Literally : Dock Your Ipod to Your Car Audio Cassette Slot





Introduction: Literally : Dock Your Ipod to Your Car Audio Cassette Slot

About: UW Milwaukee inter arts grad
I had this awesome Nakamichi deck for years now. It makes any crappy speaker sound better but as technology progresses, the cassette part of my deck is becoming more obsolete..  I was using those cassette adapter to hook up my ipod but it looks so lame with all the wires hanging out and the  sound quality took a beating. So I came up with something practically works , cheap and looks cool ( trifecta! ).

Literally : Dock your Ipod / mp3 player to car audio cassette slot from cedric ranada on Vimeo.

Step 1: Tools and Stuff You Need

Important: You'll need a cassette player with an auxiliary input.
*This is where we will send the audio signal from the ipod. I was going to hack the tape head connections to send signal there but its sort of complicated and I had the inputs anyway.

Ipod or any mp3 player that can fit on the cassette slot

3.5mm stereo jacks with wires connected
*This  will connect the ipod to the AUX input.

Micro switch
*You can scavenge the cassette mechanism for this.

Mighty putty like epoxy

Soldering Iron , cutter, screw drivers, electrical tape, zip ties.

Step 2: Open It Up

Opening your deck is easy, there would be metal tabs to pry or screws to unloose. The top cover usually comes off.

Once opened, there would be "modules" for the radio tuner, amplifier, cassette mechanism/PCB or cd changer.

We only need to modify/remove the cassette mechanism and its pcb.

Your deck should still operate without the cassette mechanism/pcb.

Step 3: Modify Cassette Mechanism

Start building back the cassette mechanism by removing things to open up space for the ipod.

I removed quite a bit of gears, spindles, motors, extra metals and plastic.

Test fit your ipod until you achieve your desired location. 

Step 4: Wiring It Up

Solder the 3.5mm with wires to the deck's input connection.

Locate the ACC +12v  source. Solder a wire in to it.

Solder the micro switch to the wire from the ACC +12v  source and the AUX remote in wire.
*When the switch is triggered, it will make the radio deck switch to auxiliary mode.

Zip tie the the micro switch next to the 3.5mm plug. Make sure that the switch will be triggered when the 3.5mm jack mates with ipod.


Step 5: Setting Up the Docking Station

One you decided the final docking position of the ipod, place the 3.5mm jack /switch in it.

With the epoxy putty on hand make a holder for the 3.5mm jack/switch.
*Make sure the the surface is free from grease and dirt before placing the epoxy.

Let the epoxy dry.

If you have an mp3 player that is smaller, use the epoxy to make "walls" to prevent it from moving around the slot.

You can put some felt paper to protect your ipod from getting scratched or if you have a thinner mp3 player. You can also file the opening of the cassette slot if you want to use other bigger mp3 player .

My ipod fits snugly on the slot. Even with the bumps on the road the ipod doesn't move at all.

Step 6: Done

Once the epoxy dries you are done. Place the cover back. Place the deck back in your car. Done. Enjoy your tunes.



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    I'm gonna do it! You've inspired me.

    Pretty neat! Check out my diy for a wiring time saver. I bet it would help you, and feel free to vote?

    nicely done

    That is well done!

    It is very good explained in the pictures - anyone can learn from it.

    sweet build bro i have a 98 blazer im going to do this to it has a cd player and a outboard cassette palyer thanks for the idea i might even try to turn it around as well thanks for the idea


    This is fly... way to keep up with the times! It makes me want to convert an old 8 track!

    Dude thats skills   so win    to bad i cant do that to mine my dad would kill me and  i have a bigger mp3    Creative vision m 

    4 replies

    Sell your Creative mp3 in ebay and get a smaller one! Your dad will be proud of you!

    i would if i could but  mine is sort of broken  it takes an hour to turn on rebuilds every time it does turn on and wont connect to my computer lolz 

    my dad wouldnt be proud he would be pissed  but o well     i give you props on your after market mod lolz

    drive corruption,   ?   you may need to format it.  and start over fresh.


    Yeah I see what you mean. Thanks for the props man.

    no joke, i had the same idea about a year ago..
    but if i were to do it now i would make it so that you stick the ipod in base first, so it can charge & add a steering wheel controller like this: to change songs etc.

    3 replies

    That is great. Though I would leave it the way z3ds shows so that you can still change the song. OR you could even do like you said and use the docking cord and have it play charge, AND add buttons to change the song threw the docking cable. Is there controll buttons on the pinout or do you have to have a controller w/program? huh. I'll have to google it.


    That's a really good idea, but isn't there going to be phone jack sticking out  on top of the ipod?  I guess  there are output leads on the docking connector to get sound. Cool man you should post a build!

    yeah the dock connector has low level  audio out, and you can even buy small interface dongles to change songs/navigate.
    i think im gonna work on getting my truck to start before i start messing with the non-existent radio haha

    Actually, that is a pretty nice older stereo. Aux, CD control, tape. Not bad.

    This is an AWESOME 'ible!!!  You, my friend, are FRIGGIN' AWESOME!!!

    i figured that out before i even started reading the steps. how about if you had a different type of ipod? would you have a little plastic dock you could change in to make different ones fit in?

    Very clever idea, zip tying the switch to the 3.5mm plug.

    Nicely done build too. Looks like a professional build.