Audio/Video Upgrades - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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Audio/Video Upgrades

I know there are mixed feelings about upgrading audio as it adds weight, but I just couldn't live with the poor sounds anymore and ended up going all out. I plan to offset the increased weight with a 2bular exhaust to also improve that sound as well. The system now includes:

- new headunit that removes CD, adds Bluetooth for phone and audio as well as a small video screen in the single din size (it's also a marine rated radio, so it's brighter and weather resistant)
- new front and rear speakers
- 10" subwoofer
- 5 channel amp to power all speakers
- backup camera that automatically comes on when reversing (good for the cars poor rear visibility)
- front camera to help parking since you can't see the nose of the car (comes on by hitting camera button whenever in a forward gear)
- built in charging cable in the dash where my phone mounts

The sound is now some of the best I've heard in a car and the cameras are very useful. Best of all, I set the requirement that everything be fully reversible, so I did it without cutting any wires or drilling any new holes. The cameras look factory and completely disappear where I have them placed and the single din with video keep a clean, factory look and gives the small screen without adding the weight or aftermarket look of a popout.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 03:41 AM
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Wow nicely done! I was thinking about adding a backup camera to the exige roof so I can run it as a rearview mirror.

2007 Exige S - in the works...
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 04:12 AM Thread Starter
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There was a gap above the license play that looks like it was made for a camera. I just made a hard plastic bracket to span the opening and it was perfect.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 04:52 AM
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Looks slick! I also considered the rearview camera thing. I had a kit car once that literally had no rear visibility, so I added a setup that was almost identical to yours. The tiny screen was always a pain, but better than running into stuff. Congrats.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the1tonton View Post
Wow nicely done! I was thinking about adding a backup camera to the exige roof so I can run it as a rearview mirror.
Most (All ??) backup cameras are too wide angle to really work as a rearview.

Cheers.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 09:13 AM
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very slick! what head unit is that?
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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It's a JVC - KD-X560BT. Not particularly expensive, but it had all the preouts for the amp, the small screen (very few companies focus any energy on making well featured single DINs anymore) and the added benefit of being marine rated, which is foot for a convertible. It's mechless, so no CD which makes it smaller and lighter. It only has one camera input, but if you're interested I call tell you how I got it to do 2 video sources. I used it for a front camera, but was tempted to do an ODB2 with a pi and have guages/diagnostic. The small screen works better than I expected.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 11:11 AM
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The Kenwood KIV-BT901 is also a single DIN unit with a screen, that I use with a backup camera.

Cheers.

2007 Exige S. Phantom Black/Black. KoldFire 270 SC.
1993 3000GT VR4. Green, not quite BRG, but close.
1988 Fiero GT. Red. RIP.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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I'm not sure that the Kenwood is sold anymore. I found a few older single DINs that had more features than what most offer today, but the golden age of single DIN has passed.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the1tonton View Post
Wow nicely done! I was thinking about adding a backup camera to the exige roof so I can run it as a rearview mirror.
Most (All ??) backup cameras are too wide angle to really work as a rearview.

Cheers.
This one ---->https://www.amazon.com/Mirror-Screen...ateway&sr=8-16
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2007 Exige S - in the works...
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 07:33 AM
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The Pioneer dvh-885avbt is another one (and the one I am currently running with backup camera) but I don't think it's available anymore.

