Introduction: Hacking a Car Stereo and a Computer

Picture of Hacking a Car Stereo and a Computer

This is in response to my posting of case mod
carig14 ask me to do this so blame him .
I take no responsibly for you using power tools on a computer!
The same with eye protection , hearing and such.
If not familiar with a complete computer build then this is way over your head.
Try something like this on a junk tower first .
I will not go into the details of the MoBo install or any of the computer building.

Step 1: Strip Out the Computer Tower

Picture of Strip Out the Computer Tower

I will not make this on how to build a computer loads of instructions on the web for that .That said eather start with a new tower or strip everything out of an old one .
This tower is a lenov ADM that was used in my lighter mod .
The tower must be complety striped as chips from the sawing /grinding will flat mess up electronics .
I located on the plastic faceplate where I wanted the stereo mounted marked it with a sharpie the stereo has a thin sleeve for mounting it into the dash I slid this off and used it to trace the outline of the stereo mounting hole.
Drill a 3/8" hole into the 4 corners of faceplate then connect the holes with a saw ( jig or sawsaw) light work with a file made the sleeve fit the faceplate nicely.
I then mounted the faceplate to the tower,dropped in the sleeve and traced the cut I needed on the face of the tower.The side the MoBo mounts to was in the way of the stereo so it was rough cut to make room.

Step 2: More Chopping/drilling

Picture of More Chopping/drilling

The car ant takes a 3/4"mounting hole this takes some good layout work might need to dry fit most of the computers parts ,also the cable for ant was 6' long so I had to shorten it .
Just cut it off to length and Radio shack has new end for it.
PCI slot cover was drilled with 1/4" holes x4 for the RCA jacks also from Radio Shack
PCI slot cover drilled 5/16" then tin snips to open the hole to the top so the molex connector will drop in.
Drill a 3/16" hole in bottom of the tower to strap back of stereo down ,as this stereo has a cd player in it ,with out strapping it down bad things happen

Step 3: Wireing

Picture of Wireing

Left front.left rear right front right rear the harness fron the car stereo is wired to the RCA jacks soldered and heat shrink tubed
Molex soldered to the 12VDC ,Clock,and the night light onto the yellow (orange) wire. Ground wite was tagged to the strap mount and to the 12 DC- wire.

Step 4: Mounting

Picture of Mounting

MoBo ,power supply hard drives,CD/DVD player put all of that stuff into the tower.
Mount the stereo and strap it down.
Install all the PCI cards.
Put the PCI cover plate for the RCA plugs in open slot.
PCI cover with slot feed molex through it and put in all the screws.
Mount ant in its hole .
Plug up everything ,
Put on the side cover ( s )

Step 5: Extras

Picture of Extras

I side mounted my pair of USB ports as it was much easyer than making a front mount for this computer.
The Lighter stayed .
The hole in the faceplate is for another mod" how to light up your case badge "
I put a fan in each side of this tower , and it has an exaust fan as well.
Painted the face and top blood gulch red .
the stereo is powered from a seperat power supply.
the front speakers go to a kicker box under my table the tower lives on.
back speakers are jacked to the input of my sound card .
the stereos remote has front rear fade so do not need the computer on to listen.
I did not hook up the in side of stereo to the output of the sound card maybe later .


twocvbloke (author)2009-06-15

It looks like the centre console from a modded ricer (no, not racer, ricer!!!) car... :P I've often thought of fitting a car stereo into a PC case, but I just couldn't be bothered to... :D Nice work... :)

bikerbob2005 (author)twocvbloke2009-06-15

The next step will be to mount a car stereo that has a motorized dvd screen that comes out and hard wire it as a second monitor.

hack124x768 (author)bikerbob20052009-07-10

Holy cow that would be awesome... Bit more expensive than the old ps1 screen hack though.

bikerbob2005 (author)hack124x7682009-07-11

As the stereo can be jacked to the sound input on the sound card and my MP3 player has a built in Fm transmitter .I have dark thoughts late at night of another way to stream data to my system .Maybe an old hayes modem conversion? got one in the parts bin.

