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April 2019

Firing on All Cylinders Titan Motoring Uses Education to Fuel Its Drive for Dominance


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ou ng B Y o s L d in n a g r in B k r + o 50 aining, Netw Products, Tr

CNC, Part 2: Deleting the Dust Confidence: A Vital Component of Sales Goal Setting: It’s Not Always Easy


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RVCLPM (Chrome) RVCLPMB (Black Chrome) License Plate Camera 120º view

RVC800LPWIRB (Black) RVC800LPWIR (Chrome) IR License Plate Camera 120º view



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“DRS” active parking assist lines show car turning trajectory

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OE STYLE REARVIEW MIRROR with Built In 4.3” LCD (Auto or Manual Dimming)

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WIRELESS (VOD) VIDEO ON DEMAND ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM • Video on demand just like on airplanes • Supports up to 6 users at the same time • Individually control play, stop, pause, etc. by each user • Supports up to 1TB hard drive or USB Storage • WiFi ( 2.4Ghz / 5.8Ghz ) • 3G or 4G internet option Included • 1 x Server • 2 x 10.8” Touchscreen Monitor • 2 x Wireless Bluetooth Headphones



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CAR ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM WITH BUILT DISC PLAYER / GAME CONTROLLER • High Resolution Digital Panel • Works in all type of Cars • Multimedia Disc Player • Supports 3-In-1 SD Card Slot, USB, DVD • HDMI Input • Game Controller and remote • Slim Design • Touch Button Controls • Dual IR Wireless Headphone Transmitter Built-in


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9” DVD9850

Volume 41 // Issue 4




54 Installs

14// KnowledgeFest Show Coverage: Twice the Gear From Long Beach to Indianapolis, this year’s February and March KnowledgeFest extravaganza revealed lots of new advancements in technology and product line upgrades in both audio and safety equipment.

28// Real World Retail: Titan Motoring Titan Motoring started in the back of a van, and has since become a thriving business that continues to grow year after year. Keys to its evolution include open communication, team-building, cross-training and shared goals that aid in cultivating positive store culture.

40// Difference Makers: Midwest Sales Group At the helm of his own company for more than 15 years, Steve Fahlmark has built solid relationships with dealers, vendors and installers to make his mark in the Midwest.

44// Strategy & Tactics: Selling With Confidence Learn how building confidence in yourself and your abilities will help you make clients more comfortable, and as a result, increase sales and dollar amounts in your business.

48// Tech Today: CNC Machining for the 12-Volt Industry, Part 2 In the second installment of this feature on CNC machining, learn how to set up efficient dust collection for your machine, and take a closer look at the processes involved when it comes to planning and creating one-of-a-kind projects.

On the Cover COVER DESIGN: Manny DeJesus In 2018, Titan Motoring won an award for Best Store Culture from Mobile Electronics magazine. The team continues to demonstrate their commitment to nurturing a positive store culture, and building a workplace that all staff members are proud to be a part of. On this month’s cover, and in our Real World Retail feature, we salute their continued dedication to excellence.

4  Mobile Electronics April 2019

Departments 6 Editor’s Forum 8 Feedback 12 Helpful Stuff 10 Stats 58 From the President

Ad Index AAMP Global: Echomaster…........................p. 33 Accele Electronics…….................................p. 2 & 3 Alpine……........................….....................................p. 23 AudioControl…........................…........................…p. 19 Audiomobile…........................…........................…p. 46 Audison…........................…..................................…p. 13 Escort…........................….......................................…p. 11 Firstech: Momento…........................…..........…p. 59 Harman: Infinity…........................….................…p. 57 HD Radio……........................…...............................p. 37 InstallerNet…........................….........................…p. 43 MEA: KnowledgeFest........…........................…p. 39 Orca: Focal…........................…........................….......p. 7 Powerbass…........................…........................…......p. 9 Race Sport Lighting……........................….........p. 12 Rockford Fosgate…........................…................…p. 5 SiriusXM........…........................…........................…p. 18 Sony…........................…........................….............…p. 25 VAIS Technology……........................…...............p. 47 Voxx Electronics……........................…...............p. 60 Wet Sounds……........................…........................p. 35


EVERYTHING A DEALER NEEDS . Products that Perform . Attainable Everyday Margins . A Level Playing Field Learn more at:   5

editor’s forum

There Can Be Only One A great saying from an okay movie, but a valuable lesson for your business or career. Do you have a strong goal set for your business or your career? Say no now, because more than likely, by the time you finish reading this, you’ll realize you don’t. If I ask a businessperson what his or her goal is, the answer I’ll get is to make money or grow the business, something like that. These are objectives, not goals. Here’s the difference. Think about sports where they use the term ‘goal’ specifically: soccer, football, hockey. Scoring a goal or kicking a field goal does not mean you’ve won the game. That’s the objective. A goal means you’ve performed a series of steps that achieved a milestone, the result of which puts you closer to your objective. See what I mean? So think of your objective as the big picture. Think of a goal as accomplishing a step toward the objective. That means you should be setting goals every day, even multiple times per day, depending on the objectives you are trying to accomplish. Let’s break it down a little more. There are four considerations you have to take into account when setting your goals: Long-term goals suck energy. I’m an immediate gratification guy. If I want to buy something and a store doesn’t have it in stock, I’ll drive 20 miles to the next store and pay a bit more just to get it. Sure, I waste some gas and even more time, but my goal wasn’t to be efficient. My goal was to get that product on that day. If you’ve set a goal for your staff to finish the month with sales 10 percent higher year over year, that may be too long of a time to keep the staff motivated. A goal that has too many steps or takes too long becomes a chore, and the energy changes. Conversely, short-term goals drive motivation. If negative energy comes

6  Mobile Electronics April 2019

from unrealistic goals, achieving a goal gives you the opposite effect. Break big goals down into smaller goals. Want that 10 percent increase? Make the sales hike the objective, and make the goal a weekly one. That keeps you and your staff motivated toward achieving it. Hitting each milestone gives you a sense of accomplishment that creates positive energy, essentially charging the battery toward tackling the next goal. Goals are specific. I had a client who wanted to put together an email to promote the company’s show presence. The client gave me some artwork and told me how they wanted the message to include their new tagline, some product shots and a link to download their catalog. “We think it’s cool,” the representative said. “But … you just spent several thousand dollars on this booth, plus bringing your people here, and all of the expenses that go along with that,” I countered. “Shouldn’t our goal be to drive people to the booth to get the maximum return on investment?” That’s what I mean by being specific. Regardless of how good we think people are at multitasking, human beings can only hold one idea at a time. Present someone with multiple ideas—such as a vague or “too busy” advertisement—and they will latch onto one, and it might not be the one you intended. But present them with one idea and it’s highly likely they will get your message. If you’re having a sale, your objective will be to have a profitable sale. Your goal is to attract customers to that sale. Another goal might be to clear out your B stock, or sell through high-margin items. Attack each of these goals individually in different ways and you’ll get the specific results you want. Goals are dynamic. When you’re making your list of objectives and goals,

you might be tempted to lay out every detail toward an objective. But you’ve heard the old saying that a battle plan never survives contact with the enemy, correct? It means there are always going to be outside influences that affect your plans. Weather or a sick employee might impact a sale. That’s probably the easiest example I can give you. But here’s one that’s even better: Accomplishing one goal might present a new opportunity that can change your plan altogether. Think about Facebook. If Mark and his boys had built in restrictions to make it only work in the way it was intended—to share pictures of college students across the country—it would have never evolved into the rich, diverse, worldwide sharing community it is today. Instead, they created the basic structure and let the users define what they wanted it to be. Take a tip from some of football’s best coaches: Script the first few goals, then maintain the ability to make adjustments as needed. Don’t allocate every minute of time and every resource toward an inflexible plan. Or, to use my personal saying: Always leave room in your objectives—and your life—for something good to happen.

 feedback

Road Map for Retail

ADVERTISING SALES Kerry Moyer 978.645.6457 •

EDITORIAL Solomon Daniels Editor-in-Chief 978.645.6463 • Rosa Sophia Managing Editor 978.645.6466 • Creative Layout and Design: Manny DeJesus Contributing Editors: Jamie Sorcher, Joey Knapp and Laura Kemmerer.

Published by TM

mobile electronics association

Retailers share how they’ve learned from their mistakes: Joe Cassity stated that planning ahead will minimize problems, ensuring everyone’s on the same page, while Tomas Keenan demonstrates that sharing proven techniques will help the industry as a whole. “It’s this time of year that I begin looking toward next year. I map out our store close dates, sales/promotion dates and advertising. We look at previous year’s sales data/budgeting and add events and promos throughout the year. Through planning, everyone’s on the same page. We buy products based on our calendar and schedule vacations/time off and staffing. Failing to plan is planning to fail. The more planning you do, the less thinking has to be done on the fly.” Joe Cassity, Tunes-N-Tint, Lakeland, Fla. “I’ve made all the mistakes twice. I love helping others succeed in business, and I have created a private Facebook group specifically for the GPS Tracking industry. In this group, I openly share with members the systems and processes that I have leveraged to take my business from a two-man show to 15 employees with over $1.4 million in revenue.” Tomas Keenan, Top Class Installations, Hicksville, NY “I’ve learned to offer products with a top down approach. Many customers are willing to spend more money on features if they know the total cost for all the ‘bells and whistles,’ and then decide what they are willing to give up, opposed to starting at the least expensive option then attempting to up-sell features. The customer typically feels like they are in control of the experience, and it also allows them to know what is available if they decide to add on later.” Darren Crosby, Best Buy, Cincinnati, Ohio

