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DIY Bluetooth calling/streaming and aux/ipod input

SC- 1st Gen (1992-2000)

DIY Bluetooth calling/streaming and aux/ipod input

Old 03-16-19, 09:54 PM
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Default DIY Bluetooth calling/streaming and aux/ipod input

As I have done on three other cars I decided to upgrade my SC400 for Bluetooth calling and audio and iPod streaming. As with the other installs I chose to retain the stock headunit as I didnít really want to upgrade the stock Nakamichi head unit and deal with ripping out the amp or trying to wire around it. Plus I just like the stock look.

Additionally in the other installs I didnít cut into the stock wiring harness but instead built my own so that if I ever had to remove or replace the unit it would be relatively straightforward.

Iíve had good experience with Parrot products (Iíve installed a 3200LS in my LS430 and an MKi9200 in my MB 560 SEL) and they made a now-discontinued model called the Parrot Asteroid Mini. The mini has a screen that fits perfectly next to the climate control vents; and the controller is wireless so it can be placed anywhere.

Having done this and built my own wiring harnesses for the last two implementations I decided to buy a harness; which didnít really pan out (see below).

My plan was to pipe the output from the Parrot into an Aux input that was selectable from a custom installation. This would retain use of the CD player (which oddly still works) while adding Bluetooth streaming, USB/iPod access and an additional Aux input.

The pieces:
  • Parrot Asteroid Mini (discontinued, but still available)
  • Soundgate SDSTOYO Ė adds 2 Aux inputs to the CD changer connection; also discontinued but still available. This is an easy bolt on install.
  • Metra BT1761 Harness Ė wiring to bring power and sound to the BT kit.
  • Axxess AX-GMUSBAUX-3 Ė a connector and jack panel to bring 2 usb ports and a phono jack into the center console compartment. It has an aux and 2 USB inputs; plus an HDMI connector that I covered over.
  • Pro Trucker CB Radio 2 1/4" 5 Watt External Speaker Ė connected to the Parrots external speaker output; used instead of the inline wiring to pipe the call sound into the cabin.
  • A box of pre-built wooden boxes from Michael's crafts for fabricating the jack panel and stand for the wireless controller.
In theory the setup seems pretty simple; connect everything together; plug into the back of the stereo, and go.

I mounted the little screen on the Mini to a pack of rare earth magnets; and after some research I figured I could put a second pack of them behind the wood trim above the glove box; Iíve done this with plastic trim and itís a great way to not permanently destroy the car.

I connected all the harnesses together; including connecting the Parrot to the Soundgate with an Amazon Basics phono to mini cable.

I built a little box with some cutouts for the jacks and switches; and covered it in black felt which was a pretty good match for the stock covering in the Center Console box.

Box with jack panel and aux input selector button installed. The button toggles between CD changer; Parrot and the aux in on the jack panel.

The center box has a couple cutouts for wiring for the erstwhile Lexus portable Plus cellular phone; these were perfect for the new wiring.

I removed the glove box and cut a small notch in the lining near the door for the airbag connectors.Additionally I added another magnet behind the small alcove so that optionally the screen could be positioned inside it if I didnít feel like looking at it.

Magnets allow the stand to live within the glove box behind for incognito mode

The display wire runs through a cutout next to the airbag connector that's been padded

I ran the wire behind the stereo and ran the wire for the microphone behind the pillar trim and behind the glove box.

Running the mic wire out the side of the glovebox and then up behind the a pillar trim

I installed the custom connector box in the center console; using the cutouts that exist at the bottom for the mobile phone installation. An old iPod fits perfectly and provides 10,000+ songs which the Parrot can find with voice search (works decently).

I pulled the stereo and swapped out the middle connector to the Metra.

I turned on the car to test the installationÖ nothing. I checked the wiring again; nothing.

Pulling the circuit wiring I realized that the Metra harness would probably work with the Pioneer stereo but not the Nakamichi head unit; as the plugs are different.

However the plug for the hazard light switch was a match. Looking at the wiring diagram there ended up being both constant and ignition power there. Some wiring harness hackery and I came up with a new harness that took constant and switched power from the hazard switch. Additionally the Soundgate requires power; so I piggybacked the power for the Parrot onto the Soundgate.

The new revised harness for pulling power from the hazard light switch

Wiring up to the switch worked; the unit powered on successfully.

I connected the Soundgate to the back of the stereo; which also worked perfectly. The only thing left to do was crimp the mute wire to the mute wire coming out of the back of the stereo.

I was able to put the Soundgate to the left of the stereo (and partially underneath it).

The Parrot box didn't fit to the right of the stereo so I relocated it to the side of the transmission tunnel in the passenger footwell.

Once the carpet is tucked in fully it's barely noticeable.

I built a little stand for the wireless controller; and put some more magnets behind the console so that I can remove it and toss it in the center console if I want to.

Aside from the mic above the rear view mirror this is the only visible indication the stereo has been modified.

The panel installed at the front of the center console box.

The jack panel in the center console box with iPod installed; the 3.5mm wire was in there for testing.

After using the setup for a couple months it works but I canít really recommend the Parrot. The unitís software is a bit buggy and slow; and I canít really hear the output (music or telephone) if the CD changer is not selected and the switch set to bypass it. But itís better than nothing I suppose and does the job mostly well.

The big revelation was the soundgate; itís a total bolt on solution that retains the stock CD changer and adds 2 line level inputs;which could be used to connect almost anything to the stock radio.
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Old 03-16-19, 11:44 PM
OG Dada
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This is what I bought for mine. Works flawlessly. No loss in audio quality. Can control the music. Can answer calls. Completely plug n play, with 2 USB jacks. LOL
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Old Yesterday, 01:34 AM
O. L. T.
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Good Job. I like to do stuff like this to cars. I was one of the first to hard wire in an iPod to a Factory BMW e53.

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