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Posted: 1/17/2006 11:05:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/9/2006 1:13:13 PM EDT by Zippy_The_Wonderdog]
I recently bought an additional vehicle adaptor kit for my truck. I didn't go about it's installation in a terribly complicated manner and I am simply using the cigarette lighter for power and plug it in to the auxiliary jack on my aftermarket head unit. The problem is, by plugging it into my lighter I am getting a considerable amount of noise from my alternator (it is from the alternator, right?)

The solution is to ground the power source, correct? Run a wire from the power source to some other metal part in the truck to provide a ground, right? Any helpful suggestions here?

I am positive the source of the problems is from the cigarette lighter as there is no noise when listening to the CD player, normal radio, or my Ipod so long it is running off the Ipod's batteries. If I plug the Ipod into the lighter, I get he whine.

What say you? Thank you for your time.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 11:06:31 PM EDT
tag

+1000
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 11:17:08 PM EDT
Noise from either the alternator or the ignition system.

See if you can find a noise filter. I think they sell cheap ones at auto parts shops (they'll be stocked near the cheap stereos).

The cig lighter is already grounded to the chassis.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 10:18:40 AM EDT
ka-bump
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 10:23:02 AM EDT
You can try adding another power outlet. My Focus only has one outlet so to add my Satellite Radio, I wired one in that turns on with the ignition.

I pretty much did what this guy did. Cost, about $12. Time, under an hour. No whine on mine.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 10:25:28 AM EDT
The first and cheapest thing to try is running a direct circuit to the battery. Just buy an additional cig plug from the parts store if you want to retain the abilty to remove it. Don't forget to put a fuse right up at the battery terminal.

If that does not do it, get an inexpensive DC noise filter from radio shack.

99% of the time this will take care of it.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 10:27:52 AM EDT
Ahh...welcome to the world of mobile radio - even if it's by way of sattelite.

Don't use the cigarette lighter plug. The wires are running next to God-knows-what before finally making their way to the fuse box. Run power straight to the battery (fused, of course), and keep the ground wire to the chassis as short as is feasible. Alternatively (and what I would probably do myself), there might be an unused place on your fuse box perfect for accessory power.

Incidentally - I've used newly discovered alternator whine in an existing instalation to predict impending alternator doom.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 10:28:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/18/2006 10:28:51 AM EDT by bigscrun]
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 10:29:53 AM EDT
Yup a ground loop. Run a new or possibly just an additional ground from the cigarette lighter to a new spot.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 11:03:28 AM EDT
Go to Autozone or whatever major parts supplier you have local...
Tell em you need spark plug wires.

Theres three kinds, $7.99, $11.99, and $19.99 The last two are upgrades over OEM and have spiral wound cores (resistor), and usually are silicone too. You upgrade your plug wires, your noise usually goes away. Good plug wires are a good investment all around.

Noise filters are nothing more than a resistor / capacitor, depending on type. They are a bandaid which can only target a specific frequency range. Sometimes they do work though, if your noise matches it's range. However, they're $10-$20 and only a bandaid. I'd rather fix the problem, especially since doing so betters the ignition system anyhow.

As for ground loops... well you should be connecting your radio and Sirius dock to the same power source, and ideally... thats stright to frame for the negative, and straight to the battery for positive. But I can tell you from much experience that ground loops are'nt usually a problem, and that ciggy lighters are usually no problem either.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 4:38:12 PM EDT
(not that it matters, but this is for XM, not Sirius)

Sooo...let's see here.

Noise filter. I have seen these used in the past. Sure, it muffles the unwanted noise, but also muffles the sound you want. I dont like them.

Plug wire upgrade....hmm...never would have thought of that. Probably not a bad idea anyway as my truck is 11-ish years old ('95 Tacoma) and the wires are probably the originals.

I think I am going to try installing another outlet from a unused fuse outlet like the guy did in the link posted in this thread. Easy enough, but hopefully, one of those outlets will be grounded properly and remove the noise. If that doesnt work, I guess I'll have to patch into the power source the radio is using.

Hopefully I'll get to this soon and I'll let you know what works, if anything.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 5:02:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zippy_The_Wonderdog:
(not that it matters, but this is for XM, not Sirius)

Sooo...let's see here.

