Why Do I have to pay when I ship my radio?

Well,  technically you don't have to pay right away. You can pay whenever you  want.  But I strongly recommend that my customers pay when they ship,  for a number of reasons.
 

When payment is made, an Invoice is create. I receive a notification of that sale that allows me to prepare  for radios that I will be receiving in a couple of days. More  importantly however, when I receive shipments, I check in the radios and  reconcile them against payments that I have received. If the payment  was made, the radio gets put in line to be worked on.  If no payment is  found, the radio gets put on a shelf to contact the customer, which as  you can imagine will cause the repair to be delayed.   Even worse, sometimes there is no identification with the package. With no invoice to match it up against, I sometimes don't know who the radio came from, and don't have any contact info.
 

Over the years, my customers have been awesome at following this  procedure, with very few exceptions. It has allows me to consistently  get radios back fast, and has helped keep labor costs down.
 

Think of yourself as a WingConnect employee. I can't do my job until you  do yours.  Don't trust yourself to remember to come back later and take  care of it. You will forget, and then be kicking yourself when you find  that the radio won't be back when you had hoped.
 

If something happens that prevents you from shipping your radio, don't worry. The payment can always be refunded.  

I'm not sure which option I should pay for.

Information about my services can be found in many places on my site, but here is a summary breakdown.


In general, except for backlighting replacement, you should only have to select one item for each radio you send in. There are discounted combo packages for multiple services. 


Services are broken into two categories, Upgrades/Fixes, and Repairs.


2006-2010 bikes do not need any upgrades. Service for these years are repair only.  (No airbag radios.)


2001-2005 radios have a couple of options available. Some are combo packages that are heavily discounted. 


If your radio is broken, in other words, has failed in some way, and you only want it repaired, then just select the repair service.


If your radio is broken, and you want the amp upgrade done, then select the Repair/Upgrade option


If you have a working radio and only want the upgrades, you can choose the amp upgrade or the upgrade/microphonics fix combo.  Note that if you have a 2001 or 2002 bike, please take a look at This Page for more information.


Don't use any of the misc fees at the bottom of the store unless I instruct you to via email. Those are for special circumstances.


When in doubt, email me at support@wingconnect.com

3. Which Goldwing models is the Amp upgrade for?

What exactly is the amp upgrade?

 The  01-05 Goldwing stereo has a power amplifier that sucks, for lack of a  better word.  My upgrade replaces the cheap, OEM amplifier IC with a  premium 12 volt audio amplifier that costs many times more than the one  used by Panasonic. The replacement does not alter the circuit board in  any way, but it does require that about a dozen  components to be replaced in  order for the new amplifier to operate correctly and reliably.  

What kind of performance can I expect?

 

The improvement is two fold, and this is a very imoportant point. 


First,  the original amp puts out a true audio power output of only 9 to 11  watts per channel. The upgrade doubles the power output to an impressive  22 watts per channel of true audio power with a  4 ohm load.


Secondly,  the distortion is dramatically lowered. The factory spec on the  original amplifier is .5%.  The new IC has a rated THD of 0.0015%. That  is comparable to a high end home amplifier.  Normally distortion specs  aren’t a big concern, but when the difference is this great, it becomes  easily noticeable.

Why only 22 watts? Honda advertises the radio as 25 watts

 This article is 10 years old and really needs be updated, because it could have been explained better. But here it is in its original form until that happens.


First  you have to understand there are many ways to advertise audio power.  Some methods give useful information, but most are worthless to the  consumer. Unfortunately it isn't false advertising because these  companies aren't technically lying.  They are instead just not telling  you everything. 
 

Automotive  head units and small external power amplifiers don’t normally follow  EIA industry guidelines when rating their amplifiers. They aren’t  required to, and it would make their products look bad. That is why you  see insane power claims on head units and cheap external power amps.  They are using the IC manufacturer’s specs, which is not true audio  power. This information is useful to a designer, but not the consumer.   This number is well beyond the clipping point,  at a very high  distortion, usually 10%, sometimes higher.  It is also the peak power  level, not the RMS value. If you see a spec on an audio product that  shows the power output, but does NOT give the distortion at that power  level, AND does NOT specify whether it is peak or RMS power, then the  advertised power spec is worthless and should be ignored. 
 

 The  22 watts per channel I am specifying is true RMS audio power at the  rated THD spec. If you want to make a comparison based on the same  criteria as Honda’s specs, the upgrade amplifier I use is rated by the  manufacturer as 45 watts per channel into 4 ohms, and 70 watts per  channel into 2 ohms.

So  why only 22 watts/channel you ask?   That amount of power is right on  the edge of the theoretical maximum that you can get from a bridged  amplifier at 14.2 volts. This is a limit that is bound by the laws of  physics.  Anything higher would require large and expensive switching  power supplies that boost the incoming DC supply voltage higher.  Something like this won’t fit in a head unit, and an external amp with a  switching power supply won’t fit in the rear cubby hole in the trunk.   The heat generated by the switching power supply and the 4 amplifier  channels would require too large of a heat sink.
 

