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Alternate idea for Faceplate for Table Radios

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  • Alternate idea for Faceplate for Table Radios

    I thought I'd share some of my findings for this Double DIN Radio I purchased from the banging good website. It's a 7023B 7" screen car stereo.



    I purchased another smaller unit from Ali and did some mods with my Tech-Talkers help... Yup, I ruined that one, but it's decent and also has a touch screen as this one does. Here's the link to those goings-on in case you're interested: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...r-table-radios

    Anyway, I'm always peeking at various units to use as the faceplate or preamp for smaller table radios. I've used this one from PE in several projects: https://www.parts-express.com/12-vdc...remot--320-348

    I've kind of had mixed results with that one to be honest. It's not bad when it works, but I've had a few get wonky on me. It is pretty looking though and compact. Maybe I got ahold of a few 'off' ones. I also purchased a few from other sites and those were just bad in my opinion. The audible input announcement on those amounted to a seemingly very angry woman with an Asian accent screaming at me, no offense intended to anyone with that... just jarring, and always played at full volume for some crazy reason. The PE one I just linked to is decent when it is working, but there are other options...

    This unit: https://www.parts-express.com/stereo...remot--320-641
    is the best, and most underrated MP3/bluetooth type player I've seen, it's really nice. It has the goods with decent power for larger speakers, has a low noise floor, plays all kinds of files, has a real volume knob, remote control... and the thing will even charge your phone it you 'amp' it up enough. Run it with 7.5 to 24 volts for lower powered tiny players to full-size table radios that can belt out the sound. I paired one with two ND65's run off of PE's 3 18650 battery charger board and it's going on 10 hours of play time with 3 out of 4 lights still lit, and it never did light the fourth light... basically will play for days.
    It's basically awesome, throw one in your cart to play with next time you place an order and you won't believe the fun you can have with it....

    But for larger radios, something more substantial to look at is in order, that's why I started looking at car radios and such... they have basically all the features built-in that you'd want for a table radio or boom box... with a few exceptions.

    This is what this latest Double DIN unit looks like:

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    I messed with it for a few hours and this is what I've found for those interested:

    First, it does get warm. Not hot, but warm, I'm not concerned about it inside a radio cabinet as long as there is some kind of ventilation included. I've used something called "Soffit Vents" for this... they look nice and you just have to drill a round hole and glue them in.

    It does have 4 speaker outputs and claims anywhere from 25 to 50 watts per channel depending on where you're reading the specs from. I'd guess a solid 10-12 watts at most.

    Here are some specs on the power draw:

    In 'Standby' mode it draws 0.60 amps, the unit isn't playing music in standby, but the screen still displays the time and the internal processor must still be on for this to happen. That's a bit more than some of the other faceplate units with displays I've used in the past... those have been in the 2-300 milliamp range, but this one is not too high I guess as this has a more powerful processor and bigger screen.

    Powered up and playing softly it draws around 0.78 to 0.80 amps regardless if the speakers are being powered or just using the RCA outputs to an outboard amp.

    When playing it very loudly -- near full volume -- it drew around 1.4 amps from my 3 amp 12 volt power supply. It's possible that with a beefier power supply it would draw a bit more, not sure on that.

    So how about the noise and clicks and pops?

    Using the RCA outputs:
    on Turn-On there is an immediate sharp click sound, on Turn-Off there is some static noises, then a click after about 4 seconds... again, that's with turning the unit on and off.
    Turning it off by cutting power to the ACC line -- similar to turning off your car and leaving -- there is a click after about 3 seconds, and a click after about 3 seconds upon reconnecting the ACC line.

    Using the Speaker outputs:
    on Turn-On and Turn-Off it is silent.
    Turning it off by cutting power to the ACC line -- similar to turning off your car and leaving -- there is silence. There is the slightest 'tick' sound about 12 seconds after reconnect the ACC line (barely audible and not annoying.)

    The blue Antenna Turn-On line is instant as soon as the unit is turned on/off. A delay on/off unit could be employed to power on/off an outboard amp easily.
    Also, the unit was able to power on and play with as little as 9 volts.

    How does it work?

    The controls were basically decent, the buttons and knob feel fine; little play in the knob, but not bad. The touch screen is basically responsive. The screen has a nice matte non-smudging type of finish on it that doesn't catch a glare, which is nice. My remote didn't want to pause the unit, it would 'jutter' but not really pause it. Could have been a bad remote or low battery, all other remote buttons seemed to work fine. You can do a lot with the remote, including adjust the bass/tremble, track, radio presets, etc.

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    The radio pulls in fine, I just used a 2' length of a banana plug cable and it had no trouble finding 6 FM stations to lock and load in the presets. A bit noisy, but okay for a table radio I guess, I'm being picky, FM isn't great when it's great right?

