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dougs09chally

Clicking sound coming from tower speakers

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dougs09chally

I just installed an amp and four tower speakers. When I play the stereo at low volume I hear a constant clicking sound coming from the speakers. Strange thing is when I unplug the front output leads from the head unit into the amp the clicking goes away. When I unplug the rear output leads is goes away. When I plug both the front and rear leads into the amp the speakers start clicking in the background of the music. Any suggestions what is causing this? I can follow directions for wiring up stereo components and usually have no problem. I followed the instalation directions and everything looks right. When it comes to diagnosing problems like this I am lost. Please help!

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JAXONBOATS

Does your boat have a depth sounder module that is wired to the accessory side of the ignition switch? I have found in the 2006 Wakesetters that the depth sounder produces a tick tick tick sound in the speakers because of a couple things, the power and ground of the depth sounder is on the same lead(s) as the power on for the head unit. We have tried moving the ground around on the ground bar under the dash and even rewired the power to go to the battery. One other consideration is to ensure you have high quality shielded RCA lines that hopefully prevent this cross talk interference.

Also be sure the RCA plugs are plugged into both the head unit and the amp completly

Edited by JAXONBOATS

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Earmark Marine

Doug,

That is a strange one.

I'll assume the clicking sound is there without the boat 'On' so we can eliminate a depth transducer or any other external source.

To confirm, you are running RCA low level from the source unit to the amplifier rather than high level speaker leads from the source unit?

If we are only talking about tower speakers and tower amplifier then I am curious as to why you would be using both front and rear outputs of the source unit?

It would help if you would note which make and model of source unit and amplifier you are using.

Anytime I hear 'noise' as a problem I suspect a supply or ground loop. If there is any resistance or voltage potential difference between the two components in the signal path, then the RCA shield can pass voltage. That can create a number of issues. As a test I would disconnect all B+ and ground supply connections for both the amplifier and source unit and temporarily move both to battery direct.

Lower the amplifier input gains if they are set wide open.

Check the voltage and make sure it is at least 12 volts.

David

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JTech

Lower the amplifier input gains if they are set wide open.

That was my first thought...

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teamerickson

Does your boat have a depth sounder module that is wired to the accessory side of the ignition switch? I have found in the 2006 Wakesetters that the depth sounder produces a tick tick tick sound in the speakers because of a couple things, the power and ground of the depth sounder is on the same lead(s) as the power on for the head unit. We have tried moving the ground around on the ground bar under the dash and even rewired the power to go to the battery. One other consideration is to ensure you have high quality shielded RCA lines that hopefully prevent this cross talk interference.

Also be sure the RCA plugs are plugged into both the head unit and the amp completly

I have the same problem. I'm pretty sure it's the depth sounder. I tried moving the ground but it didn't help. It happens with engine on or acc.

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Earmark Marine

I have the same problem. I'm pretty sure it's the depth sounder. I tried moving the ground but it didn't help. It happens with engine on or acc.

That sounds like you have a definite depth sounder problem. For some reason we have yet to experience this particular issue. Get in touch if you would like to resolve it. I know the sequence in how to narrow it down and hopefully fix it, and I would like to get the experience.

David

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dougs09chally

Doug,

That is a strange one.

I'll assume the clicking sound is there without the boat 'On' so we can eliminate a depth transducer or any other external source.

To confirm, you are running RCA low level from the source unit to the amplifier rather than high level speaker leads from the source unit?

If we are only talking about tower speakers and tower amplifier then I am curious as to why you would be using both front and rear outputs of the source unit?

It would help if you would note which make and model of source unit and amplifier you are using.

Anytime I hear 'noise' as a problem I suspect a supply or ground loop. If there is any resistance or voltage potential difference between the two components in the signal path, then the RCA shield can pass voltage. That can create a number of issues. As a test I would disconnect all B+ and ground supply connections for both the amplifier and source unit and temporarily move both to battery direct.

Lower the amplifier input gains if they are set wide open.

Check the voltage and make sure it is at least 12 volts.

