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  #11  
Old 07-21-2017, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Brantf View Post
Jim, I am very much an amateur at this but am trying to learn everything. I spent a lot of time going through other threads and still haven't pin pointed my exact issue(maybe I missed the right thread). It's difficult to troubleshoot and test since I have to be in the water engines running to hear the noice. Based in what you've said I have to assume I went wrong somewhere along the way wiring all the power in. A previous thread I read is why I pulled the Hu stock ground and moved it to the largest amp to ground. Prior to that I always had a very loud noise when I would turn my blower on. Moving the Hu ground fixed that but not the lower noise while the engine is running. From what you said I think I may try distribution blocks next, do you think that would be a good next step?

Currently the way I have everything wired.
I have an XS battery to supplement the main battery. The one I use is designed to supply the power when the engine is not running. The XS battery is connected directly to the +\- terminals on the primary battery. The power supply to my Amps(I have one for my tower speakers and one for my internal component speakers) is connected directly to the positive on the XS battery. Grounds are connected to the negative terminal on the primary battery. My small amp is under the console, large amp is toward the back of the boat so I didn't have to run power as far. The rcas for both Amps come out of the HU and go to individual volume controls so I could control them separately. From the volume controls a second set of rcas then run to the Amps. Also, for about 5 feet the rcas for my tower speakers run fairly close to the power supply to my smaller amp, could that be a possible cause too?

I have to assume that they way I have my power and grounds hooked up is the cause. The way I have my power hooked up is how the manufacturer of the battery specified so the amp would pull power the the XS when the boat is not running. Any thoughts? Sorry if some of what I said didn't make much sense, again I am very much an ammauture at this and have learned everything from doing.
Power and grounding are tricky- it's not possible to see that a problem exists in all cases and connections may look perfectly clean when problems show up.

It's a PITA, but the first step in removing noise problems is starting at the battery- clean and tighten the battery connections, replacing any terminals or cables that are damaged/corroded and cleaning all points of contact. I have seen noise problems stop when battery posts and cable ends were cleaned.

SIB-KIS, 'See It Big-Keep It Simple. Make sure the audio system is separate from the rest of the gauges and other electrical system unless you're connecting some of the Fusion, Rockford-Fosgate and other brands that work with NMEA-2000 to interface with the GPS unit. Make sure the power cables are adequate and that the alternator and its charging lead are up to the task of operating everything on the boat- when an alternator is over-taxed, part of it will not perform as needed and noise is one of the results, failure is another. Alternators get hot when used normally, they get REALLY hot when the accessories are treating it like a farm animal. Bearings, connections, regulator/rectifier and brushes fail, leaving you with a dead battery, or worse.

Too many ground paths can be the whole reason noise enters the system and this is part of the reason the one power + and power- method works. Avoid running any audio or audio system power cables parallel and close to other power wires- as shown in the noisy tweeter thread, digital dash gauges make noise that can be picked up by the audio system in places that aren't normally points of entry and in that case, it was due to the installation of the speaker crossover. Since your noise disappears when the audio cables are disconnected, this isn't the same problem.

Placing one amp in a location because it's more convenient is an easy way to have this problem. Do you have a multi-meter? If not, I would suggest buying one (doesn't need to be expensive) and becoming familiar with it. It's good to have a bit of background in electricity to know what voltage, current and resistance are and how they interact. It's not necessary to know everything, but the basics are good to know.

This link has lots of good info about 12V systems and it includes wire gauge charts for power and speakers.

http://www.the12volt.com/

If you do have a multi-meter, measure the voltage at the power terminals at the amplifiers- I would bet you'll see different numbers at each. If you have a spare piece of wire (doesn't need to be huge), connect it from the ground of one amp to the ground of the other amp- if the noise stops, find a way to make it a permanent connection or move the second amp to the same location as the original.

Another solution I have used is grounding the RCA cable shield- connect a wire to the outer sleeve of the plug or jack to a good ground- if the noise stops, solder the wire onto the cable and ground it.

You can also measure voltage between the amplifier ground connections- if it's a small number, you could use a ground loop isolator. I use PAC but have also used the ones from Radio Shack- if you're near one of the remaining RS stores, they might have some of these. If it causes the sound quality to change, I would recommend checking the rest of this and making the electrical connections as good as possible.

