So I'm stuck with a cassette player in my rusted Magna. I needed tunes but was fed up with the cable from the cassette adapter to the MP3 player cluttering up the console.
I needed a freakish solution.
Step 1: The Lucky Find,
My original MP3 Player was too fat for this mod. Luckily there exists an Ipod Shuffle knock-off for less than AU$30! Having a generic 5pin USB connection was also handy. After taking out the main screw, and a few minutes of coaxing...you have the wafer thin innards on the desk and some spare parts.
Step 2: The Trusty Cassette Adapter
These can be found nearly anywhere. Most major electrical outlets stock them, but they can be bought more cheaply from your local soiled sillys or clazy crarks. Hang onto the cable - this is useful for testing the audio playback before the final solder. The model that I used had a removable audio plug that could be plugged into either of the two 2.5mm sockets.
Step 3: Open Them Up!
Here we can see the innards of the adapter and the naked mp3 player. In my case I stripped out all of the plastic cogs to make room for the player. A miracle! The wafer thin player fit snugly between the plastic pegs inside the adapter. (Some shaving of these pegs with a sharp knife helped - and some pegs had to be cut out alltogether.)
Step 4: Nearly Done...
After the player was positioned thus...I did a test close. Bugger, the wafer thin battery wasn't 'wafer thin' after all. It had to be gently unstuck and laid to the right side of the shell. Connecting the audio out from the player to the audio in on the adapter is actually a cinch. After stripping back the 3.5mm headphone jack that came with the kit...it was plugged into the player as usual (removing one of the 2.5mm jacks in the cassette shell to make room). The wires were then soldered colour to colour on the remaining 2.5mm jack. This fed audio into the cassette adapter, and also back out the socket for testing. To charge the thing...another cut down USB adaptor. The kind you pick up from Woolworths that come in a set of 'keys' with a m/f cable.
The look on my co-workers faces the next day was priceless. For a cheap mp3 player it managed about four hours of playback before needing a charge. It certainly helped during the Sunday shift. For now though - it's back in the car for you mate.
Step 5: The Final Word
Watch this space for the finished item...
Upside - The admiration and frank disbelief gleaned from your peers (One of the audience actually let out a squeal of wonder at the absurdity).
A cassette that'll play 4 hours worth of whatever you feel like.
Less wear and tear on the old Magna's stereo.
Downside - Really it's a beta model. Haste, lack of sleep and the frantic urge to create helped to balls it up a bit.
. The plastic Play/pause pad went missing...so currently it's a pen poked in the backside to start the machine.
. The low clearance of the Cassette adapter's shell meant that parts had to be filed out - else the cassette would stick in the stereo.
. A bodgy job of soldering meant that Side A was loud and tinny, and side B was quiet and Basey (Built in equalizer perhaps?)