I just returned from Dallas, TX from the annual MERA Mobile Electronics Retailers Association Knowledgefest. It is a trade event that brings together some of the best mobile electronics shops across the nation so they can talk shop. It is where the creme de la creme of installation technicians can also meet up to view the latest product offerings.
For those reading this blog, you are probably interested in the latest in-car technologies, but may not know where to turn to have those products installed. One surefire bet is to seek out an MECP certified Master Installer. Although that can be a challenge because the list is always changing and there are only around 300 in the entire country, you can look at www.drivingfun.org for an easy-to-use search engine to find an MECP certified installer (but perhaps not a Master).
There can be a lot of potential pitfalls of installing complex electronics into modern vehicles. Unless the installer is intimately understanding of complex CAN networks and databus architecture, more damage than good can be done. At a minimum, the installer must be able to use an oscilloscope to test wiring.
Ah, but when it all comes together… Check out the CLA 250 installation pictured above. It includes a full-on audio system with outboard DSP processing. All of that custom fabrication was done in 48 straight hours with a fired-up team in a sleep-deprivation install-a-thon. I guess that is why Micah Williams of Sonus Car Audio in Clarksville, TN is known as the head fabricator — because as he puts it, Badass Motherf**cker wasn’t available as an official job title.