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Guest post from StreetFighter Motorsports

The Importance of Regular Car Tune-ups

It doesn’t matter if you’re driving an old car or one of those high-tech, newer models with all the bells and whistles. All vehicles have to have routine tune-ups to operate as effectively as possible. With regular tune-ups, your car stands a chance of lasting for a very long time, among other things.

Over time, a car is bound to have some issues. A standard car tune-up should be able to identify such issues before they become really big problems.

When you bring your car in for car diagnostic services, you can expect that shop’s technicians to thoroughly inspect all of your car’s systems, as well as replace spark plugs, filters, and wires that need replacing. While a standard tune-up costs a certain amount, the price tag will always be lower than if you have to replace major parts that suffered significant damage because you didn’t get a tune-up done.

Your tires are extremely important to the operation of your car, and they should all be in good condition. A car tune-up will check your tires for proper inflation, wear patterns, and tread depth to make sure that it’s safe to drive your car. To further ensure your safety, a car tune-up will also inspect your brake fluid, brake pads, and rotors.

With all the good that routine tune-up does for your car, you can rest easy knowing that your car will likely last for a long time. Considering the money you have invested in your car, an extended lifespan will always be welcome. So if you want a car that will operate optimally for many years, don’t think twice to bring it to a trusted car shop for a tune-up. If you want to know more about car tune-ups, check out the infographic below.

MECA Featured on VICE News

MECA Featured on VICE News

On Friday October 19th, Vice News featured a story about the 2017 MECA World Finals. Hours of footage was edited down to about five minutes featuring multiple MECA competitors and champions. Be sure to watch the video which is embedded with this post!

Updated [BETA] MECA Events Site

For the last few months, I (the webmaster, Jason) have been working on building a new version of the Events Site for a couple of reasons:

  1. I wanted to move the site away from asp.net to something more open-source
  2. I wanted to make the site much faster
  3. I wanted to move to the technology stack I use (well, used to use before I got promoted) every day
  4. Because it needed it...

So today, I'm happy to share the new MECA Events site that is still very much in development, and very much in beta (which means stuff is probably broken, or doesn't act like it should). If you're game, go play with it at http://mecaevents.com.

What follows is nerd speak... If you don't care about nerd stuff, you can move on now.

For the nerds among you, the technology stack behind it has changed quite a bit.

 

Old

Database: Microsoft SQL Server 2008
API Layer: ASP.NET WebAPI 2.0 (written in C#)
Front-End: DurandalJS 2.1 (with a number of helper libraries)

Database Host: WinHost
Web Host: Microsoft Azure Websites

New

Database: Microsoft SQL Server Express 2016 (will eventually move to MariaDb, having some transformation issues)
API Layer: NodeJS -> Express 4 (with multiple supporting libraries, including Auth0)
Front-End: ReactJS (using Redux and multiple open-source components)

Database and Web Host: Amazon AWS (EC2, S3, RDS, soon Elasticache and Elastic Load Balancer)

So the new Events site is using much of the framework as companies like Netflix, Facebook and AirBnB. In my testing it's CONSIDERABLY faster, especially when loading results or events pages. The layouts can still get a little wonky on mobile devices, but the card view should be much easier to use now. In the future, I'll be adding the administration area for Event Admins to upload results. I plan on adding user accounts across the board that will allow you to login, tie your MECA member number to your email address, and have it build a dashboard of your results/events. This will all take time, and to be honest, I could use some help. So if there are any Node or React Gurus out there that want to help out, please drop me a line (riceboyler@gmail.com) and we can talk about where you can help.

One final note: while I am compensated by MECA for my work, it is anything but a full-time job, and it is literally a one-man show at this point. I'll get to things as quickly as I can, but I have a family, a full-time job and other volunteer responsibilities that often have to come first in my life. Please be patient and understanding of that. I still do this as a bit of a favor to my old friend Steve, and I still have lots of love for my MECA family from when I used to be an active judge. I'm tearing up now, so it's time to stop. 

Please feel free to send feedback to me if you run into big problems on the site. Again, it's not fully-baked by any means, but I wanted to share some of the new hotness. Thanks!

Event Site Maintenance this weekend

In order to work on the database that supports the Event site (http://mecaevents.azurewebsites.net), the site will be down for a while this weekend. As much as possible the downtime will be constrained to late tonight, but there’s a possibility it will take longer. Much of this work is in preparation to switch to a new Events Site that is currently being built.

Thanks for your patience and understanding. For those attending the Team Ruckus event this weekend, details can be found in the post on this site if you need them.

Check if you’ve qualified for 2016 Unified Finals

As in years past, we have setup a way to check and see if you have qualified to compete at the 2016 Unified Car Audio Finals and to pre-register using PayPal. To check and see if you’ve qualified, go to http://www.mecaevents.com, enter your member number and see if you’ve qualified!

(For those observant members, don’t freak out about the URL resolving to an IP address. I’m (the webmaster) working on moving everything to Amazon Web Services, and this is the new server things will be hosted on.)

Welcome Back to Xstatic!

Thanks to Ray at Xstatic, the makers of the famous Batcaps, for rejoining our club for 2016. Xstatic is a very popular power source for competitors in SPL and SQL.
Xstatic is a co-sponsor for Freezefest in TN on February 21st, and we thank Team Xstatic for the continuing support!

SQL Judge Training – February 20, 2016

Our annual SQL Judge Training session in Nashville is coming up, and we have room for 7 – 8 members for each session. There have been many requests for SQL Judge Training, so we are having morning and afternoon sessions at the studio. There is a fee of $125 per member, which includes listening/training at OmegaLab Studio and a symphony ticket. Members who would like to bring a Guest to the symphony may do so, and will only have to pay for the ticket, around $65 – $75. Judges will practice scoring in vehicles. We will select judges to work at Freezefest, the next day, from the best ears in the group.

Please contact Steve Stern at mecacaraudio@comcast.net or call 615-851-7428 to make reservations and arrangements. Click the image below for more details about the Nashville Symphony performance scheduled for that evening (or click here).

nso-logo

 

Paid Reservations

  • Tony Horton – PA
  • Brian Howell – TN
  • Allan Shaffer – TN
  • Wes Strickland – TN
  • Lumel Valadez – TX
  • Greg Weckerly – IN

New MECA SQL CD – Completely Custom

MECA, the car audio club and sound-off sanctioning organization, is releasing it’s first independent Sound Quality League test CD to celebrate it’s 18th year. There are 17 music tracks from the Chesky Records catalog, and 4 specific test tracks (mono pick noise, stereo pink noise, zero-bit, and phase balance pulse test).

This is an official competition test source to be enjoyed and used by sound-off competitors to tune their systems, and judges for listening material for the Sound Quality contests. There are some tracks that are already included on the official MECA SQL list in the Rule Book, and some news tracks that are being added to the list.


The CD is dedicated to all audiophiles who spend hours listening and tuning their systems. These are high resolution recordings from one of the most prestigious music labels in the business. MECA members will contribute to “track notes” that will dissect the recordings, with focus on balanced tonality, realism, and staging characteristics. Those will be available on-line in the SQL section of the web site, along with quick reference sheets on classes and the score sheet.

MECA Retail Members will sell the CD’s for $20 at their stores, CD’s will be available at events and from the MECA Store at www.mecacaraudio.com. It will be available in late January.
Event and contest information inquiries should be directed to Commissioner Steve Stern at mecacaraudio@comcast.net or 615-851-7428.