VW Phatbox to Volvo Transplant (How To)
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    \r\n VW Phatbox to Volvo Transplant (How To)\r\n

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    As I have reported elsewhere, I have been successful in connecting a VW Phatbox to my S80 as a low-cost (less than half price) alternative to the genuine Digital Jukebox accessory from Volvo.

    So, here is how I did it.

    For those that choose follow me down this path, I must state the obvious. You do this at your own risk! I have a new, 2006 model, European S80 D5 SE with Navigation. If you have an S60, or a different model year, or no navigation, then your car will have differences. Hopefully, your experience will be similar. But there are no guarantees. As they say, your mileage may vary....

    Also - I am not the expert here. I have no connection with Volvo, or Phatnoise who manufacture the boxes for Volvo and VW. I am an electronics engineer who now works in sales and marketing and who still likes to get his hands on real hardware from time to time. So if you get stuck - I may or may not be able to help (I also have limited free time). I have tried to document as fully as possible what I have done.

    To get you tempted - here\'s a picture of my installation...

    The Basic Setup

    The Volvo Jukebox connects to the head-unit using the same control bus as the Nav unit (or TV tuner, or CD changer if you have one). Note - you cannot have a CD changer and a jukebox in the trunk at the same time - but if you have a jukebox that shouldn\'t be such a hardship, I guess.

    This diagram shows the basic arrangement for my current installation...

    Interfacing to the Navigation Box or Head Unit

    The cable from the head unit to the Nav unit or CD changer ends in an 8-pin DIN plug. (Note - there are TWO different types of 8-pin DIN. Volvo use the more common type with pins 6 and 7 appearing to be part of a circle. There is another type where pins 6 and 7 appear to be moved out from the circle slightly, sometimes called an "Offset 8-Pin DIN" - this type will not mate correctly with the Volvo cables.)

    If you have the Nav unit, the control bus is available to be daisy chained to another device. This comes out on a 13-pin DIN socket on the back of the Nav unit. Volvo sell a cable to adapt from the 13-pin socket on the Nav unit, back to the 8-pin plug connection (Volvo p/n 8673298A). If you have navigation or jukebox preparation already installed, but no navigation, then this first cable is not needed.

    Want to make one? It looks like this...



    Take great care when wiring to the plugs and sockets. All of my diagrams here are drawn assuming that you are looking at the outside of the plug or socket (that is, looking at the end of the pins, or into the holes of the sockets). Getting this wrong would clearly stop things working, and could do real and expensive damage to the Phatbox, or the Nav system, or the head-unit. I also recommend the use of heat-shrink tubing over any solder connections, to provide additional insulation and strain relief.

    In the development of this "hack" I had a problem with interference from the alternator. This was due to the fact that the Volvo and VW boxes are not exactly the same hardware inside. They treat the signal grounds differently. The simplest way to overcome this problem was to include a ground loop isolator in the audio path. I made this up as a separate short cable with an 8-pin DIN socket for the connection back to the cable from the Nav or head unit, and an 8-pin plug to go to the Phatbox (thus keeping it easy for me to make changes). These isolators are available from car audio accessory shops (in the UK, available from Maplin - product code VW43W, price 8.99 pounds). Typically the isolator is wired to RCA / phono type connectors. I just cut these off and re-made the connections to the DIN connectors. Only the audio signals and their ground connection go through the isolator. The control signals bypass it. I also connected the metal shells of the DIN connectors since Volvo do the same on their cable. Ideally these connect to a screen which covers the entire cable, but because of the presence of the isolator this was not practical, so I just connected from one shell to the other with another wire.

    Want to make one? It looks like this...

    Update:This drawing shows the audio part of the isolator wiring with greater clarity. (added January 2010)

    The biggest part of the puzzle was to understand the connections to the jukebox. Although the audio connections are common to many different units, Phatnoise use different combinations of control signals for different makes and models of cars. When you get a VW box, it comes with a VW cable. And if you order a jukebox at great expense from your Volvo dealer, it will come with the correct cable. But the dealers do not have the part number for the cable in their printed catalog - I know, I looked. And Phatnoise will generally not sell cables to support different vehicles.

    However, nothing is impossible. So here\'s what you need to do.
    You can try asking your Volvo dealer to order you one of part number 30732633. It is the cable that goes from an 8-pin DIN socket to a 26-way Phatbox connector. It is the cable that Phatnoise supply with the jukebox, so the part number is not generally listed separately. This cable also includes the power connection. BUT - it is expensive (I would guess about $80 or so in the US).

    Or you could buy the bits and make one, like this....

    Power Arrangements

    Then you need to get some power into your Phatbox. The Volvo box has a separate power connector, a bit like a 4-pin mini-DIN socket but designed for high current. The VW box does not have this, and uses some pins on the 26-way connector instead. If you use the Volvo cable as above, then you will need to modify your VW Phatbox to connect the power to the circuit board.

    Once you are inside, this is where the power needs to go...

    Put a hole in the metalwork and use some kind of 2-way latching connector - discard the strange Volvo one. And please note the warning on the system level block diagram. The power cable into the Navigation unit has +12V power on multiple pins. On the Volvo jukebox cable (if you can get one), one of the pins connects to ground through the jukebox. If you connect these in error you will blow fuses!

