Make sure you carefully plan out your modifications and hopefully have some back up plans in case things don't work out. Leave some room for experimentation. If you can find some junk to play around with before you move on to the good stuff that is preferable. I wasn't about to go installing a $300 iPod before I tried this out with the cheaper stuff on my first attempt. The 1st MP3 player I used cost me $11. Use cheaper components to test your connections. Make sure you have a Multimeter and know how to use it!Selecting a Boombox
I found my boombox on ebay. There you have a bit of a selection. I also kept my eye open for 2nd hand shops, flea markets and yard sales.
1. I was looking for a boombox that had Aux Inputs just in case modifying
the tape deck didn't work out.
2. I payed particular attention to the ends and face of the box to make sure
there would be room to add the additional jacks and ports for my mods.
3. I wanted a boombox that could put out some decent volume. EQ wasn't as
necessary because most MP3 players have presets.
4. I was looking for a King of Boomboxes or at least the classic look.
5. Lots of chrome and lots of buttons and lots of features!!!
6. I was looking for a box with VU meters but those can be added later so
that wasn't as important.Selecting an MP3 player
I looked for deals online. I ended up with a refurbished player for a fraction of the price for one brand new.
1. I had to keep in mind that I was going to install the MP3 player in the Cassette Deck
and make it appear as if it were a cassette in the window. So I had to choose an MP3
player that had a landscape orientation.
2. Most of the functions needed to be on the front of the MP3 player or I was going to have
wire displaced buttons to somewhere on the front of the boombox. The more buttons
to move then the more chances I would singe the circuits on the MP3 player (MP3
players have a lot of micro circuitry that is tricky to solder with clumsy fingers like mine).Finding the bits
I made several trips to Radio Shack and ordered some buttons and things at sparkfun.com
Look around online there are lots of places to buy components. Best of all many of the components I scavenged from other electronics I had previously. I'm a pack rat so I managed to save a lot of money on parts.