Let's be honest with each other, we all love singing in the car. Sometimes it's tough to sing along when you don't know all the words, which is why you need a car karaoke system - the caraoke!
With the windows rolled down you can share your amazing singing voice with everyone you pass.
You as the driver are welcome to sing along, but you'll need to keep your eyes on the road. The karaoke monitor and microphone system is for the passengers in your car only.
Step 1: What You Need
Making your own car karaoke system is really easy, with most of the components working together right off the shelf.
- Magic Sing karaoke system
- 180W cup inverter (12V DC cigarette lighter to 120V AC)
- 4 Port audio/video splitter
- HDMI Cable
- 3x 7" LCD monitors
- HDMI to composite AV converter
- RCA phono connectors
We'll need to power the monitors by splicing the power from the inverter to get our 12V, but this is super easy.
Step 2: Screen Placement
I knew I wanted to have the LCD screens on the back of the front seat headrests. I eyeballed the placement, then took measurements of the prongs that hold the headrest to the seat.
Step 3: Screen Mount for Headrest
I transferred the measurements from the headrest to a scrap piece of wood to hold the LCD screen.
I cut the piece slightly larger than I needed to account for any refinements once I saw it on the headrest.
Step 4: Refine Shape
Once I was happy with the size I rounded off the corners and made openings for the power cable and the 1/4" threaded mounting screw.
I decided to refine the shape more and create a streamlined shape that would minimize the footprint of the LCD mount.
Step 5: Make a Copy & Paint
Once I was happy with the overall design I traced the outline to another scrap piece of wood and made a copy.
Lastly I spray painted both headrest mounts black to match the interior of the car and reduce the visual impact.
Step 6: Install Headrest Monitors in Back Seat
Once the paint has dried the headrest mounts can be slid onto the headrest prongs, then the headrests installed back into the seats. The LCD monitor cable is fed through the opening, then the monitor is lowered onto the mount and secured in place with a 1/4" threaded bolt from the underside of the mount.
Step 7: Monitor for Passenger Seat
The front monitor for the passenger was mounted on the dashboard with velcro, allowing the placement to be adjusted depending on the height of the rider, or removed when the karaoke system is not in use (why would you not be using this?!).
Step 8: Electrical
With the monitor headrests complete we can turn to the electrical.
Most of this system is plug-and-play, however we'll need to power each of the monitors and split the video feed from the karaoke machine. All the components require low power to operate, and luckily the monitors run on 12V which is the same as the power that comes from the cigarette lighter outlet.
Step 9: Split Monitor Power
Each of the monitors require 12V power. The power cable from the 12V cigarette lighter to the inverter was split and the 3 power lines were spliced in with long leads. After soldering the inverter cable back together the connection was sealed with heat shrink tubing.
This was also a good time to put some additional length for the monitor cables so they could reach from component hub in the trunk their places in the car.
Step 10: Plug and Play
All the components were brought to the trunk and neatly arranged. I cut out a small tray to velcro the electronics to so that they wouldn't move around while I was driving.
There was a 12V power outlet in the trunk which would power the inverter (which would power the majority of the components) and the 3 12V monitors that were spliced into the inverter cable. The video splitter and karaoke machine were plugged into the inverter to be powered.
The video out from the karaoke machine was plugged into the input of the video splitter, then phono outputs from the video splitter were plugged into each monitor.
Step 11: Run Cables + Plug in Sound
The cables were run from the trunk along the inside of the car under the interior door guards then up the side of the passenger and drivers seat, hidden from view. The black cables helped it blend into the car interior.
For areas where connections were visible you can hide these under the car mats, under the door guards, or under some black tape.
The audio from the karaoke machine was plugged directly into the car's audio input. From the car's audio interface you can select the auxiliary input for the audio source (labelled AUX).
Step 12: Caraoke!
With the monitors prompting you the next line of the song, crank the volume to 11 and sing along to your favourite tunes.
Caraoke is serious fun for your next road trip, or even a family outing to the grocery store.
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