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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello,

I installed the Helix sound system upgrade a couple of weeks ago. Here's a photo from during the testing:



I put a blog entry at https://stealthgti.com/2017/01/25/helix-sound-upgrade/.

I had been slowly working on a subwoofer addition over the past 6-8 weeks. The subwoofer was the primary plan. The decision to purchase Helix came after the price dropped. Here is my product:

Test fitting the panel/box...


The APO3 is a voltage-controlled switch. I've set mine up to kill the 120A relay 20 minutes after the battery voltage drops below 13 volts. It restores power to the panel about five seconds after the car is started. A second APO3 ensures that the subwoofer system is energized only when the engine is running...



The Helix amplifier...


I still have a spare tire...


Continued in next post...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I'm not quite done with the ham radio install. Here's what I have so far:



The display plate is held in place by magnets that I GOOP'd to the console door...



The microphone use to hang near the center console, but it proved troublesome when sliding the seat forward/aft during cleaning. I moved it to the door; it works great and the cable lifts out of my way when I open the door...





The speaker was inside the center armrest, but I moved it to where I can hear it better...



(Top to bottom) Voltage distribution, voltage regulator, and ham radio body...



Overall...



More info about the ham radio stuff at https://stealthgti.com/communications/

Feel free to ask questions that aren't addressed on my website.

Scott
 

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Nice work. That woofer looks impressive. Do you think it will contact the tire bolt under full excursion? Why is the woofer mounted on a round circle protrusion instead of on the flat full-width part of the speaker box?
Minus the Ham radio stuff, about how much would this equipment run, ball park?
 

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I like the ham radio. I'm trying to convince my work (airport) to get a Mk7 Golf for our new inspection vehicle. I'm trying to solve how to install an aircraft radio and our internal com radios. I wish they would integrate with an android head unit and the stock bluetooth speaker. I'd much rather spend 8 hours in a snowstorm in a Mk7 than a Tahoe, Colorado, Ram, F series or Exploder. You don't realize how crappy american SUVs/Trucks are til you're forced to spend hours in them daily.

Maybe removing the stock head unit screen? We'll see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hello,

Nice work. That woofer looks impressive. Do you think it will contact the tire bolt under full excursion? Why is the woofer mounted on a round circle protrusion instead of on the flat full-width part of the speaker box?
Minus the Ham radio stuff, about how much would this equipment run, ball park?
Thanks! Reasoning for the round protrusion: I needed additional space behind the woofer. Rather than use a simple 3/4" spacer, I decided to make this larger spacer so I could also cut an 11-inch hole instead of 9 inches. The larger hole adds a tiny bit of volume (I needed all I could find) and it opens the door to switching to a 12-inch subwoofer if I decide I want to change directions a little.

As for cost, if you don't do all of the other crazy stuff I have, you could probably buy everything for about $600 (amp, sub, LC2i, wiring, MDF, glue, carpet, fuse block, ground, block). You could also build a box with more volume; I sacrificed box size to make room for my gadgets.

Excursion: There is about one inch of clearance between the spare tire "bolt" and the metal trim ring on the subwoofer. The speaker's excursion range is within the trim ring (which is why it's there). In short, there's plenty of room. I could even mount a 12-inch subwoofer.

I like the ham radio. I'm trying to convince my work (airport) to get a Mk7 Golf for our new inspection vehicle. I'm trying to solve how to install an aircraft radio and our internal com radios. I wish they would integrate with an android head unit and the stock bluetooth speaker. I'd much rather spend 8 hours in a snowstorm in a Mk7 than a Tahoe, Colorado, Ram, F series or Exploder. You don't realize how crappy american SUVs/Trucks are til you're forced to spend hours in them daily. Maybe removing the stock head unit screen? We'll see.
An "S" or a Sport is a great platform for ham radio since there's no sunroof to consider. Even with the wide open roof, I'm still avoiding cutting another hole in the roof. I'm planning to use a Breedlove NMO mount so I can use the factory sharkfin hole. Of course, doing this means I'll lose my Sirius, CarPlay, and GPS functions. I don't use the first two, but I need to assess whether the GPS is doing much for me. I know it syncs my clock, but I'm not sure if it plays into the compass or not. I'll also have to find a way to mitigate any "antenna error" messages that might be displayed. Baby steps... ;)

Scott
 

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I'm not quite done with the ham radio install. Here's what I have so far:

Feel free to ask questions that aren't addressed on my website.

Scott
I'm not sure if I missed it but it looks like you tapped into the subwoofer inut/output on the Helix amp. Do you mind sharing of those 8 wires what each wire/color represent? I know you mentioned you only tapped into the middle four wires. Which is pos/neg, left/right, etc. by color and or pin#

Also, do you have a link for the atx plug that you used to go into the amp sub input/out? Sorry if I missed this being covered on your site. I'm at work and I'm not sure if all of what you have is showing up as it should.

Great DIY by the way! I'm not ready to add a sub now, but maybe down the line. I'm happy with the Helix Soundbox but sometimes I want to just control the sub...and want to hit those lower frequencies that the Helix Soundbox can't capture.

Thanks,
:beer::beer:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hello,

I used this ATX extension cord: http://www.ebay.com/itm/141678329440



One end plugs right into the subwoofer output of the Helix amp. Cut the other end off and use one or two pairs for your amp setup. There is no "left" or "right." The Helix subwoofer output is actually just one channel that's been split into four pairs to feed two dual-voicecoil subwoofers in parallel. Therefore, you only need to know that (with this ATX extension) the black wires are negative and the yellow wires are positive. I could've used all four wires, but didn't need them all. I just chose the center pairs out of convenience.