David

David

The source unit is the stock head unit that came in the boat. It is a Pioneer Premier DEH-P360 and the amp is an Infinity Reference Series 475a driving 4 Bazooka 200 watt tower speakers. The only reason I wired both front and rear outputs from the head unit is because that was what the wiring diagram for the amp shows to do. I suppose I could just split either the front or rear with a Y RCA cable? That would actually be good if that is what you recommend as I also want to amp my 4 inboat speakers so I could use the other outputs for that amp (although my Infinity amp does have RCA outs to piggy back another amp). I have the power running to the main Perko switch and the ground is wired direct to the neg on one of my two batteries (that have the neg terminals connected by a cable so I figured it did not matter what battery I connected it to).

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Earmark Marine

Doug,

Is the noise there when the key is off so we can eliminate the depth sounder?

Use only the source unit rear RCA outputs to drive the tower amplifier. You can either use RCA 'Y' splitters to feed all four amplifier inputs, or if the amplifier has a 2-channel/4-channel input configuration switch, the 2-channel mode will usually allow one pair of RCAs to feed all four amplifier channels (preferred).

Don't use the amplifier RCA pass-throughs. Use the source unit front RCA outputs to drive the in-boat zone which will automatically give you tower (rear) to in-boat (front) fader control.

The source unit, all amplifiers and all audio equipment in the signal path MUST access the exact same B+ supply point from the Perko switch output post and the exact same ground point from the same battery. No exceptions, especially since you presently have noise. If you are using the Perko output post then everything including the audio equipment, helm buss and battery alternator/starter feed should access the same point with nothing circumventing the switch and going battery-direct. If you have noise then you have to move the source unit supply and ground away from the factory harness and to the common point with the amplifier(s) as mentioned above.

David

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CHADB855

Hello bu world. I am new to the forum and really love it. This place has helped me tremendously. I recently purchased an '03 vlx and have a similar issue. This seems to happen only after I am out on the lake all day and docking the boat for the night. This has been very hit or miss though. I am having this popping/clicking noise coming from all the speakers with the key off. My system is ran by a kicker 5 channel amp. I think it is the ZX700.5. The weird thing is if I hear this and cycle the key on and off a couple of times without starting the engine again it will usually stop. Sometimes it has done it for a few minutes and quits by itseIf. I did find a loose connection at the negative battery terminal the other day and thought that was it, but no go.

This may be a stupid question but... Does my boat have a perko switch on it factory or does everyone add these on when upgrading stereos. I am going to put another amp in and change my subwoofer set up to two 12"s instead of one 10". I was wondering where this is or should i definitely have one when doing two amps. I also was thinking of adding a small gel battery for back up to the stereo. This is where I'm not sure whether or not to do that or a full size battery. I do have a good bit of automotive (not so much with boats) stereo knowledge, just havent stopped surfing long enough to look at all this stuff since i bought the boat.. LOL. Any info about these two questions would help. Thanks.

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Earmark Marine

Chad,

I would absolutely resolve the cause of the noise BEFORE adding to the size and complexity of the system.

Solid state electronics and especially microprocessors become unpredictable with low voltage. By cycling the key I would guess you are re-booting so to speak by first establishing the ground and second adding the B+ supply. The first step is to measure the voltage at the +/- primary terminals of the audio equipment at the moment that the problem arises. The second step would be to determine which component in the audio chain is generating (which I suspect in this case) or receiving the noise.

If you have a dual battery switch it would likely accompany two batteries in the port obsrever's locker. Two batteries and a dual battery switch is recommended once you have a sizable audio system and a necessity if you ever operate the audio system at rest.

I don't think you mean a true 'gel' battery in the context of a boat.

An AC shore charger becomes a great investment to prolong both the battery performance and battery longevity.

Check the status of your battery and don't try to stretch its usage beyond its time as that is unhealthy for all audio as well as the boat electronics.

David

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teamerickson

Hello bu world. I am new to the forum and really love it. This place has helped me tremendously. I recently purchased an '03 vlx and have a similar issue. This seems to happen only after I am out on the lake all day and docking the boat for the night. This has been very hit or miss though. I am having this popping/clicking noise coming from all the speakers with the key off. My system is ran by a kicker 5 channel amp. I think it is the ZX700.5. The weird thing is if I hear this and cycle the key on and off a couple of times without starting the engine again it will usually stop. Sometimes it has done it for a few minutes and quits by itseIf. I did find a loose connection at the negative battery terminal the other day and thought that was it, but no go.

This may be a stupid question but... Does my boat have a perko switch on it factory or does everyone add these on when upgrading stereos. I am going to put another amp in and change my subwoofer set up to two 12"s instead of one 10". I was wondering where this is or should i definitely have one when doing two amps. I also was thinking of adding a small gel battery for back up to the stereo. This is where I'm not sure whether or not to do that or a full size battery. I do have a good bit of automotive (not so much with boats) stereo knowledge, just havent stopped surfing long enough to look at all this stuff since i bought the boat.. LOL. Any info about these two questions would help. Thanks.

I really think it's the depth finder. If you stick your head in the V-drve area I bet you will hear the depth finder clicking just like you hear in the speakers. I'm going to try and trouble shot this weekend.

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dougs09chally

Doug,

Is the noise there when the key is off so we can eliminate the depth sounder?

Use only the source unit rear RCA outputs to drive the tower amplifier. You can either use RCA 'Y' splitters to feed all four amplifier inputs, or if the amplifier has a 2-channel/4-channel input configuration switch, the 2-channel mode will usually allow one pair of RCAs to feed all four amplifier channels (preferred).

Don't use the amplifier RCA pass-throughs. Use the source unit front RCA outputs to drive the in-boat zone which will automatically give you tower (rear) to in-boat (front) fader control.

The source unit, all amplifiers and all audio equipment in the signal path MUST access the exact same B+ supply point from the Perko switch output post and the exact same ground point from the same battery. No exceptions, especially since you presently have noise. If you are using the Perko output post then everything including the audio equipment, helm buss and battery alternator/starter feed should access the same point with nothing circumventing the switch and going battery-direct. If you have noise then you have to move the source unit supply and ground away from the factory harness and to the common point with the amplifier(s) as mentioned above.

David

Thanks David.

The key is in the accessory position when I was having the clicking issue. As it is the stock deck it requires the key to be on for the stereo to work (should I wire the head unit direct or maybe use one of the empty dash switches to control it?).

I did not have access to my computer over the weekend so anticipating this is what you would recommend I did the suggestions you gave and no more clicking! I ran rear channel to the tower amp and the front channel to the in boat speakers amp using RCA "Y" splitters. The only thing I did not do that you suggested is run all my amp power wires to the common terminal on the Perko and all the ground wires to the neg on one battery. I was concerned with overloading the 4 guage cable running from the batteries to the Perko so I ran two amps to the Perko and the last amp I added on the weekend I ran direct to battery #2. So would you still recommend running all the pos cables to the same battery as well as all the ground cables to the same battery despite not having a noise issue anymore? I like to use my stereo without the boat running so should I just wire all the components direct to the pos and neg of battery #2 rather than to the Perko? Is there any advantage to running them to the Perko switch? (other than the option to run the stereo off either battery)? If I do wire direct to batt #2 I guess I still need to switch the Perko to #2 when I am listening without the engine running otherwise if I leave it on "both" I will draw down both batteries despite being wired direct to batt #2 because the batteries will be connected together via the Perko.

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Earmark Marine

Doug,

It's always difficult when at this end I am dependent on a description without all the qualifiers and without hearing the noise for myself. Experience often allows someone to identify the cause by the specific sound. So a little guesswork and scattershooting happen to pan out this time.

You don't have to re-wire and bypass the factory harness in the absence of noise but if you encounter noise again it is the first step to take.

Wiring everything to the output post of the Perko, as described earlier, eliminates any possibility of a conflict. It is the best way. This also allows you to alternate the role of the two banks if both contain deep cycle batteries and extend the longevity of both batteries. But there is more risk than just noise. RCA shields are the sole audio component link that can circumvent the isolation between two batteries in the wrong scenario. If there is a voltage differential, DC current will certainly flow. I can't speak for the topology of every audio component but I have concerns about the health of the source unit preamp output and the amplifier input stage with DC flowing between the two.

For someone wanting to avoid supply and ground loops but still maintain the keyed function, they can use an interrupt relay.

David

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