You  can certainly give your stereo more power, but it will involve adding a  relatively large aftermarket power amp. Any amp that is higher in power  is going to have switching power supplies and a very large heat sink.   You will lose a lot of valuable trunk space.
 

But  let's be realistic. The goal here is to gain a sound system that will  enable you to enjoy your music, not create a monster sound system.   Those speakers are only 5 inches, and they are right in front of your  face. 22 watts X 4 of clean audio is a lot of power for an application  like this. 

In  the near future, we will hopefully be seeing more high efficiency class  D amplifiers on the market. They have the potential to take up much  less space, because they  don't require heat sinks that are quite as  large. Right now, the offerings on the market don't suit our needs.  (Note: Class D amplifier are frequently, and incorrectly referred to as  digital amplifiers) 

 

Does the upgrade improve sound while using Aux or CD mode?

 Yes!  Absolutely. This is an upgrade to the main power amplifier inside the radio that drives the external speakers.  It improves anything you listen to through the Goldwing's external  speakers; AM/FM/WB/CD/AUX and even the CB.

Will the upgrade improve the sound of my headsets?

 No it won't. The headsets in this radio are driven by a separate power amp. 

Should I leave all the buttons on the radio ?

 Yes! By all means leave the radio intact with the buttons, knobs, and faceplate in place when you prepare to ship it.  The ESD mat on my workbench is made of soft rubber. It can't damage cosmetic parts.  Don't even remove the rear mounting bracket. It won't get lost that way.

I would like to know who I am doing business with

That's a fair question, and I would share that concern if I were in your shoes.


First, as far as whether there is a real person behind this website, visit the GL1800riders.com website. Sign up and ask about WingConnect or LarryM (my screen name there) I am no longer a regular contributor there, but I have a long history, and most people there know about me.

 

With regards to my qualifications, I  am a CET (Certified Electronics Technician) with over 30 years of  experience in the consumer audio field as an installer, bench tech,  supervisor and trainer. Today, I am no longer in consumer electronics. I work as an engineering technician working on new product development.  Even though I have move in professionally, audio is still my passion. Over the years I have received numerous  certifications from nearly every major consumer electronics  manufacturer.
 

My shop is fully equipped with  high quality  professional grade test and rework equipment. Full industry standard procedures for ESD  protection are followed to ensure the highest reliability of your  radio.  My test/rework bench is equipped with a custom built test  fixture designed specifically for testing and repair of the GL1800  radio, CB, and CD player. No other company outside of Panasonic has  anything like it.
 

I am a  Goldwing owner, just like you. My current ride is a 2002 Illusion Blue  GL1800 with nearly 100,000 miles on it that I bought new in September of 2001.   I haven't been able to wipe the grin off my face since the day I rode  this bike off the showroom floor. 

Why don't you have a phone number listed on your site?

WingConnect  is  a part time side business, not my day job.  I can't answer the phone during the day while at work, and I don't hold regular business hours the rest of the time. I do call customers in cases where I need answers faster than email can provide. For non customer tech support, and troubleshooting help,  I  have to stick with email communications.

Do you have any advice on shipping?

I certainly do. I highly recommend using the US postal service, Priority Mail.
 

There is no carrier that can ship a  package this size faster and cheaper. And despite the bashing that the  Postal Service takes by some people, they are extremely reliable. I have  shipped packages to California on a Saturday, and had them delivered on  Monday.
 

 WARNING: If you decide to use Fedex or UPS, please, do not request a  signature or it will be returned to you. There is nobody here during the day that is authorized to  sign for packages.   UPS and Fedex charge a fee to route to an office near me.  I refuse to pay the fee, and I will not drive 1.5 hours round trip just to pick up one package.
 

The US postal service has 2 types of Priority shipping, regular,  which uses your own box, and flat rate, which is sent only in boxes  provided by the post office.  The best method depends on where you live.
     a. If you live within about 4-5 states of Ohio, it is cheaper to use standard Priority Mail and use your own box.
     b. If you live in far away states, like Texas or California, flat  rate is cheaper. There are two sizes of medium boxes, a flat style and a  more square size. Use the more square size. These boxes are available  for free from your post office. They are usually in a display near the  counter.
 

 I have never had a package from USPS lost or damaged, and I don't  return radios with extra insurance. I don't want to tell anyone not to  get insurance, but if you do, keep in mind that by default, USPS will  require a signature for insured package. Please waive the signature  requirement when you fill out the form. . Otherwise,  it will add an  extra day to the turntime because I will have to go to the post office  to pick it up.  In the unlikely event that a radio were damaged or lost,  even though there would be a cost involved, I can repair or replace  lost or damaged radios at a reasonable cost.  Nobody wants to have it  happen to them, but it isn't going to break the bank. Don't be  frightened by Honda's $1200 list price for a replacement radio.
 

I realize that most people have their preferred carrier for shipping,  whether it be USPS, UPS, or Fedex.  And you are free to use whichever  you prefer.  But the fact is that no carrier is perfect. Damage is  always a risk. If you use UPS for example, I have had radios take 8 days  to get here from the west coast.  Take your pick.