Connects2 USB interface fitting guide and first impressions

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Connects2 USB interface fitting guide and first impressions

Post by waveydavey » Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:55 pm

Well, after a bit of a delay I finally got my Connects2 USB interface thingy fitted and working, so thought I'd post a quick fitting guide and my first impressions.

Fitting was fairly straightforward, just a bit fiddly because I decided to leave the stereo unit in place rather than taking it out. The connector is accessible by removing the glovebox and reaching in behind. I found the female connector on the back of the stereo quite easily by using my fingertips, it is next to the aerial cable. The difficult part is lining up the male connector straight enough to click it in. Things are very tight in there, so you might need a few attempts to get them lined up. The bayonet part needs to be facing down, like this:

Image

When I'd connected the unit I decided to keep it fixed in the glovebox, partly because it was easy but also because it's out of the way. I'd guess most people would prefer to route it through to one of the centre consoles though, which would also be quite straightforward. I am planning to extend the Aux cable and just have that one routed to the centre console instead, so the SD cards or USB sticks can be plugged in out of sight, but I'll have an iPod or Sony MP3 player handy as well.

At the moment it looks like this:

Image

The unit is fixed with double sided carpet tape to stop it rolling around in the glovebox.

I tried it quickly using the MP3 player, and it works fine. Sound is excellent, and the unit can be selected using the CD button on the stereo or the steering wheel controls. I haven't had time to try out the SD card or USB stick options yet, but I'll add my views when I do. So far I am chuffed to bits though, and can recommend this unit to anyone who's CD player is buggered like mine was :mrgreen:

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Re: Connects2 USB interface fitting guide and first impressi

Post by RX8R3Rod » Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:05 pm

Thank you for sharing this - I found it a very interesting and helpful post (pics good, too!).
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Re: Connects2 USB interface fitting guide and first impressi

Post by waveydavey » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:27 pm

Well, I tried a memory stick in the USB interface today and it works perfectly :mrgreen:

Set up is simple, just format the USB stick as FAT32, create 6 folders called CD01 - CD06, then copy music files into them and away you go. You can use up to 4Gb capacity sticks, and have up to 99 files in each folder. The files must be MP3 only. I had one problem with the stereo only reading up to CD number 5, but when I checked my PC I realised I'd copied MP4's onto folder number 6 instead of MP3's so the unit didn't recognise 'em. Easily sorted, and the problem was totally my fault. Everything else worked great, and it sounded excellent to me.

A few other observations:

I was expecting to be able to switch directly to any CD folder just by pressing the corresponding number on the head unit, but you can only scroll up and down using buttons 1 & 2 instead. No big deal for me, and it works fine like that, but worth a mention anyway.

As you'd expect, the steering wheel controls for volume etc work as normal, and you can skip or repeat tracks as well.

The dash display shows CD number and track number, but not track information (which I already knew, and it doesn't bother me in the slightest, but again worth a mention).

When you switch off the stereo then switch it back on, the music starts from where it left off, just like a normal CD player.

I don't think I'll bother using the SD card slot because the USB seems to work fine, plus I've already got 3 or 4 memory sticks I can use. The only advantage I can see to using an SD card might be the fact that the USB stick could possibly be prone to getting knocked out by anything rolling around in the glovebox, whereas an SD card fits right inside the unit, so would be better protected. However, for now I'll leave it and report back if there are any problems.

That's all I can think of at the moment, but if anyone has any questions or wants me to try out anything specific, just let me know.

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Re: Connects2 USB interface fitting guide and first impressi

Post by JackArmitage001 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:09 pm

Hey Davey!

Just a quickie! You say it can be used with an iPod. Seeing as how I'm sick of using an FM transmitter, I was wondering if this links straight to the headunit and actually a part of it rather than the FM transmitter just making it a radio station. So if it did would I be able to use the steering wheel controls with it?

And also where would I find this gadget? :)

Cheers
Jack
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Re: Connects2 USB interface fitting guide and first impressi

Post by GCCK » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:43 pm

Hi Davey
Which model did you order & where from? Would like to get the same thing but I've seen some pictured which don't have the SD socket.
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Re: Connects2 USB interface fitting guide and first impressi

Post by waveydavey » Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:02 pm

JackArmitage001 wrote:Hey Davey!

Just a quickie! You say it can be used with an iPod. Seeing as how I'm sick of using an FM transmitter, I was wondering if this links straight to the headunit and actually a part of it rather than the FM transmitter just making it a radio station. So if it did would I be able to use the steering wheel controls with it?

And also where would I find this gadget? :)

Cheers
Jack
The unit plugs directly into a spare 12 pin socket which is located on the back of the car's stereo unit, so is obviously much better than an FM transmitter. Not difficult to fit, just very fiddly to get the connector lined up (if I can do it, any numpty can!)

