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PAC AAI-NIS AUX INPUT INSTALLATION
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Before I get into this, I have to say that without the write-ups and pictures provided by people like gtxjoe, ak1nza, grmensz and FXngolf there is NO WAY I would be even attempting this. The fact that this forum exists to share ideas and experiences is so incredibly helpful, so thank you dmtalon as well. In fact, I had my laptop with me in the garage (wireless internet!) and was looking stuff up while I was doing the install whenever I had a question. So thanks everyone.

And this should be encouragement to all budding radio modders out there - if I can do it, so can you. This is the first time I have done anything like this, let alone to my brand new car. Here were my requirements:

1. At a minimum, provide a way to hook up an MP3 player directly to the car's audio system.
2. As a bonus, provide a way to hook a portable DVD player directly to the car's audio system.
3. Do not solder and do not cut, or as little as possible.
4. All parts necessary must be easily obtained, commercially available parts. No DIY home-made contraptions and no no-name, buy-it-on-ebay, never heard of them before components.
5. Finished product has to look consistant with the fit and finish of a luxury car, can't be a hack McGyver-like job.

I have a FX35, non-tech, no Sat Radio, no rear-DVD player. gtxjoe and ak1nza references in their write-ups a harness underneath the armrest console for the DVD that if there you can tap into. My FX was built in June 2004 - I don't have it so I was SOL.

So with that in mind, here are the parts I used:

1. Pacific Audio AAI-NIS2 Satellite-to-Auxiliary Input converter, $79 + shipping = $83.50 from someone on eBay
http://pac-audio.com/products/productsCatagory.asp?mmSearch=Auxiliary Input
2. Pacific Audio Turbo1 Line Driver, $24 +shipping = $28.50 from someone on eBay
http://pac-audio.com/products/productsCatagory.asp?mmSearch=Audio Video Accessories
3. Monster Cable Interlink 101XLN Car Audio Interconnect, 1x0.5m length and 2x1m length, 1x$10,2x$12 = $34 from Fry's, a local electronics store
http://www.monstercable.com/custom_install/productPageCI.asp?pin=1561
4. Pass-through, panel-mount RCA jacks, 2 pairs, $4.50 ea. + shipping = $16.35, from Parts Express online store
http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/pshowdetl.cfm?&DID=7&Partnumber=091-1208
5. Motormite Quick Splice, 16-14 guage wire size, package of 3 - $2.99, from Kragen, a local auto parts store
http://www.motormitedormancatalog.com/item.wws?sku=85564

Total spend ~ $165.34

Other stuff you need

1. Wide flathead screwdriver (ok) or plastic putty knife (better)
2. Medium size philips screwdriver
3. A drill with a 3/8" drill bit
4. Wire cutters
5. A ratchet/socket set
6. Pair of pliers
7. A plastic cup, pair of scissors, some electrical tape, some velcro strips and cable ties
 

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Discussion Starter #2
PAC AAI-NIS AUX INPUT INSTALLATION
==============================

Here is the install, it is LONG I'm trying to be extra-detailed for first-timers like me. Being careful, you should set aside about 1.5 to 2 hours to do the complete install.

Step 1 - Pop the hood and with the ratchet/socket set disconnect the negative lead to the battery. Before you do this, move the front seats all the way back to give you enough room since you won't be able to move them once the battery is off. Engage the parking brake. You will lose your seat memory and station presets etc. etc. etc. Oh well.

Step 2 - Take the center console off. Flip down the door covering the tape player and give a quick yank out and up, the bottom should come loose. Then just work your way to the top and it will just pop out - use your plastic putty knife or screwdriver to help get it off. All panels are held in place by some combination of clips. There are two wire harnesses connected to the back. A small, thin black one connected to a ribbon-type wire and a long thin tan one with a whole bunch of multi-colored wires going into it. The black harness should come right off. The tan one is connected to the console panel at an anchor point with a cable tie. Carefully cut the cable tie, freeing the wire and remove the harness. Put the center console someplace safe.
 

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Step 3 - Take the radio/climate control system off. There are 6 screws that hold it in place, remove them and the whole unit should be loose enough to come out. Beware - the wires connecting to the back do not give you a whole lot of slack. I found that once I got it out I could take it out enough to balance it between the front lip on top of the clock and the shift knob. Put the 6 screws into the plastic cup you brought with you.
 

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Step 4 - Remove the 10 wiring harnesses from the back of the radio. They are all thumb/finger squeeze-release type of harnesses. The top 4 square ones are pretty easy, as is the round one at the side of the radio.

This is where I got stuck for a little while - the bottom 4 are upside down - the squeeze-release is underneath the harness facing down and is not that easy to reach. Take your time and you will be able to get them off. Note that you will again have to carefully cut a cable tie to complete release the wire/harness that was connected to the top-most jack. Put the radio someplace safe.

Do not worry about which wire goes where - they will only fit back in one spot.

