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Does connecting a female USB-A port to another connection cause any problems?

NinjaBoiX

Gold Member
I’m getting a new car delivered next week, it’s a 2011 VW Scirocco. So obviously being a 10 y/o car the head unit is a bit behind the times to put it lightly; no Bluetooth, no DAB, etc.

So my techie question is, and I’ll try to keep it as brief as possible:

At some point fairly soon I’m going to want to upgrade the head unit to support Apple/Android’s car play solution, and given that the installation is 50% of the cost (depending on who you speak to), my suggestion to one of the higher priced prospective installers would be to route the other end of the cable from the head unit with a really good quality male-female USB-A lead, meaning that I could not only switch between micro/C/lightning with a dongle as I see fit upon changing phones, but I also wouldn’t have to pay a good chunk of the install cost again to rip the dashboard apart when the currently priced for lightning cable eventually fails (which it obviously will because they’re delicate as fuck). Replacing a usb A to whatever dongle is like a tenner max.

But the local installer is fully insisting that could cause all kinds of problems with compatibility/leakage/etc.

He’s chatting shit right? I feel like I know my shit, but he sounds like he REALLY knows his shit.

🤷🏼‍♂️

Any input is greatly appreciated!
 

T8SC

Member
I've read it twice & I still don't know what you mean here:

would be to route the other end of the cable from the head unit with a really good quality male-female USB-A lead

?? Route the other end of what cable? What is this cable connected to? The new HU? Elaborate because being brief has made it incomprehensible.

Edit: Are u saying the new HU has a rear USB and you want a cable run from behind the dash to somewhere in the front to connect (any) phone to with an adapter depending on the phone?
 
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NinjaBoiX

Gold Member
Sorry for the lack info, I was apparently too brief, haha!

So unless you want to pay mad money for a wireless Apple/Android compatible head unit you need to have a hard wired connection to your device.

Most units, including the one I’m looking at, have a USB connection at the back of the head unit (which is then inaccessible once it’s installed in day-today terms) that then has the other end of that cable routed to a convenient position (a glove box, arm rest cubby hole, etc) for ease of connection.

Hence my suggestion that we do this “hard wired” part with a modular solution at the other end. Instead of the business end of this expensively routed cable being subjected to the daily plugging in and out of a phone, we terminate it to a “fits all” solution that would then be connected to an easily replaced dongle, meaning the actual connection directly to the head unit gets far less wear and tear.

But he suggested that the connection between the other end of the cable from the head unit being modular (ie: with the respective dongle attached) might result in issues with communication with the head unit itself.

That sounds like bullshit right?
 

BigBooper

Gold Member
You know you can get wireless connectors for your car? You can get a bluetooth dongle that connects to your phone and plugs into your audio receiver in your car. No constant plugging and unplugging. If you live in a rural area, you can even get an FM transmitter to do the same thing.
 

T8SC

Member
Sorry for the lack info, I was apparently too brief, haha!

So unless you want to pay mad money for a wireless Apple/Android compatible head unit you need to have a hard wired connection to your device.

Most units, including the one I’m looking at, have a USB connection at the back of the head unit (which is then inaccessible once it’s installed in day-today terms) that then has the other end of that cable routed to a convenient position (a glove box, arm rest cubby hole, etc) for ease of connection.

Hence my suggestion that we do this “hard wired” part with a modular solution at the other end. Instead of the business end of this expensively routed cable being subjected to the daily plugging in and out of a phone, we terminate it to a “fits all” solution that would then be connected to an easily replaced dongle, meaning the actual connection directly to the head unit gets far less wear and tear.

But he suggested that the connection between the other end of the cable from the head unit being modular (ie: with the respective dongle attached) might result in issues with communication with the head unit itself.

That sounds like bullshit right?

I think its more to do with the HU. Does it understand something connecting to it that is an "Apple" environment, moreso that you using an adapter.