The steering wheel controls work as normal, so you can change volume, skip a track, repeat a track, and of course scroll through the modes (radio/CD etc) same as if you were operating the standard CD player.

I bought it from Amazon for £64.99, link here:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Connects2-Inter ... 383&sr=8-1

I hope that helps mate.

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Re: Connects2 USB interface fitting guide and first impressi

Post by ploz » Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:50 pm

Davey

You said you are using this as a solution to a non-functioning CD changer. I'm very interested in getting som iPod/mp3 playing capability, but would this 'dissable' my currently functioning CD changer, or does it work in the same way as the MD player, i.e. press CD twice to scroll onto this device?
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Re: Connects2 USB interface fitting guide and first impressi

Post by GCCK » Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:26 pm

Thanks Davey - just ordered one!
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Re: Connects2 USB interface fitting guide and first impressi

Post by waveydavey » Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:58 pm

ploz wrote:Davey

You said you are using this as a solution to a non-functioning CD changer. I'm very interested in getting som iPod/mp3 playing capability, but would this 'dissable' my currently functioning CD changer, or does it work in the same way as the MD player, i.e. press CD twice to scroll onto this device?
I'm not sure mate, but I'm going out for a drive later so I'll have a play and see what happens. I think the port it uses is for an additional external CD changer or Minidisc changer, so the built-in CD player might still work. I managed to get one CD in there working, so I'll see if it plays as well.

I'll reply again in a couple of hours.

And GCCK: I'll have to ask Amazon for commission!

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Re: Connects2 USB interface fitting guide and first impressi

Post by markyt75 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:11 pm

i am pretty sure the changer works as well. You just have to press the cd button twice to flick between but someone who is 100 percent Will comment i am sure. Or you can wait until i fit mine at the end of the month lol

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Re: Connects2 USB interface fitting guide and first impressi

Post by waveydavey » Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:03 pm

I checked it, and just one press of the CD button started the CD playing. One more press and it went back to the USB memory stick. So the answer is yes, you can use both the CD multichanger and the USB interface together.

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Re: Connects2 USB interface fitting guide and first impressi

Post by JackArmitage001 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:19 am

Cheers Davey, helpful as ever!!
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Re: Connects2 USB interface fitting guide and first impressi

Post by Bulldog » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:33 am

waveydavey wrote:I checked it, and just one press of the CD button started the CD playing. One more press and it went back to the USB memory stick. So the answer is yes, you can use both the CD multichanger and the USB interface together.
Looks like a very neat solution, well done.
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Re: Connects2 USB interface fitting guide and first impressi

Post by Brucechi » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:52 am

Thanks Davey for this, been thinking of doing the same and this has given me confidence in doing it myself :D
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Re: Connects2 USB interface fitting guide and first impressi

Post by waveydavey » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:25 am

No problem guys, and thanks for the nice comments. As I said before, if I can fit it, any bleedin' idiot can! :mrgreen:

I think the only other thing I will definitely do is extend the aux cable so it comes out in the centre console, which will be more convenient if I ever want to use one of my iPods.

If anyone wants me to try out anything else, just let me know.

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Re: Connects2 USB interface fitting guide and first impressi

Post by Brucechi » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:54 am

waveydavey wrote:No problem guys, and thanks for the nice comments. As I said before, if I can fit it, any bleedin' idiot can! :mrgreen:

I think the only other thing I will definitely do is extend the aux cable so it comes out in the centre console, which will be more convenient if I ever want to use one of my iPods.

If anyone wants me to try out anything else, just let me know.
You mentioned the aux cable, does that mean you can connect a iphone 4 to it and would it also charge the phone.
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Re: Connects2 USB interface fitting guide and first impressi

Post by waveydavey » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:07 pm

The aux cable is just a "headphones out" connector which plugs into any MP3 player or phone/iPhone with a standard 3.5mm jack plug. It won't charge your iPhone, and of course the other functions such as skip/repeat/etc will be controlled by the MP3 player not the steering wheel or the car's stereo unit. Volume can still be adjusted via the steering wheel though.

