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Wired DCI for JVC, Alpine, Clarion, Kenwood - Installation & Operation Manual
Wired DCI for Sony & Pioneer - Installation & Operation Manual
IR DCI - Installation & Operation Manual
Wiring Diagram of the Modifry Adapter

For the technically proficient, see the Tech Page for more in-depth troubleshooting information.  Tools required.

If you're having trouble getting your DCI to work, this is the place to start.  You will need your installation instructions so if you don't have them handy download them from the above link.

First, I'll have to ask you to check your wiring and dip switch settings.  It sounds silly but most problems are simple and often related to the installation.  Sometimes the user forgets to set the switches, or mis-reads the diagram and sets them up-side-down, so start there.  If the switches are OK, have another person check your wiring.  I know I can overlook a problem if I've been staring at it for an hour, so having someone less frustrated check it out is always a good idea.

If you have a Wired DCI that uses a 3.5mm stereo plug make sure it is inserted fully into the back of the head unit. You may have to rotate it to get the wire in a position where it is not stressed and fits tightly into the socket.  This is more of a problem on Sony head units than Pioneer or Alpine.

Common problems

I get a beep when the volume auto-adjusts, how do I stop that?
The dash CH button doesn't work.
The dash CH button works, but doesn't change channels.
I have a delay between pressing the button and the head unit responding.
The SCV feature (speed-controlled-volume) doesn't work.
The SCV feature doesn't work at the correct speeds.
The MUTE function works but nothing else.
The dash MUTE green LED stays lit all the time.
Everything works except the MUTE.
Some dash switch functions work, others don't.
I have an IR DCI and none of the functions work.
I don't like the way the dash buttons work.


bulletQ - I get a beep when the volume auto-adjusts, how do I stop that?
A - The beep comes from your head unit (there is no beeper in the DCI).  Many head units have an optional feature that makes a small beep whenever a setting is changed.  Usually it's innocuous and not noticed - until the DCI auto-volume feature is connected.  Then you'll have frequent beeping as the DCI automatically adjusts the volume for you.  Check your head unit manual or ask your installer for instructions on how to turn off this feature.  Nearly all brands have a setting to disable the beeps.
bulletQ - The dash CH button doesn't work.
A - This could be normal. Because the DCI does not operate exactly like the factory dash switches there are some conditions where the CH button does nothing. For many head units, pressing CH changes FM & AM bands, so if you are playing a CD it has no function. Check the operating instructions to see which dash buttons perform what functions for your particular DCI model and head unit.
bulletQ - The dash CH button works, but doesn't change channels.
A - see above answer.
bulletQ - You claim the buttons have no delay, but sometimes when I press MODE or CH nothing happens for a few seconds. Is something wrong with my DCI?
A - No, this is normal operation. The MODE and CH buttons send the commands when you release the button, not when you first press it. If you press and hold them for a second or two the command won't occur until you let go, making it appear like there is a delay. If you quickly press and release the button you will get faster response, so try not to 'lean' on the buttons . I had to program it this way because MODE and CH are used in combination with the Volume switch to perform other functions and this method allows the DCI to differentiate between pressing MODE by itself or in combination with the VOLUME button.
bulletQ - The SCV feature (speed-controlled-volume) doesn't work.
A - The speed sensor circuit may be locked up, try driving backwards for a few miles to reset it. Just kidding! Don't do that! Instead, first check that the DCI gray wire is connected to the vehicle speed signal wire per the installation instructions. If that checks out, it's possible you accidentally turned off the SCV feature via the dash switches. Check the DCI manual for instructions on how to toggle the SCV featureIf you have a Sony DCI you can set SCV features by holding a dash switch on power-up. The IR DCI uses a special dash button combination (MODE + CH) to alternately enable/disable the SCV function. Check your operating instructions for specific information on this feature.
bulletQ - The SCV feature doesn't change volume at the correct speeds.
A - There could be a few reasons for this. First, the SCV "Interval" setting may not be set correctly.  Depending on your DCI model and software version the SCV intervals could be set with Dip switches or via a special procedure using the dash switches.  You'll have to refer to your installation manual for those details.  Also, the DCI only checks vehicle speed once a second, and if you're accelerating or braking hard you could change speed faster than the DCI can measure. Don't worry - it won't "skip" volume steps, but it might take a few seconds to catch up. See the detailed description of the SCV function for more information.
bulletQ - The MUTE function works but nothing else. What's up with that?
A - Since the DCI has 2 ways of sending a mute command (hard-wired mute and a mute command) it's possible that a wiring error could cause this problem.  If you are using the DCI Mute wire (usually blue) it's possible the IR emitter is not aimed correctly or in the case of Wired DCIs, that the 3.5mm plug or "remote control" lead is not making a good connection.  And obviously the dash switches won't work without a good connection to the dash switch wire (green wire on DCI), so check that too. 

Also, on DCI's purchased prior to 2006, check for good connections on the red DCI power wire (+12v). These older models of the DCI can actually operate the mute function even if 12v power is not present, but the rest of the functions will not operate, so a bad connection on the red wire can cause this symptom.
bulletQ - The dash MUTE green LED stays lit all the time, and the MUTE function does not work.
A - This is not a good sign. It usually means the dash mute circuit is blown, which happens if the dash mute wire is connected to a ground or another wire with voltage on it. I've seen this happen when an installer thinks the purple mute wire (in the custom adapter) is a speaker wire and connects it to a speaker output on the head unit. You should immediately turn off the ignition and disconnect the dash mute wire at the adapter, then see if the green LED works normally. If it does, your mute circuitry may be OK, so check your wiring. If, however, the LED is still on all the time then the dash switch electronic circuit board is damaged. It will have to be replaced or possibly repaired. I have been known to repair blown mute circuits so email me if you want to try that solution.
bulletQ - Everything works except the MUTE.
A - This could be one of a few things, so first see the above question about the green dash mute light. If that's not your problem, make sure the mute wire from the factory wire harness (or Modifry adapter) is connected to the purple wire on the DCI. OK there? Now verify DCI switch settings to whether the DCI is set to send the mute command via the DCI blue wire or using the same method as the rest of the commands (Ir emitter or wired interface).  If the switch is set to use the DCI blue wire then make sure it's connected to the head unit MUTE or ATT lead (may also be called a "cell phone" lead). If that looks good, you may have a bad DCI (contact me for assistance).
bulletQ - Some dash switch functions work, others don't.
A - This doesn't happen very often, and it usually means the DCI is bad. But occasionally it's just a misunderstanding about how the DCI works, so it might be good to review the operating instructions for your particular DCI model and head unit. Remember, the DCI does not work exactly like the factory dash switches (now I know I'm repeating myself). If you are confident you are using it correctly, contact me for additional assistance as you may have a bad DCI.
bulletQ - I have an IR DCI and none of the functions work.
A - After checking the obvious things like switch settings and wiring connections, there could be an issue with the IR emitter. If it's not positioned correctly so it's pointing at the IR receiver on the head unit, the IR commands may not be received. Check the installation instructions for hints on how to position the IR emitter, and your head unit manual to see where the IR receiver is on the face of the unit. If you still have trouble and you own a video camcorder or digital camera, you might consider using it to verify the IR emitter is working. Infra-red light is invisible to human eyes but is often 'seen' by CDD imagers used in these cameras. If you have a camera, point it at the IR emitter and watch (through the camera LCD display) as you press a dash switch. If the IR emitter is working you should see a momentary flash of light coming from the IR emitter when viewed through the camera viewfinder. If you do, then you know the IR emitter is OK, so double-check your dip switches. If you get no flash of light you may have a bad IR emitter, and you should contact me for assistance.  (You can verify your camera "sees" IR light by pointing a regular hand-held remote at the camera and pressing a remote button while watching the camera LCD display.)
bulletQ - I don't like the way the dash buttons work.
A - In some cases there is nothing I can do about that - my assignment of button functions is limited by how the factory remote works. But in some cases I can do custom programming for those with 'special needs'. Are you 'special'?  Contact me for more information and to see if you can afford custom programming.