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rio car dot org FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Category: Main -> Car installation questions
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·  Where can I find basic information about car audio electronics and installation? 

·  Should I install the player myself, or should I have it installed by a professional?
 (Entry last updated on February 17th, 2002)

The Rio Car is the same size and shape as any other aftermarket stereo, and it has the same installation method and connections.

Whether or not you can install an aftermarket stereo depends on your level of expertise, on your car, and on the installation method. Before we go any further in this discussion, there is something that must be said:

If you decide to install it yourself, the most important thing to remember is to get a proper installation kit from a stereo shop.

Installation kits usually consist of a wiring harness adapter (so you don't have to cut into the car's wiring and you don't have to guess at which wires to connect), and a set of dash mounting brackets and/or trim pieces (so that the stereo screws nicely into the dash without problems).

These kits can be found or ordered from any car stereo installation shop, or from mail-order companies such as Crutchfield.

Whatever you do, do not guess at the wiring of your car. You could blow fuses (or worse, fry your car's electronics) by trying to hook up 12 volt power to the wrong wire. You should always use the wiring harness adapter from the installation kit.
Even if you have one of these installation kits, that doesn't mean the install is going to be easy. It might be easy, then again, it might not.

Best-case scenario:
Your car's dash fits the player perfectly (with the install kit), and it plugs directly into your car's factory amplification system (with the necessary adapters). This is something that could be done by just about anyone in an evening, as long as you have the proper instructions (for example, a Crutchfield Master Sheet).

Average scenario:
The player fits in the dash, but your car has no built-in amplification. So you need to either install an amplifier or daisy-chain the player to a second stereo (assuming the second stereo also fits). This requires a little bit of electronics knowledge, some skill with installing car stereos, and a significant chunk of time. If you're good at this sort of thing, plan on an entire Saturday or even an entire weekend. If you're not good at this sort of thing, then definitely pay a professional to do it.

Worst-case scenario:
Your car's dash requires modification to install an aftermarket stereo, and the factory stereo is highly integrated into the design of the car. This should be handled only by persons who are very experienced with this sort of thing.

In the end, it's up to you. Do you think you have the knowledge and skill to handle the task?

·  What are the most common installation issues? 
·  What exactly is a ground loop? 
·  If I am using a separate head unit, in what order should the outputs be connected? 
·  How do I run a subwoofer if the player doesn't have a subwoofer output? 
·  What are the known issues installing a Rio Car into my (model X) car? 
·  At what angle(s) can I mount it in the dash? 
·  What's the best way to keep the player safe from harm or theft? 
·  Can I run 4 volt outputs into 1 volt inputs? 
·  Can I hook up a steering wheel remote? 
·  Can I mount it in the trunk or the glove box? 
·  Can I run a display extension or 'Y' off the display board? 
·  Can I output the display to a video monitor? 
·  Can it control a CD changer, or be controlled as if it were a CD changer? 
·  Is it difficult to remove the car docking sled? For instance, to install the tuner or move to another car? 
·  What's up with the 'Grounding leads' on the Mark 1 player? 
·  How can I fix the gap around the edge of the docking sled?? 
·  Will installing the player affect my car alarm or my keyless-entry system? 
·  I have no room directly behind the sled for my tuner module. Can I make the cable longer? 
·  Do I need to combine the front and rear outputs of the player when connecting to a 2-channel input? 
·  What are the pinouts of the sled docking connector? 
·  I can't get my cell phone mute feature to work. 
·  Now that I've got my player installed, how do I get the best sound? 

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