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    Thread: PhatBox Mounting Mod!!!

    1. Banned
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      05-03-2004 02:12 PM #1
      All, I'll post pics later tonight, I just wanted to give it a road test to make sure there were no issues.

      For all of the GTI/R32 guys who DON'T want their Phatbox to stick out of the CD changer location, or mount it vertically on the side of the wheel well, or on the back of thier rear seats....

      I took the liberty of openign up my new Phatbox (yes new, I doubt I'll have warranty issues), to see what was inside to see if I can mount in a more "stealthy" way.

      Since the unit is basically solid-state electronics, the mod was simple. Also, this mod had to be simple and NOT modify the PhatBox permanently.

      I bascially remove the guts from the big aluminum "fake"amp module, and installed the complete unit in a Radio Shack Electronics Experiment Box. The box cost $6.99, and was simply moded with a Dremel, and an Exacto blade.

      Once the mods were done, I installed the Phatbox unit into the new box, and re-mounted the front facia onto the new box.

      The new unit sits/resides in the CD-Changer mount, WITH the door closed, and WITHOUT cutting the side door/panel.

      I'll post pics tonight for those who are interested.....


    2. Member 1.8TWolfsberg's Avatar
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      05-03-2004 10:44 PM #2
      I would be curious to see...thanks

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      05-04-2004 08:49 PM #3
      I have pics of the mod ver 1.0, can anyone host them for me????

      I can e-mailthem to you if not, just PM me.....

      Larry


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      05-04-2004 08:56 PM #4
      email them to Anthony127@comcast.net

    5. 05-04-2004 11:04 PM #5
      Although I have completed my own version of this experiment on my Fiancé’s GTI I would still like to see how you approached the matter. If you want pictures of my project I would be happy to email them.
      garand@selbie.org

      Rob Garand


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      05-05-2004 12:55 AM #6
      thanks Rob. I did send the pics to Antony, and I hope he can host them for everyone to see. If not, let me know and I can send pics out...

      Anthony, can you also host Rob's pics??? Might be good to look at 2 different approaches to the same isssue?????

      Thanks,

      Larry


      Modified by lsinlv at 8:50 AM 5-5-2004


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      05-05-2004 01:10 AM #7
      Here you go Larry...nice work bro



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      05-05-2004 11:45 AM #8
      Thanks Anthony for hosting the pics!!

      For some clearification.....the foam strips are anti-rattle. The original front facial will be attached using double sided tape.

      This is version 1.0, with version 2.0 coming soon. I wanted to see if it would work WITHOUT damaging/modifying the PhatBox, and it worked better than I thought.

      Since I don't plant on pulling the cartridge in/out often, this design is OK, but the cartridge is difficult to get to easily. I will be using a slightly shorter box on version 2.0, but then I loose the potection the complete box affords.

      I'll keep everyone up-to-date as I move forward.


    9. 05-05-2004 02:41 PM #9
      God damn it.

      Why didn’t I think of that? Argh. I'll take some pics tonight, and then I'm going to go back and do that.

      I actually removed all the components, found computer mounting things, spent an hour to drill out all the right holes (in the box) and mounted the circuit’s right into the box. The plastic box unfortunately isn’t very sturdy so I was trying to find another way to do it. Your idea is perfect, thanks for the pic.

      Any one know if they make an adaptor for Mazda's? I'm so envious of my girl right it’s not fair that she gets all the cool gadgets.

      Rob Garand


    10. Member vr6gtispeed's Avatar
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      06-17-2004 06:42 PM #10
      Any updats on the Ver.-2?

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      06-18-2004 12:22 PM #11
      you know what? I got side stepped on other projects....I gotta get back on this one....gimme a week or so!!

      Thanks for a kick in the ass!


    12. 07-07-2004 10:57 PM #12
      Even Ver 1.0 looks as if it will disappear under the rear armrest of a Corrado much better than the original space-waster factory case... (yes, I'm still debating the PhatBox for the Corrado.) (It's already plug-n-play with the rest of the stereo I've got in there from a '99 Passat )

      Want to see Version 2.0


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      07-08-2004 04:37 PM #13
      Many will be hating me as I have yet to get to V 2.0, just because v 1.0 works, and I haven't even pulled it out since I took the pics (read - lazy).

      I will eventually get to V 2.0, but for now I have not time nor real incentive (again read - lazy).

