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I would like to connect my Minidisc or MP3 player to the car stereo. Does anyone know if this is possible. I have the in-dash 6 CD changer and Nav system.
 

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I asked Volvo directly about adding Sirious satellite radio to an XC90. Thier reply stated that it is possiable on some models, but not on the XC series as there are no auxillary inputs available.
Regards Darrell
 

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Most of the XC90 stereo system is fiberoptics.Thats why it is hard to add componants onto it.I have seen one with it and it had the adapter that was the cassette that sent the signal into the tape player.
 

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You can use an FM modulator as an alternative to an aux. input.
These are readily available at all auto sound stores such as
Circuit City, Best Buy, etc. etc. If you do a lot of interstate travel
I would suggest you use one that offers 87.9 as one of its channels.
I have XM Radio installed using one and it works ok. The sound
quality is the same as an FM radio station. Would be better if a
direct aux. input adapter is made available.
 

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My XM Roady2 has the wireless modulator built in....It sucks in my opinion. I want a direct input, but thats not gonna happen anytime soon.

Tim
 

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Hi,

I bought an XC90 a year ago (in Switzerland) and had asked about connecting my existing MP3 player. We all know the story:

- Volve 'forgot' an Aux input on their audio systems...
- Volvo jukebox not supported on XC90, no date on when something might come out for XC90
- Volvo does not disclose the specs on the optical link, making it impossible for aftermarket to come up with something
- aftermarket does not appear to have anything today - not clear when something comes out either (they have to do serious reverse engineering)
- Volvo does NOT support the standard car radio DIN shaft on XC90 (you can get this in V70 for instance).

When the car reminded me that the year service was due, I realized that the problem still had not been solved. I got really #$%^& and asked my volve dealer to remove the car radio. There is this beautiful Dension standard shaft tuner with built in removeable hard drive. I would just do the mechanics somehow. All I need is 12 Volt, the Antenna input and speaker wires.

Well - that did not work. First, I could not find the Antenna nor speaker wires where the radio controls are. In fact, the radio is in at least four parts. There is the display unit with the controls in the dash, right below is the CD drive, the amplifier is under the passenger seat, and God knows where the tuner is. And yes, it is all connected up through an optical wire.

So I told the dealer to put the radio back in. But I got an idea: Amplifiers use analog signals for the power stages (Guess what, I'm an EE). So, I unscrewed the amplifier from under the passenger seat, opened it up (this was actually fairly difficult), and using a scope figured out where the signals are available.

Then I soldered a 2$ Aux input cable to the amplifier, put everything back.

I have my AUX input working on my XC90!!!


Now, you will need to know what you're doing when you attempt to do this yourself

1) the power leads on the amplifier are always supplied with 12 Volts, even with ignition key removed. I conclude the amplifier has a solid state power switch on the inside that causes it to turn off.

2) the amplifier is turned ON with ignition key in lock, even when the radio is off. This is because the speakers are used to signal the beep when your seatbelt is not fastened. They (Volvo) actually did somethiing smart here.

This picture below shows the opened up amplifier from below, with red circles for the AIX input wire connection. R and L indicate Right and Left inputs.
(see bottom left thumbnail)

The next picture shows how the wire is connected to the points of the previous picture. Note how the ground is soldered to the large ground square.

YOU MUST INSERT a series resistor (1kOhm) and capacitor (10 uF) for each channel. You can see the cap in the detail picture, the resistor is inside the isolation. The + terminal of the cap must be connected to the circuit board terminal.
(see bottom right thumbnail)

To listen to my MP3 player, I simply connect it to the cable, turn the radio volume down to zero, and enjoy MY music. Traffic announcements still come thru, which is what I wanted. Interestingly, the MP3 player just is heard equally well when the radio is turned off, and can be heard until about a minute AFTER the ignition key is taken out....

Disadvantage: I need to use the volume control on the MP3 player. None of the radio controls work (volume, balance, fader, equalizer). I only connected up the front speakers could have done more, but for me it's good enough.

Advantage: Superb quality! No noise, simply does not even compare to an FM modulator (yeah, I tried that too...)

