A client from Lake City recently contacted us at Pinnacle Autosound about upgrading his daughter’s Hyundai Santa Fe with an Apple CarPlay radio and a backup camera. We offer a number of radios that feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. We hand pick radios from the top brands, Kenwood and Sony, for their excellent CarPlay options. After discussing different radio options with the client we settled on the Kenwood DDX5707S.
Safe and Handsfree Phone Access
The Kenwood DDX5707S offers many features that bring the technology in this first generation Santa Fe to the 2020’s. Most importantly the DDX5707S offers Apple CarPlay that gives the user handsfree control of their smartphone for safer driving. The client’s daughter will now be able to safely listen to music, navigate using numerous navigation apps, and even text with both hands on the steering wheel! Our technicians mounted the microphone above the rearview mirror, so it was sure to provide clear sound quality for those on phone calls with the client.
Backup Safety by Echomaster
To further enhance the safety of the vehicle the client requested the addition of an Echomaster backup camera. We exclusively sell Echomaster cameras because of their outstanding quality and value. Echomaster not only offers clients to the aftermarket segment but also to OEM manufacturers. We mounted the camera over the license plate, a location we determined would be perfect for the Santa Fe. The camera was adjusted to give the driver a rear view that includes a bit of the bumper to help judge closeness to objects while backing up.
CarPlay Available at Pinnacle Autosound in Lake City
If you are interested in adding Apple CarPlay or Android Auto to your vehicle, give us a call or email. To see Apple CarPlay in person, stop by our store. Make sure to check out our Echomaster backup camera display, too!
A client from Lake Butler stopped by Pinnacle Autosound to inquire about adding some bass to his granddaughter’s new Camaro. The grandfather said his granddaughter was happy enough with her Bose system, but the system was lacking in bass output. We had an appointment cancel just before he stopped by, so we were able to work him in that afternoon.
Interfacing the Factory Radio
This Camaro came with a wimpy factory subwoofer. To interface with the new JBL bass package, we enlisted the help of a JL Audio LOC 22. The LOC 22 is designed to take the high power output of a factory amplifier and created a signal that the JBL system can use. It is important to have a good understanding of the systems being interfaced with, using a wrong adapter could result in premature failure.
All-in-one JBL Bass Package
To provide the client’s granddaughter with more bass output we chose the JBL BassPro system. This system features a sturdily built enclosure that houses a ported 12″ subwoofer and a optimally matched onboard amplifier. The subwoofer is protected by two heavy steel bars. The compact package yields quite a bit of space with a small footprint. To provide the driver with the ability to blend in just the right amount of bass, we added a remote subwoofer level control knob just belofw the dashboard.
Camaro Bass Upgrade Success
After just under two hours of work we had the Camaro bass system installed and tuned. The JBL bass package provided more than enough bass to add some much needed excitement to the factory Bose system. The grandfather was happy with the work we did and knew his granddaughter would enjoy driving her car even more now! Give us a call or contact us today if you are interested in learning more about bass upgrades for your vehicle.
A few weeks ago I was working in our bay at Pinnacle Autosound when I heard the sadly familiar sound of a collision at the intersection in front of our facility. While thankfully everyone involved was safe, the turmoil did not end at impact. Read on to find out more about how a dashcam could save you in more than one way if you’re involved in an accident like this.
Our building is equipped with a number of security cameras. Naturally curious, we checked the footage after the wreck to see what had happened. The two main vehicles involved were a white car and a black car. Watching the footage, it was clear that traffic was flowing in both directions when the white car appeared to attempt a left turn. As a result, the black car and a truck hit the white car. Everyone who viewed the footage agreed that the actions of the white car caused the accident. The EMS and wrecker crews did their jobs and the day went on.
The next day, the driver of the black car came to our store, asking whether we had video footage of the collision. The owner of the white car was suing them over the accident. The driver was still rattled from the incident and now had the additional stress of being sued for an accident they did not believe they had caused. We gave them the footage and wished them the best.
Products That Make A Difference
Many of the products we sell are for entertainment purposes. I like to think those products enrich the lives of our clients. A segment of our products, however, falls into the safety category. These are items like backup camera systems and dash cameras, which certainly offer more benefit than entertainment. In the case of the accident that we had footage of, a dash camera system would have been beneficial for the driver of the black car.
Dashcams Can Save the Day
If the driver of the black car had a dashcam in their vehicle, they would have had the footage necessary to prove their innocence. Because it is always recording, a dashcam is a bit of inexpensive insurance. Let’s take a closer look at what a dashcam does and the features it offers.
