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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Everyone, hope all are having a great summer! I tried to do some searching in the forum to see if anyone had a solution to my issue but didn't find anything, so here it goes. I recently installed a custom autosound that I purchased from WCCC, along with their combo dash 3.5 speakers, some 6x9 pioneers in the back deck then decided I need to add a 600 amp to run those speakers. I'm not a stereo guru but followed the simple rules, ran the battery power down the passenger side, ran the twisted rca cables down one side of the tunnel and the remote power down the other side. I used the antenna power to run my amp remote but I am using power from the original radio for the ignition side of the stereo. My problem is I have one helluva an alternator whine through the speakers, yes it continues when I disconnect the rca's so I'm guessing it is going through the ignition switch. Has anyone ran into this issue? It sounds like I should use some kind a suppressor or filter for remote power to the amp since my main power should be clean coming straight off the battery. Any ideas or suggestions would be great!! Thanks all!!

Ron
 

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Not sure if this helps or not by I remember on my first car hooking a CB up. Had a lot of engine noise. Had to go to resistor plugs, plus an inline filter and still had engine noise. Not even sure what the resistor plugs have to do with it but that was what I was told. Wonder if you hooked up the radio direct if the noise would lesson? Would have to have an on off switch or something but might be worth a try.
 

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same problem on my first car too. The inline filter didn't help either. Not sure if it wasn't related to the high performance plug wires or the double point distributor, or both ...
 

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How about when you disconnect the power to the amp - noise continue? How many fuses does the amp have and what are their ratings? What gauge power wire did you run to the amp. And you didn't have the noise prior to the install of the amp, right?
My initial thought is the remote wire is not a likely culprit...the current is so low running through that wire.
And make sure you have a good clean ground on the amp too.

Answer to the questions above will help determine if the amp is just straining the alternator too much...

EDIT: I agree with Bill - the noise is most likely a grounding issue. But, could still be too much strain on the alternator.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I ran 8g back to the amp, but the ground could be the culprit. I have it grounded right to the frame behind the back seat, however I am sure there is paint between the treminal and frame. i will clean that up and give it another go. Thanks for that feedback. I'm not sure on the fuse, it is an inline that came with the amp wiring kit I used. There was no radio before, and of course there is no noise when car isnt running.
 

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You will most likely need to ground everything at the same spot. It is called "star" grounding. First try celaning up the ground where it is and see if that helps.
 

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YEP - that's because grounding in different places tends to create an imbalance and you also need to have resistor plugs and don't have any metalic coverings over your plug wires either. That alt can induce noise into any ungrounded metal and transmit it through the frame.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So are you saying I should run the radio ground to the back, or amp to front? I guess I didn't realize it made a difference where the ground was, guess that is why I'm asking!! Thanks, I will give it a go when it cools down a bit in a day or two.
 

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IMHO - Your ground should be at least the same gauge as your power wire, and it should be relatively as short as possible. While it is true, grounding in multiple places can create an imbalance and introduce noise, if you have good clean grounds, it should be minimal (multiple grounds are performed all the time in the consumer car stereo industry).
As far as my fuse question, there should be blade fuses on the side of your amplifier and they should have their amperage protection on the ends of them (no need to remove them to read).

As Dale said, swinging by a stereo shop might save you some time, but will cost you for them to diagnose (and possibly resolve) the issue. Some shops will be more willing to help than others.

Hope that helps...
 

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I don't have the autosound experience that Mr B does; however, I've been doing my own autosound as well as commo gear -CB's, Ham Radios, LMRS (taxi/police/ambulance/tow truck, etc) - for fun and profit for a little over three decades as well. Three thoughts come to mind:

1.) Grounding is among the two most important issues you have to deal with in anything you use to "make noise"; be it a car stereo or a two-way radio. Ground the radio/stereo/amp body to the car body very close by. And I don't mean "the black wire, I mean the factory metal box in which the equipment is housed. And yes, scrape the paint off.
Now, somebody's gonna say "That will mess with your speaker audio" Really? Who (what manufacturer) is still putting out equipment that still sends only the "hot" line from the radio/amp to the speakers, using the chassis ground for a return? Who?
Best indeed would be taking the time to "star-ground" your audio equipment; but, assuming your body-bonds are clean and tight, you might get away with pulling to a good ground "nearby" for the -14.2VDC; but, you could pull two (+14.2 and -14.2) wires from the battery or nearby grounding lug attached to the battery - which brings me to the next thought:

2.) You're pulling power for a 600W amplifier straight off the back of the ignition switch???? :bloated:
Look around this (Cougar Tech) page and see how many threads revolve around adding headlight relays to take the load off the headlight switch and thereby getting more voltage to the headlights. It's the same with the ignition switch; only with the added fun that you're pulling power from the same lug as the infamous "pink wire" that powers the ignition coil - y'know, the thing that actually produces the HV power to make the spark plugs.....spark. Seems like that could be a good cause as well. Might a good idea to install another 30 amp relay and #8 wire feeding from the battery to the amp. Better (and easier) would be from the "hot" (battery) side of the starter relay - which is commonly mis-named a "solenoid". This ain't no GM product, the black thing on the fender connected between the battery and the starter is a RELAY, not a solenoid.
But I digress....

3.) If you still have noise after solving these "issues"; tell me about the sound of the noise; is it a pure "POP POP POP POP", or does it have sort of a high-pitched "bell" sound? If it's the latter, I'd suggest you might have your altermnator checked out; because you may have a diode (rectifier) gone in that alternator. Do you have any problems with the battery being over- or under-charged? That's another big clue on this one.

Lastly, you MAY VERY WELL need to install resistor wires and plugs. But first, with an eye towards the age of any Cougar discussed on these pages; I'd be looking at the points/rotor/cap in/on the distributor. Even if you have the latest and greatest in electronic ignition boxes, that rotor and cap do wear over time. Fixing this may also be the cheap-and-quick answer to any "what happened to my car's power" questions that have been bothering you.

Just sayin'
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Desert Dawg, thanks for all that useful info, it is appreciated!! I do have my amp running from the "relay, battery side" with 8 gauge. I was going to mess with the grounding the other day and in the process, yes my diode, for the alternator, went to hell that goes back to the starter relay. IN the mean time I ran a ground wire from negative side of battery and it did reduce the noise to the speakers. However I need to run and get another diode connector for my alternator.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok guys I have a resolution!! On another website I found some additional info on alternator noise. I did try the grounding contacts, I tried to ground straight from the negative side of the batter even tried a ground loop isolator, the kind that plugs directly into the rca cable. What did work for me was to take some 16 gauge wire and to wrap around each of the rca plugs on the HU side and then connect it to the HU ground. To me, that sounds like a ground loop isolator. But low and behold it took care of 90% of my noise. Thanks to all for all suggestions.
 

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Glad to hear it! Ground gremlins are always fun to chase - NOT! ;>)
 

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Was this BARE wire? Because, if not, you just grounded the floating speaker leads - just the opposite of an isolator. If it was insulated wire; then you've managed to build a very elementary RF Choke, which bleeds off any stray radio frequency interference which is induced on the wiring from an outside source. This leads me to believe that you are dealing with ignition noise, which is most commonly wideband RF in nature. Think of the static crashes you hear on any radio during thunderstorms; the ignition spark is just an infantismal "lightning strike". This then leads me to a couple of other observations:

1.)You still might check out your ignition rotor and cap; as you have a "first spark" where the High Voltage jumps from the rotor (connected to the coil's "output side") to the cap (connected to the spark plugs through the plug wires). There is an tiny gap between the electrode on the rotor and the elctrodes connected to the plug wires. Over time, the electrical contacts for both rotor and cap erode and the gap becomes larger' producing a larger spark. This does two things not-so-good for you. First it creates the greater likelihood of you getting spark plug noise, which you've already figured out. Second, the larger spark actually lessens the electrical energy available to fire the spark plugs. Not a huge amount; but enough to make less 'fire' to ignite the fuel/air mixture in the combustion chamber. This is because EVERY electrical conductor has some electrical resistance; and air is closer to an insulator than a conductor. As the rotor -> cap air-gap increases with erosion, more of the 45,000 volts (if you've got an 'upgraded' igntion coil) that should be fed to the spark plugs is instead being wasted on creating an ever-larger spark before it even gets to the plug wires. "Where did my car's horsepower go?"

2.) Higher-end Head Units and amps commonly have "bulkhead" or "Feedthrough" capacitors right at the RCA jacks to capacitively (as opposed to inductively, like with your grounded wire-wrap around the RCA plugs) drain off that RF noise; and your sound equipment doesn't! This confirms (to me) some of what others have said about the CAS HU's - they didn't spend a lot of design/build dollars on the electronics in these guys. Sadly, it also reflects on the design of your amp as well, IMHO.

Bill B; did I leave anything out? EDIT: Yes I did! Never went into how "resistor" plug wires work. D'OH!
 
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