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Old 10-09-2010, 01:54 PM   #1
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Stereo systems in tractors

My name is Lewis Sharman and I am a product design student at Sheffield Hallam University.

I have recently been set a brief to design a set of compact speakers.

I thought it may be an interesting idea to design a set of speakers to connect to an iPod/mp3 player or personal radio for use in agricultural vehicles.

If you don't mind it would be great if you guys could help me out with a bit of research, I know a little as I grew up in the Suffolk countryside but thats nothing really!

I understand maybe some older tractors may not have stereos fitted, is this right?

I have also had a look at having a stereo fitted as an additional extra on a new tractor on the John Deere website and on the 9330 Tractor is either $650 or $974! If you were to purchase a new tractor would you pay that much for a fitted stereo or just not bother?

If you like to listen to music while using a tractor without a fitted stereo do you use a personal radio/mp3 player? Or do you have say, an old radio that you take in the cab with you?

Cheers for taking the time to read this, I hope you can help me out!

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Old 10-09-2010, 07:47 PM   #2
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Welcome Lsharmen. I would probably not bother with spending that much on audio in my tractor since I have no cab and prefer to be able to hear the goings on with the machinery I'm using should something break or come loose. But that's just me!

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Old 10-20-2010, 10:35 PM   #3
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Hey Lewis,
Top three things in a tractor. Cab, A/C, stereo. Without those you really are working!
I have a John Deere tractor with a cab that needs a new stereo and have been looking for a replacement. My tractor has speakers, but the stereo changes stations and turns on and off at random. This may not answer your question completely, but what I would like to find is a stereo that has the following:
1. Big buttons. I can only receive two FM stations in my area and one AM station. I don't need 12 tiny preset buttons. I just need to be able to hit the button I want while bouncing across a field.
2. Aux input. Yes I have an iPod and an iPhone. It is a must in the country with limited radio stations.
3. Bluetooth. It is hard to hear the phone ring over the sound of the tractor, the radio, and the A/C.
I also need this dream stereo in my Jeep.

This is really not an answer to your question, but if anyone know of such a stereo please let me know.

Back to your original question, about speakers. I do have a Altec Lansing iPod speaker that is pretty cool. Have not tried it in my tractor yet though. My tractor does not have a dash like a car, so there is not a good place to put the speaker and iPhone. If you design a speaker system, the good mounting system would have to be the primary goal. Something to mount the speakers in the cab and also hold the iPod, iPhone, ect.

Hope this helps with your project.
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:33 PM   #4
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Hey Lewis,
i have a new 6330 John Deere. I skipped the factory deck and put in my own Kenwood, it has an aux hook up to my ipod, satellite and it even plays videos on a 3 inch screen, the Deck retailed for about $350 I paid $235 on ebay. I junked the factory speakers and went with some Rockford Fosgate 6 inch speakers. The whole system was bout $375 plus install. I would pay more, but the quality would have to be top notch, plus, with electronics prices dropping all the time, $900 seems steep. i would draw the line around $600. Here is my big gripe, the mounts from the factory stinks. I drive on rough terrain and my speakers keep falling out of the cheesy screw mounts that are made out of plastic. I am totally frustrated and need a new system to mount them. They plastic mounts just don't cut it. They need to be more industrial. Not sure this helps, but I feel better for venting. Thanks
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:40 AM   #5
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I know this is a 'big tractor' thread , but for kicks quite a few years ago on my 92 white LT12 lawntractor , i built a stereo setup on a trailer i pulled behind the tractor , had a old car stereo with a CB antenna , 40 watt amp, 2- 4" round speakers and 2 - 6x9 coax speakers - used alligator clips to power the whole thing off the tractor battery. Setup was so loud, i heard it over the tractor with the deck mowing and earplugs in.

I built mine to be compact ( all fit into a 3' square box of plywood) and portable ( antenna had the magnetic base)- even had room on the trailer for an ice chest with soda in it .

For your project, id use 2 small high output speakers, component kind ( separate mid and tweeter) and a single small subwoofer , smallish amp or amplified head unit ( most those run at 20-50watts a channel now) and some sort of CB type antenna. the box should have the mids and tweeters at an angle or pointing tward the driver, while the sub can be enclosed inside with just a port for bass .

Id construct a single box to house everything in - either mountable from the ceiling or dash mounted ( universal mounts for those with or w/o a cab) - best bet would be either plastic or fibreglass for box material. The box should have some input ports for the MP3/Ipod ( most stereos have one in the front now a days), video, bluetooth, additional ports for amps, speakers and have a harness to attach to the tractor's battery/electrical system easy to hook up and remove. Id probably use a bedliner material on the outside for better ruggedness /resistance to weather/vibration ( then the normal carpeting).

I know sony has a 2 speaker with stereo deal ( i bot one for my truck) - that was under $200, the head unit has the MP3 port and a remote as well ( so driver wouldnt need to reach for controls) - Im thinking you could make the whole thing for around $400 or less.

The portability and lightweight factor would be a plus for alot of people, can use it on different vehicles.
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:13 AM   #6
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I have a set of ear phones that cancle out damaging sounds, I wonder if you could desighn speakers that do the same?

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