The Crutchfield Polaris Ranger
Kicker and Crutchfield rock the parking lot
Robert Ferency-Viars is the managing editor for the Crutchfield car A/V learning content, and has been with the company since 1999. A Virginia native from the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, he loves spending time with his wonderful wife and sons, listening to music, writing, and playing games with friends. Robert's love for car audio began at 16 when he installed his first car stereo.
More from Robert Ferency-Viars
|The new ATV has a brighter paint job with more Crutchfield flair.|
Crutchfield has hosted several "You dream it, we'll help you build it™ " contests, but it's not every day that we get to be the winners of such a dream. Yet, when we're partnered with people like Kicker, sometimes our dreams come true too.
For example, we worked together a few years ago to turn a Polaris Ranger ATV (all-terrain vehicle) into the perfect way to entertain crowds at local football games and other community events.
This year, Kicker suggested that it was time for a new Ranger, and we certainly didn't argue. After almost three years of hard use, the old one was starting to show its age. They assured us the new ATV would rock even harder than the old one, and boy, did they come through on that promise.
|David loves this part of his job.|
David Hall, the manager of our Charlottesville, Virginia retail store, gets to spend the most time with the ATV. With his crew, he entertains the crowds of fans at local college and high school football games. They also participate in other community events, like the Holiday and Independence Day parades and annual Dogwood Festival. The Crutchfield ATV is a welcome sight at just about any event, and after three years, local fans know what to expect when we roll onto the scene: lots of loud music and plenty of action from the t-shirt cannon.
The Sound System
Fans go wild when the ATV rolls into the parking lot blasting out University of Virginia fight songs with an audio system designed and built by Kicker. Two Kicker MX700.5 amplifiers mounted on a custom rack under the hood power three pairs of 6-1/2-inch Kicker RS Series component speakers and two 10-inch Kicker L5 square subwoofers.
|Roll cage speaker pods (Click to enlarge).||Custom kick panel pods (Click to enlarge).|
Four of the speakers are mounted in custom pods on top of the roll cage, facing out into the crowd. The other pair faces the driver and passenger, mounted in custom kick-panel enclosures in the Ranger. Two custom enclosures for the two subwoofers are mounted in the bed of the Ranger. The 10-inch L5 subs represent one of the audio upgrades over the old ATV, which had a single 12-inch L7 subwoofer mounted under the driver's seat. And as we all know, two 10's are louder than a single 12.
|The L5 sub's grille is painted to match the ATV (Click to enlarge).||Note the logos on the custom boxes (Click to enlarge).|
The sound system uses its own Stinger power supply and battery, so it's completely independent of the Ranger's electrical system. Kicker even installed a digital voltmeter on the dash, so David can keep an eye on the power level when the motor is off.
|The Stinger power supply and battery flank the two amps (Click to enlarge).|
The twin MX700.5 amplifiers produce more than enough power to run all of the speakers and the subwoofers. Each of the six speaker pods gets 70 watts RMS, while each subwoofer feeds on 210 watts RMS.
Kicker mounted the amps under the hood, where they get plenty of ventilation but run the risk of getting a little wet from time to time. Granted, our limited use of the vehicle doesn't make that a big risk, but just in case, Kicker used marine-quality amplifiers.
An Eclipse AVN-5510 in-dash navigation receiver drives the system, so the crew can entertain fans with a movie when they aren't rockin' out. The touchscreen controls make it easy for the crew to switch between songs and sources, and the stereo's 7-band equalizer gets the sound just right, even with the vehicle's open-air setup.
|This shiny blue Polaris Ranger is ready to rock and roll.|
The Polaris Ranger itself is noteworthy too. This off-roader includes a few extras that didn't come from the factory. When asked about the difference between the old ATV and the new one, David had one thing to say: "The new one is faster." And he wasn't joking.
Instead of the carbureted engine in the old ATV, the new Ranger uses fuel injection for better performance. An upgraded exhaust system lets the engine push the exhaust gases out easier, so the engine can breathe better. And that means more horsepower. The new, more responsive Ranger, with its throatier sound, definitely has more "get up and go."
|David estimates the cannon's range at well over 50 yards.|
A custom-designed air cannon from t-shirtgun.com literally tops off the ATV's features. The swivel mount and plentiful air supply enable David to fire t-shirts deep into the biggest crowds. He says they make sure to bring as many shirts as they can to the football games.
People love the Ranger and its sound system, but it's the t-shirt cannon that draws the crowds. David loves entertaining the crowd as much as they love vying for the t-shirts. "If I point the gun to the left, the crowd goes left. If I sweep right, the crowd follows. It's a lot of fun for everyone involved."
(Click to enlarge)
(Click to enlarge)
And the crowd goes wild.
(Click to enlarge)
David says he and the Crutchfield car stereo installation crew have plans for the a few upgrades to the already-awesome ATV. "First we're going to add signal lights. Once we do that, it'll be street legal!" Their other plans include adding flashing LEDs, a cooling fan for the amps, and a PA system so he can interact with the fans better.
Local Charlottesville residents will be seeing the new ATV at upcoming events. And what about the original ATV? It'll be moving to a new home at our other retail store in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where it can serve that community just like it has served this one.
|David in the new Ranger and Robert in the original model.|