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OK, major props to Darth and all those who contributed - this thread saved me several major bungles and answered several questions along the way yesterday as I installed my new Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X590.

I used the grey/blue illumination wire in the procedure but I was nervous about cutting anything going to the tach cluster. This so-called "S-contact" wire, is it fused, and if so how much? Shouldn't there be a corresponding wire on the factory connector I could splice into? For now I just used the fuse power adapter I got from Crutchfield for switched 12V and added a 15A fuse to the unused rear wiper slot (I'm a sedan) since I was aprehensive about piggybacking onto the main wiper 25A fuse as they suggest.

Everything works great, but I would like to be able to use the unit as stock since there's really no "acc" position on the ignition.

Overall I'm very happy so far. My AM radio reception using an Enfig S2000-style antenna is about 10x BETTER than the stock HU with the stock whippy antenna (and was practially nil with the Enfig.) I haven't had a chance to tweak the SQ yet, but even some of the canned Q EX curves are loads better than anything I ever got out of the stock HU.
 

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Some Passats have a wire in the S-Contact already, mine did not. I had to get the repair wire, insert it and I was good to go. You also have to remember, you're using it as a remote turn on lead. There is VERY little current draw associated with this. If it makes you feel better, a 2.5amp fuse will protect the radio.
 

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I thought the HU main 12V switched power wire (red) was being connected to the "S-Contact" wire in the procedure? Does the HU get its main power from the unswitched (yellow) lead and only use the 12V switched one as a control signal?
 

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I thought the HU main 12V switched power wire (red) was being connected to the "S-Contact" wire in the procedure? Does the HU get its main power from the unswitched (yellow) lead and only use the 12V switched one as a control signal?
that's how ALL aftermarket car electronics work.
 

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Aaaaaahhhhhh, I didn't know that! Thanks :thumbup:

Now the piggyback on the 25A wiper fuse makes a lot more sense since its not main power. :cool:

So if I tap the S-contact wire for 12V switched on my new Kenwood X590 it should,

1) stay on until I remove the key after turning off the engine, and
2) turn on like the stock HU when no key in the ignition.

If both of these aren't true I think I might pass on this mod, and I don't want to cut & butt just to find out.
 

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Aaaaaahhhhhh, I didn't know that! Thanks :thumbup:

Now the piggyback on the 25A wiper fuse makes a lot more sense since its not main power. :cool:

So if I tap the S-contact wire for 12V switched on my new Kenwood X590 it should,

1) stay on until I remove the key after turning off the engine, and
yes

2) turn on like the stock HU when no key in the ignition.
no. no aftermaret radio with the exception of a few Blaupunkts will do this. it's a function of the radio, not the car. But it's STILL worth tapping the s-contact if for no other reason than number 1.
 

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OK, so I could still use the radio by simply turning on the ignition, then turning it back off but leaving the key in? Not exactly like stock, but I agree it would be much more convenient than having to leave the ignition on all the time to use it.
 

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I know I'm late to this thread.....Nice write up! Mis en place....I am a fan of the show that mentions that term quite frequently.
 

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Green tach cluster connector

Thad,
GREAT write-up. It helped a lot. One question though, I have a '05 Passat and the connector on the back of the tach cluster is green. There is no red wire going to it. What pin on that connector is the wire to allow the HU to stay on until the key is removed. Thanks
 

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Green tach cluster connector

I'm sure it was the tach cluster connector. It is in the correct location and has the pink latch on it. I can look again, but I am almost 110% positive that is it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #76 ·
I would look again. The install that is featured in this write-up is in my Girlfriend's '05 :b55: . If you can, print out the pictures from the write up and try to reference it to the 173 relay. Use it as a landmark if you will. If you still can't find it. try to post pics of what you see and we'll see if we can direct you the right way.

thad.
 

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Green connector

Thanks to all. The guy that was helping me, who just did his own install with help from this write-up, wasn't seeing it. He was looking on the wrong side of the steering column. He had the speedometer connector, not the tach connector. Thanks again for everyones help.
 

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Wow why isn't this in the Information-Forum Index????
 

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I agree, this is a great sticky candidate. Accurate, well written and illustrated. Invaluable in my installation. :thumbup:

I had actually decided to skip the S-contact (red wire on tach cluster bundle) but I was frustrated enough the other day while chowing in the car that I couldn't use the darn radio to reconsider. (Without the motor running, anyway.) So yesterday I yanked it and probed around for a lead on the factory wiring harness that duplicated this but no luck. Only leads Chan-, Alarm, and Safe register 12V and none are switched, all constant. Interestingly there is a "B+ --/ --" label on my factory HU which seems to indicate a switched lead, but no wire is attached to the factory side of the connector.

So I decided to do the S-contact mod as documented and wouldn't you know it right in the middle of the procedure the freakin' power goes out! I was forced to finish by flashlight. Works completely as expected and its nice to be able to have the radio stay on after shutting off the car again.
 
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