I just recently replaced the aftermarket Alpine stereo installed in my Accord by the previous owner with a Kenwood bought from Crutchfield (so I can have a non-crappy user interface as well as having MP3 capability the Alpine lacked). The actual install went fine. However, to use my AUX input I have to run cable through the dash somehow. The options seem to be:
1) Put a hole in the back of the dash pocket under the radio and run it out there.
2) Run it out through the opening where the ashtray is.
3) Pop out the blank cutout to the right of the dash clock and run it through there.
Right now I'm doing 3. The AUX connector on the stereo is a pair of RCA female connectors, so I have an RCA-to-stereo-minijack cable I bought at Radio Shack yesterday.
I noticed when I did this, the cable attached to the RCA sockets is actually long enough to pull the sockets partway out the dash cutout. This leads me to believe one option might be cutting a pair of holes in the cutout, of the right size to glue or otherwise fasten the RCA connectors into.
Basically, if you'll pardon a bit of ASCII art, it looks like I should be able to do something like this:
| O O | <-- pair of RCA sockets
Behind the dash | In front of the dash
Well, since so many Hondas probably have that blank cutout there (what is it even for?), it makes me wonder: does anyone sell a modified cutout that has the audio socket built in, so you can just plug into your AUX and all is grand? If not, what's the best way to route the cabling through the dash to AUX?
I am not familiar with the layout of the car, but the idea of modifying the blank panel sounds like an awesome idea. It looks like the only option that would keep the dash looking clean by not having a wire hanging around when the AUX input isnt in use. I would go for that idea.
The thing that I would think ahead about first is if that panel would hold up to constant plugging in and pulling of the plug. If it looks like it can take that type of abuse, go for it. I am sure there are ways to make that modification look like it was part of the car.
However, if the panel is on the dash, you will have a wire there whenever you are using the AUX input. Maybe you can find an area that is more out of the way. I've seen people run the wire into the glove box also.
I saw this thing Best Buy's car audio dept was selling, can't remember the manufacture. But it ran female rca's to a small mountable unit that has a 3.5mm female stereo jack. then you just need to run male-male wire to the mp3 player.
another alternative to consider is running the wire to the glove box so you can keep it there when its not in use.
instead of pulling the rca to the dash... you can mount a female headphone port to the dash somewhere and then use a male-male wire to connect between the port and your mp3 player/etc.
I thought about that, and decided against on the grounds that it introduces another junction -- the extension cable connecting to the stereo, then the male-male cable connecting to the extension, then the device connecting to the male-male cable. The way I'm thinking of doing it, the extension cable plugs right into the device, plus the extension cable can be removed easily for other purposes if need be.
Also, RCA-male to 1/8" female cables seem to be rare. At any rate, Radio Shack doesn't list them on their site and Best Buy doesn't seem to have them either.
Maybe I'll stop by my local car audio shack and see what they have to say...
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