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Stereo and Amp Install - Continuous Power Issue?

Old 05-31-2016, 07:14 PM
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Default Stereo and Amp Install - Continuous Power Issue?

Hi all. I recently decided to replace my stock stereo head unit with a new Kenwood 700U and also decided to add a JBL MA6004 amp to add some power to my 4-speaker setup.

Given that my outgoing stereo was fairly new, I connected the red (power), yellow (memory), and black (ground) wire from the new harness to the wires that were previously attached to the outgoing stereo wire harness. Powered up the stereo to confirm it worked and all was good. Then turned off to proceed with amp install.

I proceeded to put the appropriate connectors at the end of my speaker wire and connected them to the amp. For power/ground, my amp had a REM, a +12, and a GRND. The REM is the remote turn-on wire that provides power coming from the stereo head unit; I connected that blue-white wire from my Kenwood to the REM connection. For the +12, I connected a 16 gauge wire from the +12 connection to the positive part of a fuse block (the bottom part below the fuse block with the positive power output). I did the same for the GRND (and obviously connected the ground wire to the top part of the fuse block where the negative terminal was.

I then turned on one of the batteries and turned on the stereo. That in turn turned on the amp and all seemed to work well. Then I turned the stereo off, which in turn turned the amp off. However, the stereo then proceeded to automatically turn back on 3-4 seconds later. The amp followed suit in sync. This repeated itself several times.

I'm a bit stumped. It seems that I may have wrongly connected an always-on wire to the amp which is somehow turning on the stereo? This doesn't make sense since I don't think the remote turn-on function would work from amp to stereo when it is designed to work from stereo to amp.

I'm also wondering if I should have connected the REM and/or +12 wire to one of the available blocks on the fuse block and install a corresponding fuse.

Would very much appreciate any input. Thank you.
Old 05-31-2016, 08:30 PM
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Of course what's happening shouldn't but since it is there is something feeding back on the turn on.
I would bet that the yellow and red are tied in together in the harness.
The rem turn on for amp is a 12v turn on switch. The blue wire is that low amp 12v turn. Only works one way in theory.
Usually when this happens it's a bad HU.
Sometimes is from low batts cycling and turning the unit off an on.
I wld remove blue wire and see if it still cycles.
Old 06-01-2016, 12:09 AM
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16awg amp wire???? And not fused?..... Not your current problem. But is Another one.

Disconnect the blue wire and see if the problem keeps happening.
Old 06-01-2016, 04:46 AM
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16gauge wire is way to small even for the smallest amplifiers.
Old 06-01-2016, 05:04 AM
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Thank you all for the responses. It seems that I need to change the wire for the +12 and REM to at least 8 gauge wire. I will also disconnect the blue-white wire and see if that stops the HU and Amp from cycling on. Question: if I do remove the blue wire and the problem stops, how does the amp turn on without the turn-on signal from the HU? Do I need to turn it on and off manually?

Any thoughts on if I am OK running the +12 from my fuse block? Should I put it on one of the dedicated fuse block outlets with a corresponding fuse instead of the positive terminal? And if so, what size fuse would you recommend?

Appreciate the help.
Old 06-01-2016, 05:18 AM
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If the head unit turns on, it will send a turn on signal to the amp via the REM blue wire.
So the amp is OK as this function is normal (excluding the amps main cable size).

You correctly state the yellow wire is the memory, but it is also the main power to the head unit, not the red.
The red wire should be the ignition turn on signal which is low power. The ignition switch cannot carry too much power for obvious reasons, least of all the risk of blowing the ignition fuse and killing the engine. So the red supplies a low current to a solid state relay in the head unit which feeds high power from the yellow.
I think that because you are using the wires from the previously installed head unit you are experiencing a voltage drop on the yellow causing the head unit to cycle on and off.
This is called motorboating as the voltage drops due to the head units amp load, the radio shuts down on low voltage, as the current stops the voltage climbs and the radio sees this as another 'turn on' signal and repeats over and over.
Old 06-01-2016, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by fllawyer View Post
Thank you all for the responses. It seems that I need to change the wire for the +12 and REM to at least 8 gauge wire. I will also disconnect the blue-white wire and see if that stops the HU and Amp from cycling on. Question: if I do remove the blue wire and the problem stops, how does the amp turn on without the turn-on signal from the HU? Do I need to turn it on and off manually?

Any thoughts on if I am OK running the +12 from my fuse block? Should I put it on one of the dedicated fuse block outlets with a corresponding fuse instead of the positive terminal? And if so, what size fuse would you recommend?

Appreciate the help.
To do this right the main 12v to amp should come from battery not a buss bar. Same with ground. This could be the cycling issue. If your batt got low while you were installing amp or sitting there listening it would cause the issue. It's an outside shot but worth checking out. If you run off buss bar you can see some funky things happen to your lighting and other electronics when the amps is turned up and drawing power. Your amp shouldn't exceed 40 amps so a 60 amp fuse about a foot from batt will be good and still have room of you add another amp.
If it stops cycling when blue is removed you have a HU problem and it should be replaced. Other issues could develop. If you are determined to keep it you can run the amp remote turn on to a accessory switch. You might have an extra switch on your panel or install a simple toggle switch. That way you don't have the amp on all the time and run the risk of it killing your battery.
Old 06-01-2016, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by isitstuffed View Post
If the head unit turns on, it will send a turn on signal to the amp via the REM blue wire.
So the amp is OK as this function is normal (excluding the amps main cable size).

