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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Burleson, TX
Posts: 39
Becker CDR-23 replacement

Where to start? I know this has been hashed over many times, but in my research, I still haven't found a good answer to the problem.

I have a 2003 Boxster with the Becker CDR-23 unit and the MOST fiber optic-fed amplifier. I decided I wanted Bluetooth in the car to handle my phone and I got a Pioneer head unit with the thought of bypassing the amplifier all together.

I did not realize that a previous owner had installed an FM modulator with a jack to use an iPod, I assume, until I got into removing the old head unit. After removing a bunch of wires that have been cobbled into the system, I get to the original harness and start to match it to a Metra interface cable that will plug into the back of my Pioneer unit. The problem is that I can't seem to find a switched power source line. I can see a constant +12 volt line, but none of the other wires I see are the right gauge, nor do they show +12 volts in the accessory position when checked with a voltmeter.

If anybody has an idea, wiring diagram that might be of help, or otherwise point me in the right direction, I would really appreciate it. I love the sound of the engine running, but a little music might be nice too.

Jesse
Old 05-03-2018, 12:04 PM
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Join Date: May 2016
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There is no switched 12vdc associated with the CD23 radio.
Look down under the center console ahead of the shifter for a plug that goes to an optional telephone. If you find it there will be a switched 12vdc that can be used. Good luck.
Old 05-07-2018, 08:38 AM
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Thanks for the reply OB. Been hoping I wouldn't have to go tearing into the column or some other dang thing. I'll check it out. Thanks again.
Jesse
Old 05-07-2018, 01:22 PM
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To close the loop on this thread, I did find a switched 12volt wire as suggested by obthomas in a previous post and that gave me all I needed to hook up the Pioneer head unit. I by-passed the OEM amplifier and tapped into the speaker wires going into the amplifier connector. Reception on some of the fringe radio stations is pretty awful, but then again, they were bad on the Becker unit as well. I guess the antenna in the Boxster is not the best. Biggest plus is that I now have Bluetooth for my phone and can play my tunes and receive calls hands free! Thanks again obthomas.
Jesse
Old 05-11-2018, 11:01 AM
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If you don't mind my asking, which metra harness kit did you use. I tried to add a stereo, solely for the purpose of bluetooth and worked with crutchfield. Nothing they had matched up properly with my 04 with CDR-23.
Old 06-10-2018, 04:36 PM
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I'm sorry but I don't remember. I got my unit from Crutchfield and it came with the radio. It was pretty useless actually. The CDR unit is a known issue for the Boxster, but trying to find anyone who knows much about how to work around it is pretty near impossible. Ask me how I know��.
Old 06-10-2018, 07:16 PM
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Hah, i know the struggle. What about the factory amp, did you do bypass it? Similarly, what about that yellow canbus plug? I thought of going that route when i was still making a passing attempt at this, but could never confirm whether or not having that yellow plug with all the canbus inputs disconnected would cause issues.

quick edit: I'm assuming you did bypass it, because that's the "easiest" way of dealing with the whole system. More asking because of that canbus plug.

Also, did you also replace the speakers? AFAIK the OEM speakers are 2-ohm and most head units aren't made to drive 2-ohm speakers without an amp. Should work, but may be worth looking into new speakers down the line.

Last edited by bislag; 06-11-2018 at 03:57 AM..
Old 06-11-2018, 03:45 AM
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I did bypass the factory amp. I could not find a tool to remove the wires going into the main amp plug, so I ended up cutting the appropriate speaker wires and soldering new wires onto them, in essence making a new wiring harness for the speakers. The remaining wires on the amp are still in the plug, but not connected to anything at this point. Pulled the new harness through the bulkhead and above the brake pedal/steering assembly then into the console behind the new head unit. PO had already cut the antenna lead and spliced a "normal" plug on it so it just slid into the head unit receptacle without any adapters.
I decided not to mess with the speakers at all and they work fine with the new head unit. The speakers on top of the dash look to be a proprietary design which might make plug and play for another speaker more difficult on the 2003 MY. Don't know how it is on your 04. As I said in an earlier post, reception on most stations is OK, but fringe stations are a lost cause. I did the change to enable BT for my phone and music and that is working alright. Hope that helps.
Old 06-11-2018, 12:20 PM
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I decided to ditch the PCM2.1 on my 987,
Want to shed some weight and will get me that SONY XAV-AV100
which is a 1 dun unit with a 2 din front, light, sober clean design..
thought of keeping the amp , but decided not to.

But don't want to cut up the wiring harnass, i want the option to return to stock.
So bought a spare Boxster amp, which i will use to fab up a wiring harnass to.
So i can splice and dice and solder up inside that spare boxster amp as much as i want.. and plug in the custom wiring to the stock harnass via its connector.

Only thing i don't know, is if I'll get some kind of canbus error when i completely disconnect hte PCM2.1, the Amp, and the satnav DVD in the frunk
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Old 06-14-2018, 07:21 AM
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