Noise filter. I have seen these used in the past. Sure, it muffles the unwanted noise, but also muffles the sound you want. I dont like them.

Plug wire upgrade....hmm...never would have thought of that. Probably not a bad idea anyway as my truck is 11-ish years old ('95 Tacoma) and the wires are probably the originals.

I think I am going to try installing another outlet from a unused fuse outlet like the guy did in the link posted in this thread. Easy enough, but hopefully, one of those outlets will be grounded properly and remove the noise. If that doesnt work, I guess I'll have to patch into the power source the radio is using.

Hopefully I'll get to this soon and I'll let you know what works, if anything.



Uh... I'm pretty sure that the optimum situation is NO noise from the power supply... All the filter really does is use resistor, inductors and capacitors to smooth out the changes in voltage which cause noise in the circuit.

I have my own troubles. You know whats fun? Listening to the buzz change pitch with changes in engine RPM...
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 5:10:48 PM EDT
Before doing anything check your grounds.

Run another one, and make sure the metal you ground to is clean, bare metal.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 5:16:16 PM EDT
Wait a sec here...I think I misunderstood the noise filter. Is this a filter that goes on the power supply or on the audio output? The only noise filters I am familiar with on the audio end...and did not like at all.


Originally Posted By PromptCritical:
Uh... I'm pretty sure that the optimum situation is NO noise from the power supply... All the filter really does is use resistor, inductors and capacitors to smooth out the changes in voltage which cause noise in the circuit.

I have my own troubles. You know whats fun? Listening to the buzz change pitch with changes in engine RPM...

Link Posted: 1/18/2006 5:17:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/18/2006 5:18:01 PM EDT by bigscrun]
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 5:19:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zippy_The_Wonderdog:
Wait a sec here...I think I misunderstood the noise filter. Is this a filter that goes on the power supply or on the audio output? The only noise filters I am familiar with on the audio end...and did not like at all.


Originally Posted By PromptCritical:
Uh... I'm pretty sure that the optimum situation is NO noise from the power supply... All the filter really does is use resistor, inductors and capacitors to smooth out the changes in voltage which cause noise in the circuit.

I have my own troubles. You know whats fun? Listening to the buzz change pitch with changes in engine RPM...




Power supply. Smooths out incoming power to deliver smooth 12V to whatever is hooked up. At least, that's the theory... Bought one, but never got around to installing it...
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 5:19:44 PM EDT
Ah...just re-read your post.

Reading is Funduhmental.


Originally Posted By bigscrun:
[sigh]


Link Posted: 1/18/2006 11:53:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By PromptCritical:

Originally Posted By Zippy_The_Wonderdog:
Wait a sec here...I think I misunderstood the noise filter. Is this a filter that goes on the power supply or on the audio output? The only noise filters I am familiar with on the audio end...and did not like at all.


Originally Posted By PromptCritical:
Uh... I'm pretty sure that the optimum situation is NO noise from the power supply... All the filter really does is use resistor, inductors and capacitors to smooth out the changes in voltage which cause noise in the circuit.

I have my own troubles. You know whats fun? Listening to the buzz change pitch with changes in engine RPM...




Power supply. Smooths out incoming power to deliver smooth 12V to whatever is hooked up. At least, that's the theory... Bought one, but never got around to installing it...



ummm NO, A filter on the power supply filters out a radio frequency or audio frequency signal imposed on the DC power. And thats why you are hearing a hum and especially a hum that varies with engine rpm. A power conditioner , possibly as simple as a battery and capacitors of a few different sizes, smoothes out dc voltage to a steady voltage.

It does sound like some of your power supply wiring is passing close enough to a varying magnetic or electric field to induce a signal on the wiring.

Stray RF hasn't been an issue for the most part in cars up til now. Running twisted pair or shielded wire will probably do it, but if lucky running directly to the battery away from the alternator may do it also.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 1:35:39 AM EDT

Someone please verify this since it has been about 14 years since I had to do this.

