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Audio and Electronics Resources

WinISD 0.50a7 Driver usage
The author -Barry Schanz
The author -Barry Schanz

There is a difference between knowledge and wisdom, and it’s taken me a long time to learn the field of audio reproduction is plagued with a lot of bad data. What I want you to do is review the resources below and start digging in to one thing that catches your attention the most. Due to third party contributions and the rapid pace of change online I can’t guarantee the availability or complete accuracy of these resources. Please leave a comment if you find a bad link.

V1.1 Revised last on 2-19-2018

Resources for New Explorers

Basic Car Audio Electronics banner – The author, Perry Babin, poured a LOT of effort into this resource. Warning: the web site is very dated and it might give you trouble displaying correctly on your mobile devices.

The12Volt.com banner -Free Vehicle Wiring, Relay Diagrams, and Technical Information for Mobile Electronics Installers, Enthusiasts, and Do-It-Yourselfers since 1999

How To: Size Your Audio System To Your Electrical System

What Should I Do If My Lights Dim to the Bass? Capacitors, Batteries, and More

 

Sound Damping Series, Part 1 – These are the “Room Treatments” and “speaker cabinet treatments” that are part of the foundation of a proper sound system. Follow my journey of learning about sound damping with this article series.

Power Ratings: What Do They Mean?


Resources for Rising Stars

Sound Deadener Showdown Your Source for Sound Deadening Products and Information

Discussing Causes of Speaker Damage, re: Clipping, Excessive Cone Movement

Phase, Time and Distortion in Loudspeakers

Troubleshooting Noise

Woofer Box Aiming

Parametric Equalizer – What is It? Learn This Powerful Tool You Paid For

JL Audio School of Sound Presentation Video – This is a long video on YouTube that contains some invaluable material that may transform the way you design and install car audio systems.

The Engineering Toolbox - Amps and Wire Gauge - 12V Circuit– Why does it matter what size, or gauge, of wire we use for power, ground, and speakers? This page gives one part of the answer to that question.

Getting Grounded – Excellent article regarding grounding our equipment in the car.


Resources for Car Audio Freaks

Harman’s How To Listen Software

Understanding Skin Effect and Frequency – This explains why skin effect IS NOT relevant to what we do with car audio.

Speaker Crossover Chart and Capacitance vs. Frequency Calculator(High-pass) – I use this for selecting capacitors for back-up protection on active tweeter channels.

The Low-Down on Dispersion – A very quick summary, with graphic illustrations, of speaker dispersion and beaming.

Damping Factor: Effects On System Response – If you read only one article discussing damping factor, a topic of shrouded in mythology, read this.

Woofer Speed


 “This Has Gone Too Far, But I Must Know More”

Sound Reproduction: The Acoustics and Psychoacoustics of Loudspeakers and Rooms – This is a phenomenal book about audio recording and reproduction and the human hearing system. One sentence can’t possibly summarize the information and wisdom in these pages. A must-have for anyone serious about designing audio playback systems.


 Myth Busting

Vented boxes are not for SQ? Myth!

Myth: Setting the amplifier gain higher makes the amplifier work harder


Design or Measurement Tools

Room EQ Wizard

REW Forum

Introduction to Oscilloscopes

WinISD Pro speaker enclosure modeling software

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Introducing Backyard Installers on YouTube

I stumbled across another awesome car audio channel on YouTube called ‘Backyard Installers’. This is another resource that is basically one knowledgeable and passionate guy sharing what he knows about an area he’s dedicated a large chunk of his life to. Backyard Installers is presented by Matt Borgardt, formerly of Image Dynamics.

Background InstallersHere’s the mission statement and description of this channel:

Mission

Backyard Installers is about teaching and learning a very wide range of subjects with out bias. I just want people to learn something they did not know and expand their horizons…

Description

When I was growing up Knowledge was a wide range of subjects. not teach to a test. Having two teachers in the family, I have come to find out how really bad our schools have become.

I might not have all the answers ” and that’s for sure ” but having a community of people will help.

You can also find Matt at backyardinstallers.com on the message forum, along with the users of this little community. I haven’t yet spent any real amount of time on the site but the videos are a good sign that there’s more valuable content to be found there. What is the point of looking up car audio installation methods if you take your car to a professional? Why look at books about the space shuttle if you can’t be an astronaut? Curiosity is a good thing and you might develop a closer relationship with your local shop if you can peek inside the mind of a veteran installer.

Here’s a sample video that I like because of Matt’s explanation of factory engine ground and power wires in a common sedan.

If you like this article please share it.

Barry Schanz

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Curious About Electronics? A Great YouTube Channel

I grew up around electronics, back when home computers were just getting popular and almost no one had one in their home. I remember playing with my dad’s old electronics hobby kit, building an am/fm radio on a bread board and learning the very basics about how those kinds of things work. One of my favorite books was ‘The Way Things Work’ by David Macaulay. This was an illustrated book for children that really helped to cultivate my desire to work on projects with my hands, make things move with motors, light up, and make noises. Today we have virtually unlimited free resources for education available online, and I stumbled across a wonderful YouTube channel dedicated to electronics engineering.

EEVBlog
EEVBlog on YouTube

The channel is called EEVblog, produced by and starring Electrical Engineer Dave Jones. His video blog’s tag line is “NO SCRIPT, NO FEAR, ALL OPINION An Off-The-Cuff Video Blog for Electronics Engineers, Hobbyists, Hackers and Makers”. I don’t recall the first video I saw of his, but what drew me in was his obvious enthusiasm for the topic, and his apparent deep knowledge of electronics.

Dave doesn’t only have the YouTube channel, but I’m familiar with it so that’s all I’m going to cover. He’s been running the channel since 2009, and today EEVblog is a full time project supported by donations, ad revenue, and merchandise sales. He does a lot of reviews of test equipment, such as multimeters, oscilloscopes, power supplies, and so on. My favorite videos are his teardown videos, in which he takes a piece of equipment apart all the way down to the circuit boards. This is not only entertaining but educational, as he goes over the units in detail including device spec sheets, circuit flow, critiquing build quality and layout, and so on. The best thing about this is he doesn’t hold back in his opinions, especially when he doesn’t like something. You have to appreciate that kind of honesty these days.

Check it out! Before you know it you might have killed a few hours watching these videos. Dave is from Australia, so some of the brands of products he reviews might be less familiar if you’re in the U.S., but he covers the big players in the industry.

Recommended Viewing:

Don’t forget to bookmark this page and share it with friends!

Barry Schanz