    If you decide to make your own cable, then you can use the same power connections as used by VW. This means that you do not need to go inside your Phatbox at all. You would wire it up like this...

    Then you need to mount your new toy in the back of your Volvo. I cheated (did not need to save every last penny, just most of them) and I bought the Volvo installation kit from my dealer. For my S80 (with Nav) this is part number 30737848. It includes the metal plate on which to mount the jukebox, a power cable to taking a power feed from the Nav unit, as well as user manuals for the Volvo jukebox in about 12 languages - one language per book, and the installation guide. Volvo recommend the jukebox is electrically isolated from the metalwork using some nylon washers which they include in the kit. I did this, but I am not sure that it is strictly necessary when using the ground loop isolator described above. Note - this kit has different numbers for cars with / without navigation and also different numbers for S60 and V70 models.

    If you don\'t want to use this kit (it does make life easier), then you still need to find a place to mount the Phatbox. Take care to allow some protection for the hard disk cartridge which projects a couple of inches or so.

    You will also need to find a fused +12V feed and a good ground connection.

    Firmware Change

    The last step is to put the Volvo firmware into your Phatbox. This is easy. Phatnoise Media Manager (and Music Manager) allow you to replace with VW firmware with Volvo firmware (and other versions too). When the cartridge is inserted into the Phatbox with new firmware on the drive, the box then goes through a process of re-programming its internal memory. This takes several minutes - the green LED will flash during this time. Once done, the box restarts with the new software running. If all has gone well, it appears on your Volvo head unit as a CD changer device (use the source selection control).

    Hopefully, it then works, and you will only have one problem left... deciding which of your CD\'s to store on the DMS cartridge.

    Good Luck!


    Some helpful tips

    1) Only install the Phatbox into the vehicle with the correct firmware on the hard disk cartridge. If the firmware does not match the head unit, then strange (maybe bad) things could happen.

    2) I have shown three cables here. I needed to keep things flexible while experimenting, especially when I was fixing the alternator noise problem. If you are good with wiring and a soldering iron, you could buy only the parts needed and combine these into a single cable from the 13 pin plug (or 8-pin socket if you don\'t have navigation) to the 26 way Phatbox connector.

    3) The 26 way connector needed to make your own Phatbox cable is available from Digi-Key (http://www.digikey.com). Part numbers are given on the diagrams above.

    Have fun! And tell me if it works for you.

    Les. (S80_UK)



    \nModified by S80_UK at 4:31 PM 1-20-2010\r\n

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    \r\n Thanks this is a great writeup. Im almost tempted to do this, but i think ill wait for mrg. ed\'s ipod input instead. Great job. Those din cable pinouts will come in handy for many people as well.\r\n
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    \r\n Re: VW Phatbox to Volvo Transplant (S80_UK)\r\n

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    \r\n Wow great writeup! I may give this a try if/when I get my hands on a used Phatbox.\r\n
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    2015 XC60 T6 RD, P+, Blis, climate, black sapphire
    \r\nprevious: 2005 S60R magic blue/atacama 6mt (lease returned \'08)
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    \r\n Re: VW Phatbox to Volvo Transplant (S80_UK)\r\n

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    \r\n Thanks Les,

    Will get my new baby this Saturday. Will try to install the phatbox during the Xmas holidays.

    Pedro\r\n

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    \r\n Re: VW Phatbox to Volvo Transplant (S80_UK)\r\n

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    \r\n Dear All,

    I tried to install the VW phatbox (Jukebox) with the adaptor cable as describe by Les today. With the help of Les I obtained the 26 pin connector and purchased the 13 din connector from http://www.packetradio.com (fast service, relative low shipping costs to Europe).
    With the clear description of Les I made the adaptor cable and try to find the connector in the navigation DVD player. As you maybe know the navigation player is in the V70 at the left side. Plugged in all cables and tried the radio.......
    It works perfectly, can access all songs and playlists.
    The problems started why I tried to fit the navigation player again. The backside (with all the connectors) is only 1-2 cm from the side of the car. The normal 13 din connector was to big and clearly a 90 degree connector is needed!!!

    So to everybody with a V70 and who what to try connecting the VW Phatbox in a V70 I can say the following:
    - the guidelines from Les are perfect
    - try to get a 90 degree bended 13 pin Din connector.

    Regards,

    Pedro\r\n

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    \r\n Re: VW Phatbox to Volvo Transplant (S80_UK)\r\n

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    \r\n I was also successful at making this work(Thanks Les!).
    I made the cable myself by rewiring the VW cable provided. I used the alternate power connections, so I only have one connection the the Phatbox. I have not added the ground loop isolator, so I do get the slight whine from the alternator. I would like to eliminate the need for the isolator, and plan to look for an alternate ground, but I haven\'t had time.
    It is so nice to have that much music at your finger tips, and since my total install was under $200. it was well worth the time and effort.\r\n
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    \r\n Re: VW Phatbox to Volvo Transplant (Rspeed)\r\n

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    \r\n Hello Rspeed,

    Many thanks for the feedback - Glad you got it working!

