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Online car audio/video/alarm/installation help for SD members

BayArea 487 August 11, 2008 at 03:00 PM
I can offer you advise on any purchases you are about to make, what to look for, whats good/not good, and any problems you have that you need to troubleshoot.

My father has been in the business for decades and myself for many years, so this is our expertise. We are an award winning car audio speciality shop, and we take alot of pride in our work. Fiberglass is also something I/we specialize in, so shoot your questions!

Ive helped countless amount of SDers with their questions about purchases and what to look for when buying and installing these sorts of things, as it sometimes becomes overwhelming to any one that's not car savvyBig Grin

Things that you might have trouble with that I can help include : In dash decks, in dash navigation systems, ipod and bluetooth integration,alarms, mobile video, amplifiers, speakers and components, signal processors, subwoofers, boxes, wiring, power caps, installation kits, and installation.


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Please remember to input the following descriptions when asking for advise about a future purchase

Vehicle- Year, make, model
Parts purchased/considering- model numbers of the parts
Goal- what are you looking for (that way i know the part your buying will fulfill your needs)

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For troubleshooting:

-Year/make/model of vehicle
-Problem (bass stop working, amp clipping, etc...)
-Weird noises or lights(ex. red light on amplifier, error message on stereo, etc...)

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As a employee at a shop that is an authorized dealer for many brands, im familiar with most if not all models out there. If you have a question about any single one, just ask!

Remember: Always buy from an AUTHORIZED dealer!

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I know the seller is an Authorized Dealer?
All you have to do is visit the website of the product you are planning on purchasing and there will be a tab named Dealer Locator. All you do is click on that and enter your zip code and it will list all authorized dealers in a certain mileage radius.

How do I know what will fit my car?
Simply ask me what your car is and I can tell you what size speakers, radio, etc... will fit. Remember, the cool thing about car audio is customizing something that didn't come from the factory. We can make your car special and outfitted to fit your needs!

Im not looking to spend too much, can I have a decent sound system on a budget?
You sure can, ask me what your looking for and im sure I can whip up a system for you that will fit your budget. Good sound doesnt require you to spend good money Wink

*BayArea will not be held liable for any damage that results from improper installation or use of tools. I am only giving advice to help slickdealers get started on their car audio systems and to point them in the right direction.

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L10: Grand Master
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#16
Quote from Eddyisgreat View Post :
I've done my own alarm and stereo installs , but so far nothing i've installed, except some after market HID lights, work properly...my poor 2k6 suzuki reno Frown.

At any rate, I'd like to have all the components repaired and probably replace the head unit i've installed (the alarm works *ok*).

My stereo install worked for about 2 months then the left speakers started going out. Went back in and rewired everything via crimping, but its still intermittent. Did I mention the LCD went out on me ?

Wired up an infiniti 1300a amp which sounded GREAT for a grand total of about 3 weeks, but I had it mounted in the middle section behind the center console (I usually don't have passengers back there, and the amp had nice blue lights on it), then my girlfriend knocked a can of cream soda onto it...sigh.

First alarm install went not so well. Went with an off brand unit that worked for a bit, but the actuator never fired. Went back in to rewire and shorted the unit out by accidentially touching the ground to power. Lesson learned. On the same install I tried to do the remote start which DID work (and impressed the heck out of friends/family/onlookers), however I didn't crimp and tried to cut the wire to make my own wiring, but something must have gotten crossed as the ignition fuse blew once (but I knew where to look).

Went with an autopage (forgot the model) which works ok now. Only problem is is that my drivers side door didn't come from the factory with an actuator (hence my alarm install), and my education on physics hasn't allowed me to position the actuator to reliably fire the lock up, so I must manually unlock but I can lock via remote (silly I know).

Parts broken..lol...lets see...
Door panels (back on)
door trim hinges (fixed for the most part)
various fuses, including ignition fuse (fixed)

But hey, for a first timer....my car still works! I freaked out about 100 times (specially with the blown fuses) but I know the ins and outs of my car like a champ now.

But here I am, beaten and bruised. I admit, I do not need to be doing this type of work. IT feels great to get my hands dirty, and i'm willing to learn, but for all the money and time i've spent for nothing to work, I guess I should just call it done. I would consider going to the installer institute down in (florida?) but the tuition is outragious, on top of my fees here at the university of washington ~.~.

So, how do you guys find good installers? I've asked my local dealer who they recommend, but they couldn't tell me anyone (I think they are surprised someone asked).

I've seen a few local shops, but i've heard a few horror stories for just about every place.

I know most of the stuff i've done in my car doesn't work to a degree, but I have basic electrical knowledge and have appropriately wired all signal / low voltage wires, ground and power wires in a safe, reliable manner (as far as I can tell).

Some of the extreme hack jobs i've seen are down right dangerous, and not knowing how they did it / being able to fix it myself worries me.

Should I stroll into a shop and ask to see their work? What are some local resources I can go to to find a reliable installer?

