MP3 Cassette Solution




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 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 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 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?)



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    13 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Take Better Pictures!!!!!!!!!!!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    This is an interesting solution, but I simply bought a cassette player, some cables to go from it to the computer sound card, and used Audacity (free) and Lame codecs (to save as mp3) to save my collection.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    You could use the cassette deck to control it if you add some rotation sensors and some simple electronics.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Hi, I was so inspired, its too late. : ) I didnt build a replica of yours, I took the idea you gave me and ran with that. I see the link, and for $22, your right, I will probably just order one since I no longer have the parts laying around. I bought a cheap unit and made a permanent mount so that it fits neatly between the top of the car stereo and the vents. very clean. These are so darn cheap. Now there is no reason for me to lug my 20G expensive unit everywhere all the time. I can take it for longer trips of course, but 2G is a lot of music to just keep in the car. : )


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Ak! Sorry folks - it isn't a cake. Unless you enjoy the taste of chewy delicious lithium-ion compound. I had no clue that the cake comp was really only for 'cakes'.
    Having a cassette that plays back anything you like for 4 hours (reducing the need for a giant tape collection) might be stretching the limits of going green. Indeed when you can buy something similar (ak! not an original thought after all) for only $22...
    the time and effort spent putting it all together seems pretty wasteful. But I make no further apologies, being my first posted mash up I'm pretty proud. Given the inherent flaws in the design and weird playback...maybe it should have been posted as Art?
    Thanks to the constructive critics. I will check what I'm getting into before entering my next instructable into the 'safe for pets' comp - and stick to making paperclips out of ring pulls for the 'green' category.
    Thanks All


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I love this! Cool! Now you have me thinking too! I hate the adapter wire in my car. Maybe I should invest in a cheap player and commit it to the car adapter. Not in quite the same fashion, but on a semi flexible arm, the whole player could be held outside the opening by the cassette adapter. This would only work with those big stock stereo cassette players like I have, but so what. Thanks for the ideas. : ) I may have to make one just like yours too, just for the looks on coworkers faces. : )

    3 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I havent been able to stop thinking about your project all morning. I have even researched a couple cheap mp3 players to "commit" to the car adapter. : )


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Before racing out to spend $30 bucks on the MP3 player...(crestfallen look) there is already a $22 chinese item that does basically the same job that I had posted - albeit with an SD card reader.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    The green credentials are tenuous, as well. I'm starting to think competition entries should be moderated before even getting into competitions- there are only a couple of hundred at most per competition, it wouldn't be an excessive amount of work to do (it doesn't take long to figure out this isn't a cake, for instance).