DIY Cassette Tape to MP3 Aux Converter





Introduction: DIY Cassette Tape to MP3 Aux Converter

In this project we're gona transform an old cassete tape to high quallity MP3 Aux converter. Better to watch the video for FULL TUTORIAL.

Step 1: Disassembling the Radio

-First, seperate the speakers from the body and unsrew all screws that are holding the body together. My cassete motor didnt work so i just brake front plexi and the frame who is holding the tape in place

-Now we need to get this cassete magnetic heads which will transform our music signals to magnetic wavesS

-Just unscrew two swrews that are holding the head in place and cut the wires from the head becouse we will add a new one.

-This magnetic head has small piece of metal that we dont need so take it of with the pilers.

Step 2: Soldering and Wiring

-Unsolder left over wires from the head and find a suitable

cable with minimum of 3 wires inside

-Remove the isolation from the ends, put some solder on them and repeate the same proces on the other side as well. I used 3.5 mm metal jack which i get for about 1 euro. Plastic jack are three times cheaper but metal jacks looks more awsome

- Put some heatring tubes on the connections but if you dont have them use electric tape instead

- Two smaller pins are positive left and right channel and bigger pin is ground

- Fastst way to heat the tubes is to use a lighter and try not to burn them to much

- There will be three connections on the magnetic head. One that stands alone is ground and the others are left and right

- You can use another black heatring tube but i didnt have one so i used black electric tape to make all nicer and the cable is finished

Step 3: Modifying Cassette

- Now we need to modify our cassette tape

- Remove 5 small screws from the cassette

- Good trick is to use neodimium magnet to hold our screws together

- We need to cut off the middle frame for the screw and to that just take soldering iron and melt down the plastic untill it looks fine

- I used hot glue gun to secure the magnetic head to the cassete

- Drill a hole or melt down the plastic at the side of the cassette so the cable can go throught

- Screw back 4 screws and you are ready to test our finished product


Thank you for watching, please subscribe, like, comment and you can watch my previous video where I built fancy looking phone tripod mount. I will be very thankful for sharing and commenting this video becouse it really keeps me going and I will do more project soon...



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    31 Discussions

    Where do you find a thinker wire like that? With three inside--what type of electronics have this? Or where do you get wire with wire inside?

    Soldering Iron
    Heat Shrink Tubing (or electrical tape)
    Wire Strippers
    Razor Blade
    Destroy-able Cassette Player

    Can i get a list of the needed supplies for this project? I'm having trouble understanding a few things with the accent.

    Thanks :)

    This may not work in some later cassette decks. My 96 Toyota Camry sensed the speed of rotation of the reels and if it sensed anything that it wasn't expecting, it totally shut down and didn't even try to read the tape. Most aux to tape converters didn't work because of that. I actually had to gut a tape, make a pulley system inside with a rubber band belt, and solder six inputs directly to the board inside the stereo and even that was less than reliable.
    But that was just something I ran into. I'm sure most decks don't have this problem.

    2 replies

    I expect that you could work around that by not removing the magnetic tape and simply adding a freely spinning wheel that the tape can move across that also keeps it away from it's normal position so there's room for the magnetic head.

    That could work, but the stereo would stop at the end of the tape. At the very least it would pause then start in the other direction if it has an auto reverse play feature.

    Ugh! MP3 is last decade tech... I think anyone with an inkling of appreciation for audio quality would be using FLAC or at least AAC to compromize file size for quality!

    If cassette tape 'hiss' wasn't bad enough, you're adding MP3 'ringing' to that complex white noise. At least the cassette hiss has a natural decay to it's complex frequency components! This is a good way to make MP3's nasty artifacts most noticeable!

    I think you can eliminate both the read heads (one in your player and the one you have made) to get the same result.

    I notice few things that worry me from watching the video.

    1. the ground plane on the 3.5mm jack was not clamped onto the wires in the cable. this is a strain relief for the solder points.

    2. it appears you discarded the plastic that was inside the plug, that is to isolate the contacts from the outer shell of the plug.

    3. you should have a shorter run for wires out of the main jacket before going to the jack, this is again for strain relief and to protect the cable.

    4. melting the plastic with a soldering iron may be fast but melting plastic releases carbon monoxide and other harmful things. If doing this method please have a fume extractor running near the area.

    Other then that great job

    Interesting approach, although depending on where you live, purchasing a tape adapter is probably a better choice. It's probably more green to do that as well, unless your whole tape deck is flat out broken. I'd advise drilling out the plastic even though using a soldering iron or other tool to melt it may be faster and just as effective. I really doubt that fumes that result from melting plastic are good for you or the environment.

    That's probably not the best source material, but burning plastic can create toxic fumes.

    I got the same results with some cables and software on my desktop, cassette to MP3 to CD. My mother passed leaving me with hundreds of preacher tapes and every LP Album Jimmy Swaggart produced, 207 albums I think. from them I transferred the music to MP3 and some on to CD. (for private use!). The software, cassette player, and cables cost me about $75

    1 reply

    Often the cost of doing something can be justified by the pleasure of making it but devises like you just described can be bought at "Jaycar" (an Australian electronics shop much like Tandy used to be) for $45. I'd buy one and get a mini quad copter with the change -- personally.

    Maybe I can do that for my 8-track tapes, too! :-) :-) :-)

    Made one these years ago,when portable CD players were all the rage.
    I think you need to a Mk2 version,and have it Blue tooth.
    But well done,credit to to indistructables site.

    great build !! congratulations. I was just looking for this kind of project for my volvo D5 mk2 !


    1 reply