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Audio Interrupt "Black Box" for Stock Head Unit

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  • Audio Interrupt "Black Box" for Stock Head Unit

    As some of you may know, many new aftermarket head units have a built in audio interrupt feature so that when you install a navigation system, for example, the navigation commands will automatically interrupt the radio, CD, etc.

    Well, I would like to do this with my stock radio. I was wondering if there is a "black box" out there that will do something like this. The "black box" would do the following:

    1. Sense any audio output from an audio source (i.e. a carpc).
    2. Mute the audio currently being played by the head unit
    3. Inject the audio from the CarPC
    4. Un-mute the head unit once the audio from the CarPC is done.

    I actually know how to do step 2 & 4 (or actually my stereo installer says he knows how to do this). Step 1 is the hard part (and then integrating it all together).

    Has anyone seen or done something like this before?

  • #2
    I have installed a Parrot MK6000 which does all of the above.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by ron1 View Post
      I have installed a Parrot MK6000 which does all of the above.
      Looks very promising (although I don't care about the hands free phone aspect since I already have thaat in my car). A few more questions now....

      1. Where did you get it, including price?
      2. How was the install?
      3. How does it perform?
      4. How do you use it, just for hands free phone or for a carpc as I described?

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      • #4
        1. Retail is about $240. You can get it for about $200 at quickconnectproducts.com. Add about $80 for a quick-connect harness to eliminate the need to cut and solder.
        2. Install was not hard, but I have not resolved all issues.
        3. Performs adequately, but I have not mastered it.
        4. I use it for audio "A2DP" from my carpc to my car audio, which does not have an "aux-in" jack. I am not presently using it with a phone or pda.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ron1 View Post
          1. Retail is about $240. You can get it for about $200 at quickconnectproducts.com. Add about $80 for a quick-connect harness to eliminate the need to cut and solder.
          2. Install was not hard, but I have not resolved all issues.
          3. Performs adequately, but I have not mastered it.
          4. I use it for audio "A2DP" from my carpc to my car audio, which does not have an "aux-in" jack. I am not presently using it with a phone or pda.
          Thanks for the good info, of course I have a few more questions...

          1. Which BT Dongle did you use? I am currently using a Kensington BT dongle for my carpc.
          2. Will the MK6000 allow the carpc to automatically interrupt the radio or is user input required?

          The goal I have here is to use this product with the navigation software I have installed on my carpc. Whenever the carpc makes a sound (i.e. the navigation sotware gives a command, etc) I want the radio to be interrupted, preferrably without user interface with the MK6000 controls each time I want to use the navigation system on the carpc.

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          • #6
            1. I am using the Parrot Bluetooth dongle. I was using a Targus Bluetooth dongle. I went to the Parrot because I was not sure that the Targus supported all the protocols required by the MK6000. (It probably does.) Be sure to compare the required protocols with whatever is offered by the dongle under consideration. I am using Widcomm ver 5.0.1.1100 driver for the dongle. I did try .2700 from the Broadcom site, but I thought there were problems, so I went back to .1100.
            2. Yes, muting is automatic. All 4 speakers are muted, but audio is only directed to the 2 front speakers

            I am using the MK6000 to channel audio output from iGuidance. I have noticed some problems when I am playing audio from the carpc and iGuidance breaks in. It seems to affect the volume setting in RoadRunner with DigitalFX Blue skin. There are separate settings for the volume in iGuidance and RoadRunner. I have not mastered this completely.
            No problem when running iGuidance by itself or with the radio playing.

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            • #7
              Great! I am also using iGuidance with the DigitalFX skin. I don't play a lot of MP3s so it is good to hear that it works with just iGuidance running.

              Have you had any isues with this system and the pc coming out of hibernation? I am using the m10000 motherboard for my carpc.

              Oh yeah, one other thing. Did you even bother to mount the control pad or the microphone since you said you are not using the handsfree phone portion on the MK6000? Is the little controller even necessary in your application?

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              • #8
                I don't use hibernation. Tell me about it.

                I did mount mike and control pad because I eventually want to use a phone in the system. But, for computer output only, they may not be necessary, except for the volume control on the control pad. I suppose that would depend on how well the carpc volume controls work.

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                • #9
                  I use the M2-ATX "smart" power supply. It has circuitry that allows me to place the computer in hibernation when I turn the car off (and come out of hibernation when I turn the car on). It can also be set up to turn off with the ignition, but I chose hibernation (as do many others) to minimize the time it takes for the carpc to come back online when i get into the car.

                  There is some software/hardware that does not work well with hibernaton (some people have had issues with USB touchscreens not operating properly with hibernation). People's experiences vary. That is why I asked the question about the MK6000 and hibernation.

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                  • #10
                    jmciver,
                    Did you finish your setup with the parrot? Have you also gotten it to work automatically without having to push the answer and hangup buttons? Can you actually listen to the stereo between "turn right" and "turn left" commands from your pc nav software without touching anything? Are those buttons only for answer and hangup commands sent to the phone?
                    Thanks for the reply

                    ron1, if you can confirm this that would be great.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Can you actually listen to the stereo between "turn right" and "turn left" commands from your pc nav software without touching anything? Are those buttons only for answer and hangup commands sent to the phone?
                      Yes.

                      I have used the MK6000 with the LG VX8300, VX8550, and Moto Q9M phones and have been satisfied with the use of the phones and the MK6000, especially with regard to the operation of the Stereo Distribution Protocol - MP3 Player (A2DP), and the Phone Book Protocol (PBP), which is especially useful for hands-free operation. I am now using Widcomm 5.0.1.3600. I think the MK6000 has turned out to be a useful and practical device for gaining access to the Subaru head unit, which, in my model year, has no aux input. Parrot has now announced a MK6100 which adds a visual display to the MK6000. That is certainly a helpful improvement to the user interface.

                      The biggest problem that I have right now is that while I have no problem directing music from Windows Media Player to my front end, I have a hell of a time getting all the ducks to line up with Winamp and Digital FX/RR. I am sure that it is a Winamp problem, which I am more or less ignoring, because the system works so well with just iGuidance 4.0 and the MP3 player in the phone.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by schapman View Post
                        jmciver,
                        Did you finish your setup with the parrot? Have you also gotten it to work automatically without having to push the answer and hangup buttons? Can you actually listen to the stereo between "turn right" and "turn left" commands from your pc nav software without touching anything? Are those buttons only for answer and hangup commands sent to the phone?
                        Thanks for the reply

                        ron1, if you can confirm this that would be great.
                        Yes, I was able to get it to work with iGuidance embedded in RR/DFX. I still have two minor issues with it however. The MK6000 does not always reconnect when the computer comes out of hibernation, requiring me to manually reconnect it from the Bluetooth menu. Sometimes I also have to re-pair the MK6000 to the CarPC, but that does not happen that often. No button pushing on the MK6000 is required.

                        I also have to use the lower BT sound quality settings. The problem is that when the MK6000 mutes the radio, it takes a finite amount of time for the CarPC sound to come out of the cars speakers. As a result the initial part of the iGuidance command may get clipped. This only happend when using the high quality BT sound settings. For some reason the low quality BT sound settings don't take as long and the commands are rarely clipped. I wanted to remedy this by inserting a "ding" wave file before an iGuidance command is spoken, but this did not work. I am still using iGuidance 2.X though. I know IG 4.0, which just came out recently, uses a different setup for the voice so maybe there some room to play there. The high quality audio definitely sounds better, but the low quality is good enough for navigation commands.

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