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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
2001 - stock in-dash cd player

I need to know where the cigarette lighters and head-unit are grounded. Does the head unit have a ground wire going all the way back to the trunk? I'm trying to decide where to re-ground the upper cigarette lighter before I buy a ground-loop isolator.

I get that annoying (loud!) high-pitched whine while charging and listening to my iphone via a wired fm modulator in the trunk. Same sound whether the car is running or not. Audio is clean if not charging.
 

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well, an FM modulator is liable to create buzzing and stuff period. If you get the sound while car is not running, its the FM modulator thats causing it. Switch to a PIE adapter and your problem should go away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
It a wired FM modulator, not wireless, and only makes noise when charging. It's fine otherwise.

Any downsides to a PIE adapter? I don't have a changer and would like to still use my cd-player.
 

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You can still use your CD player with a PIE adapter, if you have an iPod they work GREAT! I've been wanting one for a while. The PIE adapters use the systems input signals instead of the antenna which results in clear CD quality sound.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well I've traced the problem to my cigarette lighter usb adapter. I put a ground-loop isolator in the mix and it didn't fix anything. Next I tried plugging my phone into a 110v inverter and it fixed it. After that i tried plugging my usb charger into a 110v to 12v workbench rectifier and it started whining again. It's a capacitor whine, I'm sure. It sounds like a flash powering up on a camera.

Finally I tried it on a buddies car and it had the same problem when using my charger. It's a Kensington and it's supposed to be good. Dunno what the problem with it is?

Oh well.
 

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The problem as I stated, is it is an FM modulator, and is prone to create noise. There is really no such thing a wired fm modulator, all you get is an FM modulator that sends the signal more directly, but it is still an FM radio signal, aka, wireless, and it is still prone to interference because it is not going direct to a line in. There is nothing you can do about it other than to not use an FM modulator.

Kensington makes mice and trackballs. Everything I have ever tried that they make that wasn't a trackball is total rubbish. The only thing they make well is their trackballs, which in my opinion are the best trackballs. Whether you prefer a trackball to a mouse is unrelated to the noise in your FM modulator.

Just get a PIE adapter, you can get ones that retain the CD changer. To be honest however, I found that if you have an iPod or iPhone, you will find the cd changer to become useless.

Now my PIE adapter does produce some noise too, but that has more to do with the low quality RCA cables I used. I got cheaper ones, and should have gotten the Monster cable ones, which are better shielded. I added a ground loop isolater which solved the problem. The noise I had though was only obvious at loud volumes when there was no music playing or is the music was very quiet. Mine was caused because I choose to hook up the iPod to RCA interface/charger to the lighter socket and grounded to the same, instead of just drilling and installing a screw for a direct chassis ground. I also ran my RCA cables down the driver side, which increases the interference they can pick up from the vehicles electrical system.

There are does and don't to maximize the positive results, but the sound quality of a PIE adapter will blow away any FM modulator.
 
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