Russ' Do It Yourself Home Workshop

Finding Fixes to Just About Anything and Everything

Archive for the ‘Audio and Video’ Category

Fix: LG TV Remote Control Suddenly Stops Working

Posted by Russell Wright on August 27, 2014

Most mornings I get up and work out in my "workout" room where I have an older (circa 2000?) LG plasma TV hung on the wall. 



Well, I push the button on the remote and nothing happens.  I can see the light on the remote coming on with each press of the button, so I feel relatively certain the remote is not the issue.  However, I took the batteries out and tested them anyway.  They were just fine.

The fact that this happened overnight had me puzzled.  I searched the web and found many people discussing this issue, with many replacing the IR receiver in the TV.  There was also discussion about how the output voltage of the IR receiver varied…sometimes low and sometimes high.  Well, in one of these threads I ran across the "remote control in" jack issue posted by vp123ca.  This made some sense.  There is a switch in the "remote control in" jack that disconnects the front remote sensor when a "remote" remote sensor is plugged in.  Over time, the switch corrodes and disconnects the sensor on the front of the TV.  Due to the age of the TV, I found this to be completely plausible.  But, I wasn’t even sure if I had one of these "remote control in" jacks.


A quick inspection of the back of the TV validated that it did indeed have a "remote control in" jack!


So, I got my trusty can of contact cleaner out and "spritzed" it.


I sprayed a bit of contact cleaner in the hole and then used a male 1/8" jack and worked it in and out (sounds a little risqué’) to facilitate the cleaning.  The results?  FIXED!

Posted in Audio and Video | 10 Comments »

Notes From a Failed Installation of a Parrot CK3000 Evolution Bluetooth in a 2002 Prius

Posted by Russell Wright on January 2, 2012


These are my quick notes so I don’t forget what I spent a great deal of time doing on 12/31 and 1/1, without a positive outcome.

Purchased a used CK3000 on eBay and took my chances on whether or not it would really work.  Tried to save a few bucks…probably a bad idea.  The CK3000 in my 1997 Sebring convertible works great.

Removed the dash to get to the radio using the instructions located on Coast Electronic Technologies web site.  Relatively easy process, but quickly found that trying to release the clips on 10+ year old plastic quickly yields a handful of broken plastic clips.  Also had to glue the left vent back in place, as it snapped off its standoff that it is screwed to.  Very fragile after 10 years of Texas heat.

Purchased a Metra BT1761 for $29.99.  I think the QCTOY-1 wiring harness is the same.  Found that the CK3000 (s/w 5.11) was an Eclipse model (not marked as Evolution, but is supposed to be the same).  Also found the CK3000 didn’t ship with the ISO power adapter, so I had to do some soldering of the CK3000 power cable to tap into the power.  Since I didn’t have the correct power cable with its connectors, I had to cut the double female ISO connector in two with a hacksaw so each connector was separate.  That way I could plug it into the duplex male connector and feed the power back to the radio.

The speaker connectors and the muting relay box seemed to work, since the speakers on the car correctly worked when everything was connected.  The problem, however, was when power was applied to the brain, there was no indication of power on the controller (no lights).  Even opened up the controller to make sure the wires were attached.  There was also a pin on the small brain connector (white wire) that was pushed out of the connector.  I had to bend the lock back so it would stay in place.

The operation is straightforward.  The speaker relay box is wired so as to disconnect the back speakers and route the phone audio through the front speakers when the phone is active.

Not sure if there is really a TEL/MUTE function on the radio, although the wire is there on my Prius harness.  Doesn’t really need it because the speaker relay box would take care of muting the radio.  The mute wire (yellow) is there if you have another function that needs to operate the mute functionality.

Prius radio connector diagram

Connectors from the back of the radio (2 of 3).



Good source of Toyota radio connector diagrams/pictures.

Posted in Audio and Video, Auto Repair | Leave a Comment »

Installing PAC AAI-FRD04 Auxiliary Input in a 2006 Ford Focus

Posted by Russell Wright on December 27, 2011

My daughter has a 2006 Ford Focus and has been really wanting a plug-in auxiliary input to connect her phone/iPod.  She’s used several different wireless interfaces but has not been happy with them.  So, here’s what I did.

I purchased a PAC AAI-FRD04 Auxiliary Input for about $67.49 (shipping included) from ELEKTEK on eBay.  It plugs directly into the CANBus port on the back of the Ford factory radio (single disc player, NO 6 disc installed) and provides a set of RCA input jacks that can be adapted to about anything.  In this case, I adapted them to a 3.5mm (1/8”) stereo jack that was installed on the dash.