Lance Mt. (author)bikerbob20052010-02-12

 Dude if you keep this up your com's gonna go all sentinel on you XD

bikerbob2005 (author)Lance Mt.2012-03-18

getting closer i just got a server rack for a new home computer 2 xeon dual cores 3.0 gig 8 gig of ram,sounds like a huey on takeoff

bikerbob2005 (author)Lance Mt.2010-02-12

not as long as i keep windows on it .

Lance Mt. (author)bikerbob20052010-02-15

 lol, your punishment to it would to BLUESCREENOFFDEATH him. Hehehe,


Actually, that would be more like mac.

kumaru (author)twocvbloke2009-10-24

That head unit was GREAT in my honda!

(I'm serious, btw, haha!)

tlee23 (author)2011-09-01

i did mine the other day and it works great but i got a brand new case and put the stereo at the top and put a shield in it so i could have speakers built in and the pc is all still working fine at the same time so yeah but it was a lot harder to do my case for some reason it had more metal to cut out then my first one

carlg14 (author)2008-08-30

you done it well done it looks nice and do be honest i have never seen a car stereo installed to a computer what psu are you using for your computer?

bikerbob2005 (author)carlg142008-08-30

D8 Intel 2.4 Ghz a Gig of ram Windows XP on an 8Gig Hard drive 40 gig backup Hd 128 meg video card Video capture card DVD burner 600 watt Power supply 5.1 sround sound PCI card its a screamer as I am almost reddy to get my A+ cirt. so very tweaked system.and do not tell me to go dual core ,I am looking at a 3.06Ghz CPU then this tower will be at max. Let me make you a package deal ;)

small update.took laptop to a friends shop to replace the cd drive ,he ask me if i wanted a cpu said it was untested 2.6  with VM .took about 5 min and my system was better :)

Derin (author)2009-08-30

a note about the cd drives: most drives come with another faceplate which makes 2 paint the second one red and install that or remove the installed faceplate and tray cover to paint those

Yerboogieman (author)2009-01-31

:-D i have that same stereo!!! They should have put more than 4 RCA ports on it, great stereo.

guyfrom7up (author)2008-08-31

you know, I was just thinking about making a little capacitor penguin that looks exactly like that! lol

bikerbob2005 (author)guyfrom7up2008-09-04

Tis a scary thing when I get people thinking , I do want to see your ver.

Sandisk1duo (author)2008-08-30

So um, why do you need a stereo? you already have a cd drive, and that computer probably came with powered speakers

bikerbob2005 (author)Sandisk1duo2008-08-31

Its not that I need a stereo in my tower,the voices said come on you can do this build for carig14 .just kidding . The stereo is 80 watts on 4 channels it thumps out good! listed on the bottom of this are the major components of my computer ,nothing came with the D8 MoBo ,some parts in tower are from last computer .I recycle towers ,shop around carefully when needing parts.counting everything in it including win xp I have less than 400$ in it. I have been building computers seance 1978 analog as well as digital,

Sandisk1duo (author)bikerbob20052008-08-31

well, ok, it wouldn't put out 80watts X 4 channels
80 X 4 = 320
so that stereo puts out 320 watts total
But where does that power come from? your PSU
so your PSU is 12v, just like a car battery
but not enough amps, your psu probably puts out ~3 amps

now here's the problem;
Watts = Amps X Volts, right?
So your PSU puts out 12v X ~3Amps = 36 Watts

your stereo needs 320W+ to operate properly, but your PSU gives it 36W

-The sound quality will be heavily distorted at high volume-

bikerbob2005 (author)Sandisk1duo2008-08-31

the molex sticking out the back for a power source the computers Power supply is all ready taxed out

Also that is full power on all four even Hendrix did not load amps that hard .I doubt the stereo would ever pull over 2 amps ,once in the truck it popped the fuse it was a 1.5 amp after that I upped it to a 5 amp. not sure where you got that my power supply only give it 36 watts its a 600 watt supply the 4 fans draw all most that much

