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Thread: Potential guide to installing an Astro Spectra

  1. #1
    standardmissile No Longer Registered

    Default Potential guide to installing an Astro Spectra

    Hey, I was wondering if anyone would be interested in me putting together a step by guide to physically installing an Astro Spectra into a vehicle, along with ways to optimize the setup. I'm getting a new vehicle soon, and thought it would be a great opportunity to do so if anyone was interested.

    As far as optimization of the setup it would be how to rewire the speaker to help shield it against EFI or RFI, hiding/placing the speaker (to prevent damage/deter theft), proper cable routing (antenna/power/data), installing a steering wheel remote PTT, handsfree mic, and electrical. Last time I saw one of the San Diego Bearcom installs in an SDPD or SD Sheriff squad car, I was horrified on how much of a ragtag job they did. All I can say is that they functioned. Alternator hum, patchy signal due to RFI, untidy exposed cables, distorted audio, screwed up antenna placement (improper ground plane), and lots of rust spots due to shoddy seals.

    I've done my fair share of budget two way and stereo installs, and found that the experience gained from both, compliment each other. Also, Having a touch of OCD about good quality audio fortunately helps too


  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by standardmissile View Post
    Hey, I was wondering if anyone would be interested in me putting together a step by guide to physically installing an Astro Spectra into a vehicle, along with ways to optimize the setup.
    Well, I think Motorola published an installation guide.

    Quote Originally Posted by standardmissile View Post
    how to rewire the speaker to help shield it against EFI or RFI
    I haven't personally had this problem. TDMA chirps are hard to get rid of, not worth the effort. If the radio malfunctions because its own emission is getting back into the radio there is a problem with installation.

    Quote Originally Posted by standardmissile View Post
    hiding/placing the speaker (to prevent damage/deter theft)
    This is easy: replace one of the stereo speakers with a dual voice coil speaker. Connect the radio to the second voice coil. I have an old German car with a bagphone+flip kit installed by the factory. This is how they did it, and it works great with the radio.

    Quote Originally Posted by standardmissile View Post
    proper cable routing (antenna/power/data)
    This is covered in Motorola publications, except that you are supposed to study the vehicle and keep your wires away from theirs. Brakes and traction systems are supposed to fail passive but this means that they won't work if you need them after it's decided there's an issue. Be careful of wheel speed sensors. Car makers really try to avoid RFI problems but a 100 watt transmitter is not a common use case.

    Quote Originally Posted by standardmissile View Post
    installing a steering wheel remote PTT, handsfree mic
    My opinion is this ain't worth it especially because the HHCH exists. My car's fitted with the mic from the AMPS kit on the dash and two buttons on the steering column stalks, so I got all the crap. If I did this I would have to also design and build an SIU so that the radio could display on the car's instrument text display. (The AMPS kit did this so that you could still use the thing when the flip phone was removed from the cradle.) Also it's not OCD: please order the letters properly, CDO. TY

    Electrical. Put that car audio fuseholder crap in the fire and let it BURN. You will get some nice fuseholders by asking littelfuse for samples of 279.6850.0602 (8awg) or 279.6850.1602 (6awg.) Tell them you are working on locomotives or something to get the samples. This product line was acquired by them with the takeover of PUDENZ, top electrical supplier to the european transport industry. These fuseholders have real seals, not o rings and vaseline; the fuseholder contacts crimp on the wires with a big-ass F crimp (open barrel); and the fuseholder accepts a MAXI fuse which are all timedelay. If this fuseholder is "too much" for you despite your CDO condition, have a look at their MIDI line and related fuseholders. These are cheaper in case you actually have to buy them, and you can usually use closed-barrel-crimping ring lugs for connections (easy with molex tool #19294-0008 and a 1 kg hammer)

    Two years after installing the .0602 fuseholder near the battery in my 4x4 it is perfectly clean inside.

    I don't like drilling ANYTHING. You cannot meet the car maker's corrosion protection unless you have equally sophisticated processes and components. In my 4x4 I ran the B+ up under the fender and poked a hole in an existing grommet. Positioning the cable and forming drip loop makes this less ghetto. And the grommet may be replaceable later on if it tears. For removal and resale a bit of silicone makes this like it never happened. In my sedan the battery is under the backseat - easy routes to the trunk, under the front seats, and the center console. I use anderson 75's everywhere - easily crimped with that molex tool - so I can bring a radio in the house without removing ANY trim or other bits.

  3. #3
    standardmissile No Longer Registered

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    I understand that a lot of the documentation for installs is provided by motorola, but some of the newbies might not have easy access to it. Also, being a relative newbie to p25.ca I know it can be kind of intimidating to post questions on a forum, when the lingering taint of RR is still fresh in ones mind.

    Some of those mouth breathing idiots have posted S**t that would have ended up with there being nothing left of them but spatter on the walls, if it had been said to me in person.

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    If I'm not mistaken I got the astro mobile installation manual from this forum.

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    I appreciate your effort but I agree with kw71.

    Also, you're the reason I'm turning signatures off on this forum. Thanks!

  6. #6
    standardmissile No Longer Registered

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    No problem. That's why I put up the feeler before going ahead to make the guide. I don't want to post something that is duplicative or isn't needed.

    Also, sorry about the signatures. I work between different browsers/machines and it never looks the same on any given machine I'm working at.

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    If its not too much trouble, I would be interested to see some before and after pics. I always like to see how people set up stuff in their vehicles and such. Especially Spectras!
    See ya star-side!

  8. #8
    standardmissile No Longer Registered

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    Durandal1224, I would be glad to provide some pics to you via PM. But I'll reserve open comms on the board for more relevant discussions. If anyone else is interested please PM me.

  9. #9
    PRC148 No Longer Registered

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    What's wrong with the signature?

  10. #10
    standardmissile No Longer Registered

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    Used to be problematic due to font sizes. Issue has since been resolved.

  11. #11
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    That'd be great man. Thanks!

    Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk 2
    See ya star-side!