The part that took the longest was purchasing the 3.5mm chassis stereo jack (obtained at Fry’s) and adapting an RCA stereo cable to the jack.  I had several RCA stereo cables, so I simply cut the connectors off one end and soldered the ground, right and left channels to the chassis mount 3.5mm stereo jack.  Here’s what it looks like when installed.  You can see I meticulously soldered and applied heat shrink tubing to all the connections.  The wiring is pretty simple.  The tip of the 1/8” jack is the right channel, the next ring is the left channel, and the sleeve is the common ground for both channels.  See this article on TRS connectors for more details.



To access the radio, you need to remove the trim from around the radio.  To easily accomplish this, remove the junk holder by pushing down on the top to release the clips.  After removing the junk holder, you can reach up inside the exposed hole and push on the trim bezel from behind to begin removing it.  I would suggest using a plastic prying tool to release the other clips.




You can see the top right clip in this photo.  Pry near the clips, not in the middle of the bezel.


Once you have the bezel removed, you should probably disconnect the connector on the back of the lighter socket, as it’s the shortest of the cables and restricts movement of the bezel.  I turned the ignition on and pressed the brake in order to move the shifter out of the way so there was room to move the bezel.


Lighter socket connector.


The radio is held in with four 8 mm screws.  Easy to remove.  Pulls straight out.  No special tools required.


The connector on the back of the radio is also easy to remove.  I disconnected the connector and antenna from the back of the radio so it would come completely out.  On the back of the radio is the Rear Seat Entertainment (RSE) port, AKA CANBus connector.  The AUX device simply plugs into this connector.  It also has another CANBus connector that I assume will accept a CD player, but I’m not sure how it resolves which device to use when you press the AUX button (perhaps it cycles through them).  Perhaps that’s not supported…I don’t know.  It’s down there and available, if it is ever necessary.


Power is always a fun thing to find and connect.  All you need is a little IG-ON power and a ground.  I got it from the radio connector.  I’ve see others get it from the lighter socket.  The black/green wire is ground and the yellow/green wire is ignition-on power.  I used wire taps that worked perfectly.



Of course, drilling the 1/4” hole in the bezel and mounting the stereo jack may freak some people out, but I was very careful to insure clearance on the back of the mounting location.  I used a brad-point drill bit and drilled through the plastic using a fairly high speed to create a clean hole.  I de-burred the hole on the back and mounted my cable/jack assembly and connected it to the FRD04. 


Putting everything back was a snap…literally!  I just stuffed the FRD04 behind the radio, as it is very lightweight and was snugly held in place by the existing wiring.  It ain’t going nowhere.  The cable routed nicely on the right side of the radio towards the bottom.



The final installation.


All fired up and connected.  Pressing the AUX button selects the device.  Works like a hose, and my daughter is ecstatic!



Ford Focus auxiliary input installation.

Pacific Accessory Corporation AAI-FRD04 installation instructions

Posted in Audio and Video, Auto Repair | 8 Comments »

No HDMI Sound from WD TV Live Plus HD Media Player on LG 42PC3-DV

Posted by Russell Wright on July 31, 2010

2010-12-09 Update

I have been watching the development of the firmware for this device since I first purchased it and it appears WD have acknowledged problems with the HDMI sound and fixed them, so…

I have re-procured the WD TV Live Plus from Best Buy (now it’s on sale and $20 cheaper) and have hooked it up exactly as before.  So far, it looks like it’s working!  I’ll post more in the near future.

Didn’t know the near future would come so quickly…I’ve had it on for an hour and the power supply seems to have quit.  Measured the output voltage…zero!  Time for a swap.

2010-12-11 Update

Swapped out the power supply only at Best Buy.  Started watching our first Netflix HD movie last night, but couldn’t stay awake.  However, what I did see looked great and no sound problems at all!

There have been several updates and additions since I first reviewed this device.  A lot has been added.  First glance shows that support for Blockbuster and Deezer are part of the package.  Since I’m using Netflix at the moment, I probably won’t take the time to set up a Blockbuster account, unless somebody can give me a good reason.

My use is planned to be pretty specific, mainly for watching movies from my hard drive and Netflix and perusing You Tube and Facebook.  We’ll see if what else piques my interest.

Original Post

Here’s my review of the WD TV Live Plus HD Media Player…or at least my experience!

So here’s my situation.  I procured one of these little gems (firmware version 1.03.29_B) on the advice of a friend who was very impressed by it and uses it all the time.  “Sure, why not,” I thought.  I already have Verizon FIOS digital cable with HD DVRs, over-the-air HD, and a Windows HTPC.  Oh, and a Slingbox and a Hava…almost forgot.  Why not add a WD TV Live Plus to the mix?

This is really a cool, little device…and I do mean little.  You can see from my first picture that it is swamped by the cables and power supply.  If you fail to stick the little rubber feet on it (they come on a small adhesive-backed sheet) then the cables will push the lightweight (303 grams or about 2.2 ounces) unit around.  There are rubber feet for the bottom, as shown, and the side, if you want to stand it on it’s end.