    Please do let us know if you have any luck with the search for the ideal ground, although I suspect that it may vary from one car to another, even for the same model.

    I am wondering if there would be interest if I could get a few isolator units made up, since I see that owners of the genuine Volvo Digital Jukebox also run into the same problem sometimes. Not sure what they would cost, but I doubt that it would be too great.

    Cheers.

    Les.

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    \r\n Re: VW Phatbox to Volvo Transplant (S80_UK)\r\n

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    \r\n Re: VW Phatbox to Volvo Transplant (MrTippy)\r\n

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    \r\n Hi Peter,

    You are right - but even following the "correct" advice fom Volvo does not always yield perfect results. It is the same problem that can give rise to visible horizontal bars on the navigation display. We are talking about low level audio or video signals, and a ground variation of a few millivolts can easily be heard (or seen), and can be hard to eliminate.

    On the Nav unit (and I suspect on the CD changer) the audio ground is not directly connected to the power ground in the unit, but is only connected to the head unit. The internal design allows for this split ground approach. Certainly this method is not used in some of the Phatnose implementations - hence the difficulties in eliminating the noise and the reason that I resorted to an isolator solution.

    Regards,

    Les. \r\n

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    \r\n Re: VW Phatbox to Volvo Transplant (S80_UK)\r\n

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    \r\n Re: VW Phatbox to Volvo Transplant (S80_UK)\r\n

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    \r\n As to the comment about making up some noise filters or isolators:

    Yes.

    I am seriously considering adding the phatbox to my car, and this would save time, and probably money. post the cost when you have it figured out.\r\n

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    \r\n Re: VW Phatbox to Volvo Transplant (S80_UK)\r\n

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    \r\n Les,

    I\'ve red your instructions with great intrest, compliments for how you did it with the clear diagrams you made.
    I am using an original volvo phatnoise unit and experience the whining noise described before.
    My dealer could not provide any solution for it. So no i am orientating about any solutions. I\'ve read discussion fora, and it seems that there are two possible answers,
    1. filtering the audio signal like you described) or
    2. filtering the 12V AC \'signal\'.
    The last solution seems to bee a lot easier than yours but i am not sure if it works. http://uk-mkivs.net/forums/per...59721

    About your solution i have a question; is it also possible to put the noise filter cable between the NAV unit and the Radio ( in my case HU 803) ?
    In this way i have to make only the noise filter cable and dont need to make the others (from nav to filter, and from filter to the phatbox) In case it is possible are the pinouts the same if the filter is placed between the radio and the NAV unit?

    Hope to hear from you,
    Thanks in advance,

    Guido


    Modified by guido at 4:16 AM 12-29-2006


    Modified by guido at 4:19 AM 12-29-2006


    Modified by guido at 4:20 AM 12-29-2006


    \nModified by guido at 4:20 AM 12-29-2006\r\n

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    \r\n Re: VW Phatbox to Volvo Transplant (guido)\r\n

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    \r\n Hello Guido,

    Many apologies for not responding earlier. I just saw your post when I was updating the system diagram a little.

    I just read the other forum concerning the noise. I think that the solution will be very installation dependent, due to the different power feed and grounding setups that exist. For VW, the Phatbox power normally comes down the head unit cable, and it is grounded in the same way. For the regular Volvo Digital Jukebox installation, it is different with supply and ground being local to the Jukebox. I went with the isolation in the audio path based on my 30 years in electronics and knowing that it should work first time (it did!).

    For what it\'s worth - my set up is still working 100%. I have had it in the car now for 16 months and 20,000 miles. Fantastic.

    You ask about putting the isolator between the Nav and the head unit. That may work, but I think there could be a problem. As I understand it the Nav has a third audio line (pin 8 on the 8 pin Din connector) for navigation audio. You would also need to handle that. I did not want to risk the possibiliy that I might damage my Nav box, or stop it working in some way, so my approach was for me also the safer one.

    If you do try to go between the Nav and the HU, yes - I believe that 8-pin pinout is the same. the Volvo cables allow you to have a Digital Jukebox whether Navigation is installed or not. And it does still work if I take the Nav box out of the system.

    Good luck!

    Les.



    \nModified by S80_UK at 4:50 PM 2-13-2007\r\n

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    \r\n I have installed Les\' ground loop isolator solution and it works perfect. I\'ve talked to other people in the electronics business and they believe filtering the power lines may also do the fix; and since you aren\'t doing anything to the audio signals, you may just get better sound quality than with filtering the audio.

    i had the parts for a ground loop isolator on hand and i couldn\'t wait to get this thing working, so i didn\'t try the power filters.\r\n

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    \r\n Re: (SHIFT_S60R)\r\n

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    Quote, originally posted by SHIFT_S60R »
    I have installed Les\' ground loop isolator solution and it works perfect.

    Great - that\'s always good to hear. I\'m glad it helped you.

    Quote, originally posted by SHIFT_S60R »
    I\'ve talked to other people in the electronics business and they believe filtering the power lines may also do the fix; and since you aren\'t doing anything to the audio signals, you may just get better sound quality than with filtering the audio.

