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Discussion Starter #82
Awesome work! WHat is your plan for FM radio reception? I assume with the nifty head unit, you never really use FM?
Originally I was going to look into getting one of those hidden antennas (the kind that you stick on the windshield) but then I realized that I stream like 80% of the time (Apple Music, Spotify) and if not then the other 20% of the time I listen to XM - so I didn't bother with the FM anymore.
 

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Just read your entire post. Excellent work and love the attention to detail. I like OEM style modifications. Your knowledge of crossovers, amps is excellent but some of it went over my head. Can you educate me what was the purpose of installing mini dsp (digital signal processor?) so you can feed each speaker without going through passive crossover and separate high mid and low-range frequencies?
 

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Discussion Starter #85 (Edited)
Just read your entire post. Excellent work and love the attention to detail. I like OEM style modifications. Your knowledge of crossovers, amps is excellent but some of it went over my head. Can you educate me what was the purpose of installing mini dsp (digital signal processor?) so you can feed each speaker without going through passive crossover and separate high mid and low-range frequencies?
Brace yourself - this is a long answer hahaha:


Basically it's more control over what, where, and (bonus) when the audio signal goes to the speakers. Initially without the miniDSP, my setup (and the common way to do components) was like this:

EXAMPLE 1: Typical Component Install w/Passive Crossovers
Front-Left head unit ch.1 output goes to:
-> amp input ch.1 -> amp output ch.1 -> left passive x-over -> split signal to both left tweeter and mid-range speakers

Front-Right head unit ch.2 output goes to:
-> amplifier ch.2 -> amp output ch.2 -> right passive x-over -> split signal to both right tweeter and mid-range speakers

*Pretend I have a basic head unit in the example to keep it simple

So each front channel is full range, gets amplified full range, goes into the passive crossovers at full range, and only then does the passive crossover split the signal: high freq. to twtter, low freq. to midrange. Basic component install, right? It's simple, and a majority of the time it will satisfy most, but this method has limitations.

Limitation 1 = passive crossovers generally have preset crossover points, so if they do not match the frequency range of your speaker, then you have to just select what's "close enough"
Limitation 2 = passive crossovers are "passive" - signal strength/power is lost as it passes through the passive crossover, before it gets to your speakers.
Limitation 3 = no time delay

Having the miniDSP in place of the passive crossovers lets me do a lot more with the sound; with the miniDSP I have practically infinite crossover points (eliminates limitation #1), since it's an active setup now, no signal loss (eliminates limitation #2), I can digitally delay the time it takes for the signal to reach the speaker (eliminates limitation #3)... and because it is now an "active" system, the layout becomes this:

EXAMPLE 2: Component Install w/ACTIVE DSP
Front-Left head unit ch.1 output goes to:
-> miniDSP input ch. 1 -> miniDSP output ch.1 -> amplifier ch.1 -> direct to left mid-range speaker only, and
-> miniDSP input ch. 1 -> miniDSP output ch.2 -> amplifier ch.2 -> direct to left tweeter speaker only

Front-Right head unit ch.2 output goes to:
-> miniDSP input ch. 2 -> miniDSP output ch.3 -> amplifier ch.3 -> direct to left mid-range speaker only, and
-> miniDSP input ch. 2 -> miniDSP output ch.4 -> amplifier ch.4 -> direct to left tweeter speaker only

See the difference? basically each speaker is isolated by the miniDSP, so each speaker gets a direct signal from the amplifier (no passive crossover loss), and at the same time the miniDSP gives me full digital control for each speaker independently:

- independent crossover points; high-pass, low-pass, or combination of both,
- independent input and output level adjustment
- independent time delay
- independent parametric equalizer

So with the miniDSP I am no longer limited by preset passive crossovers, AND I gain the added ability to shape the sound exactly to my liking (before amplification where it's the cleanest signal) using the extra features like time delay and parametric EQ.

However, obviously more features/more options = more complicated installation and it takes A LOT more time to setup, plus the primary danger of an active system (among other things) is that you can easily blow a speaker out if you get a setting wrong.

