How-To aftermarket sound system info thread

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@SanDiegoTeslaGuy hey man, I’m curious to see your system. I’m planning to do something very similar to your set up and would love to see how your system is set up. Im here in San Diego as well, let me know if you’d be willing to meet.
 

Zimmra

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I know i read through the thread and watched the video but that pin is taken by a RED (trailer) wire. I am thinking of the best place to reach and t-tap it if anyone can offer advice. I found it sort of goes to the rear of the car next to the high voltage wiring but not sure
Did you find a good location to tap this?
I got through all of the dissassembly down there only to find that pin is occupied by a red wire as well, thicker gauge than most of the wires in the trunks nearby. March '19 HW2.5 build

I located the wire going down one of the trunks and I may be able to finesse it out and tap it, but it's tight still. Wondering if you found a better spot to tap or a better switched 12v source
 

eXntrc

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My car was built in January so that pin wasn't filled. I haven't yet heard of anyone tapping that wire, but if possible that's what I'd recommend. That pin has been super reliable for me. I'm using it for both a radar detector and the remote turn on for my aftermarket system.

I'd like to see a picture of what that pin looks like now. Especially where it enters the trunk or where you can get some slack.

Are you able to get maybe 1/2" worth of slack? If so, I highly recommend these Posi-Taps:


They seem to require less space than the spade T-Taps and they only create one tiny hole in the wire you are tapping.
 
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I have identified the cause of the "Cannot Maintain Vehicle Power" error when installing aftermarket amplifiers and drawing power from the CD-CD terminal under the rear seat. The cause is the DC-DC converter tripping when first powering on and trying to charge up the large input capacitors present inside the amplifiers. The large capacitance causes a high current spike on the converter, immediately tripping a current fault= and preventing it from powering on. Since the dc-dc converter turns on a few times over night to keep the 12v battery maintained, if it is unable to start up, the 12v battery discharges, giving the "Cannot Maintain Vehicle Power" error. I was able to trigger this error much more often by using an aftermarket 1 farad capacitor in parallel with my amplifier, vs without the capacitor, giving weight to the argument that the capacitance is the cause of the error. Using a cheap amplifier with a small input capacitor will probably avoid tripping the dc-dc converter, but any high-quality amplifiers, or stiffening capacitors will likely cause a lot of problems.

The solution to this is to use the attached simple circuit when drawing power from the DC-DC converter. The circuit works by limiting the inrush current to 12 amps when the DC-DC converter comes online by placing a 1 ohm resistor inline with the amplifier. However, this resistor would quickly overheat when the amplifier was in use, so a bypass relay is powered from the accessory 12V line coming from VC-Left. The car turns on the acc signal about 3 seconds after powering up the DC-DC converter, giving the amplifiers plenty of time to charge the input capacitors.

The only items needed are a 12v 30A automotive relay (amazon-link), and an approximately 1 ohm ignition resistor (amazon-link). If you are running a very high powered amplifier(s) , you may want to use 2 x 30A relays in parallel to avoid damaging a single relay.

I have am currently using this circuit in my Model 3, with a 800w Kenwood amplifier and a 1 farad stiffening capacitor. I have verified that it does allow the DC-DC converter to power-up without any error messages.

(Image-Link)

View attachment 24936
Hey Jamie,

I tried this with a 200A relay like the one you linked to, however I bought one capable of taking the draw I max out at (200A), and the resistor you posted above. I jumped the resistor across both of the active terminals of the resistor as in your diagram and the resistor immediately started smoking... Any thoughts? Is your's working? Did I miss something?

This is the relay I bought
 

eXntrc

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I jumped the resistor across both of the active terminals of the resistor as in your diagram and the resistor immediately started smoking
When you say "active terminals" which terminals do you mean? Can you post a picture? Just making sure you wired it in parallel with the load line of the relay and not between the load line and ground. The resistor shouldn't be connected to ground in any way.
 
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When you say "active terminals" which terminals do you mean? Can you post a picture? Just making sure you wired it in parallel with the load line of the relay and not between the load line and ground. The resistor shouldn't be connected to ground in any way.
Thanks man! I am sitting here hitting refresh hoping to get this sorted quick!

I have the resister (the ceramic one with the coil under it from the diagram I quoted) wired between the two large terminals on the relay. Directly to the bolt studs.

I think that's how the diagram showed it.

I am drawing a max of 200amps on the amplifiers if everything were aligned and ended up fully maxed out.

Thanks again!
 
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as a side question.... is there a 200A solid state relay that I can get for this set up to match my amplifiers full amp draw? I can't find one unfortunately.
 