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Chris Cook, President 978.645.6434 • Kerry Moyer, VP Strategic Partnerships 978.645.6457 • Solomon Daniels, Dir. Media and Communications 978.645.6463 • Richard Basler, Dir. Technology Solutions 978.645.6449 • Tony Frangiosa, Chairman of the Board, MEA 1) Title of publication: Mobile Electronics. 2) Publication No.: 957-170 6. (ISSN# 1523-763X) 3) Copyright © 2018 by the Mobile Electronics 4) Date of filing: Oct. 1, 2018. 5) Frequency of issue: Monthly. 6) No. of issues published annually: 12 7) Annual subscription price: $35.00. 8) Periodical postage paid at Lawrence MA and additional mailing offices. 9) Complete mailing address of known office of publication: 85 Flagship Drive, Ste F, North Andover, MA 01845. 10) Complete mailing address of the headquarters or general business offices of the publisher: 85 Flagship Drive, Ste F, North Andover, MA 01845. 11) Full names and complete mailing address of Publisher, Editor and Managing Editor: Publisher: Chris Cook, 85 Flagship Drive, Ste F, North Andover, MA 01845; Editor/Managing Editor: Solomon Daniels/Rosa Sophia, 85 Flagship Drive, Ste F, North Andover, MA 01845 12) Owner: MERA, Mobile Electronics Retailers Association, 85 Flagship Drive, Ste F, North Andover, MA 01845. 13) Known bondholders, mortgages, and other security holders owning or holding 1% or more of total amounts of bonds, mortgages or other securities: None. 14) Tax Status: Not applicable. 15) Name of Publication: Mobile Electronics. 16) Issue date for circulation data below: October 2018. 6. a) Total no. copies (net press run) Average: 10,237 Single Issue; 12,826. b) Paid/Requested mail subscriptions Average: 6039, Single Issue: 7346. c) Paid sales through dealers, etc.; Average: 0. Single issue; d) Requested distributed by other classes of mail: Average: 435, Single issue: 520. Total paid and/or requested circulation; Average 6039. Single issue: 7346. e) Non-requested distribution by mail; Average: 3593 Single issue: 4223. Free distribution through other classes of mail: Average: 0, Single issue: 0. f) Non-requested distribution outside the mail; Average: 267. Single issue: 750. g) Total non-requested distribution; Average 3860, Single issue: 4973. h) Total distribution; Average: 9,899. Single issue: 12,319. i) Copies not distributed; h1) Office use, leftovers; Average: 338. Single Issue; 507 j) Total; Average: 10,237. Single issue; 12.826 Percent paid and/or requested circulation; Average: 61.01%. Single issue 59.63%. 17) POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Mobile Electronics, 85 Flagship Drive Suite F, North Andover MA 01845-9998

 stats

“I Feel Appreciated.”

Strongly Agree 44%

Agree 40%

No Opinion 7%

Disagree 8%

Strongly Disagree 1%

“I am Challenged to Improve.”

Disagree Strongly 1% Disagree 3%

No Opinion 11%

Agree 31%

Strongly Agree 54%

Employees Add:

Employees Add: “My opinions are taken seriously and considered [by management].”

“I’m overlooked for some of the available opportunities.”

“I Have Growth Opportunity.”

“Our coaching is regular and always includes areas of improvement.” “Owner told me he will not teach me [more] because he doesn’t want me opening my own shop and taking his customers.”

“What I Do Makes a Difference.” Strongly Agree 55%

Strongly Agree 44% Agree 37% Agree 24%

No Opinion 6%

Disagree 15%

Disagree 0%

No Opinion 11% Strongly Disagree 2%

Strongly Disagree 6%

Employees Add:

“There is always opportunity to gain clients and skill to grow financially.” “I’m at the top of the food chain already. All I can do is take over the company.”

10  Mobile Electronics April 2019

Employees Add:

“My work helps improve my clients experience in their cars, so I love it.” “Sometimes it may seem as though you are not appreciated. Don’t be discouraged; put forth your best effort and you will be.”

Did we mention we’re pretty good at making the most accurate custom install detection systems? Introducing the NEW ESCORT iX Ci system. Packed with shifters for maximum protection, anti-false alert technology and much more.  11

 helpful stuff

Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe BY ROGER MCNAMEE

Roger McNamee was an early investor in Facebook who even mentored co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. With his new book, McNamee surprisingly declares that Facebook is ruining the world and has to be stopped. Having mentored many tech leaders in his career as an investor, McNamee says few things were more compelling than the early days with Zuckerberg. As he digs into the issues in this personal narrative, McNamee hooks up with others who share his concerns. Soon, he and a dream team of Silicon Valley technologists are trying raise consciousness about the harmful impact of Facebook on our public health and our political order. Simply put, it’s a tale of a business that isn’t bound by the normal constraints.

Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell ERIC SCHMIDT

Bill Campbell was known as “coach” for the way he advised and encouraged some of the brightest stars in the industry like Apple’s Steve Jobs and Google’s Larry Page. Campbell created lasting, yet informal, connections that were formative for the tech industry. But his nickname actually comes from his days at Columbia University where he coached the football team from 1974 to 1979. Working for Eastman Kodak when he was recruited to Silicon Valley in 1983 by Apple’s chief executive, Campbell was key to Apple’s turnaround when Steve Jobs returned to the company in 1997. Apple went on to revamp its Mac computer line and introduce the iPod, iPhone and iPad. While at Google, Campbell helped shape its leadership for more than a generation. Neither company would likely be where it is now without Coach Campbell. This book shares his principles, illustrating them with stories from people who worked with him. Use this as a blueprint to become a forward-thinking business leader, manager or store owner!

12  Mobile Electronics April 2019


Bikeshare is a basic idea with huge potential. There’s a supply of bikes around town, and anyone can take one and use it. When your ride is done, you return the bike to place you picked it up, and it’s ready for the next person to use. Limebike is $1 for every 30 minutes; $29.95 per month for 100 rides. Bikes are GPS-tracked so demand can be managed. Already available in 16 markets including Seattle; Dallas; Greensboro, N.C.; and Lake Tahoe, Lime is expanding to more cities and college campuses. Just download the Lime app; view the nearby scooters, e-bikes and pedal bikes; scan the QR code or enter number to unlock; and then lock up when done.

Site to See: New York International Auto Show WWW.AUTOSHOWNY.COM

Even if you cannot attend this annual car show, it’s worth it to check out the website and get a glimpse of what could be on the road in the future. I did see a flying car exhibit several years back—so who knows. An annual mecca for media and consumers alike, the show is one head-turning moment after another. Held from April 19-April 28 at the Javits Center in New York City, it features four floors of displays from the world’s automakers that showcase the newest vehicles and latest futuristic concept cars. Nearly 1,000 cars and trucks will be on display at North America’s first and largest-attended auto show dating back to 1900.

TH K2 II A Coro TH K2 II A Coro is designed to transfer the precious musical message of the Thesis electronics with absolute fidelity, with the ambition to be absolutely transparent, leaving room only to the emotion evoked by the music. The search for the best acoustic result was based upon overcoming the intrinsic limits of traditional loudspeakers. Through a finite element simulation software (FEM) conceived by the Audison R&D team, a mathematical model was developed, which they used to create, with an intense prototyping activity, the ideal transducer. | Elettromedia USA | 16691 Noyes Ave. Irvine CA 92606 | (877) 567-3030 |   13

 KnowledgeFest

Twice the Gear at


From Long Beach to Indianapolis, this year’s February and March KnowledgeFest extravaganza revealed lots of new advancements in technology and product line upgrades in both audio and safety equipment.

Product / Service: Mat’s Pro Audio Main Features: The Hi-Fi 6150D six-channel amplifier is manufactured in Jupiter, Florida. Channels five and six are overbuilt, allowing the installer to take it down to a one-ohm load. At the one-ohm load, 1,000 watts is available in that pair of channels. The amp can be used for any application. MSRP: About $1,099, with a three-year factory warranty. Ship Date: Now shipping.

Product / Service: Directed Viper DS4+ Remote Start and Security Main Features: The customer can control the product using an app. The system is smart enough to recognize the user’s phone and will lock and unlock automatically. The company is leveraging Bluetooth technologies and adding capabilities with new software that was introduced in January 2019. Another addition is 4G, speeding up response time between the app and the system. Costs vary. Ship Date: Now shipping.

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Product / Service: Cadence / Oncore XW Series Subwoofers Main Features: Subwoofers come in 12- or 15-inch, dual-two, dual-fours, built for sealed, ported or infinite baffle enclosures. The product provides 1,500 watts RMS. Fully reconable. Cadence offers lower-cost options sold to dealers and distributors, while Oncore is a dealer-direct line with territory restrictions. MSRP: Costs range from $999 to $1,599. Ship Date: Now shipping.

Product / Service: Install Armor Main Features: First revealed at KnowledgeFest Long Beach, Install Armor will have 22 different pieces available that the technician can use to protect the car from head to toe. The first items available are seat covers and floorboard covers for the driver and passenger side. The pair of seat covers and floorboard covers is $149.99, and can be preordered via www.

Twice the Gear at KnowledgeFest

Product / Service: JL Audio M6 Speaker Line Main Features: JL Audio’s M6 offers “transflective” LED lighting, using a cone that reflects light from beneath and on top. By attaching up to 32 LEDs, depending on the model, along the frame of the woofer, the cone will illuminate from beneath and shine through evenly without any hot spots. Full RGB available. MSRP: $430 to $650 Ship Date: Now shipping.

Product / Service: Alpine Electronics KTA-450 Power Pack Amplifier Main Features: This amplifier can easily connect to the new iLX-W650 mechless seven-inch audio and video system. CarPlay, Android Auto, multi-touch swipe control with dual-camera input. This product won the Innovation Award at CES due to the power pack. Ship Date: Now shipping.

Product / Service: VOXX Universal Seatback Solution

Product / Service: VAIS Technology Universal GSR-UV01

Main Features: These dual 10.1-inch touchscreen monitors with built-in Android operating systems will cover any consumer’s tech level, and are preloaded with the Google Play Store, Netflix and Chrome. Hotspot or Wi-Fi capability will allow the user to share content between the monitors. VOXX Link allows those in the front seat to control the system without having to see the monitors. MSRP: $1,499 Ship Date: Now shipping.

Main Features: VAIS Technology now offers a unit that is flash-programable to any application, with Sirius XM over USB. After hooking it up and plugging in the USB to the factory port, once downloaded, the unit will flash itself to the vehicle. Sirius XM will show up on the factory screen. MSRP: $339, with the tuner. Ship Date: Now shipping.

Product / Service: AudioControl DM-RTA

Product / Service: DD Audio ESP 6.5

Main Features: The DM-RTA is a one-box solution for specialty installers, offering an RTA, high resolution, an SPL meter, a polarity checker, a scope and a voltage meter in one chassis that interfaces with an app. The app can be used on Windows or Mac. A Bluetooth iPad option is also available. The cost is $649. Ship Date: Now shipping.

