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Thread: Re-Ground HU or Ground Loop Isolator?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005

    Re-Ground HU or Ground Loop Isolator?

    Ok, I've had my system in for nearly a year and am finally taking the time to try and reduce the noise. I'm running the PC with an aftermarket amp and stock head unit in a Chevy Avalanche. I've rewired the power and ground for the amp (the guy who originally installed it must have not been thinking correctly since the power wires were running right next to the signal wires) so that the PC and Amp share common power and ground.

    I was getting some horrible alternator whine when using the PC, but I've added a ground loop isolator between the PC and the stock head unit and the noise from the PC is totally gone. The problem is that now I'm getting alternator whine from the speakers (much softer now) even with the head unit off. It's not dependent on the volume control of the head unit and when I unplug the speaker level inputs from the amp the whine goes away. That leads me to assume I've got a ground loop between the head unit and amp.

    My question is this: Do I need to try to re-ground the head unit to the same location as the amp to try to eliminate the ground loop? I'm wary of this because of the long ground cable I would need to go to the back of the car. Or, do I get a speaker-level to RCA low-level converter and add a second ground loop isolator? With this, I'm worried about a second isolator somehow reducing my sound quality.

    At highway speed I can't hear the whine at all and the sound is great, but with the stereo off or at low speed, it's annoying.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005


  3. #3
    Banned Hwonder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    The Ground Loop Isolator works everytime! I buy these:

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate Legarcondemerde's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    The Biggest Little City
    You can try running a piece of light-guage wire from your headunit's ground to the amp's ground. That helps sometimes, it references the grounds together to compensate for the differing voltages caused by different grounds, which is basically what a ground loop is. It's worth a try.

  5. #5
    Newbie da1duce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    u need to check ur amp .. sounds like ur amp has an problem the way to test this is cut an rca and twist the two wires to gether and plug it back into the amp if it winds its ur amp.. letr me know if u have any trouble

  6. #6
    Maximum Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    chicago, Illinois
    da1duce, I think since he's using the High level speaker line inputs then he's not using the RCA inputs.
    Incinorator, As for finding a solution for alternator whine there may not be any easy way thats proper to solve your issue and it may not be pleasant but if it gets the job done then its time and effort well spent. So i'd go with these guys and say running a neutral grounding line between the 2 units is a good way to start
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