LakeWorthB

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Thanks man! I am sitting here hitting refresh hoping to get this sorted quick!

I have the resister (the ceramic one with the coil under it from the diagram I quoted) wired between the two large terminals on the relay. Directly to the bolt studs.

I think that's how the diagram showed it.

I am drawing a max of 200amps on the amplifiers if everything were aligned and ended up fully maxed out.

Thanks again!
Yes that is right, but note the resistor should only be in play if the relay is open. Once closed the current will bypass the resistor. Shouldn't the amps remote wire be connected to the same thing that triggers the relay? So that the resistor is only limiting the current going to the off amp.
 

eXntrc

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Yes that is right, but note the resistor should only be in play if the relay is open. Once closed the current will bypass the resistor. Shouldn't the amps remote wire be connected to the same thing that triggers the relay?
Yes, this is absolutely right. The resistor should only carry the current for 2 or 3 seconds between when the Penthouse powers up and when voltage turns on from VC_LEFT. VC_LEFT should also be the trigger for the relay and VC_LEFT should be the remote turn-on for your amplifiers. (If you're using an LC2i, use VC_LEFT for remote in and use LC2i remote out as the remote for the rest of your equipment.)

If your amplifiers are turned on and pulling power through the resistor instead of the relay it's going to get VERY hot VERY quick. This happened to me and you can read about it in this post. I have a solution for this now, which I'll be blogging about soon, but I basically fused the resistor and put everything on a heat sink.

is there a 200A solid state relay that I can get for this set up to match my amplifiers full amp draw?
Looks like the max I could see on mouser was 160A. See here. I wouldn't skimp on the cost of the relay if you're doing an SSR. And if you're doing an SSR be very careful to make sure the relay LOAD portion is rated for DC and not AC. I made this mistake and that's why I almost burned my resistor.

Since you have an amperage rating well beyond 160A you should probably consider going with a mechanical relay instead. You'll need to add the flyback diode like @R1Fast did here, but this mechanical relay on Amazon can handle 200A:

 
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So, I have everything hooked up as expected and made a quick diagram to show it here. Currently this does not provide enough power to the two Audio Control amps (D-6.1200 and LC-1.800). The D-6.1200 has a DSP and GTO built in (so like the LC7i).
They flash warning codes for under-current I think. When I remove the resistor on the relay the car immediately complains with "Can not charge" / "Unplug and Try again" or something like that.

The worst part of all of this is that everything worked fairly great for about 5 days without the relay then the car started complaining.
I was able to use the fully powered off reset of the car to clear all of that, but now it complains no matter what when I hook up full load even though the 12v battery is fully charged.

With the resistor / relay I tried it seems that the amps do not power up fully ever and throw error lights.

Can someone explain the amperage and voltage reading I should get on the relay, which posts to test, exactly where to put the meter probe pins / how to test them with a meter.
(I am unfortunately not versed in multi-meter testing)? Maybe also a good way to read what the penthouse is putting out?


I kind of feel like the penthouse is not putting out the power it did initially anymore for some reason.

So grateful for all the help already guys
screen-shot-2019-09-19-at-2-37-48-pm-png.29219

The relay I am using currently is going to get tossed and I am getting this tomorrow

I am also tossing this ceramic resistor for this one.
 

eXntrc

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Hey @smul. You might want to check this post and this post. 200A is the max peak load that anyone has theorized you can pull from the Penthouse. In fact, Ingineer said he didn't recommend more than 500W (41A) sustained and no more than 2kW (166A) peak. If your equipment is pulling 200A at idle (or complaining that it's not able to pull that much)... it's probably far too much for the Penthouse. If you need that much power, Ingineer recommend a well engineered high-voltage tap (beyond most peoples abilities). Or you could also look at having a secondary 12V battery system.

Honestly, though, everything you've described so far seems to suggest the relay isn't working right and your power is going through the resistor. This would explain the resistor smoking as well as your amplifiers warning about being under current.

Again, this happened to me with a SSR that was meant for AC instead of DC. It looked like it was working properly until it was under heavy load. Then it just cut out. And the only way I knew was because my resistor got burning hot.

Can someone explain the amperage and voltage reading I should get on the relay, which posts to test, exactly where to put the meter probe pins / how to test them with a meter.
Looking at your diagram, I would:
  1. Disconnect everything from pins 87 and 30 except the resistor. You don't want to be measuring the resistance of your audio equipment and you don't want to be pulling power through your meter.
  2. Set your meter to measure Ohms
  3. With the vehicle powered of, measure between pins 87 and 30. Meter should read 2 Ohms (the value of your resistor).
  4. With the meter still connected to pins 87 and 30, power on the vehicle.
  5. In a few short seconds the meter should now read short circuit at 0 Ohms. (Or it may read some extremely low resistance value in the milliohms).
This will verify that you've connected VC_LEFT and the resistor correctly to the relay.