When you do this, you do this completely at your own risk. I do not accept any liabiliti when you try to replicate what I've done. I post this for people who know what they're doing. You have to know which end of a soldering iron to hold!

Good luck.

Ronald Gadget
 

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Thanks to Ronald for the very clear posting on how to add input jacks to the analog side of the amplifier under the passenger seat. It is actually easy to do this, but there is one small problem - our US car was also bought a year ago but it has a slightly different system.

My wife has an 2004 XC90 here in Portland, OR and for her birthday I wanted to add an iPod input. Pulling the amplifier out from under the seat is fairly easy with a small metric socket wrench - there are three bolts to remove, two in front and one in the far back corner. The back edge also has alignment pins that sit in the sheet metal. Lift the front of the amp up, lift the back slightly to dissengage the pins (cables prevent it coming all the way up) and slide it forward. The toughest part of the operation is removing the cables modular plugs from the back face - the release buttons are on the top and they are VERY stiff requiring a strong thumb or a small flat screwdriver to hold them down while the plug is removed. Once out of the car and on the bench the amp is easy to open up - just take care and note which screws come from where, they all look the same size but some are machine and some are self tapping.

Okay, now I am ready to attach the series resistor and capacitor......... only problem is this is a different circuit board than what Ronald has so graciously provided photos of!

I am out of my depth here. Can anyone tell me how to identify where the signals I want are available? My late father was an EE so I am very comfortable working on electronics I just lack the specific knowledge of solid state amplifiers. As soon as I figure this out I will post photos for everyone's reference.

Thanks for any help you can give,

Henry

PS - it took about five minutes to put the cover back on the amp and re-install it in the car.
 

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Henry,

sad that you have a different amp under the seat.
I actually got the standard audio system with the car, and who knows how many versions Volvo made (helps explain the price!)

They way I found the right connection was:
- visually locate the final power stage (usually bulky semiconductors mounted on a heat sink). This is typically on one of the 4 sides.
- play a CD
- use an osciloscope to find the trace on the circuit board close to the final power stage to identify the board trace that carries the audio signal.
- I used common engineering sense and some experimentation to select the series resistor and cap values.

In my case, opening up the amp took most of the time. Once I had that done, locating the right signals took about 20 minutes. However, I did not remove any cables during any of this.

I've had it hooked up for a couple of months now - works like a charm, and audio quality is superb! (Well, for a car - does not compare well with the Cabasse system I have in my living room...)


Good luck - Ronald
 

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I went to a high end car radio installation center they said no way on XM radio for XC-90 so I bought the Delphi MyFi XM to go, easy hook up to the car you play of your FM radio, pick a station and its transmitted through that station, little antenna goes outside with magnet and hookup to cigarette lighter for power.5 minutes your hooked up, Quality of sound is pretty **** good. I actaully like this better becuase I can take it with me anywhere I go. It also comes with stereo hook-up for home and works great. Little pricey though 250.00
 

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Ok, I'm a new to me XC90 2004 owner, exhausting the search to connect my ipod. Mr Gadget--yours appears to be THE ONLY solution, however, I am not an EE, but my father is an ME, anyway, if there are any EE's in AUSTIN, TX that would be willing to give this a try on my vehicle, and ensure as many speakers as possible are working, you will be RICHLY REWARDED!!
 

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I´m tempted to follow your steps to connect the Ipod to the amp but before doing this (and since I´m not an EE) I am wondering if it is not easier and less risky to but a separate amp that has an aux input and connect it to all of the speakers instead of only to the front pair. If it is technically possible I may spend a bit more but I spare myself from shorting the Volvo system.

Does anybody know if in fact this is an alternative?

Thanks from Mexico, Antonio
 

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QUOTE(aamart @ Dec 15 2005, 10:27 PM)I am wondering if it is not easier and less risky to but a separate amp that has an aux input and connect it to all of the speakers instead of only to the front pair.
[snapback]20589[/snapback]​


As far as I am aware, there are several amps. My XC90 has 7 speakers including the center channel speak. Seems that from Ron's info the amp under the seat only powers the front left and right. If you replace it you still have access only to the front left and right speaker wires but now you've lost the ability to use your in-dash stereo since only Volvo's amps can communicate with it. I suspect that there is another amplifier in back for the back speakers including the surroud speakers and if you have the sub then I assume there would be a third amp for that.

