Scosche FM-MOD01 Modulator Review

Last weekend I installed a Scosche FM-MOD01 Modulator in my 2001 Chevy Blazer. Now that I have used it for a full week I can share my opinion of it. The Scosche FM-MOD01 Modulator is a wired FM Modulator that adds RCA jacks to a car stereo without them. Instead of using my old battery powered FM transmitter with my iPod, the new modulator allows me to tune my factory radio to a certain station and plug the iPod into a wired in headphone jack.

The purchase
I purchased the Scosche FM-MOD01 Modulator from Crutchfield.com and received it within a couple days. When you order speakers or a head unit from Crutchfield you will usually be asked if you would like free wiring adapters for your vehicle, so I was a little surprised to be told that I would need to purchase wiring adapters to connect the FM Modulator to the antenna and to the radio. This is specific to GM vehicles and would not be needed for most anything else, but I still expected them to be offered for free. The cost of these additional adapters took my cost from around $30 to around $50. The modulator packaging does include a cable that plugs into the modulators RCA jacks and provides the plug you need to connect an iPod or other MP3 player.

The install
Installation was fairly straight forward. Unplug the antenna wire from the factory radio and plug it into the modulator, plug the modulator into the radio’s antenna plug, and find power and ground wires to splice into. Crutchfield included very nice looking diagrams and instructions for disassembling the dash to get to the radio’s wiring, but they were not very accurate. There were more screws that needed to be removed for disassembly. The wires they said needed to be unplugged didn’t, while several they didn’t mention, such as the headlight switch, the foglight switch, the 4X4 control panel, and the rear wiper switch, all needed to be disconnected. These are problems with the Crutchfield instructions, and had nothing to do with the modulator. At some point in the future I will actually mount a switch and plug under the dash to turn it on and off with and to plug in a cable for the iPod, but for now I just ran the included switch and cable out through the bottom of the dash so I can access it.

Usage
The Scosche FM-MOD01 Modulator includes a power switch so it can be turned off when not in use. I’d expected to be able to just leave it on all of the time and hide the switch under the dash, but it didn’t work out that way, as when it is turned on it disconnects the antenna making radio reception on other stations pretty bad. The iPod sounds much better than with my old radio transmitter, so I’m happy about that. The only downside I’ve seen is that my AM reception is worse than before, even with the modulator turned off. I occasionally listen to talk radio, but I’m sure most people would never notice the AM reception problem.

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