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Adding Aux to old car radio

Aux + iPod

How to add an Aux port, a 3.5 mm “headphone” jack to your radio.

Aux port

As my van is rather old – as is the radio – but working, I figured out how to add an aux line-in to the radio unit.

All it doesn’t do is play mp3 CD’s, however I can live with that. An mp3 player, or other music player can always be connected. Such as a mobile phone.

On our vacations, and other long trips, our younger family members like to look at Youtube videos – and now we can all co-listen.

The radio unit is a CDR 2005, and belongs to car models made before 2004 – meaning no can bus signal wiring. I learned this, as I was thinking of upgrading the unit to a later (used) model. (They all come with can bus.)

The idea came from a youtub’ing young lady, with artist /channel name “Redhead carlady” who in Russia had made this DIY ‘upgrade’ to a later radio model – connections straight on to the back of the unit. The radio comes from factory with the Aux pins, however the car itself isn’t always equipped with an Aux hub.

One can spot the Aux cable DIY connection towards the end of the video, just before the unit is put back into its slot. (Link embedded in picture – a new page will open)

“Redhead carlady”

She, in turn, linked onwards to another lady, a car tech blogger, who instructed which the pins are on the back of the unit. Radio in question is a CD30 mp3 – a later model with can bus. The link is in the additional info section of the video, “2drive”.

As I understood that my radio did not have this option with the pins, I searched onwards, landing on a page of german man who had soldered the leads straight onto the board of a radio unit.


The instructions show the soldering of left and right channel, as well as the ground. To the input (circuit) of the CD player. Meaning, you need to have a CD running in the unit. Need to burn a CD with 78 – 80 minutes of just dead silence. That’s the easiest part of this DIY project. 🙂

(Link embedded in picture – a new page will open)

Leads on circuit board
Leads on circuit board

My soldering

My own soldering was the worst ever, however the leads eventually stuck firmly. One has to remember to fix the jack to the front, and then run the 3.5 mm Aux cable through the unit – before the soldering.

The Aux cable routing

The Aux jack is located on the upper right hand corner. Right next to the mouth of the CD player. That was basically the only spot available, if looking to fasten the jack on the unit. Thereby the circuit board of the unit front, behind the buttons, is kept intact. The mouth actually curves inwards, gets smaller towards the insides, so there is just enough material for structural strength. (Time will tell)

The soldering, done.

Listening test. For safety, connected an old iPod – just in case the soldering wasn’t correct. And – Just amazing. Without any loss of audio. Chrystal clear.

Aux port, with extension cord

So happy, that the time invested gave fruit. Looking forward to next vacation!

The upgrade can : a 2001 Opel Vivaro. Vauxhall, nowdays.

The Yellow Submarine.

Om författaren.

Aktör inom ljuddämpning, särskilt kontroll av Eko – i inomhusmiljö. Bosatt i Mattby, Esbo, beläget strax väster om Helsingfors, Finland.
Special-designar dämpande element, tex platta tavlor och mera runda torn – som påminner om Grekiska pelare.
Förespråkare av ekologisk och närproducerat material, som tex trä. #hållbarhet

Läs, och lär mera om återhämtning och ljuddämpning i den nypubliserade guiden. –> e-shop.