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Thread: Can you run a head unit without the battery/costant wire?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Can you run a head unit without the battery/costant wire?

    Basically, I've got an old Citroen ZX. I have been using a mates jvc cd player and have only had the black (ground) and red (ignition) cables attached and it has been fine. However I bought a new head unit, and all it'll do is let me insert a CD, and eject the CD. Not sure whether I need to somehow find a yellow (battery/constant) cable to plug in or what.
    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Little Elm, Texas

    It may turn on, but it might not save the memory presets on the radio. Clock would reset, bass and treble would reset as well.

    Go ahead and hook up the ignition. You should have done it in the first place, might as well do it now.

    Good luck!
    Jan Bennett
    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    well this is the problem. I have wired in the iso cable from the wires I could find behind the head unit, but the only cables I seem to be able to find are the two already mentioned and speaker cables. How do I find another.
    My old stereo used to work when the car was turned off, as does the lighter.
    Perhaps I have the constant plugged into the ignition cable, but either way, shouldn't the HU still work like that anyway, or not?

  4. #4
    Low Bitrate
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Spring City, Tennessee
    you'll need the constant wire, as it does more than save clock time / presets. Usually all the ignition wire does is tell the head unit to "wake up", and the constant wire then takes care of the rest of the power requirements.

  5. #5
    Maximum Bitrate v8 scimitar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Killa is right the more modern head units only use the acc really as a trigger circuit. They work more like car power supplies now where as older ones the BATT only kept the settings. Either run a line from the battery direct or you could wire the red and yellow together and put it to the ACC but it wont save your settings then
    Visit my site V8 Scimitar

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    ah sweet, good idea! I'll try that out in a second.

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