    The reason that I went with the isolator is that in the case of the Volvo, a lot of the problem is due to differences in ground potentials at different places in the car. Power filters will clean up supplies, but won\'t remove ground voltage differences, and can make them worse. Different makes and models will be different. And as they say, your mileage may vary, even with the Volvo set up.

    Also, note that a good isolator should not noticably filter the audio - even quite cheap ones can have pretty good bandwidth. They work because the noise is not on the audio lines themselves. Without the isolator though, the noise will appear to the amplifier or head unit as though it is on the audio lines because of the ground voltage differences.

    Quote, originally posted by slowrey »
    Anyone want to make a ground loop isolator that is plug and play for those of us with the factory Digital Jukebox????

    Good question! And one that I thought about quite a while back. How many people would be interested I wonder? The cost of parts is not that great, but one needs to make it safe, reliable and fool-proof (not saying that anyone\'s a fool, but we can all make mistakes). Then there\'s the time to do it. Building a couple would take an hour or so maybe, but they would be rather "hand-crafted" so to speak. If the demand is for more like twenty and up, then it really needs a little more planning. At a very rough estimate I would think that I could do this for about $60 each shipped from the UK (the current exchange rate doesn\'t help, I guess).

    Do I have the time to do it? Not really. Would I do it? Depends on the demand.

    Cheers!

    Les.\r\n

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    \r\n Anyone want to make a ground loop isolator that is plug and play for those of us with the factory Digital Jukebox????\r\n
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    \r\n Les, please let me know if you\'d be williing to build a one off for me and how much. PM me for my email address or grab it from my profile.\r\n
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    \r\n Re: (slowrey)\r\n

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    \r\n Hi Sean,

    Email sent.

    Les.\r\n

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    \r\n Re: VW Phatbox to Volvo Transplant (S80_UK)\r\n

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    \r\n hi les . just come across your phatbox transplant page and im chomping at the bit. i have a 99 c70 with a 901 head unit so i hope you can help . had the car 1 month and playing mp3 player via crappy cassette route . first where can i look for cd changer plug in my car , sorry to sound dumb not long had car and other forum have conflicting views . so before i start tearing car apart i thought id ask the experts . secondly would you be preparred to build me the lead . i live in london so getting cash to you wont be a prob as id drive anywhere in uk to sort out this lack of jukebox problem . new to forum so not sure on protocal so be gentle boys . hope to hear some good news from you soon \r\n
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    \r\n If you have SC-901 radio, then look for the Alpine changers (CHM-' + '-' + '-' + '- or something). I know two of them are compatible with SC radios. One of them is even MP3 playable\r\n
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    \r\n Re: (sebaveh)\r\n

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    \r\n hi sebaveh . thanks for reply . i dont want to fit a changer, just wanted to be able to locate the changer skt and hopefully les will build me a conection lead or advise me on possabilities for transplanting a phatbox into my 99 c70. but thanks for info anyway . also could anyone advise on best place to pick up a phatbox . they sell them on e bay but from america so warrenty is not valid and dont know if any difference in us spec ???? any expert advice greatfully recieved. thanks for advice again seaveh \r\n
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    \r\n Re: (muffbumfy)\r\n

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    \r\n The phatbox is designed to work with HU series head units, i.e. those with a MELBUS network (made by Mitsubishi Electronics), not the SC headunits (made by Alpine).\r\n
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    \r\n Re: (MrTippy)\r\n

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    \r\n thanks for the advice mr tippy. at least now i wont be chasing around for something that wont work.\r\n
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    \r\n As an update, I just got off the phone with the Volvo parts dept in Boston. The Volvo-PBox cable part number has been changed to 31201161 and I was quoted $57.03

    Rob\r\n

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    \r\n Re: (Pinion)\r\n

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    \r\n Thanks Rob.

    Is that a new number for the part I referred to as 30732633 ? I wonder why they changed it. (or did I have it wrong all this time...?)

    More importantly. did you buy it? That sounds like a fair price (for the extremely low volumes they would sell of such a part). Of course, if so inclined you could make one for less.

