For a long time now, I've been trying to find a way to get music in my car on the cheap, and since I've finally succeeded, I thought I should share this tale of 12 volts.
When I first purchased my car, it had a crappy cassette player installed. The unit would only play through the right channel and it would randomly eject whatever cassette it was playing. Eventually, the player started eating my cassettes and then died altogether.
Fortunately, my local thrift store was selling a cassette player for $5, as well as a bunch of cassettes for $1 each. Six dollars and 20 minutes later, I was rocking out to Boston's "More Than a Feeling". Not too shabby, but I want to listen to music from my digital collection as well as some audcasts. Purchasing an "audio out to cassette" adapter proved to be a fruitless endevour as the cassette player started ejecting the adapter after a few seconds of playing.
The next step was to purchase an FM modulator that plugs directly into the antenna port on the back of the cassette player. Unfortunatly, the radio decided to break when I tried to tune into the FM modulator's selected channel. "That's OK" I thought, "I can just listen to cassettes from the thrift store." Jerry Lee Lewis, Glenn Miller, Back to the Future Soundtrack, and some Lionel Richie mostly
kept me entertained until the cassette player started to fail.... Time for another solution
The Busted Beast
Personally, I like having a busted crappy looking cassette player in my car, because It lets people know (or think) that there is nothing of value in my car. So, the junk cassette player will stay mounted in my dash. Perhaps I can convert it to a change holder in the future. Oh well, perhaps some other day.
Why yes, that is the Little Mermaid Soundtrack in the cassette player. How did you know?
200 Watts of Fury
For $16, including shipping, I purchased this amplifier from an Ebay store. The amp was advertised as 200 watts and I certainly believe that the actual amplification number does have a 2 in it, but it certainly isn't 200; it is more like 2.
What the amplifier does have is a 3.5 millimeter stereo input jack, which will allow me to connect nearly any portable audio player.
In order for my plan to really come together, I would need to hide the amp in my trunk and keep my portable music player in the glove compartment. This would require cutting a hole in the glove compartment so a cable could be run to the trunk.
What? You can't access your trunk from a hole in your glove compartment? weird.
Custom Mounting Bracket
Nothing says "awesome" like a custom mounting bracket, and in this case, that mounting bracket is Gorilla Tape. Hot damn, that is some strong tape.
With the amp installed, I plugged everything in and tested the system. Not bad, not bad at all.
For a victory lap, I went out for a drive while listening to Riddle of Steel/Riders of Doom from the Conan Soundtrack by Basil Poledouris, and I turned left where I had never turned left before, just to explore what was there.
Now quit reading, and listen to Riddle of Steel/Riders of Doom
while Crom laughs at your Four Winds.