Instructables

How can I connect a car audio system (amp, speakers, subs) so it runs off a standard outlet, also hook up an iPod to it?

I was wanting to build a nice big box out of MDF with a few speakers and two subwoofers powered by an amplifier to hook up to a house's power outlet. I have heard of people using a PC power supply, and if that is true, what would be a sufficiently powerful power supply to run this system with, say, an 800 watt amp. Also, are there better options than a standard PC power supply? Finally, if all of this is possible, I was also hoping to be able to hook up an iPod through the standard headphone jack, so is there a way I could just build in a standard car head unit to accomplish this? Any input is appreciated! PS - One last thing: I think it would be cool to have a little switch on the side of the box that would act as the remote turn on wire to the head unit, so if it was switched off the whole system would not turn on. Is this possible and thanks again!

Ok, here's the deal on hooking up car stereos in your house, I definately did it today only with subs. Your amp needs 800 watts at 12 volts, so 67 amps. If you want to go the battery charger way your looking at about $600 for the charger that's powerful enough. Or, the pc power supply one, you will have to look around for one powerful enough, but you can find one, probably for around $150-$200. In the MDF box, make sure your speakers and subs are all seperated, and that the box is sealed and the sub box(s) are the right volume for your subs. And the switch on the side for the remote wire, I have one of those too, you just take any yellow wire (should be yellow, 12vDC) splice it in the middle, and attach it to a switch and mount the switch to the box. As for hooking it all up, there are many wiring diagrams available online, and for how to hook up the pc power supply, look it up on youtube, it's what I did. And just a suggestion, don't try wiring in a capacitor. Mine killed my first power supply, I had to get a second. They are very inneffective in the house, an are pretty much pointless unless in a car.
And as for the 3.5 mm headphone Jack, there are chords you can buy to plug directly into your RCA on the amp that convert the headphone Jack into RCA, quite handy, I have a few kicking around.
badbradmx4 years ago
im gonna have an instructable up within a couple days so check it out. i am running a system like this, albeit not as powerful but the pricipal is the same, i hope you can at least will make use of the instructable when its up
jsnyder885 years ago
a power supply would be the best idea you would want to get one almost as powerful as the amount of watts you want to use or use 2 power supplies, and if the amp does not have a on/off switch you can hook one up, just take the green and black wire from the 20 or 24 pin cable and hook them up to a switch as the power and ground and if the switch has a turn on wire also hook that up with the power wire too, a car stereo can easily be hooked up just take the red and yellow wire from the stereo and find a 4 pin molex on the power supply (will be red, black, black, yellow) and hook them both up to the yellow and the find the ground wire on the stereo and hook it up to the black wire next to the yellow on the 4 pin cable, and if you dont have a stereo with a jack on it that supports 3.5 mm jacks then there is an audio cable that you could buy that is a 3.5mm converted into a rca cable at the other end and you can just hook it straight up to the amplifier, .... if you have any specific questions i will be happy to answer for you
A PC power supply is generally a good option because it is cheap and has a 12v rail for you to use. If you decide to go the PC Power Supply route, you would need to multiply the amount of amps available to the 12v rail by 12 to get the total number of watts available at 12v and then see if that is above what you need for your system. 800W would probably take 2 power supplies

You'd probably want to wire in a head unit from a car if you want to take all of the connections from that, in which case you would want to get a head unit that had an aux in connection for an iPod or similar device.

I haven't played around that much with car speaker systems but I would recommend talking to somebody at a store that installs such systems to see how everything would be connected.

This link might be of some help: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head_unit

And this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_10487

For your PS if you used a computer power supply, some of those have switches built into the back so you could just use that switch
jsvanriet5 years ago
My cousin was really big into stereos in the early 2000's, he had like 4 different systems, but just one car....... He had an adapter that would plug into the wall and would have a red (+) and blakc (-) wire coming out of it on alligator clips that would act as a voltage regulator. Come to think of it it kinda looked like a flattened out and smooshed car battery charger. I can't remember what it was or where he got it but........ Maybe someone else will see this and remember.
Pro

Get More Out of Instructables

Already have an Account?

close

PDF Downloads
As a Pro member, you will gain access to download any Instructable in the PDF format. You also have the ability to customize your PDF download.

Upgrade to Pro today!