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Thread: Car Computer Install: Wiring The Amplifier Overview

  1. #1
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    Car Computer Install: Wiring The Amplifier Overview

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    Sean Clark, from mp3Car, shows us how to connect the amplifier in your vehicle, an essential component to any car computer install. The 12 volt positive power cable is wired directly to the positive terminal on the battery, with a fuse in line as close to the battery as possible. The negative wire is also run directly to the battery to prevent noise from being introduced into the system. The ACC wire and the speaker wires are connected to the factory wiring harness using an adapter made specifically for this vehicle purchased on the web.

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    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    did you happen to get your wire gauge sizes mixed up while talking? i can see that your ground distrobution block wire is larger then the wire feeding the amp, but you said that the positive amp wire is 8ga, and the one coming off the distro block is 10ga-- which is smaller in diameter then 8ga... while it is typically recommended to run a larger diameter ground back to the battery, at a minimum, run the same gauge wire for both power and ground..

    hopefully you straightened out that ground attachment at the battery-- that is putting un-needed stress on the cable to loop it out the top like that.

    it is typically recommended to use different color wiring for the power and ground-- esp when running the length of the car, so that they don't get confused later on.

    every vehicle is 'supposed' to have a 12v accessory wire. with the advent of canbus, some cars no longer have a specific wire in the radio harness that has this(the radio is turned on by a 'on' command sent over the canbus). there should still be a wire in the fuse box that is switched with the ignition, but it can take some time with a volt meter to locate..

    when you zoomed real close to the wire-- is that solid-core wire?

    in terms of connection, i am still a advocate of using rca y-adapters off a single 3.5mm jack to feed all 4 speakers-- it is the only method that is guaranteed to work regardless of the motherboard drivers(some don't support the 'enable rear fill' option that is needed for the method in the video to work)..

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    Yea I did mess up the guage. The blue wire is 8gauge throughout. We wanted to use the brown 10 gauge for ground, but simply didn't have enough. Since every amp kit we looked at only gave us a few feet of brown cable. So we uses more blue 8 gauge for ground back to the battery. Which is straight now. We just pulled them to make it visible.

    It's not solid core wire, its got 4 wires spiraled together.

    So you would go 2 Y splitters and 2 3.5mm cables into the computer?

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    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    ah, i see..

    Quote Originally Posted by optikalefx View Post
    It's not solid core wire, its got 4 wires spiraled together.
    not the overall construction, but the construction of each individual wire--

    does it look like this:
    http://www.computercablestore.com/10...S_PID2286.aspx

    which is solid core-- there is only one copper conductor for each wire
    or this
    http://www.computercablestore.com/10...a_PID2093.aspx
    which is stranded-- there are multiple strands of copper for each wire


    Quote Originally Posted by optikalefx View Post
    So you would go 2 Y splitters and 2 3.5mm cables into the computer?
    only 1-3.5mm cable:



    while this looses balance, and fade control at the carpc, it is something that will work regardless of the hardware used. too many times, certain hardware won't work the way that yours is setup-- granted, there are many boards that support the same feature, but isn't it typical for people new to something to 'just happen' to pick one of the very few options that don't work like what everyone else uses(seems to be my luck anyways)?!?

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    Maximum Bitrate david69leonard's Avatar
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    I had to do the same thing as you soundman, whenever playing audio files only the front speakers would work, the only time I had audio on the rear was during DVD playback 5.1 channel. So the best solution for my set-up was the splitter. Also when hooking up a separate amp for the subwoofer the 3.5 jack was paired with the center channel so I needed another splitter at the subwoofer amp for the L/R channels.

    Also a quick comment for the Ground wire, I understand the theory behind what you did, however it is very redundant. There should be a good ground point near your amp and if not you can make one. Seems like a waste of wire.
    Last edited by david69leonard; 12-16-2011 at 12:59 AM.

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    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    I noticed something funny. On your other video you ran the power down one side of the car, then the audio down the other, but now you have wrapped them all together at the end. So wasnt seperating it a waste of time?

    Also, as far as soundcards, it depends on the card. Thats why I refused to trash my PCI Soundblaster XtremerGamer card. It had an option to push audio through all speakers if it was only stereo, which normally only plays through the front 2 speakers. Thankfully I found a PCI to PCIe converter, so I was able to use on my new Mobo, which didnt have a PCI slot.
    Last edited by HiJackZX1; 12-16-2011 at 03:46 PM.
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    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by david69leonard View Post
    I had to do the same thing as you soundman, whenever playing audio files only the front speakers would work, the only time I had audio on the rear was during DVD playback 5.1 channel. So the best solution for my set-up was the splitter
    i actually never had that problem, but have come across it way too much to not bring it up--it seems less these days, but when i first started, i remember tons of posts/threads about the issue. the whole reason for my carpc is audio processing, so i was past any issue like this from the beginning

    Quote Originally Posted by HiJackZX1 View Post
    I noticed something funny. On your other video you ran the power down one side of the car, then the audio down the other, but now you have wrapped them all together at the end. So wasnt seperating it a waste of time?
    no, that is mostly recommended way. the idea here is to keep the power and audio cables separated for as long as possible. when the cables get run together for long distances, that is when it increases the chance of noise transmitting between the cables. to keep the cables together for a couple feet rarely causes any issues..

    of course, it would be preferred to keep them separated for the entire length, but in most cases, it just isn't practical to do so.. like in the case of your install

    this is as clean as i could get my own install-- and it takes up much more space then most installs:

  8. #8
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Awww, thats cute. Mine will never look like that, lol.... I did notice something I did. I ran speaker wire down the sides of the car, and all other cables run down the middle. I did this on accident though.

    What are those 4 small boxes in the middle of the wire covers?
    Last edited by HiJackZX1; 12-16-2011 at 08:58 PM.
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    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    my 4 cl-rlc preamps

    i'm still not happy about the way those tubes look, but you have no idea what kind of mess hides below those things.. the tackyness of the tubes is actually a improvement..

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    Need some help... Please

    I have started building the same system as here. I have the computer all together and did the bench test but it is not wanting to boot. I have it hooked up to a cigarette lighter for power and have both the red and white wires hooked up to positive, and the black to the negative. I then took it all back a part verified all of my steps and connections, and tried it again and still it will not boot. The only thing I can see that happens isthe case fans start, the cpu fan starts, two green LEDS light up on the motherboard. I have no keyboard, and nothing on the monitor. Also when I tried to use the button it did not shut off, and sure if it should either.
    I tried hooking it up to the power supply on my desktop and the same thing happened.
    I welcome any suggestions that I can try to trouble shooting to figure out where I went wrong.
    Thanks
    JM

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