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Phatbox or IPOD link??

Discussion in 'In-Car Entertainment' started by StrmsekS3, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. StrmsekS3
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    StrmsekS3 Member

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    [Dec 18, 2007]
    Well i bought my Audi S3 about 3 weeks ago and what a superb car so far!

    Only trouble being music! im used too mp3 stuff so looking how best too upgrade my ice in the car

    I have the Concert Headunit with single CD/Radio it has the Bose system with sub in boot. however is it likley that its wired for a cd changer? or only the tape player head units?

    Is it still possible too fit a cable for a phatbox?? easy? i really do not fancy pulling off all the trim so any help much appricated?

    I think i prefer the idea of the Phatbox as too the Ipod link because of ease of use.

    where is best place too buy a phatbox which iam garenteed too work on an 02 S3? USA? VAG? ive read all other posts i can find but kinda got confused by some!!

    so any help appricated!
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  3. dunk
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    dunk Member

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    [Dec 19, 2007]
    phatbox over ipod every time

    best place to check is ebay - but you will need an audi lead and most come with a vw one so check carefully.

    you may already have a changer cable - look in the left cubby hole in the boot for the round din connector usually wrapped in foam.

    assumning you have a cable, you just plug in the phatbox where the changer should live (you may need the metal cage that holds the changer) and off you go. i had to cut a hole in the cubby hole lid to stick the phatbox cartridge out of because they are deeper than a factory changer but it only sticks out about 2cm and doesnt get in the way at all.
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  4. StrmsekS3
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    StrmsekS3 Member

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    [Dec 19, 2007]
    cheers for that dunk, i still have a few questions about the phatbox,

    my S3 has a sub in the back would the be space for the phatbox in same cubby hole? my car has the single cd in the front so im guessing but havent checked for the lead that there wont be one so how easy would it be too fit?????

    also as you said i may need the metal cage where could i get this from??
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  5. dunk
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    dunk Member

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    [Dec 20, 2007]
    the phatbox goes in the space where the standard changer would live - in the same left cubby hole with the sub - if you need a cage then its just the standard changer cage from audi or vagparts.

    some a3 8l cars were pre-wires for changers - some in 2001 werent - mine wasnt but later ones were

    the cable is easy to run but you need to remove the trim from the left side of the boot along with door sill trims to do it properly - not difficult but takes 1/2 a day.
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  6. StrmsekS3
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    StrmsekS3 Member

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    [Dec 20, 2007]
    Cheers Dunk im looking for one of these now.
    also behind the HU is it simple too plug in the lead?? (im no wiring expert!!)
    im assuming best rout for the cable is from HU above glovebox and down too door sills along and up too boot??
    is the usa version of the phatbox the same as uk???

    Cheers
    #5
  7. timps
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    timps Shakersville

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    [Dec 20, 2007]
    The USA ones are exactly the same apart from the power supply for the usb docking station. You can buy a replacement from Maplin.

    Link about it here.

    http://www.audi-sport.net/vb/showthread.php?t=26250&highlight=psu

    The wires of the CD cable just push in the connector block at the back of the headunit , basically colour of wire to a numbered slot on the plug.
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  8. StrmsekS3
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    StrmsekS3 Member

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    [Dec 20, 2007]
    Cheers Timps, Def gonna get one now only trouble is there discontinued as new so has too be ebay or somewhere else too buy one anyone have any ideas???????????
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  9. dunk
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    dunk Member

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    [Dec 21, 2007]
    there are plenty on ebay - i just bought a couple of vw ones - just the phatbox with cartdridge in case my existing ones break - since i now cant get any warranty or spare parts.

    if you are lucky, get an audi one complete with audi lead - if not, a vw one and you can buy the audi leads on ebay - you can always modify it, the instruction are on the net.

    you should also hack your phatbox to enable you to replace the hard disk in the cartridge - that way you can buy a cheap 20g one and use a cheap 120gig or 160gig laptop hard drive - without the hack you can only used phatnoise cartdridges.

    see www.phathack.com and www.phatnoise.org
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  10. madvw
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    madvw Active Member

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    [Dec 21, 2007]
    the fact that they're discontinued alone would put me off buying one. I decided against the Phatbox route as all that vibration and magnetic field from the subs is asking for trouble. One pothole on the rear wheel could also spell disaster for the hard disk as its mounted on the top of the wheelarch. A solid state laptop drive would be the easy answer to that one.

