2005 Tribute md/tape function

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2005 Tribute md/tape function

Postby JohnCT - October 31st, 2020, 5:42 pm

I searched the forum, but the word "Tribute" is ignored in the search engine because it's "too common" a word.. sheesh.

Anyway, I was thinking of adding an aux function to my 2005 Tribute if it was not a big deal. My radio (diff than the Ford versions) has a MD/Tape button that does nothing because nothing is connected to the back, like the optional minidisc or cassette modules, so the radio completely ignores the request when the md/tape button is pushed.

Are there some pins that would have to be jumped on the rear disc or cassette connector to get the radio to recognize the function, and, if so, are there two other pins that an audio line can be fed to?

Thanks.

John
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Re: 2005 Tribute md/tape function

Postby bangster - October 31st, 2020, 8:26 pm

I didn't register to any of the sites that have home made aux added to that radio (you have a cassette player or a CD?).

I did a similar hack to a Ford with a CD changer that required a CD in the changer, added a Bluetooth adapter and it was like a semi modern vehicle. I have also done something similar to a tape deck unit, and used a tape deck adapter to allow it to think a tape was in (I didn't use the audio in of that, it was pretty low quality, just the cassette so it thought a working tape was in).

I search for mazda md aux hack, depends on how in depth you want to get, if you can do lower level soldering or not.
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Re: 2005 Tribute md/tape function

Postby JohnCT - October 31st, 2020, 10:03 pm

bangster wrote:I didn't register to any of the sites that have home made aux added to that radio (you have a cassette player or a CD?).


Mine has the standard Mazda radio which is AM/FM with a built in 5 CD changer.

https://www.manualslib.com/manual/524958/Mazda-Tribute.html?page=9

All Tributes were shipped with this radio, but there are options. Mine has the premium sound with factory subwoofer in the rear compartment. There's an optional add-on satellite module (and a SAT button on the front) and an optional add-on minidisc or cassette player (with a MD/TAPE button), neither of which is installed in the radio right now. So the SAT button and MD/TAPE buttons do nothing. I was thinking (hoping) the unused connector for the minidisc or cassette might be an easy way to add an aux for a 3.5mm jack or a bluetooth module input.


bangster wrote:I search for mazda md aux hack, depends on how in depth you want to get, if you can do lower level soldering or not.


I've been soldering professionally for 50 years, including fine pitch smd and ball grid ICs, but I honestly don't want to re-engineer the radio. If it's jumping a couple of pins and adding a couple of shielded audio cables, I'll do that, but the Tribble is getting up there and although it's running fine, it's on its original CD4E automatic so who knows what will happen next week? :lol:

Thanks for looking.

John
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Re: 2005 Tribute md/tape function

Postby bangster - October 31st, 2020, 11:53 pm

If it was me, I would go with https://www.rx8club.com/new-member-foru ... on-262520/
As I have used Arduinos or Arduino code on an attiny chip for many hacks (code to disable traction control on my 97 Mark VIII, code to disable auto start/stop on my 2017 Escape).
Ardunio's are very cheap now, $2 so this is about a $3 mod and the soldering is to a connector and not pins on a board.

Just for the sheer geekiness I would do it and get a radio to test it with, as I did with the code and hardware to re-enable the display when putting in an aftermarket head unit (as I don't even own a Gen 2 Escape and with similar hardware in my 2012 Fusion happy with the OEM setup with SYNC).
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Re: 2005 Tribute md/tape function

Postby bluto - November 1st, 2020, 4:50 pm

This was a commercially available option: http://www.sylfex.com/products/AuxMod/
But it looks like they don't make them anymore. You might be able to find one on eBay with a saved search. There is one on there now but it is located in the Czech Republic.
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Re: 2005 Tribute md/tape function

Postby JohnCT - November 4th, 2020, 8:27 am

bangster wrote:If it was me, I would go with https://www.rx8club.com/new-member-foru ... on-262520/


So from that, it seems the head unit needs to see serial data on the line from one of the factory optional disc or tape modules to enable the md/tape button. I thought it might be simply pulling a single line high or low on the connector.

I've never played with an Arduino and have no interest in programming one. Alternatively, I can just tap into the CD's audio line and simply put the CD in STOP when using the aux input.

Thanks for looking guys.

John

EDIT: I'm going to order this device, not quite as seamless but it solves the problem:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07SK8YK8L/ref=ask_ql_qh_dp_hza


For like $12 delivered, it's a cheap and easy solution that can be moved to another vehicle without Bluetooth, plus it has a built in voltmeter.


