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Old 04-25-2009, 08:46 PM   #1
Nightwalker
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2008 Astra XR
2005 ION-2 Sedan
Default New sound system and much more

As some of you may know from reading my other posts, I'm building a new sound system. I'm still a work in progress, but it has evolved from being a simple swap to being a monster of a new setup.

I wanted to start a new thread to keep my updates rolling in, because is has become more that just a new audio system, its a total integration:

First off, my head unit is getting pulled and replaced by an old Pioneer head unit. Its the single-DIN DEH-P5800MP. Nothing fancy, just the unit that was in my SC2. Figured I could save a little money this way since it works just fine. I've already about the Metra adapter for the console, just waiting to get some pics of it.
I have the Connects2 cables and steering wheel controller adapter coming my way, really waiting on it to arrive before I install my new head unit so that I don't have to start chopping wires.

My head unit pushes out a measly 22 watts x4 channels RMS, 50x4 peak. Thats pretty average, but is really lacking for good sound. I had thrown around the idea about installing an amp for the surround speakers, but couldn't really decide. Well, I have finally decided, and its really getting crazy. I've already started building my own amp. Its based on the TDA7396 amplifier chip. Each chip puts out 45 watts RMS / 65 watts peak. Using four of them together for all the speakers totals 180w RMS / 260w Peak. Nothing to really brag about, but since I built it, I can customize it to do everything that I want. I've built the main drivers for the amp, you can see the current stages here:


First pic is of the 4-channel driver, and the middle pic is of the single driver, most likely for the single speaker in the dash.
The last pic is of the drivers on a piece of plexiglass (to make wiring and testing easier), with a couple of cheap speakers hooked up to make sure everything is working ok.

Originally, the amplifier was going to be just that, and amplifier. Just four channels for the main speakers.
Then, I decided to add the single driver for the speaker in the dash, and just run the On-star system through it and make the center speaker dedicated to On-star.
That was short lived, because it dawned on me that I can take it further. I've decided to use the center speaker in the main system by mixing the signals from the right and left channels together, creating an extra kick in the music. On top of that, I'm going to build the amplifier to use the On-star signals and make it so that when On-star activates, the amp switches the audio over to On-star, just like the CD40 does. That would keep the On-star system fully functional like it should be.

Well, because I'm a mad scientist and nothing is ever good enough, I kept doing research deeper into the car. I was curious about the CANbus that the steering wheel controls use. It stands for the Controller Area Network. Its pretty much a network that runs through the entire car, and everything can communicate over the network. The CD40, the steering wheel controls, the LCD in the dash, On-star, the PCM, ect...
The really awesome part? The protocol that the network uses is very standard. Lots of cars use it, so there is lots of development support for it. I've already started research on it, and one of the companies that I buy from a lot has a single chip that communicates with the CANbus directly. I'm going to order a few this up coming week and start playing around.

Do you know what this means?
I could build a controller into my amp that connects into the CANbus. From there, I can program it to interact with the LCD in the dash. Even react to the steering wheel controls. It would open up a doorway to lots of possibilities.

So, thats a basic run-down of what I've gotten myself into. Its going to be insane and lots of work, but its my new project that I'm going to be doing. I'll be posting updates here and let you all know how its coming!

...
My audio system thread, how to replace speakers: http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=137456

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Old 04-25-2009, 09:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: New sound system and much more

u know there is such things that stores sell is called and amp!

dont see the point of make them yourself.

...
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Old 04-25-2009, 09:57 PM   #3
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Default Re: New sound system and much more

Are you kidding... this is well beyond a 'normal amp'. Quite amazing actually can't wait to see what you come up with.

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Old 04-25-2009, 11:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: New sound system and much more

Quote:
Originally Posted by heavyd10000 View Post
u know there is such things that stores sell is called and amp!

dont see the point of make them yourself.
I know, and I have a 450watt rockford fosgate amp.
The point of building it is to fully customize it to do exactly what I want. I can tune it to match my speakers perfectly. The other really big thing that it will do is fully support On-star, and connect to the CANbus system.

I don't think you can find an amp at the store that will do all that.

