Author Topic: Compatibility of Phatbox with 2008+ Model Year Kenwood Decks  (Read 25349 times)

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Offline jheyerman

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Compatibility of Phatbox with 2008+ Model Year Kenwood Decks
« on: March 28, 2009, 07:56:15 pm »
I thought this topic warranted its own post.

Success!  I tried a KDC-X993 (which I am now the proud owner of) with my VW Phatbox through a KCA-S220A switch, and it worked perfectly.  HDD EXT is the displayed source option.

Actually a quite interesting afternoon.  I went to Radioactive in Burlington, ON, for some spade lugs, and thought I'd see if they would let me try hooking up a lower end 2009 KW deck, just to see if it worked with the PB. I went armed with my correspondence with the KW Canada tech.  I had just read the deck I was waiting for (X993) was delayed until April, and I was tired of waiting to find out if I was going to keep my current deck (A 2007 X791, which I never really liked and was never really installed permanently) or if I could get a 2009 deck. So I started to explain how I wanted to test the compatibility, but was waiting for an x993 and... it turns out the store had just rec'd them days before, and he would let me try it out, and if it didn't work, I need not buy it.  He also offered me a pretty good price.  We took it to my car, plugged it in and voila, success!  

Since the deck has no dedicated scan button, it is a few more key presses.  First the FCN button, then presses of the main selector knob lets you cycle through genre, artist, album, etc.  Then a press of the FCN button again.  But you get to stay in the selected mode, so let's say you are in artist mode: up/down toggles of the main selector now bring you up/down through the artist list, left/right of the main selector switch tracks, and double left/double right lets you move through the alphabet.  Quite different from my VW stock radio, where you had a limited time to make a selection and then it would switch back to track mode.

If someone tries a 2008 deck through the KCA-S220A, I'd be curious to know if that works too.  I may also try the X993 without the S220A switch, but I doubt it will work as the information I got was that the S220A had to be used for PB compatibility.  Of course 2007 and earlier decks work directly w/o the S220A.

Cheers,
Jeff

Update: I contacted KW support about 2010 decks, and they confirmed with Japan that 2010 models will not support the music keg/Phatbox, so stock up on compatible decks before they are all gone!

Update:per post below, seems that info may be incorrect, and 2010 decks will work - stay tuned...

Update:  I tried a 2010 KDC-X994 (with S220A switch) and it works - see reply 15 for details.

Update:  I tried to sum everything up in reply 17.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2010, 11:38:20 pm by jheyerman »

Offline cheese

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Re: Compatability of Phatbox with 2009 Kenwood Decks
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2009, 07:46:07 pm »
Jeff,

I've got my Keg hooked up to my KDC-X991 through my KTC-HR200 HD radio tuner.  I believe it would work hooked up directly as well.  I was looking at purchasing a double DIN DDX-512, but found out that they've changed their accessory connector cable and the new units are no longer compatible with the Keg cables.

(The accessory cable in the first picture is the rectangular one partially covered by the antenna cable.)
New connector: http://images.sonicelectronix.com/images/121269/big/ddx512.jpg
Old connector: http://images.sonicelectronix.com/images/104628/big/kdcx991.jpg

Offline Jago

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Re: Compatability of Phatbox with 2009 Kenwood Decks
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2009, 02:13:59 pm »
Just to let you all know Kenwood KDC-W7041U Headunit works with the Music Keg when the KCA-S220a switchbox is used displays as HDD EXT all previous functionality remains.
The headunit does not recognise the Music Keg without the switchbox.

Offline VorTechS

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Re: Compatability of Phatbox with 2009 Kenwood Decks
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2009, 06:27:41 am »
Thanks for the confirmation! :)
Kenwood KDC-W7031 | Kenwood KHD-CX910 | 250GB DMS | PhatHack Media Manager v1.1.4 (Alpha) | VIOT

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Offline Mojuice98

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Re: Compatability of Phatbox with 2009 Kenwood Decks
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2009, 02:09:19 am »
So any Kenwood Head unit from 2007 and earlier will work with any PB?