IIRC a 4.7uf 16v capacitor (electrolytic) between the pos and ground (pay attention to polarity) will eliminate that noise
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 1:43:09 AM EDT
Did you know our penguin is sideways?
(tag)
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 11:59:53 AM EDT
I have terrible noise on my AM radio band. I have put filters on the power lead (good filters from Crutchfield), a filter on the antenna, and replaced my plug wires with spiral wound wires. But I still get noise. I have heard something about a ferrite lead (?) on the alternator but I have no idea what this is or how it works.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 12:19:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By PaDanby:

Originally Posted By PromptCritical:

Originally Posted By Zippy_The_Wonderdog:
Wait a sec here...I think I misunderstood the noise filter. Is this a filter that goes on the power supply or on the audio output? The only noise filters I am familiar with on the audio end...and did not like at all.


Originally Posted By PromptCritical:
Uh... I'm pretty sure that the optimum situation is NO noise from the power supply... All the filter really does is use resistor, inductors and capacitors to smooth out the changes in voltage which cause noise in the circuit.

I have my own troubles. You know whats fun? Listening to the buzz change pitch with changes in engine RPM...




Power supply. Smooths out incoming power to deliver smooth 12V to whatever is hooked up. At least, that's the theory... Bought one, but never got around to installing it...



ummm NO, A filter on the power supply filters out a radio frequency or audio frequency signal imposed on the DC power. And thats why you are hearing a hum and especially a hum that varies with engine rpm. A power conditioner , possibly as simple as a battery and capacitors of a few different sizes, smoothes out dc voltage to a steady voltage.



Exactly what is the difference?

ripple DC, AC+DC, DC with spikes and transients, DC with "radio frequency or audio frequency"...its all the same and a cap will filter AC out...

I still think you should check all your grounds before doing anything else.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 12:41:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:
I have terrible noise on my AM radio band. I have put filters on the power lead (good filters from Crutchfield), a filter on the antenna, and replaced my plug wires with spiral wound wires. But I still get noise. I have heard something about a ferrite lead (?) on the alternator but I have no idea what this is or how it works.



Tell me about it! I listen to AM also. Here's the problem... noise is RFI, radio frequency interference, and your car isn't the only source of it. In some neighborhoods I have crystal clear reception, and others... whine like crazy... Its from all sorts of shit, such as power lines.

Having a good ground is always important and obviously not just for noise reasons.

Another problem is manufacturers don't put much filtering into head units anymore... it's not that it's expensive, but since most people listened to tapes, and now CDs, they don't feel clean AM/FM signals are all that important. Also recieve capabilities are alot less than they used to be, but I digress. External noise filters normally fix this problem.

You say you have a filter from crutchfield, could you link me the exact, or similar item? Theres a few different types. Hooking them up properly is important too. I have also seen many that just plain did'nt work.

Another possible solution, is a bit of a pain in the ass, depending on your vehicle.
Yank the positive from your fuse box (relays are a noise source) and run straight (fused) from the radio to the battery, and then the ground right to the frame.

There are "rules" for efficient wiring. Cable lengths and gauges etc... If you want to get deeper into this, PM me. I really never use factory wiring for anything, it's just not practical for audio. I doubt you want to go to all this extent. I don't feel it's necessary in this case.

One trick I've learned from the hobby is that a 8ga. cable from your negative battery terminal, to the engine (alternator bracket) can kill some ground issues (thus noise). It's already grounded like that, but factory grounds are'nt the best and often corrode.

Another idea... Just find a local car audio shop. A good one. A place that installs higher end amps and car alarms, does fancy fiberglassing etc... These guys beat BestBuy / CircuitCity techs.
Let them check out your installation. If it's something stupid, they'll make it right for not much money. Even if the whole thing costs you $50... it's really worth it to rid yourself of the annoyance, and avoid all the guesswork too, no?
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 12:51:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Jon_C_:
You can try adding another power outlet. My Focus only has one outlet so to add my Satellite Radio, I wired one in that turns on with the ignition.

I pretty much did what this guy did. Cost, about $12. Time, under an hour. No whine on mine.



I did the same thing, I wired in a new 12-volt plug under the dash and zip-ties the XM plug into it. I think I tapped into the radio's hot wire for the 12-volt. I can't remember exactly. I would recommend tapping something more substantial than the cigarette lighter.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 12:53:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:
I have terrible noise on my AM radio band. I have put filters on the power lead (good filters from Crutchfield), a filter on the antenna, and replaced my plug wires with spiral wound wires. But I still get noise. I have heard something about a ferrite lead (?) on the alternator but I have no idea what this is or how it works.



