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Old 09-08-2010, 10:57 PM   #1
maksym
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Default Adding a free AUX to the standard radio / cd receiver in Saturn SL2 (1997)

This is a description of a simple mod to add an AUX port to the stock radio / CD deck in Saturn SL2 1997 (and may be in another models as well). The idea is simple: the stereo unit consists of two parts - 1) CD player and 2) Radio combined with Amplifier. CD part sends sound to the amplifier through an analog (not digital) channel- if we tap into this channel, we can send to the amplifier our own music etc. Since amplifier listens to CD unit only while you are playing a CD, we are going to record and play a CD with silent tracks - this will keep the sound channel empty and clean for our AUX tunes.

The original idea comes from insightcentral dot net that I used to add AUX to my Accord.

Traditional WARNING: 1) Do this mod at your own risk, if you connect wrong wires etc, I am not responsible if you mess up something. 2) Before working on the receiver, disarm the airbags (or they may explode and seriously injure you) - this can be done by remove negative terminal from the battery and waiting for a minute or two. 3) Make sure you have the radio activation code if your receiver has one.

What you need:
1) Several screwdrivers, sizes 8mm, 7mm, 1/4", Philips, several flat heads, and a micro Torx T8 (or T7).
2) Soldering iron
3) An aux cable (can cut from a pair of broken headphones).
4) Electrical tape.


Steps:
1) Disarm airbag by disconnecting the negative terminal from the battery and wait for several minutes.
2) Remove the trim bezel from around the receiver. For this, locate two clips on the left and right sides of the bezel, and push to the inside the small peg in the center of each clip (the small torx screwdriver works particularly well).
Attachment 20777
3) Disconnect the upper button cluster (windshield defrost etc) from the bezel, and remove the bezel completely.
4) Unscrew two holding bolts on top of the receiver (7mm or 8mm).
Attachment 20778
5) Slide the receiver out of the rails, while pushing on the retaining plates on its sides.
6) Disconnect the cables from the back of the receiver, and remove the receiver completely.

Now you are ready to disassemble the unit.

7) Remove metal plates on both sides of the unit.
8) Remove both top and bottom covers. The top one hides the CD unit, while the bottom one is needed to disconnect the faceplate.
9) Disconnect two cables on the bottom of the unit connecting faceplate to the PCB board inside.
10) Remove the volume, balance, and fade knobs from the faceplate.
11) Remove the faceplate.
12) Unscrew two goldish torx screws by the CD slot opening. After removeing the screws, make sure to hold the CD unit, or it may fall inside.
Attachment 20779
13) Unscrew two bolts on the back of the CD unit, and flip it upside down. You can rest the CD on a back corner of the receiver. Important note: the CD is connected to the main unit via a flex cable. While you are working with the CD, the cable may become loose or detached - in this case, the main unit will not recognize the CD and will stay in the radio mode; to fix this, carefully push the cable back into its slot.
Attachment 20780
14) Flip the black plastic backing open from the bottom of the CD. This can be done by pulling out two tabs on the front part of the unit, or undoing two torx screws on the back part. We will be working by the connector of the flex cable (red rectangle on the photo).
Attachment 20781
15) Locate pins marked as LCHA, RCHA and P.GND (red circles on the photo). Solder left wire of your cable to the LCHA, right wire to the RCHA, and both (common) grounds to P.GND. If you are not sure about which wire is left or right, use google images to search for "stereo jack pinout".
Attachment 20782
16) Use an electrical tape under the wires to make sure they don't touch the board. Important note: it is a good idea to route your cable through the back side of the unit BEFORE soldering the wires - otherwise, the jack may not fit through the opening. I routed mine through some holes by the CD CHANGER port. Also, it is useful to affix a portion of the cable to the unit - or you may rip the traces from the CD board when pulled on the cable too hard.
Attachment 20783
17) Assemble everything back together.
18) Burn a CD with a silence. I downloaded silent clips from duramecho dot com/Misc/SilentCd/index.html (google for "silent cd image") and burned two 32 min, one 8 min, and one 2 min tracks. The site provides a complete CD image (iso) too, but my computer did not like it.
19) Plug CD into the receiver, plug the cable into your mp3 player and enjoy.

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Old 09-09-2010, 11:06 AM   #2
Low Saturn
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Default Re: Adding a free AUX to the standard radio / cd receiver in Saturn SL2 (1997)

Others here have done the same thing. Except there was no need for the CD with silent tracks. When the auxillary plug is plugged into the added auxillary jack on the radio, CD/radio/tape audio is cut off in favor for the input audio.

...
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: Adding a free AUX to the standard radio / cd receiver in Saturn SL2 (1997)

None of the attachments work for me... am I doing something wrong?

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Old 09-14-2010, 08:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: Adding a free AUX to the standard radio / cd receiver in Saturn SL2 (1997)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kremerica View Post
None of the attachments work for me... am I doing something wrong?
No, you're not. They didn't open for me either. But don't worry about it because this mod won't work for your car or any 3rd gen for that matter because they use different radios made by a different manufacturer (1995-1999 radios are made by Delco while 2000+ Saturn radios are all made by Panasonic).