Main Features: The newest edition of the Evolution Subwoofer Package with new basket tooling, the 1506, based on the 1500 platform, is not yet released. The sample was shown at KnowledgeFest Long Beach and is coming soon. MSRP: TBD Ship Date: TBD


 KnowledgeFest

Product / Service: K40 RL360DI With Laser Diffusers Main Features: The system is completely integrated into the vehicle, and all the customer sees after installation are two little LEDs. Two controller options are available. If the customer doesn’t want LEDs, K40 has partnered with Maestro RR and Kenwood JVC to offer a display on a radio screen. Coming out soon, K40 is partnering with Mid City Engineering to put data on the instrument cluster of newer Porches and Mercedes. Costs based on installation. Ship Date: Now shipping.

Product / Service: iDatalink Maestro RR2 Main Features: This upgraded product adds built-in Bluetooth. Programming can be done wirelessly, giving dealers the option of programming the device in the field or on-site if needed, using their mobile device. MSRP: TBD Ship Date: May 2019

Product / Service: Accele Electronics 360-Degree DVR Rearview Mirror Main Features: This touchscreen rearview mirror can record in 360 degrees, all around the vehicle, offering the driver multiple views. One camera at the bottom of the mirror records everything, omitting the need for multiple cameras. Ship Date: Now shipping.

Product / Service: Cerwin Vega Mobile V Max Subwoofer Main Features: This affordable subwoofer gives customers a flexible, high quality product. Can be easily hooked up in the spare tire area and provides high-quality results with little effort. MSRP: Around $250 Ship Date: Now shipping.

Product / Service: Rockford Fosgate Punch Amplifiers

Product / Service: TFP LED Emblems Main Features: Grille overlays and LED grille lights allow the consumer to change the look of a vehicle inexpensively. The grille emblem comes in retail packaging, and replaces the OEM emblem. MSRP: Costs range from $99 to $199.95. Ship Date: Now shipping.

16  Mobile Electronics April 2019

Main Features: Punch amplifiers give consumers a range of options depending on the application, and each amp is equipped with Rockford’s propriety circuit called “Clean,” enabling the installer to gain-match the amplifier to a source unit. The circuitry of the amp allows the installer to set it up without the use of external devices such as a scope. A series of LEDs on the amp will let the installer know when it’s been set up properly. MSRP: $199 - $599 Ship Date: Now shipping.

Twice the Gear at KnowledgeFest

Product / Service: USA Spec BSM200 Radar Sensor Main Features: Multi-channel technology means the device is always monitoring, and it can detect other vehicles from any angle—front and back. The system knows when to alert the driver, and when not to. It’s easy to install and has an OBDII connection for accurate speed detection. Additionally, it is the only multi-channel OEM-like system on the market. Ship Date: Now shipping.

Product / Service: Dynaudio Speaker Lines Main Features: Dynaudio offers three speaker lines from everyday use to competition-grade sound: Esotan, Esotec and Esotar. Available in two- and three-way component systems. MSRP: Prices range. Ship Date: Now shipping.

Product / Service: Author Alarm IGLA Anti-Theft Device Main Features: Author Alarm made their first appearance in the U.S. at KnowledgeFest Long Beach, where they promoted the IGLA. This device uses standard circuit conduits in a door-locking mechanism and is both easy to install and conceal.

Product / Service: Audison Line with TH 1.5 II Violino Softdome Tweeter Main Features: The user gets more accurate, natural sound with Audison’s line of products, including this tweeter with a 34 mm CCAW single layer voice coil and 38 mm silk dome. Ship Date: Now shipping.

Product / Service: Kenwood eXcelon KFC-XP6902C Component Speakers Main Features: These speakers come as a set, providing solid mid-bass response, rich mids and high-frequency reproduction of sound. 300 watts of peak power and 100 watts of RMS power. Fits Chevy, Dodge, Toyota and more. MSRP: $219 Ship Date: Now shipping.

Product / Service: Metra T-Spec RCA Cables Main Features: The packaging for these RCA cables have been redesigned for increased attractiveness and displaying in-store, and the quality of the product has also been improved. Ship Date: Now shipping.


 KnowledgeFest

Product / Service: Firstech Momento M6 Dash Cams Main Features: The Momento M6 introduces an application-based system. The user can review the information via phone and share it through social media. The M6 has the same offerings as the M5, with a two-channel set up and a two-year warranty, with a GPS antenna and a 32 GB SD card, but adds the new app and sharing capabilities. MSRP: $449.99 Ship Date: Now shipping.

Product / Service: Morel Virtus Nano Speaker Main Features: The new Virtus Nano is a very shallow speaker system that will fit in any application. It has a mounting depth of only .67 inches. A component version is also available, in twoway and three-way. Designed for a shallow mount where space is an issue. MSRP: $650.00 - $850.00 Ship Date: Now shipping.

Everything You Love To Hear. Right Here. Kelly Clarkson on

18  Mobile Electronics April 2019

SiriusXM subscription sold separately by SiriusXM.

© 2018 Sirius XM Radio Inc. Sirius, XM and all related marks and logos are trademarks of Sirius XM Radio Inc. All other marks, channel names and logos are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

Twice the Gear at KnowledgeFest

Product / Service: Linkswell T-Style Radios Product / Service: MSC America Main Features: MSC America celebrated their one-year anniversary after launching last year at KnowledgeFest. The company represents Audiotech Fischer for Brax, Helix and Match, as well as Blam speakers. This year they began representing Stinger high-end radar detectors.

Main Features: With a focus on pickup trucks and SUVs, Linkswell continues to expand product lines. With these Android tablets, users can access Internet, Google, emails and more. Consumers can choose to add navigation, or just download apps in place of navigation software, such as Waze or Google Maps. MSRP: $1,095 Ship Date: Now shipping.



 KnowledgeFest

Product / Service: Full Throttle Line of High Performance Batteries Main Features: Built for automotive applications, these batteries offer a high rate of discharge for car audio. There are about 38 different sizes, ranging in price, depending on the customer’s needs and the application. MSRP: $50 - $800 Ship Date: Now shipping.

Product / Service: Eton RSR-80 Main Features: This new, small piece comes with multi-mount adapters for ease of installation and multiple applications. MSRP: TBD. Ship Date: TBD.

Product / Service: Dynaliner Thermal Insulator Product / Service: Radenso Radar Main Features: Available for platinum dealers only, this product includes a five-year ticket guarantee and offers five laser jamming heads and radar. The product is easy to install. Costs vary. Ship Date: Now shipping.

20  Mobile Electronics April 2019

Main Features: This half-inch foam thermal insulator will cut down the heat in a vehicle to almost room temperature, keeping the car cooler to protect the interior, as well as electronic components. Available in three different thicknesses. MSRP: $69.00 to $109.00 Ship Date: Now shipping.

Twice the Gear at KnowledgeFest

Product / Service: Maxxsonics Hifonics Alpha Series of Class-D Amplifiers Main Features: The chassis and amplifiers are 25 percent smaller than conventional Hifonics amps, and more efficient. These are less conspicuous, and smaller so as to install in more confined spaces. MSRP: $199.00 to $599.00 Ship Date: Now shipping.

Product / Service: SQL Audio Sound Mat / Sound Wave Rubberized Speaker Surround Main Features: This new brand from Certified Autosound was originally developed to service the installation needs of the company, and became a larger business. The brand debuted at KnowledgeFest Long Beach. The main focus is the company’s sound deadening product. Ship Date: TBD.

Product / Service: JVC Kenwood, JVC KWM 650 BW Main Features: This is a JVC brand entry-level CarPlay model with a short chassis, designed for applications in which there isn’t enough depth. This touchscreen product offers all of JVC’s traditional features, plus 13-band EQ for users who may want to tweak the system for improved sound. MSRP: $399 Ship Date: Now shipping.

Product / Service: Escort iX Ci Radar and Laser System Main Features: The entry-level install system has been redesigned and repackaged. The technology has been upgraded and improved. Escort is offering two different custom install products. Ship Date: Now shipping.


 KnowledgeFest

Product / Service: Ground Zero OEM Plug-and-Play BMW Upgrades

Product / Service: Sony XAV-AX7000 AV Receiver with High-Power Sound

Main Features: This line focuses on BMW upgrades including a tweeter that comes with a plug-and-play crossover system designed for late-model systems, along with an eight-inch subwoofer replacement. Requires few modifications. Ship Date: Now shipping.

Main Features: Introduces a higher-power output to a screen unit with CarPlay and Android Auto, an upgrade from the 5000 unit. Offers 180 watts RMS, and ease of integration. MSRP: TBD Ship Date: End of summer 2019

Product / Service: SounDigital Four-Channel Amplifiers Main Features: We’re releasing two new four channels with variable crossovers and high level inputs and upgraded technology. 400.4 S and 800.4 S. Offers 100 watts per channel by four, and 200 watts per channel by four. MSRP: $200.00 - $310

22  Mobile Electronics April 2019

Product / Service: Rydeen BSS2 and BSS1LPB Allin-One Blind-Spot Detection Main Features: The BSS2 is a behind the bumper solution for blind spot detection. Radar sensors install behind the bumper. The BSS1LPB is an all-in-one solution that comes with a camera built into it. MSRP: $650 - $699 Ship Date: Now shipping.

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ALPINE ID SOUND COMBINED WITH HI-RES AUDIO The X-Series speakers, amps and subwoofers combine proven technologies, superior materials and innovative design to reproduce sound so accurately, you’ll feel like you’re right in front of the performance. The speakers and amps are Hi-Res Audio compatible to support a wide dynamic range.



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Product / Service: Brandmotion Radar Blind Spot Detection RDBS-1520 for F-150 Main Features: This product easily attaches to the rear bumper, offering truck-specific radar blind spot detection. The housing blends into the OEM bumper. MSRP: About $1,000.00 Ship Date: Now shipping.

Product / Service: Crux RFM Camera Safety Integration Line Main Features: Newer cars offer camera safety, but Crux offers upgrades from those OEM systems. All integrated into one harness. The price point is about a tenth of what is offered at the dealership, providing huge savings. MSRP: $300.00 - $320.00 Ship Date: Now shipping.

Product / Service: Red Tail Telematics GPS Tracking Devices for Fleet and Insurance

Product / Service: AAMP Global Phoenix Gold MX Series Amplifiers

w Red Tail’s GPS tracking devices come with options such as selecting driving behaviors, and crash reports. MSRP: $100.00 - $150.00 for hardware, plus monthly or annual plans. Ship Date: Now shipping.

