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Old 03-01-2013, 11:34 AM   #26
Beau M
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Those two amps should not be drawing enough power to require an alternator or battery upgrade. I think I found your problem though:

Dielectric grease

Dielectric grease is electrically insulating and does not break down when high voltage is applied. It is often applied to electrical connectors, particularly those containing rubber gaskets, as a means of lubricating and sealing rubber portions of the connector without arcing.

A common use of dielectric grease is in high-voltage connections associated with gasoline engine spark plugs. The grease is applied to the rubber boot of the plug wire. This helps the rubber boot slide onto the ceramic insulator of the plug. The grease also acts to seal the rubber boot, while at the same time preventing the rubber from becoming stuck to the ceramic. Generally spark plugs are located in areas of high temperature, and the grease is formulated to withstand the temperature range expected. It can be applied to the actual contact as well, because the contact pressure is sufficient to penetrate the grease. Doing so on such high pressure contact surfaces has the advantage of sealing the contact area against corrosion.

Another common use of dielectric grease is on the rubber mating surfaces or gaskets of multi-pin electrical connectors used in automotive and marine engines. The grease again acts as a lubricant and a sealant on the nonconductive mating surfaces of the connector. It is not recommended to be applied to the actual electrical conductive contacts of the connector because it could interfere with the electrical signals passing through the connector in cases where the contact pressure is very low. Products designed as electronic connector lubricants, on the other hand, should be applied to such connector contacts and can dramatically extend their useful life. Polyphenyl Ether, rather than silicone grease, is the active ingredient in some such connector lubricants.
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:51 PM   #27
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^ winner winner chicken dinner
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:14 AM   #28
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So i guess i'll be cleaning the dielectric grease off. Hopefully that solves the problem. Thanks for the info Beau M.
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:04 AM   #29
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Let us know how it goes!
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:42 PM   #30
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You haven't mentioned where your amps are grounded to... that's a pretty important part of the equation...

They should be grounded to the bed pan of the car, not a seat bolt or anything else that passes through a weld.

What did you ground yours to?

Edit, Oh, I see... you posted that later... yeah, don't use the seat bolts, use one up in the tranny tunnel, or back seat that actually puts your grounding terminal up against the floor pan.

-- Dave
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:50 AM   #31
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I did mention it...they are grounded using the seat bolts (amps mounted under seats). I sandwhiched the lugs between the foot of the seat and the body/floor. Cleaned the paint off the body/floor.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:45 AM   #32
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so I went to clean the dielectric grease off the grounding points and ended up moving them all together. I had them on the back outward bolts of the front seats (ones by the B-pillar) and I moved them to the inward bolts (the ones that are horizontal going towards the trans tunnel). anyway, does anyone know where i can find some lugs with more material around the opening for the bolt hole? the bolts I'm guessing are somewhere around 3/8" dia but the internal thread in the car has a decent size chamfer so my lugs are being squeezed into there and not touching the flat sheet metal itself. my lights are still dimming some so i'm hoping that if i get a different lug that touches the flat surface it'll fix it. thanks for the help.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:49 AM   #33
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Toss a washer on there?
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:08 AM   #34
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Don't know why I didn't think of that (so simple). Thanks
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:10 PM   #35
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You should also toss a ground wire from the battery to the firewall if you haven't already... best return path for the current...

-- Dave
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Old 03-12-2013, 02:10 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcquaCow View Post
You should also toss a ground wire from the battery to the firewall if you haven't already... best return path for the current...

-- Dave
Yes and to that effect, have you done the big 3? http://www.the12volt.com/installbay/...TID~73496~PN~1

Edit: just saw this was linked on the first page, but OP didn't respond. I would HIGHLY recommend doing this. We already know the engine grounds in scoobs aren't great.
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:34 AM   #37
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i have done the big three but i'll also add one from the firewall to the battery.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:39 PM   #38
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read this thread all the way through. Clark talks about a diode/resistor thingy that works to raise the running voltage. i've been using this mod for 5 years or so now, and it definitely helps. good luck!

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1602651
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:03 AM   #39
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I want to say that the gauge of wire is too small, I would go with 4 or better, or at least 6.

Here's an article about the gauge.

http://knowledge.sonicelectronix.com...amplifier.html

Also I have seen in many dual amplifier setups people using a power distributor, using a 4 gauge wire from the battery, in your case the red top, going to a distributor, then moving from a 4 gauge to maybe a 6 gauge from the distributor to each of the amplifiers. Grounding is definitely important as well, I'm not too sure on what the best ground is in the suby, maybe the trunk latch? I'm curious as well as I'm working to combat this situation as well, I just ordered a 160 watt amplifier from Maniac. Hopefully this will resolve the issue. Also lowering your gain on the amplifier may help as well until the issue is identified.
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:44 AM   #40
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I've redone the grounds from the amps to the seat rail bolts (ground sandwiched between two washers going to bare metal on the inside bolts going to the trans tunnel). I'm still having dimming but I need to check my engine bay grounds for whether or not I put dielectric grease on them when I redid them. I don't have a lot of free time since I have a 21 month old daughter. The gain on both of my amps are right at halfway or slightly higher.
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Old 03-23-2013, 01:38 AM   #41
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Your gain shouldn't be at halfway, it should be matched to the voltage output of your headunit... whatever that is... 2v, 4v, 6v, etc...

What do you mean sandwiched between two washers?

Can you give us a pic of this ground near your seat?

