Monthly Archives: September 2012

When it comes to the quality of your installation, it’s not the best decision to take any shortcuts. When you are installing your own equipment, there are many things to consider. I’m going to list some things that are essential in my opinion to use, or at least have around when doing an installation. I, myself keep all of these items in my installation bag at all times.

Sound Deadening Material

Known to many as dampening material, this stuff is the equivalent of jumping out of an airplane and landing on a cloud. A cloud made of Butyl rubber, that is. Buy a bunch of deadening material and load your car up. You’ll feel like you’re in a Lexus in no time.

Bass Blockers

For when your speakers can’t take a beating, there are bass blockers. Throw these in line with your positive connection to each speaker or tweeter, and never again will you need to worry about nasty distortion blaring through your beautiful jazz.

Heat Shrink Material

Guaranteed to make you look like a pro. Next time you’re wiring your friend’s stereo up, slap a piece of this over each connection and torch it with a lighter. Next, watch in awe as people start blowing your phone up with phone calls from your friend’s friends.

Butt Connectors

The next best thing to soldering. When you’ve run out of electricity and you just can’t seem to find the blowtorch Dad stashed somewhere short after Christmas, save some time and just use butt connectors. They’re quick and they hold a wire connection for a lifetime.

Zip Ties

Use these often. Tie your wires in bundles and run them parallel to one another for a clean installation that won’t be a mess if you need to get back into it later. Nothing is worse than becoming unorganized during your install and wasting precious beer drinking time.

Self-Tapping Screws

You may not need these for every install, but I swear they come in handy more often than you would think. Mounting an amp? Mounting some speakers? Attaching a double DIN cage to your new receiver? You’ll probably need some of these screws.


Single pole double throw relays. My longtime friends. I use these in every installation that requires more than one accessory to be triggered off a head-unit. Your decks remote wire will only put out a few volts, which isn’t enough when trying to run multiple amps, processors, etc. Throw a relay in the mix and shoot a wire straight to the battery connection, and you’ve got one strong signal.

Be Prepared for Any Install

Low and behold, there it is. The 7 essential accessories that you mustn’t find yourself without. You can find almost all of this stuff at your local hardware store. Your installation will be of much better quality and build if you use these key ingredients.

Don’t you love the freedom Pandora gives you of not having to choose music? It’s great for exercising, while you’re working, and best of all while driving around. There are many ways to stream Pandora into your car. All you need is a smart phone, and one of these five methods.

Tape Deck

Probably my least favorite way, but still effective nonetheless, a tape deck adapter will slide into your radios tape player and allow for an auxiliary connection. This is by far the lowest quality method available, but it is very inexpensive to do. They have these adapters available at Walmart, Radio Shack, and just about every other well-known electronics business.

FM Transmitter

These work very well when you are in areas with few radio stations. You plug the device into a cigarette lighter and select the radio station you want to use. Dial in your AM/FM radio on the head-unit, and connect your smart phone that’s compatible with Pandora and you’re good to go! Some transmitters come with an auxiliary connection and some come with a 30-pin Apple dock connection.

FM Modulator

This method of transferring audio is one of the better quality methods, offering very few radio wave interruptions and a direct connection into your factory head-unit. You throw a small box behind your radio, connect the power, ground, and antenna connection, and rout an auxiliary cable to your glove box or center console. Again, turn on the radio and you’ve got sound.

USB Connection

This is the best type of connection you will find in the car audio industry for Pandora. You will need (likely) an aftermarket head-unit that had a USB connection and supports Pandora. There are many receivers that are iPhone compatible that are affordable and can replace your stock stereo. This connection is very simple because you can usually make all of your station commands from the receiver itself.


Wireless music streaming has become quite popular in the last few years due to its simplicity and convenience. Many people now can hop into their car, turn the ignition on and their phone will automatically start streaming music. There aren’t very many issues that could occur with this type of connection accept maybe the initial connection to your Bluetooth smart phone.

Easier Than You Thought?

There are many affordable solutions to stream Pandora Internet Radio into your vehicle. You just need to do a little researching to find the best method for you. These are five of the most common ways to connect a smart phone into your car, and I hope you found them helpful. Happy listening!