Main Features: The new MX Series provides compact amps built for vehicles that don’t have a lot of space. An 800-watt monoblock, 600-watt four-channel and 800-watt five-channel are available in the same size chassis for easy OEM integration. MSRP: $399.00 - $429.00

24  Mobile Electronics April 2019

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Get directions, make calls, send and receive messages, and listen to music, all in a way that allows you to stay focused on the road. Just connect your iPhone or Android phone and go.


6.4” CD/DVD receiver with Android Auto and Apple Carplay and iDatalink Maestro compatibility


6.2” Digital media receiver with Apple Carplay


7” Digital media receiver with Android Auto and Apple Carplay ©2018 Sony Electronics, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Sony and the Sony logos are trademarks of Sony Corporation. Android Auto works with devices using Android 5.0 software or higher. Some devices may not yet support Android Auto, see the Google site for the latest list of compatible devices. Android Auto and its logo are trademarks of Google Inc. Apple CarPlay works with iPhone 5 and newer phones. Apple CarPlay and its logo are trademarks of Apple Inc. Features and specifications are subject to change without notice.


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Product / Service: MB Quart Polaris RZR Audio Package Main Features: The powersports kit for 2014 to 2019 RZRs is plug and play and requires no modification to install the system. There are four speakers, eight-inch horn speakers and a ten-inch subwoofer, as well as a mechless powersports radio. The radio kits or just the speaker kits can be purchased separately, as well. MSRP: $2,299.00 Ship Date: Now shipping.

Product / Service: Harman Infinity All-in-One Mechless Waterproof Stereo Receiver Main Features: Offers the ability to control RGB speakers and accessory LED colors from the unit itself. The KAPPRV515 receives AM, FM, WB and RDS broadcasts, and is Sirius XM-ready. It has Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary inputs. Ship Date: Now shipping.

26  Mobile Electronics April 2019

Product / Service: Race Sport Lighting Terminator Series LED Headlight Kit Main Features: This kit comes with a two-year warranty, and fanless heat-sync technology. Easy to install. MSRP: Prices range from around $88 to $102. Ship Date: Now shipping.

Product / Service: Focal Utopia M Speaker Drivers Main Features: The new M-profile cone combines rigidity, lightness and damping to make an ideal speaker driver. The line is offered with an a la carte concept, so the user can choose speaker drivers based on their own vehicle needs. Ship Date: Now shipping.

Twice the Gear at KnowledgeFest

Product / Service: DS18 Car Audio ATOM Amplifiers Main Features: Three models are available: two-channel, four-channel, and one-channel. Each amp has a fully built-in crossover, and can fit almost anywhere. A waterproof version is also available for powersports. MSRP: $99 to $185. Ship Date: Now shipping.

Product / Service: Zapco HDSP-Z16 V Player and Built-In DSP Main Features: Zapco’s flagship product is a DSP unit that offers 16 channels—the first 16-channel processor available on the market. MSRP: $2,000.00 Ship Date: Now shipping.

Product / Service: Arc Audio Amplifier Line

Product / Service: Hybrid Audio Unity Series

Main Features: These amplifiers come with or without a DSP built-in. The DSP offers full integration panel menus, with the new DSP Pro platform. MSRP: $600 - $1,300 Ship Date: Now shipping.

Main Features: The company has introduced a new speaker in the Unity lineup, a shallow six-inch driver with 1.5 inches of depth, making it easy to fit into any vehicle. MSRP: $300.00 - $600.00 Ship Date: Now shipping.


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28  Mobile Electronics April 2019


Titan Motoring started in the back of a van, and has since become a thriving business that continues to grow year after year. Keys to its evolution include open communication, team-building, cross-training and shared goals that aid in cultivating positive store culture. In Nashville, Tenn.— Music City—Titan Motoring continues to grow because of the combined talents of the shop’s team, according to business owner Philip Lindsley. “The installers we have, the talent under one roof, is amazing,” Lindsley said. “We’re not just audio, not just vinyl wrap. We do so many things here in one location, and we have so many talented individuals here. There’s no one [else] like that in our area.” The shop came from humble beginnings in 2011, when Lindsley started doing mobile installations from a minivan. The focus at the time was car dealerships. After building the business, he expanded into a small garage and a second van. “The first garage didn’t have a showroom and was primarily just for storing inventory and tools,” Lindsley said. With the expansion of the retail side, Titan Motoring opened its first storefront in 2012. With a total of about 3,500 square feet, the shop had a showroom that took up about 600 square feet, Lindsley added. In

their first year of business, the shop took in about $250,000 profit with only two employees, including Lindsley. “We now have 15,000 square feet, with 3,000 of that for a showroom,” he said. “We [made] 3.4 million in 2018, and we service over 35 dealerships in middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky.” The shop is in a prominent location near the interstate, with plenty of daily drive-by traffic. “In 2018, Titan Motoring submitted for MEA Retailer of the Year and made it into the Top 12,” Lindsley said. “We were also awarded Best Store Culture in 2018 which, for us, was our most valued award.”

KnowledgeFest Training Sparks Store and Staff Improvements Team members are encouraged to request trainings based on their skillsets, or on a skillset they would like to have, according to Lindsley. “This can be anything from Mobile Solutions trainings

for 12-volt and fab, to ASE certifications on everything in between. KnowledgeFest attendance is mandatory for the shop and class participation is planned with an individualized itinerary for each employee.” Titan Motoring heads for KnowledgeFest in Dallas each year, and tries to bring the entire staff. “We closed the store last year [for KnowledgeFest],” Lindsley said. “The year before that, we broke it up. We sent one group to SEMA, and the other half to KnowledgeFest.” Lindsley said the plan for this year is to have the entire staff at the event. When it comes to getting the most out of workshops and trainings, everything is carefully prearranged. “My office manager, Christy, prepared everything for Dallas last year. She prepared itineraries for everyone and binders. Everyone knew where they needed to be and in what classes; it was all picked with her and my shop manager and store manager beforehand,” Lindsley

Stewart Dailey discusses a project with a customer. Potential clients are offered different tiers of service once the salesperson learns the client’s budget and what they are hoping to find.   29

real world RETAIL

said. “We had all different people going, so we had some of those guys go to management classes or 12-volt classes to expand their knowledge. We try to have everyone widen their knowledge and skillsets.” Careful consideration goes into deciding who goes to which classes, Lindsley said, adding that the 2018 Dallas event was a big eye-opener for the team. “This past KnowledgeFest, we did a management class, and the managers determined that my wheel and tire guy—mounting and balancing—should go to a management class. In the class, they did a personality test and based on that test, we realized he wasn’t in the correct position in our store,” Lindsley said. As soon as the team returned to work, the employee was moved into a sales role. “He’s basically crushed it,” Lindsley said. “He’s our top sales guy now.” In his old position, Lindsley said, “He wasn’t engaged enough because he wasn’t being challenged. We learned that was why.” Every Monday morning at 8:30, the team gathers for a shop meeting. After KnowledgeFest, Lindsley said, they spent their staff meeting discussing takeaways from workshops and trainings in Dallas. “Everyone said one thing that really stuck out to them, made an impact or was

30  Mobile Electronics April 2019

FAST FACTS Location: Nashville, Tenn. Number of Stores: 1 Facility Square Footage: 15,000 Store Type: Traditional Retail Number of Employees: 23

KEY STAFF Owner: Philip Lindsley Store Manager: Donny Wolfe Shop Manager: Ray West Service Manager: Todd Perryman Office Manager: Christy Coleman Dealership Account Manager: Matt Park

MAIN FOCUS 40% Car Audio, Powersports and Marine Audio 20% Window Tint and Vinyl Wrapping 20% Lift Kits, Suspension, Wheels and Tires and Off-Road 20% Leather and Upholstery

notable,” Lindsley said. “We’ve increased [our staff, too,] since then. I think at Dallas, there were around 17 or 18 [of us, and now we’re at 23].” Store manager Donny Wolfe, shop manager Ray West and service manager Todd Perryman “provide constant training and improvement throughout the workday for employees,” Lindsley added.

Cross-Training Fosters Better Communication and Minimizes Problems To help increase communication and understanding between sales and installation, and to manage the workload, Lindsley said many employees are cross-trained. Lindsley, and the store’s managers, will also handle sales or installation as needed. “Installers are typically groomed and encouraged to be multi-faceted with skillsets to allow for multiple departments to be handled by them at any time,” he explained. “We have a two-step sign-off procedure for every project, no matter how big or small. A tech must get a fellow tech to sign off on the work completed and then it must be signed off by a manager before it’s turned in to the sales counter as a completed job. This minimizes the chances of any problems being missed and guarantees the quality


standards of Titan are maintained on every job, every time.” Though staff is cross-trained, the shop has a number of various specialties, including fabrication, vinyl wrapping, custom upholstery and detailing. “Titan has a full wood and fabrication shop with four routers, saw table, and fiberglass area,” Lindsley said. “We have a separate wrap room for wrapping panels with vinyl or carpet.” Additionally, technicians are expected to maintain their work areas and clean daily, according to Lindsley. “Techs are responsible for making sure their bays are stocked with installation supplies like screws, rivets, magnets and glue and when low, notifying a manager of their needs so they can be ordered.” The staff’s average tenure, Lindsley said, is just over three years. The shop also offers full health benefits and a 401K for employees, and pays for additional training. A conflict between the back and front of the store—installation versus sales— can be a common problem at many shops, according to Lindsley. At Titan Motoring, everyone is on equal footing, and he attributed this to the fact that much of the team knows what it’s like to be in the other person’s position. As a result, they can relate to each other more easily.

Low-Pressure Sales Helps Educate Clients and Provide Options

Store manager Donny Wolfe handles job allocation, point of sale system maintenance, inventory management and sales.

