Old Radio Conversion CX2200
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Thread: Old Radio Conversion CX2200

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! Jinandfonic's Avatar
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    Default Old Radio Conversion CX2200

    Has anyone actually re-wired an old stereo radio to accept an Aux input direct? I used to have an old cassette style interface that plugged into a CD Walkman in the day. Noisy operation at times with patchy sound quality. I want to keep the original vertically fitted radio as it has the tunning indicator sloped towards the driver (Old CX dash) the cassette player doesn't work (probably new belts required plus none to play anyway) To what can I hot wire the 3.5mm input cable to? Cheers, Adrian

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    Last edited by Jinandfonic; 8th March 2016 at 11:46 PM.
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  2. #2
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    The classic place to "tap in" to old radios is at the volume control pot.

    The center (wiper) contacts normally are the input. You will need some kind of double pole changeover switch to disconnect the radio program and to connect the aux in program.

    I would terminate the aux input with a pair 22 k resistors.

    Best of luck.
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  3. #3
    1000+ Posts Ken W's Avatar
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    Rob,

    Surely the middle wiper contact feeds a varying signal to the audio amp. Adrian, the volume control is a good point but it will be hit and miss as to whether the tone control will still work. It will be a dual potentiometer, one for each channel, with one end connected to earth, the other end receiving the signal from the radio or tape deck and the wiper providing the variable level to the audio amp.

    See if you can interpose a stereo mini jack that will open circuit the existing signal leads and connect to the plug when you insert it into the jack. You will find real estate inside the radio is at a premium. I ended up hanging some leads and a jack out the cassette window during a trial setup on an old philips unit I had 20 years ago.

    Cheers, Ken
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  4. #4
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Surely the middle wiper contact feeds a varying signal to the audio amp
    .

    I'd say it does and that's where you should feed an aux in signal if you wish to solely rely on the aux device volume control. If you wish the radio volume control to also act the Aux inputs. You should use the "hot" end of the pot rather than the wiper to feed the aux signal too and omit the 22k resistors.

    The choice is dependent on your experience, in studio equipment (my experience), the less faders, attenuators or volume controls in an audio path , the less chance their is to create dead air by killing
    the signal.

    The outer ends of the pot act a load for radio program and the wiper simply "divides" off the appropriate signal level to feed to the AF amplifier input. A potential divider system if you will. That is why I suggested terminating the Aux ins rather than relying on high impedance Ipod or similar source to do so.

    You could also do the conversion without a switch and use a normalizing jack for the aux input. But to get radio you would need to unplug the aux in plug.
    Last edited by robmac; 8th March 2016 at 11:53 AM.
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    Default

    Totally different approach, have you seen those gadgets that look like a cassette but provide an aux in port? Some even have a built-in in sd card reader.

    Sent from my SM-T710 using Tapatalk
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    1000+ Posts Greg C's Avatar
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    The sound quality is generally crap with those cassette interfaces. The others have got it pretty much right, you need to feed the audio across the audio pot, plus at the same time break the connections from the radio and cassette player. Space available is going to be the main issue. I have a few old radio cassettes in the garage and in every one there is no space available on the front face for a 3.5mm socket. So you could have a 3.5mm line socket hanging out the back, but we still need to cut the audio feed from the radio/cassette. A possibility would be a pull switch on the volume control but it probably has a rotary switch for power so we have the issue of finding one and then fitting it in as it will be longer. Another thought, if you don't use cassettes any more would be to find where the unit switches audio when you put a cassette in, undo the audio feed from the cassette player and connect your 3.5mm line socket in its place. Then all you have to do is play a blank tape when you want to play music from your iPod. You could of course run the audio feed from the cassette player out to a switch box in the glovebox which would contain a 3.5mm line socket so you can play both.
    Alternatively $260 will buy a Clarion head unit with Bluetooth, USB aux, 3.5mm aux, CD, Radio. It has a proper volume control so doesn't look too bad in a CX. You can adjust the lighting colour to match the interior colour.
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