Thread: Help Please
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Old 12-26-2011, 01:00 PM
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EarmarkMarine EarmarkMarine is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Boat: TBD
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 521
You do not want to carry an old problem forward and introduce a new product to an existing issue so you really should do some basic diagnostics before making a new amplifier purchase.
The amplifier manual may clarify what the red indicator light is doing. But its probably the amplifier cycling on/off rapidly for one of several reasons. And that event could be caused by an internal or external problem. The amplifier could be protecting itself.
You should have a simple $10 to $20 volt/multimeter. This will not be the last time it will come in handy on your boat.
Check voltage to the amplifier at the amplifier primary terminals. You would like to see at least 12.0 volts there. There could be a problem with the supply for just that amplifier.
Check the impedance/resistance of both the tower speakers/channels at the terminals of the amplifier. The speakers will determine the value and it may be anywhere from 3.5 to 8 ohms depending on the specific speakers. You definitely need to have a consistent reading (+/- 10%) here no matter what it is.
Check the continuity between the speaker negatives at the amplifier terminals and the amplifier supply ground. The resistance value should be infinite or extremely high representing an open circuit or close to it. If you have a short then re-test the amplifier in the same way with the speaker terminals empty. This will isolate a problem to be either internal or external to the amplifier.
If you find a problem with the tower external to the amplifier then remove the tower speakers from their pods and check the speakers independent from the wiring. Again, check for a consistent resistance for both speakers.
If you suspect a wiring problem you can do an isolated continuity check between the pos. and neg. tower wires. You can also run a temporary jumper from the amplifier to a tower speaker thereby circumventing the tower wiring.
If in the end the diagnosis points to the amplifier take it to your local ME dealer for a bench check.
I've tried to keep this as simple as possible. If its too much then enlist the assistance of your local ME dealer. You can always take just the amplifier and speakers to them for testing. If they bench test both and find a problem with one then its fairly safe to assume that there isn't further issues remaining in the boat. But if you overlook and leave a problem intact in the boat then you could be damaging the replacement product.

Marine amplifiers are a 'must have' in a coastal community or brackish area with salt air. Marine amplifiers will not help you if the amplifier gets wet directly while in operation. Most don't use marine in fresh water. Having a little extra insurance should cost 5 to 10 percent more. A marine amplifier is no solution for draining cup holders or placing a boat into storage under cover with water in the bilge.

Earmark Marine
Earmark Marine
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