Every customer is given an up-front cost estimate for the job, and Lindsley stated, “We stick to that estimate unless we notify them immediately of any changes to the cost. We utilize an informative sales experience that provides different tiers to the client.” At the start, he The shop employees a number of people with varied explained, the salesspecialties, including Khuck Hodge, Titan Motoring’s person will try to resident detailer. get an idea of the client’s budget. “Not so we can figure out how much money $500 budget. Two, we are showing the we’re going to get, but to make sure we’re clients equipment that is within their getting them the best possible outcome realistic budget.” within their budget.” The procedure also includes careful The approach helps with a couple of vehicle check-ins and walk-arounds. The issues, he said. “One, we can address salesperson must complete a work order, clients who come in with unrealistic budassign the job to a tech once the manager gets at the very beginning, and not after approves the schedule, and communicate a one-hour consult only to find out they with the client regarding any issues or wanted a $5,000 stereo, but only have a pre-existing vehicle problems. Salespeople   31

real world RETAIL

MSC Proves to be a Dependable Partner “MSC America is a key vendor for us. We have been selling their Helix products ever since they took over sales in the U.S. We have a very good relationship. They protected us when others near us have tried to pick up the lines, and in turn, we have given their products more prominent placement in our store and moved them to our preferred product category where we use them in our standard audio setups. “Of course, the Helix processors are the best in the industry and by far our best sellers, but the Helix amplifiers are proving to be a solid addition and are increasing in sales and popularity, too. Customers love the product because it is ‘bulletproof’ and has a great warranty. “We’re excited about the amplifiers we recently brought in, but we’re also looking forward to seeing how the Blam speaker line does, as well.”

are also responsible for showroom cleanliness, organization, overall environment in the showroom, and following up with potential clients and past quotes, according to Lindsley. “We greet everyone enthusiastically and have a no pressure, informative dialogue about their goals for their project,” he added. Clients are also provided with a comfortable living room-style waiting area with phone charging docks, a television with Netflix and Hulu, coffee and water.

Expanding Dealership Work With a Dedicated Outside Salesperson Titan Motoring began with dealership work and is now expanding that side of the business. “After we built up [in the beginning], we had four or five employees and when [we got to] a decent size, I realized about 90 percent of our revenue was [one dealership] and if we lost that, we’d be screwed,” Lindsley said. “We built

32  Mobile Electronics April 2019

the retail side and now that’s about 75 to 80 percent of our business, and dealerships are about 20 percent.” His goal is to make the retail side and the dealership side more equalized. To help increase dealership business, an outside salesperson was brought in. “She’s pushing [interiors], video, headrest video, remote starts and our off-road packages,” Lindsley added. Before she joined Titan Motoring, Lindsley said, Mindy



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New TV Commercial Aims to Increase Revenue “We recently added a TV advertisement [to our advertising and marketing campaigns]. Our goal is to see 10 to 15 percent in gross increase in the first 60 days. “We did radio for a few months, years ago, and I don’t think I did it right. I think radio can be beneficial, but you have to stay at it to get the most exposure, and I only did it for a couple months and stopped when I didn’t see enough from it. If I had stayed with it longer, it probably would have paid off, but we were already so busy it was an expense we didn’t feel we needed at that time. “The first time, I might have skimped and thought it didn’t work, but with TV, I said, ‘Let’s do a high quality commercial and pay for prime time spots.’ “[Past experience with radio is informing what we are trying with television.] We did a really high quality commercial. They had different options. You can step up to drone footage, so we did that and went up on the production costs. “Instead of going cheap when no one is watching, we went for prime time, primarily male demographic, seven to eleven. We didn’t do a contract, but we plan on doing it for twelve months. I [already] had a lot of great feedback from clients who have seen our ads [so far].”

Employees are cross-trained, so it’s easy for them to move between departments. Because of experience in various roles, team members are able to better relate to each other—thereby increasing communication and minimizing difficulties. Pictured are Moe Goodell (left) and Ray West.

Hampton worked with another local business. “She approached me and said, ‘How about we make your dealership business go through the roof?’ She has succeeded. It has been crazy.” Hampton helped bring in 20 new dealerships in her first month of work with the shop, he added. The shop’s focus for the coming year is to continue to expand the car dealership side of the business, as well as expand the marine category. “Things that could derail this would be management failing to provide processes and direction to deal with the increased workload, and team members not sufficiently executing those processes while maintaining the Titan Motoring quality standards,” Lindsley said, adding that the team has already overcome other difficulties, including dwindling workspace and colliding personalities. Constant communication and dealing with issues head-on, he said, “helped us move past these things and become even stronger.”

Local Marketing and Car Shows Raise Awareness One of the biggest local car shows the shop participates in is Cars and Coffee. “They have a big one here, the

34  Mobile Electronics April 2019


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Social Media Best Tool for Increased Visibility “We typically see social media promotions work well, and we have seen direct sales from responses to promoted ads that were handled through Messenger. Our initial goal was to boost our social media presence, get more followers, and create more brand awareness. “We would typically do a small promotion and see how the ad did. If it did well and we got a good response, we would increase the budget and length of the campaign. The main components of the plan had to do with budget and real-time analytics. We didn’t really have any major issues come up, and we exceeded all goals that we initially had and generated enough proven sales to far exceed the cost of the campaigns. “If I could have done anything differently, I would have hired someone to do our social media a lot sooner. We currently have someone doing all of our social media, and it has been amazing.”

Salespeople utilize a low-pressure sales approach focused on education to help clients reach an informed decision about their project. Pictured, Matt Park discusses options with a client.

first Saturday of every month. We bow out during the colder months,” Lindsley noted. “There’s just not as much turnout [then]. At the ones when the weather is nice, close to our shop, thousands of people come. We bring a handful of employees’ cars or clients’ cars. We have 10 to 15 cars [at the show], whether clients’ vehicles or employees.” During the warmer months, anywhere from $200 to $1,500 is spent per month on outside events. Approximately six percent of gross sales are used to fund marketing and advertising, Lindsley added. “We primarily utilize online outlets including SEO, Yelp and Google. We have recently added TV to this, but it is very new and we are still awaiting results.” The shop also uses email blasts to keep current clients informed. “But the primary way is through personal calls,” Lindsley said. “Sixty to 90 days after their last visit, [we give clients a call] to make sure everything is still great with their project, but also to find out if they need anything else.”

Building Positive Store Culture One Day at a Time

In 2018, Titan Motoring was named a Top 12 Retailer. Pictured is Miguel Vega, a fabricator and 12-volt technician who was named a Top 12 Installer the previous year.

36  Mobile Electronics April 2019

Despite having won the 2018 award for Best Store Culture from Mobile Electronics magazine, Lindsley said they hadn’t really had a plan to cultivate positive store culture—it just happened naturally. Taking part in team building activities outside of work, like having the whole staff go on a bowling trip, can help strengthen rapport, he said.


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About 20 percent of the business’s revenue is generated through lift kits, wheels and tires, suspension and the off-road category. Pictured is technician Tyler Perryman.

38  Mobile Electronics April 2019

“We got backed up last week, and I went in the bay and did some installing. I think [it’s important] for everyone to see that. We have managers who will take the trash out. We are all on equal footing and on the same level.” The same level of professionalism applies to all staff, who wear Titan Motoring t-shirts, black or gray pants and black or gray shoes, Lindsley said. “Generally, everyone is happy to be here, and that translates into our interactions with clients. I think [positive store culture] comes from the management— the top down. I was a tech for 18 years, and I know what it’s like to be in the bay.” This helps Lindsley relate to what other team members are experiencing. “That’s why we have heated and air-conditioned bays, and we have procedures for reordering things.” Because the Titan Motoring team is able to relate on this level, it’s easier to ensure there are processes and procedures and a positive environment to combat any issues, Lindsley added. “[We] promote that we’re on the same team, and [we’re] proactive [when it comes] to doing those things that alleviate the ‘us versus them’ mentality,” he said, adding, “That [mentality] is destructive to shop culture.” Showing employees how they’re appreciated through pay, trainings, team events and more has helped the staff of Titan Motoring become a cohesive, relatively harmonious team, Lindsley said, adding that “we build on each other’s strengths and help each other improve on weaknesses.” With things continuing to go so well, Lindsley anticipates eventually doubling the shop’s overall space, and increasing profits. “We’ll also purchase off-site property for larger projects and dealership work,” he added.


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 Difference Makers

First Rate in the Second City At the helm of his own company for more than 15 years, Steve Fahlmark has built solid relationships with dealers, vendors and installers to make his mark in the Midwest. WORDS BY JAMIE SORCHER

It all started with Y.E.S., Your Electronics Store—a retailer in the Chicago area where teenager Steve Fahlmark kicked off his retail career on the selling floor. “I rose to become the store manager and then I ended up getting hired by the Kenwood representatives in the area to go to work for their firm called Brook Marketing,” Fahlmark said. There, he represented top lines including Kenwood, Boston Acoustics, EPI and Ricco. He spent the bulk of his career at Sales Network and Leading Edge where he represented brands such as Rockford Fosgate, Lighting Audio, JBL, Bazooka, Clarion, MTI and many more. Ultimately, he knew someday he would go out on his own. “I was born in Chicago. I know Chicago, and I am familiar with all the customers,” he said. “I’ve been working with these guys for 30 years. Not just that, but I have also seen the changes with the big stores coming and going, from American TV to Circuit City to Sound Advantage to Sound Experience. All those stores are gone now. I rode the wave out with the transition to work with the dealers who are still left in the marketplace.”

40  Mobile Electronics April 2019

Making the rounds and getting lots of face time with the dealers in his territories is Fahlmark’s calling card, but he also appreciates the opportunity to connect with industry folks at KnowledgeFest, like the most recent one held last month in Indianapolis. Covering Illinois and Wisconsin, Midwest Sales Group has what might seem a relatively small territory compared to rep companies that have five states, but Fahlmark noted that it follows the EIA guidelines. “I have half the state of Illinois and pretty much all of Wisconsin except the very left side which goes to the Minneapolis rep,” he said. “My territory is not that big, which is actually kind of nice because I can cover it and be in the stores all the time. What my dealers tell me is that they appreciate seeing me all the time and that I always give them information [they need].” Presently, Fahlmark services about 65 retailers. “That takes into account ABT to the small retailers, but what gives me the edge to be in these stores all the time is that they’re pretty much condensed in the Chicagoland area or right up in the Milwaukee area,” he added.