When I installed the tile and my homemade mantel around the fireplace in our bedroom, I planned for some type of electronics to sit on the mantel by installing some power, ethernet cable and a 4-banger keystone jack wall plate.

If you follow the HDMI cable from the back of the WD device, you’ll see it plugs into the HDMI keystone jack.  On the other side (in the wall) is another HDMI cable that plugs into the back side of the keystone jack and runs up the wall to another keystone jack located behind the LG plasma TV.  So basically, there are three HDMI cables between the unit and the TV.


Behind the TV is another quad keystone jack and power.  This 4-banger has the HDMI connector from below, an ethernet cable (just in case I need it for something) and two RG-6 coax outlets.  One of the RG-6 outlets is fed from a standard over-the-air TV antenna and the other is fed from my RF modulators that modulate the outputs of my two DVRs into a single feed that is fed to TVs all over the house, including this one.  These feeds are not HD, but they allow us to watch the same TV program simultaneously in any room in the house.  It’s great for when you are working, cleaning or whatever and you want to have “background TV” as we call it.  You know, one of those Julia Roberts movies you’ve seen a million times…


You can see from my setup that I don’t want anything too large on the mantel in the bedroom. 


Well anyway, back the real reason for this post. 

When I finally got around to setting this up, I found that it was really easy and intuitive.  In fact, I didn’t start reading any directions until I found that I didn’t have any audio over my HDMI connection.  I found the setting under the Audio/Video setup where you specify digital audio.  This is what you need to do if you are using TOSLINK or HDMI, since both of these are digital audio.

I started watching a Netflix video…no sound.  I switched over to audio on Pandora…no sound.  I browsed over to MediaFly and, all of a sudden, the audio started working.  I watched for a few minutes and then went to bed.

Now it’s tomorrow and I’m checking it out again.  No sound.  Time for some troubleshooting.  I’m going to start by using one HDMI cable between the TV and the WD box and see how that goes.

I plugged a six foot HDMI cable in the back of the unit and directly into the TV…same issue…no sound.  Picture is great, just like before.

Might have a bad WD TV Live Plus…

I returned the unit and got a new one.  No sound.  I switched the audio modes, same result.  Turned TV on and off, changed TV inputs…still nothing.  Browsed over to MediaFly, didn’t get any sound…then all of a sudden, I have sound!  Just like last night.  Now I’m watching and listening to cabernet wine reviews.  How long will this last?

Well, I found out.  While it was operating correctly with sound, I unplugged/plugged the HDMI cable and it continued to work.  I changed inputs on the TV and turned the TV off and on and it continued to work.  I switched between media on the WD and it continued to work.  My last test was to turn off the WD TV Live player and turn it back on.  It was at this point that the audio went away again.  So, I’ve had two players that do the exact same thing.  This suggests to me that there is a firmware issue.  I wish I could get hold of the new firmware that is in beta and test it out. 

2010-08-05 Update

I entered a question on WD’s web site.  The text follows.

I am on my second WD TV Live Plus player. I returned the first one. I can sometimes get sound when using HDMI. The audio is set to digital. When switching around, the sound suddenly starts working. You can read all my troubleshooting on my blog:

The first response (extra stuff removed):

Dear ….,
Thank you for contacting Western Digital Customer Service and Support. My name is Jose N..
Have you verified that HDMI is the output selected if you can get the unit to work using the analog cables? See page 41 of the user manual below.
How long is the HDMI cable that you use and does it make a solid physical connection to your WDTV? Does the cable work on any other devices such as a DVD player? Does the WDTV work through HDMI on any other TV or receiver than the one you tried?
I hope that we have met your expectations today and that you are satisfied with our service. If you have any further questions, please reply to this email and we will be happy to assist you further.
Jose N.
Western Digital Service and Support

So my first thought is they really didn’t read my question because the HDMI is working…it’s just that the audio is not consistently working.

My response:

The HDMI cable is 6 ft long. I have several HDMI cables that I’ve tried. Like I said in my original problem statement, once the sound works, it continues to work unless I turn the device off.

So, is this a verified HDMI cable problem? Is the HDMI cable responsible for sound that is sometimes there and sometimes not? My electrical engineering background makes me believe it is a faulty design on an HDMI transmitter chip.

If there is a "special" HDMI cable that is required for this device then WD should provide it in the box. It is unreasonable to believe that I should go around shopping for a special HDMI cable, when the cables I have work on all my other equipment. Heck, I have a 25 foot cable running from my Verizon FIOS DVR and it works perfectly fine.

Here’s what I need to know:
1. Is my sound problem a verified problem that is caused by an HDMI cable?
2. What are the measurable specifications of an HDMI cable that works with the device?
3. Should I return the unit again and try another one in six months after the bugs are worked out?


Posted in Audio and Video | 25 Comments »