Automotive

DIY: Hack a Bluetooth Connection on your Car Stereo

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 8th, 2018 11:28 am
[OP]
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Aug 3, 2014
1215 posts
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Toronto, ON

DIY: Hack a Bluetooth Connection on your Car Stereo

Here’s how to add a Bluetooth audio connection to any car stereo for under $10.



I’ll be demonstrating this on my 2004 Toyota Camry with a basic CD AM/FM radio.
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The first thing to do is remove the stereo:
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Four 10mm bolts:
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Some connectors and it comes right out:
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Remove a bunch of screws from the outside of the casing to reveal the motherboard:
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Here’s the motherboard:
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There’s three main chips, the one on the bottom controls the I/O interface, there’s one under the heatsink, and the one at the top right controls the audio signal – that’s the one we want to hack into.
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According to the pinout diagram, we need to find the left signal and right signal. In my case, I’m going to tap into the CD input lines, since its an analog audio signal. I’ve traced these from the CD board header, all the way thru to the chip. Here are the potential soldering points:
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Here’s a pinout I found online of the same chip U102 TA2123AF, detailing pins 51 as the right and pin 62 as the left audio signal for the CD:
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There’s a Polish forum with the same chip that I got the pinout from for a Lexus IS200:
https://www.elektroda.pl/rtvforum/topic2917140.html
You’ll need three main components:
1. A 3.5mm audio cable to solder to the motherboard
2. A Bluetooth receiver to convert to the 3.5mm hack
3. 12V to 5V USB power inverter
All can be had for less than $10 depending on the quality of components you choose from eBay or Amazon or the like:
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(Optional is a ground loop isolator, if your car has static/interference issues).
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Got my aux cable wired in. At this point you can just leave the radio with just an AUX input, but for you iPhone users without a 3.5mm jack out there, read on for the Bluetooth hack:
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Closing things back up in the radio:
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I opted to wire the Bluetooth module outside the radio. I tried tapping into the power lines coming in the radio and almost fried it…so I’d rather play it safe!
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Here I tapped into the 12V lines going into the cigarette lighter. Mind the messy wiring, this was just a prototype:
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Finally once everything is back together, you can connect to Bluetooth on your phone. You’ll need a CD with a silent track that will trick the radio into reading from the CD input. You can download and burn this CD yourself.
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And that’s pretty much it, you can enjoy CD stereo sound through Bluetooth connectivity on your phone for less than $10!
_______
Speedkar99 | YouTube
11 replies
Deal Guru
Mar 22, 2004
12279 posts
2819 upvotes
RFD
I have to applaud the effort though.
[OP]
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Aug 3, 2014
1215 posts
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Toronto, ON
radeonboy wrote:
Nov 2nd, 2018 1:02 am
I have to applaud the effort though.
Thank you
_______
Speedkar99 | YouTube
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Dec 23, 2003
13290 posts
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Toronto
Having owned a 2002 Camry LE V6, that stock deck is god awful as everything sounds muffled. I replaced the deck with an Alpine and it sounded soo much cleaner.

I got something like this for about $80 bucks on a Black Friday deal years ago: https://www.visions.ca/Catalogue/Catego ... ku=UTE73BT
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Deal Guru
Mar 22, 2004
12279 posts
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RFD
speedkar9 wrote:
Nov 7th, 2018 9:02 pm
Thank you
Your video is the true definition of a real "hack", excellent job.
Deal Addict
Dec 21, 2011
3419 posts
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London
can I just send you my car and pay you to do it? excellent job I am just not trustworthy to carry it out!
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Jul 29, 2003
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hightech wrote:
Nov 7th, 2018 9:36 pm
Having owned a 2002 Camry LE V6, that stock deck is god awful as everything sounds muffled. I replaced the deck with an Alpine and it sounded soo much cleaner.

I got something like this for about $80 bucks on a Black Friday deal years ago: https://www.visions.ca/Catalogue/Catego ... ku=UTE73BT
When I had a 93 Civic Si, I replaced the deck with a used Sony one for $60 of Craigslist that had BT. Had to do some funky hacking and wiring (and moving the microphone to outside of the deck) but it worked out perfectly fine.
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Apr 23, 2014
1026 posts
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GTA, ON
@speedkar9 I watch all the diy videos that you post in your channel, and am constantly amazed at your patience/skill.

One question- Wasn't this video uploaded a long time back? I am getting a sense of deja vu when I watched it now.
Sr. Member
Aug 18, 2014
592 posts
370 upvotes
Markham, ON
I applaud the effort but...

99% of cars nowaday have 3.5mm jack
so you can just buy a $10 bluetooth adapater and plug it into the jack without doing any "hack"

if your car is so old it doesn't even have a 3.5mm jack, it probably has really shitty audio.
You might as well just buy those $25 portable bluetooth speaker and use that instead of your car audio...

Or get a new head unit? I remember you can get one for <$100 that has bluetooth and a lot of other features


But i guess you are doing all that for the sake of it (experiment, curiosity), so good job!
Deal Addict
Jan 31, 2007
2966 posts
491 upvotes
Nice effort, most cases better to get a new headunit.

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