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KalebSikora 03 Dec 2017 07:00 pm

Custom Radio Fake Plate
I recently upgraded my car audio and wanted to ensure my nice touchscreen radio wasn't stolen. I read around that the best way to deter radio thieves is to create a custom radio fake plate to fool them into thinking it is a factory radio.

So I took my Dremel tool and made one from an actual PT Cruiser radio plastic faceplate. It took 7 hours and costed me $80, but I think it was worth it. I don't live in the best area (Las Vegas actually) so protecting my radio is a must! It's by no means perfect, but it was my first Dremel project and it turned out decent. I'll post pictures below:

The fake plate itself:

The radio without the fake plate off:

The radio with the fake plate on:

Handy_Cruiser 03 Dec 2017 07:28 pm

Re: Custom Radio Fake Plate
That looks SUPER!

If you can find a way to hide the attachment points better (maybe hidden magnets?), I think you will have a perfect solution. :thumbs-up:

rckstein 03 Dec 2017 07:44 pm

Re: Custom Radio Fake Plate
I agree with coming up with something different than the velcro to hold the dummy panel, that's the only thing that takes away from an otherwise perfect solution. :good:

Anybody doing a quick scan at the dash while searching for stereos to rip off wouldn't suspect anything and would likely move on to another vehicle. :cool:

I had an custom stereo with a flip-face in my Ranger P/U and of course it was ripped off, and they destroyed a good part of the dash ripping it out. :mad:

After that, no more custom stereos, the stock will do just fine. :coolblue:

KalebSikora 03 Dec 2017 09:23 pm

Re: Custom Radio Fake Plate
Yeah I tried lots of things actually. Initially it was a suction, then magnets, and finally the Velcro. In order to really use magnets I'd need pretty strong ones. The one's I purchased from Wal-Mart were too weak and wouldn't come close to keeping it held up.

One of the main issues was if I had the adhesive sticking to the back of the dash bezel, it get in the way of the magnetic connection. I'd really need some strong magnets, much stronger than fridge magnets.

rob302 04 Dec 2017 08:31 am

Re: Custom Radio Fake Plate

One problem I notice using Velcro in cars is that the glue turns to liquid in the heat, so first hot day you'll be looking for another solution. I had a tiny radio remote Velcro'd in my car on just a slight angle, like a wooden doorstop. I went swimming at the pool. When I came back out the remote had moved 3 inches and the Velcro left a very gooey snail trail.

Then again some Velcro like whatever the tollway uses for the ipass transponders seemed to be fine. Maybe I just had cheap stuff.

chuzz 04 Dec 2017 08:59 am

Re: Custom Radio Fake Plate
Strong magnets are in the magnatron inside a microwave over. You have to take it apart to get to them, but I have a couple that I use to find lost magnetic items I may lose in the yard. Those bad boys have got some power! Of course, they're about the size of a sliver dollar, so you'd have to cut one an just use a couple of smaller pieces.

PGBCruiser 05 Dec 2017 01:08 pm

Re: Custom Radio Fake Plate
This is a bit out of my league; but I'll throw the question out there: The magnet idea is great; but would a very strong magnet that close to the radio have any impact on function?
PS... looks great!

KalebSikora 06 Dec 2017 12:19 am

Re: Custom Radio Fake Plate

Originally Posted by PGBCruiser (Post 677275)
This is a bit out of my league; but I'll throw the question out there: The magnet idea is great; but would a very strong magnet that close to the radio have any impact on function?
PS... looks great!

If the display isn't on then no. Essentially, when the display is on, the electrons are moving and can be magnetized, and if it is off, then the electrons are not moving and therefore cannot be magnetized.

I am unsure of how magnets near the side of the radio would affect it, I doubt that they would. If I put magnets next to a TV it probably wouldn't affect it, so I don't see how it would affect the radio.

But thanks for the compliment. It's worked so far, and I believe strongly that it truly is the best radio thief deterrent!

SpaceMouse 08 Apr 2018 10:50 am

Re: Custom Radio Fake Plate
Here's your magnet solution:
Only about a billion choices in terms of size and shape. Your biggest problem might end up being that the magnets' attraction to your dash is stronger than the glue that bonds them to the plastic fake radio panel. I'd start with a few really small ones.

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