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Author Topic: SIRIUS Docking Station Integration into 2002 Av  (Read 1736 times)
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02 Northface
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« on: 09/29/11 10:51 AM »

Hey All. Here is my latest mod - installing a SIRIUS Vehicle Docking Mount kit into the 02 Av.

Some time back I purchased a SIRIUS Starmate 5 "Radio + Vehicle Kit", to use with their separate "boom box" amplifier and speakers unit. I decided to install the vehicle kit into the 02 Av. My 04 Av has an under-dash SIRIUS radio module and I MISSED having SIRIUS in the 02; I could not live without it any longer.

The parts and install are much the same as the "iPod Integration" install of bucklwi1 's post, link =   http://chevyavalanchefanclub.com/cafcna/index.php?topic=124254.0

For the SIRIUS install, none of the console required disassembly, just the dashboard. First remove the driver side knee bolster (two 9/32" = 7mm screws), then pop out the dash bezel. Removal of the radio to plug in the new cable, and to install the new interface box, is required. You will not need to unplug the radio antenna nor remove the 22 pin connector/vehicle harness from the radio.

My Interface parts were obtained from iSimple, out of Florida. The circuit interface box is iSimple part number PXDX and the cable is iSimple PXHGM1. The box and cable look identical to the PAC model from buckIwil's install except my circuit box is clear green plastic. Total cost was $100 with a local-dealer markup. The system includes the box, auxiliary interface cable, one audio cable (3.5mm to DIN connector), and a second audio cable (dual RCA to DIN.) There is a DIN connector on one side of the interface box to attach the 3.5mm-DIN audio cable which connects to the SIRIUS docking base. The RCA-DIN cable was not needed for this installation. Also the 9 pin white connector on the iSimple cable is not utilized for this install so I zip-tied it back onto the cable to prevent catching/rattling.

The black 9 pin connector plugs into the open AUX connector on the rear of the factory radio.

There is a DIP switch on the interface box. For the 2002 Avalanche you will need to set switches 3 and 8 ON with the others remaining OFF. The interface circuit box fits nicely behind the factory AM/FM radio. I used some Velcro back there on an air duct to prevent the box from rattling around. There was a lot of dust back there; clean the top surface of the duct with alcohol.

There are additional sockets on the docking base - for the SIRIUS antenna input and a 5 volt power input. The SIRIUS power supply from the docking kit is a 12 volt to 5 volt converter that plugs into a vehicle accessory socket. This power supply has no ON-OFF switch and draws power whenever it is plugged in, so I decided to connect it to a switched ignition voltage. That way I do not have to unplug the power supply to prevent overnight battery drain, due to the fact that the vehicle's accessory sockets do not shut off. Or, whomever is installing this setup could rewire one of the factory sockets to be powered with switched ignition voltage (so it gets 12 volt power ONLY when the engine is running.)

A local parts store had a generic accessory socket for $5.99 and I plugged the power supply unit into that. The lugs on the accessory socket were then wired to ground and switched ignition voltage, which I found inside the relay box at the left footwell area. Also I could have tapped into the RAP circuitry - Retained Auxiliary Power. That is the voltage that keeps your radio playing with the engine off, until you open the door. The power source, either RAP or switched ignition voltage, is a matter of personal choice. I chose switched ignition voltage due to the convenience of I already knew where it was. (NOTE: 'Switched ignition' goes to the socket's center lug and 'ground' goes to the metal shell of the socket.)

The aftermarket accessory socket with the SIRIUS power unit plugged into it was zip-tied out of sight under the dash.

To install the SIRIUS docking base in a convenient location with a minimum of "damage", I bolted the docking base's dash-mount oval bracket to the inside top panel of the right hand cubby. (You can also use the bottom floor of the cubby but then the SIRIUS radio will hang lower and not look too good. With the top-panel mount the SIRIUS radio is pretty much in line with the ventilation control knobs.) 3/8" #8 hardware used to mount the docking base is long enough and barely allows clearance to the air vent above it when reinstalling the cubby. A 5/8" hole drilled through the rear of the cubby allows for passage of the SIRIUS antenna plug, the audio cable plug, and the power cable plug through to the sockets on the docking base. All three cables with small right-angle connectors plug into jacks in the docking base. Excess cable lengths were zip-tied in a bundle behind the cubby.

