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Old 01-11-2010, 03:09 PM   #11
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Re: How wild is your A/V setup?

Actually, a couple of the kids like to read...and read quite often. We spend a lot of time running to the library before trips to get books (and movies). There's usually no space for all the books in our suburban, so we've resorted to video games. With the bus, we'll have a little more room to spread out.

I spent a lot of time (too much my wife says) looking at the particular units that I want for my setup. Anybody have any car audio experience? I think it's going to (maybe) go something like this:

The head unit will probably be a Valor sd-902w. It's a dual zone unit, so that my wife and I can listen to something good up front and the kids can do something else in the back. It also has a rear view camera input! Because I like four channel sound, I'm going to use two passive EQs to split my front and rear pre-amp outputs from the head unit into four channels and sub for each "zone." The way I understand that the head unit works is that when you activate rear zone mode, it puts the radio through the front channels of the unit, and the DVD or whatever through the rear channels. This would only mean a four channel total...I could only run four speakers! That's just not acceptable!

I have a Sherwood XQ-1101 lying around. It's an older (1993) surround sound 1/2 DIN EQ. I loved it when I was using it. I'm hoping to score another one here soon. That way I'll have the same EQs with spectrum analyzers going at the same time. One will operate the front output's front and rear channels, the other will operate the rear output's front, rear, and sub channels. So by running the front and rear pre-amp outputs from the head unit through the Sherwoods I can gain back all four channels!

I will end up with two to 3 amplifiers. One four-channel amp for the front speakers, one four channel amp for the rear speakers, and one mono amp for the subwoofer. I might be able to get away with only two amps if one is bridgeable or one 5 channel amp.

I have no idea what to get for speakers. I've had really good luck with Polk Audio in the past, but this is getting expensive fast! I would also look into a DC TV like the one that Den suggested.

This would be quite a DC load, but for the most part, we'll be running down the road. For the times that we're stationary, we'll maybe watch a movie or two but we'll be on shore power, so a converter/charger would be in order. A small inverter would probably suffice in that case to run the laptops and the PS2.

I sound like I'm blaming the kids...a lot of this is just stuff that I wanted to do in high school but the technology wasn't all there! I always loved to play with this kind of stuff. And now that I have the chance, I guess I'm going nuts with it!

I'm going to eventually need a genny to run the rooftop air and maybe some DC power fans...Wally World has some DC fans on clearance right now...

Anyway, it all sounds complicated, but I think in the end it will end up being simpler...just one main unit, a couple EQs, a couple amps, and some speakers...all integrated to work together. I won't have to worry about whether or not home AV stuff will stand up to the moisture, etc in a bus!
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:16 PM   #12
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Re: How wild is your A/V setup?

Eric said, "I want a radio only head unit with capability to play digital music (MP3, WMA, AAC) via external input (from my computer or a jump drive) and multiband equalization built in. It may be hard to find a radio only head unit that's any good."

I saw one of those at Crutchfield.com while I was "researching" this weekend. I can't recall the brand and whatnot, but it was nearly exactly as you describe. Crutchfield is awesome!

I used to have an Alpine CTA-1505. It was radio only with EQ/spectrum analyzer. It didn't have the inputs for "other media" but I think that something could be adapted for it. This was about 10 years ago. It was a fantastic unit. I've never met an Alpine unit I didn't like!

Ben.
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:03 PM   #13
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Re: How wild is your A/V setup?

...upon closer inspection of the user manual wiring diagram, there appears to be a dedicated rear zone pre-amp output...hmm...That could simplify things. I might need to make a phone call or two...
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:25 AM   #14
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Re: How wild is your A/V setup?

why not just have two separate audio systems? One standard 12 volt automotive stereo, and the other a set of speakers and an amp fed directly off from your tv....or maybe the tv volume will be fine and you won't need any amplification. I used a cheap wal-mart dolby surround system in my first bus for years. Not only did it survive the rv enviroment, but also survived burningman and the wet and often humid jacuzzi bus enviroment.

I run all kinds of crap from modified sin wave inverters, and have only found maybe 2 items in the past 10 years that were unhappy. Many electronic appliances have power supplies that take the ac voltage and transform it to dc. I have probably plugged 1,000 different items into inverters since i started doing buses. The only 2 things that i found were not happy were: charger for my palm pilot just wouldn't charge, and i had a wireless switch from radio shack that would let you turn on/off a light remotely. It actually got hot and the magic smoke escaped. I have also read that laser printers will not run off of a modified sin wave inverter, but i have no experience with this.

i have used computers, power tools, various chargers, tv's, vcr's dvd players, satelite, furnace, heaters, microwaves, toaster oven, toaster, florescent and incondescent lights, fog machine, jacuzzi, pumps, air compressors, refrigerator, freezer, air conditioner, electric pancake griddle, fans, temperature controllers, stereo, dj equipment, and a lot more.
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:59 AM   #15
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Re: How wild is your A/V setup?

It looks like Alpine and Dual both make receivers to do what I want! I've spent some time talking to various customer service and tech support people, and those look like the best units for my application...and would simplify things greatly! Kenwood makes unit that do something similar, but just wouldn't quite work the way I want them too...plus I'd need more "stuff."

If it all works out...something like an Alpine iVA W203 (or Dual xdvdn 8190) running four speakers upfront. The dedicated rear AV preouts will run to some kind of DC TV and audio will run into my Sherwood passive EQ, then to a four (or five) channel amp and a mono amp (for subs) then to four more speakers and a sub (or two). I'm told that in my "front zone," I can watch or listen to whatever sources we want, but that "rear zone" is limited to video sources only...which isn't a big deal.

I may have found my solution...except the whole $$$$ part!

If all else fails, I'll end up with separate units front and rear...probably a home unit in the rear. Which wouldn't be bad, but it wouldn't quite make my goals I guess.

Thanks all!
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Old 07-06-2010, 12:13 PM   #16
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Re: How wild is your A/V setup?

Just thought I'd resurface this thread. I'm at stopping point on my stereo due to lack of funds. I bought the head unit in February and finally got around to installing it. So far, I'm pretty impressed. I just need more speaker, an amp, and a TV and I"m good to go! Another $400 and I should be "done." I still have some learning to do with this unit, but what I know about it so far I really like. The only drawback I've found so far is that the Bluetooth is pretty limited. The stereo and my DROID don't want to pair. The unit came out before the DROID was a around and it has only a limited pairing ability. It's not a huge deal, and chances are I'd never use it, but it would be cool just because.

Rock on.
Ben.
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:13 PM   #17
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Re: How wild is your A/V setup?

Just installed a toggle switch to simulate the parking brake being applied. Now my DVD works!
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