Introduction: Caraoke

Picture of Caraoke

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

Picture of What You Need

Making your own car karaoke system is really easy, with most of the components working together right off the shelf.

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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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!

Picture of 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.

Comments

Rachelisabella (author)2015-01-06

Hey I have a question from one of your projects from a long time ago, it was the LED slippers. I was wondering where you got the coin cell battery holders because I can only find too big bulky ones.
Thanks

You can find coin cell battery holders at most electronics stores, or online at places like Mouser. Here's a link to something I just searched for.

Rachelisabella (author)2015-01-06

Hey I have a question from one of your projects from a long time ago, it was the LED slippers. I was wondering where you got the coin cell battery holders because I can only find too big bulky ones.
Thanks

chingon863 (author)2014-12-29

I like the idea! i ordered 2x screens, a HDMI2AV converter to mirror my phone (the one on your link is AV2HDMI), and Video splitter (different than what you linked this one is just video splitter no audio) no Karaoke for me just a media player for the kids. I have a question can i wire everything directly to a spare fuse in the fuse box or do i need the inverter you provided?

mikeasaurus (author)chingon8632014-12-30

It depends on your power requirements. I like the inverter option as it has an option for 5V and 120V so can power a variety of devices. Wiring things into the fuse directly may bypass the safety of the fuse, so be careful!

chingon863 (author)mikeasaurus2014-12-31

Thanks, is it ok if i make a instructable similiar to yours but mine with Rear Media Player?

mikeasaurus (author)chingon8632015-01-01

Of course, remix this idea and make it your own! Looking forward to seeing your build.

thundrepance (author)2014-12-25

fantastic idea, mike .... & you look cute in the foto @ the top ( :^D

(don't worry, i'm a female; disregard that little drawing)

mikeasaurus (author)thundrepance2014-12-25

Awww, shucks. Thanks! :D

blackvyper (author)2014-12-23

Having the DVD players installed like mine would save a lot of work, but the 'Caraoke' idea is superb!

cooldryplace (author)2014-12-23

This is a stroke of genius. I love. Love. This build.

There are some safety concerns raised in the comments that I think deserve recognition, though, especially regarding the placement of airbags or the temptation to override said airbags. Or messing with airbags in any way, shape, or form. Please don't.

My guess, and this is based on lurking here for a couple of years, is that some enterprising member will conceptualize a projector-style "caraoke" system that will leave the airbag areas clear but will display on the headrest with enough fidelity to let the players keep score and follow cues. That would introduce a bunch of other challenges, like cost, heat, vibration, safe mounting for the projector itself, and so forth, and it is unlikely to be as crisp or reactive as a mounted physical display, but a projected image is also less likely to occupy the same space as your forehead in the event of a crash.

Those of us with ancient vehicles are free to rock on though! Mikeasaurus does it again.

Wolfbane221 (author)2014-12-17

I appreciate that pun sir. I would also like to install this in my car! but who scores you when you sing alone? :0

cooldryplace (author)Wolfbane2212014-12-23

That's step two. You network your vehicles together for spontaneous traffic jam, um, jams.

"Little Red Corvette (woo hoo), baby get outta the left hand lane if you aren't going to pass that truck."

BurgersBytes (author)2014-12-23

$400 for a karaoke machine? WOW!

jarvaisanen2 (author)2014-12-19

You should note that on that position (especially newer cars) have the AirBag system installed right at that spot, and there should be nothing mounted onto that position.

and before anyone gets bright ideas: you should not use the kidseat airbag override to do something like that.

Still this is great project and i think with little bit safety manner taken on action, this will be even nicer as version two! :)

LynxSys (author)jarvaisanen22014-12-23

I second this. Airbags are explosive devices, with more than enough power to kill or seriously injure you, given the right (or, rather, the wrong) projectile. To fix this, perhaps the screen could be attached to the interior of the glove compartment on a hinge, so that it could be swung up or down and positioned at a comfortable viewing angle when the glove compartment is opened. Alternatively, a mount could be fabricated to hold the screen up near the sun visor.

Safety concerns aside, this looks like a fun project. It sure beats the "license plate game"!

dougwills (author)jarvaisanen22014-12-23

I love the project idea, but I would be worried about the safety of this even without airbags. If the car were to come to a swift stop (say from an accident), the backseat passengers head would target the base of this. If you are going to do this, I would at least try to pad the base. Installation within the headrest would probably be even better.

It's a great idea though, one I will definitely be doing.

Robb (author)2014-12-18

So much fun.

peppypickle (author)2014-12-17

this is a dream machine!!!! how fun! I hope you are now singing 24/7. Great Instructable, as always :)

AngryRedhead (author)2014-12-17

I get car sick, but I want this so bad! So fun and cool!

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Bio: I'm Mike and I make crazy things at Instructables HQ in San Francisco. Follow me and try a few of my projects for yourself!
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