My humble submission for tech week pales in comparison to some of the great stuff I see on here every year, but I thought it was pretty damn slick myself and you all say nothing is too small to submit so hopefully it helps someone! As you all know there is more than one way to skin a cat, and I tend to choose the most difficult! This is a subject that has been covered in the past and this is just my take on it! Please forgive my terrible grammar in advance. For the last year I have been running an Alpine amp hastily self-tapped into my trunk floor with RCA out puts adapted to a 3.5mm headphone jack run up to my front bench seat where the cord comes out and I can hook up my phone or MP3 player. This actually works pretty well but I would like to do away with the amp in the trunk and the pre-amp output from the phone is pretty weak so it’s difficult to hear the 2 6x9’s over the echoing in my unfinished tin box of an interior. My solution is to modify my factory radio head unit to control an aftermarket dinosaur knob to knob (tape deck w/an MP3 input) radio hidden under the dash. <O</O> I can’t take full credit for this idea as it something I discussed with Joel Torres here on the HAMB a couple years ago when he GAVE me a factory replacement radio...he’s good people! The reason this has waited till now is I’m in the process of a rattle can resto on the dash and a general re-wire of all the under dash components. I did a quickie resto of the factory radio and added a small 12v light bulb socket to the back of it that will be run off the dash and gauge lights so it will light up at night. The general idea here is that when you turn the volume knob on the radio it will spin the flexible shaft driven gear...for lack of a better term. This gear will be connected via an aluminum bushing with set screws to the volume knob under the dash. The volume knob also turns the radio on and off, and the tuner knob will dial the tuner on the under dash unit as well. At this point I don’t have an antenna hooked up but my phone has and AM FM tuner built in plus, Pandora, I heart radio, and 4 gigs of MP3 music (all downloaded perfectly legally I assure you). <O</O What you need...<O</O A Factory head unit with gear driven flexible shaft...Free from a kick ass HAMB’er<O</O A working knob to knob radio to mount under the dash which could be harder to find in 10 years than the stocker!...free from my old OT Jeep Comanche Some type of round stock. I used a brass hose barb for making the bushings...$1.99 at NAPA<O</O Some other type of stock. I used aluminum for making the bushings again after you waste a perfectly good set of hose barbs and realize how stupid of an idea that was in the first place...Free from the scrap/broken gage pile at work Set screws or some other types of fastening hardware or JB weld if you’re even more ghetto than me...$3 from Fastenal A drill press and clamp or a good vise and a steady hand with your cordless drill...Free at a good buddies house A set of calipers can really help but isn’t necessary...$5 from an auction years ago<O</O A drill and tap set in the size of the set screws you need...Found in a $3 box from an auction years ago<O</O An old busted ass computer...Free and did I mention yet that I’m a tight wad…we’ll get to that later OPTIONAL<O</O A method of mounting or affixing the radio under the dash or in your chosen location...Free…this is where the “old busted ass computer comes in” Some music to keep you motivated… for this project I opted for bluegrass free…err .99 cents a download </O> I started by measuring the shaft size on the flexible shaft from the factory head unit, and the aftermarket knob to knob. I then found a piece of material that was slightly larger than the smaller shaft and drilled and tapped it out to accommodate a set screw. Then I filed down the shaft end on the stocker to fit in the bushing. After that I test fit the two pieces together and found that the weak ass brass hose barb I tried to tap was far too thin walled and flimsy to hold up to the twisting force and the set screws just stripped out! </O> So I started from scratch and found some thicker material in the form of an old feeler gage handle in the broken and scrap gage pile at work. This set had a thicker wall and worked much better for tapping purposes. Again there are several ways of doing this. I wanted mine attached with set screws so I could remove one radio without pulling the other. If you had access to mills and lathe’s you could make them much fancier than I did!</O> I then made a mounting plate for under the dash to replace the license plate (again tight wad) I had been using as a coil mount for the last couple years. This is where the old busted ass computer comes into play! I have about 2 4'x8’ sheets of steel laying around for future use on floor pans and what not. But for some reason the tight wad in me surfaces every time I do a project and I begin scrounging around the garage for materials that can be used for this plate. Then it dawns on me that I’ve had two old computers (that I need to trash) sliding around the trunk of my car for over a year now and they have nice flat thin panels on the sides! So I says to myself…Self let’s put some of that to good use! It worked out perfectly! It even had a couple extra plates spot welded to the edges that worked out perfectly as stand offs to keep room behind the plate for routing wires and to keep self-tapping screws from trashing my firewall and if I add other components later. I cut the plate into the correct shape, drilled the mounting holes and attached the radio brackets. I also added a few extra holes on the edges for some rubber padded wire looms to keep everything neat and tidy. </O> <O</O> <O</O> Once the plate was mounted on the dash with all the components attached I re-installed the radio and everything is working out nicely. I will be running a 3’ male to male 3.5mm headphone jack from the radio up to the ash tray where you will be able to open the tray and I will have my small MP3 player sitting, or you can un plug it and hook up your desired Phone, I-pod, etc. and leave it lay in the ash tray. I also added a 12v accessory outlet last year under the dash for GPS, phone, and MP3 purposes so I will be running a micro USB cord into the ash tray as well. <O</O> I’ll continue to run the 6x9’s mounted under the deck lid out of sight and I’m going to add a 6” speaker in the center of the dash where the grill opening is for now, but eventually I’m going to hide a set in the kick panels and the rear door panels where they can’t be seen through the trunk. <O></O> I will be putting this whole set up on a kill switch and since the radio is analog there is no need for anything but switched power so I don’t have to worry about any extra power draw. </O> So for all anyone knows when they hop in my car and I turn on the radio I’m only using the factory piece. I know some of you will say all I need is the sound of the open road and then hum of the exhaust…and for the most part you are correct. However my wife on the other hand feels a little differently. For this same reason next year’s tech submission might just be about things like sound deadening, insulation, cup holders, vanity mirrors and other things to make your special lady friend comfortable in your hot rod! Or maybe not!