Bare bones Single DIN car preamp/ipod/3.5 deck?

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Bare bones Single DIN car preamp/ipod/3.5 deck?

Postby crashbumper » February 20th, 2013, 10:59 pm

I've been wanting something like this for a while now, but I am not sure if I should post here, or in the commission section.

I am wanting to build a minimalist single DIN size (or maybe even half din) stereo deck. I am not an audiophile, I don't really care about audio quality too much. I just want to listen to my ipod or phone in the car. I never use the radio, cd player, etc. I would just run this through stock speakers and wiring, no extra upgrades. There are stereos available now that have only AM/FM/ 3.5 input, but I don't even need the radio portion. Also, many are ugly and always look cheap.

I have thought about it being just a volume knob, perhaps a bass/treble control, and a 3.5 jack. I guess a usb port would be nice for charging.

I have found circuits based on the LM1036N, which looks promising to me. I am not sure about building the circuitry to power the OEM vehicle speakers; but I guess that's my question here.

Single DIN package would be nice for both my cars that have it, but in the case of a hot rod I am building, it would be nice to shrink this unit even more to retrofit into an existing vintage stereo.

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Re: Bare bones Single DIN car preamp/ipod/3.5 deck?

Postby Osgeld » February 21st, 2013, 12:26 am

why not

A) go cheap and get an FM transmitter (since quality is not issue #1)
B) just patch in somewhere on the existing radio

not to discourage, but if you think aftermarket looks cheap, with professional engineering, tooling and "quality" parts what do you expect to do with a knob and a hole in your dash?
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Re: Bare bones Single DIN car preamp/ipod/3.5 deck?

Postby crashbumper » February 21st, 2013, 8:33 am

I've had bad luck with FM adapters. I've tried a Griffin, two generics from Deal Extreme, and some other brand I can't remember ($20-30 range) and they all had some kind of hum, or high pitched whine they picked up from the alternator.

I guess I could try patching in to the original radio; but the OEM unit used in my car is a double DIN, along with a separate upper panel with additional controls. I lose a lot of console space that could be cup holders or pockets.
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Re: Bare bones Single DIN car preamp/ipod/3.5 deck?

Postby stormeporm » May 2nd, 2013, 1:23 pm

I dont know how loud you want it to be but you can buy ta2024 amps pretty cheap like these. ... er=320-308
Just solder your speakers to it, a mini jack and your good to go.
The sound is pretty decent, but its not loud enough to annoy people with your taste of music at the traffic lights.
Or if your really lazy look on ebay there are lots of variations of the ta2024 amps. ... p&_sacat=0
Some are really easy to connect and build in to your car.
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Re: Bare bones Single DIN car preamp/ipod/3.5 deck?

Postby Xander88 » May 2nd, 2013, 3:58 pm

Well, since you want just iPod connection, I assume that Apple virus completely wiped your perception of reality. AM/FM - Good, as broadcasters we rely on AM/FM for Emergency Alert System (EAS) and it's one thing that I'll always have in my car, but to your topic, why not get UB series Pioneer deck, that way you can plug in your iPod in it, and it will play and charge at the same time with only one cable, that what I have right now as my setup, and it wasn't terribly expensive, like 100 bucks or so, with built in amp and plenty of features.
DIY way however is more fun, I wanted to do something similar to it. in that case you can throw amp under the seat, get Din Pocket, and wire it up that iPod sits in pocket with couple knobs near by.
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Re: Bare bones Single DIN car preamp/ipod/3.5 deck?

Postby crashbumper » May 2nd, 2013, 10:12 pm

Ok, here is the reason for why I wanted this.


As you can see in this picture, Toyota did something really stupid by splitting half the radio controls into an upper panel. When you replace the OEM double DIN deck with an aftermarket deck, all the controls are useless. There is no reason to keep it around. Also as stated previously, I think modern decks looks ugly.

So here is what I chose to start with.

I bought this $12 stereo amplifier from Deal Extreme



It's claimed to be 100 watts. Whether that is true or not, I don't know and don't know how to test. I am pretty sure the factory speakers are far less than what this is claimed to be.

I then grabbed a $10 Scosche adapter:


And hooked it up.


I just tied both left channels together, and both right channels together.


This was about a month ago, and it has been working really well for an investment of roughly $25.

I am actually going to take it back apart, and build it into the OEM upper panel. I'd like to reuse the stock volume control knob, and install the fade/balance/bass/treble knobs from the stock deck into the upper panel.

For me, its a good start. Once I integrate the electronics into the existing OEM controls, it will be exactly what I was looking for, a half DIN sized amplifier with no wasted control space.

Although this is a wired setup right now, I want to get a bluetooth headphone that I can teardown, and wire into the audio input. I've been seeing this type of mod a lot on the front page, so I feel better about trying it out.
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