    Les.\r\n

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    \r\n Hi Les, great write up and the the reason for me sourcing a vw phatbox and the connectors for conversion in my non satnav equiped or prepped S60 D5 SE. Just looking for a recommendation on what sort of cable to run from a rear mounted Phatbox to the head unit.
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    \r\n Les is probably not a regular reader of this forum, so I took the liberty of contacting him directly to ask if he can help. It might be a little before we hear back from him.\r\n
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    \r\n Quote Originally Posted by Phil_S\r\n View Post\r\n
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    Hi Les, great write up and the the reason for me sourcing a vw phatbox and the connectors for conversion in my non satnav equiped or prepped S60 D5 SE. Just looking for a recommendation on what sort of cable to run from a rear mounted Phatbox to the head unit.
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    \nHi Phil,
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    \r\nI just saw your post while snooping around.
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    \r\nTo be honest, I don\'t have a firm recommendation for the cable to the head unit. Are you up to making a cable yourself? I would buy some multi-core screened (shielded) cable which I would use for the control signals (enough cores for the MelBus plus a couple of spare conductors). I would also buy a reasonable quality stereo audio cable of the type that you might use to connect hi-fi components (but don\'t pay hi-fi prices - it isn\'t necessary). I would also buy a suitable nylon braiding that I would use to enclose both cables, and then some small lengths of heat-shrink sleeving to allow you to make off the ends neatly. I guess hobby electronics stores would be the place. In the UK, that means outlets such as Maplin. RadioShack in the US is I believe roughly equivalent.
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    \r\nThe cables do not carry any high current, so they don\'t need to be big, but they need to be robust to protect against pressure (if under carpets) or against vibration (just about anywhere).
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    \r\nLet us know how you get on - and ask if you need more help.
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    \r\nCheers,
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    \r\nLes.\r\n
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  • \r\n\n\n'; pd[1512293] = '\n\n\r\n
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    \r\n Thanks for getting back to me Les. I used some cable with four individually foil + drain wire, screened pairs that I found at work in the end. It was a bit tight to make off into the 90 degree, 8 pin din plug and I found that my arms weren\'t long enough to be able to see the pins on the 26 way connector properly without the help of a colleagues glasses as those pins are pretty close together. Used heat shrink on each pin to avoid shorts and went for the VW power through the 26 pin connector aproach. So, it\'s the moment of truth today as I am going to change the box firmware and fit it in my car so fingers crossed! I\'m going to screw it to the underside of a floor panel in the boot for ease of access.
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    \r\n I\'ve broken out the audio cables into 4 phonos so I can easily fit a ground loop isolator if needs be and the other thing the phonos allow me to do is fit a DAB radio module in line later if I want to. I was thinking of something like thishttp://www.dabonwheels.co.uk/Acousti...car_radio.html as it has switchable aux inputs which the phatbox can be plugged into. I was thinking of combining this with a Hirschmann roof aerial that looks similar to the one that was fitted to my 1999 Passat estate/waggon for best reception as I don\'t think the existing one will be any good. Tuner and control panel are connected together with a piece of cat5 so I\'ll run that in at the same time as the Phatbox cable. If I go ahead with the DAB idea I will probably mount the display on one of those non damaging brackets for phone mounting that I had in my S60 (should have taken it out!) to the left of the head unit.
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    \r\nSeriously thought I was stuck with four CDs, a boot changer or an mp3 player through an FM modulator so, thanks again for the hard work that went into producing a "how to" that I actually understand ( I hope!).
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    \r\n Now in and working. Don\'t think I would have had the confidence to pull the head unit without the help of all the great guides that are around on the net and pulling the trim appart to run the cable from through to the back of the car would have been a lot more challenging without my trusty Haynes manual. Sound quality is great and I\'m really pleased with it. DAB next...
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  • \r\n\n\n'; pd[1513542] = '\n\n\r\n
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    \r\n Hi Phil,
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    \r\nMany thanks for reporting back. Another success! Well done!
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    \r\nAs for DAB - I have one of those boxes (must give it a go at some point). It is old history now, but I worked alongside one of the suppliers to Acoustic Solutions when that box was developed. The brand has changed significantly in the past year or two and is is now owned by Argos I believe, so those boxes will be new-old-stock. Should work though and will be fine with UK DAB transmissions.
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  • \r\n\n\n'; pd[1854277] = '\n\n\r\n
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    \r\n Dear all,
    \r\nI have a volvo v70 with a hu650 radio model. I want to install an xkcarlink to listen mp3 with sd card or usb). This device is connected to the radio with an 8pin din, but In my car there is also the satellite-navigator that is connected to the radio with the same 8 pin din, so in I connect the xcarlink I can not use the satellite or viceversa.
    \r\nSo, in the back of the radio there are one 6 pin din ( that I know is for amplifier system , only output) and a 8pin din that is linked to the satellite.
    \r\nI would like to make a modification to this connection to listen mp3 and also to be connected with the satellite.
    \r\nTo solve the problem I would make a connection modified with a splitted audio signal to a jack or cra and a remnant connection unmodified :
    \r\nA jack or rca linked to audio pin 6 and 7 and maintain the exact connection for the others pin with another female din 8 pin ( this letter without audio signal ) to lock with the satellite
    \r\nI think in this way that the satellite navigator can work but without audio and in the pin 6 and 7 I can listen an Ipod
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    \r\nDo you think is possible?
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    \r\nThanks a lot\r\n
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  • \r\n\n\n'; pd[1854303] = '\n\n\r\n
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    Join Date
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    \r\n If you haven\'t already looked at the IMIV, I would check that out. That is the easiest way (in my opinion) to add in music sources into the factory HU. Linky is here. Hope this helps!!
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    2005 S60R - For sale
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    \r\n"It must be made to look the best and most evil in its evilness" - Helmutt Ranff
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  • \r\n\n\n'; pd[1860718] = '\n\n\r\n
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    \r\n dear steve
    \r\nI have seen the imiv and I think it\'s very good.
    \r\nI contact them to buy it.
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    \r\nthanks a lot
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    \r\nanyway , do you think my connection as before can work?? is there a forum about it?