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 02:41 PM
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So were you able to get a wire harness to plug into the Lotus so the wires would not need to be cut?
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 04:14 PM
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I’ve just recently done a audio upgrade to my Elise. I purchased a Sony RSX-GS9 single din headunit and a 4 channel Hertz amp. I used Sony speakers all round (4” front and 5.25” back). Since the cabin is so small and the rear speakers are right next to your head, you don’t need to go overboard with loudness, instead opt for quality sound. To power the amp I ran a 4 gauge wire to the battery then mounted the amp to the plastic panel behind the seats. My amp actually looks really nice and fits in with the interior so I decided to make it visible and not hide. It gives a flux capacitor feel with it in the middle between the seats. The routing of the RCAs was a bit complicated, needing to drill a hole in the metal behind the dash but in the end they followed the factory wiring harness for the dash, down the middle, past the gear stick and handbrake and up behind the rear plastic panel. If you are planning to install any other electrical devices I would suggest you do them at the same time. The dash shouldn’t need to be taken off but if you wanted to it would have made routing a hell of a lot easier.
If you would like pictures please comment.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Nousianen View Post
So were you able to get a wire harness to plug into the Lotus so the wires would not need to be cut?
https://www.z-car.com/blog/cars/lotu...-harness-guide
I used this to connect the wiring harness to the factory lotus one. It required a bit of soldering but in the end it works really well and is completely reversible.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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Metra 70-1784. Plugs right in, no wires cut and no soldering. I tested all connections and the only trick is that the constant and switched power labels are reversed on the metra, so you need to switch which connects to your radio when you connect that end.
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-26-2019, 01:41 PM
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Metra 70-1784. Plugs right in, no wires cut and no soldering. I tested all connections and the only trick is that the constant and switched power labels are reversed on the metra, so you need to switch which connects to your radio when you connect that end.
This.

Not that anyone asked but I replaced my Kenwood KIV-BT901 with a new Pioneer right before summer. If someone wants the Kenwood with video input PM me. Anyone can have it for $30. I have the iPod/iPhone cable with 30 pin and lightening connector for it as well that I would send too.
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 01:52 PM
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Waiting on what the supposed price of a Sony XAV-AX7000 will be. As kinda tired of just having CD and nothing else, (mostly just want something with a screen I can use for backup camera and Android Auto capabilities). Too much of a price though and will likely fall back on the AX100.

Supposed to be released this summer, but little info seems to be out on when.


...additionally, Nice color choice!
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 04:21 PM
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Waiting on what the supposed price of a Sony XAV-AX7000 will be. As kinda tired of just having CD and nothing else, (mostly just want something with a screen I can use for backup camera and Android Auto capabilities). Too much of a price though and will likely fall back on the AX100.

Supposed to be released this summer, but little info seems to be out on when.


...additionally, Nice color choice!
Isn't that head unit a dual din? There are nothing but dual din units that will display a reverse camera. The hard part is finding a HU that's a single din that displays video for the reverse camera, which in the Exige is almost mandatory.

But I also replaced my Kenwood single din 3" screen unit with a Pioneer unit. After I bought the Garw dash, I didn't need to keep this HU for the back up camera anymore and went for something that had better sound and wow did it make a huge difference. The Pioneer DEH 80PRS is one old looking unit but love the sound compared to my old Kenwood and I replaced nothing but the HU. If better sound, same weight and zero hassles is the mission, I with everyone else, highly recommends this unit (if they still even make it). Best bang for the buck.

On a side note, sometimes my Garw dash/reverse camera acts up and I just take the leap of faith and reverse slowly (with my windows down and radio off). Wow, I couldn't imagine doing that every time, and I also have a Kenwood unit for sale.. but at $30 (and mine is the one before the BT phone capability), I'll just keep it.. =(

Ken 06 Exige

Ken
06 Exige (now rev300 powered!)
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by hipendicular View Post
Isn't that head unit a dual din? There are nothing but dual din units that will display a reverse camera. The hard part is finding a HU that's a single din that displays video for the reverse camera, which in the Exige is almost mandatory.

But I also replaced my Kenwood single din 3" screen unit with a Pioneer unit. After I bought the Garw dash, I didn't need to keep this HU for the back up camera anymore and went for something that had better sound and wow did it make a huge difference. The Pioneer DEH 80PRS is one old looking unit but love the sound compared to my old Kenwood and I replaced nothing but the HU. If better sound, same weight and zero hassles is the mission, I with everyone else, highly recommends this unit (if they still even make it). Best bang for the buck.

On a side note, sometimes my Garw dash/reverse camera acts up and I just take the leap of faith and reverse slowly (with my windows down and radio off). Wow, I couldn't imagine doing that every time, and I also have a Kenwood unit for sale.. but at $30 (and mine is the one before the BT phone capability), I'll just keep it.. =(

Ken 06 Exige
Supposed to be a latest version of the AX100 (AX1000) which is just a single din enclosure with a permanent down hanging screen. Others users reported the 100 fitting, with just partial covering of the AC controls. I had planned on installing it back in February, but then more up to date version was announced and stuck waiting to decide.
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