Note that you *may* only have 9 or even 8... there is some differing information on the forums as to whether there is a SAT extender that goes into the trunk area or not and some people have a rear DVD wiring harness going back to the armest console already. But remove them all. If you have more than 10 then you probably don't have an Infiniti FX and are reading the wrong post.
 

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Step 6 - Remove the shift knob. Pull down on the collar at the bottom of the knob and you will expose the "stalk" and you should see a little metal C-type pin facing the front. With your flathead screwdriver pop the pin off. Put the collar and pin it into your plastic cup with the 6 screws your removed in step 3. Don't lose your shift knob - put that into your cup as well.

Step 7 - Remove the clock. Pull on the two sides or use your putty knife to help pry it off. There is one wiring harness attached to the back, take that off and then put the clock plate someplace safe.
 

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Step 8 - Pop up the console area around the shifter. Pull up on the sides and the front by where the clock used to be - keep working at it and you will be able to lift it up. Once you get enough clearance to stick your hand inside, STOP. There is no need to unhook any of the wiring on this piece. At this point you have done all the "taking apart" of stuff that you need to do. Grab a drink and take a quick break.
 

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Step 9 - Grab your PAC AAI-NIS and take a good look at it, because you are about to put it where the sun doesn't shine and you hopefully won't see it again for a while. If you notice in the picture there's a mess of wires that will connect to the SAT port on the radio. I don't like those wires floating around so I used some electrical tape to bundle them together every couple of inches. Make sure your AAI-NIS connectors fit - plug the power and the SAT jack into the back of your radio which is sitting on a table someplace. Then go back to the car and plug the other end of the power into the "old" power adapter to make sure that fits too. IF you happen to have had the SAT wire, I would recommend putting a piece of electrical tape around it so you don't accidentally plug it in later.

Step 10 - Time to connect the AAI-NIS to all its cables. Take the longer Monster RCA cables (1m in my case, I would recommend getting 2m lengths if you can find them) and connect them to the AUX1 and AUX2 jacks. I would recommend putting a little piece of tape around each end of one of the cables - that way when you pull it out on the other end you know which is in AUX1 and which is in AUX2. Snake them down underneath where the clock used to be and down the area you have propped up and leave it in the armrest console - we'll get to those in a second, back to the AAI-NIS.

One big question I had before I did the install was where the thing would go. I think I found a pretty good, snug spot as you can see from the photo. Put TWO strips of velcro onto the back of the AAI-NIS unit and affix it there.
 

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Step 11 - Go to the back seat and pop open the back of the armrest console where the power adapter is. Again, just pull on the top and it should pop off. If you have the factory carpet mat that goes over the hump in the back you may need to pull that back to get the back console off. Make sure you can find your two sets of cables and pull them as far as you can into the armrest console area - the idea is that if there is any slack you want it here in the back, not floating around in the dashboard area or in the shifter console area.

Step 12 - Put the shifter console area back together and put the clock back on... don't forget to reconnect the 1 wiring harness. Put the shift knob back together as well, don't forget the c-pin from your plastic cup. Note that the collar DOES have a front and back.

Step 13 - Re-balance the radio on the top of the clock and hook up all the wires. Start at the bottom and work your way up - everything only fits in one spot - make sure you don't accidentally use the taped-off-factory SAT connector, if it was there before. Put the radio back into its' hole and screw the 6 screws back. Make sure that the two wires that need to get attached to the console panel have come through the hole to the right of the CD changer area.

Step 14 - Re-attach the two connectors to the center console panel and put the panel back in place. Look around you. You should not have any extra wires, screws or parts lying around.
 

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Step 15 - Time to work in the back. My idea was that with the two AUX ports available to me, I would put the Turbo-1 line driver on one and have the other one clean, thinking that with that configuration I could hook up the widest variety of devices without having to go back in and adjust the gain on the line driver higher or lower. Connect the AUX-1 RCA cable (which you either did or did not mark with a piece of tape in Step 10) to the Turbo-1 OUTPUT. Yes, OUTPUT. This is another area where I screwed up and initially had them connected to INPUT and then wondered why I wasn't getting any sound. Duh! To the Turbo-1 INPUT I connected my short Monster RCA cable (0.5m). Now the Turbo-1 needs power, and there is a very convenient power source right next to you in the rear panel. If you cut back some of the protective black sheathing you will see a black and a white wire leading to the 12V power outlet. But I didn't want to splice, cut, solder, etc. Grab one of the Quick Splice thingys. I have also heard these called Scotchloks or Vampire Taps. Basically there are two wire paths through the do-hicky. One wire path goes all the way through, the other only goes half way. The RED wire from the Turbo-1 should have come pre-stripped (also of note is that they thoughtfully put an in-line fuse for you already) - take your wire cutters and cut the exposed pre-stripped wire off. Put the RED wire into the hole on the Quick Splice that only goes half-way. Now take the WHITE wire going to the 12V power outlet and lay that into the side of the Quick Splice that goes all the way through. Use your pliers and snap closed the QuickSplice - see how in the middle there is a metal "guillotine" that cuts into both wires, creating a connection? Done.

