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Thread: No Harness with 3.5mm Mini Jacks?

  1. #1
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    No Harness with 3.5mm Mini Jacks?

    Why is there no wiring harness with 3.5mm (1/8inch) mini jacks already attached? For car PCs, the output is usually going to be 6 channel audio through jacks. Why is there no wiring harness already wired for this? I mean, I can make it myself, but why can't I buy it?

    Or can I?

    Sincerely,

    DJ

  2. #2
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    Could you clarify? Harness to connect what to what? The mini-jacks from the PC to what?

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    if you mean 3.5mm jacks to a car harness, that is too specific--for the few amount of car pc's per vehicle, there is no business that could make this profitable(how many recent installs do you know of with 3 of the same type of cars?)...

    if you mean 3.5mm to rca cable lenths, there are plenty of suppliers for that, they just aren't marketed as such(again, carputers aren't not enough market share)

    also, most installs do not all have the same features-- my install uses a external sound card, and 5 channels of outputs....i have seen pleny of installs that use only the stereo output, and nothing more...

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    Well...I would argue that there IS money to be made in this by creating them on-demand and selling them for $50. I would also argue that Crutchfield has very specific wiring harnesses and they would just need to affix the jacks.

    With all that said, I understand your point. So, in short, I have to cut and solder the wiring harness to my own jacks. O.K. I get it.

  5. #5
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    ^What he said.
    Also, if a vehicle is not equip with a "qualifying" factory amp, then the speakers cannot really use the output of the pc since its such a low level. What I mean by "qualifying" is if an aftermarket adapter (typically made by scosche or metra) is available to interface with your factory amp via RCA terminated ends then its possible. The vehicles that might meet this criteria may include those equip with premium factory systems branded as bose, infinity, boston acoustic , jbl, some unbranded amplified toyotas.
    If there is no adapting harness with RCA ends, then most likely that premium system is just a glorified equalizing or crossover system as opposed to an externally amplified system. In that case you will have to bypass the amplifiers/crossovers and input your own amps.
    "In the beginners mind there are many possibilities, but in the experts mind there are few."- Shunryu Suzuki
    "Do it right or don't do it at all"

    PROGRESS:
    [-------90%-] (New Car=New Build)

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    Quote Originally Posted by djkinney View Post
    Well...I would argue that there IS money to be made in this by creating them on-demand and selling them for $50. I would also argue that Crutchfield has very specific wiring harnesses and they would just need to affix the jacks.

    With all that said, I understand your point. So, in short, I have to cut and solder the wiring harness to my own jacks. O.K. I get it.
    I don't want to start a war here, but you're arguement is moot. If you are creating something "on-demand" of course there is money to be made. The price would be dictated by the cost of parts and how much the builder thinks his time is worth. This does not always agree with what a buyer is willing to pay, hence why there are so many DIY solutions. As for you're Crutcfield argument, their harnesses are not that specific at all. Sure they're specific to the car, but the other end is bare wire to connect to what ever you want.

    Back to your dilemma, how is your system set up? Does your wiring harness go into a factory amp or straight to the speakers (which is the most common case). Your signal will need to be amplified. A factory amp "may" be able to do this, but it's usually taylored for a signal sent by the factory stereo. This is why a minijack to RCA is all you usually need (going from PC to aftermarket amp).

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    My setup doesn't exist yet, but it is a Mazda MX5 factory stereo. No aftermarket amp.

    So do I understand that the best way to go here would be an aftermarket amp with a wiring harness, then a simple jack to RCA from the PC to amp?

    Is it fairly straightforward to buy a low-end amp (cheap) from a place like Crutchfield and wire it up? And by straightforward, I don't mean "easy" I just mean "doable" with modest skills and a soldering iron.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by djkinney View Post
    Well...I would argue that there IS money to be made in this by creating them on-demand and selling them for $50. I would also argue that Crutchfield has very specific wiring harnesses and they would just need to affix the jacks.

    With all that said, I understand your point. So, in short, I have to cut and solder the wiring harness to my own jacks. O.K. I get it.
    just for kicks(and because you got me wondering how profitable this could really be :P), i added up what i would theoretically charge for a harness. For my install--a 2001 mitsu eclipse, pc under passenger seat with factory low level input amp. I came out with about $59... after playing with a couple of family cars, i have to say that my car is one of the easier ones to integrate with though, so it doesn't look too good for a business idea -- i think most cars would be much more...

    breakdown using approximate costs--

    wire @ $1/foot, need 10 foot from pc to radio cubby--this would probably be much higher though, rca cabling is not cheap, and you would also need a fused power cable(at least 12 ga, depending on power supply) from the battery, and ignition controlled lead from radio harness(18 ga here would be fine)
    1/8" jack @ $2, need 2
    RCA jacks @ $2, need 4
    metra harness @ $12, need 1
    labor would be about $25 (i feel that is a decent labor price, though, if i became serious about this, the labor rate would probably go up slightly as i learned to make the cables faster, or depending on the amount of solder joints in the cabling...)

    total: $59

    Quote Originally Posted by black_mamba View Post
    IThis does not always agree with what a buyer is willing to pay, hence why there are so many DIY solutions. As for you're Crutcfield argument, their harnesses are not that specific at all. Sure they're specific to the car, but the other end is bare wire to connect to what ever you want.
    what he said

    if there was enough demand for it, i wouldn't mind making the harnesses, but cost would vary widely with each car, and the components needed..(as you posted, you are looking for a 6 channel, most cars use 4 channel...)

    crutchfield sells products mostly because of the excellent support that they offer. you pay more because of this, but the idea that someone is there if you need help can be well worth the cost (one of my first radios was through crutchfield, and i still recommend them to anyone just starting to get into car audio because of their great support).

    now i and wait for a reply

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    O.K. All of your points are very good. If I may redirect the thread based on what you said...

    I absolutely don't give a crap about car audio quality. That's why I'm in this mess. So...here's the deal. My project started out as just installing a touchscreen virtual dash for performance gauges. To do that, I have to gut the stereo because there's nowhere else to put the screen (have you been in an MX5? No real estate in there). So a double-din dash kit will work, BUT that means the stereo goes. So I have to use the PC to replace the stereo.

    I'm just looking for minimum cost, minimum difficulty, and minimum opportunity to bork the whole thing. The stock stereo in the MX5 sucks anyway, and I don't really rock out to music, so I don't care. But I do want it to work properly with wheel controls and all.

    So any ideas on making it as painless as possible to replace the stereo with my PC and a Centrafuse front end?

    I had fantasies of just plugging the existing stereo into the outputs, but I see now that I was a fool.

    DJ

  10. #10
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    I love MX5's! Mine is a black '94C. What year is yours? I know all too well how hard it is to put anything in these cars. Mine barely sees the light of day right now, sitting in my parent's garage as my garage needs to be cleaned out. It's my weekend car, so I haven't got around to building a carputer for it, but some day . Hopefully by then the transreflectives will be affordable. I've had mine for a while now so I've stripped it many times for my many alarm and stereo makeovers. There's not a lot of space, but if you're creative you'd be surprised what you can fit.

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