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Add an iPod input to many Volvo radios for $0

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

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matthew1
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Volvo Repair Database Add an iPod input to many Volvo radios for $0

Post by matthew1 » Mon May 14, 2007 8:06 pm

iPod Input for Your Volvo Radio

Many thanks to Richard W for this writeup.




If you want to send me fixes, improvements or repairs like this one, please contact me.
Last edited by matthew1 on Thu Aug 02, 2007 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Gustafve
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Problem locating card

Post by Gustafve » Sun Jun 10, 2007 6:44 pm

I have not been able to locate the card with the three labeled pins. Maybe these pictures will help someone help me lol.
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Buck380
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Post by Buck380 » Sun Jun 10, 2007 9:38 pm

I just did this and boy am I stoked! Beats a CD changer any day in my opinion...and of course the sound is great!
Richard, you are some kind of genius!

Gustafve: when you removed the tape drive, you unplugged it from the top part of "the card". (It's got about 15 or 18 pins across) You have to snag THAT thing and pluck it out..the pins are labeled near the bottom of the connector-card and you can't see that until you've pulled it...and that's where you'll solder it.

Hope that helps...otherwise maybe Richard can direct you better.
As I said, I just now did this...
Word of advise: the soldering job is not for the faint of heart. I was shaking like a poodle pooping peach pits and it took me a while to get things right. Which is another piece of advise: check your work with a good multi-meter.

Best of Luck!
-95 850 Turbo Wagon

shutterbugstudio
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Will it work with a radio that has CD and cassette player?

Post by shutterbugstudio » Thu Jun 14, 2007 2:07 pm

Mine is a 1996 850 Turbo wagon that has the CD player as well as the cassette. Can I still do the mod?

Robert

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my radio is different :(

Post by mgs2000 » Tue Jun 19, 2007 11:39 pm

Buck380 wrote: Gustafve: when you removed the tape drive, you unplugged it from the top part of "the card". (It's got about 15 or 18 pins across) You have to snag THAT thing and pluck it out..the pins are labeled near the bottom of the connector-card and you can't see that until you've pulled it...and that's where you'll solder it.
Hi Buck,
Can you take a look at the photos posted by Gustfve and confirm it is the same radio? His looks like mine and I can't figure it out either. :(

Richard ... HELP!!! please, pretty please :)

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SC-710 from a '97 850

Post by mgs2000 » Wed Jun 20, 2007 12:13 am

My radio is the same as Gustfve's. There is no header connector or mini circuit card. Just 4 screws holding it down, a 5 pin connector/cable on the left side which looks like it is for servo motor / tape transport control, and a 6 pin connector/cable on the right side which runs though a (hidden) switch then into the tape head.
Picture (from Gustfve) shows the right side of the deck. Behind the circuit board is the connector on top (white plastic), switch in the middle (row of pins) and flex circuit ribbon on the left that runs down to the head.
http://img511.imageshack.us/my.php?image=blah016by3.jpg

The 6 pin has the following wires from front to back:
brown, gray, gray, red, black, white
http://img243.imageshack.us/my.php?image=blah017ni2.jpg

red, black and white go into a thick gray case (maybe sheilding?) so I think these 3 are the audio.
black is thicker than the others
on the tape deck circuit board it looks like black goes straight to the tape head and red and white go through the switch noted above.

The other end of the 6 pin cable is inaccessible under a metal bar. But I can see it connects to a header labelled J301 on the mainboard.

On the mainboard I'm pretty certain the black wire is a ground.

from there it looks like the red and white go to a chip labeled IC301. Could this be the preamp?

before I go any farther I'm going to reassembly the radio to make sure it still works. The car is my wife's :x and I'm trying to put in the ipod jack for my daughter 8)

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Post by Buck380 » Wed Jun 20, 2007 9:35 pm

No.
Sorry I didn't look closer. Not the same radio.

My radio is the SC 811.

Maybe Richard has the answer when he gets around here...
You basically want to find ground and the right / left output connectors. And which ones they are on that radio is beyond me. It was clearly marked on the card in my set.

I have to tell ya...I went in to this with the idea that if I screwed up, I was going to plunk down the dollars for an iPod friendly CD player (like Alpine).

Good luck...wish I could be of more help.

-Buck
-95 850 Turbo Wagon

rwbrussels2
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Apologies and Ideas...

Post by rwbrussels2 » Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:51 am

Hi,

Apologies - have been traveling, and somehow my (long) response to Gustafve does not appear in the replies.