You should also ground the BLACK wire from the Turbo-1 - so you need to find some exposed metal. Luckily, there's a screw right in the middle along the edge of the armrest console along the hump. Grab your socket set, loosen it a few turns, slide the wire underneath and screw it back right. As with the AAI-NIS, you need a place to put the thing, so find someplace and velcro it there.
 

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Step 16 - Now you should make sure you haven't screwed anything up.

Re-hook up your battery - don't rush and forget to competely tighten the terminal. START your car. CHECK everything - Is everything on? Do your interior lights work? Display working? Climate controls working? You can change fan speeds, temp controls? Turn your radio on - your FM radio should be on to 87.9 and you have lost all your presets. Switch to CD player and make sure it is playing ok. Find a reasonable volume, like 6 or 7.

Time for the moment of truth - hit the SAT button. Your radio display SHOULD indicate SR-1. Hit the Audio Knob. You SHOULD see "PAC 2004" and a version number. Hit the PRESET A-B-C button. You SHOULD be switched to SR-2. Hit PRESET A-B-C again until you get back to SR-1. If you experience something different then something is wrong and you either have a defective unit or have hooked up something incorrectly.

Ok, let's test. Get your MP3 player, your RCA-to-headphone connector and your pass-through panel-mount RCA jacks. Hook everything up to AUX-1, the 0.5m RCA cable from the Turbo-1. Set your MP3 player volume to someplace in the middle. Play. Hear anything? The Turbo-1 has two plastic knobs to control the Left and Right gain. If you've lost these somehow a small allen wrench can also adjust them. The ideal situtation is that you will get the same volume level when switching to AUX-1 (MP3), CD and FM radio without having to adjust the car stereo volume. You should be able to find the right balance between the gain on the Turbo-1 and the volume control on your MP3 player. Don't rely on the volume of your portable, if you go to the max you may get distortion.

Now repeat with AUX-2. You should hear your MP3 player music, but much more softly. Remember there is no line driver on AUX-2.

If you've made it this far, congratulations! You've done the hard work correctly. Now comes the finishing touches.
 

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Step 17 - You have to decide where to put your first set of RCA jacks.

** You are about to drill holes in your very expensive vehicle. Take a deep breath. **

As you can see from the picture I chose to put them in the lower corner. Use some electrical tape and tape both sides of where you're going to drill your holes, this will help a little with plastic "sawdust" flying around. I used a 3/8" drill bit, drilled two holes and put my panel-mount RCA jacks through and screwed them tight. This is one mistake I made and I didn't space them far enough apart - it's a very tight fit.

I decided to put my second set of RCA jacks near the front on the bottom - mainly because the 1m cable I bought was a little short and the way I routed the wire left this as almost the only reasonable place to put it. Again, I drilled two holes, spacing them better this time and popped the RCA jacks in.

So, underneath again, connect the 0.5m RCA cable from the Turbo-1 to the set of jacks on the back corner - this is AUX-1. I then connected end of the 1m RCA cable from the AAI-NIS to the set of jacks in the front - this is AUX-2.

Here are pictures of the completed install in the back.
 

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Here are pictures of the two sets of jacks inside the armrest console and my Creative Zen Touch MP3 player (no, I won't buy an IPOD!) happily playing one of several thousand songs that now come with me anywhere I go.

Put back the panel on the back of the armrest console. You are DONE!

Hope this helps those of you out there who may be a little tentative about doing this install, with these parts it is almost literally a plug-and-play installation and the results are very satisfying.
 

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Great Write-up!

ShadyJC - great job - appreciated the acknowledgement as well. I felt the same way, as it was the experience of others on this board that encouraged me to do my own.

Saw your Zen in the cup-holder - have you tried the leather "sticky" thing that fits exactly over the cup holder? I think my previous post has the picture of it and I find it indispensible for holding my iPod in place when I have it "out". You can still open the cup holder as well.

Again, nice work, and the only thing I miss are the traffic reports, so I have to remember to hit the radio every so often....
 

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Re: Great Write-up!

FX35ngolf said:
Saw your Zen in the cup-holder - have you tried the leather "sticky" thing that fits exactly over the cup holder? I think my previous post has the picture of it and I find it indispensible for holding my iPod in place when I have it "out". You can still open the cup holder as well.
I saw yours and it looks pretty nice, but whenever I drive now I need a place to put two things - the Zen and my Blackberry, so I figured the cup holder is the most reasonable place to do that. If I remember right you picked yours up at Circuit City, right? I will have to take a look the next time I'm there.
 

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Some people have commented that for whatever reason they cannot see the pictures posted, so I've re-assembled the whole install into a single PDF document with the pictures in-line.

PM or e-mail me to get a copy, it's too big to post here.
 
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