      I promise when I get time again, I will do a V 2.0. It will be the same, only cleaner looking, but function/form wise it will be the exact same thing.....

      someone else here, show me up! make a better box than me, give me some incentive.....


    14. Member vr6gtispeed's Avatar
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      07-09-2004 10:15 AM #14
      I have a PhatBox on the way thanks to LuisV. I'll attempt to do a Ver. 2.

    15. 07-11-2004 06:02 AM #15
      Update.


      Phatbox harddisk is garbage. It recently died. I spent several weeks with Customer Support, reformatting, reloading, checking for errors ect. After all that, they determined it most likely suffered a severe jolt or jink and the internal disks are physically damaged (its just a lap-top hard drive after all). So I then ask If I send in the entire Phatbox or just the cartridge for warranty coverage (1 year). Neither. No Warranty coverage. The DMS cartridge is only covered for DOA, because it is not supported if it is used in any manner that may cause vibration, motion or shaking, such as walking with it, driving with it, shaking it ect. WTF.. However you can buy a replacement for $178

      Screw them. I will wait till Phatbox is discontinued and and pick up some new cartridges for cheap. Till then we purchased a pair of Ipods. Five Thousand times cooler, cheaper, and more useful. Ipods have built in alarm clocks, games, date book and planner, and a much better interface. Also iTunes owns Phatbox Music Manager. Lastly I purchased the iPods from Best-buy and they are covered by a 2 year replacement or coupon warranty. No receipt needed, no reason needed. Just bring it to the store with the box, they look you up in the computer and give you a voucher for original purchase price..

      Rob Garand


      Modified by Garand at 11:04 AM 7-11-2004


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      07-11-2004 08:20 PM #16
      Thanks for hijacking my PhatBox mod thread....

      This thread was trying to help out others with thier installs of the PhatBox, not wanting to hear that YOU were having warranty issues......

      back on topic....


    17. Member vr6gtispeed's Avatar
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      07-13-2004 07:43 AM #17
      I got the Phatbox in last night. I did the same mod but a little different. It fits right at home in the CD changer spot. When I get my digi. cam batteries charged, I'll take pics.

    18. Member vr6gtispeed's Avatar
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      07-14-2004 02:30 PM #18
      After making the same mod. I've noticed that it gets really hot. I was thinking of adding a few small computer fans. I wonder if I could hook at least one to the remote wire that runs to the back in the cd changer bundle. Does anyone have any ideas?


      Modified by vr6gtispeed at 3:04 PM 7-14-2004

    19. Member vr6gtispeed's Avatar
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      07-14-2004 07:00 PM #19
      Here are a few pics of my PhatBox Mod. I mentioned above about it being kind of hot so I think I might try to use a heat sink and fan from an Intel PII processor. I’m not sure what I’m going to use to power the fan but I’ll work something out.


      Let me know what you think.


      Modified by vr6gtispeed at 7:02 PM 7-14-2004


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      07-15-2004 06:42 PM #20
      SCHWEET!!!!

      Great Job! Much cleaner than mine.....

      I also noted the heat issue, and just added an aluminum block w/heat sink grease (not pictured) to the existing heat sink.

      I don't think a fan is needed (as it's already been 110 here) and I've not encountered any overheating issues, but a fan couldn't hurt.

      You chould be able to get 12V (if that's what the PII fan runs on) from one of the PB leads, but you may have to put a RF choke on it to quash any RF from the fan motor.



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      07-25-2004 02:13 AM #21
      Good work guys...I might have to try something like this when I buy a Music Keg which is Kenwood's version of the Phatbox...actually even licensed by Phatnoise.

    22. Member Notabora2's Avatar
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      07-25-2004 06:42 AM #22
      Hey that install is sweet. I really like it. I almost bought one too but I really want to see them make it hold video too! It shouldnt be too difficult to make it play video too. I guess that will come with the next generaton models!

    23. 04-26-2005 12:34 PM #23
      Has anyone else done this mod? I just ordered the $120 phatbox, and am planning to try this when it arrives. Is anybody who's done this willing to put together a step-by-step DIY so that an idiot like myself can figure it out?

      Thanks!!
      ROB


    24. 04-26-2005 10:30 PM #24
      Quote, originally posted by 1.8TWolfsberg »
      Here you go Larry...nice work bro


      Can anyone host these images again? I'd like to see them.

      ROB


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      05-05-2005 12:22 PM #25
      So you guys don't think heat will be a problem after doing this? I like the fan idea ... just don't want noise or any interference. I am doing this soon.


