A themed novelty horn for a 24 Hours of LeMons race car.
Let’s say your race car needs a horn. Now say that car runs in The 24 Hours of LeMons, and has a carefully crafted (rules-mandated) theme. That means you need a hilarious horn, right? As part of the theme for B-Team Racing, we wanted a horn that would play Mr. T sound effects. Here’s how I hacked up an old iPod to do just that.
Since this is a LeMons race car, the project also has to cost basically nothing. Assuming you have an old iPod lying around (and who doesn’t, what with the kids just throwing them away these days), the only cost of this project is an amplified PA Horn, which runs about $60. You may also have to drop a few bucks at Radio Shack for connectors and whatnot, depending on what you already have lying around.
Since this hack was originally written, our theme has changed, and we’re now B-Team Kill Phil. This horn was easy to adapt to play Kill Bill sound effects, as you’ll see.
T-In-A-Box will be operating in a race car, so we need to do what we can to make sure it survives. As of this writing, it has survived 12 races and still mostly works, though the power connectors are problematic. They should be positive-locking automotive connectors, rather than the friction-fit household style I used. I took the following precautions to ruggedize the device:
The iPod PCB is sitting in the enclosure on rubber cushions (I sliced up some old bulkhead grommets I had)
The sensitive connection to the click wheel socket is anchored to a plastic arch that runs over the connection. That way the connection is both protected from other things touching it, and also from strain on the wire. The arch is built with epoxy and chopped up bits of the iPod casing.
The wire connected to the click wheel connector is very long, both to allow removal of the PCB from the case, and to prevent shock or vibration from reaching the connection.
The PCB is secured in the enclosure by a block of foam rubber epoxied to the lid. This applies gentle pressure to keep the guts in place, while still allowing access if needed.