Mobile Electronics Magazine May 2019

Page 44

 strategy & tactics

The Installer’s Guide to the Galaxy Technicians can increase efficiency and productivity by making small improvements around the bay— including implementing a standard shop size for hardware, and keeping common materials, tools and fasteners close at hand. WORDS BY BRANDON GREEN

Last July, Mike Schwitz and Josh White asked me to help present a class for KnowledgeFest in Dallas, and then again in Long Beach and Indianapolis. Shaughnessy Murley stepped in at the Long Beach class, and Chris Ott at the Indy class, as Josh was unable to attend. The purpose of the class was to focus on fundamentals, industry best practices, proper materials and fasteners, tools, finishing enclosures and speaker adapters, as well as some efficiency tips for day to day installation. For those of you who were unable to attend, here are the highlights.

Finishing Enclosures and Speaker Adapters We demonstrated some of the more common techniques for wrapping an enclosure and seaming the material, and then we moved forward with a rabbeting technique which allows the seems to tuck in and not be nearly as noticeable, while also providing a place for the material end to tuck in to prevent it from peeling over time. This is an excellent detail you can use to show your clients the extra step you take to set your work apart from the rest. Moving on to speaker adapters, we showed several examples of different fabricated rings and some of the composite materials we use for proper speaker mounting. There are a few materials that

44  Mobile Electronics May 2019

work well to machine, including HPDE, expanded PVC, and acrylic. Installers will find there are great benefits to using these materials for speaker mounting in places where moisture and rigidity are important aspects to consider for a quality installation, including being able to angle and recreate the best spacing for the speaker to match the OEM panel angles, with foam rings to complete the process.

Threaded Inserts, Tools and Magnets Many installers use threaded inserts, but I still think it’s important to discuss the five most commonly seen and used today, including the proper use of nutserts, as well as fine and coarse threaded inserts, t-nuts and rubber threaded inserts. There are many types and sizes of threaded inserts made from different materials for different applications. A variety should be kept on hand and organized so they are easy to find. Making a “standard” shop size allows you to keep necessary hardware on hand without spending thousands on every size fastener and bolt. This practice also takes the guesswork out of what goes back in, should the installer become lost upon assembly or maintenance. In vehicle applications, use zinc coated nutserts to resist corrosion. These are designed to provide a solid threaded mounting point to sheet metal for things like mounting enclosure brackets,

amplifier plates or racks and more in an OEM fashion. Serviceability or removal in the future becomes much easier. Nutserts should be properly painted and protected from the elements to prevent long-term damage. T-nuts are better for softer materials as well, but more forethought is needed in the design and fabrication process. A couple good examples of use for these would be subwoofer mounting and also boat interior fabrication. In class, I also demonstrate some panel attachment methods using magnets. Remember: •Don’t use magnets to hold pieces on panels that receive a high level of vibration when closed, such as door panels or trunk lids. •Don’t use magnets where they may become flying objects in an accident. •Additionally, make sure the poles are correct for installation.