The Basics of a Dashcam
The market is full of dashcams these days. Models range from sub-$100 versions that you can pick up at the local auto parts store to full-featured cameras that provide additional safety features. The one thing all of the cameras have in common is that they record video from the front of the vehicle while you drive. Dashcams are typically mounted to the front windshield near the rearview mirror (the closer to the center of the car, the better). Nicer camera models will include a rear camera, to monitor the back of the vehicle also. The footage from the camera is stored on a memory card that can be removed and inserted into a computer for viewing. Some dashcams have built-in screens for viewing, while others rely on smartphone apps for viewing and control.
Dashcam Driving Safety Features
The nicer cameras, like our flagship model at Pinnacle Autosound, the Thinkware Q800PRO do much more than just record video. Premium dashcams like the Q800PRO include a suite of safety features to proactively assist the driver.
Many newer cars come with lane departure warning systems. Some even take over the car in attempt to avoid a collision. Thinkware features the Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), which has three components. The first is a forward warning. If the camera senses road hazards ahead (such as a car abruptly stopping), it alerts the driver with an audible warning. The second component falls more into the convenience column, in that it will alert the driver if cars in front of the car start to move after sitting still in traffic. The third feature is the lane departure warning system. This component vigilantly monitors the road ahead and if the driver starts to veer out of their lane, a warning is sounded. If the warnings aren’t your thing, any or all of them can be turned off through the smartphone app.
Dashcam Parking Features
The Q800PRO doesn’t just protect your vehicle while driving. When you park your car, the camera continues to keep watch on it. The smart engineers at Thinkware came up with two types of recording while the vehicle is parked. The first is a time-lapse recording, in which the camera is recording fewer frames per minute, and thus using less energy. The second is an energy-saving impact mode. If the camera senses an impact to the vehicle, it begins to record, to provide footage of the impact.
Dashcam Parental Features
The final protection offered by the Q800PRO is for parents. These cameras allow parents to keep track of a vehicle via the Thinkware Cloud app. The app displays the location of the vehicle as well as its speed and the direction it’s travelling.
Another useful feature for parents is the geofencing feature. Using the Cloud app, the parent can set up digital “fences” that are triggered by the vehicle’s location. Alerts can be set up to notify the parents when the vehicle leaves or enters a particular area.
Dashcams at Pinnacle Autosound
We don’t know how the lawsuit between the two drivers turned out. But a dashcam in either vehicle certainly would have given the drivers some peace of mind.
If this saga hits home with you and helps you see the need for a dashcam, trust the experts at Pinnacle Autosound to help you with your purchase. We sell a number of dashcams to fit anyone’s budget. Our MECP-certified technicians will ensure that the camera you purchase is installed safely. We know that sometimes new technology can be overwhelming, so we make sure to walk our clients through the features of new products they purchase. We are also always available to answer any questions after the sale. Stop by, call or contact us today to find out more about the perfect dashcam solution for your vehicle.
A long-time friend of the Pinnacle Autosound owner recently came by to see about upgrading the audio system in his Polaris General 1000. After talking a bit with the staff at Pinnacle Autosound they determined what he needed were some serious upgrades. Not only did the General need to have plenty of volume, it also needed to be able to stand up to extreme abuse. The Pinnacle Autosound team was up to the task and the client scheduled a time to drop off the General.
JL Audio Media Master
Our go-to powersports audio source for side-by-sides and golf carts is the JL Audio MBT-CRXv2. The unit is a small, round controller that features Bluetooth connectivity and front mounted buttons for source control. The client wanted something with a few more bells and whistles for his General, though. The radio for him was the JL Audio MediaMaster MM100s-BE. This radio features multiple zone control, a color screen and numerous tone adjustments for each zone. All of the gear we would be installing could be controlled easily from the driver’s seat thanks to the new radio.
To integrate the radio in the dash of the General, we had to fabricate a mounting plate. We chose to make the plate out of black HDPE plastic, because of its good looks and durable construction. The plate was machined on our Shapeoko CNC machine. In the blank space below the radio we used the CNC to pocket a space for a badge insert. We again called on our CNC to machine a red and white insert for the dash insert piece. This helps give the build a truly custom look.
To make sure this General sounded loud and clear at any speed, or any level above or below water, we needed lots of power. Our most rugged amplifiers are the JL Audio MX series powersports amplifiers. For this build we used a 4 channel 500/4 MX amplifier to power the speakers and two 500/1 MX amplifiers to power the two subwoofers. The mounting location we discussed with the client was under the front hood, where they would at least get a little bit of protection.
