If you want to connect a radio to your car, it’s important to know how to do it properly. This can save you money and hassle in the long run, and it can also make your stereo more reliable.
First things first, you’ll need to determine if your car’s radio is AC or DC. This will make a big difference in what kind of adapter you’ll need to use.
The best option for connecting a radio to your car is by using the vehicle’s built-in USB port or Bluetooth connection, as these offer the most modern way to play music from a mobile device. These options are more reliable and will allow you to control your phone from the car’s stereo system, as well as charge your device.
You can also hook up a phone or MP3 player to the car by using an AUX cable, which is typically bundled with newer cars. These cables usually don’t offer the best audio quality, but they’re less expensive than an FM transmitter and won’t leave a wire hanging around your dash.
AUX cables work by plugging into an auxiliary input on the car’s head unit, and they can be connected to a variety of devices including iPods, iPhones, and even CD players. The downside is that they’re not always reliable, and you may find yourself having to change tracks or make other adjustments on your device in order to get the sound to come through the stereo.
Another option for connecting a device to the car is to use a wall adapter. You can find these in most electronics stores and some online retailers, but they’re pretty poor at providing enough power for your stereo and they’re usually rated to supply only a small amount of current.
A wall adapter will not have the reserve power to keep your car’s radio from saging when you crank up the volume, and it will also not give your speakers a chance to heat up like an actual power supply would. This can cause the music to break up and distort, and will damage the speaker over time.
If you want to avoid this issue, I recommend using a low-ampere power source to provide the memory wire for your car’s radio, such as a small 12V AC-DC adapter or miniature 12V battery. If you’re going to do this, be sure to include one or more diodes between the power supply wires and the radio’s memory wire.
The diodes act as electrical one-way valves, allowing current to flow in only one direction. This allows the memory wire to be isolated from the power supply, and the radio’s presets and memories will not be lost.
The next step is to wire your stereo up inside the car, re-connect the battery, and then test it. If everything works, you’re ready to start enjoying your newly-wired radio!