...
My audio system thread, how to replace speakers: http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=137456

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Old 04-26-2009, 12:39 AM   #5
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Default Re: New sound system and much more

Very Cool. Keep us posted on the results!

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Old 04-27-2009, 09:31 AM   #6
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Default Re: New sound system and much more

So, just shooting out a minor update... ordered some parts over the weekend and this morning.

New speakers for the car, I got Infinity speakers, reference series. 6 1/2" component speakers for the front and 6 1/2" 2-way for the rear. That way I don't have to cut holes for the tweeters in the rear. They are all 2 ohm, which was a big deal with picking out some speakers.

Also ordered a 12" kicker sub and a 400watt mono kicker amp to go with it.

The CANbus chips are also on the way, comming from Thailand, but they should be here by the weekend.

Should be starting design on the amp input interfaces and mixer circuits soon. All of my simulations in my design programs turned out really well, so its time to hit the workbench!

...
My audio system thread, how to replace speakers: http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=137456

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Old 04-28-2009, 07:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: New sound system and much more

Going to be sweet set up for sure.I have one small question for you.How hard is it to remove the two rear panels to get at the rear speakers.I am just going small ville and adding a powered sub.I have done system installs before but seeing that it is a month old car the last thing i want to do is start breaking panels just to get at some speakers.Is it a pain in the a## to get the panels off ??

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Old 04-28-2009, 09:24 PM   #8
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Default Re: New sound system and much more

Pretty badass

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Old 04-28-2009, 09:56 PM   #9
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Default Re: New sound system and much more

I think the biggest thing here are the CANbus chips; if there's a way to get other devices hooked in to where you can interface with it through the steering wheel and the in dash LCD, a massive windows for customization will have been opened. Definately keep us updated on your progress!

...
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:26 AM   #10
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Default Re: New sound system and much more

Quote:
Originally Posted by XRLad View Post
Going to be sweet set up for sure.I have one small question for you.How hard is it to remove the two rear panels to get at the rear speakers.I am just going small ville and adding a powered sub.I have done system installs before but seeing that it is a month old car the last thing i want to do is start breaking panels just to get at some speakers.Is it a pain in the a## to get the panels off ??
I'm not sure how hard its going to be, I have yet to get the speakers in the mail. I'll definitely be taking pictures the whole time that I'm tearing up the car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teh_Freak View Post
I think the biggest thing here are the CANbus chips; if there's a way to get other devices hooked in to where you can interface with it through the steering wheel and the in dash LCD, a massive windows for customization will have been opened. Definately keep us updated on your progress!
Ordered the chips on Monday, they usually come within 3 days, so hopefully I'll have them for the weekend.

I'm reeeeeealy waiting on the connects2 cable that I ordered so that It'll be easier to just hook up to the interface. It should be here any time now (won't be surprised if it comes today). Once I get it, I can install my head unit, and continue building the amp. There is only so much that I can do without it.

...
My audio system thread, how to replace speakers: http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=137456

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Old 04-29-2009, 10:36 AM   #11
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Default Re: New sound system and much more

Looking forward to seeing your setup. I (finally) placed the order for my Connects2 adapter a while back. It had to clear the bank but Mike said it shipped last week so I should have it in a week or two. Still waiting on it to do the head unit swap. I'm still unsure if I'm going to stay with just the 2 sets of components or if I want to add the additional amp + sub to the system.

...
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Old 04-29-2009, 11:39 AM   #12
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Default Re: New sound system and much more

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightwalker View Post
I'm not sure how hard its going to be, I have yet to get the speakers in the mail. I'll definitely be taking pictures the whole time that I'm tearing up the car.
.
That would be greatly appreciated by me and others iam sure.I,d even "mail' you a cold beer for it.LOL.My first new car and like i say if it turns out to be a huge bother just to access a + and - source for the powered sub then it wont happen,not worth it for me myself and I.

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Old 04-29-2009, 01:36 PM   #13
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by XRLad View Post
That would be greatly appreciated by me and others iam sure.I,d even "mail' you a cold beer for it.LOL.My first new car and like i say if it turns out to be a huge bother just to access a + and - source for the powered sub then it wont happen,not worth it for me myself and I.
Why not just pop out the radio and tap the wires there?