Short answer - for sure, you all have a different radio/head unit, although the process I describe (tapping into the audio signal between pre-amp and main amp) should work with almost any head unit. Those units without the card I describe are probably even easier to hack into, since they have *wires* instead of a circuit card.

Looking at Gustafve's images above, my opinion only, in image called "blah017ni2.jpg" above, the loose wiring you see in the upper left hand corner is the power and controller for the tape deck unit, while the "shielded" cable you see down in the lower right is, almost for certain, the audio in from the tape deck. Strip the leads from an old headphone cable plugged into an audio source (MP3 Player, etc.) and touch them variably to the free ends on that cable and I am pretty sure you will get the audio through as if it were coming from a tape deck (note procedure in the main description for getting the audio routed correctly). Get the combination right, and then solder the wires in permanently.

If your head unit has a CD player too, it probably will have some additional connectors for the tape unit that can be used, or otherwise have a look for an AUX input bus that may or may not connect to the exterior of the head unit (head units modern enough to have a CD player tend to have an AUX somewhere on the board, even if it is not jumpered to anything.

If you have real trouble with this mod, email me at rwprivate (at) gmail.com since I am not able to check this web site as often as I like.

Good Luck,

Richard

rwbrussels2
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Missing Reply...

Post by rwbrussels2 » Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:59 am

Here is the missing note to Gustafve for future reference:

Message
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi Gustafve,

From your photos it looks like you have the same exact radio unit as I do, so it should have the connecting card, but I do not really see it in your photos, so it is possible that you have a slightly different unit - in fact (see below) I am pretty sure you have a different unit there. Good news - (again, see below) - I think you can do this one easily, too.

If this was the "card connector type" it would look like this...

The card you are looking for is not on the tape deck unit, so you can remove that part of the radio entirely. The card is a small connector, about the size of a Ritz Cracker (TM), that sits between the tape deck and the head unit's main board on the bottom of the radio unit. It is green, and sits in a slot partially constricted by a small metal bar that runs along the top of the unit. It connects the bottom of the unit with the tape deck up top. On each end of the card is a white snap-in connector, and on mine anyway, you can pull it right out of the unit to solder, and it has no electronics on it, only a "race" of connecting circuit lines.

In yours though, you seem to have modern "harness" (connecting block) wiring, which in some ways is even better...

IN THIS PHOTO: blah017ni2.jpg I can see in the upper left hand corner a card that looks like the right one but is not; it has electronics on it. Do not remove that card and bugger with it - it will end in tears. Near that card you see five grey wires coming off the card ending in a white connector block. I bet that sends the instructions back and forth to the tape deck about what to do (FF, REW, PLAY, REVERSE). In the lower right hand corner of that photo you have two unplugged free blocks with various wires going in and out of them, all ending in one large and one small connector block. *These look like shielded cables* suggesting to me that these are carrying the audio signal. The smaller of the block connectors, have a look at the end; if it has two wire connectors in there, this is very likely the power supply.

On the other connector block you have three sets of wires terminating in a block with six wires; two grey, one brown, one red, and one black. I would guess that this is the audio out connector, and the equivalent in your unit of the "card".

Though you do this at your own risk of course, I would suggest plugging a 1/8 inch jack into your audio device (like an iPod or whatever), turning the volume to half, and then stripping the ends of the wires. Next, plug the head unit back into the car without re-inserting the tape deck. Next, enter your security code, get the radio working, and then push TAPE. You may hear the audio go on and off as the head unit cycles back and forth trying to contact the tape unit which is missing, but every five seconds you should hear five seconds or so of audio coming from that unplugged jack specified above. Take those stripped wires trailing from your iPod, and touch them to the connector wiring two "candidate" wires at a time. I'd try the sleeve of the iPod connector to the black wire on the block connector and one of the others to one of the grey wires on the connector. If you get audio, you are in business. You can also try the brown wire as ground if the black does not work (I bet both work), and otherwise keep trying combinations until you get correct audio. Once you get a "mapping" between the iPod cable and that connector jack, you can remove the connector jack, and solder the wires permanently to the connector as I did to the card.

Good luck!

Richard

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Post by jlssecurity » Thu Jun 28, 2007 4:44 am

This seems quite an indepth way of adding an aux input, even if it doesnt cost you anything. Unless you solder something wrong, aargghhh!!

There is however an aux input for ALL SC model h/u available. I have today ordered one to try on my c70 with an SC901 h/u.

Image

This should just connect into the 6disc changer port, it will charge the ipod and provide audio via the H/U when 6disc is selected. I will add to this post once it is fitted and working.

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