Audio dropping out in car stereo AUX

I’ve been using my ClipZip hooked up through my car stereo through the AUX input.  I have a USB charger, and it works after getting a ground loop isolater that was recommended in another thread (PAC SNI-1/3.5 3.5-mm Ground Loop Noise Isolator).

The setup generally works fine.  However, I’m having an issue with the audio dropping out occasionally.  It happens between tracks when there is little or no audio.  The car stereo will display ‘NO AUX’ for a few seconds, and then pick up the audio again.  Unfortunately, when it does this, it cuts off about the first 5 seconds on the track.  Similar effect happens when I pause and unpause the player - it takes a couple seconds to start playing again, even though the ClipZip is playing.

I’m assuming this is some type of aggressive signal auto-detection by the car stereo.  It doesn’t happen all the time, live albums are fine because there is usually applause when there is no music.  And I tried just turning the volume on the ClipZip down, and at some point the stereo will display the same ‘NO AUX’ message.

The player works fine otherwise.  Never drops out with just the earbuds.  The ‘Audio Volume’ setting is set to ‘High’, and I have to keep the player volume level at full.  That level would blast my ears out with the ear buds, but comes out fairly low on through the stereo.

Like I said, I assume it’s an issue with the stereo, and not much can be done on the ClipZip side.  I thought I’d ask in case anyone has a similar problem or knows of a quick fix I might have overlooked.

An isolation transformer basically provides a short for DC current, so maybe the stereo isn’t expecting that and thinks there is some kind of short circuit?

Just guessing, never heard of a stereo trying to detect a load like that. 

Thanks for the reply.  

I still get the ‘NO AUX’ message between tracks even when I don’t use the ground loop isolator.  It’s hard to say if it’s better or the same.

What I mean by the auto-detect is that the stereo has a mode button that selects the different inputs (it’s just a stock stereo in a 2007 Caravan).  Without anything plugged in, the mode button selects between AM and FM radio only.  There are no other options until you insert something.  If you insert a CD, then you can switch between AM, FM, and CD.  And if you plug in something to the auxillary input, then one of the options will be AUX.  There is no option to select AUX until you plug something in (and apparently, until there is a signal)…

That sounds like a bad electrical connection somewhere then. Try a different cable? Hopefully its not a bad jack in the stereo.

FWIW the way most stereos detect a load is by putting an extra pin in the jack.  When you insert a plug it closes a circuit.  

I tried another set of cables (they’re RCA inputs (video, left channel, right channel - the stereo is also a DVD player).  I can’t really say if it was better.  It might have been, but the issue was definitely still there.

Maybe they’re not fitting in all the way.  It will play through the AUX even when I just put the tip of the connector in without plugging it in securly.

Like I said before, the odd thing is that when you just pause the player, it will show the ‘NO AUX’ message after about 5 seconds or so.  And then after unpausing, it takes about 3 seconds before the audio picks up again.

The fact that it is listening to audio to detect something is very strange. Sorry, I have no idea how that would even work.

The same thing happens in my car and seems to be a function of the output volume.  If the volume is turned down too low the “No Aux” message appears until I turn it up, and it also happens on SOME audiobooks between chapters depending on the gap.  

If I turn the volume on my player up all the way, it usually generates enough low-level noise to avoid the drop-out problem except for the longest gaps between chapters.  In my case it’s more an issue with the car stereo than the player apparently.