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DIY - Ipod dock in Ash Tray

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DIY - Ipod dock in Ash Tray

Postby Pissy » Tue May 12, 2009 1:15 pm

If you are like me and don't smoke, the ash tray just becomes a coin collecter therefore I thought wouldn't it be good to custom make an IPod dock in the tray and that’s what I did. Not only was pretty easy to do it looks cool and chargers my iPod too.
Now I know that you can buy fancy gizmos that will use a radio frequency and lets you play through your radio, my way gives far better sound and looks neater than a big bulky unit hanging off your cig socket.
I have to mention that what works for me may not work for you due to your vehicles set, there are heaps of different MU dash configurations, so please check yours out before do this.

MOST importantly I need to also mention that you need a head unit that will allow you to plug your iPod into it, therefore it must have some sort of AUX input plug/cable. Mine is a Pioneer Premier Head unit and therefore I can use the CD changer line out as an AUX input line. Some head units do have an AUX line in cable which you might be able to use or even a 3.5mm jack that you can plug directly into the iPod, but some head units will not let you do any of this at all. So make sure your head unit can do this.
You will need to get an IPod DOCK, these can be bought on the cheap via eBay or you can get an original apple one, I would also get a 12volt changing cable with cig head and make sure that you have the cables that will plug in the back of the dock to you head unit or iPod itself with whatever other components you may need to make it play through your head unit, this is where you might have to do some research for compatible cables for you dock to head unit.






The first thing you'll need to do is slightly modify the ASH tray itself. Take out the tray completely, pull it out as far as it can then press down on the metal flipping shield, this should allow it to come out. The metal shield can be pull upwards to remove it from the tray as well. You need to cut out the plastic step (where you place your figures to pull out the ash tray) in the front of the tray, making it one flat tray. Sorry I don't have a before picture but you should get the idea what to do from the picture. I use a cheap drebble like tool from Supercheap auto ($30), to cut/grind out the plastic out of the ash tray.
This tool is really handing to have and does all sorts of small jobs including engraving.
Once I cut and cleaned the step out I then cut a piece of Perspex and glued it in place where I cut away the old plastic step, this makes enough room for the dock to drop in,....see finished pic.

I use Velcro tabs in the tray and under the dock to secure it into the tray; at least it’s removable this way. You will need to cut out section from the back of the tray to allow you cabling into the dash.




There is a hole in the back of the dash (In my MU anyway) that allows me to place the cabling down toward rear of my head unit with out any other dash removable except the dash unit that hold my head unit. Attach the cabling and pass it through the this hole and join the audio cables to you head unit and either run the 12 volt charger cable to you cig socket or you can run specific power line from your battery and have it as constant power. I would not do it this if you are not familiar with 12volt power scheme or auto electrics.



Now put it altogether and see if your IPod will fit in the ash tray, if it doesn't due to the metal shield then you will need to cut out a bit of the shielding, if you do cut, I would line the exposed metal cuts with a rubber lining, I got it from Clarks rubber. I found it better to keep the shielding on the tray as it to hold down the dock, but you can try the dock without the shielding in the tray at all.

If I go off road, I simple just ever so slightly close the tray to squeeze the iPod against the dash thus ensuring it does bounce around like the big the bulky unit do.
If I need to recharge the iPod I just pull the 12volt cable out and plug into the cig socket, or you can just leave it plugged in constantly.
The only negative is that when the IPod is playing, I can not get behind to adjust some of the dash climate controls,.but all I need to do is pull out the iPod and do what I need to do and pop it back in.

I hope this is clear enough for you all.

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94 3.1L MU,2.5"suspension lift,2"body Lift,33"Bighorns,F&R Autolockers,Rock Sliders,winch bar,240 lightforces,UHF,120amp alternator,dual batteries,snorkel,turbo timer etc
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