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iPod/MP3 Interface and iPhone 3G power

39624 Views 71 Replies 26 Participants Last post by  wmj259
I'm wondering if the interface powers the newer iPhones and iPods with the power supplied to the USB pins on the iPod connector?
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Here is a link from their website. It says with the new cable, it charges ALL
iPods and iPhones.
Just an FYI for the iPhone 3G. All previous iPods/iPhone were capable of charging via firewire or USB. The new 3G charges only with USB. So I had to get new car chargers and whatnot for my iPhone 3G.
Actually what happened was that the dock cables used in most car chargers used the Firewire pins because they were further away from the audio signal pins than the USB pins. This was the case with the SIK IMP ( a great device IMHO).

Apple gave all the manufacturers a years notice that future iPod/iPhone devices would only support USB charging. Most auto charger manufacturers ignored this until the iPhone 3G appeared on the market and we all got that nasty alert telling us that the device would play, but not charge.

SIK took almost 6 months to redesign their device (and renamed it the PIMP (hahaha). Unfortunately, the male 12V socket was redesigned. It now slips out after a few road bumps. SIK admits they have a problem on several automobile models and is working on a revision.

What attracts me about the USASPEC is the text output and the steering wheel control. Of course, the fact that it is the HandA special this month helps.

I am also looking into the iSimple and would appreciate some feedback about both devices.
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I have the iSimple system for my iPod/iPhone stereo integration. I have been very happy with the system.

Here is the iSimple site.

And here is the manufacturer's site.

They too had the issue of the cable playing but not charging the device when the 3G first came out. However, they were very quick to fix that issue. My system came without the proper cable and they sent me one as soon as they had it for free.

The iSimple has text output. The system will scroll through the text information giving you title, then artist, then back to title. The text does not scroll left to right to show an entire line of text if longer than the screen on the OEM stereo though, at least not on my 08 OEM stereo. There is enough information on the screen that it doesn't matter to me.

You can choose to play music in many ways. You can select by song, artist, album, genre and by playlist.

The iSimple has one feature that I was looking for that I did not see in many of the other popular iPod/iPhone integration systems out there and that is random play. You have the option to randomize songs or albums.

I do not have steering wheel controls so I cannot say anything about that. Although I assume they will work with this system for track selection and volume.

I cannot compare it to the USASPEC system. I removed USASPEC from my consideration list when I first started looking into integration systems because it was not capable of text output at the time. I had just purchased the iSimple system when I found out USASPEC finally had the text output capability.

Hope this helps. Good luck.
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I just installed my USA spec, and all I have to say is WOW!!
It comes with the new cable, that charges ALL iPods and
iPhones. It does text on the OEM HU, and I can control it
from the HU, or the steering wheel controls. I can also use
it in Direct Mode, which allows me to control the iPod directly.

I have some teaser pix in this thread:

I am using it in what USA spec calls Folder Mode + Direct Mode w/text.
I can access Playlists, Albums, Artists, and all songs. Direct mode is just that.
The text info is includes everything you need, Artist, Album, and Title of song.
I took about 45 pix, so as soon as I get time, I'm going to post a DIY thread
and I will link it here. It only took me an hour and 15 minutes to install, but
that includes changing my cabin filters, and stopping to take pix. If I did it
again, I could do it in 30 - 45 minutes easy.

After I post my DIY, its up to you to decide. I am REALLY happy with it!!!
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DIY: USA-SPEC iPod Interface EX/SC

I installed this last night, and during the install, I took a few pictures.
I will post the pictures and go over my install with you. It took me
about 1 hour and 15 minutes. That being said, while I was doing this,
I also changed out my cabin filters, and took pictures. If I do another
one in the same manner, I could probably do it in 30 - 45 minutes.

I purchased the PA15-HON2 from HandA. It is on special this month.
The kit is very simple and you just need to decide where you want
your iPod to sit. I chose the glove box for two reasons. It was
simple, and with the amount of control the interface gives, no reason
to see it all the time. I am not sure if the cable will reach the
center console. I'm guessing if you do it right, it will. This is for the
EX and SC models only. The LX uses a different USA-SPEC interface
and has a completely different stereo. OK, onto the good stuff!!!!

Step 1:

Disconnect your car battery!!! I dont want to hear about it if you dont.
You need to remove the U shaped face plate from around the stock HU.
I used two pieces of blue tape, you can use masking tape, and put them
under the face plate (pic 1). I pulled lightly, and the face plate came right off.
In the instructions, they tell you to use a screwdriver with a cloth around
it, dont do it!! After the face plate is off, just four screws to take off (pic 2).
Unplug all the connectors on the back of the stereo, and remove it.

Pic 1

Pic 2

Step 2:

You will need to remove the two bump stops from the glove box, so it
will fold all the way down. I put the interface behind the glove box, and
ran the iPod wire into the glove box. Picture 3 shows the glove box folded
down to the floor and what is behind it before install.

Pic 3

Here is a pic from ramblerdan on the glove box:

NOTE: Good time to change your cabin filters at this point!! I have only
10K miles on my E, and they looked nasty!!

