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master installers, what do you do different


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standbackimapro 
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Member spacespace
Joined: November 23, 2005
Location: United States
Posted: October 11, 2007 at 10:58 AM / IP Logged  
What are some things you master installers do, that people normally dont do?
like different techniques  that you do and people think its wierd, or people find out and think its a great ide
haemphyst 
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Joined: January 19, 2003
Location: Michigan, Bouvet Island
Posted: October 11, 2007 at 11:11 AM / IP Logged  
Ummm...
Actual TUNING of a system, before delivery to a customer.
Careful selection of respected quality manufacturers.
"Esoteric" enclosures (however, metals esoterica in wiring belongs in the snake oil department)
Intersting or out of the ordinary surface treatments, i.e "Fleckstone".
Borowing ideas from "home" designs, i.e. signal wire (line and speaker level) GEOMETRIES, not insulation or metallurgy.
(I think I'll write a thread regarding some of my "highly scientific" experiments with that...)
I like to do things WAY out of the ordinary, generally speaking, and the car allows me greast leeway in that arena.
It all reminds me of something that Molière once said to Guy de Maupassant at a café in Vienna: "That's nice. You should write it down."
kassdog 
Copper - Posts: 257
Copper spacespace
Joined: March 09, 2007
Location: United States
Posted: October 11, 2007 at 3:11 PM / IP Logged  
Deposit more into the bank.
Steven Kephart 
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Joined: November 06, 2003
Location: Oregon, United States
Posted: October 11, 2007 at 8:45 PM / IP Logged  

Usually a master installer is more versatile with what they can do.  A master installer can figure out how to get that remote start/keyless/alarm into that exotic vehicle with no wiring information available.  A master installer can build an enclosure achieving a target frequency response in the specific vehicle they are working in.  A master installer can fabricate with MDF, Fiberglass, metal, vinyl, carpet, carbon fiber, etc.  A master installer can install an alarm in a vehicle and you won't be able to find any aftermarket wiring when looking under the dash/hood.  And now for some specifics:

One thing I like to do with amplifier installs is roll the wiring over my finger and underneath the amplifier.  I use duct tape to hold it down and then run the wires under the carpet through a hole under the amplifer.  When large awg wire is being used, I use round stand-offs to float the amplifier.  This gives you a very clean install.  I also like to start by attaching wires to the amplifier and run the wires forward.  This puts all the excess RCA's behind the deck where it is easier to hide it. 

For my grounds, I make sure all my heavy awg ring terminals are soldered.  I then grind away all the paint till I see bare metal.  I use a star washer and 3 self tapping screws.  One screw goes through the ring terminal, and the other two go on either side of the ring terminals base to make sure it can't twist loose. 

For alarms, I make sure all my wires are completely covered in tape.  I also try to route my wires going in the same direction together to cut down on clutter. 

I suppose one other differenc you may find is in the tools they own.  I have several unique tools that work great for the job.  The first is a flat metal pannel popper tool I call a "Boeing tool".  It works great for taking apart dashes.  It is dirt cheap at $0.25 a piece, but the only place you can purchase these is a the Boeing Surplus Store in downtown Seattle.  And you have to catch them at the right time.

Another custom tool I use is for T-taps.  I purchased a set of Kobalt pliers from Lowes, and ground them down until they are small and fit a T-tap perfectly in their teeth. 

I also found a great set of multimeter leads that have magnetically removable probes.  I use the ground probe's magnet to attach to any metal surface in a vehicle for a fast and easy test ground.

And of course you will find that their tools are mostly high-end tools.  Most of mine are made by Snap-on. 

DYohn 
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Joined: April 22, 2003
Location: Arizona, United States
Posted: October 11, 2007 at 9:02 PM / IP Logged  

Steven Kephart wrote:
I also found a great set of multimeter leads that have magnetically removable probes.  I use the ground probe's magnet to attach to any metal surface in a vehicle for a fast and easy test ground.. 

THAT is an outstanding tip!  Thank you, it's soon to be in my arsenal.

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ya boy mike 
Member - Posts: 44
Member spacespace
Joined: October 11, 2007
Location: Tennessee, United States
Posted: October 11, 2007 at 9:51 PM / IP Logged  

Just wanted to start by saying hi, just joined, should have a long time ago.

I am by no means a master installer but I do something different with my meter too, I just cut the end of a cigarette lighter adapter off and cut the probe end off of the lead and connected soldered it to the ground wire on the cig. adapter plug. This way when doing remote starts or something where I need to turn the key for wire verification I have both my hands. Comes in handy for sure.

It Hz
Steven Kephart 
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Location: Oregon, United States
Posted: October 12, 2007 at 1:25 AM / IP Logged  
DYohn wrote:

Steven Kephart wrote:
I also found a great set of multimeter leads that have magnetically removable probes.  I use the ground probe's magnet to attach to any metal surface in a vehicle for a fast and easy test ground.. 

THAT is an outstanding tip!  Thank you, it's soon to be in my arsenal.

Here's the set that I have: http://www.thetoolwarehouse.net/shop/ESI-136.html   The magnet has been great.  I can just throw it up in the dash and it will usually find a ground. 

I also use the "bed of nails" style lead for testing wires when I have good access:  http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item.asp?P65=&tool=all&item_ID=78484&group_ID=1400&store=snapon-store&dir=catalog

tcss 
Silver - Posts: 1,623
Silver spacespace
Joined: June 07, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: October 12, 2007 at 12:35 PM / IP Logged  
Power Probe
There is no such thing as free installation!
5150azn 
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Joined: June 21, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: October 12, 2007 at 1:06 PM / IP Logged  
I'm not a master installer but I've worked around a few top installers/fabricaters. This is what I've noticed from them.
-They have all the right tools.
-They take notes and they have a bible of notes in their tool box.
-They use install products that will make installs easier.
For the most part what I've gathered is that it's not what they're installing. It's the things they use to help them install it. Thats the difference between a diy shade tree installer and a pro installer I guess.
Tell the Snap-On guy I'm not here!
KarTuneMan 
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Posted: October 12, 2007 at 8:01 PM / IP Logged  
DYohn wrote:

Steven Kephart wrote:
I also found a great set of multimeter leads that have magnetically removable probes.  I use the ground probe's magnet to attach to any metal surface in a vehicle for a fast and easy test ground.. 

THAT is an outstanding tip!  Thank you, it's soon to be in my arsenal.

Where does one find such trick parts for his meter?

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