    It has a 10 band Equalizer built in, kind of nice. It seems to be missing the bottom octave or so compared to other players I've used. Not sure if I'm imagining that or not, but the real low bass doesn't seem to be there. That wouldn't matter for a table radio though, so no worries there.

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    You can adjust the color of the lights on the volume knob, as well as the image on the startup screen. There are various car logos that can be picked from, or just leave the stock 'Welcome' there which is nice enough.

    The screen when playing videos is just fine. I know everything just looks blue in all these pics, but my phone camera isn't that good (cheap Samsung Trackfone user here) it's pretty decent in real life.

    It's a bit clunky in it's workings, like when you press some buttons, you can easily press something nearby that you didn't intend, or a rectangle flashes underneath some of the on-screen buttons when you touch them... weird stuff like that. It does work, and bluetooth paired fine and loud and clear enough, even dialed a phone number on the radio that made my phone place a call. It's supposed to mirror with an android phone, I didn't try that, and that's probably not needed with a table radio.

    There are a few more things that explain the low price ($31.50 shipped) like the grid lines out the outside of the screen for the touch functions.

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    Also, the instruction booklet I got didn't correspond to my actual unit, but a higher-priced unit with different features... but at least I was able to use the wiring diagram in this booklet to hook it up right? Nope, I had to look online for that, no wiring diagram included. I guess most lines have a 'standard' color anyway and this seems to follow conventions, but still.

    Just thinking if I would ever use this as a main 'stereo' in my home to connect to actual speakers, like when listening to the TV or Youtube on the TV. No, it just doesn't have that level of quality to the sound, and there are various soft 'click' and 'pop' sounds here and there when using the RCA outputs... barely audible, but real home stereo equipment doesn't do that, so I'd pass on that type of use, not that I really considered this for that type of use anyway.

    Pretty much it's a decent little player though and worth the money I'd say. If I had spend $500 on this like I did for the GPS/DVD Double DIN radio in my other car, I'd be upset, this radio isn't nearly that good. But it's great for the money I spend on it. The reason I purchased it was because it had LOTS of reviews that were almost all positive. Sounds like they got the bigger bugs worked out and though it's not perfect, it's at least consistent. I can't recommend it yet as I haven't put it through it's paces much yet, but I will in the coming month I hope and I'll report back with additional info then.

    TomZ
    Zarbo Audio Projects Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZ...aFQSTl6NdOwgxQ * 320-641 Amp Review Youtube: https://youtu.be/ugjfcI5p6m0 *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
    *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF

  • #2
    Just another pic or two for the fun of it:

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    Forgot to mention if you hit the TV button it turns off the display, still plays the movie or video, but no screen... for driving legally I suppose.
    Zarbo Audio Projects Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZ...aFQSTl6NdOwgxQ * 320-641 Amp Review Youtube: https://youtu.be/ugjfcI5p6m0 *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
    *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF

    Comment


    • #3
      Personally, I like knobs. Shows what can be done with and creativity and effort.

      Comment


      • #4
        So I've played with this a bit more over the past few days. Played a series of videos and let it run at medium volume for 1/2 hour or more.
        It doesn't get too warm, I have a not-so-great wireless thermometer and the highest temp I saw on the screen was around 105 or so. It never really gets hot, so inside a cabinet with some ventilation should be fine.

        There does seem to be another possible heat-related issue... After the half-hour run last night, when I came back from my shower, there were horizontal lines about 1/4" thick on the screen that moved up or down slightly. They were not super-obvious, but they were visible in dark or light room. When I checked the screen was mildly warm, not probably as hot as a hot closed up car, but warm.

        I turned it off for the night and checked again this morning and the screen was fine, no lines. That's why I suspect it may be heat related, though that's just a guess. Everything else in the room was off, so I'm not thinking it was some kind of interference or anything, but I'll check closer next time I play with it.

        TomZ
        Zarbo Audio Projects Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZ...aFQSTl6NdOwgxQ * 320-641 Amp Review Youtube: https://youtu.be/ugjfcI5p6m0 *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
        *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF

        Comment


        • #5
          I opened it up today just to take a peek at the guts.

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          Boy, it sure in empty in there.

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          Looks similar to the other radio I toyed around with awhile back. This one seems to have a similar 'amp' chip, but it looks like the numbers were rubbed off or not printed very well. Not sure about that.


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          Anyway, here is what it looks like for anyone interested in what's living inside these budget car stereos these days.


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          I'm thinking I may remove some of the very thin cast aluminum of the back portion top and bottom near the amp chip and include a small computer type fan to help keep things cool. I don't think it's necessarily needed, but it may help with the screen doing that 'banding' thing. I'll have to get another unit out and test that one for a half-hour or so to see if it was just that one unit, or if it was happening because of it getting too warm.

