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Thread: Audio/tv/dvd install in my conversion van?

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate
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    Audio/tv/dvd install in my conversion van?

    Alright so my family has a late 90's dodge conversion van; it came with a 13 inch tv and a vcr. Along with the radio in the front of the car, there is also a big standalone radio in the middle of the car (which the vcr was connected to). The way that it all worked was, the head unit is connected to the front speakers, while the middle radio is connected to the rear speakers. I think if the head unit is playing something, sound comes from both front and rear and when the middle unit is playing, sound comes from only the speakers in the back (not the driver panel speakers).

    Anyways, there is an aftermarket headunit in the car right now and the tv died so we are putting in a flat panel lcd and replacing the "middle" radio with an amplifier to power the 4 speakers in the back. We also took out the vcr and putting in a dvd player.

    Now heres the plan...or what I am atleast thinking, but I need some help.

    The tv will only be connected to the dvd player (via rca red white and yellow cables). The dvd player connects to the amplifier via rca as well. The amp will be in place of the "middle radio" now here are the questions...

    The new amp will be powered with atleast 8 gauge wire to the battery, but what about the remote switch? I dont know if the head unit has a remote output to turn on external amplifiers so what do I do? Would I just run a wire from the ign switch wire from the head unit to the amp? The amp doesnt need to be on all the time, so it would be convenient to wire a hard switch to turn it off/on when needed so could I run it from any power cable and splice a switch in there?

    There are a total of 6 speakers that need to be hooked up; 4 in the very back, and 2 under the middle seats. The back 4 are pretty close to each other so I figured I would just wire the rear speakers as pairs, so would I need a 4 channel amp?

    How many rca inputs are on 4 channel amps? I think most dvd players connected via rca (red, white, yellow) only out put in 2 channel sound right? So perhaps I would need to run component cables (for 5.1ish sound)? Are there front and rear rca inputs on 4 channel amps? I have only worked with mono and 2 channel amps.

    The plan is to have no head unit connected to the amp. Basically just the audio from the dvd player output to the amp output to the speakers. I can do this right? How would I control volume though? The dvd player doesnt have its own volume control.

    Is this possible without using a head unit?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    What about the PC?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bboy_jon View Post
    The new amp will be powered with atleast 8 gauge wire to the battery, but what about the remote switch? I dont know if the head unit has a remote output to turn on external amplifiers so what do I do?
    You find a line that provides 12v when the ignition is on and 0v when the ignition is off and use that as your remote line for the amps.

    Would I just run a wire from the ign switch wire from the head unit to the amp?
    I wouldn't use the ignition switch itself. If something goes wrong, you could damage the ignition system o the vehicle, and that would be bad. Look for another circuit.

    The amp doesnt need to be on all the time, so it would be convenient to wire a hard switch to turn it off/on when needed so could I run it from any power cable and splice a switch in there?
    Throw a two-position switch on your remote line. That will turn it on & off.

    There are a total of 6 speakers that need to be hooked up; 4 in the very back, and 2 under the middle seats. The back 4 are pretty close to each other so I figured I would just wire the rear speakers as pairs, so would I need a 4 channel amp?
    That's one I don't know how to answer.

    How many rca inputs are on 4 channel amps? I think most dvd players connected via rca (red, white, yellow) only out put in 2 channel sound right? So perhaps I would need to run component cables (for 5.1ish sound)? Are there front and rear rca inputs on 4 channel amps? I have only worked with mono and 2 channel amps.
    A four channel amp will have two sets of RCA inputs.
    How to get that? My suggestion is an equalizer (see below).

    The plan is to have no head unit connected to the amp. Basically just the audio from the dvd player output to the amp output to the speakers. I can do this right?
    Yes.

