Here is the write up for my JoeTunes hidden audio system. I use the Shark Audio 250watt Motorcycle Audio System as the base for my JoeTunes. I’ve made these units from the 100watt and 250watt Shark Audio systems. For this write up I an using the 250watt system. I pack the 250watt Shark Audio radio into a leather handlebar bag that is heavily modified, and then make a custom wiring harness so the bag is fully detachable from the motorcycle. The wiring harness utilizes a relay connected to a wire that is only hot when the key on the motorcycle is turned to the “On” position, and uses Powerlet (www.Powerlet.net) connectors to join the bag to the wiring harness. Some parts for JoeTunes need to be ordered online while others can be picked up at various neighborhood stores. I will break up this write up into two sections, namely, “Modifying the Bag”, and “Making the Wiring Harness”. This write up will be long, and the modification just a little challenging, but when you complete it you will have a really nice hidden audio system for your motorcycle. If, in the end you don't want to challenge this modification I will be offering to make the unit for you at a fair price.
So let’s get started:
“Modifying the Bag”
First and most importantly we need to buy the 250watt Shark Audio System from www.gooddeals18.com.
Here are the rest of the parts you will need to modify the bag.
250 Watt Shark Audio System www.gooddeals18.com
Leather Handlebar Bag
Industrial Strength Velcro “Sticky Back”
Gel Super Glue
The Leather Handlebar bag can be bought at Wal-Mart. It comes with leather straps and buckles as a means to close the bag. Remove the leather straps that are pop-riveted on to the bag and use industrial strength Velcro in its place then seal the edges of the Velcro with Gel Super glue. Start by taking a pair of needle nose pliers and remove the pop rivets, this does take a long time so be patient you want to remove the straps without harming the bag in any way...
After you have the straps removed it is time to drill some holes in the back and bottom of the bag. You need to make a hole pattern that will allow the sound out and will be centered over the speakers. I drew up a CAD diagram for mine so my hole pattern will look symmetrical.
You need to dry fit the radio here a few times to get the hole pattern right.
Next, drill out a few holes on the bottom center of the bag for the electrical and antenna wires.
Now, dry fit the radio again and you will see that you need to cut off the top mounting bracket on the radio to make it fit properly in the bag. I use a band-saw with the radio on its side for this, but be careful not to trim too much and cut into the radio housing itself.
Note: Do not push on the LCD screen of the Shark Audio unit when putting the unit into the bag.
If you look at the radio in the bag in the above picture you will see a silver stripe on the bottom of the radio...that's where the top mounting bracket was removed. You can also see two strips of Velcro attached to the front of the bag. Close and open that bag a few times to get a good feel for where the Velcro should best be placed in order to get a good fit. After you put the Sticky back Velcro on seal the edges with a good flexible super glue and let it dry overnight.
Now, let’s move on to making the wiring harness.
“Making the Wiring Harness”
First, a few words about wiring…
Let's assume that for every time I use the word “connect”, or “Splice” that you should solder and heat shrink that connection. Let me say it again....It's that important...Every time you make a connection use solder and then seal it with heat shrink. You don't ever want a wiring harness to fail due to a faulty connection, plus it will drive you nuts trying to troubleshoot it. That goes for the female slide crimp connectors as well. Remember to slide on your heat shrink before you make the soldered connection and in some cases a double layer of heat shrink will be best.
Let’s get the technical stuff out of the way first. Here is your materials list.
Powerlet – Heavy Duty SAE Extension Cable www.powerlet.net
Relay – 4 pin, 30amp, 12v automotive relay
18Gauge, 2-Conductor Red and Black Wire
In Line , Mini-Blade, Fuse Holder
Slide Connects – Female
Quick Splice Connectors
Ring – or – Blade Connects
Heat Shrink Tubing
7.5 amp Mini Blade Fuse
Blue Primary Wire
Although 2 wire SAE connectors can be found locally, I highly suggest getting the 2 Wire Flat SAE connectors made by Powerlet. They are heavy duty and have a cap for the end so the wire isn't exposed to the elements when the radio is not attached. You can order it from either Powerlet's web site or Amazon, they are the same price.
I drew up a simple wiring diagram to make the wiring of the relay easier...
