Ipod Integration into 156 Sportwagon - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 4 Old 17-11-09 Thread Starter
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Ipod Integration into 156 Sportwagon

I've just connected my IPOD into my car and I'd thought I'd share a few the results...I know wading through the many views is a real labour (and I'm sure I've missed a vital "don't do this post")

Date=17 Nov 09....to provide a reference point...the technology moves on.

Car=156 Sportwagon 04. So stereo head unit is Blaupunkt High End CD

IPOD= 160GB Classic. Connection via Docking Cable

My original intention was to add the IPOd connection and to retain the use of my CD multichanger. The reason for retaining the changer was to have a selectable (non MP3) reference point.

I used the Dension Gateway system as it seemed to be the only system that allowed the retention of the Cd changer...more of this anon.

The highs
  • random playing of all IPOD contents is great
  • no aesthetic changes tio car interior (and no wires showing)
  • Can control IPOD from head unit / steering wheel buttons
  • Music plays immediately on selection of "changer"
  • sound quality is fine (CD changer quality)
  • supplier was helpful
  • IPOD charges fine
  • all conections went togethger easily and despite instructions was simple to understand

The lows
  • Could not get the CD retention to work reliably so disconnected it
  • IPOD integration is less than expected as head unit does not support text. I wasn't bothered that it wouldn't show track info but it means that selection is by a collection of hieroglyphics made up from CD and track number.

In hindsight I'd have explored replacing the head unit with someting more IPOD friendly...costs are not much more than the integration kits.

The second option would be to use the Gateway lite and have a USB stick for music when IPOD not in car (but no doubt this would entail another complicated selection system)

So in summary it works fine and hopefully I'll get better at selecting playlists. I'm not dissatisfied.

A few things to resolve via Dension website and all tips gratefully received.

good luck
PS I couldn't find the camera when I did the install so haven't dodne a "how to"....IPOD resides in glovebox with cables etc installed behind it. Docking cable is long enough for passenger to play with IPOD.

Last edited by wykesda; 17-11-09 at 10:36. Reason: title highlight still wrong
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Hope you're still around to answer stuff about this a year on

* How do/can you just put the iPod on 'shuffle all songs' and still use the steering wheel controls? This is important to me as I don't want to use playlists.

* Gateway 100 or 300?

* How exactly did you route it through to the glovebox, and where does the gateway sit?

* What were the problems with the CD changer retention?


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I had same set up as you in previous car, but I found the playlist-only limitation a pain as it is hard to get onto podcasts - though I did find if you have something playing before plugging in to blaupunkt adapter it would continue to play it...

I've taken a slightly different route in the Alfa, using a 4 channel amp in the boot, with two channels feeding all of the speakers in the passenger compartment, and 2 bridged to power a modest sub behind the wheel intrusion and boot lid. iPod is located in centre armrest, fed straight to amp, giving full control from the iPod. The head unit also feed to the amp, it's the Rome NAV55E, so I can have the navigation voice with music from iPod or CD/Radio from the HU... The standard Alfa speakers sound good from the amp - much better than from HU.
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I've just ordered a Connects2ipod integration set for my 2004 156 SW, having it fitted on Friday. The fitters said they have done a few and the fact that it sits in glovebox and means I don't have to change headunit and spend loads on adaptors so steering controls work makes it sound really good.

Also like the idea of not changing aesthetics of car. Price was 60 for unit and 25 to fit.
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