Bunker Project Log

12 Aug

Aux In yo face!

Aux In - Audiovox front

I love audiobooks. I have a 30 minute commute, and road rage… or I had road rage until I discovered Audible!

Now, I actually look forward to traffic jams! My car has become a whole new venue of individual entertainment!

In fact, my company is moving offices so my commute is cut in half, and I’m worried that I won’t get my book time.

Anyway, as all of us with MP3 players know, automakers are morons who take ages to catch on to the global zeitgeist. Case in point: Aux In jacks on factory stereos. I mean, what the hell? How long has the generic MP3 been around? Mrs. G has a 2006 model car, the snotty souped up version even, and no jack. My car is a year or two older, so maybe that is an excuse… but no jack.

And why do all FM transmitters suck? You know what I mean… if it sounds good, it only runs on batteries, if it runs off the 12v jack, it sounds bad, or only lets you tune it to the channel that your metro area has an 18 godzillion friggawatt pop station on. These are the kinds of things that should have been solved in 2001, directly after the iPod collective spread it’s cancer across the multiverse.  

Well, good news for you, I’m here to tell you about the Audiovox FMM100A. It requires a bit more work, and it costs more than that iRiver FM transmitter we all bought on 2 for Tuesday moons ago, but boy does it sound good (for FM anyway.)

And why am I telling you about it now? Because I actually bought and installed it about a year ago, and managed to yank the power lead out of it. I’ve been suffering with the crappy Woot thing until I had the chance to go spelunking in my car’s dash. That chance was today, so armed with my newly arrived Tanga digital camera, I have documented the fixing/re-installing, and rather poorly to boot.

Okay, let’s get this straight. I take no responsibility for you screwing up your car, or your life, your marriage, or the order of the universe by following these simple and overly vague instructions. My intent is to make you aware that there is something better, and maybe set you on the path to doing it yourself.

With that out of the way…

First… rip yer dashboard open. You need access to the antenna jack on the back of your crappy stereo. This is part of the magic, as the FMM100A physically connects to the antenna in, and totally blocks out any incoming terrestrial signal. In other words, that little gray box just cock-blocked Enrique Iglesias, who really wants some action on 89.1.

Ripped open:

Aux In - Naked Console

Now… find all the little doo-dads and gee-gaws you have to plug in. One is the ground, and that’s fairly easy. There should be a bolt or screw somewhere in the guts of your car or on your stereo that is exposed metal. Just attach it!

Here is where I hooked mine up:

Aux In - Ground Detail

Now you are left with the hard stuff. I’m going to start telling you about it, but I may trail off. If that happens, you are on your own.

If you plug all this stuff in, you are teh winnar:

Aux In - Audiovox back

The first hard part, where are you going to stuff this thing? In mine, I had a nice cavity on the right, and I jammed it in there.

The second hard part, there is a little on/off switch (the one that gives Enrique an all-access pass.) If you are the anti-radio freewheeling misanthrope I think you are, you don’t need this. Just cut it out and tape the wires together. If you aren’t, you’ll need to find a place to mount it. It’s as simple as drilling a hole in your dash/console/whatever, but this is your car man! You spent at least $500 on this thing, so do it right.

Third hard part, what are you going to plug into it? It has two female rca jacks. Yer stupid iPod has a 1/8″ jack. Make sure you know what you want to do. I took the easy route and used an RCA-1/8″ cable I had laying around, and leave the 1/8″ plug just hanging out of one of my consoles many orifices.

And finally, the real hard part. The power line. Back in the day, my Datsun King Cab had like three wires in it, and two of them were power and ground. My truck has about 15.000, and I’m not prepared to mess with any of them. I found a spare 12v auto plug and hacked it, found the power line with my multimeter and routed that wire to the gray box. Does it work? Well…

 (this is the trailing off part… good luck! When you do finally get it running, you will be peeing your pants about how much better your life is.)

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