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Discussion Starter #1
I would like to play an iPod nano (2GB) in my 2005 Prius. Unlike some 2006 models, it does not have the aux. audio jack. So what is the most economical connector/adapter? I noticed in searching this subject that in a previous thread there's mention of Belkin's $33 iPod Auto Kit. This sounded like the answer until I noticed it apparently was for 10-40GB iPods only. I've heard of Griffin's iTrip, but that's $50 and it's an FM transmitter...I don't need that.

Also, how does an iPod adapter connect in a 2005?

Any recommendations?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
In searching further, I see at the Apple store that in fact the Belkin Auto Kit IS compatible with the nano.

I'll still listen to other recommendations.
 

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I bought the vaistech thingy on the group buy, and it works fine, and uses the screen and cd controls. excellent. But if you don't like the $50 for the iTrip, you won't like the price of the vais thingy.
 

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FM transmitters work well. Anything that is any more sophisticated will cost a lot more. The VAIS thingy is a lot more expensive because it is installed into the aux input and interface of the sound system and MFD.
 

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Without spending hundreds for a system that requires some work to integrate into the Prius, an FM transmitter is your only option for a 2005. (For a 2004 with CD Changer and tape deck, or a Classic with tape deck, you could use the tape adapter; for a 2006 with 'MP3 input jack', you can use any device that puts out a headphone plug, including just a simple cable from the headphone port on the iPod.)

But with a nano and a 2005 Prius, your options are limited. I use the Monster iCarPlay Wireless Plus, mounted as so:





The main part is velcroed under the center dash, with the power plug essentially permanently plugged in to the dashboard power port. When the iPod's not there, I tuck the dock plug in under the steering wheel. (I think it will only fit if you have the steering wheel all the way 'up'. But since I always have it that way, it's not a problem.) Normally I have the excess cord tucked in under the dashboard, but I pulled it out so you could see it. It's usually in the small gap just visible in the bottom-right of the second picture. In this position, you can't see the numbers on the main unit (to see what frequency you're transmitting on,) but once it's set, you don't normally need to see it. (I also took my tin of Licorice Altoids and a couple odds and ends out of the cubby :D )

With the nano, you have to watch out for older FM transmitters that use the 'remote' port that was on top of older iPods. The nano and the latest iPod Video both lack this remote port, so you have to either use one that goes PURELY on the headphone jack, or uses the dock port (like the Monster.) So the older iTrips won't work on the nano. The one made specifically for the nano would work though, obviously. (It uses the dock port.)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
ehurtley,
Thanks for the info! Still, I'm thinking that I can get the Belkin Auto Kit for iPod (which is compatible with nano). It's reasonably priced at Amazon ($30) and it looks like a simple set up that utilizes the 12 volt adapter, has an amplifier and also charges the iPod. Any reason not to go this route (although I'm not clear on how it connects to the stereo, but it kind of explains below)?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00009 ... oding=UTF8

A customer reviewer says it works thusly:

Amplify & Power up., July 27, 2003
Reviewer: "_jimmyk_" (Paso Robles, CA United States)
Before I got this adapter, I was just using a cassette adapter and an FM transmitter in the car. In both cases the iPod was struggling to provide enough power output to provide clean undistorted sound, and still having to crank the volume control up all the way on both the car stereo and the iPod.
This product solves that problem, and charges your iPod to boot. It uses the new line out capabilities through the docking connector. You then plug your adapter into a mini-plug jack located on the power adapter. Adjust the amplifier volume on the adapter as well. The built in amplifier provides enough power now so I don't have to crank the volume on the car stereo, making the sound to be fuller, richer, more accurate and eliminating all the hiss & noise caused by having to turn up the car stereo all the way.

The only things that might need to consider is the mini-plug output for the amplifier and volume controls are on the side of the cigarette plug. While this wasn't a problem for me, people with resessed power plugs in their cars might have difficulty with it if your cassette adapter/fm transmitter doesn't have a angled plug (I have a MB that has a power adapter in a recessed ashtray and it's challenging to use that plug because of space requirements, but does work after some adjustment). Belkin should have put these on opposite sides of the device, but should only be a minor inconvience. I don't envision anyone having to adjust the output volume very often, after you set it for the first time.

I highly reccomend this product to anyone wanting to listen to their iPod in the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Nope, as ehurtley stated, I now understand my only reasonably priced option is the FM transmitter as the Belkin unit requires a cassette adapter or FM transmitter (although this would be a good solution for the 2006 aux. jack).
 

