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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all, I've started working on an interesting project, I'm trying to add bluetooth to the factory RAQ 6 disc radio that i have in my jeep. This is more of to keep track of this project incase anyone else is interested in doing this, i got inspiration from this video here. Its a different radio but the concept is the same.

Edit 8/10: I'll make a full guide on how to do this once this is complete.

As of right now, I will be wiring in this bluetooth audio receiver. My plan is to splice in power from somewhere inside the radio so the bluetooth board can shutoff when I shut off the car and not drain the battery (although I doubt it will drain THAT much). Next step is to hijack the sound output of the CD changer (if that is the case), to output the sound from the board to the radio. Doing it this way gives me the benefit of using the volume knob on the radio instead of being force to use my phone.

Currently I have the radio apart and there is only one connector that connects the CD changer portion of the radio to the main board, my job right now is to find out which pins output sound from CD changer board and which pins on the main board output power when the key is in the "on" position.

To be honest I think this is a longshot but I'm going to ask anyway just in case. Does anyone know which pins from the CD changer are the left, right and ground for the audio output? Images are attached for reference, in the second image (the one with the bunch of brown wires) that's the CD changer cable and in the other is the connector. I'm asking because finding out on my own will be a pain in the a$$ and im a bit lazy.

Thanks, ceokingcobra
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Update:

Was probing the solder pads on the cd changer, Using a sh*tty multimeter, i found atleast one audio channel but im fairly certain there is another channel. I think I found the right channel and i know there is a left channel. Tested with a song I knew that had a part where they only played on the left channel, the right channel had lower output but there was still sound playing so i know it's there. Going to buy an oscilloscope tomorrow (I need one anyway besides this project), so I can definitely know.

In regards to power, there are a bunch of pins on the cd changer that are either 6v or 12v. I might tap into them If I can easily find their function. Otherwise, ill just tap into the main radio power and step it down to 5v.
 

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Nope, but you can reattach it, play some music while back probing the harness and that might get you somewhere
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Update 7/31/2020

I got the Mini oscilloscope today, bought a Sainsmart DS212 incase your interested. So I got to work and soon found both audio channels fairly quickly. If you've seen the video in the first post, it has a similar pinout to that. I have an image attached that shows the three pins. I have not tested which channel is left or right as I had to leave for a meeting, i will hopefully get another chance to work on it tonight. From here you could solder the + 's for the left and right channel to those pins and solder the grounds together in the middle from an aux cord and call it good. You would still need to burn a cd full of 'silence' in order to allow music from the aux or bt to come through.

The next step is to find the 'signal' line that tells the radio to turn itself on or off. What this would do is allow the bt board to turn on and off when the radio turns on or off. For example, when you park and shutoff the car the radio is still on until you open the door, once you open the door the radio goes off. I want to find which line is responsible for this behavior and use it for the bluetooth board. I know i'll need a way to convert the 12v from the radio power to 5v and I plan on using a buck converter to do so, I might need a relay aswell but i don't know for sure yet.

I have attached photos of the pinout and my setup, if you do decide to track down the audio channels use an oscilloscope, trust me it makes the job 100x easier. all your looking for is for the waveform to jump around like in the picture.

Edit: I might make a guide once this is all done if enough people are interested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you thesavo, it means alot!


Update (Again):

I did some more poking around and I found the line that is responsible for shutting off the radio when you open the door. In the attached picture with the radio harness, it is pin 13 PWD. It outputs 6v when the car is on and then goes to 0v when the car is off and you open the door. Technically, I could wire the buck converter here but I think it will be safer to use PWD to activate a relay and then step down 12v to 6v after the relay. I will order a 12v relay tonight, and will test to see if I have the correct audio pins with an aux jack just incase this weekend. The best way to go about wiring in sound would be to splice into the brown cable and NOT the connectors on either the cd changer or radio (Don't want to cause permanent damage to either, and has the benefit of removing everything incase something goes wrong).

I also linked videos of me finding and demonstrating the audio channel and PWD line if interested.

Audio Channel Demonstration:

PWD Demonstration:

Fun Fact: I got demonetized for one of them already.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Update:

I started testing the Bluetooth board and I discovered something interesting. The board amplifies the audio signal. This means whenever I play music the output voltage from the bt board is way to high for the radio to handle. The max voltage of the output of the CD changer is around .2 ish volts, the bt board outputs around .4 at the lowest and 3 v at max. This all depends on the volume set on your phone but either way its too high for the radio. It said on the amazon page that it has a 5w amplifier, but I didn't know at the time I didn't want that.

So I went scouring through amazon to find a 'unamplified' bluetooth audio receiver board, and I found 2 potential candidates. The DROK board linked here and the HiLetGo board here. I can't speak about the audio quality of either boards yet but the drok board has an aux in which is a plus, of course the bluetooth audio quality is priority.

I'm currently modifying the brown harness to test audio, will post an update when I'm done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update 8/10

I got one of the bt boards, so far its looking good. Made a tiny mistake tho, it OUTPUTS via the aux jack. Not a big deal, either a aux cable needs to be cut up or I can solder directly to the female connector. Whether you want to cut an aux up or solder directly to the connections will be left up to whoever recreates this, i'm going to use an aux so its removable in the future just in case. Also this board has a mega annoying 'bluetooth connection' notification that is played through the speakers, we won't have it hear it at all as this is only when the board is first started.

I also bought the buck converter (dc to dc converter) to step down the 12v to 5v. Very simple to use.

In addition, I found where to solder on the radio for power and signal. This will be the only part where I actually modify the radio. Im currently using Dupont wires to connect everything, i don't have a garage so i cant solder in my garage, I don't think i would anyway even if I could.

