I have a cool little CD player that I picked up at Goodwill for $3.00. I’ve been using it with a small FM transmitter, to listen to CDs in my car. There was always a bit of static, the CDs sounded flat and recently, a station in my area began transmitting on multiple frequencies, making the FM transmitter almost unusable.
I wanted to be able to plug my CD player directly into my car radio so I stopped into RadioShack and picked up a 1/8inch stereo plug to 1/8inch stereo plug patch cable and a 1/8 inch stereo jack.
I thought the hard part was going to be getting the radio out. Once I popped the trim off there were three screws to remove and the radio slid right out. I had to work the radio around the trim, but was able to get it out enough to remove the top and bottom covers.
I plugged the cable that I purchased into the headphone jack of the CD player, connected a ground wire from the plug on the cable to the ground of the car and began trying the tip on various connections in the radio. I eventually found the left and right signals. I used my Black & Decker “Wizard” (like a Dremel) to cut the traces.
Next, I cut the circuit board on the face plate of the radio and drilled a hole for the jack. The jack was small enough to fit under the circuit board, but there weren’t any traces on the circuit board where the jack was going so I just got it out of the way.
When I put it back together and tested it, it didn’t work. The radio played when the patch cord was removed, but the CD wouldn’t play. After some trial and error I found out that radio cut out when the traces were cut. I had to short them together.
When the CD plays, it cuts out the radio, when it’s off, the radio plays and it sounds great. I almost can’t wait to go to work tomorrow, so I can listen to CDs on the way in.
This project was on a 99 Alero with the stock Delco radio.