A client from Trenton, New Jersey, recently reached out to the Mobile Edge team to inquire about upgrading the stereo system in his 2020 Ford F-450 work truck and installing a radar detector system. The client had been planning this project for many years. He wanted a fully loaded truck that he could use for his construction business. The client travels all over the country for work, so we were honored to be chosen to perform the audio system and ticket avoidance solution design and installation as part of his dream project.
Escort Radar Detector and Laser Defense System
The work on this F-450 began with the integration of an Escort MAX CI 360 custom-installed radar detector and laser defense system. The client chose this system based on its ease of use and the fact that it works with the Escort Live! app on his smartphone. The app provides detailed warnings about speed traps from other drivers using the system.
We started the installation by mounting the display for the Escort system on the back edge of the overhead console. The controller for the system is mounted to the side of that console, so it’s easily accessible to cancel the laser transceiver signal or make system adjustments.
Next, our team mounted two of the laser shifters on top of the rear trailer hitch and secured the twin-antenna radar receiver just beside the hitch bracket. The front sensors are installed similarly on either side of the vehicle, and the front grille conceals the radar receiver. A crucial part of the installation was to properly align the laser shifters to detect police officers using lidar at long distances.
Custom Ford F-450 Audio System Upgrade
The goal of the new audio system was to design and install something that would play loudly and offer studio-quality accuracy. Building something flashy or extravagant wasn’t part of the plan. After inspecting the factory-installed Bang & Olufsen audio system and talking with the client about the features he liked, we chose to use the original equipment radio as the source unit. Then, we’d upgrade the system with significantly better speakers, subwoofers, high-power amplifiers and an advanced digital signal processor.
We removed the door trim panels to apply a layer of SoundShield sound deadening to the outer and inner door skins. This three-layer damping material helps prevent road, wind, tire and exhaust noise from entering the cab and drowning out the music.
Next, we created mounting adapters for two sets of Hertz MLK 165.3 Legend 6.5-inch component speaker sets. We installed a woofer and a tweeter in each door and ran individual wires from each back to the rear wall of the truck. We added a sheet of sound deadening under each woofer to act as a gasket to ensure a 100% airtight seal.
The last transducer upgrade was the addition of two Audison 10-inch APS 10 S4S shallow-mount subwoofers under the rear seat. We used a vehicle-specific enclosure for the subs so that they’d be removable should the client need to carry large amounts of cargo in the back seat.
Audison Car Audio System Electronics
The heart of this audio upgrade is an Audison bit ONE HD Virtuoso digital signal processor. We’ve used similar versions of this processor in the past to calibrate the output of new amplifiers and speakers to make audio upgrades sound amazing. The processing power of the Virtuoso would be crucial to this system in its ability to undo the audio signal processing built into the factory amplifier. Once the processor has undone the equalization and tuning intended for the original speakers, we can use it to configure four output channels for the front speakers and tweeters, four for the rears and a ninth for the subwoofers.
The outputs of the processor feed three Audison SR-Series amplifiers. There is a dedicated four-channel SR4.500 for the front speakers and a second one for the rears. Finally, an SR1.500 monoblock amplifier is dedicated to powering the subwoofers. Each four-channel amp can produce as much as 130 watts per channel, while the sub amp can deliver 800 watts to the pair of subs. We added a pair of 2.5-farad stiffening capacitors to ensure that there is adequate current for the amplifiers.
The trio of amps and the processor are mounted against the back wall of the F-450 using a custom steel amp rack that we welded together specifically for this vehicle and the products the client chose. The rack attaches to the rear seat mounting bolts so that everything is rock solid and secure. We mounted an Audison DRC MP remote control in the overhead console so the client can adjust the system presets or subwoofer level from the front seat.
Audio System Calibration Ensures Accurate Performance
With everything installed and mounted, we used our Audison bit Tune processor to calibrate the system. The processor measures the frequency response of each speaker in the truck and calculates the path length differences to the listening position. Using this information, it sets levels, signal delay and equalization curves for each speaker. The result is a listening experience that rivals sitting at the mixing console of a world-class recording studio. The music is presented to the driver as if the dash were the stage at a live performance.
The client was thrilled with the way the system sounds. It’s crystal clear and plays loudly. We explained how to use the radar detector and its laser defense system to avoid speeding tickets. He was excited to have a little extra protection for his next cross-country adventure. If you’re looking for a ticket avoidance solution or an audio upgrade for your car or truck, drop by Mobile Edge in Lehighton and speak with one of our product specialists. You can also reach us by phone or e-mail using our contact page if you can’t get to the store.