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11/30/2004 Entry: "Axioms and Car Stereos"

Here's another Billy Rhythm Axiom. If you sit down in a rocking chair with a sleeping baby, in approximately 3.5 minutes, any energy you had will be gone! Man, is there anything so relaxing as rocking a sleeping baby?

So the Green Hornet I bought back in June. It has just about every option you can think of. But it had a factory cassette deck--no CD player. So the previous owner added an RF Kenwood CD changer to the back, under the jump seat. One small problem: no remote. It only operates with a remote. So I bought one on ebay. It didn't work. It would turn the power on, but that's it. When I pushed a button, a little light on the head unit blinked, so I know the remote was transmitting, and I know the unit was receiving a code of some sort, but it wasn't working. So I called Kenwood, and said "What remote will work with this unit I have?" They gave me the model number. I found one of those on ebay, and bought it. It worked even less. No power, no lights on the head unit, no nothing. So I waited until I found the same model remote mine came with originally. I bought it. It didn't work. I've now dropped $30 on remotes that don't work. So I guess the head unit itself was broken.

So, I decided I'd buy a Kenwood tape deck to fit my car. I'd get one with CD changer controls on it. That way, I'd plug the changer into the tape deck, and I'd be able to use both. I found a unit that fit my needs at Crutchfield, and called to order it. So I'm talking with J.R. at Chrutchfield, and I'm looking at the site while I'm talking to him, and I notice this note about the unit.

"This unit controls Kenwood CD changers made since 2001. For models from 1993 - 2000, you will need widget kcd-wabk." Since my car was made in '95, I'm pretty sure the changer fits into this class. I ask J.R. how much widget kcd-wabk costs.


So I'll then have dropped $100 into getting this CD changer working, and even then I'm not 100% sure it's going to work. So I gave up. Instead, I bought a $100 Clarion unit. I have a Clarion in my truck. I picked that one because it sounded good, and it didn't have a lot of blinking red and blue gee-gaws. So I thought I'd buy another Clarion. And it's got a knob! Oh, it's so nice to reach for the volume without having to look for some button that's the same size and shape as all the other buttons on your radio. Instead, just grab the knob and turn. J.R. even mentioned that people who buy this unit frequently mention they prefer an actual knob for volume. Well count me as one of those people.

And installation was a breeze. Last night, while the boys were falling asleep, I connected the free (!) included (!) wiring harness to the head unit. Then when I came to work this morning, I had an extra five minutes or so. I pulled the old unit out, plugged the new unit in, and BANG had a new CD player in the Green Hornet. It's SOOOO nice. I can't believe I went five months with only FM (and three tapes) in my car.

(For those who were wondering--the three tapes were Frank Zappa's "Apostrophe," The Police's "Zenyatta Mondatta," and Jethro Tull's "Greatest Hits.")

Replies: 1 person has rocked the mic!

It comes with a remote too I see so you don't have to extend your arm those few more inches to use the new unit. That can be so annoying.

On another note. It seems like everyone likes the knob better and also the units that aren't all riced out. Why won't these manufacturers realize that most people don't want that crap. The day I need to look at digital mono dolphins or space scenes is the day I drive over the cliff.

Posted by Jim @ 11/30/2004 11:09 PM EST

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