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Discussion Starter #1
UPDATE 9/28/05: This group buy ended on Sept. 2, with around 100 orders, and another group buy got about another 100 orders! The final price for the AIC-100i or AIC-100x was $221.99. I've posted a full-color installation guide.




As demonstrated in BobR's post at http://www.priusonline.com/viewtopic.php?t=5768 , we finally have an iPod adapter option that completely works. By "completely works," I mean that it doesn't disable your in-dash CD changer, it pauses the iPod when you switch to another mode, it displays song text on the MFD, all your steering wheel and other buttons work as promised, and your iPod turns off with the car. The adapter is the AIC-100i, by VAIS Technology ( http://www.vaistech.com/aic100i.html ) There's even a bonus: you get a second auxiliary input (stereo RCA jacks) for another audio source like a DVD player, a non-iPod mp3 player, etc.

Many of us have tried other adapters (I'm returning my ipod2car today), and they either don't work at all, or sort of work. If you're one of the lucky few who have gotten these other ones to completely work, more power to you. Many of us have also come across the AIC-100i, gotten our hopes up, and then had them shot down by the $369.99 price tag.

After reading BobR's post, I called VAIS and told them about the huge community of PriusOnline and PriusChat users who are dying for a real iPod solution. They are offering us dealer pricing for a group buy. Check this out:

1-6 units: $369.99 each (retail price)
7-14 units: $269.99 each
15-30 units: $256.99 each
30-49 units: $242.99 each
50+ units: $221.99 each

Yes, that's a $100 discount if just six of you will join me! By comparison, most of the other adapters run in the $150-$200 range and usually require one or two additional $20 cables. And remember, they don't even completely work.

VAIS will allow us to each order directly from them, so there's no middleman and no privacy or security concerns. I have no affiliation with VAIS or anyone else, and I don't get anything out of this except the same discount you do.

So here's the deal... if you want to take advantage of this group buy, e-mail Eugene at [email protected]. Tell him you want to join the PriusOnline/PriusChat group buy, and give him a phone number to reach you. He will call you to get your credit card number and give you a shipping quote.

You must e-mail Eugene by Friday, Sept. 2, to participate in this group buy, and the discount will be based on the number of people who have e-mailed. If for some reason we don't get a total of seven, we can cancel. Otherwise, please plan to get $100 off and be pleasantly surprised if the discount is higher.

Eugene will ship the orders out on Monday, Sept. 5. If the number of orders exceeds the number of units available, units will ship in the order the e-mails were received, and Eugene will let you know if yours will be delayed. Your credit card will not be charged until your order ships.

I hope this sounds okay to everyone -- let me know if you suggest any changes. I'm trying to post this on PriusChat, too, but I've been deleted again due to the latest site crash, so it may be a few days.

Two more things... First, there's also an AIC-100x for XM Radio instead of iPod ( http://www.vaistech.com/aic100x.html ). The same discounts apply, but I don't really know anything about XM Radio so I don't have much else to say about that.

Finally, just so everyone is clear.... in order to display song text on the MFD, the AIC-100i needs to "take over" the iPod completely, which means you can't use the controls on the iPod. Instead, you have to organize your songs into playlists, which your audio system will see as CDs in the CD changer. You can have up to 99 playlists with up to 99 songs in each of them, and iTunes has many options for automatically managing playlists, so this shouldn't be a problem for anyone. In fact, I'm planning to make one playlist for each letter of the alphabet, so it will actually be faster to find songs than using the wheel on the iPod. A byproduct of this issue is also that you can keep your iPod completely concealed somewhere (most people choose the compartment below the stereo or the drawer under the center console) because you'll never have to touch it. But don't worry -- if you can't deal with the playlist issue, you can turn on "simple mode," which lets you continue to use all your iPod buttons directly but doesn't display song text on the MFD.
 

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I am in! I just sent an email off to Eugene. 8)
 

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Dang. Lots of my playlists have more than 100 songs already. I have over 3000 songs on my iPod, plus another 200 'audiobooks' (Some audiobooks are up to 10 files each, so it's really less than 200 separate books.)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Playlists

ehurtley said:
Dang. Lots of my playlists have more than 100 songs already. I have over 3000 songs on my iPod, plus another 200 'audiobooks' (Some audiobooks are up to 10 files each, so it's really less than 200 separate books.)
The 99-song max per playlist is a limitation of the JBL stereo head unit, and not of the AIC-100i itself.
 

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Installation?

For those of us not particularly handy, who is supposed to install this thing? I'd hate to use up the savings on having to have it professionally installed.

I haven't see this addressed anywhere, so any info would be appreciated!

Thanks!
 

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Re: Installation?

marlowe7 said:
For those of us not particularly handy, who is supposed to install this thing? I'd hate to use up the savings on having to have it professionally installed.
I promise you that you can do the installation yourself. I just installed (and then uninstalled) the ipod2car a few days ago, and it was pretty simple. The hardest part was that I was too impatient once I got it to wait until daylight the next day to install it, so I did it in the dark with a flashlight.

There are instructions all over PriusOnline and PriusChat, but here they are in a nutshell. Make sure the car is turned off.

1) Open the lower glove compartment, press in the sides to disengage them, and disengage the arm on the right side that keeps the compartment from opening too far. Then remove the compartment and set it aside.

2) Remove the left passenger air vent panel (the panel immediately to the right of the MFD and stereo). The panel has two tabs on the top, two in the middle, and two on the bottom, each of which snap into slots. You need to pull each of these pairs of tabs straight towards you to pop them, so the hardest part is just finding a place to get a grip. I found that the best way to do this was to carefully insert a flat screwdriver between the top of the panel and the dashboard, and twist it like you're turning a screw. You may want to cover the blade with a cloth to prevent scratching. This will pop the top pair of tabs and give you a fingerhold to pop the other two pairs. Remove the panel and set it aside.