Gotcha Covered One of the missions for Midwest Sales Group is providing total market coverage. “I strive to make sure a brand is sold within every area of our territory without conflicting with other dealers,” Fahlmark said. “As a marketing representative, the key is to keep all your dealers happy and working together. To do that, you can’t have dealers across the street from one

another selling the same manufacturer’s brands.” Fahlmark explained he will go into a large area, and he might set up only two dealers in the entire territory to cover the whole market. “Then I would go to the next market, to Green Bay, Wisconsin, and do the same thing. Then Stevens Point, Wisconsin, and do the same thing—so there are no holes in my market for the vendors I represent.” The whole process can be seamless, according to Fahlmark, with an experienced rep who understands political values. “If a retailer wants a certain line that is already in another store, you can let them know that it might be a possibility,” Fahlmark said. “There might be an opportunity for them, and I remind retailers that this is an ever-changing business, so down the road it could happen. What you must do is let the dealer know that currently we’re protecting the dealer who already has this brand.” As Fahlmark explained, “If you were the existing dealer, I would give you that same benefit of the doubt to make sure I would protect you. With that said, I might pull out another line which they can buy through my company. I know where the A, B, C and D dealers are, and if I am going to open up another dealer, then I clearly tell—and get permission

Strength In Numbers

from—the nearest dealer to make sure that they are okay with it.” The last thing he wants to do, Fahlmark said, is surprise a dealer by opening another dealer nearby. “There are reps who do this, younger reps who are green, who don’t understand the business. You have to protect your dealers, and that is my main goal.”

No Money Left Behind Midwest Sales Group sets a goal level for each of its dealers in the marketplace. “When you sign up a JL Audio dealer, they have the opportunity to buy in at three different levels,” Fahlmark said. “They can buy in at a $3,000, $6,000 or at the $10,000 level. When a dealer comes on, you put a quota in place so the dealer doesn’t go out and pick up other competitive lines. For instance, if a dealer picked up my line, I really wouldn’t want him to be a Rockford Fosgate dealer. I would want him to support JL Audio.” With goals in place, Fahlmark keeps on top of retailers by sending them monthly statements so they know where the sales numbers are. “I also send them quarterly numbers so they can earn rebates that the manufacturers put forth depending on how much volume the retailer does,” he said. “I keep my dealers intact so they know how much they have ordered, and if they’re $3,000 short of the seven percent rebate, they get a call and an email from me saying, ‘Put an order together so you can pick up $500 in rebate money.’ It’s constant contact and constant communication so dealers don’t leave any money on the table.” Choosing which vendors to work with, Fahlmark noted, has changed dramatically. “It used to be you would pick up any vendor and run with it, and try to sell everybody everything,” he said. “Those days are done since Amazon came on the scene and changed the whole playing field at MAP policy. I want a high-profit line that my dealers can make full margin on. The dealers have adapted to that philosophy over the last few years and only support those brands that bring that type of protection to the marketplace.” By not being on the Internet under MAP, Fahlmark said, “those brands are

Midwest and JL Audio have a strong relationship. Among the select brands that he works with, Fahlmark wants to partner with manufacturers who have a high-profit line that dealers can make full margin on. Pictured: Steve Fahlmark (left) and Andy Oxenhorn of JL Audio. the ones dealers love to sell because they can make their 50 percent margin. That practice is upheld by JL Audio, Focal, AudioControl and JVC—so these vendors have really stepped up their game as far as policing the Internet and that’s what opens the doors for your dealers. Dealers want lines that are not prostituted all over the Internet.” Fahlmark estimated that it is just about a 50-50 split with vendors who allow their brands to be sold on the Internet and those who don’t. “It used to be that only 15 to 20 percent of vendors were monitoring, but in the last few years with Amazon in the picture, dealers have to go with a forced MAP policy,” he said. “That is kind of what you want—a forced MAP policy that the retailer signs. They have to abide by that or they get cut off. When considering whether to bring on a vendor, I am very particular as to which ones I carry because I know what my dealers

want—highly profitable lines, protection, and the brands that consumers are asking for every day.” Those assurances are especially critical for the mom-and-pops to run their businesses profitably. “They have taxes, insurance and installers to pay,” Fahlmark added.

In the Back Door, Out the Front Door With all the dealers Fahlmark visits in his territories, it is not just about working with the owner of those companies, but the installers as well. “Some people just meet with the owners and walk out the door,” Fahlmark said. “My philosophy is to walk in the back door and walk out the front door. When I get to meet the installers, they tell me what products they like, what they don’t like and they give me lots of feedback that I can share with the manufacturers. My contact with the retailer is throughout the entire store. I   41

 Difference Makers

A Family Business

Midwest Lines

Steve Fahlmark: CEO/Sales Representative Marcia Fahlmark: Office Manager Max Fahlmark: Special Events Representative

With Xtreme Kustoms Wheels, Fahlmark knows it’s all hands—and ears—on deck for a crank-it-up event. This DB drag race invites customers to come and play their stereos as loud as possible. At this event, Fahlmark said, someone hit 160 DB. am close to the installers, the owners and the managers.” To keep those dealers’ employees knowledgeable and up-to-date on product features, training is an important focus for Midwest Sales Group. “I personally do training with the dealers,” Fahlmark said. “I conduct trainings in person or I send out product links so dealers can do trainings direct from the

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manufacturers. A lot of the vendors have web training, so I can help arrange that.” Midwest Sales Group also offers annual training at KnowledgeFest, Fahlmark said. “We do trainings at the local hotels here for JL Audio. Every year they come in for a week and do trainings for the dealers,” he explained. “They are able to assist those dealers who have been around for a while and can get

Audiovoxx AudioControl Focal JL audio JVC mobile intimidated by some of the newer technology. JL Audio and Focal came out with a lot of new DSPs, which are a little bit different than the standard amplifier where you’re flipping switches. This is a case where you plug the laptop in and go to the computer and you do a computer set-up of your system.” Dealer events, like truckload sales or tent sales, have shifted into the background—at least for now. “We used to have more events, but my dealers don’t really have those as much anymore,” Fahlmark said. “ABT does their private sale three times a year. They are known for their customer appreciation sales which are enormous. With promotions, we have a short window here. Half our season is remote start season and the other half is car audio.” Whether it’s for training, stopping in for a quick hello, or a conversation about new product, it is Fahlmark’s in-person visits to dealers as well as his loyalty and honesty that make Midwest Sales Group the success it is today. “My claim to fame is that if you call and can’t reach me, I will call you back immediately,” Fahlmark said. “My voicemail on my cellphone even says that. It says, ‘Hi, you’ve reached Steve with Midwest Sales Group. Please leave your name and number and I will call you back immediately.’ The dealers love it.” His quick response, Fahlmark said, “is because the lifeblood of my company is my customers. Dealers get a return call the minute I get off the call I’m on, or walk out of the meeting I’m in when it’s finished. There’s no waiting for a call until the next day,” he added. “I call the dealers back immediately—and you can print that!”

Strength In Numbers














Installation Everything.


















TE   43 • 800-444-1644

 strategy & tactics

Selling with Confidence Learn how building confidence in yourself and your abilities will help you make clients more comfortable, and as a result, increase sales and dollar amounts in your business.

At KnowledgeFest Indianapolis this year, Elias Ventura of Safe and Sound Mobile Electronics in Manassas, Va. and Chris McNulty of Chantilly, Va.-based Driven Mobile Electronics, teamed up to present a workshop on how to sell with confidence. In case you missed it, we’d like to share the highlights of our presentation with you. We talked about how confidence is often the missing trait that holds most people back from declaring themselves experts in their field. The important thing to remember is that you are the expert.

Syndicate, 12-Volt Sales Pros and the Educar groups—just to name a few. Additionally, familiarize yourself with all the tools at your disposal and use them. Vendor reps are trained specifically on the gear they sell us, so it’s also important to utilize them as resources. Ask them questions about how the gear is supposed to work, and don’t let them off the hook until you fully understand. This is part of their job. We also recommend finding a peer or a mentor within the industry who routinely demonstrates mastery of customer interaction and finds the best solutions for clients every time. Talk with them, reach out and explore their ideas. Find parts of their process that you can use in yours to better serve your clients.

Educate Yourself to Build Confidence

Confidence Will Guide You Forward

If you don’t yet feel like enough of an expert, remember that tireless study and training on the newest gear, techniques and solutions is what makes you an expert. It’s important to attend trainings and learn as much as you can through events such as KnowledgeFest, as well as local vendor or distributor trainings. Read industry publications and be a part of the movement forward in social media groups like the Mobile Electronics

The class we presented in Indianapolis was not at all groundbreaking. When we were sitting in Dallas last year in Eddy Kay’s class on sales, we were reminded that selling is a process that hasn’t changed much over time. Many of the concepts Eddy talked about—and Del Ellis, in the past, and Marcel Newell, and Ken Ward—are concepts that we cover. The class serves a reminder, for the most


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part, of the things we already know, but tend to overlook or cut short. The class teaches that what we may think is common knowledge—and is to us—isn’t necessarily common knowledge to our clients. We need to show them why to follow our recommendations, rather than just expect them to do so. Once we learned to confidently guide customers with our expertise and knowledge, we also learned the best way to move forward. The end result is so rewarding. We love seeing the finished result, or the customer’s reaction—and even simply the most genuine “Thank you!” Confidence will allow you to be the best expert you can be with every customer. It builds trust with the client, letting them know that you know what the best way forward is, and that you’ll share it with them. As industry professionals, we have to be the navigators for our customers. That said, if we truly want to win, we have to create the map for success.

Create Solutions Your Clients Can Easily Visualize The best way to build and implement confidence in your sales procedure is by building the foundation for a solution that your client can easily visualize.

Selling with Confidence

If you don’t yet feel like enough of an expert, it’s important to make education a main focus. Attend manufacturer trainings, go to KnowledgeFest and ask lots of questions. Through continued education, you will build confidence, and this will translate to the sales floor. Pictured: Elias Ventura works with a client at Safe and Sound Mobile Electronics.

Use phrasing such as: • “My professional recommendation is…” • “We have had great luck in the past utilizing this solution…” • “Many of our previous clients decided to use this solution and have been very pleased…” • “When we install this in your car, you can expect the same type of outcome as…” Showing that you are confident in the work your business provides, and in the products you’re selling, will ensure your clients view you as the expert—not just some guy who is trying to take their money. Sharing the previous experiences of happy clients will also give new clients a perspective that inspires confidence in

your solution, furthering your position as an expert. If you have a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of a particular area or skill, then you are an expert. We can begin the education process as soon as we have identified the client’s desired outcome. Teaching clients what they need to know will help them make the best buying decision for their situation.

Show the Client You’re On Their Side Confidence will help you gain control from the outset. Building the confidence to lead the conversation will help you to become a better listener, understand the needs of your client and immediately have a solution in mind.

