i found this awesome dedicated 8-track player in a basement in lower allston a year or so ago. i really wanted to hack it up and put an ipod dock in the actual 8-track part, and use a 30-pin ipod connector, and have some fancy push button controls mounted on the outside of the plastic case, and maybe it would trigger when the ipod was docked to give the unit power…but then i remembered that i really wanted to use this thing this summer, and that the last time i made one of these i left it at a party and was too lazy to ever go and pick it up (see: project ghetto blaster v1.0). so i decided to go bare bones. i figured out where the stereo leads of the pick-up that read the magnetic tape of the 8-track connected to the on-board amplifier and started cutting wires (did you know that 8-tracks are filled with an endless reel of tape?). i disabled a lot of the 8-track bits and pieces, but the wiring inside was such a mess that i decided to leave a lot of it alone (so as not to risk having to figure out how to rewire anything).
the power for the player was originally activated by inserting a tape, which triggered a mechanical switch, so i replaced that switch with a through-mounted toggle switch, taking the place of the headphone jack on the front side of the case. i remove the reel of tape from inside the neil young “decade” part 1 8-track cartridge, and drilled a hole for a stereo 1/8” audio patch cable to poke through. i tied off the wire on the inside of the cartridge, put the cartridge in the player, and then screwed it into the frame of the 8-track player (so that it could not be pulled out). i wired the leads of the patch cable to the amplifier input (bridging the stereo leads…to get both of the stereo channels through the mono speaker), placing a diode in-line with the bridged positive leads. i threw it all together and it sounds pretty good. there is some hum in the background, but i don’t care enough to take it apart and figure it out. time to hit the beach with this piece of shit.
i passed this beast on to mr. joseph boo, tattoo artist extraordinaire. here’s a picture of the hand-off: