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I have bought an add-on for my car stereo (GROM USB3) which adds USB and Bluetooth capability for playing music and answering calls. This module is contained in a little box with 4 ports, and connects to the back of the OEM radio unit through the CD Changer interface. Its size is approx. 10cm x 7cm x 2.5cm (4" x 2.7" x 1").

With some help, I removed the radio and AC panel and did the necessary connections. So far, it works really well.

What bothers me is that I placed this little box on the car floor, right next to another "box" which is the SRS Airbag controller module, separating them by a sponge-type foam to reduce vibration. This has a big warning sticker on top of it and is covered by a transparent plastic sheet pasted on its top side only. I did not touch its connections. The car is a 2006 Subaru Legacy.

My question is: Is this risky? I was thinking about electromagnetic interference between these items or its cables, or static electricity building up (because of the foam). My fear is that the airbags could be activated randomly.

I attach a picture of the box placement. The cable on top of the SRS controller is the cable running from the back of the radio to the GROM add-on (labeled SUB08). The black foam is the one I added, the yellowish one was already there.

installed_box

Thanks for comments and suggestions.

  • Place your box somewhere else - does it really meet the standards for emissions??? Where was it made and probably made by the lowest bid... Do you want to take the risk? – Solar Mike Aug 26 '18 at 19:06
  • If it's a typical airbag controller, the electronics are inside a sealed metal box, so you don't have much to worry about from static electricity or EM radiation. The controller is designed to be "idiot proof," for the obvious reason. If you followed the guidance in the installation instructions, don't worry! – alephzero Aug 26 '18 at 19:48
  • @SolarMike GROM is a Silicon Valley based company, not a no-name far-eastern outfit. Since their products are specialized to interface with the ICE systems of car manufacturers like BMW and Mercedes, they probably have some technical credibility - these aren't just "here's a generic box, figuring out how to install it in your make of car is your problem not ours" products. – alephzero Aug 26 '18 at 20:04
  • @alephzero I have seen a user install a cb radio slide mount onto a cb radio with bolts 3” long straight through the radio - so common sense... Also, are you suggesting BMW and Mercedes tested for all combinations of items -magic boxes, fitted around their standard kit? Personally I would find another location a bit further away but everyone has a free choice. Oh and as for them being a Silicon Valley company so is Apple and their stuff is made where? On the box says manufactured in China... – Solar Mike Aug 26 '18 at 20:49
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As mentioned by @alephzero in the comments, the airbag controller is contained inside a solid metal box which should keep out EM radiation. But maybe irrationally I just felt better moving it to the glove box.

Tip: You can easily remove a little plastic "drawer" located on a corner of your glove box by putting a flat screwdriver on its border and then pulling it out. It lets you have direct access to the back of the radio and pass the wires.

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There are typically several controllers housed together. I'm guessing that the grom was installed here because the CD player was originally here - a CD player will typically produce much more interference due to motors etc. than a simple grom. If you're worried about EM, wrap the grom in aluminium foil. As the controller is already shielded, there shouldn't be any worries. That cubby is intended for multiple controllers to be housed there anyway.

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