...
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: Adding a free AUX to the standard radio / cd receiver in Saturn SL2 (1997)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruley73 View Post
No, you're not. They didn't open for me either. But don't worry about it because this mod won't work for your car or any 3rd gen for that matter because they use different radios made by a different manufacturer (1995-1999 radios are made by Delco while 2000+ Saturn radios are all made by Panasonic).
It's been done to first, second and third gen radios. There's someone on ebay that sells them with the aux jack added. Not only to Saturn radios, but many other manufactures as well.

Edit:

Heres a picture and link top the auction.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Satur...item2c568d426b




...
Mike

-1991 Turbo SL2 - Gone, but not forgotten.
11.809 @ 116.488 mph
www.differentracing.com

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-2011 Rally Yellow Chevrolet Camaro 2SS RS

Last edited by Low Saturn; 09-14-2010 at 09:09 PM..

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Old 09-14-2010, 09:13 PM   #6
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Default Re: Adding a free AUX to the standard radio / cd receiver in Saturn SL2 (1997)

Heres a few of their other radios.










...
Mike

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www.differentracing.com

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Old 09-15-2010, 12:31 AM   #7
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Default Re: Adding a free AUX to the standard radio / cd receiver in Saturn SL2 (1997)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Low Saturn View Post
It's been done to first, second and third gen radios. There's someone on ebay that sells them with the aux jack added. Not only to Saturn radios, but many other manufactures as well.

Edit:

Heres a picture and link top the auction.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Satur...item2c568d426b



I wasn't trying to say it was impossible. I was just saying that the steps the OP posted don't apply to 3rd gens because the radios and their internal parts are all different. The circuits don't have their functions labeled are on the boards either so you'd need some advanced electrical knowledge or a diagram from a service manual (for the radio) to figure out where to tap the jack in at.

...
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Old 09-15-2010, 07:04 PM   #8
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Default Re: Adding a free AUX to the standard radio / cd receiver in Saturn SL2 (1997)

Sorry, don't know what happened to the attachments and my thread subscription, will try to redo them. It is true, you can get a head unit with the aux, or you can get a gizmo that plugs into cd changer port and acts as a aux as well. The idea was to document for others the process that gets you an AUX for free (well, the cost of broken headphones), with a minimal effort, versus paying upward of $60. It would be useful if someone can provide links to the mods described above - that would be helpful to the people looking for a particular pinout.

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Old 09-15-2010, 07:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: Adding a free AUX to the standard radio / cd receiver in Saturn SL2 (1997)

Pictures- second try.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg blown-up.jpg (47.1 KB, 215 views)
File Type: jpg done.jpg (148.5 KB, 191 views)
File Type: jpg face.jpg (189.1 KB, 138 views)
File Type: jpg pcb.jpg (65.9 KB, 178 views)
File Type: jpg top_view.jpg (199.3 KB, 152 views)
File Type: jpg 1.jpg (12.2 KB, 191 views)
File Type: jpg 2.jpg (60.5 KB, 180 views)

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Old 12-25-2010, 11:21 PM   #10
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Default Re: Adding a free AUX to the standard radio / cd receiver in Saturn SL2 (1997)

So has anyone here taken a stab at an equivalent procedure for post-'99 models? I've got the single-DIN cd radio in my 2000 SW2, and I'm probably going to pick up an FM modulator to add aux support. But if I could hack right into the stereo itself, that would certainly be more elegant. It looks like the Factory Radios guy has made it work with mine -- I wonder what his trick is...

...
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2000 SW2, 262,000km. (R.I.P)

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Old 12-25-2010, 11:55 PM   #11
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Default Re: Adding a free AUX to the standard radio / cd receiver in Saturn SL2 (1997)

I dont know if anyone here has done it, but I have seen them sold on eBay. So someone has done it.

...
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:35 PM   #12
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Default Re: Adding a free AUX to the standard radio / cd receiver in Saturn SL2 (1997)

Always great to have a REAL electronics guru guy ready to take on a new puzzle. Between he and I, we figured a lot out about these radios. Like the other older Gen Radio, it needs a CD in to unmute the input... so I just made a quick CD from iTunes. He attempted to bypass this but the CD player has its own processor that talks with the other processor on the main board and those do need a digital "handshake" to allow this to work... So, there is a CD that now just lives in the radio. It makes no noise and you can use the CD switch to "toggle" between CD and Radio.

The one on ebay has the mini headphones connector in the front... kinda nice but, those always seem to wear out along with the cord that connects to the iPod/iPhone. So, I opted for the 2 RCA jack style pigtail out the back so that it is also hidden and the cord runs under the center console. I can shoot more photos but I figured this would be self evident.

This is a 2000 SL2 - Blackberry color - 120K

If you are interested in having your radio upgraded in the same fashion or have any questions, email me.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_1446.JPG (85.5 KB, 147 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1445.JPG (89.4 KB, 162 views)

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Old 07-01-2012, 08:15 AM   #13
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Default Re: Adding a free AUX to the standard radio / cd receiver in Saturn SL2 (1997)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruley73 View Post
No, you're not. They didn't open for me either. But don't worry about it because this mod won't work for your car or any 3rd gen for that matter because they use different radios made by a different manufacturer (1995-1999 radios are made by Delco while 2000+ Saturn radios are all made by Panasonic).
It is a reasonable argument, but I attempted to open the radio in my 2003 Saturn ion with 4 Ch.

