Scott SilvaUse your MD to record directly from cable or a satellite dish to listen to these broadcasts in the car for those long commutes.
I have used it to record various television broadcasts that don't require video. For example, stuff off the History Channel, the political talking head shows (Hardball, Crossfire, Equal Time), VH1s Behind the Music, etc. Also, I'm sure any stand-up comedy shows that are on HBO or comedy central would be fine. Plus you can skip through the commercials.
Also, off the dish you can record from the 15 different music channels that you have access to.
Chris CarpenterBeing accustomed to cassettes in my car and the delay in music after a side ends, I found it weird that, upon reaching the end of a mix MD in my car player, the 1st track would just start up immediately. Some people may like this feature, however I found it to be disconcerting, never really locking into my head what the first song is. A simple solution that everybody has probably thought of, but, if you haven't, here goes: Record about 25 seconds of nothing on the last track, giving an "ending" to the mix, and a beginning.
Dan FisherA few months ago my wife had her CD deck stolen out of her car, along with 25 CDs. (This was not the first time!) She had just bought a Sharp 702 portable MD recorder. I decided that instead of going out and dropping $200 on another head unit I'd try to use the MD instead.
I installed an Alpine 4 channel 30W AMP (with gain control) under the seat of her Bronco II and bought some patch cables. Now all she does is plug the the patch cables into the remote on the MD player and she has an excellent sounding stereo. The best part is she never even takes the MD player out of her purse. When she gets out, she unplugs it and nothing is left in the truck for thieves.
I thought it worked so well I went and bought a Sharp 722 and another amp for my truck. I drive an old beat-up Ford that I never lock. I just leave the MD player in my jacket pocket and use the remote.
One note: I tried using an AIWA (don't recall the model #) but it seemed to pick up interference and distort when used with the amp.
Laszlo LieszkovszkyI have a 90 Buick LeSabre with a good built in sound system, and an "oversize" factory radio (tuner/cassette deck). Although there are a few "oversize" commercial radios available out there, they are expensive and often still stick out, attracting thieves etc. So I thought maybe I could hack the original factory radio, make it take the input of a portable MD deck! It turns out it is possible to do this without too much trouble!
The end result: I now have a simple switch on the dashboard, and a 3.5mm stereo female socket coming out of my factory radio - flip the switch and the radio amplifies the input from the 3.5mm socket instead of the tuner! I simply plug in my Sharp MD-MS702 to play my music. And the cassette deck still works too!
How to do it: Although this might not work with newer radios, and if you aren't careful you can mess things up easily, with a bit of persistence it can be done. It may be different on your unit of course, but for mine, I found that the radio (which has a built in cassette deck) consists of two parts, the radio itself (with amp and everything), and the cassette deck. The 8 wires going from the deck to the radio include all that needed to be played with. After listening in on several of them while the tape player was playing (with some headphones) I found the 3 that sent the sound to the radio portion. Then I checked how the deck instructed the amplifier to take its source from the aforementioned 3 wires instead of the tuner - it was a simple 5v "high" on one of the wires. Here's where the switch mentioned in "the end result" comes in: the switch operates a 4 pole relay. Three of the poles switch the audio signal (L/R/Gnd) from cassette deck to "aux input - the 3.5mm socket" and the last applies the "high" voltage to the control line of the amplifier. It took me a few nights to do it, but now I have the same old factory radio I love, and an aux input through which I can play my Minidiscs, all controlled by a simple switch!
Simon Mackay had this to add to Laszlo's trick outlined above:
The trick outlined in modifying the OEM radio in Laszlo Lieszkovszky's 1990 Buick LeSabre can apply to anyone who has a setup which consists of a separate stereo car radio and cassette deck where the cassette deck is amplified via the radio. This setup is implemented to my knowledge in the following cars (years specified are "model-years"):
Nissan / Datsun
A similar modification using a relay can be done for systems that use a radio/cassette unit and separate graphic equaliser; but, in most setups, this modification can only switch the audio signal between the radio-cassette and the MD. It would require the relay to be wired prior to the equaliser so that the MD audio as well as the radio / cassette audio can benefit from the equaliser.
Also this setup can be achieved with OEM setups consisting of a radio/cassette and a separate slot-in CD player -- as long as the CD player can either provide a signal voltage or "make to ground" to wake up the radio-cassette unit for amplification duties.
For cars where you have separate sound adjustment for radio and tape, you may have to use a buffer-amplifier and adjust your MD-Walkman's volume at the Walkman device.
This information may be useful for cars made from model-years 1976-1993.
John CrawfordI have a Sharp MD-MS702 Minidisc portable that I use at home and in the van. I transfer MP3's from my hard drive to the '702, for later transfer to my Sony MDS-JE510 deck to make compilation mixes for use in the vehicle. When I'm in the van I send music from the '702 to my Pioneer cassette unit by inserting one of those special adapter cassettes into it and connecting to the MD unit. It sounds great, and a lot better than cassettes. All from this little portable! I sit the '702 on a console that sits in between the seats. When I leave the vehicle, I take out the mini plug and stuff the MD into my pocket. That means no chance of theft from the vehicle, since I bring it back into the house for its other duties. These include transferring tunes to and from the Sony deck, and voice recording, with or without the computer. It's not only versatile, but saves a little money by avoiding the purchase of an MD unit for the van.
Ked TidwellI 'listen' to e-mail, in the car, on the way to work, thanks to MD.
The MD is hooked to my Mac, and the mail is 'read out loud' by OS9 text-to-speech capability… no need to convert to an MP3 file for uploading first, for those that are saying they can do the same with their portable MP3 units)… if it goes to the speakers, it can be directed to any audio recorder you can connect as well. A small AppleScript drives the message/text/audio handling. The recorder is set for sync'd recording, so it starts by itself. I simply keep a disc with room in the recorder, and the rest is timed and scripted. Pop out the MD and hit the road.
The MD is connected to the car's stereo (I have a cradle for my MD units on the console), and away we go :)