iPod Audio Out Help (USB) - diyAudio
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Old 30th July 2014, 07:36 PM   #1
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jul 2014
Default iPod Audio Out Help (USB)

Hello, I am a new member trying to solve a problem.
After reading this thread I decided to join to get some advise\solutions:

USB dac and ipod question

I have an iPod interface to my car stereo that has a proprietary connector and 2 RCA jacks
It comes with a cable for the proprietary connector to connect directly to an iPod (30 pin male).

The problem is that the cable is so rigid that it actually bent the connector on the iPod.
I generally leave the iPod laying flat on the passenger seat or upside down (with 30 pin connector facing up) in the consoles cup holder.
I now have to constantly jiggle the cable on the iPod end to get it to play.

I want to use the interfaces RCA jacks to plug my iPod into.
That's easy enough but i want to use a standard iPod cable (i.e. the quick release variety) into a USB port somehow.
So one end would be USB female and the other end would be RCA male with some form of magic in between.

I have tried any number of USB to lightning adapter to 30 pin adapters (to maintain the proprietary cable in the mix)
It would charge but there was no audio.

I bought a standard USB to RCA adapter for a video camera, no audio

Reading about DAC's requiring power, I bought this:

ASA Electronics JENAUX USB/Aux Audio Input Jack:

Amazon.com: ASA Electronics JENAUX USB/Aux Audio Input Jack: Automotive

Same thing, would charge but no audio.

I do not want to use the 1/8 jack as I want to charge at the same time and I want to control the volume in one place, not two.
I can use a USB splitter and a combination of the proprietary cable and a 30 pin female to micro USB to USB male adapters for the power.
As long as I can get a USB based solution to run to the RCA jacks on the interface.

Is there anyway to get this to work?

What interesting is that I have a 30 pin to RCA cable from iSimple that requires no power and that works fine.
But I really want a USB-enabled solution.

Please help!

Pleasenote, this is not specific to the car interface I am using as I can get the same results with my Bose Sound Docks audio input jack.
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Old 1st August 2014, 02:16 AM   #2
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Chicago, IL
Your note is a little confusing, especially where the usb port is that you're planning on connecting the iPod to. I'm assuming you're connecting to a USB DAC and then to the car's RCA line-level input.

You cannot get digital audio out of an iPod unless you send the iPod a secret code or handshake that lets it know that Apple has authorized access. It's likely a copyright protection feature. A few docks do have that authorized handshake, but it's not something you can do with a cable of any kind.

You could build a custom dock connector cable that incorporates line-level (RCA) audio and also charges the iPod. Dock connector plugs are available, but be warned, they are very tiny and difficult to solder. Also, there are specific resistor values that need to run from the + and - power pins that tells the iPod that it's OK to allow the charging. If you look around, you can probably find a pre-made cable for that purpose.

If your dock connector on the iPod has been damaged, nothing will really help with that, though.

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Old 1st August 2014, 05:32 PM   #3
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jul 2014
The part about my connector being loose\broken was only to have context around why I want to change my existing configuration.
There is a place near me where I can get it repaired for short money but want to wait until I have the rest of the solution in place.

So, I was under the impression that audio coming out of the 30pin connector was analog. Is this incorrect?
In this case the handshaking chip is only applicable to digital audio correct?

Is the root of the problem that I need something to do that handshaking?
Can this be done after the usb connection so I can still use a standard cable and plug into a usb female adapter?

Like this:
ipod cable >> usb female connector/handshaking chip/rca out >> car aux interface

Is the iSimple cable utilizing that chip or is it taking an analog audio signal?

Last edited by StarkRavingCalm; 1st August 2014 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 6th August 2014, 02:33 AM   #4
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Chicago, IL
The dock connector has line-level analog signals at one end of the 30-pin connector. Just google the pinout map and you'll see.

It sounds like you just want the analog, but it's confusing to hear you talk about USB connectors, because those are digital only. The "handshake" thing is only for the digital sugnal, and only authorized manufacturers can have it, so as far as a DIY solution, I've never heard of one. And even if you did you'd need a USB DAC.

One thing you could do is to get a digital dock such as this one:

Pure i20 | Docking Station for ipad and ipod | Pure Wireless Music

It can receive the digital signal from the iPod and has a better DAC than the iPod does,
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Old 6th August 2014, 03:07 AM   #5
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
if it is an iphone 5 or 5s don't bother
s/n 110db thd 0.002 % 600 ohm load
iPhone 5 Audio Quality Measurements
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Old 6th August 2014, 03:30 AM   #6
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: victoria BC
Does your car stereo have Bluetooth connectivity? That would eliminate the issue with no audio over the mix of cables, which should keep it charging (BT transmitting does chew up a lot of power), and to be honest, I think that with the background noise level while travelling, you might not notice as much difference in audio quality between that and hard wired connection as you'd think- particularly if the audio files are highly compressed MP3s

I have an app on my 4s that with Kenwood in dash unit gives me better reception of my favorite radio station (KPLU) than I can rely on from edge of fringe terrestrial broadcast signal - and can also switch over to music library (Apple Lossles) stored on the phone - not while driving, of course, it would be illegal in my jurisdiction for vehicle operator to operate a hand held device.

Yes the Pure dock is a great device, but after one of the recent iOS upgrades on the phone I'm now getting an error message to the effect that "some options no longer supported" that don't happen with an older (not upgraded) iPod Classic. And of course it's equipped either the 30pin connector, requiring purchase of a certified 30P to Lightning adaptor - if required to make the choice, I'd probably go for the short cable rather than the moulded adaptor - the latter I suspect would place an inordinate amount of stress on the very small Lightning input jack.

I'm sure that's accidental- Apple would have to be paying attention to the concerns of its "Audiophile" customers to intentionally block that functionality.
this retirement thing is harder than it looks for some folks

Last edited by chrisb; 6th August 2014 at 03:50 AM.
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Old 6th August 2014, 05:00 PM   #7
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jul 2014
I had read somewhere that the audio coming from the 30pin connector was Analog.
Sorry if that threw everything off.

I just found this and am wondering if it will work: http://thice.nl/mod/iPod_Dock_Video_Out_Mod_v1.0.pdf

I am thinking I can buy one of these, verify it works for what I want (i.e. plug the ipod into the car radio adapter to see if I can get audio via the RCA connectors) and then perform the hack listed, soldering a USB connector where the 30 ping connector is and leaving the RCA connectors in-tact.

The chip just needs to be "in-line" the way that I am understanding it. Thoughts?
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