But hey, thanks to (hours and hours of) fine tuning it sounds like the singer is literally sitting on top of the dashboard, dead center, with the rest of the band on the hood when I close my eyes and listen to music
::wink::::grin::

Side note: my Kenwood head unit has some of these features built-in, but it's more time consuming to adjust compared to plugging the miniDSP into my laptop and being able to make changes on the fly while the stereo is playing

super pumped you did this antenna mod. ive been looking into something like this as well but hadnt even thought of swapping the two.
i stream pandora 99% of the time so i dont mind loosing it as well.
It sort of all started because I didn't want an extra long antenna placed somewhere random on the truck. It reminds me of my old RC cars.

EDIT: wait a bit, there's a part 2 to the antenna install you'll want to read if you're considering taking on the mod.
 

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Discussion Starter #88 (Edited)
Azusa Canyon OHV Exploring, Azusa CA (08.01.15)

Took a trip into the mountains because my cousin and his friend wanted to give us a taste of the OHV area in Azusa Canyon, Azusa CA. If you haven't been there, the best way to describe it is a partial dry riverbed with dirt, sand, rocks, and other features. The front of the OHV has man-made obstacles for hardcore rock crawling, but we ventured beyond that into the valley where there is a mix of multiple-difficulty trails, water crossings, scattered mud areas, and of course the main river itself. There's a little bit of everything for all levels - from hardcore lifted monster trucks to bone-stock daily drivers (like me, for now). If you're ever in the area, the OHV is in the San Gabriel Canyon, located about 11 miles north of the city of Azusa on Highway 39.


Two full suspension FJs (my cousin and his friend), my brother and his stock Tacoma, and me taking a photo break on one of the trails.


Rolling down one of the dirt hills; photo isn’t that great because it was from my brother’s old iPhone 4S.


One of the many water crossings in the OHV park. This was a lot of fun, even on stock tires and suspension.


I had so much fun I went back to do it again....


…and my brother taking the same river crossing in his longbed ’13 Tacoma TRD Sport.


I paused to take a photo of my truck on this really, really mild hill, and it made me start thinking about upgrading the suspension and adding a lift.


I think I need some Weathertech’s up front. I don’t remember walking on a beach.

It was pretty cloudy on the drive going there, and the rain kicked in the moment we arrived. It ended up raining the whole time we were there, but that didn’t matter, because it was super fun! We were there the whole afternoon, and I got to try the Frontier (bone stock suspension) on all sorts of terrain and obstacles, and I learned what it was capable of doing on the stock setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #90
Raine: thanks very much for explanation. This is how music should be listened to.
No prob... I'm not super expert level but car/truck audio is one of those things I always enjoy, whether it's coming up with a component list for friends, or messing with the tuning, etc.

Interested on part 2. While I am NOT removing the FM antenna, that gives me thoughts on doing similar on the driver's side for a CB antenna. I'm also one who pays probably way too much attention to how things will look but at the same time require things to function to their best.
I didn't notice the driver's side area, but keep in mind that I used the OEM mounting points for the antenna on the right side when I bolted my new mount in (I failed to specify that in the post)... whether or not the driver's side has the same holes, I'm not sure off hand.

I've also noticed that in stock form, the Frontier is quite capable. Once you lift it 2" though, you'd be amazed at the number of rocks that you can clear under you.
hopefully soon I'll understand that feeling haha
 

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No prob... I'm not super expert level but car/truck audio is one of those things I always enjoy, whether it's coming up with a component list for friends, or messing with the tuning, etc.



I didn't notice the driver's side area, but keep in mind that I used the OEM mounting points for the antenna on the right side when I bolted my new mount in (I failed to specify that in the post)... whether or not the driver's side has the same holes, I'm not sure off hand.



hopefully soon I'll understand that feeling haha
I'm sure there is nothing there, but, carrying the idea to the driver's side would not be too difficult.
 