To mount the amplifiers we once again called on the use of HDPE plastic. We hand machined a piece of HDPE that would fit under the hood and give the proper clearances for factory items also located there. The plate would hold the three amplifiers as well as the power distribution block. As you can see from the photos, it was a tight fit to get all three amplifiers under there. We secured the mounting plate and amplifiers with stainless steel hardware for long service life. All of the wiring was neatly routed and secured in a way that would allow for easy servicing, if needed, later in time.
Speaker System for Polaris Audio
One of the things that we were excited about in this project was getting to use the brand new JL Audio M6 series marine speakers. This was our first vehicle to feature them, and they did not disappoint! To maximize the audio output in the front of the Polaris General we installed two pair of the M6 6.5″ coaxials in the front console area. The space we chose was normally just an open cavity. To mount the speakers we machined two 1/2″ HDPE plates, one for each side. The plates were able to be bolted to the factory trim pieces using stainless steel hardware. We wired up the speakers using special all-weather, high-current connectors. The connectors would make it easy for the client to disassemble the system if he ever needed to go back and service any of the General.
An additional pair of M6 speakers were added to the rear of the General to help round out the sound for the rear passengers. These speakers were surface mounted to an existing flat part of the factory console panels. To help reinforce the mounting we cut out two 1/2″ HDPE reinforcement rings that mounted behind the speakers. This allowed the speakers to securely mount, and helped reduced unwanted flexing of the panel.
Subwoofers Bring Some Serious Bass
The final component of the Polaris audio upgrade was the subwoofer system. The client has the JL Audio Polaris Stealthbox in another one of his side-by-sides. For the General he wanted more output. After looking at the available spaces on the General, we determined that directly under the passenger and driver’s seats would be the idea spots for a pair of JL Audio Tw3 10″ subwoofers. Knowing the abuse and water that this Polaris would see, we knew the enclosures and mounting had to be very robust.
The enclosures were cut out of 3/4″ marine grade plywood, and then assembled using waterproof glue. We then rounded the edges of the enclosures and coated each enclosure with a saturated layer of 1.5oz fiberglass mat. When the fiberglass had cured, our next step was to spray each enclosure with a thick layer of SEM Rock-It Bedliner. The Rock-It spray is a two-part urethane textured coating that dries to form a very durable and great-looking surface.
Securing the enclosures to the underside of the General took quite a bit of time. Our fabricators had to switch hats once again, this time to metal working. One inch square tubing and One inch angle iron were used to fabricate the mounts for the subwoofer enclosures. The mounts were bolted to the frame work of the General with stainless hardware that threads into rivet nuts that we installed. The result were enclosures that were incredibly sturdy and we are sure the General is now even stronger thanks to the added support.
Great Audio Inside AND Outside this Polaris General
One of the things we were concerned with in this project was how low the speakers had to be mounted. Typically in a side-by-side we are mounting the speaker up higher, and many times to the roll cage. We knew the audio on the inside of the Polaris would sound great, but we weren’t sure how it would sound outside. When we finally tuned the system and cranked it up for the first time all our concerns were gone. The music was able to be heard loud and clear not only inside but also far away from the Polaris General. We were excited and knew the client would love his Polaris General audio upgrades!
Here at Pinnacle Autosound in Lake City, Florida, we love working on powersports vehicles. We stock plenty of stainless steel fasteners and plastics, that will hold up in any environment to ensure our installs last the life of our client’s vehicles. If you would like to find out about upgrading your side-by-side, golf cart or motorcycle audio, lighting or accessories give us a call or contact us here.
The sister of a repeat marine audio client recently contacted us about an audio upgrade for her Caravelle boat. She initially just wanted a radio and some speakers, but after discussing the benefits of an amplifier and a subwoofer we came up with a complete package for her.
Kenwood Marine Radio Upgrade
To give the client the ability to stream audio from her smartphone through her new audio system, we added a new Kenwood radio. To ensure many seasons of audio use, we used one of the marine radios Kenwood offers. We installed the radio in the client’s existing marine radio cover kit.
JL Audio Marine Speakers
The cornerstone of a great-sounding marine audio system is great-sounding set of speakers. For this Caravelle audio system we chose the JL Audio MX series speakers. To add a little more excitement when the sun went down, we used the speakers that feature blue LED lighting. We added a set of speakers in the front, in the factory locations. The rear speakers required a bit of spacing to fit properly. We fabricated some plastic spacers from HDPE to give the speakers a perfect fit.