You correctly state the yellow wire is the memory, but it is also the main power to the head unit, not the red.
The red wire should be the ignition turn on signal which is low power. The ignition switch cannot carry too much power for obvious reasons, least of all the risk of blowing the ignition fuse and killing the engine. So the red supplies a low current to a solid state relay in the head unit which feeds high power from the yellow.
I think that because you are using the wires from the previously installed head unit you are experiencing a voltage drop on the yellow causing the head unit to cycle on and off.
This is called motorboating as the voltage drops due to the head units amp load, the radio shuts down on low voltage, as the current stops the voltage climbs and the radio sees this as another 'turn on' signal and repeats over and over.
This is pretty helpful. Do you suggest I disconnect the splice I have with the new and old red and yellow wires? If so, how should I wire those? Thanks

Originally Posted by Dockholiday74 View Post
To do this right the main 12v to amp should come from battery not a buss bar. Same with ground. This could be the cycling issue. If your batt got low while you were installing amp or sitting there listening it would cause the issue. It's an outside shot but worth checking out. If you run off buss bar you can see some funky things happen to your lighting and other electronics when the amps is turned up and drawing power. Your amp shouldn't exceed 40 amps so a 60 amp fuse about a foot from batt will be good and still have room of you add another amp.
If it stops cycling when blue is removed you have a HU problem and it should be replaced. Other issues could develop. If you are determined to keep it you can run the amp remote turn on to a accessory switch. You might have an extra switch on your panel or install a simple toggle switch. That way you don't have the amp on all the time and run the risk of it killing your battery.
I will work on running a wire from battery to amp. I also did see some "funky" things happening with my lights on my panel, as some would turn off and then take a few flicks of the switch to turn back on.

Also a good idea about running the amp to an accessory switch, as I have a few open ones.

Thanks!
Old 06-01-2016, 10:58 AM
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So my plan is to first remove the blue-white wire to see if that stops the always-on issue. To address an earlier comment, the machine doesn't keep cycling on and off; rather, when I turn off the radio (which then turns off the amp), the radio then turns back on 3-4 seconds later. There is no instance where the radio or amp turn off and then turn back on; it is only when I turn the radio off that it happens.

I have also picked up some 8 gauge wire, which I will use to run from the +12 connector to the battery. I also picked up a 40A fuse and an in-line holder that I will install next to the battery. Finally, I'll plan to run the blue-white wire to an empty accessory switch on my dash if removing it from the HU solves the problem.

Any comments/thoughts? Thanks!
Old 06-01-2016, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by fllawyer View Post
So my plan is to first remove the blue-white wire to see if that stops the always-on issue. To address an earlier comment, the machine doesn't keep cycling on and off; rather, when I turn off the radio (which then turns off the amp), the radio then turns back on 3-4 seconds later. There is no instance where the radio or amp turn off and then turn back on; it is only when I turn the radio off that it happens.

I have also picked up some 8 gauge wire, which I will use to run from the +12 connector to the battery. I also picked up a 40A fuse and an in-line holder that I will install next to the battery. Finally, I'll plan to run the blue-white wire to an empty accessory switch on my dash if removing it from the HU solves the problem.

Any comments/thoughts? Thanks!
Blue white wire from radio to assc switch is added work. Just run a 12v jumper from another switch to it and then on to the amp's remote turn on. You can also run the HU red and yellow to same switch and use it as an off switch for the whole system.
Old 06-01-2016, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Dockholiday74 View Post
Blue white wire from radio to assc switch is added work. Just run a 12v jumper from another switch to it and then on to the amp's remote turn on. You can also run the HU red and yellow to same switch and use it as an off switch for the whole system.
Thanks for the quick response. To be clear, what is the "it" you're referring to where you say "run a 12v jumper from another switch to it and then on to the amp's remote turn on?" Are you saying to run a 12v jumper from another switch to the amp's REM connection? If I don't run it to a new switch, wouldn't that mean I would have to run it to a switch that I would want on as much as I want the radio on?

Finally, is a 40A in-line fuse enough for the amp +12? I will have 8 gauge wire.
Old 06-01-2016, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by fllawyer View Post
This is pretty helpful. Do you suggest I disconnect the splice I have with the new and old red and yellow wires? If so, how should I wire those? Thanks



I will work on running a wire from battery to amp. I also did see some "funky" things happening with my lights on my panel, as some would turn off and then take a few flicks of the switch to turn back on.

Also a good idea about running the amp to an accessory switch, as I have a few open ones.