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    \r\nsee image link
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    \r\n I LOVE my Volvo Digital Jukebox....AFAIK it is the only native FLAC solution.\r\n
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    \r\nPackages: Premium, Climate Options: Sport Appearance Package, 18" Pegs, 6Spd Geartronic, Navigation
    \r\nAccessories: Sunglasses holder, Sirius Radio, Volvo Digital Jukebox Mods:SS DEM Mod
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  • \r\n\n\n'; pd[1897932] = '\n\n\r\n
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    \r\n Thought I\'d drop in to see what\'s going on...
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    \nMy original installation has now surpassed the 100,000 mile mark and still working perfectly (my S80 is now over 105K miles).
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    \n@bancovolvo (2 posts above)... It is not sufficient to simply connect an audio source to the head unit. Even though your connection looks correct, you need to have a device on the Melbus cable that the head unit can identify as one of the supported external sources. This is what the IMIV unit does - I think it pretends to be either a CD changer, TV tuner, Satellite Radio tuner or MiniDisc player. Only then will the head unit accept an external audio signal. The Volvo Digital Jukebox pretends to be an external CD changer so that the head unit can select it and control it.
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    \n@inteller - agreed. It\'s a great player. Almost all of the music on my Phatbox is in FLAC format (I have a 160GB hard disk in the DMS cartridge), and the remainder is in AAC (for audio books and similar).\r\n
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  • \r\n\n\n'; pd[2017011] = '\n\n\r\n
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    \r\n Question for Les (S80_UK) if he still looks in......or perhaps anyone else who knows!
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    \nI have a V70 2002 without RTI and with a HU-803 Head unit and premium sound. Bought a VW/Audi Phatbox on Ebay which came with a cable: Phatbox 26-way connector one end, and a 13-way DIN round socket on the other. I have bought an 8-pin DIN connector for the HU, and was hoping to do a simple chop-and-add the 8-pin DIN to the cable. The 26-pin connector at the Phatbox end is a moulded-on job, but I\'ve identified the pinouts to the wires in the cable.
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    \nThe issue is, there are pins connected at the Phatbox which don\'t correspond to Les\'s diagram; specifically, the MELBUS connections for DATA, BUSY and CLOCK. I\'ve no reason to doubt the cable worked with the unit in an Audi, so is it possible the Phatbox has different pinout needs for both volvo and vw/audi within the same box?
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    \nI can buy a plug for the Phatbox end of the cable and wire-it as per Les\' instructions (very helpful BTW) but if I can get away wiithout changing both ends of the cable I will.
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    \nCheers, Andy
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    \r\n Quote Originally Posted by Fortune7\r\n View Post\r\n
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    Question for Les (S80_UK) if he still looks in......or perhaps anyone else who knows!
    \n
    \nI have a V70 2002 without RTI and with a HU-803 Head unit and premium sound. Bought a VW/Audi Phatbox on Ebay which came with a cable: Phatbox 26-way connector one end, and a 13-way DIN round socket on the other. I have bought an 8-pin DIN connector for the HU, and was hoping to do a simple chop-and-add the 8-pin DIN to the cable. The 26-pin connector at the Phatbox end is a moulded-on job, but I\'ve identified the pinouts to the wires in the cable.
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    \nThe issue is, there are pins connected at the Phatbox which don\'t correspond to Les\'s diagram; specifically, the MELBUS connections for DATA, BUSY and CLOCK. I\'ve no reason to doubt the cable worked with the unit in an Audi, so is it possible the Phatbox has different pinout needs for both volvo and vw/audi within the same box?
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    \nI can buy a plug for the Phatbox end of the cable and wire-it as per Les\' instructions (very helpful BTW) but if I can get away wiithout changing both ends of the cable I will.
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    \nCheers, Andy
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    \nHi Andy,
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    \n(Sorry for very late reply - just dropped in for a look...)
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    \nYes - it is highly likely that the Volvo and Audi connections to the Phatbox do not share all of the same pins. The audio and power signals may be the same but the data signals can change quite a lot. The pins used are in part defined by the communication protocols of the different head units, and also partly by Phatnoise Inc who probably chose different pin connections to reduce the ease of swapping units from one vehicle make to another (perhaps at the request of the vehicle manufacturers).
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    \nThis may help also... http://www.phathack.com/pinouts.html
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    \nHope this helps a little.
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    \nLes.\r\n
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    \r\n Dear all,
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    \r\nI\'ve just put my hands on Volvo Digital JukeBox from a sweedish scrape yard. It came with the cable from Jukebox going to the power supply cable and to the one connected to the RTI in my case.
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    \r\n I didn\'t go through the fuss of making the power supply cable and the MELBUS to RTI as they wehere a vailable at my local Volvo dealer.
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    \r\nHere is a picture of the unit installed:
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    \r\nIt works great but as one could expect, I do get egine whine trough the speakers.
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  • \r\n\n\n'; // next/previous post info pn[458815] = "2495841,458835"; pn[0] = ",458815"; pn[458835] = "458815,459180"; pn[459180] = "458835,459231"; pn[459231] = "459180,498038"; pn[498038] = "459231,501132"; pn[501132] = "498038,501276"; pn[501276] = "501132,501318"; pn[501318] = "501276,501352"; pn[501352] = "501318,501390"; pn[501390] = "501352,690768"; pn[690768] = "501390,690668"; pn[690668] = "690768,720628"; pn[720628] = "690668,720644"; pn[720644] = "720628,721207"; pn[721207] = "720644,720872"; pn[720872] = "721207,721707"; pn[721707] = "720872,721920"; pn[721920] = "721707,803634"; pn[803634] = "721920,803638"; pn[803638] = "803634,803657"; pn[803657] = "803638,807972"; pn[807972] = "803657,808002"; pn[808002] = "807972,1149730"; pn[1149730] = "808002,1422399"; pn[1422399] = "1149730,1429754"; pn[1429754] = "1422399,1503478"; pn[1503478] = "1429754,1503512"; pn[1503512] = "1503478,1511937"; pn[1511937] = "1503512,1503964"; pn[1503964] = "1511937,1512293"; pn[1512293] = "1503964,1512952"; pn[1512952] = "1512293,1513542"; pn[1513542] = "1512952,1854277"; pn[1854277] = "1513542,1854303"; pn[1854303] = "1854277,1860718"; pn[1860718] = "1854303,1860789"; pn[1860789] = "1860718,1897932"; pn[1897932] = "1860789,2017011"; pn[2017011] = "1897932,2070231"; pn[2070231] = "2017011,2164236"; pn[2164236] = "2070231,2165205"; pn[2165205] = "2164236,2495841"; pn[2495841] = "2165205,458815"; // cached usernames pu[0] = guestphrase; pu[12486] = "S80_UK"; pu[4920] = "adam3914"; pu[10206] = "orientblue3"; pu[2030] = "pedro1"; pu[13459] = "Rspeed"; pu[7431] = "MrTippy"; pu[20100] = "guido"; pu[10986] = "wizzard_al"; pu[17628] = "SHIFT_S60R"; pu[5053] = "slowrey"; pu[22739] = "muffbumfy"; pu[15307] = "sebaveh"; pu[26802] = "MyJules"; pu[19946] = "AthruC"; pu[32822] = "Pinion"; pu[37145] = "Phil_S"; pu[47354] = "bancovolvo"; pu[5857] = "FORD420diesel"; pu[33148] = "inteller"; pu[51486] = "Fortune7"; pu[47836] = "Dogtown"; // -->

