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Discussion Starter #1
I have an ipod mp3 player I've wanted to use since I got my Prius, but I have not wanted to use an FM transmitter and I don't have the tape deck. A few months ago, the Icelink was finally released, but it costs $200 to $240 (depending on which version you get) and that's just too expensive. I've been waiting for coastaletech to release their audio line-in adapter and hoping it will be cheaper (their 03 adapter is). Their web site has said it is "coming soon" since before Icelink was released, and they don't seem to answer e-mail inquiries, so my patience was about to run out...

Luckily, I did a final search, and found that RCAInputs has finally released an adapter! You can find it here: http://www.rcainput.com/Merchant2/merch ... ory_Code=T

I'm starting to worry, though, because in my order receipt it lists the product code as "TOY-AUX", which is the code from PIE's cable part listed here: http://store.yahoo.com/logjam/pietoyaux.html
which says specifically it's not compatible with 2004 Prius.

However, the RCAInputs page says "Ships with additional harness for newer Toyotas - TOYOTA HARNESS PART # 08695-00370", so I hope that makes it compatible. What worries me more is that they asked me what kind of car it was for, but that field was optional. Without requiring that people tell them what car it's for, how can they know to send the additional cable? I fear that the wording is not clear and they meant to say I have to order that other cable myself. But if that's the case, then they are charging $20 too much for the TOY-AUX compared to logjam.

To confuse matters further, PIE has a big chart (http://www.pie.net/appl_aux.pdf) that seems to indicate I don't want TOY-AUX, but rather TOY/PC-SON. I've searched through both PIE's recommended stores and done google searching and haven't found anyone selling "TOY/PC-SON".

Aaaaanyway, I went ahead and ordered the RCAInputs cable, so I'll post a followup when I find out if it works or not. I just wanted to make sure people know there is an alternative to ICElink for those of us who don't want to spend an extra $100+ for steering-wheel controls and who might want to plug in audio devices other than the ipod in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Well, good news and bad news.

Good news, the Neo device shipped with the extra adapter for toyota Prius and it all fit together and worked... once. It didn't work at all until I pushed the little plug in more firmly. Then it finally switched to CD changer by pressing the mode button (it recognizes the device as a changer) and let me play my Ipod through the device. However, after I switched off the changer, it will not go back to the changer. It usually pauses for 2 or 3 seconds when it should go to the changer and then skips back to AM as if it was trying to detect the Neo and failed.

After re-seating connections many times and trying it again the next morning I finally called tech support. They seemed mystified and said to send it back to them for testing. This is all very disappointing considering it took me 4+ hours to take the car apart and even more time testing and troubleshooting. I would be more angry about all this trouble but the company was nice about it and isn't charging me return shipping or anything; in fact he's going to be sending me something extra for my trouble, assuming I can actually get a replacement device to function.

Also, they mentioned they should have a cable that adapts the Neo to control an Ipod from the steering wheel within the next few weeks. Although he said it would cost about $200 total, so it doesn't sound like a better deal than the Icelink.

Anyway, it's really hard to figure out how to take the Prius apart to get at the stereo, and I couldn't find any good guides specific to the task (I found a good one for the EV button which describes part of the task but not all of it). There are about ten different panels that must be popped/screwed off. Now that I know how to do it, I hope it will take only about 30 mins or less. I took pictures and will be creating a guide, so I'll post more when there is more news or I have the guide ready.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I called MTE today and they said they had received my bad device yesterday and it looks like a problem with the newer toyota radios when installed in the car. He was talking fast and I'm not great at understanding accents, so I'm not sure about everything he said, but it was something about it works fine when they hook it up to a test stereo but when put in the car it doesn't work (I think they're basing that on feedback from me and another customer). So they're planning to rent a Prius or some other new Toyota to figure out what's wrong.

So... if you're considering ordering a Neo, you'll have to wait till they've worked out the bugs. I hope it doesn't take too long. =b
 

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ICELINK Problems

Hi KaniSDragon,

I have just read your postings and can sympathise. After many weeks of persistence Denison finally sent me the correct ICE link to fit to the prius. However I encountered exactly the same problems as yourself in that the ipod will play the first 2 or 3 seconds of a song before stopping.

When the companies say that their product is compatible with the prius they patently haven't tested it at all. Thats the only problem of being at the forefront of technology!

I have emailed coataltech who are developing an aux adapter for the prius, but they seem to be taking their time, it seems to be a difficult bit of kit to produce. Good luck and let me know if you have any success :?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Re: ICELINK Problems

scoward said:
Hi KaniSDragon,

I have just read your postings and can sympathise. After many weeks of persistence Denison finally sent me the correct ICE link to fit to the prius. However I encountered exactly the same problems as yourself in that the ipod will play the first 2 or 3 seconds of a song before stopping.

I have emailed coataltech who are developing an aux adapter for the prius, but they seem to be taking their time, it seems to be a difficult bit of kit to produce. Good luck and let me know if you have any success :?
Ick. I'm glad I didn't go for the icelink. I just didn't want to spend that much money. Even the Neo device is too expensive, but it's got a circuit board with a bunch of chips inside so it's not something that can be easily built at home.

My problem was actually that it won't switch to CD changer input. Once I got it to cd changer input (just once in 50 tries) it played for about 30 seconds before I decided it was working. I then switched off of cd changer and it would never return.

