Sunday, October 28, 2018

Junkyard Entertainment Unit - Part 2

In a previous post I discussed the rescue of an entertainment unit from a junked minivan. Once I got the unit home and determined that it seemed to function fine, the next step was to get the unit into a form that would make it easier to view videos in a more traditional home setting.

The main issue was in the way that the DVD player and the screen were installed in the minivan. Since the entertainment unit was installed in the roof of the minivan, the screen and player were upside down in the traditional home viewing sense where you would have your screen sitting on top of a table, not hanging down from the ceiling.

In order to make things "right side up" and to have things ready for a new cabinet, I needed to remove the player and screen components from their original containers.

To start the removal, I flipped the unit over in order to see the underside.

Underside of the unit - showing DVD player

From that viewpoint I could easily see the DVD player itself and some infrared LED's that were used to send audio to a pair of infrared headphones (sadly those headphone were not present in the minivan when I removed the unit).

An initial inspection showed that the DVD player was attached to the plastic housing with a series of small bolts and that the electrical connections to the screen and infrared LED's were made with a few  plastic connectors.. 

Removing the connectors

The first task was to disconnect the DVD from the screen and infrared LED's - this was done by gently pulling on the connectors until they were free from the DVD player

Removing the bolts securing the DVD player

Removing the DVD player

Next I removed the 4 bolts that attached the player to the housing with a socket wrench. Once the  bolts were removed, the DVD Player just simply lifted out of the housing

The DVD is Free

With the DVD player out of the way, I had a bit of a brainwave.

In my last post I had wondered about making this entertainment unit Bluetooth audio capable, however the player had wireless capability already via the infrared headphone transmitters. This would be a bit of an intriguing thing to pursue since I  would be able to take advantage of an out of the box function of the player versus having to try and put something together.

A quick internet search showed that I could easily get headphones that would work with the unit, but speakers that use infrared are a bit hard to come by.

But I think it's something worth looking into further (Stay tuned!)

So, with that in mind, I removed the infrared LED"s from the housing by removing the bolts that secured the LED's with a socket wrench.

LED wiring in the housing 

Removing the infrared LED's

Infrared LED's and wiring harness

The last major component to remove was the screen.

Here, we were in luck.

When I inspected the case that contained the screen, I noticed that the case a snap together housing. Because of this, the case can be opened by prying open the case at the seam with a slotted screwdriver.

I had to be careful when opening the housing so that the screwdriver didn't slip and damage the screen.

Case holding the screen was snapped together

Using a slotted screwdriver to open the case

Be careful opening the case 

Screen is ready to be removed 

With the case for the screen removed, the screen was now very easily accessible.  The screen board was attached to the back of the case with 4 screws. Removing the screws freed the screen

Removing the screws holding the screen

The disassembled entertainment unit 

With everything now removed, it was probably a good idea to reconnect everything, apply power and make sure things still worked

It still works!

As a final test, I wanted to see what I had to work with from an audio perspective.

While a DVD was playing, I hooked up a small speaker to one of the pairs of audio wires on the wiring harness connector

Hooking up a small speaker

While there was sound coming from the speaker, it was quite faint.

If I were to use these audio feeds for my project, I would definitely need to add some sort of amplifier circuit.

Now that I've mined my raw materials, I need to now do some more investigation on the best way to produce wireless audio.

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