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    1. #1
      Junior Member S80_UK's Avatar
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      VW Phatbox to Volvo Transplant (How To)

      All,

      As I have reported elsewhere, I have been successful in connecting a VW Phatbox to my S80 as a low-cost (less than half price) alternative to the genuine Digital Jukebox accessory from Volvo.

      So, here is how I did it.

      For those that choose follow me down this path, I must state the obvious. You do this at your own risk! I have a new, 2006 model, European S80 D5 SE with Navigation. If you have an S60, or a different model year, or no navigation, then your car will have differences. Hopefully, your experience will be similar. But there are no guarantees. As they say, your mileage may vary....

      Also - I am not the expert here. I have no connection with Volvo, or Phatnoise who manufacture the boxes for Volvo and VW. I am an electronics engineer who now works in sales and marketing and who still likes to get his hands on real hardware from time to time. So if you get stuck - I may or may not be able to help (I also have limited free time). I have tried to document as fully as possible what I have done.

      To get you tempted - here's a picture of my installation...

      The Basic Setup

      The Volvo Jukebox connects to the head-unit using the same control bus as the Nav unit (or TV tuner, or CD changer if you have one). Note - you cannot have a CD changer and a jukebox in the trunk at the same time - but if you have a jukebox that shouldn't be such a hardship, I guess.

      This diagram shows the basic arrangement for my current installation...

      Interfacing to the Navigation Box or Head Unit

      The cable from the head unit to the Nav unit or CD changer ends in an 8-pin DIN plug. (Note - there are TWO different types of 8-pin DIN. Volvo use the more common type with pins 6 and 7 appearing to be part of a circle. There is another type where pins 6 and 7 appear to be moved out from the circle slightly, sometimes called an "Offset 8-Pin DIN" - this type will not mate correctly with the Volvo cables.)

      If you have the Nav unit, the control bus is available to be daisy chained to another device. This comes out on a 13-pin DIN socket on the back of the Nav unit. Volvo sell a cable to adapt from the 13-pin socket on the Nav unit, back to the 8-pin plug connection (Volvo p/n 8673298A). If you have navigation or jukebox preparation already installed, but no navigation, then this first cable is not needed.

      Want to make one? It looks like this...



      Take great care when wiring to the plugs and sockets. All of my diagrams here are drawn assuming that you are looking at the outside of the plug or socket (that is, looking at the end of the pins, or into the holes of the sockets). Getting this wrong would clearly stop things working, and could do real and expensive damage to the Phatbox, or the Nav system, or the head-unit. I also recommend the use of heat-shrink tubing over any solder connections, to provide additional insulation and strain relief.

