Bluetooth cassette adapter

Today, with iPods that can hold entire music collections and cell phones that stream music from the Internet, the lowly cassette seems like an anachronism. [Matt] still has a cassette deck in his truck, but wanted Bluetooth connectivity for his stereo. The obvious solution was to stuff Bluetooth headphones into a cassette adapter.

Audio cassette adapters are dead-simple devices. They’re really just a tape head, stuffed into the shell of a cassette and a wire going out to a media player. To put Bluetooth into his adapter, [Matt] got a cheap pair of Bluetooth headphones and tore them apart. He was left with a circuit board, battery, and two earphones. [Matt] cut off the leads to the ear phones and wired them to the cassette adapter head. After a little bit of modifications to the case, [Matt] had a functional Bluetooth-cassette adapter.

While it’s true [Matt] could have gotten a ready-made Bluetooth cassette adapter shipped from China to his door for $10, there’s not much fun in just buying one. Kudos to [Matt] for going the home-brew route.

27 thoughts on “Bluetooth cassette adapter

  1. Hahahaha, so funny as I built one of these yesterday so that I can use my psp go, bb or netbook to stream to my cassette player in my honda. Great minds Do think alike.

    hmm a generator that powers off the decks motors. Genius Solenoid, sheer genius….

  2. that is a grate idea. vary nice build. if you got one of those cheap led dynamo flashlight it would be perfect. it would have all the parts you would need.

  3. You said he could have easily found one for $10… I’m having trouble finding one that cheap. I think this may be the best route as it turns out.

  4. You’ll probably kill the drive belt in most automotive tape decks if you try to spin a generator. They barely tolerate spinning a tape.

  5. Good project, how about this challenge? Newer Honda car radios have USB audio inputs (for connecting, controlling, and charging an iPod or other MP3 device with the radio). Has anyone made or do they sell a bluetooth interface (like a mini USB bluetooth dongle) that lets you connect a bluetooth device, like your phone, through the radio USB port?

    I know some after market radios have built in bluetooth support. Just wondering if there was a way to use the existing radio. Controlling the bluetooth device through the radio isn’t as important as just connecting the audio to the radio.

    There seems to be a lot of the connect through the headphone jack bluetooth devices and are battery powered. Or the boxed hands free bluetooth devices. The best of both worlds would be the USB interface because you don’t need a battery for the power.

  6. This is a nice hack. Those Bluetooth headphone adapters are dirt cheap now and simple to tear apart so great if you ever need to add an Bluetooth audio input.

    A lot of the better models of tape deck will monitor the speed that the spindles are running at. If it detects that they’re spinning freely or that they’re turning slower than expect then it will assume there is something wrong with the tape and stop. The same goes for the other spindle not spinning despite the other one being driven.

  7. This made me ROFL…if he had done it so he could listen to his music in someone else’s car, then I would understand…but why not just wire in the bluetooth adapter directly and skip the fidelity loss of the tape head?

    1. most of the loss is caused by the tape dragging across the head, when the source is stationary its hard to tell the difference, especially in a car where the little details are drowned out by road noise.

  8. Shouldn’t he yoink the cassette head in the player and permanently install his BT thing? He could put a 3.5mm into the cassette door and glue it shut too, and maybe add a source switch.

  9. to Brian Benchoff: I am also very interested in your BT cassette adapter. What would be your fee for you to complete and mail? Or if not a source for me to buy? The Bluetooth Cassette Adapter from searches has bad reviews for music quality. Thanks, Harvey

  10. do you have any photos showing the actual wire connections to the circuit board and head. The Bluetooth head set has 14 wires and the tape hasd only two.

    1. Most headsets have controls that go into the actual ‘frame’ of the headset so you can control music playback. The actual speakers themselves should only have two wires going to each speaker.

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