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Rockysc

Grom Audio Usb Adapter Works In My 2005 Lexus Sc430 Factory Car Stereo

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Like to see this on your SC430 factory stereo?

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I recently bought a low mileage 2005 Lexus SC430. I got that year for the Midnight Pine Green and Camel leather trim.

The radio mechanic at my Lexus dealer told me I would lose my Navigation/Bluetooth Steering Wheel Control function if I had a car stereo shop change my radio. He recommended instead the non-invasive USB adapters by Vais Technology ($364) or Grom Audio ($124). I talked to tech support of each company who told me their device would work in my car. I went with Grom Audio because it was smaller (easier to install), no reports of having to unplug it to reset it, and the price was lower. The device will interface an iPod or iPhone but it is much simpler to just use the USB input with a flashdrive.

Since examples online show how simple the radio removal was, I added the adapter myself. It took me only 20 minutes to get the radio out using these steps:

1) Open armrest (upper and lower).

2) Pop seat heater control module out, unplug, and set aside.

3) Open the stereo door.

4) Put the car in N or lower.

5) Lift the wood center console panel up and back.

Don't pull too hard, the wire for the stereo-door button is short.

6) Unplug the stereo-door button and set panel to the side.

7) Remove the two big 10 mm lower screws holding the radio in.

8) Remove the climate control module.

(You can grab it with both hands and carefully pull it loose).

9) Remove the two big 10 mm upper screws holding the radio in.

10) CAREFULLY remove the stereo.

The Lexus wiring connnectors are very easy to unplug. Each connector has a single locking tab in the middle. You insert the flat blade of a medium screwdriver, push down to unlock, then twist to pop the connector off.

After the radio was out, I then removed the middle connector off the back of the radio and installed the Grom TOY1 cable for the adapter then reinstalled the radio. I placed the adapter in the center console below the cup holder closest to the dash. On the power converter plug in the lower center console it was easy to lift a tab and push the power converter unit through the sleeve after removing the two leads then route the USB cable through it. It is simple to unplug the flashdrive and take it into the house to update it with new songs then return it.

The Grom User Manual says it will do 99 virtual CDs but I found out my Lexus car stereo only supports 32 virtual CDs. Since each virtual CD holds 999 tracks, this is no problem. Mechanical devices like your car CD player eventually wear out and break. The flash drive virtual CDs has no mechanical parts.

Hitting the factory radio CD button switches between the internal 6 CD player and the external Grom 32 virtual CD player using the USB memory stick flashdrive. The display shows “CD1” when on the Grom then CD <1-32>, Track <1-999>. There is no difference in sound level or quality switching between the two units. The steering wheel controls handle the Grom unit just fine. The Grom also does random play from the radio button; with 900 songs on one virtual CD this random function is very nice.

Here are my folder names (virtual CD #) on my USB memory stick flashdrive:

1 – Favorites

2 – Hard Rock

3 – Rock

4 – Pop

5 – Country

6 – Romantic

7 – Broadway

8 – Overture

9 – Instrumental

10 – Church

11 – Carousel

12 – Organ

13 – Classical

14 – Opera

15 – Duets

16 – 60s

17 – 70s

18 – 80s

19 – 90s

20 – Christmas

21 – Inst&Vocals

22 – Lux Radio Theater

23 – Science Fiction Theater

24 – SciFi Fridays

25 – X Minus One

26 – Have Gun Will Travel

27 – Tarzan Diamond of Asher

28 – Tarzan Fires of Tohr

29 – Twenty Thousand Leagues

30 – The Mysterious Island

31 – Treasure Island

32 – The Master of the World

The Audio books or Radio Drama Podcasts come in .mp3 chapters. So the Jules Verne book on CD#29, Track 1 is Chapter 1, Track 2 is Chapter 2. This makes it very easy to find. The Grom also remembers where you are so next time you get in the vehicle, the story is where you left off listening.

