Stealth Installs - can we start a new thread?

angrypenguin

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@RaggedEdge , two things. 1) Is that //AMG logo at the front standard? (i'm just curious). Also, 2) I know Paul said he wasn't the installer, but did you install it yourself? Was perspex relatively easy to work with? I've been thinking about doing this on my car but not sure the difficulty level involved.

Any special tools used (if you installed it yourself which I believe based on this thread you did?). Any tips?

PS - shocked you didn't hide the RCM behind perspex too!!
 

RaggedEdge

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@RaggedEdge , two things. 1) Is that //AMG logo at the front standard? (i'm just curious). Also, 2) I know Paul said he wasn't the installer, but did you install it yourself? Was perspex relatively easy to work with? I've been thinking about doing this on my car but not sure the difficulty level involved.

Any special tools used (if you installed it yourself which I believe based on this thread you did?). Any tips?

PS - shocked you didn't hide the RCM behind perspex too!!
1.) Yes, the AMG badge is standard, but it was in the slot that the RX now occupies, I moved it over one slot.

2.) I used a professional installer. There was a ton of fabrication used in my install. Knowing what I know now, I think it would be possible to do the install myself, and then use a professional installer for the perplex only.
 

asleeper

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I'll definitely be doing my own install as I've done all four of mine. The Perspex OTOH I'll be leaving to a professional. Love your install though, stealthy installs in banned areas is the way to go ;).
 

Tb12

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The acrylic is kind of a pain to work with. The thinest I could find is .118in / 3mm. This makes it incredibly stiff in the size we're working with for jammer covers. I've also only been able to find IRT acrylic in extruded (not cast), which means it laser cuts well but won't machine well. This means skim cutting the acrylic down to 1-2mm is going to be really painful if not impossible to get a good enough surface finish. Maybe possible with sanding, but hard to keep thickness consistent that way. This also means laser cutting is your best bet for cutting to shape.

So, to form the acrylic to a curve, you need to thermoform it. This causes a second problem - the acrylic has some internal stresses (either from laser cutting or from the extrusion process). So, depending on your shape, this could either be somewhat helpful or a really big problem. For me, one side it helped a lot, the other side I need to experiment to get the cupping to go the right way.

You also need a good form for thermoforming - in lucky enough to have lots of access to 3d printers. I'm trying to do it with just pressure (2 part mold) instead of thermoforming to keep things simple.

Here's my first trial that came out ok, but it needs some more work and some sanding and polishing to get a nice smooth clear (gloss) surface. I may end up giving up on the curve and just designing around flat sheets to save myself a lot of trouble!

jbjx1RA.jpg
 

AlfaPrime

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The acrylic is kind of a pain to work with. The thinest I could find is .118in / 3mm. This makes it incredibly stiff in the size we're working with for jammer covers. I've also only been able to find IRT acrylic in extruded (not cast), which means it laser cuts well but won't machine well. This means skim cutting the acrylic down to 1-2mm is going to be really painful if not impossible to get a good enough surface finish. Maybe possible with sanding, but hard to keep thickness consistent that way. This also means laser cutting is your best bet for cutting to shape.

So, to form the acrylic to a curve, you need to thermoform it. This causes a second problem - the acrylic has some internal stresses (either from laser cutting or from the extrusion process). So, depending on your shape, this could either be somewhat helpful or a really big problem. For me, one side it helped a lot, the other side I need to experiment to get the cupping to go the right way.

You also need a good form for thermoforming - in lucky enough to have lots of access to 3d printers. I'm trying to do it with just pressure (2 part mold) instead of thermoforming to keep things simple.

Here's my first trial that came out ok, but it needs some more work and some sanding and polishing to get a nice smooth clear (gloss) surface. I may end up giving up on the curve and just designing around flat sheets to save myself a lot of trouble!

View attachment 130386
@Tb12 how do you plan to test this to ensure there aren't optical distortions caused by your thermoforming process (and that it's sufficiently polished)?
 

Tb12

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@Tb12 how do you plan to test this to ensure there aren't optical distortions caused by your thermoforming process (and that it's sufficiently polished)?
I'm doing testing (hopefully this weekend!) to confirm function. I hope to do some runs without the covers, then install the covers and do a couple more runs against the hardest gun we have.

