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Simple solution for tunes in the Packard
Home away from home
Joined:
2011/6/5 22:18
From Johnstown PA
Posts: 190
One of the downsides of owning a pre- 1956 Packard is that the electrical system is positive ground. On my other old cars, I have installed a newer radio in the glove compartment with MP3: and have enjoyed cruising to tunes from my iPod.
This option was not available on the Caribbean due to the positive ground.
I have employee a variety of Bluetooth speaker units that were not connected to the car’s electrical system to fill the void.

I stumbled upon a cheap and simple solution through Woody’s Custom Shop in Costa Mesa California ( 949) 722-1084.- Charles Rollins owner.


Woody’s offers a tiny ( 1 3/4” square) converter that allows installation of a negative ground radio but also offers a cigarette pack sized amplifier which allows you to play the IPod without the expense of a new radio.

The “ Mini Pod Hidden Audio system” attaches to the hot lead from the converter and a ground. Crank the amp to maximum and attach the iPod with a 3.5 cable and control the sound and selections from the IPod.

.The converter was around $39 but the amp unit and cable were only $59.95. I also picked up a set of compact bullet speakers for $15.95 which sound fine to my ears

The installation in the glove box was simple..attach the wires per the instructions, attach the speakers and play the tunes.
Assume that the install,would work as well anywhere with a hot wire and a good ground.

Looking forward to a long cruise with the IPod blasting.
Hope this helps someone else looking for a way to have music on the road.
RJR

Posted on: 8/27 17:58:23
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Re: Simple solution for tunes in the Packard
Home away from home
Joined:
2019/1/30 23:11
From Sydney, NSW, Australia
Posts: 269
Excellent music solution ewreck!

Would this work with an iPhone? I haven't seen an iPod for a while but seem to recall they had a different plug. It sounds like the mini-amp unit would not have Bluetooth, but presumably a suitable cable connection from an iPhone could work.

I am lucky in having a 1956 Clipper, so have 12V negative earth. Mine retains an AWA (Australian) AM radio in the dash and has a small JVC multimedia FM receiver/player fitted inside the glove compartment. This is a larger and more expensive setup, but has the benefit of Bluetooth wireless connections and a pair of fairly large speakers fitted in the rear parcel shelf. The pairing between my iPhone and the JVC unit is automatic, so I just get in the car and turn it on. Then I can cruise to my favourite tunes, which is just as well because the radio tuners are nothing special.

Yours would be a better setup in an older car. I'm curious whether it could be connected to an iPhone.

Cheers

Brian

Posted on: 8/28 3:05:31
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1941 120 Club Coupe (SOLD)
1956 Clipper Deluxe (RHD and auto) - for the wife, or so I told her!
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Re: Simple solution for tunes in the Packard
Forum Ambassador
Joined:
2007/4/20 17:54
From Fresno CA
Posts: 16042
Those looking for some kind of convenient adapter might also investigate the RediRad unit. Several different models are available for AM only or FM combo radios, 6 or 12v, positive or negative ground systems. The device plugs in via the antenna lead so any external device with a headphone jack can play thru the normal radio and speakers. Advantage is nothing needs to be modified in the car other than providing power to the unit. https://redirad.com

A limitation is no bluetooth support and you would need a lightning to headphone jack adapter for the modern iPhones or maybe a USB to headphone adapter for other modern phones.

Posted on: 8/28 6:40:25
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Howard
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Re: Simple solution for tunes in the Packard
Home away from home
Joined:
2015/1/16 9:43
From sw, pa
Posts: 1282
I'd miss the hum of the vibrator, the static etc....

Posted on: 8/28 6:41:09
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Re: Simple solution for tunes in the Packard
Quite a regular
Joined:
2018/4/29 15:57
From Southern Maine
Posts: 33
This is a subject interesting to me.

My '39 is a radio deleted model, not surprising given it formal original use.

I think a prior owner may have had a radio in the glove compartment given there is a antenna mounted.

I really don't care to have a AM radio in this car, which may be strange given my amateur radio hobby.


Is there some way I can download tunes to my android phone and install a dedicated receiver and speakers (and amplifier?) of some kind to play music of my choice underway?

The car is still 6v. positive ground and will remain that way but I can install a small 12v. motorcycle-type battery and charge it via a wall-socket charger for a power supply. The installation would be insulated and fuse or breaker protected of course.

Please try to word any suggestions simply because my tech savy pretty much ended with vacuum tubes. I still haven't fully come to grips with my phone.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Jim

Posted on: 8/28 8:38:48
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Re: Simple solution for tunes in the Packard
Forum Ambassador
Joined:
2007/4/20 17:54
From Fresno CA
Posts: 16042
If you had a radio in the glovebox before you might look into the Secretaudio radio. Bluetooth, line in from your phone or even a USB flash stick could provide the music.

