iPod installation in the car

Due to recent negative events with XM Radio’s customer service, I no longer have an XM subscription in any of my vehicles. In the truck there is an auxiliary input jack, so feeding music from an iPod is a no-brainer. But in the Corvette, there was no such option. GM never really provided a great solution for it, but luckily the aftermarket came to the rescue.

One of the better options is a device called the Lockpick that intelligently interfaces with the various radio interfaces in GM vehicles. The Corvette Lockpick they provide interfaces directly with the navigation radio in all 6th generation Corvettes so I ordered it to try it out.

Installation turned out to be incredibly simple. The unit ties into the wiring harness that feeds the XM Radio brain. In the convertible model, the brain is hidden behind the waterfall, located between the seats. Removing the waterfall is straight-forward, and then you are left with a simple wire routing problem.

In the end, I decided to locate the Lockpick unit itself on the carpeted area behind the waterfall. I used sticky-tape velcro to keep the unit attached to the carpet, and then ran the wiring harness to the XM Radio unit in order to attach the Y-connector that feeds into the Lockpick itself. The wiring harness that connects to the iPod also has to be routed, and I decided in the end to locate the iPod in the glove box rather than the center console. Access to the center console would require some cutting for a clean installtion look, and plus it tends to get rather hot inside so I was worried about shortening the life of the iPod a bit too much to locate it there.

Luckily the glove box had a space for a switch that wasn’t installed with my option packages, so it made a perfect place to feed the wiring harness. From there, I routed the wiring harness into the dash and then underneath the center console and feed it directly to the waterfall area. The final result is a perfectly clean and hidden installation with no permanent modifications needed to the car.

The Lockpick unit itself works great, although the control system is a quirky. The lower right-hand button in the XM Radio menu activates the iPod. Once activated, the Category up and down buttons control your playlist selection, and then seek forward and back buttons control the current song playing within the playlist. The info button displays the song information as you would expect. It’s quirky, but works extremely well.

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chadwick

Chad is a software developer from the Houston, Texas, USA. He's been working in the software industry since the 1980s and presently works for Alert Logic, a provider of managed security-as-a-service solutions for the Cloud. He spends way too much time bicycling or playing with cars.

One thought on “iPod installation in the car”

  1. Where are the pictures of all the spare parts? 🙂 Seems like a great solution – clean install and works well – sounds great!

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