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Great looking truck! Where did you get the Navara badge? I got one but one of the letters got really scratched up. Plus all my letters are separate.
 

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Discussion Starter #94
Just caught up on your progress. I love the thought and time you put into everything you touch on your truck. It's coming along great.
Thank you sir

Great looking truck! Where did you get the Navara badge? I got one but one of the letters got really scratched up. Plus all my letters are separate.
Found it being sold on eBay from a Nissan dealer in Thailand, so it came in a Nissan parts bag (just like if you bought it direct from the dealer here) complete with the blue alignment foam and clear top layer to make install easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #95 (Edited)
Firestik NGP CB Antenna Custom Install, part 2 (08.15.15)

If you noticed in the Azusa OHV photos, I had no antenna – even if I installed one a week prior; it turned out that the antenna base I made was not strong enough to keep the Firestik antenna straight. After a few rough trails I removed the Firestik temporarily because it was swaying around too much. After giving it some thought, I came up with an idea on how to reinforce my custom CB antenna mount, and the solution was in the form of JB Weld SteelStik. First I removed my antenna mount and lined the body area underneath with aluminum tape. I then mixed up some SteelStik and started forming a base underneath and around the metal mount.


This JB SteelStik can be used for a lot of things.

After allowing the JB putty to cure for about an hour, I removed it from the truck and then used my Dremel and a grinding drum to clean up the edges and smoothen out the shape.


Dremel time again.

After using the Dremel, I did a quick test fit to ensure that the reinforced mount would still be low enough to clear the cowl piece.


Test fitment – flush on the bottom, still low enough to fit under the cowl.

With fitment confirmed I gave it a spray of black paint. I could have just left it as is since the entire thing would be hidden under the cowl anyways, but I figured I’ll do the job complete, Plus the layer of paint will add protection for the metal parts.


Final touch – a coat of black spray paint.

At this point I was also thinking about the high SWR readings I had with this particular setup. I was using a standard Firestik II antenna, but I decided to experiment and try their NGP (No Ground Plane) antenna instead. The NGP didn’t use the same CB cable as a regular antenna, so I had to remove the old cable and re-run the new NGP-specific one. Also, instead of the standard PL-259 end, the NGP cable had a ring lug, so the antenna wire was now routed above the mount instead of below… and yes - I did drill a clearance hole for the old cable, but it turns out that the hole was still needed to clear the bottom of the antenna stud mount.


Bolted in, the reinforcements made the antenna mount super sturdy.

With the new reinforced base, there was no more antenna sway. At the same time, switching to the NGP antenna was a good decision since I was now getting 1.1-1.6 max on the SWR across the CB channels. I also ended up selling my original Firestik II antenna to my brother, so everything worked out just fine.


The finished installation, project completed on a rainy day in SoCal.

EXTRA ANTENNA "MOD": click here.
 

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Raine: Where in the cab have you installed your CB. i have cobra 29xl but there is no suitable place to install it. Can you share some pictures?
 

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Discussion Starter #97
Raine: Where in the cab have you installed your CB. i have cobra 29xl but there is no suitable place to install it. Can you share some pictures?
Post #78.

I have a Midland 75-822, it doesn't have an outboard control unit like the Cobra 29XL (part of the reason why I bought it):

https://midlandusa.com/product/75-822cb-radio/

I was considering a Uniden Bearcat 680 (which does have a control unit)... if I got that I planned on putting it somewhere under the glove box
 

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Ah thank you,. I initially thought that was just to microphone! thanks. Someone here a while back installed a CB just behind the center console in a custom made box and it was nicely done but cannot find it. The Cobra has the LCD screen with different background color options, one of them is fairly close to the amber illumination in our trucks. I got all the bed LEDs today so I will install those this weekend with magnetic switch function. Hopefully it turns out good.
 

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Someone here a while back installed a CB just behind the center console in a custom made box and it was nicely done but cannot find it.
I'm thinking this may be minitruckin?
Sorry for thread-drift.
 
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