Top Car Accessories Articles
Bluetooth Devices to Hook up an iPhone to a Car Stereo
If you have anything but the original iPhone, then you have the ability to stream music through a Bluetooth connection over the Advanced Audio Distribution Profile, or A2DP. Bluetooth devices can be integrated into a car stereo, connect to an auxiliary port, or feed audio through the radio waves.
How to Fix a Kindle Leather Cover
Leather Kindle covers are a stylish way to protect your Kindle from everyday wear and potential scratches. Amazon even offers leather covers with built-in LED lights for reading in dark places. Whether you've got an Amazon-branded cover or one of the many cases available from third-party manufacturers, you can repair most cover damage yourself. Damage generally occurs to the leather itself, tears along the hinge or seams, as well as latch failure. If your cover is newer than one year old, check with the manufacturer and ask if it's under warranty for free replacement before you attempt repairs.
How to Mount a Sirius Antenna
To get the most out of your SiriusXM Satellite Radio, you need good reception. If your radio's installation kit includes a Magnetic Mount Antenna, careful placement and cable routing can mean the difference between a strong, clear signal and one degraded by interference.
How to Use an iPod With an FM Car Transmitter
Some factory car stereos aren't equipped with the newest auxiliary or USB inputs to handle your iPod's output. As long as your car has a radio, though, you can use an FM transmitter to send the audio. Although quality between these devices varies, the steps to get the best possible results between models do not.
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Antennas rely on height and surface area to ensure maximum transmission and reception strength. One way to ensure both parameters are met is to extend the antenna using a telescoping mast. Amateur radio operators and anyone living further from television signals have long recognized the need for antennas stretching into the sky for maximum range.
Collegiate electronics projects help build students' understanding of basic electrical engineering and circuit design. Additionally, many of these projects are developed from brainstorming sessions, seeking to create new concepts or simply mimicking existing designs. College electronics projects help with team building and may evolve into further advances with emerging energy and technologies.
A car stereo harness is a beige plastic clip with several honeycombed openings at one end and a snake of wires protruding from the other. This clip fits into another similar looking plastic clip and snaps shut for a snug fit. All major automobile manufacturers use harnesses to connect under-dash wired mechanisms to each other and to other components and power supplies. Harnesses are commonly used to connect a car stereo to speakers, amplifiers and power sources. When installing a new car stereo, you are required to wire the new stereo to the existing harness to correspond to the harness socket leading to the speakers, power supply and any other additional components. You may also need to add additional wiring to the old harness if you are adding new equipment.
Adding a new car stereo to a vehicle's existing wiring is not as daunting as it initially appears. Within each vehicle, wire harnesses contain individual leads for specific functions such as speaker output, power antenna activation and conventional power and ground among others. Matching these leads with the wires from a vehicle-specific wire harness adapter lets you connect your new stereo correctly to the vehicle with no guesswork. Even vintage vehicles without a matching harness can be wired up using the same process.
The owner of any pickup truck used for hard work or pleasure benefits from high-quality sound. Unfortunately, the factory stereo -- if one is present at all -- doesn't always meet this need. Aftermarket stereos offer more power, greater access to portable and satellite music devices and expansion possibilities for outboard amplification. Wiring a stereo into your pickup is relatively simple, using the right wire harness, dash kit and antenna adapter.
Wiring a car stereo may initially seem overwhelming, given the numerous differently colored wires leading from the wire harness. However, these wires normally mean the same thing from one vehicle to the next, aided by the presence of aftermarket wire harness adapters. These adapters match the wire color-coding from vehicle to vehicle, providing virtually foolproof wiring after the meaning of each wire is ascertained.
A new car stereo breathes new life into the driving experience, supplying more power and features than the stock unit you're replacing. Wiring the antenna and other leads in the new radio's harness is more straightforward than it may initially appear. Aided by color-coded aftermarket wire harness adapters, connecting the new stereo to the existing vehicle is done without hacking up wires.
Factory car stereos are often well-integrated into the vehicle, combining vehicle security electronics and clean cosmetics. However, the sound quality experienced with these systems often leaves much to be desired, necessitating an upgrade of the radio itself as well as speakers and other components. If you're starting from scratch with your car stereo, prioritize and consider what upgrade provides the most impact.
