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PAC SWI-ALP

Steering wheel control interface for Alpine

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  • PAC SWI-ALP

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Item #: 127SWIALP
 

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Our take on the PAC SWI-ALP

by Tim Sprinkle

What does a steering wheel audio control adapter do?

Many people aren't thrilled with the sound of their car's factory radio, but don't want to replace it because they'll lose those convenient audio controls on the steering wheel. For most vehicles, you can purchase an adapter that allows you to use those controls to run a new car stereo, so now you can have great sound and convenience too. Even cooler, if your new stereo has iPod controls, you can use your steering wheel controls to run your iPod.

You want to install an Alpine stereo in your vehicle, but you hate to give up the convenience of your factory steering wheel radio controls? No problem. PAC's SWI-ALP interface allows you to use the steering wheel controls in a wide variety of vehicles to command select Alpine radios.

Installation is straightforward — just connect a few wires, only 3 wires in many cars. The direct connection to the stereo means there's no need for an infrared emitter, allowing the SWI-ALP to function even in bright sunlight. Step-by-step LED confirmation makes programming easy. Once connected, the SWI-ALP's failsafe memory will learn up to 12 stereo functions, retaining them even if battery power is interrupted. Dimensions: 3-5/8"W x 1"H x 1-9/16"D. Warranty: 1 year.

Important Note: Please enter your vehicle information or call a Sales Advisor at 1-888-955-6000 to find out if this model is compatible with your vehicle. On some vehicles, you may need a voltmeter to locate the correct wires to connect to the SWI-ALP. The SWI-ALP is compatible with most 2005-up Alpine stereos that are steering remote-ready, but please call or e-mail us to confirm compatibility with your radio. This adapter is also compatible with select JVC and Kenwood radios with wired remote inputs.

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Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Steering wheel radio control interface with attached 11" blue/yellow wire and 34" cable (with 3.5mm miniplug)
  • 24" Wiring harness
  • Packet of 7 resistors (includes 47 ohms
  • 150 ohms
  • 560 ohms
  • 1000 ohms
  • 1500 ohms
  • 3900 ohms and 5100 ohms)
  • Installation Instructions
  • Vehicle Application Guide
  • Vehicle Connector Chart

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features

Product Overview: The SWI-ALP interface allows you to retain the use of your steering wheel and/or rear seat radio controls when replacing the factory head unit in select vehicles with an Alpine, JVC, Kenwood, or Blaupunkt head unit with wired remote capability. In some GM vehicles, you can retain the use of heater control buttons as well.

Vehicle Compatibility: The SWI-ALP is compatible with over 95% of the vehicles made from 1986 to the present. Compatible vehicles include many Acura, Audi, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Honda, Hummer, Infiniti, Isuzu, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury, Mini, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Oldsmobile, Plymouth, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Suzuki, Toyota, and Volkswagen vehicles and Harley Davidson motorcycles. Please consult "What Fits My Car" to see if your vehicle is compatible.

Known Incompatible Vehicles: The following list includes the vehicles that are known not to be compatible:

  • BMW:
    • All with factory-activated cellular phones.
    • All with 5-volt SWC data wire at the steering column
    • 2002-2005 5-series with navigation
  • Mercedes-Benz: All vehicles
  • Toyota: All 2003 Sienna
  • Volkswagen: All 2002-up vehicles

Head Unit Compatibility: The SWI-ALP works with Alpine radios that are Steering Remote Control Ready, such as CDA-9851, CDA-9853, CDA-9855, DVA-9865, CDA-D853, CDA-D855, and CDA-D857. It is also compatible with select Kenwood, JVC, and Blaupunkt head units that have a wired remote control input. Note: The SWI-ALP has a 3.5mm miniplug connector for Alpine and JVC, and a blue/yellow wire for Kenwood.

Easily Programmable: The SWI-ALP can be easily programmed. You can assign the buttons on the steering wheel to any of these specific functions:

  • Alpine: Volume Up, Volume Down, Mute, Track Up, Track Down, Preset Up, Preset Down, Source, Power, Ent/Play and Band/Program
  • Kenwood: Volume Up, Volume Down, Mute, Source, Seek Up, Track Up, Track Down, Disc Up/FM, and Disc Down/AM
  • JVC: Volume Up, Volume Down, Mute/Power, Preset Up, Source, Seek Up, Seek Down, Select, and Band
  • Blaupunkt: Volume Up, Volume Down, Mute, Source, Track Up, Track Down, Disc Up, Disc Down, and OK

Note: The SWI-ALP has a non-volatile memory which keeps all programming in memory, even if the vehicle's battery is disconnected.

