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I'm thinking about developing a custom car stereo, and it surprised me that there's no DIY enclosures for this purpose. I've just found plastic boxes in the 1 DIN size which can be installed into an empty radio apartment of the car to hold stuff, but they are not an option for electronic development. I'm looking for something which is made of metal and allows me to mount a PCB inside and to fix the connectors on the back of the box. (optionally with ready installed ISO connectors, antenna socket and a front plastic panel to cut out mount holes for control/display would be nice aswell).

Is there really nothing for this, or I'm just searching with the wrong keywords?

(Maybe it's not the best place to ask. If it's so then please redirect me to the correct Stackexchange subsite and will move this question there.)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ If there was a demand for something like this I'm sure you'd be able to find a supplier, but I doubt there is. What is it you're trying to achieve that you can't get from one of the thousands of different ready-made car stereos already on the new and used market? \$\endgroup\$ – Finbarr Apr 13 '17 at 15:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm thinking about develop something on one of the many ARM developer boards to be installed in the car with sensible connections to the speakers, battery and ignition wires with great accessibility to be controlled while driving. \$\endgroup\$ – NagyI Apr 13 '17 at 16:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Let me know if you succeed and plan to have more DSP delay/deep memory available than the miniDSP which fell short one meter from delaying the fronts to match the sub. Price isn't an issue. \$\endgroup\$ – winny Apr 13 '17 at 17:34
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If you want one that is ready made and bare (not populated) I think what you want is a car stereo housing. They don't make them just for DIY that I know of, but they do make them as replacement parts. Here's an Ebay listing for one, just for example. Here's one in the UK. Try searching for terms like "car stereo housing" possibly with "replacement" or "repair". If you want a faceplate a similar method should work. "Mounting frame" or "cage" are also used in some instances. I think Kenwood sells several types.

They also sell trim kits, which are intended for framing a unit installed in a new hole cut in the dash, and under dash mounts, which are basically a tub to hang it in a new location. These probably aren't what you're looking for.

But, if I were doing this I'd look for a cheap, used, or broken car stereo that fits my car as a starting point. Then you get the housing, connectors, and faceplate, and probably some other stuff you can reuse as well, like maybe filters, regulators and an LCD.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, I've thought about cannibalizing an old or non functional radio as well, but it would be much nicer to do something better and more easily reproducible. Still, thank you for the recommandations! \$\endgroup\$ – NagyI Apr 13 '17 at 17:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you want repeatability then it seems like the first suggestion about using one meant as a repair part would work. Then it would be a new part and it doesn't have to be from Ebay. I don't think they make a generic project box one, and if they did it would probably cost a lot more. \$\endgroup\$ – Paul S Apr 13 '17 at 17:53

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