I'm in Tacoma/Seattle, Wa BTW.

Thanks for any help.
Hey,

The work that you had trouble with are pretty basic installations, except for the alarm system(i always suggest professional installation for alarms). What I would do is go around and look at different shops, look at their showroom to see if its clean or not. Talk to the sales people and see how they act. You can usually tell the difference between somone that wants to help and that is honest or somone that just wants to take your money. Im not from the Washington area, but im sure theres good reputable shops.

Other than personal recommendations, their isint too many ways to find out about people that do good work.
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#17
Quote from l34merik View Post :
Hi, thx for the reply. It's nice to see the SD community being so diverse and being able to help each other on stuff besides deals. If you ever need any computer advice, don't be afraid to ask.

So why would you pay more for the viper than the python? From the websites of both, I thought they pretty much had all the same features. Since I don't really know too much about cars, what brand of alarms would you recommend? Like I said, security and keyless entry is something I definitely want. But it would be nice if I could get a remote start too but it's not really needed. If it's too much I'd rather spend the money on sub+amp instead of the remote start.

Oh and since my car's a 2002 Accord, it has a chip in the key. Does that mean I'll have to lose a key or buy a new one for the security system to work? Thanks
Hey,
The difference is that the Viper is a better known and better make of an alarm. Honestly, the same options of a Viper cost me more than a python (wholesale cost). The Viper can sell more just because of the name most of the time.

Depending on which module you go with, you might lose 1 of your keys. I have some modules at the shop that can remote start your car without you having to give up your extra key and some modules which require to use your spare key.

Note*** The spare key could only be lost if your doing remote start. Security system/keyless entry do NOT require an extra key.
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#18
Quote from BayAreaaa View Post :
Hey,

The work that you had trouble with are pretty basic installations, except for the alarm system(i always suggest professional installation for alarms). What I would do is go around and look at different shops, look at their showroom to see if its clean or not. Talk to the sales people and see how they act. You can usually tell the difference between somone that wants to help and that is honest or somone that just wants to take your money. Im not from the Washington area, but im sure theres good reputable shops.

Other than personal recommendations, their isint too many ways to find out about people that do good work.
Ahh..

Makes sense.

Thanks (+1 rep) Big Grin
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#19
just curious i know about 5 years ago i had a alpine (i think nva751a) nav system that i managed to somehow hook up to my indash non alpine monitor via just the rca video input on the screen. I believe alpine either had a module or this particulare gps allowed me to do it. I am curious if that sounds right. I am trying to duplicate the same install. I still have my monitor and in the interste of now having to buyy all new equipment does anyone out there or you bayarea know of a gps that i can install whether dvd or SD card related gps where i can have it hook up to my current indash screen via a video rca input?
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#20
yeah it still vibrates when the volume is at 0
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L10: Grand Master
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#21
Quote from indnracn2 View Post :
just curious i know about 5 years ago i had a alpine (i think nva751a) nav system that i managed to somehow hook up to my indash non alpine monitor via just the rca video input on the screen. I believe alpine either had a module or this particulare gps allowed me to do it. I am curious if that sounds right. I am trying to duplicate the same install. I still have my monitor and in the interste of now having to buyy all new equipment does anyone out there or you bayarea know of a gps that i can install whether dvd or SD card related gps where i can have it hook up to my current indash screen via a video rca input?
Hey,
I know that Kenwood and Alpine have an add on navgation system that you hook up to a monitor, BUT the monitor must be of the same brand and be able to hook up to that navigation via provided cables.

What you did 5 years ago i believe is not possible anymore.
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#22
Quote from sayer View Post :
yeah it still vibrates when the volume is at 0
Hey,
If you have a spare amplifier around, take that and hook it up. Talked to another one of my techs and were thinking its most likely the amplifier.
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#23
I have a 1996 BMW 328i 4-door with a factory HK casette/radio and a CD changer in the trunk.

I think one of the speakers is blown. I'd like to replace the head unit and 2 or four of the speakers.

I'm not interested in an asskicking rig, just good quality sound. And I don't want tacky, flashing lights.

Any suggestions? Thanks!
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#24
Quote from Rebound View Post :
I have a 1996 BMW 328i 4-door with a factory HK casette/radio and a CD changer in the trunk.

I think one of the speakers is blown. I'd like to replace the head unit and 2 or four of the speakers.

I'm not interested in an asskicking rig, just good quality sound. And I don't want tacky, flashing lights.

Any suggestions? Thanks!
Hey,
For the headunit, you have a single din so that should be quite easy. You can go many different routes to this. Can you tell me how much you want to spend so I can give you the options and what kind of systems you can do for your budget.
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#25
I've been shopping around for the past week and honestly I'm confused and annoyed. So I get prices quotes from Quality AutoSound and Ultimate Electronics that are about $220 for Viper Alarm system w/ keyless entry INSTALLED or $220 Clifford Alarm system w/ keyless entry INSTALLED but when I get everything to come up, it's always $280-$350.