Clients often don’t initially understand the many benefits of adding a subwoofer to their marine audio system. We like to educate them on how a subwoofer makes a big difference. Adding a subwoofer ensures that the audio is tonally balanced. Without a subwoofer, and audio system is missing the lowest octaves of sound. Another benefit of a marine audio subwoofer is that it allows us to filter more of the bass from the speakers, thus allowing them to play louder and cleaner. The marine audio subwoofer we used in this Caravelle was a JL Audio MX series subwoofer.
MX Series Amplifier
Powering the system in this boat is a single 4 channel JL Audio amplifier. We used two of the channels to power all four of the speakers. The remaining two channels were bridged to power the JL Audio subwoofer. We have used the JL Audio MX 280/4 in many applications like this and has found it offers tremendous bang-for-the-buck.
Awesome Caravelle Audio System
With the new gear installed, we went through the process of adjusting the radio and amplifier. We made sure the gain control was properly matched to the radio for maximum performance. We carefully adjusted the crossovers to make sure the system would sound its best at any volume. When the client picked up the boat she loved how loud and clear the system played. She was excited to be out on the water with it and see how the lighting looked at night. At Pinnacle Autosound we are marine audio experts. Stop by, call or contact us today to find out more about making your boat sound better.
The staff at Pinnacle Autosound was recently contacted about upgrading the audio system in a NauticStar center console boat. With the help of a friend, the new boat owner’s wife was planning the surprise upgrade. After reviewing the options for the system the client booked a time for us to work on the boat.
The boat came equipped with a pair of speakers and an Infinity marine radio. We determined the radio would be fine for the source unit but knew the speakers would need an upgrade. As with most of our marine installations, we turned to JL Audio for the speakers. The existing speakers were upgraded with MX series coaxial speakers.
The over head console roof had two molded spots for speakers, but none were installed by the factory. We added an additional set of speakers to this location. The wiring was routed with the help of the factory installed chase cords. We made sure to return the cords to their proper locations in case any future wires need to be ran.
We are often asked about why subwoofers are important on boats. Subwoofers not only help to add excitement to the music, they also help reduce the strain on the speakers to reproduce the lower octaves. This results in a system that will play louder and cleaner. Both great things! For this system we added 2 JL Audio M series 8″ subwoofers. The subwoofers were installed just forward of the console on each side of the hull.
Center Console Audio Amplification
The factory Infinity radio originally powered the boat speakers. This would not be enough power for our new upgrades, though. To bump up the power for the new speakers and subwoofers we added 2 JL Audio MX series amplifiers. These amplifiers are made to survive the abuse of a marine environment. A four channel model powers the speakers, while a mono model powers the subwoofers. The amplifiers were mounted on a panel that our technicians fabricated from HDPE plastic. HDPE is the plastic used by boat manufacturers for many of the covers and doors.
Great-sounding Marine Audio
Once the system was installed our technicians took their time to properly setup the amplifiers. The sensitivity controls were set to match the output of the radio and the crossover settings were adjusted for maximum performance. The result was an incredible sounding audio system that will please even the most discerning boater. If you are interested in learning more about the audio upgrades available for your boat, give us here at Pinnacle Autosound a call or contact us online.
Recently we were contacted via email by a mother looking to upgrade the radio in her daughter’s Honda Civic. In our email we outlined different radio options for the Civic. To enhance the safety of the daughter’s driving we suggested a Sony radio with Apple CarPlay for the Honda Civic. The mother liked the idea of the handsfree control of the radio so we set up an appointment for the installation.
Honda Civic CarPlay Radio
The generation of Honda Civic the client owns requires a fairly large dash kit for installation. We have used a number of different kits over the years and now use the one pictured in the photos. It offers the best paint match and positioning of the radio. Our technicians installed the radio using the kit and mounted the handsfree microphone and routed the USB cable to the lower console. The Sony radio works great with Apple CarPlay. The client’s daughter can now use navigation, audio streaming and handsfree texting, all from her phone and all without taking her hands off the steering wheel.