The stereo as pointed out is made my Matsu****a (Panasonic) in 2003, but all the solder points are labeled exactly as described by the first post in this tread.

It is working for me.

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Old 07-14-2012, 06:12 PM   #14
JohnS_98
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Default Re: Adding a free AUX to the standard radio / cd receiver in Saturn SL2 (1997)

I've been thinking about this thread for almost a year, before jumping in with both feet yesterday and knocking it out. I was a little nervous once I got the CD player apart and saw the board was SMT and not though hole, and when it seemed like my old soldering iron wasn't getting hot enough.
I used three separate wires, not an old set of headphones like the OP used. I used a stereo phone jack that I bought from Radio Shack, and installed it into my cup holder for a more "stealth" location. Here are a few pictures I took during the project.

The jack I used, (2) in a pack. Probably around $5.


Close to being done here.


Plugged up inside my cup holder

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Old 07-14-2012, 09:25 PM   #15
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Default Re: Adding a free AUX to the standard radio / cd receiver in Saturn SL2 (1997)

Haha, I like it. Very nice stealth install.

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Old 07-15-2012, 07:11 PM   #16
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Default Re: Adding a free AUX to the standard radio / cd receiver in Saturn SL2 (1997)

Just lost a cupholder.

...
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Old 07-23-2012, 12:59 AM   #17
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Default Re: Adding a free AUX to the standard radio / cd receiver in Saturn SL2 (1997)

Quote:
Originally Posted by avekaria View Post
It is a reasonable argument, but I attempted to open the radio in my 2003 Saturn ion with 4 Ch.

The stereo as pointed out is made my Matsu****a (Panasonic) in 2003, but all the solder points are labeled exactly as described by the first post in this tread.

It is working for me.
Is the Panasonic radio in your 03 Ion the same as the one in scottbohlen's 2000 sl1? Is it the single din cd player radio (with no cassette)?

I'd hate to open it up and not find anything labeled

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Old 08-19-2012, 02:05 AM   #18
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Default Re: Adding a free AUX to the standard radio / cd receiver in Saturn SL2 (1997)

I just thought I'd give this thread an update for those web wanderers looking for information like myself.

I own a 2002 SC2 with the factory radio/CD/tape player.

In short, this modification as presented DOES NOT WORK on my 2002 SC2 style radio. I understand my radio is produced by a different manufacturer than what this modification was originally proven upon.

I did find what I believed to be the same analog left/right channels and ground. I soldered a 3.5mm jack to them and insulated the wires from the rest of the circuit board using electrical tape (not shown in pictures).

I tested the "AUX in" using my mp3 player.

Tested without a CD in the player: No response.

Tested with an audio CD containing music: If I started to play the CD first, then plugged in the "AUX in" the head unit would ~eventually~ decide to switch over to the "AUX in" music. Unfortunately it does not work well, constantly trying to process the CD or MP3 music resulting in a LOT of popping and white noise, bad for the ears and the speakers.

Using a "silent CD" as suggested actually worsens this effect.

Playing louder music through the AUX in helps stabilize the feed but there is still occasional popping.

Anytime you switch between tracks it puts out a lot of white noise.

The CD player still works perfectly if I leave the "AUX in" unplugged.

I'm not sure what exactly is going on so I hope a audio/electrical guru can chime in. My amateur opinion says the head unit is smart enough to realize there are two individual audio streams on the same "line" and it tries to sort it all out by sometimes playing one or the other clean, and most of the time hating it.

My next thought is to temporarily cut the left/right channel traces upstream of my solder joints and see if the unit will play the AUX in clean.

As printed on the board pin 1 is ground, pin 12 is the right channel, and pin 14 is the left channel.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2012-08-19 00.14.16.jpg (171.7 KB, 77 views)
File Type: jpg 2012-08-19 00.15.02.jpg (142.7 KB, 64 views)
File Type: jpg 2012-08-19 00.23.50.jpg (174.6 KB, 78 views)

Last edited by 5spSC2; 08-19-2012 at 02:12 AM..

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Old 08-19-2012, 09:04 AM   #19
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Default Re: Adding a free AUX to the standard radio / cd receiver in Saturn SL2 (1997)

Some libraries have access to the SAMs Photofacts or the current equivalent for these radios. This is how you can figure these things out. I would try googling the radio part number and "schematic" and see where it leads.

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Old 08-20-2012, 03:27 PM   #20
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Default Re: Adding a free AUX to the standard radio / cd receiver in Saturn SL2 (1997)

I have model 21025330, looks like the one scottbohlen posted about, but his shows a different model number. Anyways, looking to see if anyone's done this mod successfully to this radio? Single DIN cd player, no tape player...its not labeled like the one by the OP. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

to add, i googled and keeps coming up that these were in the Ion's, but mine is an 02 SL1...radio is manufactured in May 2002 by Matsu****a(panasonic from what you guys say).

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