    Have a download of the management software before you commt as well, just to make sure you're happy with it, and that it works OK on your PC. Some people cannot get it to work OK, some just hate it and the rest love it.

    If you already have a cd changer cable, you should get the audi version, which is more expensive and has the round DIN connector for the CD changer. If you need to retro-fit the changer consider the VW cd changer cable. Fitting that one will allow you to save cash buy allowing you to use the VW phatbox, which is apparently identical - but has the square cd changer interface.
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  11. dunk
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    dunk Member

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    [Dec 21, 2007]
    in theory the risk of mangnetic interference and bouncing sounds like it could be trouble but in reality its just not

    the phatbox lives in a screened enclosure and ive had it in 3 cars - in each case the phatbox was living on the sub enclosure and was never any trouble at all.

    phatnoise designed the hard drive enclosure with rubber bushes in it to protect the disk - it never skips and never gives any trouble - remember also that laptop drives are designed to withstand high G even when spinning

    dont let that put you off - in terms of accessability and user friendliness there is no near substitute and they do seem utterly reliable.
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  12. StrmsekS3
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    StrmsekS3 Member

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    [Dec 21, 2007]
    Cheers for all that guys,
    yeah i know discontinued does sound alarm bells ringing but it wont be the first time a company has stopped selling something thats actually decent! yeah i was planning too by the kit and wire it in if it works buy a spare phatbox off ebay for cheap as ive seen just the box for 25 quid! cant really go wrong! but iam gonna splash out and buy the brand new one so at least better chance of being ok too start with (im very spectical about ebay although not been stung)

    cheers for info about hacking i dnt really understand computers very much but iam learning haha!! can transplant an engine but wiring up a stereo is a diff question!!
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  13. StrmsekS3
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    StrmsekS3 Member

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    [Dec 21, 2007]
    Also one other quick question which i have been pondering
    if i buy the full phatbox kit it comes with a vw cable(the one im looking at) so does that mean it comes with a cable too connect the cd changer cable too the phat box or a cable from head unit too phatbox?? i think its first.
    also my car has the single cd playing hu can u still get a cd changer too work??
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  14. dunk
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    dunk Member

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    [Dec 22, 2007]
    the phatbox comes with a cable that fits the back of the phatbox - a type of small gauge centronics connector, and the other end of that cable connects to the cars changer cable - so your car still needs a changer cable.

    if you have no changer cable and a vw phatbox connector you could make a custom cable to plug in the head units iso connector and connect the other end direct to the end of the phatbox cable removing the oblong vw changer connector if you wanted. - ebay sell 5 or 6m changer cables complete with mini iso connector and pins so this would be an ideal thing to solder permanently to the end of a chopped vw phatbox cable
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  15. giblets46
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    giblets46 Member

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    [Jan 16, 2008]
    I have the Phatnoise too, had a Golf Mk5 which I had it in before, turns out to be exactly the same cables for the New double din Concert, really good, could not live without it. Though there are some issues with running hte software with WIndows VIsta.
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  16. StrmsekS3
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    StrmsekS3 Member

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    [Jan 22, 2008]
    Well Just finished installing the Phatbox and what a great peice of kit, cheers for the help guys, made life a bit eaiser.

    Routing the cd changer cable was the hardest but just took time. easy too install. and easy too use

    Cheers anyone need advice let me know
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  17. fran-s3
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    fran-s3 Active Member VCDS Map User

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    [Jan 29, 2008]
    Does this display track name on the head unit etc?
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  18. StrmsekS3
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    StrmsekS3 Member

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    [Feb 21, 2008]
    not on the headunit no
    works like a cd changer but a voice speaks and tells u album, playlist etc
    really works good and u can still use single cd too
    #17

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