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Phatnoise Advice and Trickery

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by spandexx, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. spandexx
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    spandexx New Member

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    [Aug 30, 2005]
    My A3 is going to be delivered in a month (finally - its 8 months since i decided on the A3!) and I have had a Phatnoise sat under my desk from Ebay ready for installation as soon as I get the car.

    I have a few questions:

    1.) Where is the best place to fit the Phatnoise? I would like it under the passenger seat but I have heated seats. Is this going to be a problem / has anyone installed this here before? I would prefer it not in the boot as I lug computer equipment around all the time and i don't want it destroyed by a flying UPS.

    2.) Where can I get a longer Phatnoise to Concert II connection cable cheaply and easily (i.e. preferably in this country)? The one I have is just long enough to fit into the glovebox so if I am forced to install it in the boot I need a longer one. I heard somewhere on here that I should ask for an A4 Concert to Changer cable but I suspect the stealer is going to relive me of my strides. Is the A4 cable right?

    3.) I live in Macclefiled. Is there anywhere in the NW that can fit this cheaply? Would my local ICE shop be able to do this or do I need a specialist / Audi to do the work?

    4.) I have taken the cartridge apart and, as suspected, it is just a 20Gb laptop hard drive in a caddy. I am an IT Consultant so have a cheap supply of far larger laptop hard drives. Has anyone worked out how to format a larger disk to work with the Phatnoise? Is it FAT32, NTFS or their own file system? Can I just Ghost the origional 20gb disk and let Ghost sort out the additional space? If you guys go on ebay you can pick up an 80gb for bugger all, so far cheaper than a new cart if I can get this to work. If I don’t get an answer I will experiment when the car is in and will keep you all posted.

    Thanks for your help,

    Mark.
    #1
  2. scoulbeck
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    scoulbeck New Member

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    [Aug 30, 2005]
    do a google search for 'phathack' for info on upgrading the harddrive, its not a simple swap.
    #2
  3. alexkoon
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    alexkoon Member

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    [Aug 30, 2005]
    Mine fits in the glove box - top right corner.

    Ask far as I am aware the software has a special encrypted file which ties in the hdd serial number to the cartridge thus a simple swap is not possible. I read this somewhere - possibly phathacks.
    #3
  4. madvw
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    madvw Active Member

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    [Aug 30, 2005]
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  5. beaker
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    beaker Member

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    [Aug 30, 2005]
    wow! thats amazing. I'd never heard of that before but I had always thought it would be the next obvious step for mp3 players to go down.

    It seems to be offered by Audi USA only though as I can't see it on the UK site. I've got a Creative Zen Touch with an FM kit in the car but this looks a lot better, especially the voice software. Its not easy changing artist/album when driving.
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  6. madvw
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    madvw Active Member

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    [Aug 30, 2005]
    Audi sell them in the UK for £700 fitted.

    Alternatively, pay 100-200 quid on ebay and fit it yourself.
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  7. beaker
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    beaker Member

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    [Aug 30, 2005]
    Is it easy to fit? and I don't mean just stick in the car and get running, I mean fitting it tidily.
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  8. madvw
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    madvw Active Member

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    [Aug 30, 2005]
    mounting can be tricky by the looks of it, but connecting it uses the OEM cd changer cable to a supplied adapter.

    Mounting location depends on which model audi, some having smarter solutions than others.
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  9. beaker
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    beaker Member

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    [Aug 30, 2005]
    might be worth checking out. WHats the sound quality like? I suppose it depends on the bit rate of the mp3s but I imagine it will be better than my FM transmitter.

    There is a massive difference between that and CD's, especially with the BOSE kit.
    #9
  10. scoTTy
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    scoTTy Active Member

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    [Aug 30, 2005]
    FM jobbies compress the sound and that doesn't help at all. I fitted a Phat a week or two ago and am very impressed

    p.s. I bought the VW one for my Audi as it was a lot cheaper and the only difference seems to be the cable...which I didn't need as I already had a 6CD fitted.
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  11. beaker
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    beaker Member

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    [Aug 30, 2005]
    Is the voice software any good, or just an annoying gimmick?
    #11
  12. Eeef
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    Eeef Lord of War

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    [Aug 31, 2005]
    I you think that's amazing, look at this

    http://www.dension.com/dh100ix_info.htm

    I've got a 60gb hard disk in mine, you get full id3 tag support, browse by folder, random play across the full 60gb, or the folder(s) that you choose)

    You can customise colours and graphics

    [​IMG]

    and even the tag information that's displayed on screen.

    Oh, and you can still plug a cd changer into it if you want.
    #12
  13. synthdood
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    synthdood Member

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    [Aug 31, 2005]
    Eeef. I'm impressed!

    Do you have more pics? I'm very curious how the dension fits in the dash. Does it stick out a bit (like most aftermarket stuff) or is it nice and flush? Is the backlight colour anything like the red of the rest of the dash? It looks kind of orange whereas the standard audi dash and displays are a deep red. Of cource this could just be the picture.

    I would love something like this dension, but I don't want to give up the clean look you get with the OEM radio.
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  14. beaker
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    beaker Member

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    [Aug 31, 2005]
    I agree, I would prefer to keep my dash as it is right now. I see the denison also comes as a removable version though so I imagine it could go in the boot or glovebox.

    With either of these is it easy to get a clean install (no visible wires). I got the 6-disc changer but its the dash mounted Symphony one, not in boot or glovebox. I expect that will make it more tricky as I don't have any obvious connections.

    The big plus for me would be if the phatnoise voice software is good. The denison looks like it would suffer from the same problems I have with my Zen Touch in that its difficult to change selections when driving. If using mobile phones is now illegal I can only imagine what they would say to this. The sound quality would undoubtedly be better though.
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  15. spandexx
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    spandexx New Member

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    [Aug 31, 2005]
    Thanks for the replies. MadVW the link to the phathack site is proving interesting. I will get my grubby mitts on a harddrive and test the theory. If it works and works well I will let you all know.

    As far as a mounting point for the Phatnoise the glovebox would be a great place to put it cos I will not need to buy an extra cable. AK47 have you got an A38P and is this easy or a pain in the arse to fit?

    If I do need to buy a cable can anyone recommend a supplier?
    #15
  16. Eeef
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    Eeef Lord of War

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    [Aug 31, 2005]
    This was a bit of a battle that i had. Wanted to keep the oem feel and didn't want wires all over the place.

    The dension does stick out, but the colours can be almost infinitely configured to match the Audi colout scheme.

    For me the phatnoise was grossly over priced, and i didn't like the voice functionality.

    The Dension concept is, for me, perfect. I'm amazed that some of the big four ice companies aren't doing anything similar.

    Although i'm glad to see that Sony now do a DVD headunit that will play up to 1200 mp3s.
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  17. scoTTy
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    scoTTy Active Member

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    [Aug 31, 2005]
    The Phatbox was overprices but now for £160ish I think it's ok. Since its a easy DIY fit why pay the £700 dealers wanted!

    The voice software is actually not too bad (with some exceptions). It is actually software on your PC that works out what to say and then why you synch the DMS it puts the PC generated wav files on the DMS. It does sound robotic and she can't say Metallica properly but it's good enough so that I can keep my eyes on the road.

    I also wanted to keep it OEM so it works for me.
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  18. alexkoon
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    alexkoon Member

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    [Aug 31, 2005]
    Not sure if its a pain in the arse - the dealer did it and I paid dealer over price for it (think about 600). I would have did it myself if I knew how cheap it was to source elsewhere. Don't notice the cost that much when it bundled into the cost of the whole car /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    BTW - I've got the 8P SB.
    #18

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