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It looks like it turned out nice, but I still dont get it.

Oils from your hand are the cuprite. Check with the cabinet builder as I'm sure they can tell you exactly how to remove the mark.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
It looks like it turned out nice, but I still dont get it.
What don't you get? I had a car radio and some car speakers laying around doing nothing. So I had a nice furniture-grade box built and put the radio and speakers into it. It's now a portable "media" center that sounds *and* looks AWESOME. Perfect for a game room, the garage, the "man cave", a bedroom or anywhere else you want a beautiful, full-featured "media box" that sounds and looks freaking awesome. You are NOT going to get this level of quality (build quality or sound quality) or flexibility from anything "store bought". It has a touchscreen, illuminated buttons, SD card slots, USB ports, bluetooth, wifi, AM/FM, CD/DVD player, Android App support (can even "remote control" it with your phone if you want!), can store TONS of media (music and video) on the device itself and supports any "online" media (Pandora, Spotify, I heart radio, police scanner, etc). Not sure what's not to "get". :) It's a fun little project and something that I will enjoy for a LONG time to come.


Oils from your hand are the cuprite. Check with the cabinet builder as I'm sure they can tell you exactly how to remove the mark.
Not sure if it was the pledge I used last night or just that it took time to "fade away", but the hand/finger prints are gone now. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #43
To-do:

- Lighted power switch on the back so that I can keep in plugged it while letting it go into "sleep" mode for instant-on (basically a switch for the ACC wire).
- AM/FM antenna (need to convert GM antenna connection and hook up an antenna somewhere)
- Finish mounting everything inside (speaker crossovers, power brick, etc. I'm going to keep the power brick inside the box, I think, since it's so big).
- Mount USB ports (not sure if I'm just going to leave them inside the box since it's so easy to open or if I'm going to mount them somewhere so they can be used without opening the box).

Any other ideas?
 

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- AM/FM antenna (need to convert GM antenna connection and hook up an antenna somewhere)
Besides a fender mount antenna (like I used), the basic starting point is a 75-ohm antenna like this one on Amazon:

75-ohm antenna on Amazon

[Edit]I can't remember - do the GM cars have the extra small 75-ohm connector that needs an adapter?


I'm going to keep the power brick inside the box, I think, since it's so big).
My only concern on that is it getting hot - ie, not getting enough air circulation. I wouldn't want to see you mar the finish on the backside, but you might consider mounting it there. You can get some of the 3M 2-sided tape (for body side molding) and mount it on the back of the cabinet without drilling. (But you might want to let the finish cure for a few more days first.)

HTH.

Doug

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Looks like he did a nice job on it for you.

3. I'm so upset at myself for this one... While messing with it at higher volumes last night, I used my hand to put downward pressure on the lid for a few minutes while listening at high volume. However, when I removed my hand, I found that the heat from my hand (I guess?) left a permanent handprint on the top!!! I'm guessing that the varnish wasn't fully "cured" yet??? I was *so* upset. I got it about 98% fixed just using some pledge and letting it soak in- not sure if that will be a permanent fix though. Will probably try some better wood "conditioner" this morning (I have some Amish wood milk or something like that which I forgot about). Is this a "normal" thing with newly finished wood?? Absolutely worst case, I can sand it lightly and apply some polyurethane, I guess (may not be a bad idea for the top anyway, just to help protect the finish a little more than regular varnish).

But damn - never expected it to sound *this* good. :)
Let it fully dry then take some medium to fine steel wool and work it out. You may have to come back and refinish the area but with steel wool you should be able to remove the handprint.
 

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that finish looks to me to be about a minwax golden oak finish. my parents never used anything else on their wood products. it looks great Jim, i think you definitely got your money out of the end product. as everyone else said, let it cure out another week or so then you should be good. is the finish still tacky? i've seen similar issues with touching a wood product such as you experienced so it's not just you. i don't remember how we got rid of it. i think it was just a moisture issue with it being so recently finished. with these colder temps it may have been too cold for it to cure out.

i'd mount everything inside that you can to keep it a contained unit, but keep an eye on the temps just to be safe. worst case a drilled hole with a mesh backing and a couple of pc 120 mm fans on the sides should move enough air to vent it out perhaps.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Thankfully, the hand/fingerprints are 100% completely gone. :)

I honestly don't think this thing will get hot enough to worry about heat build-up inside the cabinet. The power brick only gets slightly warm, even after hours of listening and the radio runs pretty cool as well.

However, I *am* tempted to put my currently-unused Alpine 45Wx4 RMS amp in this thing (class-D amp smaller than a red brick and also runs pretty cool)! :) Being that I only have two channels of speakers, I'm "wasting" the other two channels of the internal amp - whereas, I could run the Alpine in 90Wx2 mode - which would be *crazy* loud if I needed it. Just worried about power - not sure a single 10amp power brick could handle that. I wonder if I could get a power cord splitter and power the amp and radio separately with two separate power bricks inside the box. Don't see why that wouldn't work. Even if I just run the amp in 45Wx2, that would still be a significant power increase over the radios internal amp (45Wx2 peak). It gets pretty damn loud as-is, but it could always be louder (and cleaner since I wouldn't be pushing the internal amp too hard). :)

I *definitely* do NOT need a subwoofer - with Viper4Android and the Sonic Maximizer #5 convolver, I get TONS of bass (can basically leave the V4A EQ flat for the bass).

Lid vibrations sounds from bass is solved - just put two layers of Tessa tape around the box where it meets up with the lid when closed. I love that Tessa tape stuff (mainly used when making radio harnesses).
 