I'm not super concerned because I have the TX head completely uncovered. Any distortion from the thermoforming should be pretty minimal and, if anything, have a lensing effect towards the receiver. Since I'm not relying on the transmit functionality with the TX head in place, I should hopefully be well covered.

The rear heads (if I ever find time to get them installed) have flat plastic only so I'm not concerned there.
 

AlfaPrime

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I'm doing testing (hopefully this weekend!) to confirm function. I hope to do some runs without the covers, then install the covers and do a couple more runs against the hardest gun we have.

I'm not super concerned because I have the TX head completely uncovered. Any distortion from the thermoforming should be pretty minimal and, if anything, have a lensing effect towards the receiver. Since I'm not relying on the transmit functionality with the TX head in place, I should hopefully be well covered.

The rear heads (if I ever find time to get them installed) have flat plastic only so I'm not concerned there.
Good luck!


The thinest I could find is .118in / 3mm.
You can buy 2mm IR-transmitting acrylic sheets here: https://www.eplastics.com/plexiglass/acrylic-sheets/ir-transmitting
 

Saussie

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Good thread, although I think this should be slotted into intermediate. Just helps stop prying eyes a little.
Wanted to also add.....
Go to a junkyard, purchase a second set of grills. Chop one set neatly to fit the heads and give enough room to get a small concrete level on top of the heads for levelling, aligning and adjustments.
If you're lucky the grills clip in and out by hand or a quick screwdriver unscrew and they are out.
Undo the weatherproof cable connector and then unclip the grill areas and replace it back with your originals so it's back to looking stock when you need to. It's the quick ghetto swap if it suits your car, but may not suit all cars by design.
On top of this....
Actuators I had in mind to hide heads. Just be careful what you order. Ummm... I got actuators sent out to me. One problem.... They're over a foot large and pump out 600kg lifting capacity. Good luck fitting automatic gate openers to a car haha!
Small, neat and fast is what you want.
 
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Tb12

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More info in my install thread, but here's the install.

MVIMG_20191117_092903.jpg
 

RedRocket

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I'm doing testing (hopefully this weekend!) to confirm function. I hope to do some runs without the covers, then install the covers and do a couple more runs against the hardest gun we have.

I'm not super concerned because I have the TX head completely uncovered. Any distortion from the thermoforming should be pretty minimal and, if anything, have a lensing effect towards the receiver. Since I'm not relying on the transmit functionality with the TX head in place, I should hopefully be well covered.

The rear heads (if I ever find time to get them installed) have flat plastic only so I'm not concerned there.
I'm not sure I mentioned this to you, but I do have a modified 'handcam' that "sees" IR very well & could be used to check for any optical distortion of a curved stealth lens cover.

ALP IR output:
 

deanoobaby

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I live in a banned state so started with a complete stealth install. This install was JTG, JFG against the stalker RLR/XLR and PL3, however, I got PTs vs. the DETC. I don't face DE often, but I do travel to GA. I have since changed this install to be semi-stealth, I'll share pics of it once I have it tested.


View attachment 116943View attachment 116944View attachment 116949
you have it easy i also live in a state where jammers are banned and face off axis poliscans there is no such thing as a perfect install ...the only reason why this was JTG and JFG is becouse you knew where to aim on your own vehicle and expericaned shooter will PT through this all day
 

radarrob

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you have it easy i also live in a state where jammers are banned and face off axis poliscans there is no such thing as a perfect install ...the only reason why this was JTG and JFG is becouse you knew where to aim on your own vehicle and expericaned shooter will PT through this all day
X2 100% agree that expericaned shooter will PT through this all day.
Post automatically merged:

X2 100% agree that experienced shooter will PT through this all day.
 
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RaggedEdge

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you have it easy i also live in a state where jammers are banned and face off axis poliscans there is no such thing as a perfect install ...the only reason why this was JTG and JFG is becouse you knew where to aim on your own vehicle and expericaned shooter will PT through this all day
X2 100% agree that expericaned shooter will PT through this all day.
Post automatically merged:
WTF? I fully admitted in the beginning of the thread that I had PT issues with this install. This was an EXAMPLE of a stealth install. My current install isnt this stealthy, but it is JTG/JFG
 

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