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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics
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Old 03-10-2011
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Modifying a Boat Entertainment System

My boat has quite a nice Sony radio based entertainment system complete with a CD changer but no separate jack for connecting an Ipod/Iphone. My elementary knowledge suggests that I should be able to connect an Ipod docking station to the radio via the existing CD changer connection jacks. This location can only be accessed with some serious dismantling. If this assumption is correct, it should be possible to install a two way switch of some sort to select either the CD changer or the Ipod dock as the input device.

I already own, and do not like, the easy option of using a small FM transmitter in line with the Ipod to broadcast the signal to the radio and would prefer a hard wired alternative.

Is the concept viable and if so what sort of switch should I buy?
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Old 03-10-2011
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That's funny. I always thought that a boat was an entertainment system.
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Old 03-10-2011
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sony adaptors

Check with someone like Crutchfield for advice. Have your Sony model number available. Sony makes a source selection adaptor, the XA-C40 that will automaticly switch between your CD player, an Ipod adaptor and/or an XM radio(if you have one). We have it on Duet, but I don't have the Ipod.

Here is the Link: Sony XA-C40
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Old 03-10-2011
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Also, radio units that take ipod and flash drive mp3 input are not all that expensive. The one I put in was somewhere just over $100.
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Old 03-11-2011
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A little more research found this Sony XA120IP iPod® Interface Adapter Control your iPod from your Sony stereo at Crutchfield.com at Crutchfield. You may or may not need the XA-C40, depending on what inputs you have available. Talk to your local Sony retailer, or Crutchfield.
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Old 03-11-2011
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If you want to do literally what you're suggesting in the original post (connect an ipod output to the CD input), you're probably out of luck. I'd strongly wager that the connection to the CD changer is digital. The control lines almost certainly are, so it would only make sense for the audio lines to be digital as well (likely PCM). The output from your iPod, from the headphone jack, is analog, and thus probably incompatible. The output from the connector on the bottom of the iPod (like if you're using an iPod dock) is some proprietary format that Apple will make you pay lots of money to find out how it works. Your best bet is to get some kind of Sony-made adapter as said above, or buy a whole new stereo.
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If you look at the Hands on Research on the Link, the Sony adaptor seperates out the analog music portion of the signal and sends it to the stereo via normal red and white cables, and a digital signal goes to the display of the stereo showing song title, artist, ect. The iPod is kept charged by the unit also.

Some models of iTouch may need an additional adaptor to be charged. Look at the spreadsheet for exact information. Also, the digital cable allows the iPod functions to be controlled the stereo buttons. The iPod can be stored away behind a cabinet if desired.
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Hmmm! The radio was quite new when I bought the boat five years ago so the Sony unit may or may not beat the October 2005 compatibility cut-off date quoted for the very affordable XA120IP adapter. I'll have to check the radio specs. It may be that a brand new unit may be the best value option. Thanks every onefor your thoughts.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmeador View Post
The output from the connector on the bottom of the iPod (like if you're using an iPod dock) is some proprietary format that Apple will make you pay lots of money to find out how it works.
No, it's an (originally) proprietary socket but the pins carry a standard line-out signal and normal 5v USB standard power for charging and USB data. The ipod modding market is so huge you can get iPod plugs and sockets, even pre-attached to breakout boards at several online retailers like SparkFun and build your own adapters.

I have a current project to turn a busted old 50s Bush bakelite radio into a custom ipod dock / internet radio.

That said, the sony adapter will probably be the best option, although from the sounds of the charging issues it must be quite an old design. That whole issue stems from an earlier spec of the iPod connector when it could still charge from Firewire, which was later dropped in favour of the more ubiquitous USB. Be aware that if it does still have this issue that any new iPod you buy will not charge without a small adapter in between ipod and dock.

Last edited by limeyrock; 03-11-2011 at 06:22 PM.
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