.
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Re: 2005 Tribute md/tape function

Postby JohnCT - November 15th, 2020, 10:23 am

I ended up buying this one from the bay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bluetooth-5-0- ... 2749.l2649

It works as advertised. Plays clean with no static, no pops, no noise. Sound quality is roughly FM or a bit below it. Good enough for sure.

I plugged it into the switched socket so it shuts off with the car and won't drain the battery. As soon as I start the car, it turns on (stays on the FM freq I set it for) and connects to my phone's bluetooth within about 5 seconds and starts playing right where it left off. I don't use my phone in my car, but I tested that function and pushing the center button answered the phone through the car's speakers like newer cars have. Sound quality on the phone is excellent.

It also has a built in voltmeter so if your BAT light comes on (these are Escapes after all), you can push two buttons and read the voltage on the fly.

I would have preferred to add a bluetooth module behind the radio and tap into an unused input, but it was too much trouble to bother with. This does the job, particularly for $8 delivered.

John
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Re: 2005 Tribute md/tape function

Postby bangster - November 15th, 2020, 11:04 pm

Probably a decent way to do it, easy, and cheap, and okay sound. I did a cassette adapter (bad), a cheap wired FM modulator (a pain), and a bluetooth one, the quality just wasn't there for me, so I partially hacked it to work (still had the have a CD in the trunk mounted changer), I got the code to mimic a CD playing but couldn't get it to read the proper bytes and return the proper signal.

I am going to poke around the Mazdas in the yard when I go for some Escape and Fusion parts, and try to find wiring pins that fit the output of the radio. If I could find the cheapest way to power a 5v bluetooth module, I think $8 is doable. Even taking way over engineered USB power adapter, a Kickstarter Arduino board, a full on bluetooth usb module, still under $10 bucks.

I think I know someone with a Mazda RX8 that has the same radio, so might just put together an hour or so and bust it out.

"DIY" hardware, just add a little wiring:
Image

Component level, mock it up then put it on a real board, but this bluetooth module with the edge connector is difficult to wire up, it is supposed to be soldered to a daughter board with solder balls I think:
Image

Pre made simple components, just need to power the USB adapter and cut the audio cord:
Image

I actually hope it doesn't work and the code needs tweaked, always boring to use someone else's code and it just works.
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Re: 2005 Tribute md/tape function

Postby JohnCT - November 16th, 2020, 6:26 pm

bangster wrote:
I am going to poke around the Mazdas in the yard when I go for some Escape and Fusion parts, and try to find wiring pins that fit the output of the radio. If I could find the cheapest way to power a 5v bluetooth module, I think $8 is doable. Even taking way over engineered USB power adapter, a Kickstarter Arduino board, a full on bluetooth usb module, still under $10 bucks.



Here's what I know about Arduino: I've heard of it, I've seen them for sale, I can spell "Arduino" correctly. That's pretty much it.. :lol:

Honestly, I can design, draw, etch, and drill the printed circuit for the processor easier than I can likely learn to program it. I've never written a line of code in my life nor do I have any real interest at my age to learn.

Regarding the Mazdas, I've trolled the forums and some people have successfully done what you're suggesting. Others using the same plan and code found problems because of some differences between certain radios. Again, over my head.

Regarding the cheapo adapter I bought. I suspect the sound quality is directly related to Pandora, not the device. I was doing some reading on the amount of commercials per song on the free version of Pandora (I'm getting three songs before a commercial) and I've read that the paid version of Pandora eliminates the commercial interruptions but also improves the quality.

Thanks for the info.

John
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Re: 2005 Tribute md/tape function

Postby bangster - November 16th, 2020, 8:42 pm

Yup, having multiple lossy things going on the end result is not fit for an audiophile, but I do like to make whatever I can not be the weakest link if possible. Ease of use is also big. If I have to go through 20 steps every time I start my car, I am not gonna do it. It has to be seamless, especially for a younger adult like my kids, I don't think my daughter can drive if her phone doesn't connect to the car for calls and music and navigation.

I like Arduino because it is easy language to learn, lots of already available code, and it easy to make software code do something mechanical. Even before being cloned unmercifully in China driving the price down, it was still pretty inexpensive, cheap enough to use a full feature board in a situation that just waits and pushes a button (or looks for a signal and returns specific data, like this situation).

My 2012 Fusion is the only vehicle I own that doesn't have some sort of Arduino hack in it. In my 97 Mark VIII I had it wait 5 seconds after starting, press a button 4 times, press a different button once, then the first button 6 times, wait 5 more seconds, and press the first button 3 times (turn off traction control, and make sure it is set to show average mileage). No logic just brute force.
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