I have been out today and fitted an aux cable extension, so just for completeness I'll describe that here as well:

First job was deciding where to route the cable, and I decided to have it inside the front centre console so I could just leave my tiny Sony MP3 player in there for easy access. There is a handy little blanking plate thingy in there, which I thought would be a good place to feed the cable into. It comes off by pulling it backwards, and made life easy to drill a hole big enough for the cable to pass through. Here's the plate being removed:

Image

Next job was to route the cable into the glovebox. I tried for ages to get it through the gap under the ashtray, but it was just too tight in there so I ended up removing the ashtray and it suddenly became a 2 second job - DOH! Ashtray is removed by taking out two screws in the bottom corners and pulling firmly to release some hidden clips at the top. Here's an exciting pic showing the ashtray removed and the cable passing through:

Image

The cable is routed behind the stereo unit and comes out in the glovebox, then it's plugged into the short aux cable coming from the unit (the extension cable has got a female end and a male end). I used a few cable ties to neaten the wiring inside the glovebox. I'll probably add one or two self adhesive cable tie bases to keep the cables in place, but it's good enough for now anyway. Here's how it looks so far:

Image

Then all I had to do was pass the cable into the centre console, and tie up the excess length (the cable I already had was 3m long, but only needs to be about half that). Here's how it ended up:

Image

And here is the finished job:

Image

Mmmm, music in the car....

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Re: Connects2 USB interface fitting guide and first impressi

Post by JackArmitage001 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:11 pm

Excellent guide again Wavey! :D Looks excellent and I shall be doing this sometime soon!
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Re: Connects2 USB interface fitting guide and first impressi

Post by waveydavey » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:28 pm

No problem mate. Taking out the ashtray should save you at least half an hour and a lot of swearing, ha ha!

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Re: Connects2 USB interface fitting guide and first impressi

Post by JackArmitage001 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:34 pm

Haha excellent I'll bear that in mind!!! :lol:
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Re: Connects2 USB interface fitting guide and first impressi

Post by Brucechi » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:12 pm

Thanks for that Davey, still going to get one. :D
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Re: Connects2 USB interface fitting guide and first impressi

Post by waveydavey » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:53 pm

One other thing worth noting: I've had a play loading up a couple of USB memory sticks with music, and it's amazing how much you can fit on them. The first one was 4Gb capacity, and after loading about 250 tracks it was still only about half full. The 2nd one was a 1Gb capacity, I put one album in each folder and that was also only half full. I don't know if it makes any difference in performance if you fill the memory stick right up, so I might try one at full capacity sometime and see if it slows things down. At the moment the music starts playing more or less instantly, and sounds great to me.

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Re: Connects2 USB interface fitting guide and first impressi

Post by waveydavey » Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:52 pm

I had a nice 2 hour drive to Oxford at the weekend, so I've had a chance to try out the unit properly now. All I can say is... Fantastic!

Everything works fine, and there were no problems at all. The steering column controls work for track skip, volume, mute etc. Skipping between the 6 folders is done by pressing buttons 1 or 2 on the head unit for scrolling up and down. I thought it might be possible to just press numbers 1 to 6 and go directly to a folder, but buttons 3 to 6 are for other functions, like random play. I don't know if that is the same for normal CD playing as well though? Sound quality was really good, as you might expect from the Bose system. My only slight criticism would be that the volume control isn't quite fine enough. I found level 3 a bit quiet, but level 4 was fairly loud, with nothing in between. Maybe that is due to the amplifier? (I've never had a car with an amp fitted, so I haven't got anything to compare it to...). Still, that's not really a problem, and everything else was brilliant. I can highly recommend this unit as a great alternative to CDs (or in my case, a knackered CD player!).

All the testing was done using a USB memory stick loaded up with 6 folders of music. If I'm honest, the MP3 player I've got in the car is pretty much redundant because the unit has better functionality with the memory stick. Still, I like my toys, so I'll leave it all connected anyway.

:mrgreen:

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Re: Connects2 USB interface fitting guide and first impressi

Post by GCCK » Tue Aug 23, 2011 1:11 pm

waveydavey wrote: If I'm honest, the MP3 player I've got in the car is pretty much redundant because the unit has better functionality with the memory stick. Still, I like my toys, so I'll leave it all connected anyway.
:mrgreen:
Hi Davey
Mine has arrived from Amazon but I have yet to fit it. Your last comment adds weight to the decision to put the unit in the glovebox and leave the centre console clear for other detritus. I can't see me using a phone or MP3 player to hook up. Besides, my phone has music on a micro-SD card and I have adaptors for it to go into an SD-card reader.

Quick question: what happens if you plug in an SD card + USB stick at the same time? I'm guessing 1. nothing at all or 2. one works, the other doesn't, so if #2, which one works? I hope to find out for myself soon enough...
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Re: Connects2 USB interface fitting guide and first impressi

Post by waveydavey » Tue Aug 23, 2011 1:54 pm

I'm not sure about switching between SD card and USB stick because I haven't got any music on SD cards. The instruction leaflet says "To select the aux input or SD card, simply connect the aux lead or SD card to the interface. The interface will automatically switch over. To go back to USB, disconnect the aux lead or SD card".

To me, that suggests the aux lead and SD card takes priority over the USB when they are all connected. However, I've got both aux lead and USB connected on mine, and the USB plays. Maybe if I switch the MP3 player on it will override the USB though? I'll try it later and let you know!

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