If you have any questions about the Grom Audio USB interface device, please email “Alberto” at Grom tech support:

alberto@gromaudio.com

The Grom Audio compatibility guide only shows Lexus SC430 model years 2005-2009 for their device. But when I ordered the device it came with the Toyota “TOY” cable that had a connector with 6 pins across (2nd Generation 2005-2009). My radio connector has 7 pins across (1st generation 2001-2004). Alberto wrote me that 2005 was a transition year and I had the 1st Generation Lexus SC430 radio that required their Toyota “TOY1” cable. The following Grom links show support for Lexus models:

http://gromaudio.com/docs/compatibility_chart.pdfhttp://www.gromaudio.com/store/grom_...le-c-toy1.html

Here is a link to the USB device I bought:

http://www.gromaudio.com/store/usb_a...interface.html

Here is a link to the owner’s manual for the device:

http://gromaudio.com/downloads/GROM-USB.pdf

You have to order a different cable if you want to control your iPod or iPhone. My 32 Gb USB memory stick was only $50 and it has all my iPhone songs on it so instead of having the hassle of connecting my phone each time I get in the vehicle I just leave the USB flashdrive in the center console and forget about it.

This was a simple clean install with no changes to the vehicle and it works great. I just love it!

-Rockysc

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I do not use my 2005 Lexus SC430 internal 6 disk CD player anymore since I installed the Grom Audio USB adapter. It gave me 32 external virtual CDs on a 32 GB memory stick and each CD can have 999 tracks.

I attached a photo of the label that I put over the car's CD player slot that shows me the memory stick Playlist names for my 4000 songs, Audiobooks and Radio Dramas Podcasts.

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I wanted to assure all of you that it was very easy to pull out my radio and install the adapter myself. Like most of you I was not about to do it myself so when my Grom Audio arrived at home, I found a local car stereo dealer where the installer used to be a mechanic at a Lexus dealer. I watched him carefully take my console and dash apart. I was surprised by how easy it was. This Lexus car has excellent engineering in its design.

Grom had sent me the wrong cable so I took a photo of the back of my radio and had the car stereo person put it all back to normal. I sent the photo to Grom who then sent me the different cable. Since I saw how easy it was, I did it myself when the new cable arrived.

It anyone is interested, I can post a very detailed step-by-step procedure of how to do the job.

-Rockysc

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My dear wife saw my label covering my SC430 CD radio slot and pointed out to me a few things:

1. On trips she likes to bring along a few of HER favorite artist CDs to play and would appreciated it if I would leave the CD slot open!

2. The overhang of the AC panel puts the top of the radio in shadow and after dark you can not see the letters in the top of my label.

3. It is pointless on the label to have the names of the audiobooks on the CD # because they change as the months go by but the song playlists do not.

4. She suggested making a smaller label of just song playlists and covering the empty hole of the ancient cassette player which we never use.

I did as she suggested just showing the CDs of my song playlists.

Not seeing a cassette player on my dash makes the car look newer!

I have to agree it looks much better:

-Rockysc

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That looks great man!

The previous owner of my SC jammed up the CD player so its unusable. This looks like a great alternative I'll definitely look into this mod. If you have the time, could you post the step-by-step? Thanks!

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It has been months since I did the non-invasive install of the Grom Audio Stereo USB adapter in my 2005 Lexus SC430 center console. It has worked flawlessly and has never locked up or had a problem.

And here is a bonus that I discovered …

The software in the Grom adapter works very well with my iTunes music library. For example I have playlists in iTunes where my songs are by genre (Pop, Rock, Country, Broadway, etc). In the iTunes playlist I can arrange the play order of the songs by simply moving them up or down the list. My iPhone’s iPad will play them back in that same sequence. I have 687 songs in my Pop folder and the first 100 are my favorites. They play the way I stack the list, not by song name or date. When I copy the playlist to my USB memory stick, the Grom adapter also plays the songs in the same order so I hear all my favorites first. For example the first 14 tunes in my Broadway playlist are songs from Les Miserables played in the same sequence that they are sung in the musical. This is a really nice feature!

I can also push the car stereo dash button for random play and the Grom will randomly play the USB songs.

I covered my Cassette Player hole with a printed card cut to the right size to overlay the opening. The card shows my Grom Audio Virtual CD Number and the Playlist assigned. My new color scheme has more contrast and shows up better after dark having white letters on a black background. The car also looks newer by not seeing a cassette player on the dash.

This is really a nice system. Easy to install and works great!

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So to sum up this thread...

If your SC430 is 2001 – 2004 you must use the VaisTech car radio adapter.

If your SC430 is 2005 – 2009 you can use the GromAudio radio adapter.

