Next Segmented LCD Challenge: Honda CD

A quick review of my adventure so far: I have several segmented LCD units salvaged from various pieces of electronics. I’ve always thought “I’ll figure them out later” and finally decided to do it. The first one I got up and running was the simplest: a bare LCD with two digits of 7-segment numbers. Followed by a food thermometer LCD with many more number digits. Then I moved on to the realm of LCDs with associated driver chips controllers. I started with an old tape deck faceplate that I could examine while it was running and could find a datasheet. Then a cordless phone system that I could see running but didn’t have a datasheet. For the next challenge, I have an LCD that I’ve never seen running.

Browsing eBay listings, the shape and knobs of this thing matched the stock CD player for a 2007 Honda Accord. The temperature and fan speed knobs make it clear this was an integrated system combining the audio system and in-car HVAC. This type of integration has become more popular in recent model years, as car manufacturers moved away from ISO 7736 standard DIN form factor. I understand the visual appeal of a sound system cleanly integrated into a car’s interior design, but I’m not a fan of the fact upgrades become a huge hassle. For example, it is very popular now to have Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for connecting to our cell phones. It is a popular feature in modern cars’ integrated systems, and for old cars we can add such capability with standard DIN form factor aftermarket head ends. But for cars with non-DIN stock systems lacking Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, they are stuck in an awkward middle.

It’s not entirely impossible to upgrade them, it just takes more effort and money just to end up with something less elegant. An entire aftermarket ecosystem has sprung up to give DIN slots to cars that weren’t designed to have them. For several years I’ve been eyeing the Metra 99-7510HG(*) for my own 2004 Mazda RX-8. Perhaps the previous owner of this Honda Accord CD system thought the same and removed it in favor of a Metra 99-7803G(*) for DIN compatibility. Regardless of the reason, I now have this circuit board and I have nothing to lose by digging in.

(*) Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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