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iPod Installation in C5 Using iSimple PXDP and PXHGM4

RBS-C5

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2003 Torch Red Coupe
The iSimple PXDP makes an iPod look like the optional CD Changer that was available as an option on the C5. This allows you to play music on the iPod through the factory Bose radio. I liked this means of using an iPod better than the "transmit iPod music over an FM channel" approach. If you already have the CD Changer you will have to disconnect it in order to use the PXDP with your iPod.

I ordered the PXDP and PXHGM4 from Dennis at doubledmods.com for $89.99. The PXDP is a white plastic electronics interface box and the PXHGM4 is a cable harness that connects the Bose radio to the PXDP. The iPod connects to the PXDP via a long black cable that plugs into the docking port on the iPod.

I bought an iPod Nano (6th generation) with 16GB of flash memory. All the PXDP documentation I found only mentioned the PXDP working with iPod Nanos up to 4th generation, but a call to iSimple tech support (866-788-4237) verified that the PXDP does work with the 6th generation iPod Nano (as long as you get the black 5v cable that connects the PXDP to the iPod - that’s what came with my order from doubledmods.com).

Detailed instructions based upon my installation experience are available here.
 

XLR8

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Welcome to the CAC!
Sounds like a good alternative to the FM channel method which I can add doesn't work for everyone. So how did you hear about this method? I haven't heard of it til now.
BTW - is that your Torch Red C5 on the Double D website? Nice.
:wJane Ann
 

Toms007

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I recently purchased this set up. I have yet to receive it. Ill be disconnecting the CD changer to hook mine up rather than plugging directly into the head unit.

Thanks for the write up.
 

RBS-C5

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2003 Torch Red Coupe
Welcome to the CAC!
Sounds like a good alternative to the FM channel method which I can add doesn't work for everyone. So how did you hear about this method? I haven't heard of it til now.
BTW - is that your Torch Red C5 on the Double D website? Nice.
:wJane Ann

That would be nice if the C5 on the Double D website was mine - but I suspect that one belongs to Dennis. Mine is considerably more modest, but still the apple of my eye! I'll upload some pictures of mine later - right now the website doesn't seem to want to let me upload any pictures.

I found about about this method of iPod hookup by Googling "Corvette C5 iPod install" and reading about the various alternatives. There are a couple of different solutions that are similar to the PXDP one. I chose the PXDP because a number of folks said that it worked well for them, the price was right with free shipping at Double D, and Toque had done a great writeup of his installation so I knew what would be involved.

Originally I was going to replace the Bose radio with a head unit that was capable of playing MP3s recorded on CDROM. I talked to Crutchfield and told them I wanted something with that capability that also constantly displayed the current time, even while a song was playing. They pointed me to a JVC model, but after downloading the owner's manual for it I convinced myself that the clock probably would not be visible when a song was playing. I also was a bit reluctant to change the "stock" look of the console. That led me to consider the iPod approach. Several cars ago I had a JVC head unit that played MP3 on DVD media. I really liked that because I could put all my music on one disk and never have to change it. The iPod gives me the benefit of having all my music available at the push of a single button, just like the MP3 on DVD used to give me. I liked that.
 

shark454

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2002 Torch Red Coupe 1972 454 auto red
I selected another similiar product and love the sound. Keep in mind, the FM type modulation does add noise and limit the frequency response. By using a direct to AUX port style connection, we have CD quality music flowing from the speakers and my Bose system has never sounded better. The FM transmitter solution is ok but you pay for that convenience with a hit on sound quality.
 

RBS-C5

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2003 Torch Red Coupe
I selected another similiar product and love the sound. Keep in mind, the FM type modulation does add noise and limit the frequency response. By using a direct to AUX port style connection, we have CD quality music flowing from the speakers and my Bose system has never sounded better. The FM transmitter solution is ok but you pay for that convenience with a hit on sound quality.

Which product did you use? Does it completely remove power to the interface box and iPod when the ignition is off?