    How would I control volume though? The dvd player doesnt have its own volume control.
    Good question.
    I'd look into an equalizer that has its own volume knob.
    In addition to having a volume knob, you can run a single pair of RCA's (simple stereo) into the EQ and it will separate the channels into Front & Rear & Sub.
    You can also adjust the sound parameters to your liking.
    Yes, it's more money that you'll spend, but it will make this a lot easier to control, as well as answer some of your questions about wiring to the amps.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

  3. #3
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    i'll answer what darque couldn't

    Quote Originally Posted by Bboy_jon View Post
    There are a total of 6 speakers that need to be hooked up; 4 in the very back, and 2 under the middle seats. The back 4 are pretty close to each other so I figured I would just wire the rear speakers as pairs, so would I need a 4 channel amp?
    its not that easy-- each speaker has a certain resistance, and almost all amps on the market rely on having a certain resistance connected to them (there are some really expensive ones that this doesn't apply to).

    most car speakers are 4 ohm-- if you connect 2 speakers in series(2 speakers for both channels), you will get a 8 ohm load-- this will work with every car audio amp available, but will be quieter for those 4 speakers. if you connected the speakers in parallel, you will get a 2 ohm load-- and most cheap amps will not power a 2 ohm load for very long (i used to do this to my sub amp-- i would get about 4 min of audio before the amp went into thermal shutdown...), also, those 4 speakers will be louder because of the less resistance. so overall, it would be better to connect to 1-2channel amp, and 1-4 channel amp of the same rating, assuming that all 6 speakers are the same rating.



    Quote Originally Posted by Bboy_jon View Post
    How many rca inputs are on 4 channel amps? I think most dvd players connected via rca (red, white, yellow) only out put in 2 channel sound right? So perhaps I would need to run component cables (for 5.1ish sound)? Are there front and rear rca inputs on 4 channel amps? I have only worked with mono and 2 channel amps.

    The plan is to have no head unit connected to the amp. Basically just the audio from the dvd player output to the amp output to the speakers. I can do this right? How would I control volume though? The dvd player doesnt have its own volume control.

    Is this possible without using a head unit?

    Thanks!
    yes, most car audio dvd players only have 2 channel analog outputs, so you need to use rca y-adapters to get the audio to the other channels on the amps.

    for the volume control, you could use one of these:
    http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...+Control-.html

    but it only has control over the volume, so you cannot adjust how much bass/treb the audio system has...

    otherwise, this unit looks pretty good for a basic eq/volume control:
    http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...nics+HFEQ.html

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate
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    sweet, I think all I would need is that volume control, the bass/treb will be adjusted on the amp itself.

  5. #5
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    Ok... so here's my .02...

    First, let's address your amplifier... You can run the control wire to your switch panel that controls the coach entertainment. in my van, it's labeled "ACC". If you don't have a master switch in your van to turn off all of your conversion electronics, you should look into putting one in.

    Addressing volume and control...

    You should be able to find an LCD flat panel that will have RCA outputs. You should be able to control the outs of that TV by turning the volume up and down on the TV.. So you would hook your DVD player up to the TV, and then hook the outs of the TV up to the ins of the amplifier.

    IF the TV does not have RCA outs, then you can "brew your own" by taking the TV apart and stealing the output from there. You will have to use resistors to bring the levels back down to line level to avoid over-driving the amp. Otherwise, you should be able to get an amp that has "High level inputs", which would allow you to tie directly into the TV's speakers without the resistors. Ideally, if you can find a TV with a headphone out jack, then you are golden!

    BUT... what about...

    What if you went and got a cheap-o car stereo DVD player head unit? This would provide plenty of versatility in terms of playing DVDs, Radio and/or USB powered drives. Some of them also have A/V inputs, so you could hook up a media drive to it as well.

    I am in the middle of trying to decide what it is that I want to do to my van, and these are some of the options I am considering.

    Tom

  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate
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    I ended up doing what I figured I could do (connect the amp to the old power source from the stock radio, and just plug the dvd player into it) and I ended up using the sonic electronix volume control and it works fine

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