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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Gastonia, NC
    Posts
    42

    Default Alternator Whine

    Hello everyone,

    Ok so I just upgraded my stereo system and am having some serious alternator whine. This is the first time I have installed an audio system and never really new of it till now. Wondering if anyone can help me fix my problem. Sounds great when the boat is off but you canít even listen to it when the boat is running. All you hear is the whine so it is bad.

    Here is what I am running:
    Rokford Fosgate 12Ē Marine Sub (M212S4) New
    2 Rockford Fosgate 8Ē Marine Midrange speakers (M282) New
    Kenwood Headunit (KMR-440U) New
    Kicker Amp (ZXM700.5) New
    Rockfor Fosgate 1 Farad Capacitor (I am not 100% sure this is working correctly) New
    Boss 530 Tower Speakers with light rail (old)

    Pretty much everything except the tower speakers are new so I would hope that the problem isnít any of the components. Spent some good money on all the equipment and I was really upset yesterday when got in the boat for the first time and couldnít listen to the stereo. Donít know if it would help or not but I could sketch down the wiring diagram and maybe someone could look at it and tell me if there is something that sticks out there. Again this is the first time I have ever wired a system up but donít think I am a complete idiot. Seemed pretty straight forward when I did it. I guess I must not have something grounded out right or maybe something is not hooked up correctly.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Chris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Stillwater, Oklahoma
    Posts
    319

    Default

    Put a sketch together, so we can see what you did.

    I usually recommend that the radio's power wiring be removed from the helm electrical, to be wired staright to the amplifier's power terminals. This gets all stereo components at the same opearting voltage and ground potential and goes a long way towards making things quiet. What size power and ground wire are you using? FOr a ZXM700.5 you need to be using 4 ga for both power and ground, with both run to the battery.

    Gains: Where do you have them set? This is the biggest issue with whines and pops and noise. You want your gains as low as possible. Generally with the gains turned up only a little bit, turn the radio up until it starts making crunchy distortion sound and then turn it back down a little. With most radios, this is at about 75% of total volume. Then turn the amp gains up until you start hearing similar crakling distorted sounds, and then turn it down a little. This process provides the best method of establishing unity gain; the place where both head unit and amp distort, at the same time. With unity gain, the gains are not turned up so high that they allow all he whines and noises through, yet not too low so that you don;t get max power out of the amp.


    Post up your diagram and let's review. WE can get the nosie out for ya, with a little double-checking and probing.

    Let us know-

    Phil
    Kicker

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Gastonia, NC
    Posts
    42

    Default

    Hey Phil,

    Thanks for the info!

    I am using 4 Ga wire. It runs directley off the battery to the Cap then into the Amp. The negative from the amp then runs into the Cap, then out the cap back to the battery.

    I don't know anything about gains so maybe this will be a quick fix. Or I hope so. I didn't know what to set them at so I have no idea where they are set at. I will have to check that. Guess I need to read up on what the gain actually does.

    I like the idea of running the power and the ground of the head unit back to the amp. That just makes more sense to me. Right now they are just run to a power block and a ground block that all the other gages are hooked too. I will sketch up what I have done and post it a little later. At work right now.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Stillwater, Oklahoma
    Posts
    319

    Default

    Ahhh, if you did not touch the gains, they are probably turned totally up.

    The probable best setting will be somewhere between 9:00 and noon as on a clock. Turnig the gains down will remove a lot of noise and allow you to turn the radio up a lot more before anything clips.

    Since you did not set the gains, you probably did not set the crossovers. Make sure AMP1 and AMP2 crossovers are set to hi-pass. These are slider switches on the end of the map. Then the x-over knobs on the face of the amp need to be set to 8o Hz or so. Same thing with the SUB x-over. LEave bass boost totally off for AMP1 and AMP2 and do not turn it up more than again, somewhere between 9:00 and 12:00 as on a clock.

    Let me know what else you need help with after you make these setting changes, and oh, let us know if the whine went away!

    Phil
    Kicker

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Carlton Oregon
    Posts
    6,062

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chutch View Post
    Hey Phil,

    Thanks for the info!

