FEEDBACK

Updated:
8/3/2003 

V1 Install

Stealthy Valentine One install

Contents:

Introduction

This acrticle describes some of my thoughts and methods for mounting a V1 radar detector on the rear deck of my S4. Since I largely improvised this I donít really expect anyone to be able to duplicate this exactly the way I did it. It should give the average handyman some tips on how to proceed though. Of course you make modifications to your car at your own risk.

Reasoning

I recently bought a Valentine One radar detector. The concensus is that this is the best detector you can buy, save perhaps the K40 which is much more expensive and can not be installed by anyone but a professional installer (I think anyway). I donít really speed but I donít like the idea of CHPs sneaking up on me or other police patrols trapping me with radar. I also like toys so that was another reason to get the V1. Before I bought it I knew I would not leave the darn thing dangling of the windshield. 4 Reasons:

  • No reason to let the cops know Iím on to them even though they are legal in CA
  • It looks pretty ugly to have this thing in front of you
  • Itís an easy target for petty thiefs
  • I donít want an 8 ounce magnesium chunk flying through the cabin in case of an accident.

Inspired by a post I saw on Audiworld a long time ago I decided to mount the V-1 in the back of the car. The main threat (for me) is CHPs zapping me from behind and with a clear view to the front the main antenna should still get plenty of signal from the front.

After receiving the V-1 I examined it closely. To my joy I found that it has 4 recessed screw holes on the underside. These seemed very suitable to use as a mounting aid. I wanted whatever mounting I came up with to be easily removable so I can use the V1 in another vehicle if needed. As I went to the local hardware store I found a nice piece of 3Ē wide aluminum. I figured I could put some pins on that aluminum strip to match the holes in the V1 then bend that strip and somehow attach it to the car. As I checked out the rear-deck I saw that the child seat restraints are easily removed and make a great mounting point.

Armed with all this I went to work.

Material, tools and parts

I bought the following supplies at a hardware store:

  • 2 Ft of 3Ē wide aluminum strip
  • baggie of 6-32 size zinc plated machine screw nuts
  • baggie of 6/32x1 machine screws with round philips head. !/2Ē would probably be better and not require cutting later on.
  • baggie of size #6 split lockwashers
  • pack of 2 Velcro brand 18Ē cinch straps (a little shorter would be better but they didnít have them).  Part #90107

I used the following tools, all of which I already owned:

  • Cordless power screwdriver
  • HSS drill bits
  • B&D Workmate
  • caliper (if you donít have one, get it! Great tool with many uses)
  • coarse file
  • metal saw
  • a few pieces of 2x4 studs
  • some sheets of paper
  • waterproof pen
  • drawing triangle
  • center punch
  • wrench to remove the bolt from the rear deck

Here are some of the tools I used. In the middle is the mount with bolts not yet cut to size. The paper on the right has the hole patern in the bottom of the V1.

Process

Bending

The trickiest part of the whole thing was to bend the aluminum strip into the form I wanted. I had first experimented with a strip of light cardboard to see what the approximate size should be so I could mount the V1 without it touching the rear windshield and (most importantly) the heating elements. After that I just went with the flow and instinct. I donít have any pictures of this part. I basically stuck the end of the strip in the Workmate (any vise would do) and bent it at about 90 degs. At least, thatís what I intended but as it was bending I realized that a round shape would do just fine and was less likely to cause breakage of the aluminum which I feared was slightly brittle. After moving the strip several times in the vise I ended up with this shape:

Cutting and drilling

I then cut the strip to size so that the V1 would be mounted entirely on a flat piece of aluminum while keeping the total size as small as possible.

Using a sheet a paper and a pen I had traced the pattern of the bolt holes in the V1. I could then lay the pattern (up side down !) on the strip and used the center punch to make starter holes. Using my caliper I figured that a 5/32Ē drill would be correct for my bolts. So I drilled the four holes.

Using the caliper (told you this was a useful tool) I measured the minimum depth of the holes in the V1 which tured out to be 9 mm. The thickness of the strip together with the height of the nuts turned out to be 6mm. So my bolts needed to be cut to 15 mm. This was easily done by using the caliper to mark 15mm on each of them and cutting them with a saw.

I removed the bolt from the rear-deck and figured that I needed an 8 mm or 11/32Ē drill for the hole.