So far, this project would be very cheap to recreate. assuming you have a soldering iron, solder, and a knife / wire strippers this should end up costing around 30 dollars all in, more if you opt for the aux cord. In the price is the dupont wires pack, 1x bluetooth board, 1x 12v relay, and 5x buck converters (smallest quantity is 5), aux cord not included in price as its an optional. A more accurate parts list with prices and links will be made once I have finished everything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Update 8/11:

The construction of the circuit is complete and has passed preliminary testing! The board powers up when the radio is on and powers down when the radio is off and all voltages are correct. Next phase is to test audio output in that car. I was hoping to reduce the amount of soldering time low but the relay I purchased was not very clear on pinouts/instructions so there is a fair bit of soldering in this project. Better start practicing!

I am currently writing up a guide on how to complete this project. Some notes:

- You will have to disassemble your radio unit (and dash in order to get to it) completely to the board and be able to solder to the main board. While you only have to solder 3 wires onto the board, its is fairly close to the other pins. You will need a steady hand and patience. You can cut into the factory radio connector in the dash, I personally wanted to minimize the amount of permanent changes made to the car and equipment. This is the only scary part about this project and the only permanent modification in this project. While I will do my best to help guide you in this portion, if you don't feel comfortable or your unsure about your skills don't do it.

- You can complete this project using plain wires, but Dupont connectors are recommended and make your life easier. especially with the buck converter. Also a good pair of auto wire strippers will make your life way easier aswell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Update 8/17:

Everything is complete I am midway in writing a detailed how to pdf with pictures and such. I am slightly delayed in completing this as I want to sell my compass now..... It's been giving me suspension issues the entire time I've owned it and I had my last straw yesterday. So I am car shopping and writing this guide at the same time
 

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All that work, just to sell the car... that's genuinely sad, but understandable. I'm almost to the breaking point with my Patriot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yea I know, but I've only had it for 2 years now and ever since I got it I've always been working on it constantly to sort it out and its never been sorted something is always broken all the time and I'm tired of dealing with it. I know I save a boat load of money doing repairs myself but I'm so fed up with doing repairs all the time.

Ive replaced front cv axles, strut assemblies, sway bar links, lower control arms (THREE times on BOTH sides bc of the ball joint going bad), tie rod ends (need to do those again....), trans fluid change (yes i dropped the pan replaced the filter and refilled). The ONLY thing that isnt new on the front is the wheel bearings and those probably have to get replaced because the front end shakes above 40 mph.... Not to mention, I've redone that problematic electrical ground, replaced ALL the engine and trans mounts. And now the rear diff needs new axle seals, one side needs a wheel bearing and every bushing in the rear suspension needs to be replaced because they're all untouched since new and gone bad. I don't buy cheapo ebay parts either, I try to stick with either moog or detroit axle for my parts. Not to mention I've done ALL of this MYSELF, in my driveway with hand tools.

I attempted to repair the rear bearing but the bearing, cv axle and trailing arm were rusted together so bad. I looked at it and said this isnt worth my time and I know im going to be spending more money on future repairs. I also noticed how badly rusted both front and rear subframes were, same with all of the rear suspension components, its just so much rust. I also don't qualify for the subframe rust recall, and even If I did i'd still sell this car.

So with that I decided to take it to a mechanic to get it fixed so it atleast moves. I need it to take me to the midwest this weekend were I reside and I will be cleaning it up and selling it. If your curious, I have my eye on a 2004 toyota matrix, same interior volume and better mpg. Even better mpg with a manual.

So after really thinking about it, I decided I'm going to get rid of this pile and move on. I'll still work on writing the guide as its all documented.
 

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Lately, my Patriot has been making me REALLY miss my AMC Eagles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So, I've finished writing the guide. I'm warning y'all now its kinda long at 15 pages with pictures and theres alot of text near the end for testing and final assembly. I wrote this guide for people who are not that knowledgeable in creating circuits or general disassembly. I tried to lay out everything in a step by step manner. I also made it so everything is connected using dupont connectors so troubleshooting is easy and removal is easy. A multimeter will be useful just incase, an oscilloscope would be best.

A quick overview of the process:

  • disassemble radio
  • solder dupont wire to brown cable for audio left, right and ground
  • solder dupont wire to 12v+ Batt, Ground, and 6v PWD signal
  • reassemble radio, route wires to outside of case however possible.
  • build circuit: connect 12v, ground and PWD to relay. connect relay output to buck converter, connect buck converter output to bluetooth module.
  • cut and splice aux cable
  • connect everything and assemble it back together.


Many will say that this is waaay too complicated to just play music wirelessly in a crappy car. To that, I say your right. I did this purely out of boredom and curiosity, but I have included something for those looking for a simpler solution ;)

The hardest part might be the "powering the bluetooth board section" as you'll be building the main circuit to get the correct voltage for the bluetooth module and turn bluetooth on and off automatically. I also lost most of the pictures for final assembly so I tried to best describe everything but it should be fairly straight forward.

I still have my compass, I can't register a new car until next year due to covid and all the appointment slots at any DMV being filled....................................................
If you have questions, I'm not that available as I'm still in school and currently working on my senior capstone project (Building a baja style race car) so that's taking up all my time until may next year. I will check my inbox every once in a while, don't expect a quick reply this guide is not my first priority at this point in time.

The pdf of the instructions are attached to this post. I didn't have a ton of time to review so please excuse any spelling or grammatical errors.

For those that have been reading my updates and posting, thank you and goodbye.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Small update on this, there is a ground looping issue due to the buck converter sharing a common ground with the rest of the circuit. This can be fixed by using a isolated 12v to 5v Isolated DC to DC converter. I bought one and tried to update my setup but i seemed to have fried the relay and its stuck open now. I don't drive the car anymore for "reasons" but its still in my possession. I would not expect frequent updates if your reading this.
 
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