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View Full Version : Any car stereo installers around? Replacing car videocassette player with DVD


kaylasdad99
03-13-2007, 05:58 PM
I recently acquired a 2002 Ford Windstar van with an Auto Vision entertainment system. The videocassette player is mounted in a floor console between the driver and passenger front seats. Its model number is VE6825, the machine itself is manufactured by Daewoo, but the system is badged as being provided by Johnson Controls.

When the VCP is installed in the console, the stub of a printed circuit board with conductors (I think about 8-12) plugs into a slot about 1.75" wide, to interface with the LCD screen in the ceiling, and the stereo system. What I want to do is replace this puppy with a DVD player.

I've been in touch with Ford, who told me to check with my local dealer, who told me to contact the stereo installation company they contract with, who told me that all of their installers these days are employed as "consultants", and are responsible for maintaining their own resources, particularly wiring diagrams and schematics.

I've been in contact with Johnson Controls, who told me that they no longer support the VE6825, and that the floor console DVD player they currently do support is not interchangeable with the VHS machine I'm trying to dump, so it's no good trying to find one and slide it in. The woman I spoke to hand-waved me away with some sort of jibber jabber about the software of my stereo not being compatible with a DVD player. I'm guessing that means if I ran an audio signal from a DVD player through the conductor that the audio signal from the VCP currently used, the display would say "VCP" instead of "DVD", and I don't see why I should consider that an impediment to placing a DVD player in that electronic (and physical) position anyway.

I have made some exploratory contacts with car stereo installation stores, where the guys behind the counter went into a flurry of activity, gathered together $500 worth of stuff, including a new LCD screen, and tried to send me over to grab a bite at Denny's while they got right on with the $400 installation job (sorry, going a little too fast for me, buddy).

I'd like to keep the original TV screen, as there's nothing wrong with it. I have determined that a DVD player could be connected in the AUX jacks that were supposedly intended for a game system, and power provided through the cigarette lighter jack immediately below those. The trouble is that securely mounting an automotive DVD player anywhere is going to prove problematic (there simply isn't any space for another component in my dash); I'm not comfortable with having power and signal wires dangling around where guide dogs are going to be laying, and blind folks are going to be stepping.

All in all, I'd really prefer not to have to bother with keeping the VCP in the car at all, and it appears that my best hope is to find a diagram that maps which power, video, and audio connectors on the VCP correspond to which positions on the slot in the floor console. This would make it possible for an enterprising car stereo installer to rig up an adapter that would be able to convert the floor console into a location for a DVD player.

Does anyone have such a diagram available? Or knowledge of a DVD player that's already Auto Vision-ready? Thanks for any responses.

Q.E.D.
03-13-2007, 06:06 PM
I found this ended auction (http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Autovision-CAR-Video-Player-12-Volt-w-remote-NR_W0QQitemZ160059029886QQihZ006QQcategoryZ38651QQcmdZViewItem) on eBay for this same model. The seller apparently has (or at least had) the pinout for the connector because he says he can supply it in case the buyer wants to install it in another vehicle. Might be worth dropping him a line, anyway. If you don't have an eBay account, let me know and I'll contact him for you.

kaylasdad99
03-13-2007, 06:50 PM
That yould be awesome of you, Q.E.D. Please check your hotmail account.

Thanks.

Q.E.D.
03-13-2007, 07:05 PM
Done and done.

commasense
03-13-2007, 07:33 PM
I don't understand why you can't remove the circuit-board thingy, get at the cables that were connected to it, and install new connectors so you can hook them up to your new DVD player. There will only be a few wires: power, video, and audio (possibly two). It shouldn't be hard to figure which is which (power will show +12 volts when the ignition is on), and attach new connectors. Am I missing something?

kaylasdad99
03-13-2007, 07:53 PM
Just that if I can avoid stripping down the VCP, I'd prefer to avoid it. It appears that there will also be something to interrupt the regular stereo components from operating, BTW.

kaylasdad99
03-15-2007, 12:21 PM
Well, as the ebay seller contacted by Q. E. D. has not responded, I think I might as well bump this.

Thanks for the attempt anyway, Q. E. D..

Anybody else have any ideas?

commasense
03-15-2007, 01:19 PM
Just that if I can avoid stripping down the VCP, I'd prefer to avoid it. It appears that there will also be something to interrupt the regular stereo components from operating, BTW.I don't understand either of these statements. I was talking about the wires that run to the monitor from whatever it is that the VCP is connected to.

Can you explain a little more about the console and how the VCP is attached to the monitor? Specifically, you said,When the VCP is installed in the console, the stub of a printed circuit board with conductors (I think about 8-12) plugs into a slot about 1.75" wide, to interface with the LCD screen in the ceiling, and the stereo system.Is the printed circuit board sticking out of the VCP, and plugging into a connector in the console, or vice versa?

In either case, with the VCP removed, can you remove, tap into, or otherwise get to whatever it is that had connected the VCP to the monitor?