Can you recommend me a brand/ alarm system and a good place to get it installed?
I want a Security System that has:
Keyless Entry* (must have no matter what)
*All the standard things that comes with alarms systems
*Backup battery (was definitely recommended right?)
*Window break sensor (is this needed?)
*Hood/ Trunk Sensor (is this needed?)
remote start is would be nice but not needed
*are there any other sensor's you recommend?

Should I buy a system on eBay and have someone install it for me? I'm pretty annoyed right now and for peace of mind protection while knowing I'm getting a good price/deal I will pay up to $450 but the cheaper the better. Please help me
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#26
hi, so i ended up buying 15"kicker cvr's and kickerzx750.1..what is the good installation amp kit..

cheap and best.( should i go with 8ga. 4 ga. 2ga. or 0ga.)


thanks
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L10: Grand Master
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Original Poster
#27
Quote from l34merik View Post :
I've been shopping around for the past week and honestly I'm confused and annoyed. So I get prices quotes from Quality AutoSound and Ultimate Electronics that are about $220 for Viper Alarm system w/ keyless entry INSTALLED or $220 Clifford Alarm system w/ keyless entry INSTALLED but when I get everything to come up, it's always $280-$350.

Can you recommend me a brand/ alarm system and a good place to get it installed?
I want a Security System that has:
Keyless Entry* (must have no matter what)
*All the standard things that comes with alarms systems
*Backup battery (was definitely recommended right?)
*Window break sensor (is this needed?)
*Hood/ Trunk Sensor (is this needed?)
remote start is would be nice but not needed
*are there any other sensor's you recommend?

Should I buy a system on eBay and have someone install it for me? I'm pretty annoyed right now and for peace of mind protection while knowing I'm getting a good price/deal I will pay up to $450 but the cheaper the better. Please help me
Hey,
-The backup battery is good if somone cuts your power to the alarm because then you have something to give power to your alarm as a backup. I personally dont have it on my car. Unless your car is real valuable and will attract the professionals, I wouldnt get it.
-Window break sensor is unneeded. Almost any hit to a window will set off the alarm via shock sensor. The only way a window break sensor would come in handy is for those specific tools that professional thieves have. Like I said before, is your car really going to attract those kind of theives? If your worried about gangsters and thugs or the local kids, I wouldnt get it.
-The hood sensor is a good option to get, but it shouldnt cost that much. I would go for that and not the trunk.

-Like I said before, remote start will cost you at least $350 alone because of the extra module and labor time needed. I would just forget about the remote start right now and go for the basic alarm with a couple of the extra sensors such as the hood pin and maybe the backup battery if it works with your budget.

If their offering you $280 for the alarm plus a couple of those sensors, its not a bad deal at all.

Quote from sood View Post :
hi, so i ended up buying 15"kicker cvr's and kickerzx750.1..what is the good installation amp kit..

cheap and best.( should i go with 8ga. 4 ga. 2ga. or 0ga.)


thanks
Depending on how many amps you have. I would go with at least a 4 gauge power and ground amp kit. 2 Gauge would probobly fit the most. 0 Gauge is way overkill.
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#28
Quote from BayAreaaa View Post :



Depending on how many amps you have. I would go with at least a 4 gauge power and ground amp kit. 2 Gauge would probobly fit the most. 0 Gauge is way overkill.
http://www.circuitcity.com/ccd/Se...x=0&go.y=0 its this amp
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#29
Quote from sood View Post :
http://www.circuitcity.com/ccd/Se...x=0&go.y=0 its this amp
Hey,
Ok so you only have 1 amplifier in your car? Thats what im guessing by that link.
4 gauge will work. 2 gauge would be the best. Dont go 0 gauge.

I do reccomend that you get a name brand wiring kit. Go with either a JL audio, Rockford Fosgate, or Kicker wiring kit. Monster makes good wiring kits also but their a little overpriced.

At our shop we mainly use Rockford Fosgate wiring kit. Their RCA's are one of the best I have ever used and they use real AWG for their wires.

This is one of our best selling wiring kits and 1 of my favorite and most recommended:
http://www.rockfordfosgate.com/pr...&p_status=
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#30
Quote from BayAreaaa View Post :
Hey,
Ok so you only have 1 amplifier in your car? Thats what im guessing by that link.
4 gauge will work. 2 gauge would be the best. Dont go 0 gauge.

I do reccomend that you get a name brand wiring kit. Go with either a JL audio, Rockford Fosgate, or Kicker wiring kit. Monster makes good wiring kits also but their a little overpriced.

At our shop we mainly use Rockford Fosgate wiring kit. Their RCA's are one of the best I have ever used and they use real AWG for their wires.

This is one of our best selling wiring kits and 1 of my favorite and most recommended:
http://www.rockfordfosgate.com/pr...&p_status=
http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Ts...tDetail.do
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