Subwoofers add rumble and excitement to any car audio system. Without this low bass power, musical energy and dynamics are not what they could be. Smaller speakers in the door, dash and deck typically lack the ability to reproduce the lowest two musical octaves, so a subwoofer is essential rather than optional if accuracy is important to you. Making the right choices with the amplifier in terms of power, number of channels and impedance capability influences your choice of subwoofer and determines your overall enjoyment.
If you do a lot of driving, investing in a radar detector can provide peace of mind, allowing you to relax without constantly worrying about potential speed traps and lurking law enforcement. Radar detectors come in a wide range of models and styles. Laws governing radar detector use vary by state. Before making a purchase, check to make sure owning and operating a radar detector is legal in the state or states where you drive.
Amplifier power, the number of car audio subwoofers and subwoofer impedance dictate how you wire everything up. Variables such as whether the subwoofer is single or dual voice coil must be considered because the wrong wiring scheme results in diminished output or amplifier instability. Once you have a grasp of these electrical relationships, you can wire your subwoofer for the best possible sound and equipment longevity.
Cellular pioneer Motorola continues to be a player in the marketplace, with a broad range of Android-powered smartphones including the feature-rich Droid series. Like other modern phones with internal antennas, Droids occasionally experience dropped calls or signal problems, depending how their users grip the phone. If you experience this problem periodically, or live or travel in an area where coverage is spotty, using an antenna booster can sharply improve your Droid's reception.
Sony Xplod car stereo models after 2005 models feature UniLink, with the ability to accept control and signal from iPods via the company's XA-120IP adapter module. This passive box changes the output of an Apple iPod dock connector to conventional RCA-type phono plugs and Sony's BUS protocol. Other Sony units allow direct dock-connector hookups via the front faceplate or back panel. Whichever you choose, placing the dock cable in a convenient place in the vehicle's cabin allows for fast and easy iPod hookup.
Before the digital revolution, the only time you may have considered connecting a device to the fuse panel in your car was if you were installing a new stereo system. However, with the introduction of mobile MP3 players, netbook computers and multitudes of new car accessories, there are many ways you might benefit from wiring external devices to the fuse panel rather than using bulky and cumbersome cigarette lighter adapters. Free up cigarette lighter adapters for other devices and get rid of a lot of the clutter by wiring devices you use most directly to the fuse panel underneath the dashboard.
In any car stereo system, regardless of total power, the ground wiring is every bit as important as power and signal wiring. Ground wires complete the circuit from the battery, so without proper grounding, nothing works. Using proper techniques, such as bolting the ground to bare metal, helps ensure system noise is minimized and reliability increased. This is especially true when grounding multiple amplifiers and devices, with ground loops and intermittent operation threatening quality sound.
Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) navigation systems, available for civilian use since 1994, have revolutionized surface street navigation. The original purpose of the GPS system was ocean-going navigation, replacing the older LORAN systems used by the U.S. military. Through 2007, automotive and maritime GPS receivers were marketed as separate devices, due to limitations of onboard storage for maps. Now, many companies produce "hybrid" GPS systems for boats and cars.
The Global Positioning System was developed for government and military use, but has many applications in the civilian world. Vehicle GPS units use satellite technology to improve navigation during trips. These types of devices feature color displays, and usually show a moving map of the surrounding area. According to USA Today, three of the most popular car GPS brands are Garmin, TomTom and Magellan. Modern vehicle GPS units can be easily mounted on the windshield and do not require permanent installation.
Standalone navigation systems offer accurate location mapping for your vehicle. Using the orbiting GPS satellites, these devices allow you to navigate your way through unfamiliar towns and cities. Placement of the GPS navigation unit should be a considered process, observing safety considerations and local ordinances. Using windshield, dash or vent mounts, place your GPS unit where you can glance at the device without taking your eyes completely off the road.
TomTom GPS units come with a windshield holder. The holder can be easily installed and removed as necessary. If you don't have the holder that came with your TomTom you must either buy a replacement for your specific model or use a universal windshield holder. You can determine which right holder is right for your model at the TomTom website. If you want to mount your TomTom to the dashboard, you can use an adhesive disc with the EasyPort mounting system that came with your GPS.