Also, is the stereo in the console or in the dash? How does it function with the VCP?

gotpasswords
03-15-2007, 02:16 PM
Crutchfield (http://crutchfield.com/) usually has more info on car stereo installations than you'd think humanly possible, so you may want to look them up and give 'em a ring.

kaylasdad99
03-15-2007, 02:18 PM
The stereo is in the dash. The VCP is in the console. When the VCP is inserted, an edge connector projecting from the bottom of the unit slides into a slot in the floor of the console. The console has a control and connection panel facing the passengers in the back seat. Among the features on this panel are a trio of RCA jacks (for connecting a gaming system); two stereo headphone jacks; two cigarette lighter-style power sockets; a row of control buttons including volume up and down, media select, and seek left and right; and a button that toggles the console audio signal between the in-dash stereo system and the headphone jacks. When a videocassette is being played, the in-dash stereo defaults to playing the VCP's audio output. Pressing the headphones toggle button puts the system into DUAL PLAY mode, cutting out the rear speakers, and disabling the FADE capability, but allowing the driver to listen to the radio or to the CD player.

When I remove the VCP from its dock I do have access to the slot, so I'm sure that it would be possible to trace the power and signal taps. However, a pinout diagram would make life so much easier for me. I'm just about on the verge of removing the skin from the VCP, and checking to see if that diagram is already pasted to the inside.

On edit: thanks for the reminder about Crutchfield, gotpasswords. I went to their website a couple of Sundays ago, and forgot all about them when I wasn't able to immediately find what I hoped to. I think I'll give them a jingle now, while it's in my mind.

commasense
03-15-2007, 03:33 PM
Ah, now I understand better. So the AutoVision system contains, at minimum, an amplifier and switching system of some kind that you'd prefer to keep using. Take a look here. (http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/AUTOVISION-VHS-VCR-PLAYER-VE6825_W0QQitemZ170081162331QQcmdZViewItem) Does the bottom picture show the edge connector you were talking about? If so, you might try to find another connector of that type, and wire the outputs of the DVD player into it. Which I guess is what you meant by the adapter you mentioned in the OP.

I can't tell for sure, but it looks like that may be a proprietary connector. Do you recognize it, Q.E.D.? I was hoping it might be a standard multi-pin plug, but it doesn't look familiar. If you could post pictures of both connectors, someone here might recognize the type.

I see now what you meant by "stripping out" the VCP. Despite your misgivings, scavenging the connector off of the VCP may not be as hard as you think. You'd still have to figure out the pin assignments, but that wouldn't be too hard by trial and error.

Have you checked to see if there's any way to get behind the matching connector in the console? If it's not actually built into the AutoVision system's case, it might just snap out or come out with some screws, giving you access to the wires behind it. Then you might be able to attach pigtails and your own connectors, as I originally suggested.

A final option occurs to me. If you can remove the panel with the auxiliary game inputs, or pull the jacks out through the front and access the wires behind them, you could disconnect the jacks and hardwire the DVD outputs straight into those inputs.

kaylasdad99
03-15-2007, 05:25 PM
Yup, that's my VCP, and that's the connector I've been gassing on about. I'm rapidly approaching the position that I'm going to need to turn my baby over to some freelance engineering type.

Q.E.D.
03-15-2007, 05:41 PM
AI can't tell for sure, but it looks like that may be a proprietary connector. Do you recognize it, Q.E.D.? I was hoping it might be a standard multi-pin plug, but it doesn't look familiar.
Not enough detail to be entirely sure, but I concur that it's probably proprietary. From the description in the OP, it's some kind of edge connector. If it's like most such connectors, it'll have 0.1" spacing on the contacts; you can probably find an edge connector socket to fit--but, the actual pinout isn't going to be anything standard. Some things like the power, ground and signal connections will be fairly easy to find experimentally, but the ones for the function buttons will be a bit more problematic, though probably not impossible. If you do decide to try, locate the power and ground connections first.

To find the ground, use a VOM on the ohms setting and touch one probe to the outer metal shell of one of the baseband AV connectors (those red, white and yellow RCA jacks), and touch the other in turn to each contact on the edge connector. The one(s) that give a zero ohms reading are the ground contacts; there may be more than one. To find the power (B+) connection, apply 12 VDC between the ground (negative) and each other connector, in turn, until the unit powers on. The rest is just trial and error. Locate the audio and video outputs next. When you are ready to test for the function keys, connect a jumper between the ground and each contact that was not identified earlier; include a 1 k resistor on the jumper, so you don't accidentally short out something and cause damage. Good luck!

kaylasdad99
03-20-2007, 03:37 PM
I thought I'd come in and post an update to my quest:

Long story short, it failed. I looked inside the VCP, by taking off the skin. There is no wiring diagram pasted to the inside, but I was able to figure out the pinout because it was silkscreened onto the PCB that the ribbon cable plugs into. So I copied it down, all 12 connectors. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find anyone willing to reproduce an edge connector that they would jimmy around and plug into a DVD player.

So, we gave up and bought an AudioVox car DVD player, had Circuit City mount it below kaylasmom's seat, and run the power, video, and audio connections into the AUX panel at the back side of the floor console. It works properly, and doesn't leave wiring for the dog's harness to tangle up in, so I guess we have to be satisfied with that.

But we don't get to toss the dadburned VHS player out. :mad:

Thanks to everyone who responded and provided assistance.

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