If your old car has finally retired, but its stereo component inside is in good shape, don’t dump them both in the garage assuming that now everything is useless, that stereo can turn into a very powerful home stereo.
We are talking about converting a 12-volt battery-powered stereo being converted to a 120-volt electricity-powered stereo. This sounds a little bit crazy but frankly speaking, it is possible. There are two significant tasks involved here before embarking on the setup of converting the car stereo into a home stereo.
First, you have to uninstall the entire stereo unit from the car together with the speakers. The second task involves setting the stereo to be compatible with your home power. Just before we start a step-by-step system conversion, let us journey through the steps of removing the stereo from the car. However, the unmounting process may be different depending on the model of the vehicle and how the stereo was installed.
Table of Contents
Stereo UN-installation Process From The Car
- Battery disconnection: – Unfasten clamp nuts connecting the power cables and the battery using a wrench.
- Panel removal: – Use a trim stick to remove the boards encompassing the radio.
- Inner trim panel removal: – Remove window switches (manual/auto) and disconnect stereo bezels. Then, take off all screws attached to the car’s trim board and lift it off. For the manual window, it is advisable you use a hooked tool.
- Stereo fastener and speaker removal: – Use a screwdriver and a wrench to un-mount the radio and the speakers. In cases where the speakers are immersed, you will require a drill to get them out.
- Stereo unit and speaker disconnection: – After removing the unit from the dashboard and the speakers from the door enclosures, disconnect or cut all power transmitters attached to them. Detach the stable power cord, (the yellow cable which is connected to the positive terminal of the battery), then disconnect the switch power wire, (the red wire at the ignition switch), and finally, disconnect the ground wires, (the black wire at the metal ground).
Now, back to our primary task, how to make a home stereo from a car stereo, at this point, you will need several tools for a swift, easy and successful task. Gather all the supplies need before starting off because if all the materials are in place, this is a task that should take you a few hours to complete.
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Step One: Materials Needed
- Car stereo (because, obviously, lol)
- A computer power supply unit (PSU), even if it is old but functional
- Boxes to install speakers, stereo, and PSU (homemade is still okay)
- Wire strippers and crimps
- Box cutter
- Insulation/electric tape
Step Two: Power Supply Unit Wiring
Caution! Don’t plug the power supply unit in any power outlet during this process
Now, get the large connector on the PSU that has many different colored wires, but for your case, you need only the green one and a black one which is next to it. Cut a piece of wire, strip it on both ends, and fix one end on the pin attached to the green wire and the other end of the pin connected to the black wire. This works like a jump starter, and it powers up the PSU once you switch it on.
Step Three: Stereo Wiring
Next, go to the car stereo; pick the yellow and red wires, strip them and connect them to the yellow wire on the PSU. Still on the stereo, get the black ground wire, peel it and attach it to another black on the PSU, (different from the first one that is connected to green via a small piece that you cut). At this stage, you can try the power supply unit on power and see if it powers on, then unplugs it to continue.
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Step Four: Stereo and Power Supply Unit Connection
Join the wires to the pin connectors; the black ground wire from the car system joins with the black on the connector, whereas red and yellow from the car stereo both go to the yellow wire on the connector. Remember from the stereo; yellow is constant, black is ground and red is ignition.
Step Five: Wiring Sound System
The size of your head unit determines the number of speakers you can connect. Speaker connection is as simple as it sounds. If you want surround sound, you can have the front, and rear speakers, gray and white are for the front speakers, purple and green are for rear speakers. A positive wire is a solid color (any color), and a negative cable has a black stripe running from top to bottom.
Step Six: Box Measurement and Unit Assembly
Take the measurements of the stereo, and then cut the box as per the measurements taken from the stereo as well as for the PSU. Measure and cut a hole in the box of the power supply unit plug as well and the speakers.
On the power supply unit box, drill as many holes as you can to enable the PSU fan to blow out the heat as it cools down the device. Or even better still, you can just cut out a square space, big enough for sufficient air.
After that, assemble everything in its specific box as per the measurements and if need be, fix them with screws.
Step Seven: Final Test
If all the above steps are followed carefully, then at this point, you should be ready to have your 12-volt powered battery car stereo work on 120-volt power from your home’s wall outlet.
Plug the power inverter in the wall outlet and hit the switch.