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Howplum

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Howplum last won the day on January 7

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  • First Name
    Howard
  • Lexus Model
    LS400
  • Year of Lexus
    1996
  • UK/Ireland Location
    Buckinghamshire

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  1. Thanks again Mark, but that's the post number 766 by "Kebin" I referred to in my post yesterday. What appeals to me is that it looks like a fairly straightforward and is also on a non-US spec. car, so hopefully mine will look the same when I open it up. Who listens to AM anyway? If it works then the OCD in me would like to re-letter the AM button, but perhaps that's a step too far! Some of the (US) alternatives mentioned seem fairly complicated and occasionally unsuccessful.
  2. Thanks for that link Mark, very interesting. It looks as though there is more than one way to achieve the same result, i.e. a hard wired 3.5mm input, especially for an expert. I see that ground loop isolators are plentiful and cheap, but first things first, to see if my unit can be modified successfully.
  3. Stuart, I don't think the cassette assembly needs to be touched, although the phrase "Remove the upper AM/FM circuit board from the radio" might be economically worded! We'll see. I have got some bulbs on order, which is another issue, together with some female RCA phono connectors, so once they arrive later in the week I'll dismantle the radio (again!) and let you know how I get on. I'll take a few pictures along the way. This is very much uncharted waters for me, although I dismantled the instrument cluster more times than I can remember.
  4. Having done a bit more digging on the internet I came across this post on a US forum: https://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums/topic/35241-hooked-ipod-to-stock-stereo/ The post I particularly like is the last one by Kevin in 2017 where he has wired the auxiliary wires direct to the radio PCB in such a way that the AM button becomes the auxiliary selector. However, whilst I can use a soldering iron, I would appreciate any observations from those amongst you who know more about electronics than I do. It's a little difficult to see exactly how/what he has soldered to the TUL and TUR connections, but am I correct in assuming they would be the respective wires going to the centre posts on the female RCA phono plugs I plan to use, the negative (outer) wires being soldered to the chassis?
  5. I had another look at the procedure for adding an auxiliary input shown in the link in my original post, which involved hard wiring, as opposed to some sort of adaptor. Originally I thought that doing this sacrificed the CD player, but I now realise that by using 5 pin relays, as opposed to 4 pins, it doesn't. It becomes a switchable alternative source. My knowledge of electrics is pretty basic, but it looked perfectly feasible, with care. However, the wiring colours and the connector plug are for US specification cars, as is the electronic repair manual I have, none of which agree with what is actually on my car, which has the original Pioneer head unit. I established that the grey connector to the amplifier is for the CD changer by the simple process of systematically unplugging the connectors to see what didn't work. Although there are 14 slots in the connector, only 6 are used, and they are: Top row (L - R): 1 - Green/black 2 - Green/red (or brown?) 4 - Brown/yellow 5- Brown/white Bottom row (L - R): 12 - Green 13 - Purple It's possible that 1 & 2 and 4 & 5 are paired, due to the colouring of the wires, but I'm hoping someone on here has access to the correct (non - US) wiring diagram and can tell me the specific assignation of each of these wires. What I need to know is the speaker channels, i.e. R+, R-, L+ and L-. Many thanks.
  6. I think the options are limited. After some research I bought KYB for the rear of my LS400, although I haven't got around to fitting them yet, so can't comment on their effectiveness.
  7. Unfortunately the micro bulbs Phil kindly sent me were slightly too big. Having removed the green cover and measured the bulb as best I can it would appear to be only 3mm wide and 6mm long - really small: Zooming in on these pictures I will need a steady hand and a good magnifying glass: I have ordered some replacements from eBay, and I suppose the worst that can happen is that I still have no working light. Nothing ventured nothing gained.
  8. Thanks for your comments Pete. To be honest it was only on a whim that I thought I could add an auxiliary input so that I could listen to one particular radio station (Boom) through my phone, or perhaps my music library from an ipod. As I mentioned before, I have tried the cassette adapter and a plug-in FM Transmitter, both of which didn't produce the desired result or quality. Veba seem to most common of this type of device and gets reasonably positive reviews on Amazon, for example, but I get the impression that all these devices are a bit of a compromise, perhaps with predictable results. Another issue I haven't mentioned is that when travelling any distance the radio doesn't automatically seek the strongest signal for the chosen station, although I'm not sure if it supposed to or not. I think for the moment I am tempted to live with the existing system.
  9. The noise is a constant tone, and is present even with engine off and the external aerial disconnected. This is a recording: 2021_12_01_11_11_40 It seems to me the issue might be with the FM modulator itself. Apparently it has been sitting in a cupboard for over 10 years, although I can't see how that might affect it.
  10. Perhaps something like this? The green cover seems to be separate. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Car-Electronics-12v-Volt-Small-Mini-Micro-Bulbs-3mm-Audio-Display-Light-New-x3-/140731894549?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49286&mkrid=710-127635-2958-0
  11. I should add that the background noise is present without the engine running.
  12. I noticed recently that the Power/Volume knob is not illuminated, although the other controls light up correctly. I dismantled the unit, expecting to see a small bulb that could easily be replaced, but no such luck. What I found is a number of VERY small bulbs which seem to be part of the PCB, although I must admit I haven't tried to remove the culprit. This is the bulb in question: Has anyone any experience of replacing these? Can they even be replaced, or do I just live with it? I have looked at the parts websites but the only show completed components.
  13. Thanks to Mick's very kind offer I installed the JVC FM Modulator this afternoon, and it works. However, there is a small issue I wondered if someone might be able to help me with. There is some background noise which seems to be present on all the 8 channel options that the device communicates on. The frequencies on FM range from 88.10 MHz to 89.50 MHz in 200 kHz increments. With no device connected to the modulator I can get radio reception on all of the 8 channels, albeit not very well, but with the background noise, possibly because reception is weak. The modulator is fitted inline with the aerial and I assume is intended to automatically override any signal from the aerial when a device is connected to the modulator. Similarly, when an external device is not present the modulator effectively becomes "invisible". I must admit this is outside my comfort zone, but it seems to me that some form of signal is still getting through. I have noticed that FM Modulators are still available, although none of them are automatic, so they incorporate an on/off switch. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  14. I should have mentioned that they are, as you probably suspect, wonderful cars to own and drive, and most repairs and maintenance jobs are not too difficult, helped by the thoughtful design and build quality.
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