Resistor Kit: Some vehicles have a separate wire for each of the steering wheel buttons. Use the resistor kit for steering wheel push buttons that do not already have a resistor network connected to them. The resistor kit includes the following resistors:

  • 47 Ohms (yellow, purple, black, and gold bands)
  • 150 Ohms (brown, green, brown, and gold bands)
  • 560 Ohms (green, blue, brown, and gold bands)
  • 1000 Ohms (brown, black, red, and gold bands)
  • 1500 Ohms (brown, green, red, and gold bands)
  • 3900 Ohms (orange, white, red, and gold bands)
  • 5100 Ohms (green, brown, red, and gold bands)
 
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PAC SWI-ALP Reviews

Average Customer Review:

9 people say:

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5 out of 5

Works Perfect I Love it!

Written By Double D, Hinckley, MN on Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
1998 Buick Regal GS. I decided to get the Alpine CDA-9857 HU because this little gem works with that HU and not the cheaper HU. I suffered through disc skipping and terrible sound from my factory HU because I didn't want to give up the steering wheel controls. This thing works perfect and I can program it for different things that my factory unit wouldn't let me do (such as pause). Overall it was only connecting 3 wires and if you play around with the programming its not that hard to program it to your liking. Overall I would recommend this and the 9857 to anybody that wants great sound and complete control. Great Buy!
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4 out of 5

It Finally Works

Written By Jon, N.A., MA on Friday, March 02, 2007
 
When I installed this in my '98 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer Edition things weren't very easy. The directions for my car were wrong and didnt match my wiring. It didn't make any sense, but with the help of the Cructfield Tech Team, we were able to figure out what wires needed to be connected. Then it was just following the directions. I suggest reading them through once or twice before starting because you need to skip certain steps and be quick going from one step to the next.

I connected it to my Alpine CDA-9885(such a great radio) and it works, but it isn't very fast to respond. That could be a combination of the radio, button, and the Interface itself. Not sure which one so I can't complain. It is great to be able to use my steering controls again, although I have to press them hard.
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4 out of 5

Directions - Yuck! Opertions - Awesome

Written By Mike, Raleigh, NC on Sunday, February 04, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I spent more than an hour reading the direcitons from the package and the directions I dowloaded from the PAC website. Once I figured out that I had to skip the steps in the middle, the rest was cake.

The deice works like a charm, just be ready for some frustration trying to program the silly thing.

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5 out of 5

THIS THING REALLY WORKS!@!!!~

Written By rosscantor, Philadelphia , PA on Monday, November 13, 2006
 
I installed this item in about 30 minutes. Once i located the SWC wire it was very easy to program. I can't belive it works so well. To retain my steering wheel controls is so worth the price. Thanks Crutchfield.
1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

PAC SWI-ALP

Written By Denis, Brooklyn, NY on Friday, July 28, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Excellent product. Got it working on a 06 Scion TC with a Kenwood ddx 6019. Electrical Connections are easy do do but the Programming instructions need to be improved, very confused.
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3 out of 5

PAC SWI-ALP

Written By Ron, New Orleans, La on Sunday, July 23, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
It works fine once installed. But, if you have a car that uses separate wires for each input (volume up, volume down, track up, etc.) you'd better be handy with a soldering iron and have the appropriate connectors.

It's an easy job for even a novice electronics tech, but they could have made it so much easier. Providing a simple, preconfigured resistor network with terminals for the wires wouldn't cost much and it would make the job so much easier. What you get instead is a small bag of resistors and some directions in the appendix.

All-in-all it was worth the money and the work to have my finger tip dash/steering wheel contols back. I'm happy I got the interface, but a little disappointed that PAC didn't take a tiny bit more effort to make the job much easier. They need to work on the instructions too. The programming is easier than the instructions make it look.
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4 out of 5

Excellent product - Poor Prog Instructions

Written By Jose, Orange Co, CA on Tuesday, May 09, 2006
 
Excellent product. Got it working on a '03Toyota Sequoia witha JVC receiver. Electrical Connections are easy do do but the Programming instructions need to be improved.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Works Good

Written By Brian, Stevensville, Md on Sunday, April 30, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The instructions on programming the unit are more difficult and confusing then need be. The Product works good once programmed, it's nice having my steering wheel controls back again.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Works well, lousy instructions

Written By Sandy, Chatham, NY on Friday, April 14, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The product works like a charm, but installation was more difficult than it needed to be due to the confusing directions. Especially confusing figuring out is the dial is turned to the corresponding manufacturer on the chart (you also have to program in the version number); you do not change it for each function you are programming. All the info is there, but not well presented.

For Silverado owners, you'll need a 10mm dirver with an extension to get at the connector with the steering control wire that is behind a steering wheel column plate.
8 out of 11 people found this helpful
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