Step 3:

You will need to run two wires from behind the OEM HU to behind the glove
box. The HU to interface wire and an orange wire from one of the other
wire bundles. The first cable is black and has a large 8 pin DIN connector
on it. The DIN connector will need to go behind the glove box. I put one hand
in the opening of the OEM HU, and one hand in the glove box opening and to
the left toward the center console. I taped the orange wire from the other
wiring harness to the black wire, so they would both go at the same time.
I wiggled the wire down from the HU opening and caught it with my other
hand. I ran the wire OVER the metal bracket that frames out the glove box.
You can see where the wires ended up in picture 4, top left corner.

Pic 4

Step 4:

You will now need to connect the OEM wiring harness to the USA-SPEC
wiring harness. Picture 5 will show what it looks like when you are finished.
The instructions say that the OEM wiring harness is a 14 pin male, but it is
a 14 pin FEMALE connector, and it is white. All the other connectors, the
black one, the blue one, the green one, and the grey one all go back to the
OEM HU as they were before. The OEM white 14 pin female connector goes
to the CAS-HXM cable. This is the harness that has the orange wire that I
spoke of earlier. This harness also has a blue wire that will NOT be used. I
put a spot of black tape on the end of the blue cable just in case. The
CAS-HXM 14 pin female connector then goes into the 14 pin male connector
of the CAS-H2Y cable. This is the black cable with the large DIN plug on it
that I spoke of earlier. The 14 pin female connector of the CAS-H2Y cable
will connect to the OEM HU.

Pic 5

Step 5:

Set the dip switches on your USA-SPEC interface. Picture 6 will show how
I set up mine. I set mine up for FOLDER mode.

Pic 6
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Step 6:

Connect the black cable with the large 8 pin DIN connector to the interface.
This goes into the connector labeled RADIO on the USA-SPEC. The orange
wire will also need to be connected to the interface into the connector labeled
XM. Once you put the orange wire in, it will NOT come out easy, so make
sure you have the wires where you want them!!! Picture 7 shows how it
should look.

Pic 7

Step 7:

Connect the iPod cable to the interface. This will plug into a connector
on the other side of the USA-SPEC. The connector will be labeled iPod. It is
the smaller 10 pin DIN connector. Picture 8 will show this.

Pic 8

Step 8:

Find a convenient place for the interface behind the glove box. I
found a nice spot to the far right of the opening. It is to the right of the
where the cabin filters go, and just above the OEM stereo amp. Picture 9
will show what it looks like in its new home.

Pic 9

Step 9:

Run the wires that go from the interface and to the OEM HU so that they
are out of the way of the glove box. I ran them from the interface behind
the black plastic lip at the bottom of the opening and then over some relays.
From here I ran them between some black plastic piece and a large wiring
harness. I stayed away from the far left because those are moving parts
for the heater and A/C. You can see this in picture 10.

Pic 10

Step 10:

Plug all the wiring harnesses back into the OEM HU, and replace all the
screws and bump stops. When I put the glove box back in, I put the
iPod interface wire in the glove box. The wire will clear the back of the
glove box and will not rub. Re-connect your car battery, and enter in
your radio code.
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nice! thanks for the write up!

What are your thoughts on the actual kit now? Worth losing the 1st set of XM presets?

I wonder if its too hard to go through music on the ipod using the radio controls..
Now the rest of the pictures that I have are of the interface on the
OEM HU display. They will show you the folders and what the display looks

AR = Artist folder, where you search by artist
AL = Album folder, where you search by album
PL = Play List folder, where you search by play list

Here is how it works:

XM 1, Preset 1 is the Play List Folders
XM 1, Preset 2 is the Artist Folders
XM 1, Preset 3 is the Album Folders
XM 1, Preset 4 is the All Songs Folders
XM 1, Preset 5 is the iPod Direct setting
XM 1, Preset 6 is the RCA AUX setting

The seek/skip buttons will go to the next FOLDER.
The tuner/folder knob will go to the next TRACK.
The scan button will play some of the song then go to the next song in
the next album. Its weird, so Im not going to use it.
The RPT and A.SEL/RDM buttons do nothing.
The CH button on the steering wheel will go to the next song in the folder.

So far I LOVE this!!!! It is easy to use and figure out once you have it
installed. Hitting the display button will give you what album, artist and song
is playing. Very cool. I do wish the OEM HU had the ability to scroll the info
it sees. Oh well. Enjoy the pics below.


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More pics. This is an album folder.


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More pics. This is an artist folder.


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More pics. This is a play list folder.


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More play list folders.


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Last pics. This is iPod direct mode and AUX mode.


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Let me know what you think. If you have any questions, let me know.
I am more than happy to answer them. If I don't know the answer, I
will go out and test the iPod and see what it does. :D
What are you using to mount your iPod to your dash? Probably not necessary since the HU displays text, but I had a iPod cradle by dice electronics in my last car and it was great.
What are you using to mount your iPod to your dash? Probably not necessary since the HU displays text, but I had a iPod cradle by dice electronics in my last car and it was great.
Right now it sits in the glove box, or in the center console. Dont really
need to mount it now!!
I use the ProClip.
This is a great writeup, Aztec. I just now noticed you placed your interface box behind the glovebox. That's a great idea.

Mine is behind the environmental controls under the HU. There is a lot of space back there but is hard to secure things down. I like your placement. I think I'll copy that.
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