Frankly, Coastal makes me angry. They showed off a prototype device that could deliver video and audio and everything at least five months ago. Not long after that they posted "aux input coming soon" on their web site. So why haven't they released it? Or at least given a date, updated the status, or answered our emails? It's just rude.

Not that it sounds like Dennison is any better if they take weeks to fix a paying customer's order. I still haven't heard anything from MTE. I'll probably call tomorrow.

I have a draft of my stereo installation guide done. If anyone needs it for something, send me a pm. Otherwise, I'm going to wait until I get my Neo back and working to polish the guide and release it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Small update... MTE finally got a loaner Prius from Toyota on Tues. It's now Fri and the tech says he got it working, but they still think it will be a week or two while they continue to debug it.

They also think the ipod cable will be ready in about two weeks.

So... just waiting and waiting...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Another non-update... MTE said it's taking longer than they thought to fix, and they estimate the Neo for 2004 Prius won't be ready till Aug 8-10. However, he said it was their most urgent open issue, so hopefully they're working as fast as they can...

He said the Ipod adapter cable (to control ipod from the steering wheel) is ready, but of course that doesn't do us much good without the Neo. I still forgot to ask him which models of ipod it works with and what it does exactly... I imagine it probably talks about it on their web site somewhere? The total cost of Neo plus ipod cable will probably be about the same as the Icelink (which I've heard people say also doesn't work in the 04 Prius). I gotta run right now.
 

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Steering wheel control for the NEO car jukebox?

Hi,

I've just taken a look at the SSI America web page, I don't see anything about Ipod controllers but the car based MP3 player looks nice! Are they offering steering wheel control for that as well? And how would I get TWO Aux inputs? I've already got a SIRIUS PNP unit and would like to add the NEO car MP3 player. Thanks!

Peter
Miami, FL USA
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I found some info on the ipod cable here: RCAInputs and here http://www.ipod2car.com/

Cost is $189 (includes the Neo2). From the picture it looks like the audio cable replaces the RCA input cable, which means you can only use it for ipod, and only newer ipods with the flat connector (which also charges it). I wonder if that means it doesn't ship with the RCA cable? That would be annoying. With the RCA cable, one could conceivably mount the neo box so its plug was accessible and be able to switch between RCA and ipod cables without taking the car apart.

I've never heard of anything that could provide two RCA inputs, although you could probably buy a cheap splitter device that would split the one RCA jack into two and let you change between with a switch. I don't know anything about the car MP3 player you mentioned.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
petteri said:
I'm refering to this product:

http://www.ssiamerica.com/products/neo35/

I thought this was the company you are talking about with the AUX-In kit...

Peter
No, the "Neo2" is a small black box adapter (seen in the links I pointed to above) for adding RCA outputs to most car stereos that have a CD changer plug. The Neo2 is developed by MTE (Multi Technology Equipment LLC) who seem to primarily distribute through RCAInputs.com.
 

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Soooo annoying

Frankly, I find it almost unbelievably annoying that Toyota couldn't figure out that people buying the most technically advanced car might just be on the most technically advanced fringe in other areas as well (i.e. iPod or other MP3 player owners). The fact that it is so difficult to get audio into the car very nearly made me decide not to order the 04/05 simply because it will cost so much to get my iPod to work well (if I can get it to work at all). FM converters just do have the sound quality I require. Every time I call a Toyota dealer I get a different song-and-dance about how easy this will be to add. All Toyota had to do was include a line input. That's it, one simple jack that would probably cost Toyota about 25 cents per car.

I have a lot of pet-peeves, but this one is moving up towards #1. :)
 

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Now that there are reports that *NO* changes are being made to the 2005 models, it makes me wonder why any complaints about native MP3 playback or AUX-in have been ignored.

Toyota gets (got) reports summarizing what we talk about. What the heck?...
 

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mikepaul said:
Toyota gets (got) reports summarizing what we talk about.
Do you know this for a fact? I've heard rumors, but don't like to believe everything I read on the net.
 

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RSnyder said:
mikepaul said:
Toyota gets (got) reports summarizing what we talk about.
Do you know this for a fact? I've heard rumors, but don't like to believe everything I read on the net.
PriusChat's webmaster found a link to a summary page Toyota was getting, but once they realized it was publicly available they privatized it. I read it before it required a password, and what was posted on the sites they knew about, Toyota was getting a summary of.

Since they cut off access, I don't know if the summaries continue...
 

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I think and would like to believe that Toyota is monitoring web sites like this. I would suggest they would be fools not to. If nothing else it would be a early warning system of problems. If I were in a position of authority at Toyota I would have people gathering data and commenting on such sites. Yes rumor control would be important as well.
I firmly believe that the Prius is what it name says "to go before". I expect the Prius to evolve over time while the technology we are enjoying is distributed into the overall product line. Those who continue to purchase Prii will be the beta testers of new technology, hybrid diesel, fuel cell etc. "We have met the future and they is us" Pogo
OK I stand down from the soap box. "I have been away but I feel much better now" Night Court
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Called MTE again 8-12-04... They said they now know what the problem is but it will still take another 7 to 10 days to fix it. >=b Going damn slow over there...
 

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Should see if they, or the other company you mentioned would do a group purchase. We do this all the time in my motorcycle group. Sometimes you can get a pretty big discount if you get enough people interested. And the manufacturer, seller, or distributer knows that by getting the product out to the group, the word will spread quickly to other users.

Spike
 
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