Unfortunately, even if this all measures correctly without a load, it may not be working correctly under load. This is what happened with my cheap Solid State Relay.

I don't know of a good way to take measurements with the audio equipment connected, but I can tell you that the resistor shouldn't stay hot. It might get warm in the first few seconds of the car powering up, but after that it should cool off. If the resistor continues getting hotter, your relay isn't working like it should.
 
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Hey @smul. You might want to check this post and this post. 200A is the max peak load that anyone has theorized you can pull from the Penthouse. In fact, Ingineer said he didn't recommend more than 500W (41A) sustained and no more than 2kW (166A) peak. If your equipment is pulling 200A at idle (or complaining that it's not able to pull that much)... it's probably far too much for the Penthouse. If you need that much power, Ingineer recommend a well engineered high-voltage tap (beyond most peoples abilities). Or you could also look at having a secondary 12V battery system.

Honestly, though, everything you've described so far seems to suggest the relay isn't working right and your power is going through the resistor. This would explain the resistor smoking as well as your amplifiers warning about being under current.

Again, this happened to me with a SSR that was meant for AC instead of DC. It looked like it was working properly until it was under heavy load. Then it just cut out. And the only way I knew was because my resistor got burning hot.



Looking at your diagram, I would:
  1. Disconnect everything from pins 87 and 30 except the resistor. You don't want to be measuring the resistance of your audio equipment and you don't want to be pulling power through your meter.
  2. Set your meter to measure Ohms
  3. With the vehicle powered of, measure between pins 87 and 30. Meter should read 2 Ohms (the value of your resistor).
  4. With the meter still connected to pins 87 and 30, power on the vehicle.
  5. In a few short seconds the meter should now read short circuit at 0 Ohms. (Or it may read some extremely low resistance value in the milliohms).
This will verify that you've connected VC_LEFT and the resistor correctly to the relay.

Unfortunately, even if this all measures correctly without a load, it may not be working correctly under load. This is what happened with my cheap Solid State Relay.

I don't know of a good way to take measurements with the audio equipment connected, but I can tell you that the resistor shouldn't stay hot. It might get warm in the first few seconds of the car powering up, but after that it should cool off. If the resistor continues getting hotter, your relay isn't working like it should.
So, I fired everything back up as it should be hooked up and when I take a voltage reading across the closed relay i get about 3 volts (obviously not what is expected). I then read voltage from the positive lead to a body ground and get 14 volts as expected.... my thought is that the relay is either incorrect or junk. New relay and resister coming tomorrow so I'll try again then.

UPDATE: Re-reading what you posted I do see that I may be testing wrong when trying to determine how many volts my amps actually are getting. The resistance is as expected though 2ohms then shorted when closed, so at least that seems good.

THANK YOU for sticking with me on this!

Scott
 
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Zimmra

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My car was built in January so that pin wasn't filled. I haven't yet heard of anyone tapping that wire, but if possible that's what I'd recommend. That pin has been super reliable for me. I'm using it for both a radar detector and the remote turn on for my aftermarket system.

I'd like to see a picture of what that pin looks like now. Especially where it enters the trunk or where you can get some slack.

Are you able to get maybe 1/2" worth of slack? If so, I highly recommend these Posi-Taps:

They seem to require less space than the spade T-Taps and they only create one tiny hole in the wire you are tapping.
See this post, this is exactly how mine was

I ended up using a blue posi-tap, tapped it lower in the trunk of wires. Works like a charm, and honestly if you know to look for the red wire that's a thicker gauge than the rest then it should be easy to find, easy to tap into, and probably overall easier than accessing the pin itself. I'm just using it to trigger/power a radar detector for now, will use it for a turn-on signal for sound system eventually
 

eXntrc

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Re-reading what you posted I do see that I may be testing wrong when trying to determine how many volts my amps actually are getting.
Well, make sure you're using a good grounding point on the chassis. Most people are using the same bolt that the OEM amplifier uses.

With the amplifier disconnected and the car on:
  • Measure from this ground point to Pin 30 in your diagram. This should be around 13.8v.
  • Measure from this ground point to Pin 87 in your diagram. It should also read around 13.8v.
Now repeat the process above with the amplifier connected (but not cranked up loud or anything).

Both terminals should still read very close to 13.8v.

