DIY line-in project done... finally - Fuelly Forums

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Old 03-22-2009, 04:45 PM   #1
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DIY line-in project done... finally

I was tired of using the tape adapter in my Durango so I decided to make my own Line-in using an FM modulator. I decided to go with a 5-pin MiniXLR connector from Switchcraft. It carries 5v to the player if I've made a line-in connector for it, audio, and has a sense pin to turn on the FM modulator if the cable is plugged in. If it isn't plugged in I doubt anybody would even notice the tiny connector in the dash.



The OEM style Sansa cable:


The shielded XLR to stereo Mini connector for all other players:


The cables were all made by me. The OEM style cable uses regular USB cable. The chrome shielded cable uses Flexo Chrome sleeving and Canare Star-Quad audio cable.
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Old 03-22-2009, 04:48 PM   #2
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Very clean install. I had it scrolled just offscreen and was trying to figure out which of those upper plugs was it for a moment! So the FM modulator is behind the dash someplace?
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Old 03-22-2009, 04:56 PM   #3
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Nice job. I did mine using a slave remote tape deck. I bought the deck on eBay, stripped it to the minimum required to activate the "aux" selection on my head unit, and rerouted its audio wires to a jack I installed.

At first, it looked perfect but I broke the jack. Frustrated, I replaced the jack and scratched the surface in the process...


This is the tape deck, stripped out of its housing with some of the unnecessary parts disconnected:


I tucked it in where it's not visible.
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Old 03-22-2009, 05:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maximilian View Post
Very clean install. I had it scrolled just offscreen and was trying to figure out which of those upper plugs was it for a moment! So the FM modulator is behind the dash someplace?
Thanks! I tried my best to make it as clean and normal looking as I could which is why I used an automatic integrated on/off switch as opposed to an external, manual one.

The FM modulator and the 5v supply w/ modulator on/off circuitry all fit behind the dash so the little connector is the only sign that anything has been done.

Ever notice that if you test every little thing along the way projects go smoothly but the instant you assume you've done something okay and just build and install you end up with a problem somewhere that really sucks? I tested everything so I wouldn't have to take the dash apart again and not once had I screwed up. The FM modulator I used isn't putting out the quality of sound I think it should be though so I may be pulling the dash apart later on to change it out.

That's pretty clean THC, I was originally going to go that route until I figured I might as well make the unit charge while I'm making custom cables.
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:43 PM   #5
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hmm i wonder if i could do this to a old knob radio...it has no input of any kind besides AM/FM radio( no 8 track, no casette) would be nice keeping the origional great sounding chevette radio in it but also have a hidden input jack for my mp3 player....

hmm i wonder if i can just build an amp and just connect it to the speakers...

i have one of those cheap FM transmitter things that you connect anything too but it kinda sucks and is weak... sound quality os OK but eh get near a strong radio station it gets all furry sounding.

maybe if i just build a stronger transmitter... anyone know of a good one???
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Old 03-23-2009, 02:31 PM   #6
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FM transmitters are forced to suck by the FCC. The transmission strength limit is so low that they sound awful under all conditions. You'd think that a manufacturer selling one that's easy to hack would sell lots of them, but AFAIK none sell an easy hack.

You could get an FM modulator like dkjones96 did; it plugs in to the antenna jack, and the antenna plugs into it to pass through when it's not in use.

You could hack your radio by finding the traces where audio goes from the receiver section to the amp section; it might be easier in such an old radio than a modern one. That doesn't sound like fun or a good idea.

An amp might not directly work, but another stereo would. I did that back in 1997. I bought a crappy sounding, ultra-cheap am/fm/cassette radio and tapped it into my existing speaker wires. However, the radios interfered with eachother, so I had to get switches. The result was a mess of wires, a radio on the floor, and two big ugly switches mounted to the dash, but it worked.
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Old 03-23-2009, 02:42 PM   #7
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They make some pretty cheap but decent mp3 playing radios now, or at least ones with a line in jack. I was able to order my car with no stock radio and just went that route.
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:21 PM   #8
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I thought of going that route but at the rate those things are stolen from people's cars nowadays I'll rip my stock radio apart and bypass the internal amps and put a line-out to a real amp before I go with an aftermarket unit. I'm pretty close to actually doing that but can't come up with a stock-like way to install a sub into this vehicle... Those 5-channel amps are pretty handy in small places. the tracker had space under the front seats but not the Durango.

I think my lack of SQ comes from this FM modulator not putting out stereo sound. It has marked RCA inputs but it isn't stereo out the FM.
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:32 PM   #9
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I put an inline FM modulator on The Beast and on The Big White Hooptie. They cost about $20 for the kits @ Amazon.com and I've been very pleased with them. Install took about 20 minutes on The Beast, and about 5 minutes on The Hooptie. (I already knew the best way to tear that dash apart quickly - Adavantage of almost 20 years of ownership).

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Old 03-23-2009, 03:40 PM   #10
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I thought of going that route but at the rate those things are stolen from people's cars nowadays I'll rip my stock radio apart and bypass the internal amps and put a line-out to a real amp before I go with an aftermarket unit.
Oh, yeah, crime. I keep forgetting about that out here in the sticks. That really sucks. Mine's got a removable dash, but I never take it with me. In cold weather I leave the doors unlocked. I figure I'm in more danger (around here) of the locks freezing shut.
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Main Entry: co de pen dence - see codependency
co de pen den cy
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Function: noun
Date: 1979

: a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (as an addiction to alcohol or heroin) ; broadly : dependence on the needs of or control by another
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