Offline VorTechS

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Re: Compatability of Phatbox with 2009 Kenwood Decks
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2009, 06:39:37 am »
IIRC, the original spec. was any supporting CD Text....
Kenwood KDC-W7031 | Kenwood KHD-CX910 | 250GB DMS | PhatHack Media Manager v1.1.4 (Alpha) | VIOT

Catch me weekdays 8am-4pm GMT on IRC @ irc.freenode.net on channel #phathack (aka the chat link!!)

Offline markbowen

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Re: Compatability of Phatbox with 2009 Kenwood Decks
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2009, 10:19:02 am »
Not just the CD text, the HU needs a CD changer bus control for the connection.  Most Kenwood HUs have it but not some of the lower end models.  To get the most out of a PB/Keg, look for one that supports at least two lines of text.
Kenwood DNX7200/Kenwood KHD-C710 Keg/320GB DMS

Offline Mojuice98

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Re: Compatability of Phatbox with 2009 Kenwood Decks
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2009, 07:51:19 pm »
what is IIRC?  So would it be safe to get any Kenwood head unit that has cd changer controls?  I have been looking at KDC mp models.

Offline sbingner

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Re: Compatability of Phatbox with 2009 Kenwood Decks
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2009, 07:40:48 am »
IIRC = If I Remember Correctly

Offline jasonh

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Re: Compatability of Phatbox with 2009 Kenwood Decks
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2010, 05:17:56 pm »
I have a VW PB and am looking for an aftermarket radio for my car.  If I purchased the same Kenwood stereo would I need a different cable run to the PB?  I remember reading a while ago that there were different cables for different versions of PB's.

Offline VorTechS

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Re: Compatability of Phatbox with 2009 Kenwood Decks
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2010, 11:07:17 pm »
Yes, you'd need the Kenwood cable (Part No: KHD-5L1), if you intend to use a newer stereo you'll also need to route the box through a KCA-S220 Switch unit
Kenwood KDC-W7031 | Kenwood KHD-CX910 | 250GB DMS | PhatHack Media Manager v1.1.4 (Alpha) | VIOT

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Offline jheyerman

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2010 decks will not support Music Keg/Phatbox
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2010, 12:34:59 am »
Sad to see the support come to an end, KW tech says 2010 decks will not work with Phatbox/Music Keg.  I have edited the sticky with that info.

Offline vallibus

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Re: Compatability of Phatbox with 2009 Kenwood Decks and 2010 Kenwood Decks
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2010, 02:12:26 am »
Hello all,

I just finished installing a Kenwood KDC-X794 head unit and a KCA-S220A switching unit in my 2001.5 Passat.  My Phatbox works great with that combination.  I am not using the original Volkswagen cable to connect to the S220A; I ordered the Kenwood cable (as mentioned by many others.)  Oh, and I still have the use of my steering wheel "radio" controls via a SWI-JACK.  The wiring harness for the X794 has a lead for the steering wheel interface.

Bruce

Offline jheyerman

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Re: Compatability of Phatbox with 2009 Kenwood Decks and 2010 Kenwood Decks
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2010, 12:49:19 pm »
That is excellent news.  Weird, because I specifically asked about the -x994 (same as -x794 + bluetooth) and was told they had changed the firmware and it wouldn't work.  I'll fwd this to the KW tech and see what they say.

Vallibus, do you use VIOT/SSA plugin?  Just wondering how the "scan" and artist/album selection functionality is working for you.

Cheers.
Jeff

« Last Edit: April 04, 2010, 04:10:34 pm by jheyerman »

Offline vallibus

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Re: Compatability of Phatbox with 2009 Kenwood Decks and 2010 Kenwood Decks
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2010, 12:18:24 am »
Hi Jeff,

No, I do not use the VIOT/SSA plugin.  Maybe that is something I should look into.

