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Audio System POWERE FREAKOUT!!! Help!!

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  • Audio System POWERE FREAKOUT!!! Help!!

    Hey all,

    I got a doozy for you all out there. I own a 1997 mitsu mirage. I got a carputer installed and infinity kappa speakers all around running from an infinity 4 channel amplifier. Just recently, the AMp has been in protection mode. I checked the voltage and it appears im getting 5.5 volts into the amp, but 12V coming off of the distrobution block. Here are the facts. . .

    - Stock Battery
    - 4 Gauge power wire ( fused at battery) ran back to trunk fused distrobution block
    - Distro block feeds power to computer and amp on seperate fused channels
    - Remote wire extended from front of car back to remote input on amp.
    - Remote opus wire plugged into amp remote slot

    - Gold plated Stinger Grounding Block installed to Chasis of Trunk.
    - Computer and amp recieve ground from there

    - Amp constantly in protection mode
    - Worked fine for the past 2-3 months

    - Measured 5.5 volts from + terminal on amp block
    - Measure 11.9 volts from Distrobution block
    - When remote wire is disconnected from amp, measure 11.9volts at amp block
    - Hooked + and - wires of amp directly to a 2nd battery using same remote wire. ( Measured 12.1volts at amp, amp worked correctly)

    - Newly ran 12gauge stinger OFC speaker wire direct to speakers
    - 4Gauge stinger power cable, only breaks at fuse and distro block
    - Rockford Fosgate 8 Gauge power and ground wire to comp and amp
    - Stinger fused distrobution block
    - infinity 7540A 4 channel amplifier ( brand new, 1 month old so far)
    - infinity kappa perfect 6.1 components(front) + Infinity kappa 4X6 Plates (rear)

    - About 1.5 years ago I started getting some weird power problems like my reverse lights being always on. I simply took the bulbs out to hide the problem.
    - Then, my E-brake notification light is in the always on position now.
    - Right before the amp started to go into protection mode, i had the battery light on in the car for about a week or so and turning on lights and electrical eqipment would wreak havoc on the vehicles internal lights and would sometimes kill the engine and force me to jump start the car.

    - Anybody got any idea on this one?

  • #2
    Sounds like your main grounds are bad. Clean their contact points.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by 0l33l
      Sounds like your main grounds are bad. Clean their contact points.
      What he said. Sounds like a bad ground to me as well.
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      • #4
        Thats what I thought too, only problem with that is then why would the carputer run just fine? Carputer uses same Grounding block the amp does and gets power from same distrobution block the amp does.

        My only thought is that maybe the opus is able to run on that 5Volts so it acts like normal, but the ground could still be bad or contaminated somehow. What you guys think??



        • #5
          A bad ground results in compensation by raising amperage. amplifier requires X amps. When it cant get that it drops voltage and goes into protection (5 v). The computer does not require as many amps so it can compensate by upping amperage below the threshold of your power flow.

          Basically you have a bad ground. Its not so bad for low amperage devices but those that require large loads are shutting down (amp). Also keep in mind that a computer will run at a lower voltage so even if the connection is bad, it will still run.

          The fact that a battery close works proves that.

          Id also like to point out that a non regulated power supply in an amplifier will contiinue to draw current directly related to the impedence, so if you have the amplifier loaded down to a 1-2 ohm load, or even a short, the amp will try to draw current until it runs out or over heats. So check your grounds and make sure there are no shorts in the speaker wires/amp
          Take my advice: Do not try to build a system that includes EVERY feature. Start with the basics, build it to a bug free state, and THEN add on.


          • #6
            Thanks for the clarification Will...That sounds exactly like my problem to the tee.!! I think the first place im going to check is my drivers side door speaker wiring. I could possibly have a short in there. You are the man.



            • #7
              UPDATE: working off the idea of a bad ground.. I tore into the engine compartment and cleaned the cars battery connection point to the chasis. THEN, I installed a 2 foot strand of 8 gauge grouund cable to another part of the chasis under the engine compartment straight to the negative terminal on battery. THEN< cleaned the grounding block and its contact to the trunk chasis. THEN< I pulled off all my speaker wire outputs from the amp and checked.

              Nothing..... Still on protection 5.2 volts. 12.4 not turned on.

              Next,,,I tried putting the amps ground cable to another point in the trunk.....Nothing still. Im kinda stumped now. So i know its NOT a speaker short because there is no speakers hooked up to it and its still in protection. The chasis is definitely a ground now because of the added ground and the cleaning of the original chasis ground connections.

              -- Not really sure wher to take the troubleshooting from here? im only armed with a multimeter.

              --QUESTION...Explain what a bad ground actually means. Does having a bad ground mean that it is contaminated with a positive signal somewhere? What exactly does that mean. Thanks



              • #8
                Well this is strange. The amp is shutting down after you try all of that? Where are you grounding teh ground block?

                A ground is nothing more than a return path. You need to make a loop back to the battery so your ground is just the negative return. It has to be just as solid as the power if not better.

                Have you unplugged the RCAs and tried? are the RCAs pinched?
                Take my advice: Do not try to build a system that includes EVERY feature. Start with the basics, build it to a bug free state, and THEN add on.


                • #9
                  Yea its extremely strange. Im not the best, but I have a pretty good grasp of electrical wiring and this one is driving me crazy.

                  --The amp has been checked in a bare bones configuration with NO RCA's or speaker wires hooked up. Nothing...still protection 5V

                  -- The grounding block is a 24K gold stinger block mounted to the trunk chasis. The paint was sanded off and wire brushed before contact made over 5 months ago. Still gives me good ground loop.

                  -- THe amp automatically goes into protection starts off that way.
                  -- Until about 2 weeks ago, this whole audio system worked flawlessly for the past 2-3 months. Just recently, the only way the amp works is when I bring a seperate battery to the trunk compartment and wire both positive and negative terminals to the +12V and GND side of amp and still use the original remote wire from the car. Amp works fine in this configuration.

                  --Also,,,,I ran a standalone 15 foot wire from the negative termianl of the battery straight back to the amps GND slot and it still didnt work. I disconnected teh cars negative terminal to make sure it took the whole car's ground system out the equation.

                  - Battery seems to be good, 12.4 not running....14.1 runnig from alternator.



                  EDIT: Im using 2 week old MOnster Cable Rca to Headphone jack car audio wires (2 sets, front and rear)

                  EDIT2: Here is a schematic of how the whole thing is wired........


                  • #10
                    You checked ALL the fuses?

                    You try bypassing the +12v bistro block and going straight to the batt (with a seperate, fused connection?)

                    It sounds like there's something wrong with your main power feed, wether it be ground (unlikely after your tests) or +12v. I say this mostly because when you have the remote wire showing +12v the voltage drops on the amp. EXCEPT when you have a second power source.

                    What happens if you jump the remote-on terminal with the 12v from the distro? Meaning, disconnect the 12v remote lead and take a small wire to jumper the 12v in on the amp with the remote on terminal. Does it turn on?


                    • #11
                      Tried that....still nothing....Im starting to lean towards a defect inside the amp itself....ive had 3 electrical engineers speculate about this and they all say internal amp problem also. Im going to try and slave in a cheap amp to check for proper operation..

                      Question: Is there a way to check how many amps are running through your power line? How many should be? I have a multimeter...




                      • #12
                        There's a way to see how much current is going through a line yes. Most multimeters (that can do it) might run up to 20A. If you just want to do a basic test to see how much current is going through the power feed at idle, you should be able to.