Infinity Speaker Upgrade
As with any radio installation after the radio is mounted and wired up we go through and setup all of the radio adjustments. We typically set the clock, save local radio presets and turn off any demo mode settings. While we were checking the sound of the radio and speakers we noticed that the front door speakers sounded like they were in bad shape. We let the client know and she requested we upgrade them while we were working on the car. After removing the door panels we found that the foam surrounds that support the speaker cone were disintegrating. We replaced both front speakers with new Infinity speakers. The Infinity speakers made a big improvement in sound for the front of the Civic.
One of the options we presented the mother with was a backup camera. The Sony radio can accept a backup camera and will automatically display the output of the camera on the screen when the car is put into reverse. The mother declined the camera for the initial installation but is interested in one for a future upgrade. For more information on Apple CarPlay and how to get it in your vehicle, call or contact us here.
A local repeat client recently came to Pinnacle Autosound to get a new radio for his square body Chevy truck. We reviewed the client’s needs for a new radio and taking into account his happiness with Sony radios in the past, we recommended a Sony radio for his new truck. The client liked the plan and we scheduled him a time to drop the truck off.
Chevy Radio Installation
The radio location in the C10 Chevy dash is in the lower bottom corner. The factory radio was a shaft-mounted style radio. To install the new DIN size radio requires a bit of fabrication. The opening for the factory radio has to be enlarged to make room for the new radio. Once the hole is enlarged there is a bit of plastic missing on the top and bottom of the opening. To cover those extra holes, our technicians created a plastic trim ring that covered over the extra holes. The radio mounting frame is mounted through the trim ring, and attached to the dash.
The client was happy with his new radio installation, and really liked the trick cover for the USB port. We hope to have the truck back in the near future to add new speakers and some bass to round out the system. If you are looking to upgrade the audio in your classic truck or car, stop by today or contact us here for more information.
The owner of a Lake City marine repair business recently stopped by to talk about upgrading the audio system in his flats boat. He currently had a radio and speakers in the boat, but their performance was anemic. We talked about possible speaker upgrades, a new radio and adding and amplifier. We always like to mention the benefits of adding a subwoofer too, which the client seemed open to. Happy with the discussion, the client setup a time to drop his boat off.
The first step to building a great audio system in this boat was to upgrade the radio. For this project we used a Kenwood marine radio. The radio will give the client the ability to not only play CD’s, listen to the radio, play audio from a USB drive but also to stream audio from his phone via Bluetooth. While the radio is a marine radio and designed to survive life on a boat, we added an additional bit of protection with installation of a waterproof radio cover.
The most important part of this job was providing the client with crystal clear music and high volume levels. Our go-to speaker for this sort of project is the JL Audio MX marine coaxial speaker. Fulfilling a request for some lighting from the client’s wife was easy with the addition of the LED illuminated series of JL Audio MX speakers. These speakers have the great JL Audio sound and also feature blue LED lighting. Adding the lighting required a bit more work because we also have to run not only speaker wires, but also lighting wires, to each speaker. The lighting for the speakers was powered by an unused rocker switch that we repurposed for the lighting.
After the speaker and lighting wiring was done it was time to install the speakers. Unfortunately we found that the off-brand speakers the client previously had in the boat were a bit larger than the new JL Audio speakers. To fit the new speakers in the old holes we made custom adapters out of marine-grade HDPE plastic. The rings were machined to give the JL Audio speakers a larger lip. The center of the ring was recessed to allow for the speaker to fit down in it, for a cleaner look. Finally the outer edge of the ring was chamfered for a more finished shape. We mounted the speakers into the adapter rings using stainless steel hardware.
When the client dropped off the boat with us it was with the understanding that we would research options for a subwoofer. After looking around the boat while we were working on it, we found that a single 10″ JL Audio marine subwoofer would fit in the very center of the front storage area. The client agreed to this spot, so we began the work to mount it. Normally if the fiberglass is thin in the areas we plan on mounting subwoofers, we will make an additional support baffle. The fiberglass in this area of the boat, though, was plenty thick for mounting the subwoofer.
JL Audio Amplifier
Powering the whole system is a JL Audio MX series 4 channel amplifier. This little amp offers an impressive amount of power in a small package. We fabricated a mounting plate for the amplifier using the HDPE. This plate was attached to the side of the console using existing mounting holes for another piece.
Great-Sounding Boat Audio
Once the equipment was mounted and all the wiring was tidied up, it was time to set the level adjustments and crossovers on the amplifier. When we first powered on the system we were blown away. For the modest amount of equipment this boat had, it sounded incredible! When the client’s wife picked it up, she too thought it sounded great. If it is time to get that boat of yours ready for the water, give us here at Pinnacle Autosound a call or contact us here.