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cheap car stereos
Well the new Pioneer stereo arrived.

When i went to remove the old Sony, it would not even turn on, so i could not eject the CD that was in there. It had that distinctive burnt electronics smell, and it was strongest right at the transistor, perhaps power mosfet, that attached to the back of the unit which acts like a heatsink. I took the whole thng apart, saved al the tiny screws, and electric motors, and got my CD out of it

Heat does reduce the lifespan of electrical components, and in my van the stereo is directly under the dashboard, the black dashboard. NO doubt it bakes in there, so a larger heatsink is certainly a good thing, from a longevity standpoint. I could even go all SternWake on it and add more heatsink surface area, and even a fan too!

The Heatsink on the back of the new pioneer stereo appears to have twice the mass and a few more ribs for surface area, even though the previous Sony had 2 more watts per channel.

My ~ year 2004 wiring job looked to be done fan better than I expected to see, with each wire individually heatshrinked and then each speaker's 2 output wires grouped together under more heatshrink. But they were not soldered or crimped, I had just tightly twisted all the wires together before covering with heatshrink.

When my first Sony stereo failed, one reason I got another Sony was I figured that the plug on the back should be a simple plug or play, which it was. i kept the new plug/pigtail from Sony#2 in my glove box, and all the wires are narrower gauge than the first sony stereo, which was only 40 watts per channel. Beancounters got at the wire gauge sometime between 2004 and 2012.

The new Pioneer pigtail connector's wires were this same thinner gauge wire, but the colors all were the same in terms of front back left and right speakers, + and -, so it was easy enough to splice in the new wires, soldered and heatshrinked this time.

As usual, since power comes from the house battery, i have bypassed the ignition switching, both yellow and red wires are joined together and fed with 10AWg from rear fuse block. With all previous stereos this was fine and dandy, but if I turn the new Pioneer off, the display still stays lit up, displaying the time.

I have not yet measured its parasitic Amp draw just to illuminate this screen, but I do NOT want it lit up all the time when i have it off. Looks i will be running the red wire through a switch I will mount next to the stereo. The red wire is designed to be ignition switched, but I do not want to have to have the key in the ignition turned backwards to ACC just to listen to stereo with engine off. The parasitic draw of the display screen with stereo off is not really a concern, but the lights being on all night long is. IN daytime, i would not mind the clock on continuous display, but I like it dark when I am sleeping. I wish bought some round rocker swirches, the type where one can just drill a hole. I doubt much current flows through this red wire, as it is les than half the thickness of th eyellow 'always hot wire' and a rectangular 5a rocker switch is likely more than enough, but cutting a rectangular mounting hole for friction fitting a rectangular rocker switch is not very fun.

I guess what is neat with this stereo, is if I leave the soon to be installed manual switch on overnight, i can turn the stereo on with the remote control, from bed, which might assist in gettng my 'love to sleep late' ass out of bed in the morning. All previous stereos could not be turned on except by the button on the faceplate itself, but I guess a random IR signal could turn the stereo on and wake me up.

What is neat is I can choose a lot of different colors for the dsplay to be, and the brightness. I like red or amber. All my dash lights are red, but for one on the Hvac controls and the Digital ammeter and one of the voltmeters. Bright Colors other than red make little sense to me from a night driving perspective as any other color will cause the pupil to constrict and reduce the ability to see at night.

The Stereo sounds good playing CD's. The 'loudness' setting has 3 stages, the third one is ridiculous on the amount of bass generated. I've not yet hooked my phone to it bluetooth, nor mounted it yet, nor ran the wire for the microphone for talking on the phone through the bluetooth. Gonna take a while to learn how to get what I want from it.

In so many ways I miss the analog fader and balance and bass and treble, but so be it. My first stereo for this van even had an analog graphic EQ on the faceplate. I could easily drive of fhte road trying to adjust the sound on this SOB going through all the menus and trying to fiddle with programmable graphic Equalizer
Welcome to the NEW age. LOL. I liked the old knob radios best. I had to clean the dashpots because of the static. Not a bad job but always needed it at the worst possible as in most things.

2000 Roadtrek 200 Versatile "The Beast" (it has been tamed hopefully)  I feed it and it doesn't bite me.   Angel
I took a can of this to my buddies gargae and his old vibralux guitar amps. Crackle/static wen knob turning be gone!

[Image: 61pR50rZ4UL._SL1500_.jpg]

Sometimes the potentiometers can't be saved though.
DEOxit is good ju ju !
F5 is designed to lube plus a bit of cleaner for (cheap) conductive plastic type faders  .
You need D5 for best results on the old metal style rotary pots.

There is more solvent cleaner plus a bit of lube in the D5 version. Wink

Do you know the year on the old Vibrolux ???? is it tweed ? Cool
stay tuned 

 Weirdo Overlord : FMS Fleet Ops , Awards , Badges ,  aka Tamerlane the Impaler Mod.
Afraid i don'to know the years. One inoperable one, all dusty in the corner is tweed colored. Another friend has a new version of the vibralux with vaccuum tubes, That SOB is HEAVY!!

I did have to use the D5 on some of the pots, the F5 was not enough.

A few of them were beyond salvage.

I got my new stereo fully installed. I bougt a round rocker switch and installed it right next to the stereo so i can turn off the display. i did measure the amp draw of the faceplate sidplay with stereo off, with my clampmeter, and the thing would not leace 0.00 amps, and it has successfuly measured 0.02 amp loads in the past. I am fairly sure teh parasitic draw of the faceplate display is a NON issue. I just do not want the lights on all the time, thus the switch.

My phone Bluetooth hooked up instantly and easier to this stereo, than anything I have ever hooked my phone up to, and the sound quality is seemingly NO different than using the 3.5mm stereo mini plug. I have not used the included microphone for taking on the phone, but did install it on near my stock Oil pressure gauge.

There is nowhere in my Van i can put the phone where it loses connectivity with the stereo. I even put it in the fridge and closed the door. It was raining so I am not sure how far away from Van it will still work, but I am impressed. So nice to not have to have that dang cord attached to it, sitting in the back, changing songs and volume.

I do think this stereo can go a bit louder before distortion sets in, compared to my previous Sony.

Figuring out how to adjust the sound quality is mostly sorted out. The available bass can certainly overload my 6x9's and best sound is by lowering phone volume a bit and turning up the stereo volume, varying their volumes and the EQ output on the phone for different songs for best sound.

Overall, i cannot believe they can manufacture such a capable stereo for 84$. When i totally disassembled the old broken sony, I can;t believe how many moving parts and engineering goes on just in the CD player. I could not imaging trying to put the whole thing back together.

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