Alright, let’s get into it....
This is what you will be making:
Grab a length (you are going to have to determine the lengths of the wire based on where you want to put the relay) of your black and red wire separate several inches of it and put either ring connectors or blade connectors on the end. I prefer blades because you don't have to remove the post terminals on the battery, but ring connectors are more secure. On the other end measure back along the red wire the length of the outstretched inline fuse connector and remove that much of the red wire only. Splice the inline fuse connector on to the red wire. Now put a female slide connector on the other side of the red wire.
Now drop that and grab a new piece of your red and black wire (enough to run from under your seat up along the bike's backbone and out at the neckon the right side). Separate some of it and put a female slide connector on one red side. Now, connect the black side of the wire to the black side of the wire with the in line fuse and put a female slide connector over the splice. (You are remembering to solder and heat shrink
everything, right?) Now, grab a few feet of the blue wire (this will be your trigger wire) and put a female slide connector on one end. You are now ready to connect the four female slide connectors to the relay by following my wiring diagram above.
When you are done it should look like this...
Here are a few pictures of some of the relay connections that I made...
Try during this process to get as much heat shrink as you possibly can on everything you can. You can also tell by the last picture that I use a Crimp style Slide Connectors that already have heat shrink attached, and you could also tell that I still drop some solder down the top of the slide connector to ensure a perfect seal. Now I wrap with electrical tape each individual terminal and then proceed to wrap the whole relay assembly.
Once it wrapped do not bend it!
Now go to the other end of the long red and black wire and separate it a few inches. Grab your Powerlet connector and cut it in half. Grab the piece of the Powerlet connector that has the cover on it and separate the newly cut end a few inches. It is a solid black wire that one of the strands is ribbed.
Note: RIBBED IS POSITIVE
Note: The positive end of a hot SAE connection should be the shielded terminal.
Connect the red wire from the wiring harness to the ribbed black wire on the Powerlet connector, and the black wire from the wiring harness to the non-ribbed black wire on the Powerlet connector.
You could now put in a 7.5 amp mini blade fuse in the inline fuse holder.
Leave the end of the blue trigger wire bare until you install the wiring harness on the bike.
You will now make up the wire that goes from the Shark a
Audio System to our Wiring Harness:
Now grab the wiring harness that came with the Shark Audio system and cut off the power connector ( the part that plugs into the back of the radio) from the wiring harness several inches back and separate the wires a few inches (I will now call this the Shark harness). Grab the remaining piece of the Powerlet connector and separate the wire a few inches. Connect the black ribbed wire on the Powerlet connector to the red wire on the Shark harness. Connect the black non-ribbed wire on the Powerlet connector to the black wire on the Shark harness.
Congratulations! You have now labored to make one “Rockin'” JoeTunes Hidden Removable Audio System!
You've done all the hard work already and now it’s time to install your JoeTunes system on your bike. Pull the seat, the tank, and the ECM to expose the battery terminals.
You now have a decision to make as to what you are going to use as your trigger wire. For those of you that don't know what a relay does here is a simple little lesson. A relay allows your “device” (in our case – JoeTunes)
to follow the same set of protocols of another “device “and that happens through the trigger wire. I know that is broad, so let us use a specific example. When we put the key in our bike and put it to “ON” several things happen, some of which are:
The Headlight turns on
The Tail Light turns on
The License Plate Light turns on
The Amber Running lights up front turn on
If we were to “tap” one of those wires running to those lights with our blue trigger wire it will (when the key is put to ON) “activate” our relay and allow power to flow through our relay to the Shark Audio unit. This is a good thing, because it will never allow you to leave JoeTunes on when you turn off the key....basically when the key is off there will be no possible way to turn on the radio, thus no battery drain. There is a drawback with the Shark Audio systems, however; you will lose your presets. I truly feel that that is of little importance verses leaving JoeTunes on once and it draining your battery. If you’re like me and will use the AUX jack wired to an IPod then this is of little consequence.
Now which wire would I choose to trigger JoeTunes....well for this application I would do one of two things:
I would either connect our blue trigger wire to the tail light wire or to one of the headlight wires.