Battery condition can have an impact on noise, too- the battery is a large noise filter and if it has been depleted more than a couple of times, it can't do its job as well as it should. It may still start the engine, but it will be less than great for other functions.
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Old 07-21-2017, 07:20 PM
Brantf Brantf is offline
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Thank you for all the tips! Can't tell you how much it's appreciated. When I have a chance I will give everything you suggested a try to see if I can't get to the bottom of this. I do have a multi meter so I can test voltage after I spend some time studying the website you provided. When you say ground the rca cable shield. Do I need to cut the outside covering off to get to the shield on the rca cable or how so you recommend do that?
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  #13  
Old 07-21-2017, 07:35 PM
Brantf Brantf is offline
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Where is the appropriate spot to set this multimeter to test?
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  #14  
Old 07-22-2017, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Brantf View Post
Thank you for all the tips! Can't tell you how much it's appreciated. When I have a chance I will give everything you suggested a try to see if I can't get to the bottom of this. I do have a multi meter so I can test voltage after I spend some time studying the website you provided. When you say ground the rca cable shield. Do I need to cut the outside covering off to get to the shield on the rca cable or how so you recommend do that?
If the shield on the plug is visible, you should be able to solder onto ityou can try grounding it at both ends- it doesn't matter as long as it works, but if it fails to help, you'll need to do the other wiring method.
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  #15  
Old 07-23-2017, 06:26 PM
Brantf Brantf is offline
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Originally Posted by JimN View Post
If the shield on the plug is visible, you should be able to solder onto ityou can try grounding it at both ends- it doesn't matter as long as it works, but if it fails to help, you'll need to do the other wiring method.
Jim, in an effort to get this all right this time around while I'm messing with it. Do you think I would benefit from moving my second amp under the console where the first is. Then running a single two gauge power and ground to distribution blocks under the console. Finally powering both Amps and the Hu from those single distribution blocks? Or should I be putting the distribution blocks close to the battery? I know you are suppose to put the fuses near the battery on each power run so I wasn't sure how that would work.. could I fuse the 2 gauge to the distribution block?
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  #16  
Old 07-23-2017, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Brantf View Post
Jim, in an effort to get this all right this time around while I'm messing with it. Do you think I would benefit from moving my second amp under the console where the first is. Then running a single two gauge power and ground to distribution blocks under the console. Finally powering both Amps and the Hu from those single distribution blocks? Or should I be putting the distribution blocks close to the battery? I know you are suppose to put the fuses near the battery on each power run so I wasn't sure how that would work.. could I fuse the 2 gauge to the distribution block?
Using one location is best, which I had recommended prevoiusly. The fuse at the battery is to protect you, your passengers and the boat- don't bother with a fused distribution block unless the amps don't have a fuse- it's not necessary and only confuses the issue.

The main fuse (I prefer a breaker) can be rated for more current than the amps- it's for catastrophic problems, not the amplifiers. I like the ones with a button for opening the breaker for servicing and if it opens for some reason, it can be reset instead of searching for another fuse.
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  #17  
Old 07-23-2017, 06:53 PM
Brantf Brantf is offline
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Originally Posted by JimN View Post
Using one location is best, which I had recommended prevoiusly. The fuse at the battery is to protect you, your passengers and the boat- don't bother with a fused distribution block unless the amps don't have a fuse- it's not necessary and only confuses the issue.

The main fuse (I prefer a breaker) can be rated for more current than the amps- it's for catastrophic problems, not the amplifiers. I like the ones with a button for opening the breaker for servicing and if it opens for some reason, it can be reset instead of searching for another fuse.
Ok. Can I run the distribution blocks back to the console where the Amps are and run amp power from there or should I could the distribution block close to the battery?
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  #18  
Old 07-23-2017, 07:02 PM
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Ok. Can I run the distribution blocks back to the console where the Amps are and run amp power from there or should I could the distribution block close to the battery?
Keep the runs from the distribution blocks as short as possible, so you can benefit from the larger gauge. If the head unit is closer to the battery than the amps are, use a larger gauge from the head unit than you would think it needs- 12 ga should work, but 10ga would be better. If the head unit and amps are close to the middle of the boat, I would take the head unit's power from the distribution blocks and use a relay to switch the red power wire when the key is ON or the accessory switch is flipped.
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