30-pin Car Media Controls

I'm looking to create a device to control my music while I'm in the car. I have the commands to control music here:

and the pinout for the 30-pin dock connector here:

But I need some help figuring out a way to have a button press trigger the command to be sent and received by my phone

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What kind of device are you looking for? Are the buttons on the player not enough?

There is a kit you can get to interface the iphone with a mircro controller and use the phone to control other things.

BryanS1 (author)  mpilchfamily3 years ago

I know I could buy something, but I was hoping to save a couple of dollars. And my car is a 1998 Nissan Sentra, so there are no controls for my phone built into the car.

In my head (and assuming I understand the 30-pin correctly), I picture a couple of wires going to the steering wheel, and once pressed a current going to the phone would encounter a certain resistance (depending on what I'm trying to do), which would make the phone complete the action

So you want a wired remote wired into the steering wheel. Now that clears a lot up. Best bet is to do something like this.


Otherwise you'll have a hard time working out the signals to send through the headphone jack.

Here is the pinout for the 30 pin connector and what each pin does. You'll need to understand the serial communication that happens on pins 12 and 13 in order to control the iphone through the 30 pin connector. Best bet would be to buy a cheap dock station with controls and strip that down for your needs. Should be able to find used ones for a decent price.

BryanS1 (author)  mpilchfamily3 years ago

That looks great, thanks!

I actually tried looking here, but I guess my wording wasn't right to get to where I needed to be -.-

Now, do you have any suggestions on how to wire this through a car?

You'll need to pull apart the steering column and dash to find a good rout to wherever you want the wire to go through. But you'll likely have to use a tape adapter to get the audio through the car stereo. Just keep in mind that the board in teh headphones is vary small and eaily damaged while trying to solder the wires to it. I ended up burning mine out.

BryanS1 (author)  mpilchfamily3 years ago

I'll keep that in mind, thanks. I usually solder at 700 degrees, should I lower it a bit so I don't break anything?

Also, I've run into a bit of a problem. The headphone remote I have is slightly different from the one in the guide you posted, and I'm not entirely sure where to solder the wires to. Also, I accidentally ripped of the Volume+ button, but it works and I really only want the middle button anyway. Attached are pictures of the board

photo 1.JPGphoto 2.JPG

You'll probably need to remove the buttons to get at the contacts. Different brands will have the PC laid out differently and may use different buttons. Chances are they are not soldered in place but snap in or glued down so the contacts of the switch meet up with the pads on the PCB.

Here is another option. A while back i picked up this Digital radio adapter for my iPod Touch on clearance at Radio Shack. You can still find them on e-bay. It offers larger controls and used the 30 pin connector.


Either integrate that into your car or break out and extent the buttons like your trying to do with the headphone remote.

BryanS1 (author)  mpilchfamily3 years ago

It was the apple headphones, and I ended up ripping the board apart trying to get the button off :(

And the problem with that is that it would intercept the audio and I would have to transmit it through RF. Also, it doesn't work with my device (iPhone 4s)

That is why you ad a 3.5mm jack to it so you can plud your cassette adapter into it to feed the audio into the car stereo. You gotta run the wire for the right ear to the jack and take the output from that board that would go to the left ear and wire that into the jack.

The remote i linked to works with any iphone that uses the 30 pin connector. Despite what that description says. The app needed to listen to HD and FM radio through the adapter may not be compatible with the 4s but the buttons for controlling your media on the phone still work.I have one and it doesn't need the app to make use of the buttons.

It has a built in 3.5mm jack for your headphones or tape adapter. Unless your stereo has an aux input you'll have to use a tape adapter (assuming it has a cassette deck) or an FM transmitter. I have one and it doesn't need the app to make use of the buttons.

BryanS1 (author)  mpilchfamily3 years ago

Ah, I see now. I thought it transmitted music through RF, not pulled RF for you to listen to

I guess the only problem now is that I would't be able to charge it at the same time as that's plugged in

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