{FOURTH SOCKET ON DOCKING BASE: There is an "FM" output jack on the docking base which is not used. It is for connecting an FM adapter to broadcast the SIRIUS signal to the factory FM radio. These radio-broadcast systems are reportedly notorious for poor operation/noise. "Direct connection" of any audio signal to an amp will always be the preferred way to go.}

The SIRIUS UCA-DOT magnetic antenna with an adhesive cable guide/spacer is mounted on the roof above the center of the windshield. The cable is run along under the lip of the rubber windshield edge molding (very easy to do, use your fingers) and eventually through a firewall grommet into the cab. If your Av has a roof rack, the antenna location just noted is best. I was initially worried about signal drops with the antenna being on a "tilt" (mounted on the curve of the roof metal) but I have no signal drops with the Av driving in any direction. The combination magnetic antenna and cable guide 'should' protect against antenna loss or movement at automated car wash facilities. So far not an issue; I just did this one time though. Normally I hand wash my Av's. As a last resort the antenna could be 'adhesived' in place with some industrial double-sided tape if any issues arise. The magnet DOES stick the antenna quite well. Hopefully, SIRIUS took into account the necessity for a strong enough magnet.

After all the wiring/antenna work is accomplished, reinstall the knee bolster. The dash bezel goes on LAST as follows:

THE BIGGEST PROBLEM: Fitting the dash bezel back over the docking base is somewhat problematic because the docking base needs to be rotated 45 degrees to get it through the bezel opening; the docking base is wider horizontally than the cubby opening. With the docking base mounted to the cubby, place the cubby/docking base combo up to the backside of the dash bezel's cubby hole. Now, rotate the cubby/docking base 45 degrees in either direction. Tilt and manipulate the docking base to get the sides, one at a time, through the bezel's opening. The base will JUST FIT, with manipulation, when on the diagonal of the opening. Once both sides of the docking base are through the bezel opening, the cubby is now sort of loosely 'retained' to the bezel. When you go to install the bezel to the dash, the cubby and bezel will get installed TOGETHER, as an assembly of two components, instead of just the cubby first as would normally be done in any other circumstance. Actually the bezel-cubby install is intuitive when you go to do the bezel install. It is way easier to do than it is to explain. NOTE: If you purchase a SIRIUS Docking Station kit other than the Starmate 5, FIRST, before attemtping this mod, check to see that the docking base you have received (with mounting foot attached) can be made to insert through the dash bezel opening as explained above.

The SIRIUS integration works fine. Plus the SIRIUS tuner module simply unplugs from the docking base whenever I desire to transfer it to the "boom box". Oh, and I adjusted the SIRIUS tuner for MAX output level through its menu access. This pretty closely matches up to the audio level from the radio, so when switching between AM/FM/CD/SIRIUS, the audio level from the SIRIUS is pretty close in volume to the other audio functions.

To operate the SIRIUS, the radio's AUX button is pressed to select the SIRIUS tuner output. The factory radio still plays CD's through its integral CD slot. Press the AM/FM button as normal to access your local crappy ad-infested AM/FM stations.

I never need to shut off the SIRIUS' tuner power switch as SIRIUS is almost exclusively what I use except for CD's when I get on that kick. When the engine is started the SIRIUS tuner automatically powers ON for me. "Schweeeet", as Eric Cartman would say.

(NOTE: The SIRIUS tuner has a loud annoying startup soundbite that can be switched off permanently via menu access.)

The SIRIUS vehicle docking system is a great way to integrate SIRIUS into your 02 Av's factory radio system without going the major-mod audio system installation route of new speakers, amp, and major bucks. You can obtain other similar interface systems for other year Av models.

Thanks to buckIwil (did I spell that correctly?) for his "iPod integration" post which inspired me to get off my butt and add the much-wanted SIRIUS to my 02 Av, which is currently my main driver vehicle.
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