Bottom line, if you installed a new car stereo then ran the RCA cables to the location of the ampliers, replaced the amplifiers with new ones or taped in to their circuits, as Ron did, and then finally ran antenna wire in to the roof then you'd be all set.
I'm still waiting, going on 3 years, for someone to come up with something. For not the FM Modulator works but is anything but ideal.
 

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Thanks Mr. Gadget!! I have successfully modded my 2006 Volvo XC90. I have the premium sound system and my amp is different than yours....I used 10uf caps without resistors to each channel, so I have both my front doors (2), rear doors (2) and back of the cabin (2). 6 Speakers!! Exactly what I wanted! Your the best.
 

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Hey MrGadget , I just did it and it worked, first, I did it with the two front speakers, and the next day I added the two rear speakers, I have 4 speakers working now.

I didnt put 1k ohm resitor like you said, I put 680 ohm resitor I had at home but I know that less ohm means audio power to the amplifier.

I saw Mr. Warped3k, used not resitors, I wonder if that can bring me more power without sacrifying quality.

Any way,it is working now,I dont know why I didnt try it before, I was considering to return my xc90 2005 and get the 2007.

The first time I saw what you posted, like 6 months ago, I just read like the first four lines and stopped. but this last weekend I decide to do and I did it in about one or two hours.

Hey MrGadget, like Mr. Warped3k said, You are the best.
Thanks again.
 

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Hi all,

I have an XC-90 in central Virginia which I love. However, the lack of an auxiliary input has been driving me nutty for years. If any of you familiar with this procedure and in the central Virginia area, I would appreciate the chance to drive over and have you perform this "surgery" for my stereo. I am too scared by lack of technical competence and would probably blow up the car if I tried. In return, I will either be happy to pay you or bring some of the finest grape juice (wine) you will ever taste (no kidding!). Many thanks and have a great one!
 

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QUOTE(hfischer @ Sep 11 2005, 11:00 AM)Thanks to Ronald for the very clear posting on how to add input jacks to the analog side of the amplifier under the passenger seat. It is actually easy to do this, but there is one small problem - our US car was also bought a year ago but it has a slightly different system.

My wife has an 2004 XC90 here in Portland, OR and for her birthday I wanted to add an iPod input. Pulling the amplifier out from under the seat is fairly easy with a small metric socket wrench - there are three bolts to remove, two in front and one in the far back corner. The back edge also has alignment pins that sit in the sheet metal. Lift the front of the amp up, lift the back slightly to dissengage the pins (cables prevent it coming all the way up) and slide it forward. The toughest part of the operation is removing the cables modular plugs from the back face - the release buttons are on the top and they are VERY stiff requiring a strong thumb or a small flat screwdriver to hold them down while the plug is removed. Once out of the car and on the bench the amp is easy to open up - just take care and note which screws come from where, they all look the same size but some are machine and some are self tapping.

Okay, now I am ready to attach the series resistor and capacitor......... only problem is this is a different circuit board than what Ronald has so graciously provided photos of!

I am out of my depth here. Can anyone tell me how to identify where the signals I want are available? My late father was an EE so I am very comfortable working on electronics I just lack the specific knowledge of solid state amplifiers. As soon as I figure this out I will post photos for everyone's reference.

Thanks for any help you can give,

Henry

PS - it took about five minutes to put the cover back on the amp and re-install it in the car.
[snapback]15101[/snapback]​


Like Henry I'm having the same problem. I have a different model board (see pic below as attachment). If someone did the mod with my type of board please let me know, which contact points you connected to? I lack the technical expertise to locate them.

Thanks in advance,

Ervin
 

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Hi all!

I'm having the same board as Ebar and I wondered if someone ever found out where to solder the wires on that type of amp.

Thanks for any reply!

Grtz, Peter.
 
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