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Thread: Alternator whine with Griffin Autipilot

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Alternator whine with Griffin Autipilot

    Hey all, I got an iPod recently and have begun to use it in the car when I can't be bothered to lug the Mac down to it for short journeys.

    For the Mac, I use a TOSLink cable to the Blaupunkt ODA Surround amplifier. It also has analog inputs which I connect my iPod to.

    Recently I got a Griffin Autopilot to charge the ipod while playing it. It has the additional advantage of being able to play/pause, FF and RR tracks.

    Alas, when I connected it all up - I got the dreaded alternator whine with the car running.

    I think I got it down to 2 possible issues...

    1. properly ground the cigarette lighter jack to the audio ground, or worse
    2. the Griffin product's ipod connector and wires aren't properly shielded.

    I reckon I try to properly ground the jack (currently having difficulty accessing to the back end of it where the wires are), then blame it on the lack of shielding - in which case i'd just wasted the money on the Griffin.

    Has anyone got any light to share on this?

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate brucedog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    I hate hums and whines. When I was using mobo sound, evrything was quiet, 'cept it sounded krappy.

    Bought a Creative Soundblaster PCI card - enter hummmm in only one of my amps. I measured voltages, changed grounds and locations...generally killed myself looking for a sol'n.

    Decided to ignore the dire warnings, and purchased a Radio sHack ground loop isolator (gli) for $17. Problem solved, and there was NO reduction in audio quality.

    I hate hums and whiles.

    Best luck and blessings with your noises....
    Happy CarPC'ing!

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    chicago, Illinois
    I'm sure you dont get this problem when you do not have the griffen peice plugged in. Try the first possibility. Some may state that the cigarette lighter plug has the noisiest ground. Another step in the right direction is to wire in a choke on the cigarette lighters power wires. If its the sheilding issue, the ground loop isolater (GLI) would be helpful.
    "In the beginners mind there are many possibilities, but in the experts mind there are few."- Shunryu Suzuki
    "Do it right or don't do it at all"

    [-------90%-] (New Car=New Build)

  4. #4
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Bear, DE, USA
    I'm willing to bet it's option 1: A poor connection to chassis ground, or just plain different potential at the point of connection, on the ground end of the cigarette lighter plug. In my setup, wherever I needed ACC voltage, I used as direct a connection to the battery as possible, and took the ground wire to the same place the stereo is grounded. If you need, re-wire the circuit with a slightly larger gauge than those anemic wires the factory put in, this should keep some of that potential difference at bay. Also, make sure to check your engine block to chassis ground (one of the big 3 for a reason).
    I have too much time and too little aggravation in my life, so I built a carPC. ;)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    thanks everyone for their input... if i could now just get the damned jack out of my console. heh.

    Will post updates when i get some.

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