Scott
 

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Hello,

I used this ATX extension cord: http://www.ebay.com/itm/141678329440



One end plugs right into the subwoofer output of the Helix amp. Cut the other end off and use one or two pairs for your amp setup. There is no "left" or "right." The Helix subwoofer output is actually just one channel that's been split into four pairs to feed two dual-voicecoil subwoofers in parallel. Therefore, you only need to know that (with this ATX extension) the black wires are negative and the yellow wires are positive. I could've used all four wires, but didn't need them all. I just chose the center pairs out of convenience.

Scott
Thank you kind sir!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Hello,

I finally received my Breedlove antenna mount. I was torn between painting it black or color-matching it to the car. I decided to color-match, but probably should have gone with black:









I think a black base would look better; I think a black base sitting on top of a black-wrapped roof would look best. I'll have to consider a change in the future.

I was mildly concerned about a nagging error message that might appear on the cluster as a result of the sharkfin being unplugged. But that hasn't been a problem so far. I see an error on the MIB2 if I select Sirius (which I never do) and there's a message if I select GPS for the time sync. My CarNet module is showing a red LED, but I can learn to ignore that about as fast as I learned to ignore the green one. :p

I still have some minor interference issues to sort out. Regardless, the transceiver/antenna works. My first contact was on D-STAR with a woman in Manchester, England. I do a few more tests during tomorrow's commute.

What are your thoughts on the color-match, black on silver, or black on black-wrap?

Scott
 

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I'm glad your car was set up to enter the time manually and not sync off the GPS signal BEFORE you unplugged the antenna. If you had it set up to sync off the GPS and then unplug the antenna you can't even go into the MIB2 settings to change it. What's worse, the clock can't even stay accurate, and over about 6 months lost an hour and 15 minutes.
 

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What are your thoughts on the color-match, black on silver, or black on black-wrap?
After looking at the wide shot for a bit, I actually like it how it is. The way it is now your eye can almost overlook the base, but if it were black it would be more noticeable, with kind of a "technical" look.

Does Breedlove make an antenna mount with a rake/slant? I had something like that on my old car and it looked okay. Of course, upright is cool too, evocative of a "three letter agency" car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Hello,

I'm glad your car was set up to enter the time manually and not sync off the GPS signal BEFORE you unplugged the antenna.
Actually, I hadn't done the change, but I was able to do it this morning... switch to manual time control. I may order a separate GPS antenna to plug into the antenna wire to restore that function. It's only $15 on Amazon. I can tuck the antenna somewhere since I don't need to "see" six birds at once... just enough to get a time sync. That's my thought, anyway.

After looking at the wide shot for a bit, I actually like it how it is. The way it is now your eye can almost overlook the base, but if it were black it would be more noticeable, with kind of a "technical" look. Does Breedlove make an antenna mount with a rake/slant? I had something like that on my old car and it looked okay. Of course, upright is cool too, evocative of a "three letter agency" car.
I'll have to keep that in mind. I have another mount on the way. I'll will have it powdercoated in black and see how it looks. I still wonder how it would look on a black roof.

There is no canted option; it would require an angled connector beneath the roof. In this case, straight is better... in both seal, mechanical mounting, and antenna performance (vertical polarization of the signal). This mount also gives me the flexibility to mount high-performance antennas that would look totally ridiculous on a daily driver, but would be good options on certain occasions. See at example HERE. I'm sacrificing some antenna performance with this little guy. There are times when I'd want the improved gain of a full-sized antenna... just not everyday, and certainly not at a car meet. :p

Scott
 

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Really nice work, I've really been considering putting a dual ham in the car...just really having a hard time finding an antennae solutions...of course TDC of the roof is ideal for tx but I'm really trying to keep it discrete as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Hello,

I've made some changes. I felt my setup was too boomy around 50-70 Hz and that a graphic equalizer would help. I bought one that I thought would fit, but didn't account for wiring paths. Not wanting to give up the plan, I then made a move to a higher-quality amplifier that's about half the size of my outgoing unit. Everything is installed and sounds great! I have a write-up at https://stealthgti.com/2017/03/11/subwoofer-changes/. Here are some photos:





I'm still awaiting a couple of parts to finish up the wire routing. Functionally, it's finished! :)

Take Care,

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
It's been a while since I updated this thread. Related to the Helix, Rockford Fosgate, and Ham Radio, here's what I've been up to:

1) Upgraded to an 8-inch display... (details HERE) :)



2) I upgraded to a T1S1 subwoofer, which allows me to get the full 500 watts from my amp. I probably don't even use half of that power most of the time, but it's cool to have for demonstrations. :cool:



3) I got my hands on a Helix "dealer-only" demo switch. It's a gimmick that stays in the "Helix" position 99% of the time. But it renewed my satisfaction with Helix when I put the switch into "Original" and heard how the base stereo sounded when stock... :eek:



4) I have a dongle. It was sort of an impulse buy. I don't rent it or loan it out. But I'm happy to flash anyone who's able to come to Yorktown, VA...



5) I've been quietly testing a D-Dock. I wasn't sure if I'd like not having my smartphone mounted high since that's how I've driven for over 10 years. I decided to commit to the setup and made some changes...



Embracing the D-Dock meant that I had to move my ham radio display from the console door. I think I like its functionality on the smartphone's old ProClip mount... visibility is certainly better! I had to tear apart the dash (again) to remove the phone's USB cable and reroute the ham display's data cable. I can't believe I did it without cutting up my hands! I must be getting better at this! HAHA!

Here it is reassembled, top to bottom: VHF/UHF digital ham radio, MIB2, D-Dock smartphone dock...


The ham display's data cable routes through the air vent...


I can quickly remove the display for storage and tuck the wire behind the mount. If you have a ProClip mount, then you know it's very easy to just remove the entire mount, too...


The D-Dock... More photos and details HERE...



I think that covers everything that would update this thread. :)


Scott
 
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