For those of us 2004 and older, the Grom Audio option is not an option.
I love my Vais unit, so we'll just have to drool and appreciate.
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2002 SC430 (Oct. '01 manuf., 11/23/01 delivery) in Midnight Pine / Saddle
Daizen Sport Tuning Sway Bar (front), Vais SLU
What regular geek would have an SC430?!
wife's car: 2011 RX 350
If your SC430 is 2001 – 2004 you must use the VaisTech car radio adapter.
If your SC430 is 2005 – 2009 you can use the GromAudio radio adapter.
If your SC430 is 2010, it comes with a factory USB port.
The things we don’t know about …
I had a private message from a member here who thought it odd when I said I had only 14 songs from the Broadway musical Les Miserables. It was odd because the show has 50 songs and 32 are showstoppers. These are songs you find yourself humming or whistling afterwards. I only saw the show once at a dinner theater and we did not know that it was a shorten abridged version with half the songs missing.
Oh my gosh! What a discovery going online and finding all the songs we never heard! Thank you so much for sharing that with me. I now have 32 songs in my Broadway folder for Les Miserables on my USB memory stick. Most Broadway musicals only have one song that is a show stopper. From Cats it’s Memory. From Evita it’s Don’t Cry For Me Argentina. From Camelot it’s If Ever I Would Leave You. But from Les Miserables there are 32 songs with great melody and lyrics. Classic songs about good and evil with chords that bring a tear to your eye. I live in California by the beach and on a warm summer evening the wife and I will get ice cream sundaes in a beach city then park overlooking the ocean. Put the Lexus SC430 top down, put on Les Miserables and watch a golden sunset. Life does not get any better than that.
I had another message from someone that has an iPhone with thousands of songs but they do not have any Playlists. It’s not so unusual because all my kids have Smartphone’s and none of them have playlists either. They just hit random play because they love all their songs and don’t care what comes up. Not me. There is a big difference between songs from the 70’s and 80’s. The 80’s ROCK! All the songs have a strong fast beat. When I’m driving my SC430 down the street with the top down and the sub-woofer turned up high, I vibrate the windows of the cars next to me at signals. I love rocking out while driving. I don’t want some slow pop love song from the 70’s to randomly play (By the way, I’m in my sixties, play piano and guitar, and use to be in a neighborhood rock band). On the other hand, my wife loves romantic pop and rock ballads so when she is riding with me I choose the playlists she likes to keep her happy.
Here is something else you may not know …
Most new High Definition TVs come with a USB port. The Grom Audio adapter gave my 2005 Lexus SC430 a USB port. My wife’s 2010 Lexus RX350 came with a factory USB port. When I first got my iPhone I downloaded a couple hundred of songs for it from iTunes. Then I found out these songs are in proprietary format of .m4p and will not play on my TV’s USB port. I had to burn all the songs as analog files on CDs then rip them off back into iTunes as .mp3 music files so they will work on the TV and both our cars.
I do listen to the radio a lot at home and driving and when I hear a new song I like, I use my iPhone App Shazam to listen and identify the song name and artist. When I get a dozen tags, I go online at Amazon.com and download the songs as an MP3. Amazon has software to automatically load the song into my iTunes. The great thing about iTunes is that every song has the album cover art and the song lyrics.
What most of you don’t know is that the same USB memory stick I use in both of my Lexus cars I also have plugged into my HDTV. The song folders on the TV memory stick can be set as Favorites on the TV and besides browsing TV channel favorites we can browse playlists favorites (Pop, Rock, Broadway, etc). The TV will play them in the order I stacked them in the folder so we can hear the 32 songs from Les Miserables sung in the order sung during the show. The TV can also play songs in random order. The large album cover art is displayed on the TV while the song is playing … but on the Broadway shows I have replaced the album covers with a photo of the artist that actually sings that song to make the playback more special; they are just .jpg photos. My HDTV also feeds a THX home theater surround sound system so listening to your favorite songs takes on a whole new meaning.
Also, all Broadway shows have Overtures that are long instrumentals having all the main songs represented in linked short versions. There are also many instrumental versions of famous pop and rock songs and I have them in a USB folder called Instrumental. When we have friends over for dinner we play them as low level background music. It is easy to talk over the instrumental version of the songs. It adds enormous ambience to the atmosphere of the evening get together. More than once people have gotten up from the dinner table to go into the living room to get the name of the song because the melody was so beautiful they wanted it for their iPod or MP3 player.