My weekend car is an older car, it has a USB cable hardwired into the back of the HU and run around to a "nice area" in which I plug in my device (Usually a USB stick) ... the HU sees it as a MSD. That may be all yours sees, or it may understand Android Auto etc. .. what is the HU? Can we have some info? :messenger_tears_of_joy:
 

NinjaBoiX

Gold Member
My weekend car is an older car, it has a USB cable hardwired into the back of the HU and run around to a "nice area" in which I plug in my device (Usually a USB stick) ... the HU sees it as a MSD. That may be all yours sees, or it may understand Android Auto etc. .. what is the HU? Can we have some info? :messenger_tears_of_joy:
Haha, cheers for the reply but I think you’ve got the jist! I honestly don’t think you need any more info.

My current head unit is old hat, and doesn’t understand what DAB, Bluetooth or Apple CarPlay is.

There’s various, less than ideal solutions I could go with to make it work with my current set up but the reality is, it’s always going to be a “make do and mend” solution, ala, a load of unsightly cables and the main display not having any idea what is really going on unless I overhaul the whole system.
You know you can get wireless connectors for your car? You can get a bluetooth dongle that connects to your phone and plugs into your audio receiver in your car. No constant plugging and unplugging. If you live in a rural area, you can even get an FM transmitter to do the same thing.
Yeah, that’s what I’m doing in the interim. I’ve just ordered a Bluetooth dongle that connects via the 3.5mm jack on the armrest that I can tuck into to cubby hole underneath.

But that just leaves the head unit as all but useless other than reading “aux connection”, everything will still be running through my phone which isn’t ideal.

It’s fine as a temporary solution, but I’d love to have everything at my fingertips on the screen on my dash.

I think I’ll just deal with my first world problem for now and write a letter to Santa for an all singing, all dancing solution once the new car smell has worn off.
 

Mistake

Member
Haha, cheers for the reply but I think you’ve got the jist! I honestly don’t think you need any more info.

My current head unit is old hat, and doesn’t understand what DAB, Bluetooth or Apple CarPlay is.

There’s various, less than ideal solutions I could go with to make it work with my current set up but the reality is, it’s always going to be a “make do and mend” solution, ala, a load of unsightly cables and the main display not having any idea what is really going on unless I overhaul the whole system.

Yeah, that’s what I’m doing in the interim. I’ve just ordered a Bluetooth dongle that connects via the 3.5mm jack on the armrest that I can tuck into to cubby hole underneath.

But that just leaves the head unit as all but useless other than reading “aux connection”, everything will still be running through my phone which isn’t ideal.

It’s fine as a temporary solution, but I’d love to have everything at my fingertips on the screen on my dash.

I think I’ll just deal with my first world problem for now and write a letter to Santa for an all singing, all dancing solution once the new car smell has worn off.
The fm transmitters have more functionality, like buttons to change songs or including usb charge ports, but the audio quality takes a huge dive. I think it would be best to get something like this
 
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poppabk

Member
I don't see any reason why you would have a male end on the cable rather than a female end that you can then plug in to. For starters you will have to have a loose cable flopping around all the time (I once fried a cable when the end fell in my soda), you will be fixed to only using apple devices, and the cable will eventually break.
Are you sure this guy knows what he is doing?
 

NinjaBoiX

Gold Member
I don't see any reason why you would have a male end on the cable rather than a female end that you can then plug in to. For starters you will have to have a loose cable flopping around all the time (I once fried a cable when the end fell in my soda), you will be fixed to only using apple devices, and the cable will eventually break.
Are you sure this guy knows what he is doing?
Yup, that’s what I thought!

I think I’ll just go to Halfords (it’s a big chain of garages and car accessory shops in the uk), they’re going to charge £425 for an all singing and dancing Pioneer unit fitted, the other place wanted to charge me £995.
 

poppabk

Member
Yup, that’s what I thought!

I think I’ll just go to Halfords (it’s a big chain of garages and car accessory shops in the uk), they’re going to charge £425 for an all singing and dancing Pioneer unit fitted, the other place wanted to charge me £995.
Have you looked into something like this?
If I was retrofitting a car this seems the way to go.
 

NinjaBoiX

Gold Member
Have you looked into something like this?
If I was retrofitting a car this seems the way to go.
Ah, this is interesting! Thanks for sharing.

But I’d still need to change the head unit, and at that point I might as well just get a new double din head unit.

This solution would be around £150-200 cheaper, but I think I’d always regret not going the whole hog for the real deal.
 
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