If your SC430 is 2010, it comes with a factory USB port.

The things we don’t know about...

I had a private message from a member here who thought it odd when I said I had only 14 songs from the Broadway musical Les Miserables. It was odd because the show has 50 songs and 32 are showstoppers. These are songs you find yourself humming or whistling afterwards. I only saw the show once at a dinner theater and we did not know that it was a shorten abridged version with half the songs missing.

Oh my gosh! What a discovery going online and finding all the songs we never heard! Thank you so much for sharing that with me. I now have 32 songs in my Broadway folder for Les Miserables on my USB memory stick. Most Broadway musicals only have one song that is a show stopper. From Cats it’s Memory. From Evita it’s Don’t Cry For Me Argentina. From Camelot it’s If Ever I Would Leave You. But from Les Miserables there are 32 songs with great melody and lyrics. Classic songs about good and evil with chords that bring a tear to your eye. I live in California by the beach and on a warm summer evening the wife and I will get ice cream sundaes in a beach city then park overlooking the ocean. Put the Lexus SC430 top down, put on Les Miserables and watch a golden sunset. Life does not get any better than that.

I had another message from someone that has an iPhone with thousands of songs but they do not have any Playlists. It’s not so unusual because all my kids have Smartphone’s and none of them have playlists either. They just hit random play because they love all their songs and don’t care what comes up. Not me. There is a big difference between songs from the 70’s and 80’s. The 80’s ROCK! All the songs have a strong fast beat. When I’m driving my SC430 down the street with the top down and the sub-woofer turned up high, I vibrate the windows of the cars next to me at signals. I love rocking out while driving. I don’t want some slow pop love song from the 70’s to randomly play (By the way, I’m in my sixties, play piano and guitar, and use to be in a neighborhood rock band). On the other hand, my wife loves romantic pop and rock ballads so when she is riding with me I choose the playlists she likes to keep her happy.

Here is something else you may not know...

Most new High Definition TVs come with a USB port. The Grom Audio adapter gave my 2005 Lexus SC430 a USB port. My wife’s 2010 Lexus RX350 came with a factory USB port. When I first got my iPhone I downloaded a couple hundred of songs for it from iTunes. Then I found out these songs are in proprietary format of .m4p and will not play on my TV’s USB port. I had to burn all the songs as analog files on CDs then rip them off back into iTunes as .mp3 music files so they will work on the TV and both our cars.

I do listen to the radio a lot at home and driving and when I hear a new song I like, I use my iPhone App Shazam to listen and identify the song name and artist. When I get a dozen tags, I go online at Amazon.com and download the songs as an MP3. Amazon has software to automatically load the song into my iTunes. The great thing about iTunes is that every song has the album cover art and the song lyrics.

What most of you don’t know is that the same USB memory stick I use in both of my Lexus cars I also have plugged into my HDTV. The song folders on the TV memory stick can be set as Favorites on the TV and besides browsing TV channel favorites we can browse playlists favorites (Pop, Rock, Broadway, etc). The TV will play them in the order I stacked them in the folder so we can hear the 32 songs from Les Miserables sung in the order sung during the show. The TV can also play songs in random order. The large album cover art is displayed on the TV while the song is playing, but on the Broadway shows I have replaced the album covers with a photo of the artist that actually sings that song to make the playback more special; they are just .jpg photos. My HDTV also feeds a THX home theater surround sound system so listening to your favorite songs takes on a whole new meaning.

Also, all Broadway shows have Overtures that are long instrumentals having all the main songs represented in linked short versions. There are also many instrumental versions of famous pop and rock songs and I have them in a USB folder called Instrumental. When we have friends over for dinner we play them as low level background music. It is easy to talk over the instrumental version of the songs. It adds enormous ambience to the atmosphere of the evening get together. More than once people have gotten up from the dinner table to go into the living room to get the name of the song because the melody was so beautiful they wanted it for their iPod or MP3 player.

I hope my sharing this will make your future more enjoyable. Music is a great stress buster and it is so relaxing to listen to your favorite songs.

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I just updated the software for my Grom Audio USB adapter in my 2005 Lexus SC430. I did the upgrade because I had problems on the adapter of when I changed virtual CDs too quickly, it would get lost and not be on the one I stopped on. I would have to power off the radio and when it turned on it would be ok.