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Old 04-29-2009, 08:52 PM   #14
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Default Re: New sound system and much more

Connects2 adapter came today!

It took about an hour, but I put up the wiring harnesses and made the one cable to connect everything.

Here is my head unit, the bevel and the connects2 adapter:



I quickly pulled out my CD40 and snapped everything together just to try it out, and it works great! The volume and change track buttons integrate flawlessly. The BC still works, but it works without a head unit anyhow.
You can also access the 'settings' menu that lets you adjust the clock, units and such. The connects2 adapter has the feature to where if you hold the button on the left that swaps between radio and cd, the settings menu pops up. Its pretty nice.

I'll wait until the morning when its light out to install the unit into the car with the bevel.

...
My audio system thread, how to replace speakers: http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=137456

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Old 04-30-2009, 02:22 PM   #15
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Default Re: New sound system and much more

I like the look of that head unit. That looks like the dash kit I have in mine - I hope yours doesn't stick out like 1/4 inch too.

Once I get my Connects2 I'm going to swap the Kenwood KDC-HD942U for an Eclipse CD7200 mkII and they're going to put another dash kit. I will not having steering wheel controls for my stereo though.

...
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Old 04-30-2009, 03:55 PM   #16
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Default Re: New sound system and much more

Installed the head unit this morning. Well, kinda.
The Metra bevel that goes over everything is a little strange. Everything bolts in to the console, but the face plate snaps on top of everything. The bad thing is that trying to take it off is a MAJOR pain. After installing it, the unit was sticking out a little (only about 1/8"), but it was because of all the wires behind the head unit. Also, because I'm going to be pulling the unit out to get more wires to the system for the amp and CANbus interface, I decided to take the face plate off and keep it off.

I felt like I was going to break the thing trying to get it off. It holds tight and does not want to let go once you snap it in. I was finally able to pry it off, but it was just unnecessary.
I have pics of everything, I just need to get them off my camera.

So, everything showed up today. The CANbus chips, speakers, everything. I guess that's how it goes, wait on one thing, then it all shows up at once.

I'm not going to be able to install the speakers until late in the weekend, or maybe into next week. Don't hold your breath though, I also need to drag my car into the dealership to get its oil change and other maintenance done. I'm thinking that it would be better to take an unmodified car into the dealership to get everything done so that I don't have to listen to them wine about possibly voiding my warranty.

...
My audio system thread, how to replace speakers: http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=137456

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Old 04-30-2009, 05:25 PM   #17
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Default Re: New sound system and much more

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightwalker View Post
I quickly pulled out my CD40 and snapped everything together just to try it out, and it works great! The volume and change track buttons integrate flawlessly. The BC still works, but it works without a head unit anyhow.
You can also access the 'settings' menu that lets you adjust the clock, units and such. .
Can anyone do this with the CD30MP3, changing the clock with the steering wheel controls?

...
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Old 04-30-2009, 06:20 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by HaulAstra View Post
Can anyone do this with the CD30MP3, changing the clock with the steering wheel controls?
Its the same no matter what radio you have. The connects2 allows you to keep the same functions when you remove the radio. I had a cd30 mp3 and now have a pioneer avic f90bt

...
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Old 05-02-2009, 10:39 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luke.111 View Post
Why not just pop out the radio and tap the wires there?
Cause i dont have access to the proper tool to pull the head unit out.Plus it was stated that it was a pain the a## to get the trim panel off.I may be asking to much in trying to find a very easy access to a + and - source for the woofer,but hey i am trying lol.

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Old 05-02-2009, 11:45 PM   #20
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Default Re: New sound system and much more

hey man sounds like a sick setup but i gotta better deal for you get rid of that crap 12" KICKER those are terrible subwoofers if you want a sound system i have a 12" mtx 9500 thunder subwoofer that will blow 2 of those out of the water. ill send you picks if you would like. i want 500 for it and thats with a custom box. also have a pioneer double din avh4000 as well as a kinetic 1800hc powercell and a powerbass 3000w amp to run it. if you would like any of that let me know because i am gettin rid of all of it and starting new. more power and more sound

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