Sandisk1duo (author)bikerbob20052008-08-31

look at the little lable on the PSU, find the 12v row, and find how many amps it puts out, make sure that you are looking at the 12v "thing"

bikerbob2005 (author)Sandisk1duo2008-09-01

as I said the stereo has an external power tower powersupply is a 600 watt unit,the supply that came in that tower was a 300 watt unit,here is the lable on watts 300 +12v 8 amps +5v 30 amps +3.3 v 14 amps that supply has more than enough power to run the stereo on the 12 VDC leg. how often is everything running at full power in your computer? burning takes lots more power than reading a dvd. my floppy never runs,even my fans are adjustable to lower both power draw as well as lower noise.the CPU doesent even draw full power unless its doing something like running burnin2008! just did a ram check the ddr sticks are only at 2/3 of max in what ever they do ,and my optical mouse is asleep 90% of the time trust me i know how to do the math for ohm's law ,just wish on dig amp meter had not crashed of of that roof last year.

Punkguyta (author)bikerbob20052008-09-03

Not to mention your CPU, which for the most part is the most power consuming component in your PC, is probably around 50 watts or less (44-50 giveortake). And that's assuming you can actually push it right up to 100%, don't forget though it's gotta take a breath every few cycles so it's not really capable of surging it's rated power in a constant power draw.

bikerbob2005 (author)Punkguyta2008-09-03

I am probably wrong on this as not doing any kind of fact checking. my CPU runs of 5VDC I think it is off the 5v leg it has 30 amps on the 300 watt Power supply ,I did open the 300 ps and it has a bunch of the power transitiors in it looks like 6 on 3 separate transformers even under a heavy load watching the CPU graph it only spikes for a short at 100% then drops to like 77% even 50%. anyone know if a normal computer power supply can provide an over load?it is fused at 5 amp x 250v that would blow at 1250 watts i know have to subtract out the heat it produces too .next question is efficency rating?

Punkguyta (author)Punkguyta2008-09-03

Oh yeah, and not to mention that I had a 150 watt audiovox amp hooked to to an old old P1 power supply, it was like only a 250 watt power supply and a handful of amps. The only time anything overloaded was from giving the amp too high of an input signal from my ipod or whatever to it's RCa jacks and It was too much. But I don't think that had anything to do with the power supply it self.

Sandisk1duo (author)bikerbob20052008-09-01

ok, never mind, sorry for the trouble

tedsmokeone (author)2008-09-03

we got tunes hahahahaha

Jahoovi (author)2008-09-01

finally someone posted something about hacking into other people's items

sr1sws (author)2008-08-30

I like the assistants.

bikerbob2005 (author)sr1sws2008-08-30

we have a thread on the new contest I googled "craft"and had to swipe the photo from them they look like robot alien penguins

sr1sws (author)bikerbob20052008-08-30

Heh... maybe it's the gin, but I can't find the thread with the 'assistants'. Can you give me a hint? Thanks!

bikerbob2005 (author)sr1sws2008-08-30

thread the assistants post under an assumed name even i dont know it.

learningmasters (author)2008-08-30

and it works as a computer nice!!!!

tyeo098 (author)2008-08-30

I have that exact stereo in my trck, does yours skip to the next track like partway through a song?

bikerbob2005 (author)tyeo0982008-08-30

only when my tower hits a bad speed bump.honestly mostly never use cd player i use the sd plays all day on a 1gig sd card

tyeo098 (author)bikerbob20052008-08-30

I meant the sd card lol How long have you had it? But all my songs are from limewire lol, but they play fine on other things hmmm...

bikerbob2005 (author)tyeo0982008-08-30

almost 2 years some times it has skipped on the SD card never on portable Hard drive .it does rock out good and under 100$ so am happy with it.mucho gratis over stock GMC radio that was in truck (truck crashed bad had to put it to sleep :(

tyeo098 (author)bikerbob20052008-08-30

btw the title should read 'hacking a car stereo INTO a computer' not and

bikerbob2005 (author)tyeo0982008-08-30

um sorry got to take up things like that with the assistants they were in charge of editing/proofreading

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