empty DIN syndrome
August 28, 2017 9:18 AM   Subscribe

Moving from a double DIN stereo to single DIN - what creative thing to put in the newly empty space?

On my last car the OEM stereo was a double DIN unit and I replaced it with a single DIN and a 'pocket'. After several months I realized I had never used the pocket for anything.

Now I have a new car and I'm about to do the same thing and I don't want to just install a pocket. The only other empty-DIN utility I've seen (aside from empty space storage) is a cupholder thing and I don't need to carry any more beverages, thank you.

What should I put in that space? Right now the only thing I've come up with is a a flat panel with some flip or rocker switches wired up to LEDs that do nothing. That might give me a month's worth of amusing passengers before I forget to ever touch them again. A single DIN height isn't enough to install any sort of interesting terrarium. I could make it a display for some very long skinny art but ...

... anyway, I'm pretty crafty in the Dremel and screwdriver and sculpting sense, but not handy in the soldering and electrical wiring sense. Otherwise I'd have something like a panel of four flip switches that have to be in the correct orientation before the ignition will engage, for example.

So there's the question, I guess: what interesting thing would you put in the space of a single DIN if you didn't need a storage pocket or more cupholders?

(for those of you who may have the misfortune of following me on Instagram, please don't recommend teeth stuff. I already have teeth stuff planned for the truck, just not at this particular spot on the dash .)
posted by komara to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Your idea for flip switches with LEDs: I did that, except they functioned as distribution for 12V accessory power to various things in the car (under seat lighting, CB radio, etc). This was like a decade ago, though. Maybe add some USB ports to charge phones? Does your car have a compass? If not, throw one in there.
posted by destructive cactus at 9:28 AM on August 28, 2017

Friendly horn sounds
posted by chillmost at 9:38 AM on August 28, 2017 [2 favorites]

my current vehicle came with an altimeter, pretty cool if you do much mountain driving
posted by mannequito at 1:20 PM on August 28, 2017

mannequito, here in New Orleans I think it would break by trying to register numbers below sea level - but I do really like that idea.

And while I'm here I should clarify: these don't have to be existing car-related recommendations. Anything you can think of that would be interesting is something I'd want to hear about.
posted by komara at 2:35 PM on August 28, 2017

it's a bit ambitious, but a camera in the dash, a big red button, and a small (receipt?) printer would be a hoot. PRESS BUTTON RECEIVE SELFIE
posted by TheNewWazoo at 1:46 PM on August 29, 2017

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