DIY Direct Line-in for your Pioneer head unit

I got tired of using that crappy FM transmitter to play my songs on my mp4 player through the car’s stereo system. The quality just plain sucks when you crank up the volume. And the interference coming from the neons and alternator adds up to my frustration. I guess it took me RM60 to realise that a simple FM transmitter is just not suitable for any sort of audio transmission in a vehicle.

It would be simple just to give up and abandon the idea of putting the mp4 player in the car. But with 1GB of storage space for close to 19 hours of playback (mp3 encoded at 128kbps), it’s not going to happen. So I took out the player for a major surgery.

I feel that there is a need for a disclaimer here just in case someone tries to sue me. Here goes: I will not be responsible for whatever you do to your player. I will also not be taken responsible if you somehow screw up your whole player. I am merely providing information and instructions on how such a DIY can be accomplished. Oh, and you ARE going to void your warranty. Proceed only if you are sure of what you are doing.

This is my Pioneer headunit. Model is DEH-1650.

First we remove the top cover. Then marvel at how the slot loading cd drive works…

Now remove the cd drive to reveal the circuit board underneath it.

The trick is to somehow inject the audio from the mp4 player into one of the inputs of either the radio or the cd drive. In this case I chose the radio. So now when I turn on the radio, the audio from my mp4 player will be injected into the system and I will hear my songs on my mp4 player instead of the radio. Don’t worry, you still get to listen to your radio after you are done with this.

This is the radio tuner module. It contains everything needed for FM and AM reception. So there must be pins for the radio’s output (audio).

And yes, there are! Labeled clearly here are the left and right channel output of the radio module. Now let’s find a way to tap into it.

After much tracing through the circuit board, I found these 3 jumpers. These connect the radio module’s output to the player’s amplifier. I have labeled them R (right), L (left) and G (ground) for my own convenience. I cut all 3 of them so the audio from the radio won’t interfere with the audio from my mp4 player.

This is how the underside looks like. We’ll zoom in to the chip on the left.

The pins circled in red are the pins that you must connect your mp4 player to. The audio ground can be connected to the ground of course.

I connected my wires this way. The wires will then be connected to a 3.5mm audio jack.

What is not shown here is how to get the radio functionality back. All you have to do is wire a 2 pole relay to the jumpers that were cut and mount a switch to the dash. When you want radio, flip the switch and the relay will help you connect the jumpers back.

Of course, an easier way is to use the FM radio on your mp4 player. There! Problem solved!

This mod is really impressive because of the quality of the sound it delivers. No more annoying hisses or pops and no more static. Just clear and loud music. Wish I have thought of this earlier… Continue reading

Medical Checkup

I went for some medical checkups today as directed by MAS. It’s a very lengthy and tiring affair. And it was nowhere near fun.

First stop was at Klinik Wan Ali at Satok. I was then referred to a lab where they will do lab tests on my fluids. If you think taking blood is the worst thing that can happen, wait till they ask for your stool sample. They give you a stick with a cotton bud at the end and ask you to give them your stool. I’ll leave out the rest of the details for your sake.

X-raying was included also. It was done in just a few seconds. But I felt very sleepy after that. Could it have been an effect from the rays?

Then I went for a some more tests back at Kilnik Wan Ali. Blood pressure, breathing pattern, color blind test, weight, height, eye test, and some more. Then I was referred again to Normah for a hearing test.

This was by far the most interesting test of all. They let you sit in a tiny cubicle with dizzying patterns in it. Then they ask you to put on a headphone and press a button if you hear a tone from it. It was no big deal. But just be careful. Sometimes the nurse tries to confuse you.

Tomorrow I will be back to Normah for the results and hopefully I can get into MAS for real haha

For those of you who haven’t been reading the news, the latest hottest news is about Chinese Immigrants being asked to strip by the police. There is a video circulating around, showing the above “crime”.

A still frame from the video clip.

Went out with the Perth people who just came back a few hours ago. Beverly, Derek…. ummm basically just 2 of them. The rest couldn’t be contacted. We were joined by Sam, Kc, Ling and ET. Open air again, then we decided to check out Travillion and went into a club to see how it looks like. My first “clubbing” experience haha and I vow never to go back.

I don’t like clubbing. I hate the smoke, I don’t drink, and I think I can spend my time in a more useful manner. End of story. Continue reading

MAS LAME Programme

I GOT SELECTED FOR THE MAS (Malaysian Airlines System or better known as Mana Ada System) LAME (Licensed Aircraft Maintainence Engineer) PROGRAMME!! I just got the news from my mum just now!! I’m so speechless right now!! YAY!!

I’ll be going for a medical checkup tomorrow and then I’ll be in. This is it. I’ve been waiting all my life for this. A whole new field to explore, at 0 costs.

But this will mean that I will not be going back to INTI next semester. Damn, I’m going to miss my friends. This is going to be a real dilemma. Going to miss you guys (and girls). But don’t worry, I’ll come back often to visit.

Condolences to my brother Tzy Shih who didn’t get in. I’m sure Nissan will need someone to get that Skyline R36 rolling off the production line =)

That’s me and my brother Zhing sitting on the sofa in the VIP room in Sarawak Stadium! Continue reading

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

I watched Harry Potter’s latest movie a few days ago and I thought I’ll share what I think about this movie here. Overall it was not too bad. I must admit that two and a half hours didn’t seem that long because it wasn’t that boring.

One of the main attraction of this film was the ressurection of Voldermort. Nah, just kidding. It about the girls of course; Hermione, Fleur and Cho. During the movie, there were constant OOHHs and AHHs from the people sitting in front of us (we were at the last row by the way). I do agree that Hermione looks way better compared to her previous appearances. Watch the movie, and you’ll know why.

Okay, this fifth book is not exactly the thinnest book of all, so lots of parts were cut off. Did you notice that the Durselys weren’t involved in this movie? So was Ron’s mum. And we don’t see any house-elves either, as noted by MuggleCast (Download and listen to this podCast). There are some more stuff missing but I can’t remember.

And here’s 30 things that you MUST know about Harry Potter! Continue reading

DS101 DiskStation

I received this small backbone system today for a review. It’s basically a server that’s very small and it eats even less power. It plugs into the network through a RJ-45 cable and it automatically configures itself. It comes installed with a 250GB hard disk but the price tag of just over RM2000 makes it less affordable for the home user.

The box that came with it doesn’t give the impression that there is a server in it.

Front view.

Back view.

When it’s turned on.

This server must be configured through a browser on your computer. It can act as a print server, ftp server, http server, backup server and file server, all at the same time. Files can be transferred into the server either by using ftp or by directly accessing the shares on the server. Transferring files to the server was quite fast. A 781MB Harry Potter movie took close to 2 minutes only. And with its 250GB hard disk, I can safely say that I will never run out of space again.

Another feature that I absolutely love is that it allows you to copy EVERYTHING from a usb drive or a camera or a single card reader to a specific folder on the server with a touch of a button! Really handy if you want to clear that USB drive of yours.

The DS101 was designed with power saving features in mind. It consumes a maximum of 40 watts of power only! At standby, it’s down to 11 watts. This means if it operates at maximum power all the time, it will only cost RM10 to run this server a month, 24/7!

Overall, I am quite impressed with this server. Sure, the price might look steep, but it’s great for storing huge files that you need to share on a network. And the best thing is that it can be on 24/7 due to the low power consumption.

I’m using it now but I’ll have to return it in a few days. But for the time being, if you want to try out the ftp server and photo album on this server, go ahead! I’ve got goodies in there haha (on the ftp I mean) Continue reading