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Connecting a Zune HD dock to amps (bypassing CD player)

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Connecting my Zune to my car amps via RCA with the ability to use a remote.

Currently I use my 3.5mm headphone jack to an Aux port on my CD player. If I need to charge the player I can connect the USB jack to my Zune cable and it will charge the player while I listen, but wont let me use the USB connection to play music. Changing music is a PITA with this scenario as you need to keep swiping your finger and manually controlling the Zune. Its just plain stupid and dangerous.

Currently there are all of two CD players on the market that allow you to connect your Zune via USB directly. Both CD players take on average 2 minutes to sync up your Zune and are still a PITA to navigate via the headunit.

There are however Zune HD docks for use with a TV that have video and audio out in the form of RCA's. These docks charge your Zune (via a plug) and also have a remote.

So my idea is to find a way to install one of these docks into my car. I figure I can use a cigarette to 2 plug adaptor for the power for the dock (if I don't try to tie it directly into the fuse box). The question is how to be able to switch back between the RCA's on the dock and the pre-outs on my car cd player. I figured I would need to install the dock between the RCA's running from my pre-outs in the cd player and the amps.

I currently am using 2 of the 3 pre-outs as I decided to just run my fronts and sub. I have my fronts bridged on my 4 channel amp and then the sub.

Also will using the RCA's on a dock pass the signal correctly to my amps? All crossover frequencies for my fronts and sub are in the amps and not set by my head unit so I wont lose anything there as far as signal.

Am I just plain nuts and/or will this work/make sense?
post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 
I think I might give the Zune HD Sync dock a shot first. It would allow me to charge the player via my front USB connection and also has a Aux out.

From what little I have read it looks like that Aux port has a higher volume level than the Zune so I might be able to get more volume out of my Zune. It also has a remote which is what I am looking for.

I would either mount the dock on the dashboard or possibly on armrest deal running between the passenger and driver...

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Found an adaptor that will connect to a CD changer port on the back of the CD player I have and give me 2 RCA inputs instead. Its all of 20 bucks. This would free up the front AUX port on my CD player (Kenwood KDC-MP438U) for another device and just make everything cleaner. Then I could get an adaptor for my cigarette lighter to turn it into a regular plug and use that to power the USB for the Dock.

Should give me a cleaner look.

The only problem I can see is that the remote on the dock doesn’t allow you to much control beyond volume up/down, track forward/backward if it doesn’t have a video source connected.

So if I want to jump artists or playlists I have to still do it manually on the Zune. So now the search is on for the cheapest, smallest LCD unit. I would need to mount it near the dashboard area.

Any suggestions welcome….
post #4 of 4
The problem I see is volume control and getting an output level to drive the amps. Not sure on the Zune's line-out, but most amps need 2-5 volts of input. Also noise pickup due to the ground loop caused by the Zune not being grounded to the car might an issue.

I'd tell you just get an iPod but you most likely don't want to hear that. It would fix the problem since everything under the sun is iPod compatible. Funny now that Apple has a popular products its the opposite of back in the 80/90s when I was looking for Mac accessories for my LCII at a computer store and people would just laugh at me.
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