Let's first start with the tail light wire:
The tail light wire is a brown wire that is bundled in a mess of wires under the right side cover. It's easy to get to and handles our most basic need of turning on power to the radio when the key is turned to “on”, and turning off power to the radio when the key is turned to “off”. Just run the blue trigger wire to the brown tail light wire (it’s found in a bundle of wires under the right side cover) and use our Quick Splice connector to connect our blue trigger wire to the brown tail light wire.
Here is a portion of our bikes wiring diagram showing the color of the taillight wire. The whole wiring diagram could be found in the final pages of our service manual.
Now let's examine a headlight wire:
We can also connect our blue trigger wire to one of the headlight wires. For this we will need several feet of single wire. We will need to run a wire from the inside of the headlight bucket to under the seat. You can use more of the Blue wire for this but any single wire will do.
Next, open the Head Light Bucket and pull out, through the back, the RED plug connector which contains a dark blue wire with white piping….this is the wire that we will use to trigger the relay. Cut or open that wire and splice in several feet (enough to get back to under the seat) of our blue wire remembering to solder and heat shrink the connection. This is a three wire splice; the two ends of the Blue and White wire that you just cut and our blue wire. Now hide and run that wire back to under the seat, by following the existing wires running up the right side of the backbone. And WALLA you now have a permanent trigger wire for any other relay application right under your seat. This wire has the added benefit of not only being activated by the key but momentarily turning off when the starter button is depressed allowing more energy to be used for starting power. My only suggestion with this method is that you don't start JoeTunes until the bike is running because when you press the starter button power will be momentarily turned off to our wiring harness resetting JoeTunes.
When the wire is under your seat area label it “Blue and White trigger Wire” so you could use it again in future applications. Now use a Quick Splice connector to attach that wire with the trigger wire from our wiring harness.
Whichever way you choose to trigger the JoeTunes radio is completely up to you.
To run the end of the wiring harness with the Powerlet connector up from under the seat area:
If you look where the main wires are headed from the battery to up front you will see that they run up the right hand side of the top frame right under the tank. Feed the Powerlet connector side of our wiring harness wire up and along with those wires, binding our red and black wire to those wires with cable ties. Your end goal is to get our black and red wire with
the Powerlet connector to fall right next to the neck on the right hand side of the bike. This is where we will make our connection to the wire from the JoeTunes Bag.
Find a safe place to secure the relay under the seat and then connect the red wire to the positive battery terminal and the black wire to the negative battery terminal.
Now go ahead and button up the bike, put back the tank....and don't forget to re-attach the vacuum hose on the right rear of the tank...
Mount the JoeTunes bag to the front of the handlebars with the speakers facing towards you, and run the power wire to the right side of the neck and the antenna wire along the handlebars. As time goes on you will find the best place for the antenna wire. For me, I got good reception wrapping the antenna wire around my mirror post on the left side. Connect the Powerlet wires, put the key in the ON position (or just start the bike) then push and hold the MODE button on the Shark Audio system for more than 2 seconds and the radio will turn on. Tune to a station or hook up your external device to the AUX jack and “ROCK OUT!!!”
Remember a few things....while the speakers are fully waterproof the amp unit and the remote control unit are not. While the amp really can't get wet in the bag you could always seal the seams with a little silicone (It couldn't hurt). What I do with the remote is to tuck it back into the bag when the weather is threatening or when I'm away from the bike. When you are riding you could always “plastic bag” it. I suggest getting some Velcro strips (the kind you use to bind wires together) they sell it at Lowes right where they sell the Velcro, and use that to hold the remote to the bars.
There are many ways to make, wire, and run a wiring harness for this kind of application. This way, however, is among the simplest and uses parts that are fairly readily available.
Well, that's it, that's all there is to it...LOL
If you really like what you see and don't want to tackle the Wiring, Cutting, Splicing, Drilling, Measuring, Ordering, and Gathering, I will make the unit for you. I also have for sale there a few pretty cool accessories that will really enhance the JoeTunes Hidden Audio System
Visit www.joetunesaudio.com and I can take your order or answer your questions there as well.
I know this was a long read but I feel strongly about JoeTunes. It really is worth every penny and whether you decide to tackle it on your own or buy it from me; I will be here to help you through your install.
Thank you for looking.....