Thanks,

-- Dave
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Old 03-23-2013, 01:44 PM   #42
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here's where the amp is grounded (same under passenger seat for sub amp)



and here's the best shot I could get of the sandwiched lug



so it's basically the seat rail, then a washer, the ground, another washer, and then bare metal. you can barely see the lug going forward in the pic.

as for setting the gain how do i match it to my HU? i have an alpine cda 9886 and it has 4 volt preouts. as you can see in the pic of my gain adjustments it has min, nom, .5v, and max. all the scratches are from me adjusting without removing the seat.

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Old 03-26-2013, 12:51 PM   #43
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That is a terrible ground... you want the grounding lug to be in direct contact with the bed pan of the car, you don't want it to have to go though the high resistance a washer is going to offer...

You might want to pull your seat out, and peel the carpet back till you can get at a proper grounding point.

You can see my ground wire from this in-progress pic:


It goes up and bolts to the tranny tunnel, that was the best closest grounding position I could find anywhere near the seats.

As far as gain is concerned, according to the V Power manual the "MIN" setting on your gain knob is for 4V preamp inputs...that is what you should technically be using to avoid clipping.
Quote:
20 Input Gain Adjustment Control

Set the MRP-F600/MRP-F300 input gain knobs to the minimum (4V) position. Using a loud cassette or preferably a CD as a source, turn up the head unit volume until it distorts. Then, reduce the volume 1 step. You can then increase amplifier gain until the sound from the speakers becomes distorted
If you did want to tweak using their setup, I'd start with a pure 0dBFS test tone, I have a bunch available here: http://dave.oc7.org/stuff/test.tones/
I'd grab a 1000Hz (http://dave.oc7.org/stuff/test.tones...BFS%20mono.wav) tone, put it on a CD and put it on repeat, then with the amp gain all the way down and EQ set the way you want, slowly turn up the volume till the pure tone changes... You'll hear it change from a tone to a slight buzzing sound when it starts to clip. If you can't get it to clip within the headunit (I'd be surprised if you can't), then you can turn the amp gain up a little bit till you find where it clips (keep headunit near max volume and wear ear plugs during this step). Once you know your clipping points, avoid them always =) Turn the amp gain down a degree or two, and never take your HU past the clip point. EG: my Kenwood HU starts clipping at 33/35 on the volume with the way I have it setup, so I never really ever go past 32 unless the album I'm listening to was poorly recorded and has some headroom in it. Most modern electronic/pop/R&B will have 0dB of headroom, so you won't have that problem.

Do the same with a 60Hz tone (http://dave.oc7.org/stuff/test.tones...BFS%20mono.wav) for the sub amp, though the gain setting should be the same if you are using the same brand/series of amp.

-- Dave

Last edited by AcquaCow; 03-26-2013 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:55 PM   #44
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Thanks for the info/sound clips Dave. I actually had the lug going to bare metal at the point in the picture but the chamfer on the internal threads going to the floor is so big that the lug didn't have much of a contact surface (see post 32 & 33) to the floor. I still had dimming with this but it's also with the gain on the amps turned up to halfway so I guess that could have been the issue. I guess one of the reasons I had the gain turned up so much was because once you get pass 23-24 on my HU it makes the midrange sound jump up (I don't know if that makes sense) so I had it to where I only would go to 22 max and not reach that point.

So is your ground to an existing bolt under the console?

I'll reset my gains in the next couple of days and at least take out the washers on my grounds if not move them to the area you told me of.

Thanks again for the info.

Jamie
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Old 03-30-2013, 12:12 PM   #45
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so i adjusted my gains using the tones and method Dave described. the gain is all the way down now and clipping starts at 33 out of 35 on the HU but my stereo doesn't sound very good now. it isn't really loud at all and the highs aren't, well, very high. i don't know what effect this has on the lights dimming since i haven't driven it at night yet.
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:55 PM   #46
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So you've verified that the HU clips at 33, set the HU to 32, and get some ear plugs and that 1000Hz tone for the 50x4... slowly turn the gain on the amp up till you hear the tone change (clip) and then just back off a tad... you will probably end up with a bit more volume from it...

Set the sub gain roughly the same.

-- Dave
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:20 AM   #47
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Okay so I bmped the gain up and it got a tad louder but the system as a whole sounds like poo. Like I said a couple posts back, once I go past 23-24 on the head unit the speakers just don't sound good. It's like the tweeters start getting drowned out and the mids jump up. Is there any problem with setting the clipping point on the amps with the volume lower on the HU? I may need to change the crossover for the components (the ones with the speakers not the amp) but I have to pull the door panels to do so. So I just want to make sure if adjusting crossovers doesn't help that setting the gain at a lower volume won't have a negative effect.

I still haven't addressed moving the grounding points of the amp so there isn't any change in the lights dimming (they still are).

Last edited by jmix; 04-03-2013 at 10:23 AM. Reason: Added info
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:15 AM   #48
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Way too many factors that could contribute to it sounding bad. You either have to tweak, tweak, and tweak again, or pay someone else to do it and rely on whay they think sounds "good".
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:01 PM   #49
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Yeah I know it's mostly a matter of opinion but that's why I was wondering if I can't get it to sound good through tweaking at a higher HU volume would it be ok to lower the volume and increase the gain to compenate. When I had the gain turned up but never going over 22 on the HU it sounded good.
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:47 PM   #50
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thats what I usually do, I find that with lots of head units the signal starts to clip and get distorted after about 3/4" volume. So if it goes to 40 I would do all my tuning and amp gain setting with it at 32 or so, and then just know not to go over that if possible. I never crank a HU to the max volume.
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