You guys may find this amusing:
Went out last night and grabbed a relay and a 15 amp auto-reset circuit breaker. Wired it all up, tried it out, and it worked great. I thought to myself "finally have all the main systems working again, great." This morning, I turned on my car, PC came out of hibernate, usb audo initialized, nice loud POP, and then....no audio.
No, I hate to hear when sh.. blows up. I assume it was the amp finally giving into what ever circuit gremlins were going on inside? Or something wrong in the sound card or what? If it was the amp, look at the bright side; you put it out of it's misery (and yours) so you can move on. I could tell you story after story of fighting with Sony stuff to get it to work right. I have a Sony TV and I will say they have the video side of things dialed in, they should just stay out of the audio market (home and mobile) IMO.
If it is completely dead, a post-mortem will be fun. I'd like to know what the root cause was; seems like a bizarre way to fail.
So, it turns out putting that 15 amp auto-resetting circuit breaker was a good idea. The usb initialization "thump" apparently causes the amplifier to pull over 15 amps. If I start the car and allow the PC to resume, then turn the car off and on again (resetting the circuit breaker), I have audio.
It's still not right though, that amp should never pull that kind of current through the remote turn on line.
NEVER... if i remember right, some older amps(i want to say they were RF's higher-end spl series) used to pull upwards of a amp, but i don't ever remember hearing of any amp pulling more then that-- and 15A is insane.
have you checked that your positive power wire going to the amp has the proper voltage, and is securely connected?
at first, it made sense that the amp could already be screwed up, but if it is able to pull more then a 15A breaker can provide, i am starting to wonder if the amp can't 'see' the main power input. i just don't see how any defective circuitry could allow for that much of a draw unless there was a error somewhere else-- possibly in the installation of the amp..
A "remote on" is supposed to be a convenient LOW CURRENT means of powering up a high power device so that you don't need to supply your own high-current cabling and switch, or a relay.
Even if powering the unit's internal relay direct (as in smaller else cheaper units that do not have an electronic input), only relays of ~200A or more should have (coil) currents higher than 1A.
Typical 30A automotive relays vary from ~50mA to ~250mA (ie, coil resistances of ~50Ω to ~260Ω). Similar "small" 60A & 140A relays are much the same.
IMO a remote circuit should be similar to "constant +12V" inputs (for HU & EMS memories etc) which should only require milli-Amps and should NOT be a substitute for missing man power +12V.
(However some things can "substitute" power inputs. Not that it's a good example, but I recently wrote how a starter-motor solenoid takes DOUBLE its normal ~20A current if the main/heavy +12V to the starter-motor is missing. [ FYI - that's because the solenoid is a center-tapped with one end grounded and the other end to the starter's stator coil +12V when actuated. Hence an initial current that closes the contacts and connects the heavy +12V to the stator. But if the heavy +12V is missing, the stator provides a ground path for that half of the center-tapped solenoid, hence doubling its current from typically 20A to ~40A. ]
It does seem like a fault with the unit involved, probably a bridge between the remote input and the main power.
That's somewhat rare if it's a relay, but not uncommon if it's a solid-state relay, or if there is some other semiconductor between the remote and main power line (but one that would handle 15A etc...??!)
another thought i had today-- are the fuses on the amp good? if those are bad, i could possibly see this also causing the above issue..
i believe most amps use a solid state turn on method, i imagine it is some sort of transistor, but am really not in-the-know on the details of how it's done..
I would have thought that I botched the install as well, but I got 3 months of use before anything screwy started happening. Haven't checked the fuses, I figured if those were blown it wouldn't power on at all. Since I've sorta got it to work I don't want to tear it down until I have a replacement amp. However, I can hook up my multimeter again and take a video if you guys are interested. Any other things I should try out?
it would still be a good idea to check all your connection points and fuses. wires can do some odd things when they are only partially connected, or loosen over time(btw, my ram likes to unseat it's self every couple months-- i securely re-install it every time..). case in point, my dad worked on a bathroom fan the other day where one of the wires had come loose when it was installed, about 15 years ago.. it worked for that long by touching to the metal case of the fan, and he got called out to work on it when it mysteriously stopped working.