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Discussion Starter #48
Well, I have say - you guys were right-on about the power brick I was using! While it works fine for the radio, if I try to use it to power the Alpine amp, I get a loud "buzz" - so they are NOT supplying very clean power - just as some of you suspected...

So - I had a brand new 300W micro-ATX power supply that I was keeping on-hand as a spare for my NAS (in case it's power supply dies) - I decided to use that for the media-box power supply instead. It's 16amp-capable, so I think that should be OK. There were (3) +12V wires - I put one to the radio (can't be using much since it's not connected to any speakers) and twisted the other two together and used that to power the amp. I have the amp setup in 90Wx2 mode, but I have the gains turned down to their minimum (the speakers are only rated for 60W RMS, I think). That is MORE than enough volume - even with the gains turned all of the way down on the amp.

I also had to use the Eonon speaker-level outputs since the line-level outputs are complete crap on this radio (noisy) - I had issues with them when connected in-car as well.

Now I just need to clean everything up and mount everything permanently (everything is just "thrown" in the box right now for testing). Then I need to figure out where it's "normal" home is going to be... :) Absolutely love this thing though!
 

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Discussion Starter #49 (Edited)
Well, crap - now I have an issue... The original goal was to leave the unit plugged in and "on" all of the time - but the radio would be in "sleep" mode when not in use (uses VERY little power, but allows for "instant on") - this is done with the ACC wire. There are three power-releated wires going to the radio - 12V+, ground and ACC. If you "disconnect" the ACC wire, the radio goes into sleep mode and comes on instantly when the ACC wire is reconnected. So I originally planned on putting a switch on the ACC wire.

However, now that I'm using a PC power supply (with a fan), I really have no way to keep the unit in sleep mode without the PC power supply fan running 24/7, which seems like kind of a waste in this case.

So now, I guess I have three choices:

1. Don't use the instant-on feature (unit takes 20-30 seconds to power up from scratch and then some more time before it's "fully" booted (runs a little slow until fully booted). 20-30 seconds doesn't sound like a long time, but it kind of sucks having to wait that long before hearing anything (would actually be like 45-60 seconds in reality).

2. Use some kind of fanless power supply.

3. Figure out a way to supply constant power to the radio separately from the main PC power supply, just to provide enough power for sleep mode - and then power up the full PC power supply when in "full operating" mode.

I'm thinking a different fanless power supply would be the best option, but fanless PC power supplies are way too expensive. I've also seen semi-fanless power supplies where the fan only kicks on as-need based on temperature - maybe that is another option (can't remember how expensive they were).

Thoughts? Other ideas?


EDIT: - I see these on Amazon - not idea how "clean" they are though or if they'd have issues like the little power brick I was trying to use:
12v, 30A power supply

They have 30amp versions with an automatic fan (comes on as needed) or 20amp versions that are fan-less, for like $20. Anyone familair with these?
 

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Discussion Starter #50
I think I'm just going to go with this:

http://www2.seasonic.com/product/ssp-300sub/

(2) +12V rails at 18amp each and the fan doesn't kick on at all until 30% capacity - so the fan will be there when needed and completely turned off when not needed (when the radio is in "deep sleep" mode).

I'll probably cut a hole in the back of the box so that it expels hot air out the back of the box when the fan is on.

Sound like a sound plan?

It's only about $50...
 

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Discussion Starter #52
Always like to run my "ideas" by some of the smarter folks here! I already destroyed a perfectly good spare NAS power supply because I didn't think ahead! :)
 

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Quick update - the new Seasonic SSP-300SUB power supply is working perfectly. The fan rarely ever kicks on - even when the radio/amp is powered on and in use - and when it does, its super quiet. I just mounted it inside the box with the little fan facing the existing hole in the back so that it blows air out of that little hole if it kicks on. I have *everything* (including the power supply and amp) mounted with industrial strength velcro - that way I didn't have to nail, screw or drill into the box itself at all. I love that industrial-strength velcro - I used that same stuff to mount the amp in my Impala as well. Never ever even budges.

Right now, I have a switch connected temporarily inside the box - need to get proper bits to mount it permenantly in the wood.

I'l *almost* completely done. :) VERY happy with how everything turned out.
 

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Something to shoot for

Cleaning out the garage, I find I have an extra car system. I probably won't do anything with it for a while, but I came across this pic today, and felt this was a good place to share it. I thought it mixes the automobile features in very nicely for a desktop stereo.

Obviously, the dial and knobs cannot be gotten with a typical JVC or Pioneer head unit, but many of the other bits are do-able. The semi-circle in front, the rounded top, along with the antenna and speaker openings are do-able. I might can even get close to the chrome accents using trim monokote. And I could probably get a fake dial and logo printed on vinyl. The steering wheel is probably 5 bucks at a junk yard.

Anyway, just something to think about in case someone has an extra car radio lying around :)

Doug

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Discussion Starter #56
That's a very cool looking radio!

That music box I made still amazes me with how good it sounds. :) I think the wooden box quality really has a lot to do with the sound quality. My wife uses it every morning and loves it (she gets to use it more than me!). Love the "instant on" and how I have it setup to automatically continue playing whatever was being played when it was last turned off (Spotify, local music from SD card, etc).

I do wish it was a *little* smaller (more portable), but I have taken it out to the garage and used it if I know I'm going to be in the garage for a few hours. Absolutely love that thing.
 

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functionality

I have been looking for the best option to play FLAC lossless files at home and so many of my online searches were turning up used/unopened car stereos.
So I was just about to write in here about how car stereos pack a lot of functionality into a small package.
Then I went back and read more of this full thread and see that you all covered that thought months ago.
Now all I can do is acknowledge how smart you all are since you seem to have thought of everything on this topic already.
 
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