View Full Version : Getting sound from carputer to car stereo?

7th March 2006, 07:07 PM
I have a computer for my car with a VIA Epia M10000 Mini ITX Mainboard and built in sound (Audio: Software AC 97 Audio CODEC if that means anything to anybody..it doesn't to me) and am wondering how to get the sound from this to play through my car stereo (clarion)? Do I need a sound card for the computer??

Any help is much appreciated.


7th March 2006, 07:42 PM
Not knowing the exact specs of the m/board, and car stereo devices, usually just outputting the sound jack to any available inputs to the back of the car stereo system is enough!

Just like on your home PC, you connect a cable from your PC to the speakers.
The speakers are usually amplified (within) so you need to do the same with the car.
You need to check that the Clarion has any input jacks (very unusual for it to have!! :confused: ).

So the other option is to find/buy/steal/borrow and car stereo amp, this can have multiple inputs, 2 should be enough!
One input from the carputer's output, and the other from the car stereo!

I hope this info is as correct as I assume it should be??


7th March 2006, 09:02 PM
Your stereo needs to have, line in, auxiliary in or AUX in as feature.

Google is your friend...

Usually high end Clarion, Panasonic and Sony sets provide inputs.

Have got Clarion & Panasonic sets in our vehicles for iPod input, works great!


8th March 2006, 04:54 AM
I'm using a modified tape to AUX adaptor..Never mind the other stuff, it's the only pic I could find.

I didn't have the $ spare to get a new headunit with aux in or a good 4ch amp so this is doing the job rather well. Also cost me about $12 :D

8th March 2006, 04:59 AM
That sounds like the best way to go for price there Craigus but I don't have a cassette player anymore. I knew that would come back to bite me when I ripped it out.

8th March 2006, 05:09 AM
Haha Looks like you're investing in either a new headunit or an AMP..

I would recomend the Jaycar amps for the $ 4x50watts are about $150! and they are a really nice unit now days.

8th March 2006, 06:04 AM
Hi Paul,

The best sulution for me was to use an FM transmitter plugged into the motherboard sound output.
Have a look at http://travelmate.valkron.com/sound_quality.htm for an example.


8th March 2006, 08:52 AM
I tried to set mine up with an FM modulator at first and ended up scrapping the idea thanks to the poor quality modulator I was using..

Down the track I'll be ditching my head unit all together and running my PC straight into a amp.

8th March 2006, 10:11 AM
if your clarion doesnt have line in then your only option is an FM modulator. If your happy with the quality of an FM radio broadcast then this will do you fine and require no modifications to your stereo system at all

Sound quality wise, the best option is directly into an amplifier, or using a head unit with line input

8th March 2006, 04:25 PM
OK...time for a really dumb question....please excuse my ignorance.

The speakers I am using for my desktop have just one wire from my left speaker into the right one, and then one wire from the right one that runs into the PC.
Could I use a similar system where the wire from the audio out of the PC is spliced into the speaker wires that run from stereo to speakers????
A bit far fetched maybe??

8th March 2006, 04:40 PM
The output on your PC is very low level, I doubt you'd be able to hear it if connected directly to a speaker. It will need to be amped in some way, either via a head unit or power amp.

8th March 2006, 06:01 PM
Thought it sounded to easy...thanks!

8th March 2006, 07:27 PM
One last question on this subject....

Do I need a sound card for this or is the inbuilt sound good enough. And if and when I hook up a TV tuner will I need a sound card again.

Thanks all for your replies.

8th March 2006, 08:14 PM
I would 'guess' that you don't NEED a sound card...it depends on your ability to put up with average sound...(most car stereo) or very good to excellent sound (a good sound card).

In a auto environment, I doubt that a sound card will make you much happier!!
(I vote: NO, to the sound card..unless you already have a good one lying around)

Another angle..... on outputting the sound from the carputer...you could check out somewhere like Jaycar or DSE on a small kit power amp...say about 10/20W....or whatever you NEED!!.....for 12volt operation.
It wouldn't need volume control, just the ability to get power to a set of speakers!
Run this into an extra set of speakers (or alternatively some kind of switched junction box to all currently installed speakers!!)....

There are quite a few possible combinations of what you're trying to do!
Money is the limiting factor!

Did you check you current (clarion) stereo for any line level inputs?
That would be an enormous bonus!!!


edit:....Oh! if you wanted to watch DVD's and you had a 5,6,7,or 8 speaker setup in the car....... :eek:
Then a soundcard will giive you better surround sound 5.1, 7.1, 40.1 speaker...with THX/DTS/DDS or whatever rubbish surround sound, wooshy, side-to-side ancronym they come up with next

9th March 2006, 04:16 AM
What he /\ said :D

I currently use the onboard (AC97) sound from my motherboard and it does the job perfectly. I guess if you wanted to build a show style system you might want to look at a 'SoundBlaster Audigy' or something of the likes for huge sound quality.

9th March 2006, 10:55 AM
Thanks a lot for all your suggestions guys. The onboard sound will certainly be enough to meet my sound requirements.

9th March 2006, 01:41 PM
just posting an idea...

is it possible (dunno if practical) to find a smart electronics guru to track down the connection between the car stereo's internal player (CD/tape/tuner) and its internal amp and hook a cutoff switch and an aux input plug up???

i forgot to add that i find craigus's new avatar disturbing. is it just me or have we all almost been there.... :o

9th March 2006, 02:58 PM
You need to talk to vincentvega about that one.. ;)

9th March 2006, 05:41 PM
Did you check you current (clarion) stereo for any line level inputs?
That would be an enormous bonus!!!

Yeah I did check out my Clarion and it doesn't have any line inputs, but I did have a win today.
The Minister for Finances cd player in her car shat itself today so she wants another one. So I will just rip mine out of my car and put it in hers and buy myself and new one with some sort of line/aux input...problem solved!!

9th March 2006, 06:56 PM
a word of warning:
Some radio/amps have line in connections that are intended to be used with
cd changers. (I have one like that in my TLC) That unit connects to a via ITX computer currently, but the little PIC board that tricks the radio into thinking it has a changer there is not for the faint hearted.
Look for one of the newer radios with an input for an ipod or the like.

10th March 2006, 06:37 PM
Hi Paul

Usually Mnisters of Finance are not happy with second hand, passed down, perfectly good equipment :confused:

You will probably need to buy two new units :D

10th March 2006, 07:10 PM
.... So I will just rip mine out of my car and put it in hers and buy myself and new one with some sort of line/aux input...problem solved!!


That sounds like a win for the Ministers of Subservient Behaviour....the world over!! :D

Recently the CD stacker in my "MoFs" personal car did the same, solid excretia act!

I ended up getting a Pioneer MP3 playing device....for $50 I could have got a DVD MP3 playing stereo, with 'headphones and dual zones', you listen to X, and kids listen to Y.. (it was a JVC, so I was a bit :confused: )....but then I read it's a great unit, etc..... :eek: bugger! :mad: )

I think most (higher end)products have line-in inputs...but the MP3 player in the car! :D

One CD does every family member great service!!
Tori Amos (MoF), Wiggles 'n' Bob (Lil Master 'n' Miss), AC/DC, Credence, Metalica, Cold Chisel, The Who, Black Sabbath...."You got.....VoooooDoo" , Tom Jones(don't laugh!!).....(guess who? :D )