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Thread: Truck Ashtray Audio Mod

  1. #1
    Anodized Short Modder's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Truck Ashtray Audio Mod

    Hey guys I haven't posted here in a while. Though really have no computer mods off my own, I have done a few mods to my 1995 Ford Bronco, so I'll show you the one I'm most proud of.

    I decided that since I don't have the funds to upgrade the 10 year old stereo in my truck, I'd do a bit of tinkering with what I have. I've got an after market Pioneer head unit that the previous owner had installed. It has a few extra gimmicks like an auxiliary port on the BACK, sub/pre-amp outputs, as well as a plug in Bluetooth adapter for hands-free calls. Since the BT adapter was so antiquated (only handled calls, no other media), I had originally run a 6ft cable from the back of the radio out under the dash which worked like a charm. But it got old. I got tired of it hanging out from under the dash making it look messy. Plus if a potential burglar looked in and saw that, they might think I have an tablet or phone stashed in the truck somewhere.

    To clean things up, I had to figure out how to somehow fix it to the dash so I could use a 3.5mm aux. cable to plug a device in and throw it in the center counsel when not in use. I did some exploring and found out that the PO had cut the wires to the cigarette lighter. No big deal since I have no use for it and there's always another working 12v power point if I need to use one.

    I thought, "hey, why not mount the jack in the ashtray?" I chose to put the jack where the 12v cigarette lighter socket was as it was no longer functioning and I had no intention of repairing it. I tore it apart and thought about what I had on hand. I used the little metal beauty ring from the socket and put a plastic insert in it and mount the jack through that. Nothing too permanent and no holes on the dash. Plus it also keeps the jack out of sight when not in use.

    Enough blabbering, here are some pictures (pardon the messy desk, multiple projects packed in a tiny room):

    First, was to take the ashtray outta the dash. Easy enough.

    Here's the PO's handiwork (I swear that's spelled correctly)

    Stripped down.

    Here we have two types of plastic. Styrene and something I pulled from a laptop bag (used to stiffen the bottom). The styrene is thicker than the black stuff and is smooth, but the black is textured and looks like something an OEM would use. Also shown is the metal ring off of the socket as well as a cheap Radio Shack stereo jack from an unfinished project.

    Test fitting. Looks good front and back.

    Stuck in the tray for looks. I wonder what it looks like in black?

    Textured plastic.

    Put together.

    In place.

    I epoxied everything together so it wouldn't pull out when the cable was tugged or unplugged.

    It works! Time to put it in the truck.

    Here's a quick pic of my head unit. Nothing fancy, it does what I need.

    And my under dash rigging. I reused this bit by cutting the end off and soldering it to the the 3.5mm stereo jack in the tray.

    The auxiliary cables

    Here's the ashtray reinstalled.

    The excess wires are zip-tied together.

    And here is my PSP plugged in (yes I still use one of these things!) and playing through the truck's speakers.

    It was a fun little project to do. It was cheap and fairly easy. Thanks for looking!

    I hate HP. Yet here I am, using a HP G60 Series notebook with an HP desktop sitting at my home desk.... But the best part is that it was all free. Now slowly switching to Dell stuff!

  2. #2
    Administrator OvRiDe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Tulsa, OK

    Default Re: Truck Ashtray Audio Mod

    Pretty cool! Nice work

  3. #3
    Why must hard drives fail together? TheMainMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Default Re: Truck Ashtray Audio Mod

    Looks good! Blends nicely into the stock look. You touched on one of the biggest reasons to make things look like factory installed equipment: reducing the target for theft. I try to park next to really nice looking cars so that I don't have to worry about what I can't hide

  4. #4
    Undead Pirate d_stilgar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Philadelphia, PA

    Default Re: Truck Ashtray Audio Mod

    Lookin' good. It's nice to see more mods than just computer cases.

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