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New Stereo Woes


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I bought a new to me 2006 RLXI which I love everything about, except for the sock stereo. I was having issues with it not liking my old fashion iPhone 4s and started thinking about replacing it. About a month ago I went out and from the start to end of the day the radio would not power. I tried almost everything, circuit breaker, hold power on/off on both the radio and remote, wiggle wires, hit the radio...none of which worked. So shortly there after I ordered a new head unit (Sony), new speakers, and 4 channel amp to power the speakers.

I installed everything, tuned the amp, and everything worked and sounded great! Four times on the boat everything worked without a hitch...other than having to switch the key to the auxiliary position every time I turned off the motor to pick up a skier.....I will be changing this to a AUX switch on the dash shortly.

But last Saturday the woes came back. I was out on the boat all day, radio worked great, but around the end of the day we stopped at a restaurant on the water for dinner. There was a bit of a wait so we sat on the boat for another 20 minutes listening to the radio. When we went to dinner I turned everything off and brought the key with me.

After dinner the radio would not turn on, nothing related to the stereo worked or was on (Head unit, amp, remote), and the circuit breaker was not blown. The boat ride home was short, but I was a bit frustrated.

Yesterday I went to the boat and tried to turn the radio on....everything was still not working. I started thinking maybe I fixed the issues when I disconnected the battery. So I pulled the negative from the battery for a few seconds, then reconnected it. After reconnecting it, the stereo, amp, and remote all worked perfectly!!

Any ideas as to where to start looking? Or maybe I just install a Perko switch and turn off/on next time??

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A reset is properly done by reconnecting the negative before the positive.

Start by completely pulling the stereo HU off the factory harness. Run a dedicated & fused (at the power source positive) for both the constant and switched B+ and a dedicated ground to the same battery the amplifiers normally access. If this resolves the issue then you can clean it up and maybe add an interrupt relay later on.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, thank you, what gauge wire should I run?

Since I was planning on re running the B+ (Red wire) to a switch on the dash, would it be a decent idea to start with that? Since I know that the switch is getting voltage when turned on because the light illuminates (right???). So I should just be able to re run the Red wire from the HU to a switch that illuminates when turned on...I'm assuming that there is power and neg to that switch already.....right??? If that solves the problem then I can assume that the connection to the ignition/Aux was faulty....if it doesn't then I know it has to be either the constant 12V or ground....and then can re run that directly to the battery....

Just trying to limit the # of wires I run....Plus I'd rather spend my weekends on the boat then under the dash ;)

Edited by Joeprunc
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For a maximum 20 foot run carrying no more current than a HU will draw, 14-gauge will be fine. Fuse it at the power source.

The idea is to circumvent the helm fuse block and buss and any B+ and ground that they provide, at least temporarily, as a diagnostic step. Any resistance due to a poor connection on either + or - can reduce the voltage. Initially you are just trying to narrow down the cause.

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