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'11 Outback 2.5i CVT - '06 Forester X 5MT
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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking to add a wired FM modulator to my Forester. I know there are other solutions, such as silent cd Aux in hacks and other aftermarket options. But I'm not interested in tearing apart my stereo and soldering onto it's board for a subpar hack at best. And I don't want to spend the money on an aftermarket option.

I've settled on using an FM modulator, I am quite content with my XM wireless FM modulator and can only expect better results with a wired one. I'm no audiophile, just want an easy, painless way to connect my XM and iPhone.

Having said all that, does anyone have any suggestions. I'd like to stay under $30. Here is what I'm looking at.

Amazon.com: Scosche FM-MOD02 Universal Audio Input FM Modulator for iPod, Satellite Radio or Portable Music Player: Electronics

Seems to get good reviews, just curious if anyone had any specific suggestions or recommendations.

Thanks
 

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2015 2.5i Limited Carbide Gray
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832 Posts
Just about anything in that price range should work great. You can get some cheap ones and they tend to be unreliable, and Scosche generally makes some good stuff. I would stop by your local specialty shop to see what they offer. They will be more familiar with what they sell and if it's prone to issues, and if the Scosche is a better option. Years ago I thought that XM used to offer a unit for the units with the wireless modulator built in.
 

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'11 Outback 2.5i CVT - '06 Forester X 5MT
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the feedback.

XM comes standard with a wireless modulator, however due to FCC changes they aren't what they used to be. You have to run a peiced to put around your antenna to get the signal. Works pretty well on a standard antenna, that's what I used on my Hyundai, but with the in glass antenna, it's not as effective. I have it around the wires right before they go into the booster, but there is a little static. The first XM unit I bought in 2005 worked MUCH better without the antenna thing, but that was before the FCC stepped in an made them use a weaker signal. :28:

XM offers a "FM direct" wired solution, but it is only a FM "injector". All it does is push the modulated signal from the XM directly inline to the antenna. Which would be a good solution if XM was my only goal, but it's $20, so I figure if I'm gonna do that, I might as well do a full modulator and be able to use my iPhone too.

I'm probably just going to order this one. My local shop just trys to push what they have and would probably downplay any modulator in hopes of pushing a new stereo.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,385 Posts
That link you shared has 187 reviews, I'd look through those.

I've used the wired FM modulators before and still have one, works great. Other than you have to turn them on, they're awesome. For $30 you can't go wrong.
 

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'11 Outback 2.5i CVT - '06 Forester X 5MT
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Discussion Starter #5
That link you shared has 187 reviews, I'd look through those.

I've used the wired FM modulators before and still have one, works great. Other than you have to turn them on, they're awesome. For $30 you can't go wrong.
Yeah, I've skimmed the reviews. I usually start at the 1 stars and see if there is a consistent complaint. Most of them seem like their are a ground loop problem, which could happen with anything you install. I've found that, with good grounding and a clean power source, it's usually avoidable. Worst case I'll get an isolator.

I'm trying to figure out where to mount it so I can access the switch easily, but honestly my last car didn't even have any FM channels programmed in so I doubt I'll turn it off much.

I've read a couple people say it kills the AM. Have you ever had any trouble with that. Sometimes I'll listen to a local AM station for WVU sports if I'm driving, but now that were in the Big XII, XM has a station for that too ;)

I'll post back once I get it and let everyone know how it works.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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HA HA, missed it/forgot you're in WV when i saw this thread! I teach racquetball classes for WVU (also WV state champion 3 or 4 years now) and work with tons of college students, many of my questions are to help out WVU students and sometimes profs.

Switch is annoying. If you don't have heated seats or some other equipment there's an available switch for - you could use one of those as the switch. Otherwise somewhere down under to the right or left of the steering column below the gauge cluster on the lower trim work is common. Inside the center console box if you're not into hoarding with that space.

I've never had a problem with them, I can't see how it would do anything if it's turned off, but I'm as dumb about stereos as I am well versed in Subarus. Kind of like your comment earlier, not an audiophile at all, play it and don't sound dumb and i'm good.
 

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'11 Outback 2.5i CVT - '06 Forester X 5MT
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Discussion Starter #7
I never took raquetball, but I did have a semester of ballroom dancing and swimming another semester lol. And I wonder why my engineering degree hangs wasted on the wall...

I think, for now, I'm just going to stick the switch and plug in the glove box. On my Forester it hinges down and the top is open, so I can stick a plug to the part above the box without any trouble. I'm just going to make a bracket that uses a couple screws there and comes out beside the box to mount my XM to, so it will be easy to route the wires.

Subtle Solutions makes a nice plate that replaces the ashtray door that would be pretty nice to put a switch and audio port, maybe a hardwired usb too. But that's another project for another day.

I got the modulator the other day, it looks pretty stout, however the power wiring is thin, seems like 20ga. I might tear into it this weekend. It looks like we aren't going to get any of the snow that's headed your way.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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I wonder why my engineering degree
i'm an engineer too, though i didn't go to WVU. have tons of engineering friends. seen Dr. Loth playing a lot of squash but never met him yet. Suggs, Wheeler, Holliday, Alpino...bunch of kids I met from Parkersburg.
 

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'11 Outback 2.5i CVT - '06 Forester X 5MT
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Discussion Starter #9
I'm from Moundsville originally, I graduated in '03 (started '98) with a BSME then stayed for my MBA. Moved to a bad place to find an entry level engineering job and never got into the field. But my career and life choices led me to Parkersburg where I met my wife and have an awesome kid, so I can't complain much about the path I've taken.

I try to make it to a football game or 2 each year, I'll probably be in for one this year. I'll PM you and maybe we can meet up at a tailgate lol. Gonna be a rough year without Tavon, Geno or Steadman... But at least we have them for one more game.
 
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