Fitment and adjusting

I took the part to the car and lightly fastened it in the car and fit the V1 on it. It turned out it needed to be slightly flatter. I could no longer use the workmate as is so I took 3 pieces of 2x4 and mounted them as shown below:

This ensured that I would create a ĎUí shape and not and omega. When it seemed the workmate wasnít able to exert the force I needed I simply stacked it up on the ground and applied my 200 Lbs to it. Now it fit great.

I then assembled the whole thing, using lockwashers to ensure everything would stay put.

The result looked like this:

You can see that the V1 rests on the nuts that secure the bolts. I then secured it with the velcro strip:

This pic also shows where the mounting hole is. I had to put it close to the edge to keep the V1 away from the windshield. It also shows that itís pointing downwards a little. I fixed that later by bending it back a little.

Mounting

Then it was time to mount the assembly in the car. Because Iím re-using the existing restraint bolt this is very easy:

I then put an Audi cap on it that Iíd had for a while but have little use for here in CA:

I havenít yet routed the wires to the front for the remote display and audio adapters. Iím first going to test sensitivity in this position.

Install of remote display and audio

With the V1 being all the way in the back I still need a way to look at the alerts etc. Thatís why I bought the remote audio adapter and the remote display unit. Initially I wanted to mount the display in the ashtray but that proved a little too complicated for the amount of time I had. So I chose to put the display over the radio:

You can see the remote audio adapter above my right knee, here is a closeup:

I stuck it there rather than higher for two reasons: Stealth (one less box to draw attention) and safety. Those foam filled pads are meant to protect your knees in case of an accident. Sticking a hard plastic obstacle there didnít seem like a good idea. This way I can still access the knob easily. Routing the wires is also very easy: The following 4 pics are linked to a double resolution image for extra detail.

To route the wires simply stick them on top of the plastic panel with cloth type sound deadening. Itís simple, really. No need to fasten them there as far as I could tell. As you can see the wires re-appear from behind that white clip that keeps the panel in place. From there one wire (white) goes to the V1, two others (remote audio-in and remote display) go up:

I forgot to take a pic of the footwell with the kick panel and footrest removed. Itís tricky to get it out. Be aware that itís essentially one piece. Remove the two screws and one nut keeping it in place. The kick panel moves backwards (towards the door) to release two clips at the bottom. The footrest has to move up. I didnít know this and ripped off a plastic hook. No biggie, itís not load bearing. My left foot keeps it in place. Thereís a whole bunch of connectors there that Iíll be sure to revisit for other projects.

Power adapter

The power supply is hooked up like so, without any cutting:

The fuse is used for heated steering wheel and rear wipers which we donít have so this should work for all non-avant S4s. There are other, equally good free locations though. I simply stuck the supplied spade connector in the left side of the fuse slot. Perfect fit. Audi conveniently provided a ground screw for us to use and an empty space for the power adapter. Plug in the wires to the remote audio adapter and the remote display after threading them from below as indicated. I used one of the twist ties from the V1 packaging to take up slack.

Wiring the V1

Reaching the V1 in the back was not very hard. There is some room between the carpet and trim strips. Use a smooth, clean screwdriver to help the telephone wire squeeze in:

This is one panel strip all the way to the back.

 

Detail of routing between the rear seat and trim.

Finally the wire makes it into the trunk as shown below:

I used an electric drill to make a small hole in the rear deck. I cut the RJ-11 connector off and used a piece of stiff steel wire to thread the phone cord through the hole. In the picture above you can see where it feeds up, in the one below you can see where it comes out. I drilled from the top down. I am not too concerned about the small hole. If I decide I donít want the V1 there anymore I can use any black trim plug to plug the hole. No one will notice.

 

 

I used a crimping tool to put a new RJ-11 jack on the phone wire. View from the outside:

 

And with the hat in place.

 

Test results

So far Iím very happy with the install but I have to admit that sensitivity is impaired with this install. Certainly from the front. The rear will be better of course. I will try in the next few weeks to quantify how bad it really is. I will also try to take some measurements with the V1 outside of the car. A roof mount would really be the ideal situation of course. I may put a power wire in the head liner so I can quickly mount the V1 on the windshield if I feel I need more frontal protection and can do with less stealth. Of course the remote display would still work. A simple phone line duplicator in the power adapter would allow me to do this without futsing with phone cord.

In an adhoc measurement close to work where there is a stationary K band radar I noticed that the detection range fell from 300 ft to 100 ft. This radar source could be mounted up high though which makes it an invalid test. Iíll update this page as I find more.

 

[Home] [What's New] [Cars] [Digital Video] [Scuba]

All content Copyrighted by Sander Pool unless otherwise noted. Content may not be copied without written authorization.