          TomZ
          Zarbo Audio Projects Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZ...aFQSTl6NdOwgxQ * 320-641 Amp Review Youtube: https://youtu.be/ugjfcI5p6m0 *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
          *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF

          Comment


          • #6
            Nice. I was looking at these on that bangin' good site as well.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hey. Tom.

              The lines issue: I'm thinking you got a lemon - defective display. Or the display itself is an inferior part. As you mention, a car can get quite hot in the summer. And in the winter, that part of the dash gets hot from the car's heating system.

              Can you ask for a replacement or is it too late?

              Comment


              • #8
                I'll test the other unit to see if that one has similar issues, just to eliminate an issue on my end. Then, yeah, I'll try and get a return or refund.
                I've never returned anything to BG, but I'll see what they say.
                Thanks for the input Mike, you're probably right, as usual.

                TomZ
                Zarbo Audio Projects Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZ...aFQSTl6NdOwgxQ * 320-641 Amp Review Youtube: https://youtu.be/ugjfcI5p6m0 *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
                *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF

                Comment


                • #9
                  That's not cool ..even though I've made a dozen or more purchases through them I haven't had to do a return yet..hope it goes smoothly

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I tested the second (of three) units I have for a good hour or more and no banding was to be found on the front screen. Looks like Mike is right. I'll try the third one over the weekend just to be sure.

                    If I have to send this thing back to China, I'm pretty sure it will cost me more than a new unit would, so hopefully the seller is kind.

                    Also, the volume knob on the second unit is considerably more 'sloppy' than the first one. There is more side-to-side movement on the second one as opposed to the first, seems to work fine, though.

                    When you change songs in video mode, a center box comes up which says the name of the song, and the volume level. When you change songs before the box goes away the same song stays listed, it doesn't change the song title until the box disappears, then it 'catches up' to what's really playing. Little things like that are I guess what you get with cheap items like this. Still, I like it so far. By the way, I just showed some pics of the insides of the unit for fun, I have NO intentions of modding this at all. I know better.

                    Happy Friday everyone!!!

                    TomZ
                    Zarbo Audio Projects Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZ...aFQSTl6NdOwgxQ * 320-641 Amp Review Youtube: https://youtu.be/ugjfcI5p6m0 *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
                    *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF

                    Comment


                    • djg
                      djg commented
                      Editing a comment
                      If they refund you they won't want it back.

                  • #11
                    Welp, I guess this radio isn't that great after all.

                    The third one also has the video banding same as the first one. It takes awhile for it to show up, which is why I was thinking it may have been heat-related.

                    This third one was left playing softly for a bit over an hour and when the wife and I came back from running errands, it was malfunctioning. I'm not going to bother to try and take a pic of it, I doubt it would accurately show the effect, but it's noticeable if you look at it for more than a second. It's not super-annoying, and if I make a radio with this for myself, as long as it keeps playing music I won't mind too much. It's not like I'd sit in front of it and just watch videos on it... still, it would have been nice if the video quality was better.

                    Anyway, I'll contact the seller and tell him what's up, I'll keep us posted on what happens.

                    TomZ

                    Zarbo Audio Projects Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZ...aFQSTl6NdOwgxQ * 320-641 Amp Review Youtube: https://youtu.be/ugjfcI5p6m0 *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
                    *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Here is a pic of the banding I referenced.
                      Click image for larger version

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ID:	1455772 TomZ
                      Zarbo Audio Projects Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZ...aFQSTl6NdOwgxQ * 320-641 Amp Review Youtube: https://youtu.be/ugjfcI5p6m0 *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
                      *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Click image for larger version

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ID:	1455774 not sure if this will work, but this is a gif to show the band's moving.
                        TomZ
                        Zarbo Audio Projects Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZ...aFQSTl6NdOwgxQ * 320-641 Amp Review Youtube: https://youtu.be/ugjfcI5p6m0 *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
                        *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Looks like RF/EMF interference on a CRT.

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Steve, that is exactly what it looks like. It begins 10 to 15 minutes after turn-on. Sometimes it's stationary, other times they move down fairly quickly.
                            Zarbo Audio Projects Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZ...aFQSTl6NdOwgxQ * 320-641 Amp Review Youtube: https://youtu.be/ugjfcI5p6m0 *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
                            *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF

                            Comment


                            • Steve Lee
                              Steve Lee commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Do you have an oscilloscope handy?

                              (Probably power related).


                              OK, I read you have it on a 3 amp 12vdc power supply.

                              Try using a different power supply or a battery - like raise the hood on your car and set it to play for 15 min out in the garage and see if it still suffers this signal banding/interference.

                              Just a suggestion, sir.
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