From each phase of the process, you must work hard to “be the expert”—from the initial greeting, to your exploration of your client’s needs, to becoming their ally and educating them on options—all the way through the installation and the demo of the final project. By learning to build confidence and lead the conversation, you will be helping the client to understand that your goal is to help them determine their needs, rather than just have them come in and tell you what they want. After all, the client may not completely know what they need, and it’s our job to show them what’s available and inform them of the solutions we recommend, which will ultimately give them the outcome they are looking for.   45

 strategy & tactics “I’ve been in situations where I gave the customer what they wanted and I knew it wasn’t the right solution. Stay true to your inner expert, and don’t second guess yourself. You’re better than that!” –Elias Ventura The client needs to know that you share their objectives and you’re on their side. • This is paramount: diffuse any defensiveness. • Bond with the client and demonstrate that you’re here to help. • Go to a place where they feel more in command. This is often a great solution. Go to their car and allow them to take the lead in the conversation, in an

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environment in which they are comfortable. • Listen intently and become their ally on their turf. • Be confident in the processes and procedures you use within the shop. Take your client with you on a tour, and show them things that are beyond the scope of what they want or asked for. They may surprise you by being impressed at what you can offer, even if

it’s beyond what they initially were interested in.

Confidence Will Lead to Increased Sales Use props in your presentation. Put products in their hands. Let them have an experience. Possession often leads to ownership. This is a great way to make the project feel more real to them. This is an experience they likely haven’t had elsewhere, nor will they if they choose to look beyond their trip to your facility. This is because you’ve demonstrated simply through your interactions with them why your shop is different. Now, your client will question everything they’ve already seen or will see in the future, based on the experience you gave them concerning their project. Closing the sale will become less of a chore the more you demonstrate confidence in your product, confidence in your abilities and confidence in yourself. Price objections will become less frequent. Through your confidence, you will have demonstrated why your shop is more expensive than the one down the street.

Selling with Confidence

You’ll find that by building confidence, and showing your clients that confidence, you will close more sales more quickly, often for higher amounts. You will begin to recognize relief in the eyes of your clients, instead of trepidation—making you feel better at the end of the day, with no clouds over your head.

Surround Yourself With Mentors You Can Learn From We all attend industry events for our own growth and betterment and we’ve improved so much from networking with industry peers and asking questions— questions about processes, daily tasks, things that work and don’t work. This is where we decided to give back to the industry. Not because we feel we

know it all, but because we care. Sometimes we all need a little reminder of how much we have to offer, in order to build confidence in what we do. If we can just remind everyone to instill confidence in each other and in ourselves, every day, then we can all make a difference. We want everyone to have more confidence. We, ourselves, have learned from individuals such as Ken Ward, John Schwartz, Jay Kent, Ata Ehdaivand, Rich Pietraszko, Justin Vallo and Jesse Mitchell, among others. The positive influence of our industry peers will help boost your confidence in ways that will easily translate to the phone, on the sales floor or in the install bay. Surround yourself with mentors and industry friends you can learn from.   47

 tech today

CNC Machining for the 12 In the second installment of this feature on CNC machining, learn how to set up efficient dust collection for your machine, and take a closer look at the processes involved when it comes to planning and creating one-of-a-kind projects. WORDS BY JOEY KNAPP

Last month, we took a look at my journey to wet my feet in the world of CNC machining. We left off with my Shapeoko XXL assembled and trued. This month, we’ll take a look at what I chose to use for dust collection and a few of the first projects I have completed with the machine. Before we start with the dust collection solution, I wanted to briefly address how I have been securing pieces to my wasteboard. If you recall, the last steps in the previous article included installing the T-track and sacrificial pieces on top of the

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Shapeoko wasteboard. I have since added an additional ½-inch MDF piece on top of the new wasteboard. I used template tape and clamps at the rear to secure it. I held down everything I have cut so far with template tape—with the exception of some aluminum brackets we’ll be looking at later. So far, it works well for me. I have plenty because I use it with the router table templates. Many people will attach painter’s tape to the wasteboard and the substrate and then CA glue them together. If I ever have a failure with the template tape, I will be giving this

method a try. The only complaint I have about using the template tape is that it can gum up the bit when cutting through the substrate to the wasteboard. It hasn’t posed a problem for me so far, but it does require a bit of cleanup.

Making Dust Collection Easy and Efficient I knew I would need some kind of dust collection setup if I would be cutting any amount of MDF with the machine. Initially, I wasn’t sure where I would be storing and using the CNC. There isn’t enough room in my woodshop for it

CNC Machining for the 12-Volt Industry

2-Volt Industry

without making the space feel crowded. So, I built the machine into a corner of my bay, and that’s where it has been ever since. While I was researching options for how to remove dust while cutting, I

kept running across the Suckit dust boot attachment. The Suckit is made to bolt to the Shapeoko XXL and provide a removable, efficient dust collection solution. I checked in with Charles Brazil to get his opinion. He was using the Suckit

attachment and said he was pleased with its performance. The completed dust collection solution has worked flawlessly. The Suckit is comprised of two parts. The first part is a sliding arm assembly that bolts to the Z mechanism. The second part is a removable housing that has a fitting for a vacuum hose and brushes on the bottom of it. The second part slides into a track on the bottom sides of the sliding arm assembly. Magnets on each piece keep the second part in place during use, and allow a toolless removal when dust collection isn’t necessary. To maximize the vacuum, it is important that the boot be as close to the substrate as possible. To that end, the Suckit sliding arm assembly, well, slides. The arms can be positioned and tightened by hand to just the right height ensuring the best performance. The Suckit is a great solution for helping to contain dust while cutting. The second challenge with the dust collection system was what to do with the vacuum hose. Our normal tools that have dust extracted from them, such as the table saw or routers, are stationary. The CNC dust collection point is a dynamic, moving thing. To make matters even more complicated, I wanted my table to be able to move. I researched what others were doing with their plumbing and found that most had the hose suspended above the machine from either an enclosure roof, or the roof of their shop. Neither of those points were there for me. I settled on the concept of a swinging arm that would support the hose above the table. Because the arm would be supported at just one corner of the cart, I wanted to keep the weight down. Aluminum was a natural choice for this. A piece of angled aluminum stock would provide the necessary strength, while also being easily sourced. The angled corner would provide a bottom and side surface on which to strap the hose. To make securing and removing the hose simple, I decided to secure the hose to the aluminum with Velcro straps. I riveted the Velcro to the aluminum with a washer on the top, to keep the rivet from pulling through.   49

 tech today The Velcro straps are riveted to the arm and allow for easy adjustment of the hose, while holding it secure. To suspend the arm above the table, I used a piece of one-inch angle iron. The vertical supports for my table are a pretty thick steel, so I was comfortable that it could adequately support the weight of the riser and arm. The part I had the most trouble with was determining how I would facilitate the arm freely swinging. I wanted to make sure I didn’t put any additional strain on the belts, so the movement needed to be very smooth. Initially, I thought to use a medium-sized bearing and create a carrier and mount for the arm. It was a weekend evening in small-town Florida when I thought up this plan. My sources for parts were limited to big chain hardware stores or Harbor Freight. After striking out at the hardware store, I drove to Harbor Freight to see if I could find some bearings. I stumbled upon what I thought would be an even better solution than my bearing contraption—a wheeled castor with bearings for a smooth movement. Perfect! The castor I chose had a threaded stud for mounting and a U-shaped cradle for the wheel. The cradle was just right for supporting the aluminum angle stock. It only took a simple spacer and a bit of trimming to tailor it to my needs. To secure the arm to the vertical support, I welded two washers together and then welded them in the top corner of the angle iron. This gave me a sturdy support for the threaded stud of the castor. The caster was just the solution I needed for an easy pivot point. The remaining piece of the puzzle involved how to support the hose directly above the Suckit. I added an aluminum bracket with a Velcro strap. The bracket and strap allowed me to position the hose so there would be enough free space between it and the router moving in the Z axis. I am happy to report that the swinging arm has worked out great, and so far, I wouldn’t change a thing about it!

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CNC Machining for the 12-Volt Industry

The bracket replaced spacers that were between the Suckit plates and the Z axis assembly.

Honda Civic Si Acrylic Trim The first car-related project I worked on was for a build at Simplicity in Sound. I made some trim pieces for the space behind the rear seat of a 2018 Honda Civic Si. I left an opening in the border of the trim that was proportionally sized for the SiS logo. Before I left California, I made a template of the size I would need to fit that spot and brought it home to Florida with me. The plan was to have the logo engraved into an acrylic window. The window would be bottom-lit to illuminate the engraving. While planning the project, Bing requested that I make an additional trim ring to border the window opening and help focus attention on the logo. The drag bit is one of the easiest bits I have used. The etching path gave the logo a dimensional look. The white and red lighting looked great!

The cut pieces were ready to be shipped out to Bing and Jesse at Simplicity in Sound. I started by taking a few measurements of the template and created the shape of the piece in the Vetric Vcarve software. I haven’t really mentioned Vcarve yet, so I will take a few moments to interrupt this Civic project explanation to do so. I started with the Shapeoko using the Carbide Create software, which is free with the machine. I had really good experiences with it. It’s easy enough to quickly begin designing simple things. I came to realize that I wanted a little more control and a few more features that Carbide Create didn’t offer. After reading up on a few Facebook groups, it seemed the natural progression was to move from Carbide Create to Vcarve. Vcarve was also very easy to pick up and offered a bit more flexibility in the design aspects as well as the toolpaths. Now that I had the template digitized, I added in the logo and a border. I thought I would cut the design as a very shallow pocket using an endmill, but I was concerned that the light would stop at the break and not uniformly illuminate the whole logo. To help provide a steadier lighting throughout the piece, I used a diamond drag bit to etch the logo into the acrylic. The drag bit was nice because I didn’t have to worry about feed rates, router speed or depth of cut. The tip on the bit is springloaded, so it just needs to be in contact with the substrate. The bit drags, so the router is not even powered on, and because it’s doing minimal work, the feed rate can be pretty high. The path the bit took when etching made the logo almost look 3D—an added bonus! Once I had the pieces ready to go, I shipped them back out to Bing for installation. The light evenly lit the entire logo and the piece fit the window perfectly.

