quick question...the controller, is that 1/2 din size?
It seems like there has been a question about the viability of Clarion's DVC920 and DVH940 controller/digital processor in our car PC application.
After reading about the various (read: few) options available for an all digital (and no head unit) connection to the stereo's amplifiers I decided to give this Clarion stuff a try.
In case you're wondering just what is this combo...
It's basically a little controller device attached to a box that does Dolby Digital and DTS decoding of whatver goes into its 2 digital inputs.
Go to Clarion's website to read more about it. What you need to know is that it facilitates connecting your PC's SPDIF optical (not COAX) output to a preamp like device (the DVH940) and then send the 6 channels via RCA cables to your amplifier(s).
Alpine offers a similar setup but it needs an Head unit or outboard controller (much like the DVC920 is an outboard controller). The difference is that the Alpine is major $$ -- $300 gets you just the controller. I think the processor itself is another 5 bills or such. However, for complete tunability, you can't beat the Alpine. The Clarion has 3 band parametric EQ and some "effects" but that's about it. The big deal -- just $300 total for the Clarion setup. So, if you just want a clean connection (no ground loops or other noise injection) to your amp, this is the way to go.
Now, the trick to getting this thing to work is the included optical cable (I think it came with the DVH940, not the 920 "controller"). I found this link while using everyone's favorite google...
It's a pdf, apparently from someone at Clarion EU, that says cut off the gray connector of the included optical cable and then take care to file down the glass and put a standard TOSLINK connector on there. Not having a standard toslink end lying around, I first disassembled the grey end of the plug to see what was in there (a tinny PCB and little optocoupler). I cut the end off a TOSLINK cable I had lying around and attached this grey thing -- no go. I'm of the opinon that the cable is actually unidirectional. This is further substantiated by the fact that taking the bare end of the clarion cable (that still had the black connector on the other end) and sticking it into my PC's SPDIF (optical) output made the whole thing work. Now I just have to wait form my TOSLINK cable end to arrive and I'll be set.
That's all I have. Not sure what more there is to say, but as RED_GTi_VR6 ha pointed out wherever possible, the Clarion doesn't have as many tweakable settings as the Alpine it's always compared against. No doubt -- it's less than half the cost.
And yes, this setup does have an "outboard" control unit. I'm not sure how you could get around that since you need a way to tell it what settings to use. I suppose, since the unit is no thicker than a tin of altoids, you could just set it and throw it in the glove box. (I can confirm that it doesn't work without the controller plugged in.)
Good luck all.
Oh, and here are pics of the wonky cable ends...
I would just like to emphasise this, I would hate for someone to buy this product, thinking they are getting something equivilant to the alpine for a cheaper price. If you don't need these EQ functions, then the Clarion is a deffinate good buy, however, if you will be needing those eq functions, the clarion will not do the job for you.Originally Posted by grayvader
you might want to post up an entire new question/new thread for that since it really doesn't have anything do to with the clarion or the alpine directly.
That and I'd like to see this question get some answers, as I'd like to know as well about the software avaliable.
Will do...thanks for the advice.
I'm thinking this is the way I'll go with my system, however I have a question about the cable mod. How hard is it to do? Cutting fiber optic cables sorta freaks me out, but I'm willing to give it a shot. So you have any more pics of the cable assembly you made? I'd love to see more shots of that if you've got them. Thanks!
I know it sounds freaky -- I was kinda scared to cut the cable too, but after I cut the one I wouldn't miss and figured out that polishing the end was cake it became easier.
I ordered some of these:
and they came with some sandpaper that you can use to polish the fiber after you insert it into the housing. You basically just rub it 'til it's flush with the housing.
Here's the finished pic: