TLCDCEmu - Tuner List CD Changer Emulator

Quick links.
  1. Disclaimer
  2. What is it ?
  3. Current status.
  4. I'm interested. How to proceed ?
    1. PC-based emulator.
      1. Hardware
      2. Software
    2. PIC-based stand-alone emulator (experimental).
  5. Acknowledgements.
  6. Reference/links.


We take no responsibility in case of injury, damage, death or anything that could happen as a result of trying anything described in this project.
Please note in particular that wrong wiring and electrostatic discharges could result in damages to your head unit and/or PC.

What is it ?

In the field of the CarPC hobby, a common problem is how to send PC sound to the car's head unit (HU). When the head unit has no auxiliary input, a classic solution is to use the existing CD Changer interface. Although, most of the time, this input needs to be "activated", and this activation can range from very simple hardware detection (e.g. voltage presence on an input pin) to a full "handshake" protocol.

This project aims at PC emulation of a VDO/Dayton CD changer (CDC) compatible, among others, with the factory "Tuner List" head units of Renault and Dacia cars since 2000. Higher-end "Update List" models already provide an analog auxiliary input. Although, as they can also get benefits by using this project (including improved sound quality thanks to SPDIF and PC control via the HU), the compatibility with Update List models is also one of our targets.

With a small hardware interface plugged in a serial port, the carPC can then talk to the head unit (HU) and establish the handshake dialog needed to activate the HU's SPDIF input.

Moreover, the emulator can also recognize commands sent via the HU's front panel or stalk controls and translate them into PC actions, and send back information such as track number back to the HU for display (on the dashboard or HU front panel, according to the model).

Important note : This project does not currenly cover the subject of analog-to-SPDIF conversion so unless you own such a converter, you'll need a SPDIF output on your PC to enjoy this project.


Want to connect a IPod or other mp3 player ? Have a PC without SPDIF ? Before contacting us, please take a look at this page.

Current status.

Please refer to the main Sourceforge project page for news and download

I'm interested. How to proceed ?

PC-based emulator.


To interface the PC and the HU, you need to build a - rather simple - hardware interface. Multiple alternatives are proposed and discussed on this page.


Here also, multiple alternatives have been developed.
The main project hosted here is currently designed as a "reference implementation" written in Java and aiming at completion. For this version, please refer to this document.
Alternative versions are however being developed, among which a very straightforward version in Python. For this version, please refer to this document.

PIC-based stand-alone emulator (experimental).

Several members are currently working on PIC-based emulators, much in the way commercial equivalents work. This page summarizes the current status of these emulators.


The java part of the project relies on the RxTx communications library by Trent Jarvi and contributors - version 2.1.7r2 - which can be downloaded from along with source code and exact licensing terms.
This project also uses code of the HexDump class from the source code page by David R. Tribble, who kindly agreed that his code be used here.

Visit the above sites for up-to-date versions of these great utils, among others.


Original discussion thread about this project on forums
Listing of several CDC protocols
Connects2 PIC-based commercial equivalents
Some information about JNI interfacing with Windows apps, among which Winamp

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