Golf Cart Subwoofer Level Trim Columbia High School has a rapidly growing welding class. I went to this school, myself, and my instructor was Daryl Thomas. I’ve since been following the work he does with the students. When I learned the class was working on a golf cart project, I approached Daryl about partnering with him to add an audio system and some lighting. He happily accepted, and with the   51

 tech today

SPECIAL OFFER After sharing the first installment of this article with the folks at Carbide 3D (the Shapeoko company) they said they wanted to extend an offer to our readers. For the month of April, they are offering a $75 discount for anyone using the code SHAPEOKO75. This is a very generous offer; they normally do not offer any sort of discount other than the Black Friday sale. So, if you are on the fence about purchasing a Shapeoko CNC, let this be the little push you need. You will be glad you made the purchase!

help of JL Audio and Sony, we created an awesome audio and lighting experience for the class. One of the unique things about the cart is that it also has a trailer. We used it to house an enclosure with two JL Audio 10-inch subwoofers. I normally save the perimeter cut for last, so the piece is as stable as possible while being engraved. The two-part epoxy was mixed, tinted and applied to the trim piece. When the epoxy dried, the piece was sanded, wet-sanded and polished. The installed ring looked really great and will also

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serve a functional purpose for people driving the cart. To control the subwoofers, we added an RBC-1 controller. This was a perfect opportunity for a CNC project! The space on the dash that the knob was to be installed in had a bit of extra room around it. I used that space to make a round trim out of aluminum. I added the words “subwoofer level” to the perimeter, and tied them together with a line. The words and line were cut with a 90-degree .5-inch v-bit. Once the piece had been cut, I filled the cut areas with epoxy tinted black. I waited for the epoxy to dry and then sanded and polished the piece. The result is a trick accent that can quickly and easily be reproduced.

Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches Signs I had been bugging my wife to give me a project so that I could show off my CNC acumen. She responded with a little more than I had planned on. My wife works for the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranch, an incredible organizations that serves kids all over Florida. She wanted to replace the signs on the front gates of their main office. She had some 30-inch decals, but needed a way to attach them to the gate. After consulting with Darren Fettik of Audio Designs and Custom Graphics, I suggested using 3/8 acrylic for the signs.

CNC Machining for the 12-Volt Industry

to the flutes of the cutter if I didn’t keep a stream of air on it. It was slow going, but I got them cut. I installed the signs and brackets using all stainless hardware to ensure it looked good in rain or shine.

The Shapeoko XXL was just large enough to cut out the pieces I needed for this sign.

I had a pretty bad time trying to cut the soft aluminum. I would recommend sticking with 6062.

Pinnacle Autosound Keychains and Logo Bars

The completed signs fit perfectly thanks to the built-in adjustments I added. This material was chosen for its strength and durability in all kinds of weather. To secure the acrylic to the wooden gates, I cut out four aluminum brackets per sign. The top to bottom measurements on the gates varied by over ½ inch. To accommodate the varying measurements, I cut out brackets with oval mounting holes. I used the same oval holes on the acrylic. Because the stickers would run the full length of the opening, I had to cut out arcs in the aluminum brackets that would leave the stickers visible. I learned that the Home Depot aluminum might not be the best choice for this application. It was very soft, and would fuse

These keychains were cut with a 1/8-inch endmill and a 90 degree V-bit. Tabs were used to keep the pieces from coming lose when cut. The subwoofer enclosure badges were designed with holes at each end that would accommodate a #8 screw. I worried about cutting aluminum with my machine, but interestingly, about 80 percent of my projects have been in aluminum. One of my first aluminum projects was a small Pinnacle Autosound keychain. I made these to practice using Vcarve, and to start machining aluminum. I used the most conservative settings I could find and pretty soon had a number of keychains. I later went on to fill these with black epoxy and polish them. Using the same design, I made a slightly larger version with holes at both ends. As an installer growing up and then as a shop owner, I always thought it would be nice to have badges to add to enclosures that I built. Now I had the capability to make those myself! As with the keychains, I filled the badges with epoxy, too. Some of the badges I polished, and some of them I sanded in one direction to offer a brushed aluminum look.   53

ďƒŽ installs



The owner of this 2016 Chevrolet Silverado wanted a stereo system with an attitude to match the styling of his awesome truck. Luckily for the client, Jeff Cantrell and the crew at Jackson Car Audio were up to the task! Jeff and Alex Mendez took on the challenge of a complete audio system overhaul. From front to back, every aspect of the truck stereo system was upgraded. Laying the groundwork for the upcoming gear was the application of full sound proofing for the front and rear doors and also the roof and the floor. To make sure the amplifiers had plenty of current, the alternator was upgraded with an Ohio Generator 320 Amp model. While the alternator was being upgraded, Alex also bumped up the power and ground cables to 1/0 gauge. With the audio system infrastructure in place, it was time for some fun. The team upgraded the radio to an Alpine Restyle unit. The front and rear speakers were upgraded with Hertz components in the front and coaxials in the rear. Power was provided by JL Audio and Digital Designs. The centerpiece of this install is the subwoofer enclosure. Jeff built a trick underseat and console enclosure to house a single Digital Designs 9510 subwoofer. To supply the subwoofer with the necessary airspace, Jeff had to pull out all the stops. The enclosure was created in multiple pieces to maximize the space available in the back of the truck. The result was an upgrade that not only looked incredible, it sounded even better!

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 installs


This build, crafted entirely by Mike Sandoval, is a very rare type. It is not so much rare in the gear used, the techniques employed, or the materials selected. What makes this build rare is that it’s the personal car of a fabricator with a completed build! Mike wanted to build a car that not only sounded great, but would also showcase his fabrication talents. For the gear, Mike partnered with Rockford Fosgate and AudioControl. AudioControl handled the audio signals with their DM-810, while Rockford Fosgate provided the signal boosting with a 4-channel and mono Power series amplifier. The boosted audio signals were sent to T3 component speakers and a pair of T1 subwoofers. To make his car usable during the build process, he broke the installation down into simple steps that allowed him to only have certain parts of the car apart at a single time. This system let him keep the use of his car, and also helped avoid the dreaded “under construction forever” syndrome. Mike’s design of the trunk is reflective of his initial desires to provide unique protection for the subwoofers, showcase what he has learned over the years from Mobile Solutions, and also retain the ability to return his car to stock condition. By looking at the photos, you’ll see he nailed it. He used a variety of treatments to finish off the trim pieces. Vinyl, carpet, aluminum and acrylic were all used to create this great-looking trunk. Mike would like to thank the owners of Sound Warehouse, Dean and Jennie Magnesen, Bryan Schmitt and Rockford Fosgate for their help.

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from the President

Check the Price and Get Advice

Consider offering your customers a dedicated area in your store where they can conduct product research, allowing them to feel comfortable discussing what they learn with you. We hear it every day: “I can get that cheaper on the Internet.” It’s as if the Internet has somehow become the trusted source for every purchase. Or, at the least, a sore spot for every brick and mortar retailer. There may be a way we can gain better control over the decision-making environment. When someone walks into your store, they are looking for advice from a trusted source. Building that trust requires some transparency. Offering a way for the customer to research the product under your watchful eye could provide some assurance that you’re the best source for trusted information.

Your Customer Says, “Let me think about it.” It happens every day. The door opens, a potential customer-for-life walks in. You listen carefully to their inquiry, doing your best to understand both their needs and wants. Then you spend quality time presenting what you feel will best suit their desires. Or, in some cases, you take a moment to show a new customer the best you have before focusing on what they came in for. Regardless, by now you’ve formulated what you feel would best satisfy their ears, eyes and wallet. You ask for the sale and then the dreaded answer comes: “Let me think about it,” and they leave. We should all know what that means by now. They go home, phone a friend, head to your competitor or they look it up on the Internet.

Remove the Barrier to Decision-Making If you completed your sales pitch and the customer still feels they need to “think about it,” they may want to do some more research to make sure they’re getting the best value for their money. So, why not help them decide by creating an area in your store where your customer can research products and pricing, allowing them to feel comfortable discussing what they find? This would provide you with the opportunity to help them make an informed decision. Help them understand that just because the price is lower doesn’t necessarily make it a better deal.

Give Them the Option to Research In-Store Why hide it? Your customers spend time learning everything they can about a product and the price. Many times, before they come to see you. If they have the option to do some research in your store, they might be able to complete the sale before they walk out. When creating this new space for research, make sure you set it up to showcase your best. I would suggest using a

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screensaver and a screen background that scrolls through some great pictures of satisfied customers with their vehicles, highlights of your best projects and links to your website, Facebook and Instagram. Make sure they’re comfortable and be certain that the surrounding area represents your best offerings. Also, lock down the browser history so you can review if needed. Even if you don’t close the sale, you may gain some insight into how they search and what may be important to them. Not Every Customer is the Right Customer for Your Business There are some people who may not be a fit for your business model. Don’t be afraid to say no. You may find that you’re making more money with less headaches. Not every customer will change their habits, but those who do will become loyal customers. Taking that extra step will leave them with little or no resistance to your best solution for their automobile. Work toward becoming the best value in your market—not the best price.

Always Lead With Your Best Qualities When you have a great idea and it works, tell someone about it! Don’t let your best qualities be hidden. Always lead with your best ideas and reputation. This is what separates you from the rest of the pack, including those dreaded Internet sellers. Use your social tools to reach out to your local market to let everyone know you offer the best value, guaranteed! Make sure everyone knows you have the best service, best products and the best solution. Your mission is to add customers to your happy customer-for-life list. Next time you finish your sales spiel, take a moment and immerse yourself in the reality that you’re doing everything in your power to be the best at what you do, and that no one will beat the value you can provide. Let the world know your business is awesome!



VOXX takes BLIND SPOT DETECTION across to the rear, into reverse adding another level of Driver Safety and Awareness!


senses approaching vehicles when in reverse

both systems equipped with front interior LED indicator audio/visual alerts

sensors are installed professionally inside the rear of the bumper

sensors are built into the frame that is mounted around the license plate

In-Vehicle Entertainment has been reborn with the ďŹ rst system to deliver what today’s consumers demand - TRUE UNLIMITED CONTENT CAPABILITIES. Download your favorite apps, connect your favorite devices, enjoy your DVD collection, but best of all, this system offers full control of the system without having to see the actual monitors. Apps developed for Android and Apple allow Mom and Dad in the front seat BLINDthe SPOT LICENSE PLATE BLIND to access and fully control system. No more pulling the car over or reaching around the seats. Innovation at its best!



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Š2018 VOXX Electronics Corporation A VOXX International Company

Profile for Mobile Electronics

Mobile Electronics Magazine April 2019