      In the development of this "hack" I had a problem with interference from the alternator. This was due to the fact that the Volvo and VW boxes are not exactly the same hardware inside. They treat the signal grounds differently. The simplest way to overcome this problem was to include a ground loop isolator in the audio path. I made this up as a separate short cable with an 8-pin DIN socket for the connection back to the cable from the Nav or head unit, and an 8-pin plug to go to the Phatbox (thus keeping it easy for me to make changes). These isolators are available from car audio accessory shops (in the UK, available from Maplin - product code VW43W, price 8.99 pounds). Typically the isolator is wired to RCA / phono type connectors. I just cut these off and re-made the connections to the DIN connectors. Only the audio signals and their ground connection go through the isolator. The control signals bypass it. I also connected the metal shells of the DIN connectors since Volvo do the same on their cable. Ideally these connect to a screen which covers the entire cable, but because of the presence of the isolator this was not practical, so I just connected from one shell to the other with another wire.

      Want to make one? It looks like this...

      Update:This drawing shows the audio part of the isolator wiring with greater clarity. (added January 2010)

      The biggest part of the puzzle was to understand the connections to the jukebox. Although the audio connections are common to many different units, Phatnoise use different combinations of control signals for different makes and models of cars. When you get a VW box, it comes with a VW cable. And if you order a jukebox at great expense from your Volvo dealer, it will come with the correct cable. But the dealers do not have the part number for the cable in their printed catalog - I know, I looked. And Phatnoise will generally not sell cables to support different vehicles.

      However, nothing is impossible. So here's what you need to do.
      You can try asking your Volvo dealer to order you one of part number 30732633. It is the cable that goes from an 8-pin DIN socket to a 26-way Phatbox connector. It is the cable that Phatnoise supply with the jukebox, so the part number is not generally listed separately. This cable also includes the power connection. BUT - it is expensive (I would guess about $80 or so in the US).

      Or you could buy the bits and make one, like this....

      Power Arrangements

      Then you need to get some power into your Phatbox. The Volvo box has a separate power connector, a bit like a 4-pin mini-DIN socket but designed for high current. The VW box does not have this, and uses some pins on the 26-way connector instead. If you use the Volvo cable as above, then you will need to modify your VW Phatbox to connect the power to the circuit board.

      Once you are inside, this is where the power needs to go...

      Put a hole in the metalwork and use some kind of 2-way latching connector - discard the strange Volvo one. And please note the warning on the system level block diagram. The power cable into the Navigation unit has +12V power on multiple pins. On the Volvo jukebox cable (if you can get one), one of the pins connects to ground through the jukebox. If you connect these in error you will blow fuses!

      If you decide to make your own cable, then you can use the same power connections as used by VW. This means that you do not need to go inside your Phatbox at all. You would wire it up like this...

      Then you need to mount your new toy in the back of your Volvo. I cheated (did not need to save every last penny, just most of them) and I bought the Volvo installation kit from my dealer. For my S80 (with Nav) this is part number 30737848. It includes the metal plate on which to mount the jukebox, a power cable to taking a power feed from the Nav unit, as well as user manuals for the Volvo jukebox in about 12 languages - one language per book, and the installation guide. Volvo recommend the jukebox is electrically isolated from the metalwork using some nylon washers which they include in the kit. I did this, but I am not sure that it is strictly necessary when using the ground loop isolator described above. Note - this kit has different numbers for cars with / without navigation and also different numbers for S60 and V70 models.

      If you don't want to use this kit (it does make life easier), then you still need to find a place to mount the Phatbox. Take care to allow some protection for the hard disk cartridge which projects a couple of inches or so.

      You will also need to find a fused +12V feed and a good ground connection.

      Firmware Change

      The last step is to put the Volvo firmware into your Phatbox. This is easy. Phatnoise Media Manager (and Music Manager) allow you to replace with VW firmware with Volvo firmware (and other versions too). When the cartridge is inserted into the Phatbox with new firmware on the drive, the box then goes through a process of re-programming its internal memory. This takes several minutes - the green LED will flash during this time. Once done, the box restarts with the new software running. If all has gone well, it appears on your Volvo head unit as a CD changer device (use the source selection control).

      Hopefully, it then works, and you will only have one problem left... deciding which of your CD's to store on the DMS cartridge.

      Good Luck!


      Some helpful tips

      1) Only install the Phatbox into the vehicle with the correct firmware on the hard disk cartridge. If the firmware does not match the head unit, then strange (maybe bad) things could happen.

      2) I have shown three cables here. I needed to keep things flexible while experimenting, especially when I was fixing the alternator noise problem. If you are good with wiring and a soldering iron, you could buy only the parts needed and combine these into a single cable from the 13 pin plug (or 8-pin socket if you don't have navigation) to the 26 way Phatbox connector.

      3) The 26 way connector needed to make your own Phatbox cable is available from Digi-Key (http://www.digikey.com). Part numbers are given on the diagrams above.

      Have fun! And tell me if it works for you.

      Les. (S80_UK)



      Modified by S80_UK at 4:31 PM 1-20-2010