periods, otherwise it would kill the battery within a week it
the car wasn't used.

(Question: anyone have a recommended aftermarket player that they like or
that fits these needs?)

3.) Re-Use Original Car Cassette deck, modified to accept an Aux-in
This is actually my preferred option.  I'd need to open the cassette and
figure if there is a seamless junction between the line level (from cassette
or radio) and figure out a way to soldier in an aux-in cable.  Might need to
disable the cassette or the radio.  But this would allow the Ipod to get
sent through all 4 speakers.

(Question: has anyone done this, and if so, can you give a hint as to where
to solder the 'aux-in' wires?)

Options that I'd rather not consider:
Connections to a stereo via FM Modulator or cassette adapter
Replacing stock 'amp-ed' rear speakers with a conventional system.  I know
they're not high quality, but they've been good enough so far.

Thanks to anyone for suggestions or thoughts on this subject


quattro mailing list
quattro at audifans.com
Watch this space for ads :)

More information about the quattro mailing list