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Terry O'Sullivan's 1998 Mercedes ML-320

When Terry O'Sullivan bought an Alpine CDA-9825 CD receiver and a Delphi SKYFi™ XM tuner from Crutchfield, he planned to look for a local installer to put them in. After giving it some more thought, he decided to do it himself. As Terry says, "I care more about my car than anyone else." With a little creativity, and a few phone calls to Crutchfield for support, he put together a highly usable and attractive installation.

dash shot

The Delphi SKYFi tuner, ready for action, with the Alpine CDA-9825 in the dash.

The gear

Terry knew that the Alpine CDA-9825 would give him the high performance he wanted in an in-dash receiver, but he was also anxious to tap into the wide variety of programming on satellite radio. Although Alpine makes the CDA-9820XM, an in-dash CD receiver with XM capabilities built in, he wanted XM Radio in his home also, and liked how the Delphi SKYFi tuner can move easily between home and car docking stations. With the SKYFi receiver, there's only one subscription necessary to enjoy his favorite XM channels in the home and on the road.

To feed the output of the SKYFi tuner to his CDA-9825, Terry purchased the Alpine KCA-121B auxiliary input adapter. With the SKYFi tuner plugged into the auxiliary input, Terry has a direct audio input to the Alpine, and can control XM functions from the face of the SKYFi tuner. As an added bonus, the auxiliary input can also used for Terry's Apple iPod. Nice!


Note how the docking station is bolted to the metal bracket.

Mounting the SKYFi tuner

Terry's biggest challenge was where to mount the SKYFi tuner. Although Crutchfield carries many Pro.Fit vehicle-specific and universal mounts for the SKYFi tuner, there wasn't one available that fit Terry's specific needs. With a little thought and some shopping around, a solution soon presented itself. A trip to the local Home Depot store in Bakersfield yielded an L-shaped, 3" x 2" metal bracket, called a Simpson Tie, that looked like it would serve his needs. Terry mounted the longer side of the bracket to the left side of the glove box compartment and attached the SKYFi docking station to the other end of the bracket by drilling four holes through the docking station and securing it to a plate on the bracket with nuts and bolts. The result was a solid platform for the docking station that doesn't interfere with the working of the glove box. The wiring to the docking station is routed through the bottom of the Crutchfield dash mounting kit for the receiver.

bracket 2

The bracket mounts securely to the inside wall of the glove box.

There you have it! With a little work and a nice dash of creativity, Terry has a strong and serviceable bracket that holds the XM tuner right at fingertip distance, in perfect view, and out of the way of the dash controls. Thanks for letting our readers take a look at your resourceful solution, Terry!

Shop for gear that fits your car.

  • Gerard J Mottau from Brockton

    Posted on 10/16/2021

    Buy a Kenwood that fits right in. Add a hidden amp.

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