Invisible MP3 Player for Cars

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Introduction: Invisible MP3 Player for Cars

These instructions are for cars that have an FM radio, but otherwise limited options for listening to music. I wanted to invisibly incorporate an mp3 player that plays through my car's speakers, which I did using a hidden FM modulator that connects to an mp3 player small enough to fit in the ashtray.

Materials:
MP3 player that fits in your ashtray
A wired FM modulator
A cable with dual-RCA to 3.5mm stereo plug

Tools:
Hacksaw
Pliers
Whatever is needed to remove your radio and install the FM modulator (probably a screwdriver, wire cutter/strippers, electrical tape)

Step 1: Install an FM Modulator

I installed an FM modulator that hides behind the control panel and connects directly to the antenna and power, as opposed to one that hangs down from the cigarette lighter. I just followed the installation instructions that came with it. FM modulators of this type have an on-off switch for the antenna, which I put in a discreet place below the steering wheel.

My 97 Ford Escort is weird, and required a special tool made from a coathanger to remove the radio. Since all cars are different, I won't discuss how to install the modulator. Generally speaking, though, you'll probably need a screwdriver, some wire cutters/strippers, and electrical tape. It may or may not be easy.

Step 2: Pull a Stereo Cable From the Modulator Through the Ashtray

There are two RCA jacks that come out of the modulator. I extended these with a cable that adapts the RCA jacks to a 3.5mm stereo plug. The stereo plug was then pulled through the opening for the ashtray.

Step 3: Modify Ashtray

I modified the ashtray slightly, to allow the cable to fit through the back, and to fit an mp3 player. I made these modifications easily with a small hacksaw and a pair of pliers. To cut out the square opening in back of the ashtray, I made several parallel cuts, then snapped the pieces off.

Step 4: Plug in the MP3 Player and Put the Ashtray Back In

That's it. Here are a few comments, though..

The player I used (irock ezmp3) uses sd cards for memory. Given the minimalist interface, it'll be difficult to manage a lot of music on a single card. I plan to save music on multiple small-memory sd cards, maybe with a few albums each, and just keep the cards in a Sucrets tin.

Using an FM modulator to listen to a $20 mp3 player is definitely low-end. It sounds pretty good, though.

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39 Comments

what is a fm modulator?

device that convert audio signal to fm signal

user

But what if U smoke??

I've never been in a car with a smoker who actually uses the ash tray. Even in the dead of winter they put the window down it seems.

good reason to quit?

load subliminal hypnotism on the player saying "smoking is gross"

well you can ether splice it in like i did with my spare lighters or buy a lighter

How about stop smoking...

put the mp3 in the tape deck!