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Thread: "Clicking" and "popping" noises with usb connection

  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    19

    "Clicking" and "popping" noises with usb connection

    Greetings all.

    I'm in week 3 of installing my carputer. Here's my setup:

    - PIII 500MHz, 256MB, 200GB, all in a generic, old, steel case
    - Vortex 750 watt inverter
    - Sony XA-300 hooked up to my Sony HU

    The inverter and computer are in my trunk. I run a 10' USB cable from the computer to the XA-300. I thought that by using a USB connection I wouldn't have to worry about line noise, but I was wrong. When listening to music I can hear random "popping" and "crackling" sounds in the background. The weird thing is, the amount of "popping" and "crackling" noises I hear depends on which program I'm using. For example, when using winamp I can barely hear any of the noises, but if I use MediaCar or Road Runner the noise is almost unbearable.

    I've searched for XA-300, and I read about a guy who has one, and he had to ground his case to stop the noise. I have a 2' 6 gauge wire going from my case to the ground connection on my inverter, then another 2' cable that goes from the ground on the inverter to a bolt in my trunk. I still hear the noises.

    Here's what I'm thinking might be the problem:

    1. I need stronger connections between the case/inverter/car body, and/or shorter or lower gauge cables.

    2. I'm using the integraded USB ports on an old PIII motherboard, maybe I should get a PCI USB card?

    3. The USB cable that connects to the XA-300 runs parallel to the wire that comes from my car battery, is that a bad idea?

    4. Maybe I should run the ground cable from my computer directly to the car body?

    I'd really appreciate any feedback anyone can offer. At this point I'm ready to use the RCA jacks on my XA-300 with a ground loop isolator if it will get rid of the noise, but then I would give up the digital quality of the USB connection.

  2. #2
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    19
    No replies? Oh well, maybe this is the wrong section for this question...

    I've been doing a lot of experimenting, and this is what I've found:

    - Even if I don't ground the case at all I still get the noises, so I don't think the problem is with the ground connection.

    - I connected the output of my sound card to my XA-300, and not only did I hear the clicking noises, I had humming and buzzing too

    At this point I think it must be the inverter, or the power supply. I'm going to try a PCI USB card (rather than the integrated USB) and see how that goes, then I'll try the sound card again, but with a ground loop isolator.

    No matter what happens I'm going to start saving my pennies so I can do this the right way with a DC-DC power supply, epia board, and a laptop hard drive.

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