    26. 05-06-2005 01:05 PM #26
      I think having the rear of the thing encased in the plastic box might make the heat issue worse by not allowing the hot air to exit the box. The rear panel is what serves as a heat sink, and should probably be exposed so that it can benefit from airflow.

      Here's mine - a bit crude, but it works like a charm so far. Supplies required: glad wrap and velcro. Granted this is in a passat, but same deal - no mods to the car required.



      - Fab


    27. 05-09-2005 09:35 AM #27
      Quote, originally posted by ftillier »
      I think having the rear of the thing encased in the plastic box might make the heat issue worse by not allowing the hot air to exit the box. The rear panel is what serves as a heat sink, and should probably be exposed so that it can benefit from airflow.

      Here's mine - a bit crude, but it works like a charm so far. Supplies required: glad wrap and velcro. Granted this is in a passat, but same deal - no mods to the car required.
      - Fab

      When I first saw your mod, I thought, "Damn that is GHETTO!!" But then, after thinking about it for a minute, I thought I'd take apart my PB and look at it. After doing so, I'm convinced that the big aluminum casing has only one purpose, other than looking cool, and that is making the PB wide enough to fit in a CD changer slot.

      After I removed it, the unit is very light and has nothing in it that would create any real heat. I ended up wrapping mine in Saran Wrap to keep dust out, mounting it on a piece of cardboard that slides into the CD changer slot like a shelf, and holding it all together with binder clips. Yes, it's ghetto, but the door closes completely, it's easy to get in and out, it was easy to do, and it required no permanent mods to either the PB or the car.

      I originally did it thinking it would be a temporary setup and that I'd fab up a box later, but it works so well and is so simple, that I'm pretty sure it'll stay like that for a long time!

      Thanks for the idea, and to all the haters who don't like your ghetto Saran Wrap,


      ROB


    28. 05-09-2005 05:39 PM #28
      Quote, originally posted by rtmeikle »

      When I first saw your mod, I thought, "Damn that is GHETTO!!"

      Yes, it is ghetto. But it's out of sight so I didn't care. It was also super cheap - nothing required but stuff that I already had lying around. Sure, I only saved like $5 compared to buying a plastic enclosure, but $5 is $5.

      Plus, I think it's a lot less ghetto than having the cartridge sticking out of the little trap door, or mounting it in the trunk in plain view.

      Quote, originally posted by rtmeikle »

      But then, after thinking about it for a minute, I thought I'd take apart my PB and look at it. After doing so, I'm convinced that the big aluminum casing has only one purpose, other than looking cool, and that is making the PB wide enough to fit in a CD changer slot.

      Yep, and somehow phatnoise and VW did a piss poor job of communicating. Phatnoise made the aluminum extrusion the size of the CD changer, but didn't account for the cable and cartridge, which is why it just doesn't fit in our cars. It's like they asked VW "what size is the CD changer slot?" and VW gave them the dimensions. They never bothered to get the front and rear clearances.

      Quote, originally posted by rtmeikle »

      After I removed it, the unit is very light and has nothing in it that would create any real heat. I ended up wrapping mine in Saran Wrap to keep dust out, mounting it on a piece of cardboard that slides into the CD changer slot like a shelf, and holding it all together with binder clips. Yes, it's ghetto, but the door closes completely, it's easy to get in and out, it was easy to do, and it required no permanent mods to either the PB or the car.

      At least I used Velcro, not cardboard and binder clips! Now *that* is ghetto! Though the binder clips are a nice idea as far as getting easy access. The velcro is a bit of a pain to work with in that area. I might have to "upgrade" my installation.

      Quote, originally posted by rtmeikle »

      I originally did it thinking it would be a temporary setup and that I'd fab up a box later, but it works so well and is so simple, that I'm pretty sure it'll stay like that for a long time!

      Me too. I wanted to make a nice wooden box, walnut or something. But it's out of sight and works, and I have little enough free time as it is.

      Quote, originally posted by rtmeikle »

      Thanks for the idea, and to all the haters who don't like your ghetto Saran Wrap,

      No haters so far that I know of. And if there are, they can go spend their money on something fancy - I don't care. I'm glad it worked for you too!

      - Fab


    29. 05-09-2005 06:11 PM #29
      Quote, originally posted by ftillier »
      Plus, I think it's a lot less ghetto than having the cartridge sticking out of the little trap door, or mounting it in the trunk in plain view.

