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Thread: In Vehicle Powered USB setup Questions

  1. #1

    In Vehicle Powered USB setup Questions

    First, Thanks for letting me post my ideas here. My name is Brian, New to custom mods, but I have been building my own machines since 1995. I am not the most knowledgeable in any specific area, but I try to make sure when I do speak I at least have done some basic research or personal testing.

    idea: I am looking into buying a new car. Cadillac CTS. I wish to keep everything pretty much stock as it already has great equipment. The custom or mod I am looking to do is build a 6 port powered USB rail that will relay MP3 files to my radio. I will probably need an interface to convert the files to a signal that the head unit can read, but to move forward. The reason for a powered rail is so that not only can I use a 2 Gb thumb drive, I can also use 16Gb thumb drives and also 500Gb hard drives. The 6 ports are so that I can keep several thumb drives in almost constantly plugged in and the HD's can be swapped for the occasion.

    I could do all the basic fab work and mounting myself into the glove box area. I already know what I want it to look like. I just don't know if it can be done. I am sure anything can be done. But I am thinking for under $100 USD. or even close to it. Any information, links, or more questions would be appreciated.

    Thanks for your time.

  2. #2

    In Vehicle Powered USB setup Questions

    You could get a 5-10 port USB hub and break it open. Find where the power goes to it and find a way to provide the 5v it requires to operate. Than can be done most likely using the Car's existing 12v system and a resistor. This will require some soldering and simple modifications but It can be done to look nice. Then it's just a matter of how you plan to interface the USB drives to the Radio. Which to me is the hard part really.

    Now I know they make Car stereo's these days that actually do this but my guess is your trying to do this with the stock system. Is that correct?

  3. #3

    In Vehicle Powered USB setup Questions

    yes, I am trying to keep the stock radio. For some people this will most likely be real easy as the amount of background in this is more extensive than mine.

    The 5v thing using existing power could be an issue unless the USB runs of DC instead of AC or even if it makes a difference. I was thinking of using a simple plug and play type of mp3 player with no options. so basically when it's on it plays, and when it's off it's not. Possibly pause forward and backward skipping as well. I could custom make a new hand piece for it.

  4. #4
    Clear Coat
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    In Vehicle Powered USB setup Questions

    The hardest part is getting the device that reads raw mp3s off of a USB hub -- I know that there are kits to read off of a single device, but unless you set up some kind of switching deal (IE only 1 usb device is on/connected at a time) there will be lots of problems.

    To power the rail is quite easy -- you just need a simple DC-DC converter to power up a USB hub(or switching device as mentioned above)

    The parts to do that are quite common and just require a basic knowledge of soldering, or you could just get something as simple as a cigarette lighter power cable.

    You're thinking of something like this right? (except with multiple USB devices)

  5. #5

    In Vehicle Powered USB setup Questions

    Or you could just be really cheap and get one of those FM Modulators and hook it up to your MP3 player and broadcast you music to your radio.

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