A downside to my approach is that I had to cut a wire and run switched 12v into the interface box in order to get to where there was no added drain on the car battery when the ignition is off. Tech support at iSimple argued that the drain is so small that it essentially makes no difference - but I wanted zero additional drain - and some folks who used the unmodified PXDP claimed that they could tell a difference in how long their Vette could sit in the garage without the car battery becoming noticeable "run down".
 

shark454

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I have Freecom Wireless PDAUX3W I have an 02 C5 coupe. DO a search it should pop up. You need to enter your GM vehicle info.
The unit plugs into the aux port. That's it! You can still use the changer if you have one. I do not. I didn't cut anything and I'm not sure about power going off, but it only connects to the radio head...so I think the power switches with the radio. The car battery has not died either. The unit has a phone plug that plugs into the headphone jack of any MP3 player. The PDAUX3W also has a USB connection. I haven't hooked my USB up yet, so I don't charge my iTouch. I don't know about the head controlling the iTouch either. One of these days I will connect the white iPod cable and test things out. I believe this unit cost me more than the other unit discussed, but I was an early adopter.

I did love your install, very clean and out of the way.
 

Toms007

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On a side note, with my complete library on my Ipod, I'll not miss having my CD changer. As a matter of fact, I think I'll sell it....anyone interested?
 

XLR8

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.........I found about about this method of iPod hookup by Googling "Corvette C5 iPod install" and reading about the various alternatives.
Thanks for going into greater detail.

A couple of years ago, I bought an Alpine head unit (iDA-X100) from a local stereo shop after an extensive conversation with one of the employees. I've experienced some issues which may or may not be related, one of which we're in the midst of troubleshooting currently. Hopefully we'll get to the bottom of my latest problem and discover it has nothing to do with my stereo replacement and wiring.

As a sidebar, my hookup still allows the unit to continue playing (for 10 minutes or so) after the engine has been shutoff and key removed as long as the doors aren't opened, like the original unit does.

:wJane Ann
 

Toms007

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OK, I just checked my order and I did not order this cable, I ordered the PXDP PXHGM2, which hooks into the wiring harness in place of the CD changer.
 

Toms007

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OK, I received my package from Double D. Today I let the Corvette down and decided to give the installation a go. The first thing I did was remove the 12 disk CD changer. I then added a velcro strip to the back of the little PXDP box (about the size of a pack of cigarettes, give or take). Then I routed the Ipod plug-in cable from the rear storage compartment under the carpet and into the console area. Then I grabbed the PXHGM2 cable plugged the one end of it into the PXDP box (only one way to put it in) and plugged the other end into the existing wiring harness (the end I unplugged from the changer). DONE.

I then turned on the key and pushed the Aux button on the head unit and my Ipod tunes came rolling out. :happyanim:The fast forward, rewind, Next and Back buttons on the head unit control the Ipod....cool.

If you have the changer in your C5, this mod is very easy and quick to do. Sorry no pictures, but I can maybe get some of the finished install later. :w
 

timfitz63

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'98 Aztec Gold Coupe; '04 Millennium Yellow 'Vert'
Apologies for resurrecting an old thread.

Last night I got tired of sacrificing a CD or two to the CD changer in my '04; when switching discs, it will periodically try to load the next disc in sequence without successfully removing the one already loaded. As you can imagine, this has a less-than-desirable effect on the CD's -- as well as my usually agreeable demeanor... :mad

So I started searching for an iPod adapter and landed here. The problem: it seems the iSimple version that was the specific topic of this thread is discontinued... There does appear to be a newer version; I don't know whether it's compatible with the C5 (a lot of the folks selling it these days aren't offering many details on the vehicle compatibility...), but it does appear that they changed the iPod connector to something that just plugs into the headphone jack rather than the nifty connector that allows the radio controls to be used... And I like the fact that this solution is easy to return to stock configuration, if so desired.

Any leads on leftover stock or used units that would connect through the CD changer plug in the trunk? Frankly, I'd like to pick up two of them, one for the '04 and one for the '98. I've found a few on eBay and will make some inquiries with those sellers about compatibility, etc. Thanks!
 

RBS-C5

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2003 Torch Red Coupe
Apologies for resurrecting an old thread.

