Sunday, September 8, 2013

Installing an Auxiliary Input for an RBQ Dodge/Chrysler Factory Stereo

[see simple Bluetooth update at end of post]

I have a 2006 Jeep Liberty CRD (diesel).  It has the in-dash 6 disc changer with Sirius satellite radio (which I will never use) part # P05091507AE.  This was the penultimate of the stereos for the vehicle in 2006 (the RB1 nav radio was the ultimate) and is designated as the “RBQ” unit.  However, it COMPLETELY fails to address MP3 audio (brilliant).

p05091507ae

Every iPod/auxiliary input adapter out there says “NOT FOR RBQ STEREOS.”

Awesome.

I don’t want to replace my factory stereo with an aftermarket head unit, because I think they look like crap, they are more likely to be stolen, and they won’t work with my integrated steering wheel controls.  I’m kind of assuming there may be another factory stereo I could purchase that will work with my steering wheel controls and already HAS an auxiliary input (or at least plays MP3 CD’s), but it’s a bit like the proverbial needle in the haystack (I searched a while and gave up).

So, I’m trying to find a DIY solution to address the problem.

This post (http://www.dodgetalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=308955) shows the installation of a TERK XM XMDCHY100 in a 2005 Dodge vehicle with the RBQ radio.

This unit is actually used to install XM Radio, but the adapter includes an auxiliary input so would work for my purposes.

I was not able to find this model (sales discontinued on every listing I found).  For reference (if you find one), it looks like it was priced at around $100 new.

This post (http://www.srtforums.com/forums/f75/how-add-aux-input-factory-6-disc-622653/) seems like an even better solution, because it only involves a five dollar part from Radio Shack (a five pin 1/8” jack).  It does involve quite a bit more work, however, so some readers may be intimidate by all the wiring and drilling for dash mounting involved.

The mod is performed on a vehicle with an external CD changer, but it seems like the mod would perform the same splicing into the XM Radio connection (turbo04 confirms this with his post here –worth a visit).  You MUST use the five pin 1/8” jack (NOT the 3 pin), because the 5 pin jack will send a signal interrupt to the unit when a cable is plugged in (telling the head unit to use the jack instead of the satellite radio). 

Also this mod (adding the 1/8” jack) will only work when there is an XM Radio unit hooked up, otherwise, the head unit will not “see” that XM Radio is a valid source, and just skips over that connection when you’re hitting the mode button.  Furthermore, there seems to be some contention as to whether or not the XM Radio must be functioning in order for this mod to work.  Many users report that without actual audio from the XM Radio (whether it’s the preview channel or an actual subscription), the stereo will not recognize the auxiliary input jack.  Without performing the mod, I’m not sure how to confirm this.

x581PA11CHR-fFinally, over the coarse of researching this post, I found ONE SINGLE available unit that will supposedly work for my factory stereo.  Here is the link I found: http://www.ipodcarpros.com/p63/PA11-CHR/product_info.html ($115)

Here is the same item on Amazon:

http://www.ipodcarpros.com/p63/PA11-CHR/product_info.html ($107)

and Crutchfield (though a search for your vehicle WILL NOT return the item on their site):

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_581PA11CHR/USA-Spec-iPod-Interface-for-Chrysler.html?showAll=N&search=PA11-CHR&skipvs=T ($130)

The first “most helpful” review on Amazon is from a 2006 Jeep Liberty user, so I am getting my hopes up. Another ‘06 Liberty reports that the unit won’t charge his iPhone 4 (might be iPhone 4 specific since he says it DOES charge his Nano).

This unit is more expensive than the 1/8” jack mod, but it does have the advantage of charging your iProduct and allowing you to use your steering wheel controls to access your iPod (though it only allows you to scroll through your first 5 play lists since it’s treating your iPod like a CD changer!!! [update] --evidently you can select which 5 playlists to access)

The PA11-CHR does have RCA input jacks, so with a simple RCA to 1/8” adapter you’ve also got a regular auxiliary input.

After reading all 22 reviews, there are quite a few reporting low hum or static, but one person suggests simply putting the unit in a static bag to solve the problem, so I think I may go for it. Some users also report that this unit switches over to FM Radio randomly, but most note that it doesn’t happen that often.

FWIW, several retailers selling this unit online say that it will not work with RBQ stereos, but other sites (and users) confirm that it will.

There was apparently something called the “Mopar iPod Integration Kit” available at one time, but damned if I can find it for anything older than 2008. [update] The only 2005-2007 model I’ve found is being sold for $318… almost the price of a new Jeep! This would most certainly be another great possibility if you are able to find one at a decent price (works with all models including the RB1 nav radio and RBQ). –just found the model number necessary Part # 82209616AD; the msrp was $175.

These are other numbers I’ve found for the Mopar integration kit for the ‘06 Liberty: JEP82209616AC, 82209616AC, 82209616.

Here’s a post on WKJeeps.com that shows all the iPod kits available from Mopar.

http://www.wkjeeps.com/ipod.htm

[UPDATE 5-17-15] I can’t believe how cheap some tech things have become.  I recently purchased a Bluetooth dongle for less than $5 from Amazon.  I plugged it into my Jeep’s USB charger and then plugged a 3.5mm cord from the dongle to the aux port in my PA11-CHR.  Now every time I get into my Jeep, my phone automatically finds the Bluetooth dongle and I can stream music (and calls) wirelessly to my factory stereo.  The iPod still works as well (just turn the stereo off and back on to switch from aux port to iPod port –whichever is active will take over).

Fantastic.

12 comments:

batoooo said...

just buy this oem stereo it has mp3 P05064575AA

The Invisible said...

