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Ipod/Iphone to older stero ? Answered

I have a older sony stero that doesn't have a line out/AUX jack. It has the bare wire speakers. What would be the best way to set it up ? I just want to use the stero so I can play my ipod. I don't need a docking station or charger set up. Maybe a mini amp from some computer speakers ???
Thanks for the help !!


Well, I solved my problem. Kinda ? I ordered a cassette tape adapter for about $3 bucks shipped. Can't find it any cheaper in a thrift store ( I know cause I've bought them there new in the package). Here's the other part of my problem now, which I was able to bypass but I was wondering why this is happening if someone just kick me & make me think. I cleaned the tape heads, which didn't make any difference on a older tape. I pluged the 3.5mm jack into my iplayer (whaterer it is you're using) & the sound sounds muffled/echo. Thats pushed in all the way too. So I backed it out just a bit & then it sounds normial. Now, I have my Sirius connected with the same principal but the same thing. I even tryed using one of the special adapters they made for first gen Iphones. My question !! why is it that the male plug won't work if pluged in all the way, but if I back it off a bit ( it works) ? would the polaraity be backwards ? I just shooting in the dark with this question, but, I'm also trying to find my own answer. Any thoughts ? And yes, they are autio plugs with the 2 black strypes on the male end. Sorry for the long post again & thanks for the effort everyone :)

Another thought: Does that stereo have a cassette/8-track player built in? If so, you may be able to reroute the inputs from the tape player to be inputs from the iThing.

I've been told that on older radios, it may be possible to patch a signal into it at the volume knob. I'd want to go after yours with a meter -- and ideally a 'scope -- and/or examine the circuit diagrams before assuming that would work, but it's a possiblity to pursue if you've got the skills.

Re learning basic electronics: There used to be some good books on how to repair basic home electronics which covered the principles at a very high level -- nowhere near enough to design or alter these boxes, but enough to understand essentially what they were doing and what was likely to go wrong. I'm not sure the older books would still be reasonable if you're looking at modern designs, but the general principles are still valid. There are still signal sources (tapes, tuners, and such), preamplifiers to bring those up to line level, input selection if there's more than one input, and power amp. And filters if it has tone controls.

(Of course, we're getting to a point where things may be staying in the digital domain until they actually hit the power amp. That _does_ change the game tremendously)

I was thinking about aplying the principal of hacking the tape deck ( as I've seen here for car stereo's). If I could have found a car stereo W/cd player cheap enough, I would have gone that route. I ever went to a city closer to me where there are some awesome thrift stores, but most everything I found was missing a wiring harness. I was just wanting to keep my garage uncluttered. For now, I put some sony computer speakers out there. I'll keep looking until I find what it is I want.
I thought about looking for some older books & using the concept's. I self teach so I was just looking for a starting point. In the day & age of digital life we have, I know I can use the web or come here. I figured I should try to learn how to fix my own stuff. It's always been an intrest to me. I'm interested in how things work & why !! AS a kid I always took apart stuff but never knew how to put it back together. You see my problem now ?? LOL


7 years ago

Does it have a radio? You could use an inexpensive FM transmitter.

I was trying to get away from a fm transmiter. I just went on ebay & bought a tape adapter for $3. Far more cheaper than trying to build something. I was just trying to use what I had on hand. I like to troubleshoot stuff & find a way around things, but I do lack the knowledge of working with circuts, resistors, multimeters ECT..I'm trying to teach myself cause thats the only way I learn. Can someone point me in the right direction as to where I can gain more knowledge about things like this for beginners ? I can work on cars, build computers, cook, drive a garbage truck Ect.. You can see where my common sence does come in. I'm just wanting to get the knowledge & understanding of how electricial (small) stuff works. Thanks to everyone for the effort you all have put into my post. Hope we can cross paths again.,

There probably is a place to tap into the amplifier inside the radio, but it's difficult to say exactly where, without seeing it. It's likely you could feed in a signal right before the main amplifier IC. You'll need to look through a few datasheets before determining which chip it is, and which pin to attach your signal to.

Does it have any inputs? ( see ork' for names" )


There aren't any imputs. Just a jack for the headphones & 2 sets (red & black) for the bare wire speakers.

Give ork' a "best answer" please, he's right.


If your stereo really has no line inputs, it's going to be a Significant Nuisance to adapt for this use. I would recommend hitting Freecycle, or your local Goodwill/Salvation Army/consignment store, and looking for another amplifier which *does* have those inputs.

If you really insist on adapting this amp, it can be done... but I would argue isn't worth doing unless there is something special about this amp which makes you want to use it. For example, I plan to adapt an old tube-style radio to play from an MP3 player so my antique radio can "tune in" antique broadcasts. But I wouldn't recommend going that route if you just want to amplify your player.

What you want is a line _in_ jack. Aux in, tape in, tuner in, CD player in, or VCR audio in are all line-level inputs.

Forgive me as I'm sorta new to definitions of things like this. I know the basics of how to get around or alter electronics. I guess I'm just looking for a way to take a projest box, add a 1/8 jack for my ipod'iphone & tie it into the stereo so I can control the sound level of the speakers. I did do a hack as I read here about using an old pair of headphones & tied them into the speakers before pluging them into the stereo & using a computer sub woofer for an amp, but I can't control the sounl level & once pluged into the stereo, the sound is distorted. Is there a way to make my own cable at one end have bare wire & the other end have a regular headphone style jack ? I'm just trying as a project but I don't understand the concept of how audio cables work. I know there are other ways to do this as I read i.e. car stereo's tape deck... I really didn't want to go that route, but if that's the only way ?? After all that, the best way for me to explain what I want is to do what a pair of computer speakers can do but tie them into the stereo. It has a radio,cd player & tape deck. I know this is long winded. LOL

No project box needed. Go to Radio Shlock or equivalent, and buy one of the adapter cables which has a plug on one end to fit the iThing's headphone jack and two RCA connectors on the other end to fit one of the stereo inputs I mentioned. Connect cable, turn on, done. Easier and cheaper than building your own cable.

If you really insist on building your own... The headphone plug is a mini-phone plug with three contacts (Tip, Ring, Sleeve) ... four if you're plugging in a headset that has a microphone in it, but you can ignore that detail. In almost all commercial equipment (except those deliberately designed to be incompatible with the standards), Sleeve is the signal ground, Tip is one channel's signal (usually left, I think) and Ring is the other channel's signal. Connect tip and sleeve to the center and outer contacts, respectively, of an RCA connector. Connect ring and sleeve to the center and outer contacts of another RCA connector. Use cable as described above.

If you want to get fancier about it, see the various Instructables about making your own iPod dock. Those will show you how to wire up to the iThing's other connector. The principle is exactly the same.

Note; If you have a pair of computer speakers -- amplified or unamplified, preferably amplified -- you can just plug them into the iThing's headphone output directly. I know someone who is using that setup as their car stereo.