Thanks!
In your original post you advised you installed the new head unit and it worked OK. I take it that, for you to say that, you must have had speakers connected to the head units own internal amplifier.
The powering up of the amplifier in the head unit through possibly small gauge wire would cause the voltage drop as I described.
I don't think the external amp has a problem other than being controlled by the head unit. You can test that by just touching the blue wire (whilst connected to the amplifer) to any 12 volt source to confirm the amp turns off and on.

As you have elaborated more on the fault and advised other strange things are happening I am leaning towards a more sinister scenario. Obviously test and measurement is needed, so all we can provide without it, is theory. There are some radios (I think some Fusion models) that remember what they were doing when power is restored. So if the radio was 'on' when the battery switch was turned off, the radio would turn back on when the power restored automatically. If the radio was turned 'off' and power removed it remains off when power was restored.
I am wondering whether your red and yellow are swapped and you are killing main yellow power and not removing the red turn on/off signal from the ignition. However I am not sure whether are using the ignition????. This would tell the head unit the red ignition wire was never off and the constant power is being switched instead. This would cause the radio to turn back on. Try turning the radio off at its own on/off switch then remove and return power. Then do the same with the radio left on at its own switch and see what happens.
Old 06-01-2016, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by isitstuffed View Post
In your original post you advised you installed the new head unit and it worked OK. I take it that, for you to say that, you must have had speakers connected to the head units own internal amplifier.
The powering up of the amplifier in the head unit through possibly small gauge wire would cause the voltage drop as I described.
I don't think the external amp has a problem other than being controlled by the head unit. You can test that by just touching the blue wire (whilst connected to the amplifer) to any 12 volt source to confirm the amp turns off and on.

As you have elaborated more on the fault and advised other strange things are happening I am leaning towards a more sinister scenario. Obviously test and measurement is needed, so all we can provide without it, is theory. There are some radios (I think some Fusion models) that remember what they were doing when power is restored. So if the radio was 'on' when the battery switch was turned off, the radio would turn back on when the power restored automatically. If the radio was turned 'off' and power removed it remains off when power was restored.
I am wondering whether your red and yellow are swapped and you are killing main yellow power and not removing the red turn on/off signal from the ignition. However I am not sure whether are using the ignition????. This would tell the head unit the red ignition wire was never off and the constant power is being switched instead. This would cause the radio to turn back on. Try turning the radio off at its own on/off switch then remove and return power. Then do the same with the radio left on at its own switch and see what happens.
Thank you. Per the advice of a member above, I ended up wiring the amp REM wire and the red/yellow HU wires to a jumper on an open switch. That at least solves the issue of continuous power. Although the issue is still there regarding the stereo turning back on if I turn it off while the switch is on. However, it does not do anything once I turn the switch off. So I'll consider that at least temporarily solved.

I've run an 8 gauge wire from the helm to the battery for the +12 line but haven't connected anything yet. I've ordered a Bussman maxi in-line fuse holder with a 70 amp fuse, so that should be here tomorrow to install. I trust this should be sufficient to address the previous concerns?

Any other suggestions or pointers? I really appreciate all the guidance thus far.
Old 06-01-2016, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by fllawyer View Post
Thank you. Per the advice of a member above, I ended up wiring the amp REM wire and the red/yellow HU wires to a jumper on an open switch. That at least solves the issue of continuous power. Although the issue is still there regarding the stereo turning back on if I turn it off while the switch is on. However, it does not do anything once I turn the switch off. So I'll consider that at least temporarily solved.

I've run an 8 gauge wire from the helm to the battery for the +12 line but haven't connected anything yet. I've ordered a Bussman maxi in-line fuse holder with a 70 amp fuse, so that should be here tomorrow to install. I trust this should be sufficient to address the previous concerns?

Any other suggestions or pointers? I really appreciate all the guidance thus far.
The one other thing I would do is also do a 8ga ground to same batt.
You run the risk off whine, ground loop and noise from all the other things sharing the ground from the buss bar it's attached to.
Old 06-01-2016, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by fllawyer View Post
I have also picked up some 8 gauge wire, which I will use to run from the +12 connector to the battery. !

you also need big cable on the ground. the blue rem can be 16 or 14 to stereo
Old 06-02-2016, 05:47 AM
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Fuse holder and 70A fuse come today, and I will swing by WM to pick up some more 8ga wire for the ground connection.

Question - do I need to run the ground directly to the battery? It is about a 12-15' run (and $20 of 8ga wire). Could I instead ground it somewhere else?
Old 06-02-2016, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by fllawyer View Post
Fuse holder and 70A fuse come today, and I will swing by WM to pick up some more 8ga wire for the ground connection.

Question - do I need to run the ground directly to the battery? It is about a 12-15' run (and $20 of 8ga wire). Could I instead ground it somewhere else?
All though that's a long ground run its best to do it that way. If your share the ground with other things it can create (will) whine and noise. Direct to batt will help eliminate this and keep your other things from flickering. In all honesty the ground is more important than the power wire.
Also make sure your grounds are all tied in together on batteries. Strong grounds are a must.
Old 06-03-2016, 06:41 AM
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Just wanted to thank all who took the time to volunteer their time and knowledge - I finally completed the install and all that goes with it and also learned a good deal during the process.

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