Last night I got tired of sacrificing a CD or two to the CD changer in my '04; when switching discs, it will periodically try to load the next disc in sequence without successfully removing the one already loaded. As you can imagine, this has a less-than-desirable effect on the CD's -- as well as my usually agreeable demeanor... :mad

So I started searching for an iPod adapter and landed here. The problem: it seems the iSimple version that was the specific topic of this thread is discontinued... There does appear to be a newer version; I don't know whether it's compatible with the C5 (a lot of the folks selling it these days aren't offering many details on the vehicle compatibility...), but it does appear that they changed the iPod connector to something that just plugs into the headphone jack rather than the nifty connector that allows the radio controls to be used... And I like the fact that this solution is easy to return to stock configuration, if so desired.

Any leads on leftover stock or used units that would connect through the CD changer plug in the trunk? Frankly, I'd like to pick up two of them, one for the '04 and one for the '98. I've found a few on eBay and will make some inquiries with those sellers about compatibility, etc. Thanks!

Don't know if this helps, but I found this on Amazon:

Amazon.com: Corvette 30-pin iPod input. Digital interface PLUS vehicle/radio specific cable PLUS dash trim removal tools (Bundle: 3 items): MP3 Players & Accessories
 

timfitz63

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Well, it does help a bit. Thanks! Apparently you're a better web searcher than I am...! :thumb At least that looks like the older unit that everyone in this thread was talking about/using.

But I think that particular one has the connector/cable for installation at the back of the radio head rather than at the CD changer (my preference). In my searches I may have stumbled across folks selling just the connector/cable at the CD changer, so I may be able to piecemeal the necessary parts together... It's a starting point, at least...!

If anyone's got a couple of unused PXHGM2 cables from their installation kits, I know a couple of good homes for them -- the trunks of my C5's...! ;)
 
Last edited:

Toms007

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You are correct Tim, that one does appear to plug directly into the back of the radio, which would be OK, but means more work to get the job done. Hooking it up through the CD changer plug in the back was a snap. The hardest thing, as I remember, was removing the changer and running the cord into the console area. Otherwise it was unplug this, plug in that.....done. I don't know if the guy I sold my 01 to uses that or not, next time I talk to him I'll ask.
 

timfitz63

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You are correct Tim, that one does appear to plug directly into the back of the radio, which would be OK, but means more work to get the job done. Hooking it up through the CD changer plug in the back was a snap. The hardest thing, as I remember, was removing the changer and running the cord into the console area. Otherwise it was unplug this, plug in that.....done. I don't know if the guy I sold my 01 to uses that or not, next time I talk to him I'll ask.

Thanks for the confirmation, Tom! Yeah, I've had to remove the CD changer a couple of times to make it give back the CD on which it was munching. And despite my best efforts to be surgical in removing the disc, the changer has pretty-much ruined every CD that's gotten jammed inside of the thing... But it's a pain to get at the three bolts on the driver's side of the unit; and GM made sure the connector release was an inscrutable puzzle when performing the task blind and by feel... :hb For as often as I might use the set-up, I'm really leaning toward not even running the iPod 30-pin connector cable under the carpeting and up to the center console just to make the installation clean-looking; I drive Aztec Gold #15, on average, about a week out of the year (back and forth to Carlisle), so snaking the iPod connector cable up through the cargo bin cover to the cockpit isn't such a big deal. Same with my '04, although I may get ambitious enough in that case to make that a semi-permanent installation... The other advantage of the older iSimple PXDP unit is, I believe, it charges the iPod while it's connected; the newer connection through the headphone jack definitely will not...

In the end, I'm all about simple and keeping things stock. I imagine the 'standard' harness is for connection straight into the radio head since there's no other option if the factory CD changer isn't installed/wired. But since both of my C5's have the CD changer, I'd prefer to avoid the hassle of tearing apart the interior, just use the existing CD changer wiring run to accomplish this modification, and stow the iSimple unit in the cargo bin with the CD changer remaining in place. Doing that has two desirable effects (for me, at least):

  1. As already noted, it's much less labor-intensive without being unsightly or inconvenient to use.
  2. It's quickly reversible, should I wish to revert to the 100% stock configuration at any time. This is really more a consideration with Aztec Gold #15, should I ever get more motivated about getting it NCRS judged.
So now it's just a matter of finding a couple of older PXDP units and the correct PXHGM2 harnesses and I'll be back to rockin' on down the highway without fear of losing another CD to GM's disc-eating POS changer...!
 

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