The unit has a small control module that could be hidden in the glovebox or even mounted in such a fashion it could hang under the dash and swing up out of sight when not wanted. There is also a remote control that comes with the unit which you could just keep on the seat to control most functions.

The main electronic box could be mounted under the seat and you could place small speakers any number of locations including under the seat or in kickpanels. It is 12v neg ground so would need your battery setup or there is a 6v pos ground to 12v neg ground power unit sold as an accessory that could be purchased with the unit to run it directly off your car electric system.

Posted on: 8/28 9:34:47
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Howard
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Re: Simple solution for tunes in the Packard
Home away from home
Joined:
2016/3/13 15:24
From Coalmont, B.C., Canada
Posts: 1009
Reading this thread with interest as there are certainly lots of options out there with which to add music to a 6V, positive earth vehicle. Not sure what the rules are in the US, but in Canada, criteria for 'Collector Plates' doesn't allow anything except the original radio (or 8-track/cassette if applicable) so I purchased a Bose mini speaker and simply plug an I-pod into it and it will play for 10 hours on one charge and the sound is excellent. I guess I am getting old, as I used to be one of those guys that listened to music constantly, all hours of the day, but now, that seems to have given way to far less 'air time' and a lot more solitude. I find when I'm driving the Packard I want to 'listen' to IT and monitor all the sounds to make sure everything is running as it should. Usually only play tunes when stopped. Not sure when I got so old?!?!? Chris.

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Posted on: 8/28 10:42:00
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'If you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right!' Henry Ford

1939 Six, Model 1700

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Re: Simple solution for tunes in the Packard
Home away from home
Joined:
2019/1/30 23:11
From Sydney, NSW, Australia
Posts: 269
Well, PTV if you miss the hum you should try my original AWA Pressmatic (valve) AM radio in the Clipper!

Still plenty of AM stations here (which are marked on the dial), but I'd have to say the quality of sound is marginal at best. That's how they were, though, as you clearly remember!

The hush of a Packard seems well suited to musical entertainment but we have become used to a much higher quality of sound reproduction. The Bose unit mentioned here is a good case in point. Unbelievably good sound for the size and price.

Regards

Brian

Posted on: 8/28 19:11:04
_________________
1941 120 Club Coupe (SOLD)
1956 Clipper Deluxe (RHD and auto) - for the wife, or so I told her!
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Re: Simple solution for tunes in the Packard
Home away from home
Joined:
2011/6/5 22:18
From Johnstown PA
Posts: 190
I tried the Bose unit with Bluetooth from my IPhone and I Pad....the IPod did not have Bluetooth. I did not like having to stash the IPad and Bose unit in the trunk when I left the car and did not like draining my phone battery with no way to chafe with positive ground.
The Bose unit stopped working and I was unwilling to spring for that much money again for a unit that did not survive much longer than the warranty.
The converter is cheap and small and makes sense regardless of whether you want to connect a radio or even a cigarette lighter to connect a GPS or charge your phone.
Much easier than converting to negative ground or running a seperstr battery. The unit works for 6 or 12 volt and there is a unit that will convert to negative ground and boost from 6 to 12 volt...not sure of the method.

I am not sure if the amp unit will work with another phone...assume it would work with older iPhone which had headphone jack.

I did not inquire about a unit that would work with Bluetooth but the owner was helpful and should be able to answer that question.
I opted for the amp not only because of the price but because I do not listen to the radio on my new car...I have several thousand songs I like on the iPod. My AM radio works but we have one decent AM station and the reception is not good....and the sound quality sucks.

I opted for the glove box location and mini speakers for convenience but see no reason that the converter and amp could not be mounted in a trunk or under the seat if you have a hot wire and good ground...the units are tiny..
I will consider better speakers in the 39 since there is lots of open room above the kick panels. I still have to retire the car and there are lots of other things to do before considering music.
I was unaware of some of the suggested options but will look the up when I get to the 39.
This was just cheap and easy.
Stay safe and enjoy the social distancing afforded by cruising while the weather holds.
RJR

Posted on: 8/28 20:16:35
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Re: Simple solution for tunes in the Packard
Home away from home
Joined:
2013/7/17 6:26
From Clover, SC
Posts: 670
A testament to how we've changed as a people since these vehicles were built.
Rarely, did you have constant radio signal on a long trip and when the signal died, you cranked the dial for another and if none played some sort of thinking game. (much like early analog cell phone service)
Today, we can't even go to the bathroom with our i-something and demand 5G! Just so we can moan about something on anti-social media. Any wonder this country is upside down? No simplicity. No peace and quiet... 24/7 biased commentary about minutia. No speed bumps down memory lane.

Posted on: 8/29 6:46:36
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