And then you will have a stereo with NO auxiliary input and you will have to burn your MP3's to a disc (no good).

James Hamilton said...

Hey Dan,
I want to thank you for this blog. I have a 2004 dodge ram1500 with the 6-disc rbq stereo in it. I had been using a hard- wired fm modulator, but the problem with fm modulators (wired or wireless) is that you lose all your high end. After reading your blog, I decided to go for the PA11 -CHR . I got it today And installed it and it sounds great! No compatibility issues at all, I don't know why all the different makers say not compatible with RBQ. As long as you have a mode button and the 10 pin connector in the back, you're good to go. I only got it because I needed an aux input after my CD player went kaput. I wish I had found your blog before wasting my money on 2 different fm modulators. Anyway , thanks a lot Dan, appreciate your help.

James

Christopher Miller said...

Dan, thanks for creating this blog. I am looking to add an aux input to my daughter's '05 Liberty with an RBQ stereo. I also found the PA11-CHR on Amazon and was thinking about giving it a try. However, I'm now more interested in trying the 1/8" jack approach after reading your blog. When I get this done, I'll let everyone know how it went. Thanks again.

The Invisible said...

Glad to be of help, James. Thanks for reading. Chris, so you know, there is also an RCA jack on the PA11-CHR, so you have the 1/8" input option (simple cable adapter) if you want.

Also worth noting: I have not experienced any of the low hum, drop-outs, or switching to fm mentioned in the post.

Christopher Miller said...

I tried to add my own 1/8" jack by wiring it into the satellite radio connection. However, it didn't work. Like others who have attempted this have pointed out, it appears you have to have a working satellite radio receiver and feed before this option will work. I just ordered the Mopar part # 82209616AD. It was pricey, but should be easy to install. It provides both an iPod specific connector (male) and a 3.5mm (female) connector. I purchased an Apple 30 pin-to-lightening connector so it can be used with newer Apple iPods/iPhones. I'll post a follow up after I get it installed to let everyone know how/if it worked out.

The Invisible said...

Thanks for posting Chris. Looking forward to hearing how it goes!

Christopher Miller said...

Update: The site that said they had the Mopar iPod adapter really didn't. It's no longer manufactured and despite searching for quite some time, I could not find one. So, I ended up ordering the PA11-CHR from Amazon. I just finished installing it and it works just fine with the RBQ stereo. HOWEVER, I did not understand that installing this device meant I would lose access to the CD player. I was really hoping I could "add" the AUX input without taking anything else away. Given the choice, my daughter chose to forgo the CD player. While it's probably a waste of time at this point, I would like to find a way to enable the CD Player. I'm thinking it shouldn't be too hard to somehow create a "switch" that would let me select which 10pin cable was connected to the back of the stereo (the CD/Sat or the PA11-CHR). I think it might make things more attractive when she eventually sells the jeep to have everything working with a flip of a switch. I did a little looking and found the 10pin to 8pin cable that could be used connect to the back of the stereo. However, I'm not sure how to wire a switch that would need to select between all of the wires. If anyone has any ideas/suggestions, please let me know.

Lastly, I haven't tried the PA11-CHR with an iPod or iPhone yet. My daughter has an Android phone and left her iPod at college. When I get a chance, I'll plug it in and try it out. I assume I can use either the AUX input or the iPod input without having to change the dip-switches. I'm wondering about this because I had to flip dip-switch 1 in order to enable AUX input and that got me thinking perhaps the PA11-CHR only expects to work with only one input source (Apple or AUX). I hope I'm wrong. If not, that will be another disappointment since messing around with the device would be inconvenient.

Good luck to others trying to accomplish this seemingly simple task.

The Invisible said...

Hi, Chris.

I ran into the same problem with the Mopar part (it's listed on web sites but not ACTUALLY available).

The RBQ should have a satellite radio. I've not seen it configured with an external changer since the in-dash component has a six disc changer. Are you saying your stereo has 6 discs in the dash and 10 in the rear changer?

The PA11-CHR is designed to function in place of the satellite, but if you had a CD changer via the 10pin plug, yes, it would disable that.

It seems like the switch you suggest would work, but I've not seen anything like that (a/b 10pin switch).

Also, I believe you will need to flip a dip switch to change back and forth between Aux and iPod (not positive, but this seems correct).

Also, the unit was made for older iPods (Apple recently changed their cables), and I don't think will work with the new cable Apple implemented a couple of years ago. I assume you could get an adapter for the new iPod cable though.

Chris La Mantia said...

Did you ever solve it? I used a XMDCHY100 XM Direct Smart Adapter as my interface; I found a used one on eBay for $20. It plugs into the satellite interface connector on the back of the RBQ. So the jack on the front connects to the XM interface's RCA jacks.

This isn't my photo but it's the same interface... http://s58.photobucket.com/user/wahoo_drew/media/SANY0557.jpg.html

The Invisible said...

That's pretty similar to the PA11-CHR (works the same way, by plugging into the 10pin slot in the back). The big difference is the PA11-CHR can do a simple aux. input, or it can do a dedicated iPhone/iPod cord with charging and control from the steering wheel/head unit.

Colin D said...

I also have read probably EVERYTHING listed for the RBQ and adding an AUX input etc. My cd changer ( in dash ) also packed it in and rather than go aftermarket I went with the PA11-CHR from USA Spec. It installed perfectly and works awesome with my Gen 4 ipod touch. Steering wheel controls function which is what I wanted. I also should not I didn't even need to install the AUX input because the ipod charge cable plugs into the ipod & also is the power source for the stereo! I left the wiring in the dash if I find later I need to add the AUX in or not. Simple and finally have tunes again ! Thanks for the posts on this as the RBQ can be a difficult head unit to deal with.