If Pin 30 reads 13.8v but pin 87 reads a lot less, it's the relay.

If Pin 30 reads a lot less than 13.8v, you have an upstream power or wiring problem.
 
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Well, make sure you're using a good grounding point on the chassis. Most people are using the same bolt that the OEM amplifier uses.

With the amplifier disconnected and the car on:
  • Measure from this ground point to Pin 30 in your diagram. This should be around 13.8v.
  • Measure from this ground point to Pin 87 in your diagram. It should also read around 13.8v.
Now repeat the process above with the amplifier connected (but not cranked up loud or anything).

Both terminals should still read very close to 13.8v.

If Pin 30 reads 13.8v but pin 87 reads a lot less, it's the relay.

If Pin 30 reads a lot less than 13.8v, you have an upstream power or wiring problem.
Using that PAC-200 relay (seems very solid) and the 100W 2ohm resistor in my link I am able to power on and run everything with no errors again. Now the test of time comes in again! Super loud and super clear though! Including an in progress photo which has not been cleaned up since I was only testing at the moment... thank you SO MUCH for looking at this. Just the moral support of this forum is great!
 

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Excellent @smul, so glad you got it sorted! Looking forward to the final pictures when it's done. 😁
Alright, now I’m tuning and have a few questions.... has anyone come up with input delay needs for left and right door woofer signal and dash left and right signal? I don’t have a testing mic or software unfortunately and was hoping for anything already discovered. Thanks in advance!
 

eXntrc

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has anyone come up with input delay needs for left and right door woofer signal and dash left and right signal?
If anyone has, it would probably be @_Travis_. I did fully tune with a mic and DSP, and I'll be blogging about that soon, but I only tuned my subs which are tapped to the stock subwoofer. I just had to eliminate that massive 50 Hz boom. I do not have any delay between my subs and the door woofers, though I do have them 180 degrees out of phase.
 

eXntrc

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Model 3 Sound Project

After months of effort, days of writing, and countless hours researching, I'm finally ready to share the Model 3 Sound Project.

From the project overview:

These posts are my way of documenting my journey, a journey I didn't make alone. I'd like to thank @RoccoX, @R1Fast, @Defjukie, @Cookiebob and all the other members who have contributed to this thread. I especially want to thank @_Travis_ for his impeccable 9-part series on the subject. You have been my guides and you've saved me immense time. I hope these posts give back so that others can benefit from everything I learned along the way.

The project consists of these parts:


Project Overview

How the project came to be. Direct links to all the articles.



Enclosure

Ported vs Sealed. How to build a custom enclosure for the 3. How to make your box almost 50% lighter!



Storage


It is possible to have a large enclosure without totally giving up on storage. Here's an easy way to create some space while also making a form-fitting shelf for the Model 3.



Power


Power is one of the most challenging things to get right in the Model 3, but I strive to get this down to a science. I show plans for a compact yet highly reliable trickle charging circuit as well as provide a photographic map of where everything connects in the car.



Tap and Layout


Did you realize that nobody on this forum completely agrees on how to tap the stock subwoofer? @R1Fast, @Cookiebob and @_Travis_ have all documented their taps, but none of them are exactly the same. Not to put you on the spot @Cookiebob, but I think one of your inputs might be 180 degrees out of phase! In this post I cover my tap as well as how (and why) I arranged the equipment.



Level Control


Without a dash, finding a good place to mount the level control can be a bit of a task. Several users have documented where they mounted their RLCs, but I never saw how anyone hid the connection box or routed the wire. I cover both in detail.



Retention


Did you know the Model 3 Performance edition can accelerate at 0.83 G's? Watch a video of what happens when an enclosure isn't anchored down, then a look at (non-damaging) ways to fix it.



DSP


Even if you don't read any other posts, this is the one to see. If you've been following this thread for a while I'm sure you've seen people say things like "There's a ton of bass, probably too much" or "It's really boomy, I need to make some adjustments". When I first finished my install I was not happy. It didn't sound right at all, and no amount of messing with gain or low-pass filter could fix it.

I finally sat down and learned how to use a DSP. The good news is that subwoofers in the Model 3 can be tuned to sound amazing. I've done all the legwork and I provide you with the only file you need. This mod will run you about $100 bucks, but it's worth every penny and I have the science (and photos) to back it up.



Calibration


Do you have a Model 3 without premium sound? Or do you have any other vehicle that you'd like to DSP like the article above? This final post shows how to calibrate any speakers for any vehicle using the same hardware and a $90 microphone.



I had fun with this project and I learned SO much. Thanks again to everyone who helped along the way, and if you have any questions at all please don't hesitate to ask!