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Discussion Starter #41
Had to make some changes to the power/ground wire paths to accommodate fitment, but made more progress on getting everything connected and tied down. DSP is fully wired and the 600.4 only needs speaker wire which I'll run when I install the front speakers.

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Discussion Starter #42 (Edited)
Since I'm trying to keep the floor height as low as possible, I made trim panels out of 1/4" MDF. The lower one in the first pics has spacer blocks which support it at the front and locate it with the same dowel/hole arrangement I used for the amp and DSP baffles. It's covered in 3M 1080 vinyl in brushed aluminum finish to match the interior trim. It's hard to bend the vinyl around sharp corners like that without it tearing, so if I were to do it again I'd probably put a 1/8" round on the top (which would probably look better, anyway) and use a hair dryer instead of a heat gun for better and more even heat control.

The upper piece was pretty straightforward, with the flip-up in the back attached with glue and filler. The front curve was formed with stacked MDF and smoothed with more filler. This panel also locates with the same dowel/hole arrangement.

The flat floor panel just mimics the factory one. It would be nice to have the same pull handle as the factory one, but it's permanently mounted and BMW wants a ton of money for a new one so I can do without. The storage space is useless, anyway.

The next tasks are to carpet the new floor panels, install the front speakers, and mount/wire the 1200.6.


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Discussion Starter #43
Lots of work this past weekend and yesterday. All speaker wire is run to the front doors and to the underseat midbass, and the cable is run to the center console for the subwoofer level control. The constant power wire for the DSP had to be relocated to tap into the 600.4 amp because the constant power on the factory amp harness turned out to be constant only most of the time.

Underseat midbass installed and enclosures dampened, midrange installed in the door panels with 1/4" MDF adapters, and the tweeters snapped into the factory locations.

Seeing the pics now I realize that I shouldn't have zoomed in so closely, and there are lots of pics that I wish I would have taken for the front door wiring. Getting two 16ga. cables through each door was really tough. The plugs didn't have enough space to drill anything out, so I ran the wires through a small notch in the bottom of each plug but space was at the very limit. WD-40 helped ease getting them through the boots. Once inside the doors, I wrapped the wire in tesa tape and zip tied to every factory anchor point.

I tried to get the 1200.6 mount bolted in the car, but there's so much wiring that I had trouble routing everything properly and I ran out of time. Really all that's left is installing that amp, upholstering the floor panels, and installing the sub level control.

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Looking good dude.
I had the same thing with the 3m vinyl I used especially on the smaller radius curves. Adding that extra relief with a 45 degree chamfer (or rounder) definitely helped but I still ended up with a couple of small imperfections.

Keep up the great work :)
 

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Discussion Starter #45
Looking good dude.
I had the same thing with the 3m vinyl I used especially on the smaller radius curves. Adding that extra relief with a 45 degree chamfer (or rounder) definitely helped but I still ended up with a couple of small imperfections.

Keep up the great work :)
Thanks man, really appreciate it.
Yeah, there's a couple small wrinkles in a couple corners if you really look for them, but I was recently able to stretch out the main offender and the others are on the near side so I'm calling it good.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
I finished up the sub level control knob today. I should have finished the trunk floor trim panels, but I got tired of not having my center console in the car and I wanted to try out my new flush trim router bit.

The first pic is of the stock rubber insert. I took this out and cut out a piece of 1/4" MDF to match the shape, then added two layers of MDF (3/8" then 1/4") to the front of the panel to raise it up so the circuitry of the knob would clear the vent underneath. This was my first time using filler to make a piece like this fit perfectly and it wasn't too bad. To secure it, I used one screw in the front and bent a piece of aluminum and used it as a clamp in back.

To finish the panel I sprayed on some high-build primer and then some Landau Black SEM paint. I was originally going to use some SEM texture finish to give the panel some texture, but since the inside is smooth (and I didn't have any texture) I ended up not sanding the final coat of primer. I'm not terribly happy with the result on this, and I think I know why people use acrylic for this type of thing. The paint has too much sheen on it and it highlights some otherwise minor flaws. In the end I'm just going to keep it because it's hidden and I rarely open the armrest anyway.

If I'm honest, it's a horrible place for a level control because it's awkward to get to. Ideally it would be in front of the gear shift, but I wanted that space open. Using only part of it and trimming the rubber insert was my first idea, but because it's a BMW that piece of rubber costs about $50 shipped to my house. So based on principle I opted to keep things hidden.

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Discussion Starter #49
On the BMW handle, those things are maybe $10 bucks at a junkyard. Can you just get one there? That would be a good budget option.
Haha too late now, but you're probably right about the junkyard. A quick online search for the part number didn't yield any results so I took the quick way out. Probably for the better since I would have had to redo it in acrylic and find different paint. So right decision for the wrong reasons I guess! It was a good learning experience and I'm pretty sure I can nail it next time.
 

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Discussion Starter #50
I have sound!

After a bit of time I was able to figure out the Helix software and get a basic configuration in the car. Very happy to report no charging system noise. The noise floor is pretty high, at least compared to stock, and the noise of the CD player is actually not quiet at all. I do know it was present in the stock system but I'm wondering if there's a way to reduce it. Sub is super quiet but gains are not yet set.

Now the real work begins. I've never tuned a car with a DSP before and my ears are really out of practice. I'm just going to get the system broken in a bit this week, and I've started with crossover points at 80Hz @24dB, 250Hz @24dB, and based on the Morel's passive crossover design 2200Hz at 12dB (Butterworth). I'm very open to any suggestions here.

Time alignment is set by crude measurements but thanks to Nick Apicella's tutorials I think I can get a handle on that.

Another issue is that I have really only set gains before by ear. I'm not going to pop for a distortion detector so I'll have to read up on how to set gains another way. Which will probably involve purchasing a fancy multimeter.

This is the first time I've seen the sub enclosure in the car and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out!

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