Bruce

Offline jheyerman

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KDC-X994 tested and works
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2010, 01:16:27 pm »
Tried a 2010 KDC-X994, with S220A switch and it recognizes the keg and plays.  The VIOT is again a little strange, since this deck has few buttons:

To change between artist/album/etc, you hold down the volume button (volume knob has a push feature used for many purposes) for one second.  Then repeated pushes to scroll thru the selection mode (artist/album/etc).  Then two presses of the menu button to get back to the "home screen".  In artist mode double presses of skip fwd/back give you the alphabet, and then the "search mode" button on the top right lets you go down the list of artists.  I have not found a way of going "up" the list, so you have to go back up to the top using the alphabet and try again....  it's liveable.

Jeff
« Last Edit: May 05, 2010, 11:36:47 pm by jheyerman »

Offline moozort

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THANK YOU!! I just got the X994's big brother, the BT945U and was majorly disappointed that it didn't work right off of the bat, but now I think I'll try getting the S220A.  I've enjoyed my phatnoise box for some years now, but was dying for a bluetooth & iphone setup with the car.  I felt so guilty keeping the BT945U instead of returning it since it didn't support the phatnoise, but you guys are all so awesome, thank you for sharing this about the S220A. Yayyyy!!!!

Offline jheyerman

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Re: Compatibility of Phatbox with 2009 Kenwood Decks and 2010 Kenwood Decks
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2010, 12:52:17 am »
This is a post about my latest learning on KW/Phatbox compatibility.

I recently acquired a new-to-me DNX7100 (same as Europe's DNX7200, and 2007 vintage), and a new KCA-BT300 (2010) bluetooth add-on module.  That module has a 5L pass-thru port.

When connected to the DNX7100 directly, the phatbox worked perfectly.  The BT300 module, when connected by itself worked perfectly.  When the phatbox was then connected to the pass-thru port of the BT300 the DNX7100 did not see it (numerous power cycles, plugging, unplugging, and head unit resets made no difference).  I decided to try with a KCA-S220A switch (head unit to switch, phatbox in changer 1 port, BT300 in changer 2 port) and both worked perfectly.

I should mention that KW support said the phatbox (music keg) would not work at all with the DNX7100, and later when I had the problem with the pass-thru port KW support said that the S220A switch would not fix the problem (the last comment was from Japan through KW Canada).  I suspect that Japan has decided not to risk any issues with the music keg and always report it is not compatible with anything.

So based on my personal experience and on a post located at http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1139762 here is my analysis of the situation:

KW decks 2007 and earlier with the 5L port/changer control are compatible with the phatbox.  All decks and accessories from model year 2008 and up are not *directly* compatible. Adding any accessory from 2007 or earlier with a pass-thru 5L port, or the S220A switch, will allow the phatbox to work with 2008+ year decks if the decks have their own 5L port/changer control.  The S220A switch was released in 2007 or earlier.  The Sirius tuner discussed in the above link was first produced in 2007 or earlier.   As further evidence, Phathack member markbowen has a DNX7200 with KCA-BT100 bluetooth adapter (2007 vintage) with a phatbox connected to the pass-thru on the BT100 and he reports it functions perfectly.

The above is my hypothesis, I don't have enough evidence to guarantee it is absolutely correct.  For example, I have no evidence 2008 decks work as I haven't tried one, nor do I know anyone who has (edit - I researched the European model posted a few replies up by Jago, and apparently it is a 2008)

I should also mention that decks with the KAB connector instead of the 5L are definitely not going to work with the phatbox.  The S220A is not compatible with units with the KAB connector (if it is tried with a 5L to KAB adapter).  That rules out any DVD/Nav deck later than 2007.  I seem to recall someone mentioning a 2008 CD deck that was directly compatible as it was a near exact carry-over from a 2007 deck (identical electronics) and that may be the one exception.

Any thoughts are welcome.

Cheers.
Jeff

« Last Edit: October 12, 2010, 11:28:22 am by jheyerman »

Offline jheyerman

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Re: Compatibility of Phatbox with 2008+ Model Year Kenwood Decks
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2010, 10:01:08 pm »
Should also mention that the KCA-S220A is discontinued in Canada, although still appears to be current in the US.  Might want to get one before they are gone!


Offline jheyerman

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Re: Compatibility of Phatbox with 2008+ Model Year Kenwood Decks
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2011, 12:26:09 am »
KCA-S220A now discontinued in the US as well  :(