Tesla Model 3 Stereo - Part 11: Six Months Later

    It's been six months. Six months since I declared that my stereo upgrade for my Tesla Model 3 was complete. It's been a glorious six months. Every morning, every afternoon, Autopilot takes me to and from work with Paul Simon, Yo-Yo Ma, and Kendrick Lamar sitting on my dashboard doing live performances just for me. My 30-45 minutes of commuting per day is now one of my favorite parts of the day. And also I realize how spoiled I've gotten, what a dramatic improvement this system is over my previous car stereo. My previous car sounded terrific, but not quite as good as the Etymotic and AKG headphones I have at home. Now I put on my headphones and lament that they're wonderful, but they're not quite as good as my car. That's pretty amazing.

    As for functionality, the system is running perfectly. I have had zero error messages from the car, zero rattles or squeaks, zero loose wires, zero thermal problems when it was >100ºF for weeks on end in the Texas summer, and after optimizations of the DSP settings, zero obvious acoustic flaws. I am planning one modification to the user interface. As I wrote previously, one of the main goals for this project was to have no user interface, to have all aftermarket equipment integrated invisibly, seamlessly, completely into the car's OEM system. And I almost succeeded here. The speakers are installed in the OEM speaker locations, the amps and DSP are hidden in the trunk, and the wiring taps into the OEM wiring unobtrusively. But I have this aftermarket DSP control knob glued onto the bottom of my center display. And it's fine. It's hard to notice and it's convenient located. But I'd still prefer that it weren't there at all. So now I'm working on that.

    I'm looking at ways to use OEM steering wheel controls to control my aftermarket DSP. If OEM volume values are included in any of the car's CANBUS traffic, I could read that and pass it along to the aftermarket system via some simple embedded solution. If OEM volume values aren't included in any of the CANBUS traffic, we'll have to find another route. I wonder if there's some other parameter we could measure that would indicate OEM volume. But that's my next goal. That would eliminate the aftermarket knob that I currently use to control stereo volume, and once again I would be able to control the aftermarket system using the steering wheel and center display controls. I'm also wondering if I could find a way to read OEM bass level, which could be used to control aftermarket subwoofer gain, eliminating the final physical knob. We'll see.

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