    That just makes more sense to me. Right now they are just run to a power block and a ground block that all the other gages are hooked too. I will sketch up what I have done and post it a little later. At work right now.
    Thats your problem right there boss. DO NOT ground the stereo to the boat ground block with your gauges.

    You must run all your stereo grounds to the Battery Negative. This is not a car and there for you can not ground the stereo to the ground block under the dash.

    Run all your grounds to a Distrobution block with only stereo gear and then run that to the negative terminal. Or just run it all directly to the battery ground. Try that and ill almost guarentee your whinning will go away.
    Malo <--- Means--Evil or Mean One. This explains a lot.
    2013 Mojo 2.5 Skylon Tower. Bestia < Beast >
    Exile ZLD
    6 SX65M Cabins
    6 XM9 Towers
    1 XI Big 15 Woofer in a custom Fiberglass box
    1 XI 1K Harpoon
    2 XI 800.4
    1 XI 2500.1
    2 Interstate 2400U 6V Golf Cart Batterties
    Custom 1 Off Evolution Cover

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Gastonia, NC
    Posts
    42

    Default

    Phil,

    You are the man. Hooked the ground up to the amp and turned the gains down and no more whine. I just turned the gains down all the way for now because I didn't get a chance to do much more. Hopefully I will get a chance to mess with the gains on Monday.

    One problem I did notice is that when I gave the boat throttle the volume went down. Don't know if that has anything to do with the gains but may be another problem. I am hoping when I get the gains at the correct level it will not do that? Is that a possibility?

    Thanks again for your help. If I were still living in Oklahoma I would buy you a frosty beverage from Eskimo Joes!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Tigard, Oregon
    Posts
    3,016

    Default

    chutch,

    Please read the how to below from Phil on the proper way to set amplified gains. I think you will find it very helpful.

    Al

    http://moomba.com/msgboard/showthread.php?t=9889
    Al

    2006 Mobius LSV

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Carlton Oregon
    Posts
    6,062

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chutch View Post
    Phil,

    You are the man. Hooked the ground up to the amp and turned the gains down and no more whine. I just turned the gains down all the way for now because I didn't get a chance to do much more. Hopefully I will get a chance to mess with the gains on Monday.

    One problem I did notice is that when I gave the boat throttle the volume went down. Don't know if that has anything to do with the gains but may be another problem. I am hoping when I get the gains at the correct level it will not do that? Is that a possibility?

    Thanks again for your help. If I were still living in Oklahoma I would buy you a frosty beverage from Eskimo Joes!
    Honestly i don't think your problem is solved. I think all you did was lower your overall volume by gaining the amp down and the whine is there still you just don't hear it as much. I would still seriously look into where you have it grounded.
    Malo <--- Means--Evil or Mean One. This explains a lot.
    2013 Mojo 2.5 Skylon Tower. Bestia < Beast >
    Exile ZLD
    6 SX65M Cabins
    6 XM9 Towers
    1 XI Big 15 Woofer in a custom Fiberglass box
    1 XI 1K Harpoon
    2 XI 800.4
    1 XI 2500.1
    2 Interstate 2400U 6V Golf Cart Batterties
    Custom 1 Off Evolution Cover

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Gastonia, NC
    Posts
    42

    Default

    mmandley,

    I hooked the ground into the amp as I said above. What do you mean I should look into where I have it grounded? It is now on the cable that runs back to the battery. Is that not right?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Carlton Oregon
    Posts
    6,062

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chutch View Post
    mmandley,

    I hooked the ground into the amp as I said above. What do you mean I should look into where I have it grounded? It is now on the cable that runs back to the battery. Is that not right?
    Sorry buddy i might have mis read your last post. I thought it was only saying you adjusted the gains. I missed you saying you relocated the ground directly tot he battery. My only concern was grounding the stereo the ground buss bar under your dash.
    Malo <--- Means--Evil or Mean One. This explains a lot.
    2013 Mojo 2.5 Skylon Tower. Bestia < Beast >
    Exile ZLD
    6 SX65M Cabins
    6 XM9 Towers
    1 XI Big 15 Woofer in a custom Fiberglass box
    1 XI 1K Harpoon
    2 XI 800.4
    1 XI 2500.1
    2 Interstate 2400U 6V Golf Cart Batterties
    Custom 1 Off Evolution Cover

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