The software upgrade fixed this changing virtual CD problem.

It also added a new feature. Before when I had the car radio Random feature on, it would only do random song tracks in the selected folder (virtual CD). Hitting the change CD just went to the next virtual CD (folder). But now when I have the Random feature on, if I hit change CD, it will randomly pick one of my 32 virtual CDs. Having Random off, it goes back to normal going to the next CD.

The name of the software file I downloaded from Grom Audio is:

Toyota/Lexus/Scion 98-10 (GROM-USB2-TOY)

It was easy to upgrade. You just put it on the USB memory stick and power on the radio.

I have a Transcend 32 Gb USB memory stick with 3600 songs on it. I never listen to the FM radio anymore. With my premium sound system and factory sub-woofer I can clearly hear the difference of the Grom music quality over the FM or mechanical CD player.

I have been very happy with my Grom Audio adapter since I installed it over a year ago.

Now with the software upgrade it is even better. You should upgrade your unit and see the improvement.

-Rocky

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User Stri8d asked me: "Could you post the step-by-step? Thanks!"

Here it is:

Installing the GromAudio USB adapter was easy. Here are details:

1) Open armrest (upper and lower).

2) Pop seat heater control module out by lifting the back slowly, unplug the connector, and set the module aside.

3) Open the stereo door.

4) Put the car in N or lower.

5) Slowly lift the wood center console panel up from the rear. You can see the spring loaded mounting slots and each side. It may take a strong pressure to initially unseat them. After the rear is unseated, slowly lift pulling back. Don't pull too hard, the wire for the stereo-door button is short.

6) Unplug the stereo-door button and set wood center panel to the side.

7) Remove the two big 10 mm lower screws holding the radio in. You need a metric socket set with an extension arm as the radio is deep in the dash.

8) Remove the Climate Control module. You grab it with both hands and slowly pull out a few inches. There are three connectors at the top. Use a flat blade screwdriver to push down the center tab, then twist to pop open the connector. Set the Climate module aside.

9) Remove the two big 10 mm upper screws holding the radio in. You must use a socket extension.

10) CAREFULLY remove the stereo. Put a thick cotton towel on the left side to protect your leather trim. The radio has sharp edges and the towel will protect your leather. Watch the leather trim on both sides when pulling out the radio. There are round coxial antenna cables on the back left side that may pop off - be sure to plug them back in. They are different sizes so no problem of what goes where.

11) When the radio is out, lift the right side up to get to the connectors on the back. It was the rectangular center connector for my year radio.

12) Use the screwdriver to pop off the CD connector.

13) The GromAudio Y-adapter is male/female. Plug one into the car harness you just removed and the other into the car radio. Make sure both connecters are locked with their tabs.

14) Route the Grom cable BEHIND the car radio support brackets and down to the center console.

15) Make sure the small and large antennas are plugged into the radio and put the radio back into the dash lining it up with the bracket holes.

16) Plug the Grom Y cable single end connector into the GromAudio adapter.

17) Mount the adapter on the center console floor under the cup holder closest to the dash.

18) In the center console on the storage compartment, use a screwdriver to remove the power connector and tape the removed connector with electrical tape to protect it. Push the inside core into the compartment to remove it.

19) Route the Grom USB cable in the center console bottom from the Grom adapter through the round sleeve into the storage compartment. If you did the Aux or iPod/iPhone cable, route it instead. You can only use one or the other; not both at the same time.

20) Plug in your USB mp3 memory stick, mp3 player, or iPod/iPhone.

21) Turn on the car ignition to Accessory and follow the initalization procedure that came with the GromAudio adapter. Make sure the radio controls and steering wheel controls work. The radio CD button switches between the radio CD player and the Grom Virtual CD player. The display shows CD1 for the Grom. Proceed to the next step if everything works.

22) Reinstall the top 10 mm radio bolts loosely.

23) Reinstall the bottom 10 mm radio bolts and tighten all four bolts.

24) Reinstall the Climate Control by plugging in the three connectors then align the four mounting tabs and push the unit in until they snap lock.

25) Reinstall the Center Console cover by plugging in the front door switch, align the mounting tabs, push the front in first, then push down the back.

26) Reinstall the seat heater control module by plugging in the connector, push front down first then the rear of the module. You are done.

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