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I'm trying to figure out how to add an "AUX in" to the existing audio system in my M3s HB, so I can use my portable MP3 player.

I already have the 6-cd system, and don't want to get the factory MP3 player deck. Am I forced to add an FM Moduator?, or can I create an "in" with the existing wiring?

Or is this a fruitless inquiry?
 

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Fruitless inquiry unless you want to use the FM modulator or if you want to do some heavy electrical work and find the proper spot to add a connection (heavy meaning you would need to break the CD player open, find a spot before the volume control, and most likely several other factors).
 

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Actually, before you go out and buy an FM modulator (which SUCK!), there's a thread going on at the rx8 forum (link is somewhere in another thread in this forum, I can post it when I get home) about a guy who's developping an add-in module for the rx8, which should work on the 6 and 3. Basically it'll plug in to where the tape/md would. It fools the HU into thinking there's a tape deck installed and playing. It provides two inputs (RCA, i believe), and then you can run wire to anywhere in the car you need.. Should be available around march and cost US$50
 

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Mojo said:
Actually, before you go out and buy an FM modulator (which SUCK!), there's a thread going on at the rx8 forum (link is somewhere in another thread in this forum, I can post it when I get home) about a guy who's developping an add-in module for the rx8, which should work on the 6 and 3. Basically it'll plug in to where the tape/md would. It fools the HU into thinking there's a tape deck installed and playing. It provides two inputs (RCA, i believe), and then you can run wire to anywhere in the car you need.. Should be available around march and cost US$50
here's the link
http://www.rx8club.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=17396

there's another guy who managed to hack the existing CD changer and connect his IPOD to the HU.
 

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To clarify, you have to add the tape player to get this to work. There hasnt been another method just yet.

I have a friend that will be picking up his 3 soon and he attempts to butcher his radio to find a way to integrate a Carputer with the factory nav screen and have it all controlled by the factory HU.

Should be quite interesting if it works.
 

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vaBooM said:
To clarify, you have to add the tape player to get this to work. There hasnt been another method just yet.

I have a friend that will be picking up his 3 soon and he attempts to butcher his radio to find a way to integrate a Carputer with the factory nav screen and have it all controlled by the factory HU.

Should be quite interesting if it works.
someone did managed to tap into the HU's CD outputs and connected his IPOD to that.

details here
http://www.rx8club.com/showthread.php?s=50ac1fec1da47ac231397ed75f1489ed&postid=239804#post239804
 

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Mmmm looks like French's mustard.
 

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Without doing some heavy duty rewiring, I figure the fastest way to connect an iPod to the HU is to install a tape deck, and use a tape adaptor, like the bad old days of CD. It has to sound better than an FM Modulator or other devices, but it won't sound as clear as a direct input. I guess when that guy is done with his hack for the RX-8, I'd consider that, but I'm not buying an iPod until May anyway, so hopefully he'll have figured out the ins and outs of Mazda stereo wiring.
 

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Yea, I'm not prepared to start soldering my stereo and "hotwire" it like that guy did, but the tape deck is a viable option. I don't know if I'm that impatient, I could wait till someone figures something easier out...
 

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Three problems with the tape adaptor:

1) In my old car, it wrecked the tape winding assembly - it wouldn't play tapes after a few months of using the adaptor, but it would still play from the adaptor (not a huge loss, but I still don't like the idea of wrecking a part that I had to pay for).
2) Excess wires
3) Cost ($150 + install for the player which could get wrecked).

Problems with the FM modulator:
1) Quality (most of the cheap ones don't have lower base range).
2) Reception, I heard that in many areas, regular radio stations can overpower the output of the transmitter causing lots of interference (not experienced personally)

Of the two, I tape adaptors give better range response. However, it carries with it extra wires and the possibliity to break the assembly. I woudl go with the FM transmitter cause of cost, but am hesitent because of quality. So ... its a toss up.
 

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rpc180 said:
Problems with the FM modulator:
1) Quality (most of the cheap ones don't have lower base range).
2) Reception, I heard that in many areas, regular radio stations can overpower the output of the transmitter causing lots of interference (not experienced personally)
This is exactly why not to get a wireless FM modulator. However, in my SVT focus I used a Kenwood Sirius Satellite Radio FM Modulator. This is a wired modulator which connects in between the antenna and the deck. I had to purchase adapters for my Audiophile 9006 head unit, but the Mazda 3 uses standard banana plugs which plugs right into the Kenwood unit.

If you don't have a navigation system installed it would be very simple to install as there is a nice ledge where I will probably end up putting another one of the modulators into our 3, along with a line out converter for the stock HU. It has a small built in amplifier and 7 modulation settings. There is a switch to control the power going to the FM modulator which allows you to turn it on and off.

One thing to note is that on my Ford deck, the signal coming through the wired modulator is so strong that when it is on, I can't seek other radio stations that are not programmed into quick keys. This is really no big deal because I never listen to the radio.

The difference between the wired modulator and a wireless one is like night and day. You don't loose much bass at all (sounds almost as good as a CD) and the signal is much stronger and clearer although it isn't as loud as the sound coming out of most CDs.

To finish up my iPod install, I used a Belkin Auto Kit and plugged in the FM modulator into the audio out of the Belkin cable which I ran power to an aftermarket cigarette lighter I wired under the center console to keep hidden from view. A bonus of using this cable is the audio coming out of the iPod is line out as opposed to headphones out which also helps give you a cleaner signal.

The iPod sits in a Belkin TuneDok in the cup holder and the wire plugs into the bottom.

I have been very happy with the results of the install and will be doing this on the Mazda 3 when I pay off the amp and speakers I'm in the middle of installing.

You can probably use most wired FM modulators, but I know for a fact that the Delphi unit does not work. I tried that one at first since it turns itself on and off, but it works only with the Delphi satellite radio.

As a side note Apple sells the Auto Kit for $39.99 and the TuneDok for $29.99.

Hope this helps.
 

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I dont have the 6-disk changer, so I bought the tape deck from mazdastuff.com (way cheaper than any dealer in my area), and followed the directions that this guy (http://www.rx8club.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=10530) put together, and the whole process took about 30 minutes from start to finish. It may take longer if you are not familiar with soldering (the points are fairly small but clearly labeled). I then ran the output cable under the center console, and installed a mini port jack directly under the handle to open the center armrest. Oh, also I installed an additional 12v plug behind the cup holders, next to the brake lever. I will put up pictures of my install soon.

Edit. The sound is great. Much clearer than any FM modulator. You can hear a slight amount of engine whine, but it is not enough to justify switching back to an FM modulator.
 

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Ground the chassis of the HU and the grounds of your cable to a solid piece of metal with a starwasher.

That will help keep the whine to a minimum.
 

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just have to say that that rx-8 forum is awesome (http://www.rx8club.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=10530). i have wanted SO badly to have an aux-in with this stereo...and this looks like a pretty easy/clean way to go about it.

now i just need to summon enough courage to start hacking away!
 

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i was looking for a similar solution to hook up my ipod to the stock deck... i opted to go with the tape deck and an adapter... i hid the wires comming out of the tape deck by removing the HU and running the wire that comes out of the tape adapter behind the face of the tape deck and under the center console... i didn't know about this forum when i did it otherwise i would have taken some pictures... anyway when you look at the deck it doesn't even look like there is a tape in it... the only draw back is that i don't know what would happen if the eject butten on the tape unit is pressed because the tape can't come out... i have to say that i was pretty impressed with the sound quality... i had to really try to notice any difference between the ipod and a cd playing the same song.
 

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