3) To make room to get your hand behind the stereo to plug in the adapter, you'll need to remove the white box of wires directly behind the air vent panel you just removed. To do this, unscrew the bolt at the top of the box, just below the air vent. Save yourself a lot of trouble and go buy the longest Phillips-head screwdriver you can find, since this bolt is just far enough back that you'll drive yourself crazy with a standard-length screwdriver (no pun intended). I would suggest making the final turns by hand so you don't drop the bolt into the ether. Then pull the bottom of the white box off its post, and carefully twist the box off to the right side to get it out of the way.

4) Some people use a mirror to find the CD changer port on the back of the stereo, but I just felt around by hand. It's the port that nothing's plugged into (assuming you haven't added a CD changer or XM radio after you bought the car), and at least on my stereo it's on the side closest to your hand. Plug the adapter in with the tab down and make sure the tab clicks so the plug can't come out.

Then put everything back. That's it! Of course, you'll need to run the wire to the adapter, which you'll need to put somewhere. I'm not positive how big the AIC-100i is, but if it's roughly the same size as the other adapters out there, the best place to put it is underneath the upper glove compartment. This will position it in the space between the two glove compartments, and eliminate the need for any holes. Use heavy-duty velcro to secure the box. Then you'll need to run a wire from the adapter to your iPod. The two most common locations that allow you to access the iPod while driving seem to be the compartment under the stereo, and the drawer under the center console. Depending on your preference, these will probably require drilling a hole somewhere. You're just drilling through plastic that no one will see, so it's not a big deal. But since the AIC-100i displays text on the MFD and lets you use the steering wheel and stereo controls, you really don't need to be able to access the iPod while you're driving. If you just leave the iPod in the lower glove compartment, you won't have to drill any holes.

This all sounds much more complicated than it is to do. It look me less than 30 minutes in the dark.
 

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Re: Installation?

marlowe7 said:
For those of us not particularly handy, who is supposed to install this thing? I'd hate to use up the savings on having to have it professionally installed.
I've taken dash completely apart a number of times now. It is surprisingly easy.
I'm sure any car stereo installation shop would do the install at a reasonable cost.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #12
UPDATE!

UPDATE: We now have at least seven orders, so we'll definitely save at least $100. We could save up to another $50 if more people join in.
 

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VAIS Tech. iTunes plus XM

For the past 2 weeks I've been the proud owner of a 2005 pkg 4 Prius, and all the great posts on this forum have convienced me to take the plunge and add XM and the VAIS iTunes.

I've looked a bit for the answer to the following but could not find it (sorry if it is already answered):

1) The VAIS plugs into the CD changer port on the back of the radio, got that. Is this where the XM plugs in as well? Or does the XM go into an AUX port on the radio? If both the VAIS and XM go into the CD changer port is the VAIS working off of the XM harness or vice versa?

2) The VAIS web site lists the iTunes adapter as working with a Prius w/ Navigation. I'm just a little old pkg 4, nothing that facy (though i wish I could get an answer from OEMValue on availablity). Is Nav required for the VAIS adapter?

Thanks everyone. I plan on jumping on the list with Eugene and getting us closer to 15 units.
 

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Re: VAIS Tech. iTunes plus XM

johnf said:
1) The VAIS plugs into the CD changer port on the back of the radio, got that. Is this where the XM plugs in as well? Or does the XM go into an AUX port on the radio? If both the VAIS and XM go into the CD changer port is the VAIS working off of the XM harness or vice versa?

2) The VAIS web site lists the iTunes adapter as working with a Prius w/ Navigation. I'm just a little old pkg 4, nothing that facy (though i wish I could get an answer from OEMValue on availablity). Is Nav required for the VAIS adapter?
You plug the adapter into the changer port on the back of the stereo, and then plug the XM and the iPod into the adapter.

You don't need navigation -- BobR doesn't have it: http://homepage.mac.com/brusso/PriusRad ... bum23.html

But I don't get it -- how do you know where to drive the car? :p
 

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I wouldn't think so....because you can very well change out your speakers or decide not to use OEM oil filters without affecting your warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Warranty

spinsLPs said:
Does installing this effect your warranty?
I'm not an attorney, but I don't see how. You're only doing two things here: one is plugging a cable into the changer port on the stereo, which is the intended purpose of that port. The other is taking apart and putting back together panels and maybe carpeting if you want. Now if you do either of those things in a way that damages what you were touching, and if you tell Toyota that it was your fault (or if that's obvious), then repairs to those items wouldn't be covered by warranty. In other words, if you fry your stereo because you didn't turn off the car first, or if you break off the air vent panel because you jammed a screwdriver under it, you're out of luck. But Toyota can't decline to replace your defective engine because you broke your stereo, unless they can prove some connection between what you did and the defect you want replaced.
 

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Bob, another question:

Do you have your AIC-100i set in MD Changer mode, or CD changer mode, when using the iPod?

(And does it even matter? I.e., are there features you'd get in MD Changer mode that you wouldn't get in CD Changer mode?)

Thanks in advance!
 

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bookrats said:
Bob, another question:

Do you have your AIC-100i set in MD Changer mode, or CD changer mode, when using the iPod?

(And does it even matter? I.e., are there features you'd get in MD Changer mode that you wouldn't get in CD Changer mode?)

Thanks in advance!
I have it set up as a MD Changer. If you look at the pictures, you will see the MD in the corner.
http://homepage.mac.com/brusso/PriusRad ... bum23.html
I set it up as a CD changer and didn't notice any difference. There is no reason not to use the MD Changer mode, unless you have an MD Changer. http://www.cesium.com/Prius/mdchanger/

Bob
 
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