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Cable to radio suggestion...

Nope, as ehurtley stated, I now understand my only reasonably priced option is the FM transmitter as the Belkin unit requires a cassette adapter or FM transmitter (although this would be a good solution for the 2006 aux. jack).
Hi wayneswhirld,

I bought a brand new 2006 but only after driving around for awhile in my friend's 2005 like yours. For $99, he got a local radio installation store to install RCA cables on the back of his radio inside the Instrument Panel. Neither of us were brave enough to do this so we found someone who basically unscrewed a couple of things and got his hand up there and connected a 9 foot long RCA cable. Now, my friend always has a cable to his iPod, DVD, whatever for the future and does not have to deal with the crappy sound of FM transmitter and cassette adapters. Just my suggestion but it really turned out to be $99 well spent in his case. During the Summer, he hid the cable under the carpet and it sits right next to his center cup holders now.
 

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Re: Cable to radio suggestion...

motorcityapplepro said:
Hi wayneswhirld,

I bought a brand new 2006 but only after driving around for awhile in my friend's 2005 like yours. For $99, he got a local radio installation store to install RCA cables on the back of his radio inside the Instrument Panel. Neither of us were brave enough to do this so we found someone who basically unscrewed a couple of things and got his hand up there and connected a 9 foot long RCA cable. Now, my friend always has a cable to his iPod, DVD, whatever for the future and does not have to deal with the crappy sound of FM transmitter and cassette adapters. Just my suggestion but it really turned out to be $99 well spent in his case. During the Summer, he hid the cable under the carpet and it sits right next to his center cup holders now.
That strikes me as odd. I hadn't seen an audio-in adapter that cheap. Can you find out the name of fthe adapter from him so I can look for it myself? (All I've seen are the $200+ ultra-fancy adapters that are either designed for video in, or to specifically control an iPod. For $100 off, I'd gladly use just RCA jacks.)
 

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Re: Cable to radio suggestion...

motorcityapplepro said:
Hi wayneswhirld,

I bought a brand new 2006 but only after driving around for awhile in my friend's 2005 like yours. For $99, he got a local radio installation store to install RCA cables on the back of his radio inside the Instrument Panel. Neither of us were brave enough to do this so we found someone who basically unscrewed a couple of things and got his hand up there and connected a 9 foot long RCA cable. Now, my friend always has a cable to his iPod, DVD, whatever for the future and does not have to deal with the crappy sound of FM transmitter and cassette adapters. Just my suggestion but it really turned out to be $99 well spent in his case. During the Summer, he hid the cable under the carpet and it sits right next to his center cup holders now.
That strikes me as odd. I hadn't seen an audio-in adapter that cheap. Can you find out the name of fthe adapter from him so I can look for it myself? (All I've seen are the $200+ ultra-fancy adapters that are either designed for video in, or to specifically control an iPod. For $100 off, I'd gladly use just RCA jacks.)

ehurtley,

I'm with my buddy now and he says that while he doesn't know the actual hook-up on the back of the prius head unit. his buddy at the radio store was able to cobble something pretty easy and quickly together with the tools and materials routinely found on a radio installers workbench. He even thinks it just might be left and right audio on one side and left and right audio on the other. In any case - than all he had to do was buy a $3 left and right audio to stereo mini plug and plug that into the iPod itself. This is how he's been set-up since March 2005. Hope this helps.
 

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Looks like he is taking advantage of the aux port. Trouble is, how does he activate the input, and unload the input to prevent interference for the radio's own audio?
 

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DanMan32 said:
Looks like he is taking advantage of the aux port. Trouble is, how does he activate the input, and unload the input to prevent interference for the radio's own audio?
That's what I was curious about, specifically.
 

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Unless it is only a 2006 vehicle they do this to. It may be all the radios in that MY have the connection for the 1/8" plug, but some packages may not have the wiring. Earlier models didn't have this extra connecton.

The aux port I originally referred to was a port to add additional intelligent accessories, such as SAT, Ipod with control, etc.
 

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wayneswhirld said:
Any recommendations?
I tried four different FM Transmitters and didn't find any acceptable. If you don't have a CD-Changer the iPod2Car or AuxBox are options. These plug into the back of the radio using the CD Changer port. The iPod2Car or the like will not work with XM Radio.
I now have a Vais SoundLinQ SLI and it works perfectly.
http://homepage.mac.com/brusso/PriusRad ... bum45.html
It depends how much you want to listen to your iPod. Personally, I drive a lot so it is worth it to me.

Bob
 
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