No headunit or amp?
I haven't seen any threads about this so would it be possible to take a 1/8th stereo -> rca adapter cable and then cut off the rca connector for each chanel and then wire the loose ends into the speaker wiring harness? This would eliminate the need for a headunit and an amp. Eventually I will get the scratch for an amp but for now this idea seems like a good temp alternative to a FM modulator & hu. Does anyone foresee any problems with this?
:( I don't think this will work, because the power on the line out coming out of your sound card is a headphone lvl (thats what I call it anyway:)) whereas your speakers will need a speaker lvl. That is unless your sound card has a built in amplifier. I may be wrong of course :)
deligc is right. The soundcard doesnt have the kind of wattage that is needed for a speaker that would be used in a car. If you think about it, there is only really enough power for a set of headphones, because even the cheapest of computer speakers have a built in amp.
The above answers are right on the money.
Also you should take into account the ohm rating of automotive speakers vs the ohm rating of home use speakers. I've seen some sound cards with built-in amplification and I know that SoundBlaster makes amplifiers for computers as well, but looking at the stats of one of those devices I see that it is rated at 8ohms, whereas your basic car audio speakers are 4ohm and some even 2ohm stable. I have seen 8ohm car speakers, but not alot of them.
I plan on removing my HU when I get my carPC finalized and built, but I am going to run RCA cables from the Audio->Out of my soundcard straight into my 4chan amp in my trunk... but that is a whole differant thread all-together that I'll be posting soon.
On another note, if you are pressed for cash and really want to pull the stock HU in favor of using an amp with your carputer, you could spend an extra 15 bucks and get a cheap-*** amp off ebay just to do the trick for the time being. Granted you'd not be getting the clarity you would from a nice JL or Kicker amp, but in a tight pinch for cash no one could blame you for taking this route.
Cheap but effective
Just throwing some choices out there :) Brandon makes a good point about the Ohm ratings on car speakers :)
BTW Brandon do you know what if any kind of load a line lvl input on an amp will provide for the line out on a sound card? That is an option I've been considering for my own setup.
sorry I don't, I'm sure it could be found on google though, but off the top of my head I'm afraid I have nothing to say without blurting something out that "might" be close to correct, which I don't want to do.
One last point, make sure your lvl->in on the amp has a gain control. I hooked a laptop up to an amp without gain control and it sounded worse than when I had it running via a cheapo wireless fm transmitter.
maybe u could like hack teh HU so u could attach the audio out from the pc directly to the HU.....
is your HU just a radio/tape player?
maybe if u know about electronics u could take it appart and find out where the tape player connects to the amplifier in the HU...
sorta like something like this - http://rsargant.dyndns.org/mp3granda...?resourceId=31
I figured it was too simple to work or someone else would have thought of it.