I hope my sharing this will make your future more enjoyable. Music is a great stress buster and it is so relaxing to listen to your favorite songs.
I got my grom last week and jumped on it today to install it. It didn't take me long to get the stereo out but I found out my 2009 uses a TOY1 cable from grom i believe. TOY cable does not work. I hope that is the problem and will have wait for another week to get the cable.
I was asked by a member in a private message for a detailed procedure to install the GromAudio adapter in my 2005 SC430:
Installing the GromAudio was easy. Here are details:
1) Open armrest (upper and lower).
2) Pop seat heater control module out by lifting the back slowly, unplug the connector, and set the module aside.
3) Open the stereo door.
4) Put the car in N or lower.
5) Slowly lift the wood center console panel up from the rear. You can see the spring loaded mounting slots and each side. It may take a strong pressure to initially unseat them. After the rear is unseated, slowly lift pulling back. Don't pull too hard, the wire for the stereo-door button is short.
6) Unplug the stereo-door button and set wood center panel to the side.
7) Remove the two big 10 mm lower screws holding the radio in. You need a metric socket set with an extension arm as the radio is deep in the dash.
8) Remove the Climate Control module. You grab it with both hands and slowly pull out a few inches. There are three connectors at the top. Use a flat blade screwdriver to push down the center tab, then twist to pop open the connector. Set the Climate module aside.
9) Remove the two big 10 mm upper screws holding the radio in. You must use a socket extension.
10) CAREFULLY remove the stereo. Put a thick cotton towel on the left side to protect your leather trim. The radio has sharp edges and the towel will protect your leather. Watch the leather trim on both sides when pulling out the radio. There are round coxial antenna cables on the back left side that may pop off - be sure to plug them back in. They are different sizes so no problem of what goes where.
11) When the radio is out, lift the right side up to get to the connectors on the back. It was the rectangular center connector for my year radio.
12) Use the screwdriver to pop off the CD connector.
13) The GromAudio Y-adapter is male/female. Plug one into the car harness you just removed and the other into the car radio. Make sure both connecters are locked with their tabs.
14) Route the Grom cable BEHIND the car radio support brackets and down to the center console.
15) Make sure the small and large antennas are plugged into the radio and put the radio back into the dash lining it up with the bracket holes.
16) Plug the Grom Y cable single end connector into the GromAudio adapter.
17) Mount the adapter on the center console floor under the cup holder closest to the dash.
18) In the center console on the storage compartment, use a screwdriver to remove the power connector and tape the removed connector with electrical tape to protect it. Push the inside core into the compartment to remove it.
19) Route the Grom USB cable in the center console bottom from the Grom adapter through the round sleeve into the storage compartment. If you did the Aux or iPod/iPhone cable, route it instead. You can only use one or the other; not both at the same time.
20) Plug in your USB mp3 memory stick, mp3 player, or iPod/iPhone.
21) Turn on the car ignition to Accessory and follow the initalization procedure that came with the GromAudio adapter. Make sure the radio controls and steering wheel controls work. The radio CD button switches between the radio CD player and the Grom Virtual CD player. The display shows CD1 for the Grom. Proceed to the next step if everything works.
22) Reinstall the top 10 mm radio bolts loosely.
23) Reinstall the bottom 10 mm radio bolts and tighten all four bolts.
24) Reinstall the Climate Control by plugging in the three connectors then align the four mounting tabs and push the unit in until they snap lock.
25) Reinstall the Center Console cover by plugging in the front door switch, align the mounting tabs, push the front in first, then push down the back.
26) Reinstall the seat heater control module by plugging in the connector, push front down first then the rear of the module. You are done.
I used a 32 GB USB memory stick. I found I can only use 32 folders (virtual CDs) with my GromAudio adapter. Members with a VaisTech adapter say they can have 50 folders (virtual CDs). If you want the adapter to play your favorite songs first, in order, just rename the song with a number at the beginning. For example:
3.We Will Rock You.mp3
etc... I usually have about 20 favorites at the top of each playlist.
The song name is not displayed on the dash so having a leading number on the song name is ok. Each folder (Virtual CD) can have 999 tracks. The last two digits of the track is shown. I have 319 songs in my Virtual CD #5 (Rock). On random play, when the display shows track 12, it could mean song #12, #112, #212, or #312. If someone asks me the name of the song or artist I just pull out my iPhone and run the Shazam app to identify it. I also use this app to id a live song on the radio that I'll want to download to my music library later.
