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    Sapphire XVIII Hacking

    I’ll be putting instructions inline, as some people might not have Acrobat or another type of PDF viewer.

    Sapphire what??? The Sapphire XVIII was one radio (of many) found in VW’s throughout their aircooled days. A place to see more pictures of these radios can be found here: Volkswagen Radios The “hacking” I did consisted of rearranging some wires, and adding a line in so I could use my iPod with this radio. Sure it’s mono, but hey—I’m driving a car from 1973. Plus it has pushbuttons—a real novelty to me!

    I’ve attached a PDF explaining what I did to hack the radio to install a line in. It’s not true line in, but is much better than the cassette adapter I was using before.

    — site admin @ 9:50 pm

    9 Responses to “Sapphire XVIII Hacking”

    1. LA says:

      you have a vw? Wow. Really? Cool. I’d love to see it someday. Hmmm. What ever happened to that cute little car?

    2. Tim B says:

      This inspires me to finally do something about my car’s stereo (the factory Pioneer unit supplied in my 1989 Honda). It no longer accepts tapes (jammed in the ejected position), so the tape adapter I’ve been using wont work.

    3. Jim D says:

      You have inspired me also. I own a 73 VW Karmann Ghia and have the same radio. When it comes to the car I am a purist and will not put in anything that didn’t come with it. On the other hand I am a super geek and listen to all of my music, podcasts and phone calls via my i-mate sp5m. On top of that it now can be hacked to use A2DP bluetooth stero.

      The biggest problem that I had in my reserch was finding a way to add an audio out to the VW radio. Your modifications fit the bill. I am not sure when I will start the project but it will be during the summer (time to clean off the work bench) I found some bluetooth headset adapters to connect to the radio. Now I just need to find a place to connect the microphone section (and make it look good and not drill or glue).

      In the end I should have a seamless connection. I get in the car and I can listen to music and take calls without having to connect anything.

      I’ll post info when I start on it

    4. John K says:

      I have a ‘70 VW Karmann Ghia which does not have the original radio. Recently bought a Sapphire XVIII which I am hoping will fit in the existing opening. I, too, am trying to keep the car in as original appearance as possible. Therefore, I am only interested in connecting up the radio w/o making any additional modifications. Any suggestions or “bumps in the road” that I should avoid? Thanks…

    5. site admin says:

      Hi John,

      I would re-think the way I connected the stereo to the “break-out” box. I used a phone connector, but it never seated fully (I had to occasionally push the plug into the box). I would probably use an ethernet jack, as those tend to be a bit more “tight” (though you’ll need an ethernet crimper, and punch-down tool). You should be able to still use telephone wire.

      Good luck and let me know how it goes - I was borrowing a Sony Mavica at the time when I did that, it wasn’t the greatest camera (used a floppy disk). When I get around to fixing the rust on my bug, I will probably make the installation a bit more permanent.

      I liked the paradox of a mono speaker, being powered by a push-button radio, yet receiving music from an mp3 player!

    6. Anonymous says:

      I come to your site because it keeps me entertained and aware of new things.

    7. Anonymous says:

      I’d just like to thank you for taking the time to create this internet website. It has been extremely helpful

    8. Wahoo says:

      Thank you for sharing!

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