This is my first iteration of this, as with anything that I do I will make improvements. I will be sure to upload any new things I come up with. I also hope to make it a little easier on the eyes.
I ran into a few problems with the actual install that were not present when I tested it out the first time.
1. Since I wired the USB port to the same power and ground as the stereo, there was a really loud obnoxious high pitched noise from the speakers. When I took it out of the circuit, the problem went away. So I would recommend putting the USB port onto a separate circuit to eliminate this problem. If you have a newer car with better grounds, this problem might not exist for you.
2. Speaking of grounds, I had to ground the stereo with an extra cable straight to the chassis. This eliminated more noise.
3. I originally wired this to go from both outputs on the speaker board to the speakers. One of these outputs was to a high range speaker, and the other was to a mid range speaker. One of them was causing a super loud really really really obnoxious whine. I'm assuming that this is from car stereo speakers being in different ranges. So if this happens to you, take out that circuit.
4. The volume has to be almost all the way up or there is feedback. Don't know why but just use your device as a volume control.
5. There is buzzing and popping pretty much all the time. It's not really noticeable while the music is playing, but if the music isn't playing, it's noticeable. I would recommend installing a power switch on the front for this reason.
These are the problems I ran into, I don't know if you will have them because it can vary widely depending on the setup you choose. Overall I am ok with the way it turned out. After all, I only spent $5. If you are looking for a super hi-fi cheap stereo this isn't for you. This is just something cool you can do for cheap that works.
Step 1: Things You Will Need
- DC Adapter for Speaker System (the power cord)
-Piece of Thin Particle Board (I used the kind that is rough on one side and smooth on the other it is a 1/4" thick)
-Cheap USB Car Charger with output of 5 Volts (optional)
-Standard 3.5 MM Stereo/Aux Cable
-A Car Without a Stereo
-Wire Crimping Tool
-Butt Crimps (Assorted Sizes)
-Multimeter (not necessary but advised)
-Soldering Iron (not necessary but on some connections I prefer to use this)
-Solder (see above)
Step 2: Car Stereo Basics
- A tuner/signal decoder. This takes the FM/AM waves, or other source information and turns it into audio information.
-An amplifier. This 'amplifies' the source signal to match the speakers output so that you can actually hear it.
-Volume/potentiometer control. Turns the volume up or down.
-Equalizer. Equalizes the source signal, either by manual input or automatic (or both)
-Case/Form Factor. This holds everything together.
That's what a car stereo consists of. I don't need or want radio, so the way I chose to do this is to take audio signal from phone via the headphone jack and play it through my car stereo speakers. There are a couple of things we need to understand before we do this:
The headphone output from your phone/tablet/mp3 player is very low power. If you were to plug it directly into the speakers it would be at a very low volume and you would never hear it. So we have to find a way to amplify it.
Automotive electrical systems run on 12 Volts. This is important to note.
Step 3: Finding an Amplifier/Tuner
Step 4: Remove Amplifier and Other Components From Main Speaker
Step 5: Measure the Opening in Your Dash
Step 6: Cut Your Mounting Board & Attach Your Board(s) to the Board
Step 7: Create a Faceplate (Or Don't)
Step 8: Attach Faceplate.
Step 9: Figure Out Your Wiring
Cut your power cord about 6-7" from the end. Split it into 2 wires. Plug it into the DC IN port on your board.
Locate the wires coming from the board and going to the speakers. There will more than likely be 2 sets.
Locate the input port on your board. Mine is on the back. Plug in your 3.5" MM cable into this.
If your car has had an aftermarket stereo installed before, it will have the aftermarket wiring harness installed.
The red wire (switched power) from your car will go to the white striped wire from your DC connector. This will make it so your new stereo will only have power when you turn your key on. IF you want it to have power all the time, connect the yellow (constant power) with the red wire.
The black wire from your stereo harness will go to the plain black wire on your DC connector.
Group all of your negative speaker wires from the car into 2 groups. Front and back, left and right, whatever you please.
Group all of your positive speaker wires from the car into 2 groups.
Connect one of your negative groups, to one of your negative speaker wires on your board.
Connect one of your positive groups, to one of your positive speaker wires on your board.
Connect the other sets.
Step 10: Install Your New Stereo Into Your Car
Step 11: BONUS STEP USB PORT
It's a good to use the pre-made car chargers because they already have resistors/regulators to drop the voltage down to 5 Volts.
Just glue it or screw it to your faceplate in the hole you created earlier.
I don't know why some of these pictures are upside down.