Another thing I noticed is if I should change Virtual CDs quickly, the Grom software will lose track of what folder it should be in, but it is easily fixed by turning off the radio and back on. Other than that minor bug, I really enjoy this adapter. I reported that problem to Grom and a future software update may fix the problem.
Great thread. I noticed in the last post the advisory to only run one cable to the lower center console i.e. the USB cable OR the IPod cable OR aux cable. Does this mean that the unit cannot interface with an IPod when the USB/Flash drive is plugged in? If that's true, it would appear that the consumer has to "commit" to one source upon installation despite the capability of the unit to interface with multiple sources. My wife will likely want to use her IPhone from time to time, but it would also be nice to have most of our music available via flash drive. If I am correct that you must manually disconnect each cable at the device to change sources, that would require the device be located in the lower center console or other area that is readily available.
Alberto from GRom answered my question raised above.
According to Alberto, the various "player" cables may remain connected to the GROM device at all times. An Iphone may remain connected, so that it may charge, even when the USB is in use, so long that it is not in Ipod mode. Thus, there is no need to disconnect the various player cables from the GROM device itself when switching between sources, or locate the GROM device in a readily accessible location.
I hope this information is helpful. I intend to install my GROM over the long July 4th weekend, though, thanks to the prior posts, it should only take an hour or so. I will report on my expererience.
Like some others who posted earlier, I too was sent the wrong cable. My SC is an '07, but it required the TOY1 cable like the earlier models. Thus, GROM's website cannot be trusted for ultimate compatability. I had the dash all apart only to find that I required the TOY1 cable. Ugh.
I've now completed the installation. The "virtual CD changer" gets confused quite a bit. Changing between "Virtual CD's" really seems to confuse the unit, very disappointing. In many instances, you have to power down the stereo and restart it for the GROM to reset itself. That cycles the antennae motor on and off unecessarily.
I've only had about an hour with it, so I'll reserve final judgement once I've had some additional seat time.
I use usb storage for my music with at least 30 tracks. No problem at all. Only froze once. My only problem is that my iphone could not be plugged in... the cable that came with it is too big for the iphone connection
I've now lived with this unit for about a month, and thought I would share my experiences.
Unlike some who have posted, who are listening to books or lectures, I use my almost exclusively for music. Very rarely to do I want to listen to one artist. Thus, I use the "Random" feature of the CD changer. Unfortunately, this seems to confuse the GROM unit. It locks up quite frequently. If it locks up, and I take it off of Random, often it will start up again. Sometimes minutes pass between songs while in Random mode. This is a big problem, as again, I don't want to hear the same songs in the same order when I'm listening to music. I want a random playback of my many songs.
Just a heads-up. I don't know if this is unique to me and I have a defective unit, or just a glitch in an otherwise nifty interface.
I just updated the software for my Grom Audio USB adapter in my 2005 Lexus SC430. I did the upgrade because I had problems on the adapter of when I changed virtual CDs too quickly, it would get lost and not be on the one I stopped on. I would have to power off the radio and when it turned on it would be ok. This is the same problem user FrancoP wrote of; but I never had a random problem liked he described.
The software upgrade did fix the changing virtual CD problem but also added a new feature. Before when I had the car radio Random feature on, it would only do random song tracks in the selected folder (virtual CD). Hitting the change CD just went to the next virtual CD (folder). But now when I have the Random feature on, if I hit change CD, it will randomly pick one of my 32 virtual CDs. Having Random off, it goes back to normal going to the next CD.
The name of the software file I downloaded from Grom Audio is:
Toyota/Lexus/Scion 98-10 (GROM-USB2-TOY)
It was easy to upgrade. You just put it on the USB memory stick and power on the radio.
I have a Transcend 32 Gb USB memory stick with 3600 songs on it. I never listen to the FM radio anymore.
With my premium sound system and factory sub-woofer I can clearly hear the difference of the Grom music quality over the FM or mechanical CD player.
I have been very happy with my Grom Audio adapter since I installed it over a year ago.
Now with the software upgrade it is even better. You should upgrade your unit and see the improvement.
First, this unit seems more buggy in my SC than my LS. I would think the interface and host equipment are identical, but there you are. Second, make sure that each folder is limited to less than 2k files. Folders with excess of 2k files (songs) will confuse the random feature. If you're rock collection is 4k, break it up to Rock1 and Rock2. Apparently, the unit "builds" the random list each time the car is turned on (which is a good thing) and if there are two many, it can bog the unit down.