      Agreed, and that's why I went with the method you described. I love that without opening the "sound" compartment, you'd never see ANY indication that the PB is installed. Totally stock looking!

      Quote, originally posted by ftillier »
      At least I used Velcro, not cardboard and binder clips! Now *that* is ghetto! Though the binder clips are a nice idea as far as getting easy access. The velcro is a bit of a pain to work with in that area. I might have to "upgrade" my installation.

      It's funny, the cardboard "shelf" was originally a template I was going to use to cut a piece of wood later. But, since the PB without the aluminum piece is SO light, the cardboard seemed plenty sturdy to hold it. After I realized that, I decided there was no point in cutting a piece of wood for the shelf. The cardboard slides right into the CD changer bracket and, since only binder clips hold it in, it is very easy to slide out when I need to pull out the cartridge.

      I think my ghetto install is better than a Radio Shack box in that sense; it is very easy to swap out my cartridge. It only takes a couple of seconds.

      Anyway, thanks again for your post, and to anyone else buying a PB; DON'T hack up your car! It's not necessary.

      ROB


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      05-12-2005 05:49 PM #30
      doenst anyone know those side tubes were heat sinks? good luck getting long term use outta those hack job mods..
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    31. 05-12-2005 07:27 PM #31
      Quote, originally posted by placenta »
      doenst anyone know those side tubes were heat sinks? good luck getting long term use outta those hack job mods..

      No they're not. They're only there to look good and to make the PB fit in the CD changer slot in SOME cars.

      ROB


    32. 05-12-2005 07:39 PM #32
      Here's my version


      Thanks for the idea guys! This is probably the most expensive solution so far due to the $20 ribbon cable that I had to make. Not to mention the milling machine to pocket out the aluminum sides .

      Quote, originally posted by placenta »
      doenst anyone know those side tubes were heat sinks? good luck getting long term use outta those hack job mods..

      Actually, those aren't heat sinks and calling all of these creative solutions "hack job mods" isn't the best way to make friens. Anyway, the only component that is heat "sunk" is that little chip you see sticking out of mine in the last picture. It was clamped to the steel sheet in the rear of the unit. I may make something for it before it gets stupid-hot here in Miami.

      For those of you with aftermarket amps, I think you can get a pair of line-level outputs from the thing if you solder in your own RCA connectors to a spot on the rear of the board.


    33. 05-12-2005 07:57 PM #33
      Quote, originally posted by 20v_boost »
      Here's my version


      Thanks for the idea guys! This is probably the most expensive solution so far due to the $20 ribbon cable that I had to make. Not to mention the milling machine to pocket out the aluminum sides .


      Actually, those aren't heat sinks and calling all of these creative solutions "hack job mods" isn't the best way to make friens. Anyway, the only component that is heat "sunk" is that little chip you see sticking out of mine in the last picture. It was clamped to the steel sheet in the rear of the unit. I may make something for it before it gets stupid-hot here in Miami.

      For those of you with aftermarket amps, I think you can get a pair of line-level outputs from the thing if you solder in your own RCA connectors to a spot on the rear of the board.

      WOW!!! Mine is the most ghetto solution so far, and yours is definately the LEAST ghetto. That looks VERY nice.

      And btw, thanks for setting Placenta straight on the heat sink myth. I just responded with a "laughing" smiley because I don't feel like explaining it in much more detail than that, but as you pointed out, the aluminum piece is NOT a heat sink. The unit does not make much heat at all, it's not an amp, it's just a portable disk drive. Where's the heat sink on an iPod?

      Anyway, your solution looks great. Good work. And to those who are too lazy to do what you did, my "ghetto" job works just fine, and unless you open the door to the audio compartment in the trunk, it looks great.

      I actually ordered a PB for my wife's Passat this week, and I plan to install it in the same ghetto, "heat sink-less" fashion as I did in my Golf.

      ROB


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      05-14-2005 09:15 PM #34
      Here is my Phatbox install which I installed in place of the hazard reflectors (which no one has anyways) and I'm not ready to give up my CD changer yet. At least no cutting needed to do this.

      http://home.comcast.net/~databurst/phatbox.html


    35. 05-15-2005 04:22 PM #35
      So can you use your stock CD changer and the phatnoise? If so, how do you switch at the head unit? Or do you just swap cables when it's time to play CD's?

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