From an email we received…
“I have a nice original 944 with the original Blaupunkt cassette installed. It actually works pretty well, including the cassette player, but I am really used to the Bluetooth functionality that I have with my iPhone in my truck. I know that I can get a refurbished/converted Blau that includes USB/Bluetooth/Phone functionalities, but they’re a little pricey. Are there any alternatives?”
Here at 924S944.com, we originally got into these cars because of 1) low purchase price and 2) low maintenance costs, especially when compared to other Porsche models. In a word, we’re “thrifty” here – as in “cheap.” Spending extra dollars on suspension parts is one thing, but Bluetooth coupling with an iPhone? The cost of one of those refurbished/converted Blaupunkt units almost equals a set of track tires! (We measure costs for almost everything in terms of track tires!)
Our featured Special Edition 924S has the original Blaupunkt Sebring in it. It works well, and we have asked the same question – we like our iPhone music, and hands-free is nice, too. But taking an original 924S SE with a working original cassette radio installed and putting in a new style Bluetooth radio is not an option. So what to do?
We did a little research and found that there are products out there that can inexpensively solve this problem. We ordered two items from Amazon for our SE. The first was an Arsvita Cassette to Aux Adapter that we got for $22. It plugs into the cassette hole and interfaces with the cassette pickup to deliver a signal to the radio. There are several brands that do the same thing, and we chose this one for no really good reason – it was near the top of the Amazon listing. The next day it arrived (free delivery on Amazon Prime) and we took it out to see what we bought.
The unit looks like a cassette. There is a wire coming out of one end – a multiswitch and microphone. The switch provides many functions, including on-off, phone answer and end, and other functions. The microphone is for the phone mic. There is a built-in battery that proves up to eight hours of play and talk time and a week of standby time. The unit includes a charging cable that you charge through a USB connection cable.
The second piece of this puzzle is an adapter to plug the Arsvita into the car to charge the battery. We found a direct-wire 5V Dual USB Charging Cable, normally sold as a power supply for a dash camera. It has two USB cable plug-ins that we will mount hidden near the console so that we can charge the unit in a couple of hours when not in use. Unfortunately, the Arsvita unit must be in the OFF position to charge the battery. The charging cable setup is $15 on Amazon.
So for less than $40 we can add Bluetooth connectivity with phone connectivity to our classic Blaupunkt cassette radio.
Admittedly, we have not yet tried this system in our SE – he is in the middle of a clutch replacement at this writing. (The rubber-centered clutch gave up on us.) We will update this article when we get it up and running!
Has anyone else used this type of system with your Blau?