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My mStation MP3 install

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by Paul_S, Sep 11, 2007.

  1. Paul_S

    Z Club Member

    This is an old post (copy and paste again!)...

    The M-Station (or Neo as it is called in America) is an MP3 player for your car. It's made up of a hard disk type player and a separate control/display that is on a long (quite thick) cable.


    I mounted the player inside the spare wheel on some MDF that I cut to size. I learnt this trick from when I had it installed in my old car. It's particularly useful in the 350Z because the boot is a funny enough shape already!


    Unfortunately, for the moment I am forced to use an FM modulator to link it to the stereo. The modulator is also mounted in the spare wheel well too. This is because the modulator gets its power from the M-Station and the aerial is close by which makes the cabling a lot neater.


    I chose to install an additional power regulator to give it a clean power supply and a time delay relay. This means it powers up a few seconds after the car has started and doesn't turn off immediately with the ignition.

    Since I don't have the Bose system in my car, I installed these in the huge void behind the drivers' seat where the base speaker would go.


    Finally, I was a bit brave (or maybe a bit stupid) and decided to mount the display in the roof. Since I was never going to store sun glasses holder, I thought it would be the ideal place.

    The other place I could have mounted it was inside the cubby hole where the sat nav would go. My main reason for not putting it there was because I use an iPaq for my sat nav and that fits perfectly behind the door on the dash.

    This is where it got scary because I wanted to remove the entire courtesy light/sunglasses holder section from the car to work on it, but short of removing the whole roof lining I couldn't do it. So I had to bite the bullet and cut the sunglasses holder in situ (using a Dremel type tool) and drill a hole up through the plastic into the roof void for the cable.

    I cut a piece of black plastic to fit in the open door and modified the display to fit inside the plastic frame.

    I also needed to drag the display cable up behind the roof lining from the rear pillar to the area where the courtesy light is. Going diagonal was best because there was something securing the lining to the roof in the centre. Also, it was the shortest route. I couldn't follow the roof line and door pillar because of the curtain air bags.

    After scratching around the shed for something to use to drag the cable through I hit the jackpot - a piece of edging strip for a kitchen worktop. This was rigid and slim enough to feed through but was also just flexible enough to bend to the shape of the roof.

    As it turned out I was really lucky and the installation went really well. I don't think I really thought too hard about how badly it could have gone wrong!

    The final result looks like this when I fold the door down.


    The only down side is that the display can catch glare and be difficult to read on a bright day. Also, it slightly obscures the rear view mirror (not that it has to be down to play the music). I am going to modify the display by fitting a new Perspex cover over the screen which should solve the brightness and glare problem.

    My main criteria when installing it was to keep it hidden from prying eyes but keep it easy to use for me and my passenger. Overall, I am really pleased with the result.

    Now just to sort out a line input to the stereo and maybe get the buttons on the steering wheel to skip tracks.

    ...since I posted this I have taken the FM modulator out of the system. I did the 'cassette hack' on the head unit to get a line input - that will be another thread altogether.

    I've also upgraded the player to a 120Gb drive. I've got over 1 months continuous music to choose from now. Never again will I be on the way to Cornwall before I realise that I've still got the same 6 CDs in the car that I've had all year!
  2. SKiddell

    SKiddell Well-Known Forum User

    Nice install Paul
  3. ZHead

    ZHead Well-Known Forum User

    These threads are great - I do not have a 350Z but it is good to read "how" and "what" you have done. It would be good to see similar threads on high quality work done to 240s.
  4. suzy

    suzy Well-Known Forum User

    very neat using the sun glasses holder like that!
  5. Paul_S

    Z Club Member

    Thanks, it was worth the effort. I would have kicked myself if I hadn't gone to the bother because the Sat nav fits in the cubby so well.

    It was V scary lying on my back in the car, 'Dremel' in hand, taking slices out of the holder though :eek:

    BRONZEE Well-Known Forum User

    Very good idea, looks very professional. :)

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