I have noticed a great increase in the effect of power lines and old metal bridges on AM reception lately. I don't remember losing signal so easily before. Now if I drive on a road with power lines parallel closeby I get static. If the cross the road it gets terrible as I pass under the lines. There are a few old metal bridges around still and crossing them is the worst.

I think as radio technology has gotten better they have decreased power output on AM. The bad news is that the loss in signal strength is highlighted in bad areas now.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 2:10:23 PM EDT
It is my utterly juvenile way of taunting Aimless, for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

Screwin' with da man, just cuz I can...

Back on topic...I think my first route will be to trying an additional ground on my outlet.


Originally Posted By Stealth:
Did you know our penguin is sideways?
(tag)

Link Posted: 1/19/2006 2:33:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/19/2006 2:41:07 PM EDT by PaDanby]

Originally Posted By 22Hertz:

Originally Posted By PaDanby:

Originally Posted By PromptCritical:

Originally Posted By Zippy_The_Wonderdog:
Wait a sec here...I think I misunderstood the noise filter. Is this a filter that goes on the power supply or on the audio output? The only noise filters I am familiar with on the audio end...and did not like at all.


Originally Posted By PromptCritical:
Uh... I'm pretty sure that the optimum situation is NO noise from the power supply... All the filter really does is use resistor, inductors and capacitors to smooth out the changes in voltage which cause noise in the circuit.

I have my own troubles. You know whats fun? Listening to the buzz change pitch with changes in engine RPM...




Power supply. Smooths out incoming power to deliver smooth 12V to whatever is hooked up. At least, that's the theory... Bought one, but never got around to installing it...



ummm NO, A filter on the power supply filters out a radio frequency or audio frequency signal imposed on the DC power. And thats why you are hearing a hum and especially a hum that varies with engine rpm. A power conditioner , possibly as simple as a battery and capacitors of a few different sizes, smoothes out dc voltage to a steady voltage.



Exactly what is the difference?

ripple DC, AC+DC, DC with spikes and transients, DC with "radio frequency or audio frequency"...its all the same and a cap will filter AC out...

I still think you should check all your grounds before doing anything else.



I probably should have added that a filter takes off the signal but won't make much difference if the power is varying voltage. And a conditioner gives you a steady 12.7 volts (or whatever it's desinged for) but might not eliminate the interfering signal from the power.

I run an independent power and ground to a both lines fused block connected to the battery terminals for my 2 mtr stuff.

I'ld also take the time to find a better power source than tapping in to the cigarette lighter, those may be contolled by the ignition switches and circuits and have other things on the circuit. In the good old days most lighters were on their own fused independent circuit, these days who knows what might be on there also.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 6:07:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ArmedAggie:
I have noticed a great increase in the effect of power lines and old metal bridges on AM reception lately. I don't remember losing signal so easily before. Now if I drive on a road with power lines parallel closeby I get static. If the cross the road it gets terrible as I pass under the lines. There are a few old metal bridges around still and crossing them is the worst.

I think as radio technology has gotten better they have decreased power output on AM. The bad news is that the loss in signal strength is highlighted in bad areas now.



I wonder how much of this has to do with power companies now transmitting data over their power lines? It's supposed to really mess up radio reception.

GunLvr
Link Posted: 1/20/2006 7:10:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:
You say you have a filter from crutchfield, could you link me the exact, or similar item? Theres a few different types. Hooking them up properly is important too. I have also seen many that just plain did'nt work.



The filters are on this page:

www.crutchfield.com/S-l1NSCq991uh/cgi-bin/ProdGroup.asp?search=filter&skipvs=T&o=v&g=890

I have the 15 camp noise filter and the antenna filter. I notice they now sell an alternator filter and maybe I need that too? I am planning to replace my alternator with a factory rebuilt AC-Delco model (my current alt supposedly has one bad diode). I'm replacing my battery with an Optima red-top.

GunLvr
Link Posted: 1/20/2006 11:17:41 AM EDT
A fix for stubborm HF and MW (AM) RFI that has worked for me in the past is grounding the rear of the exhaust to the frame. Exhaust hangers use rubber to allow give and dampen vibrations, and this results in a long metal rod that is essentialy an antenna that can radiate ignition noise since it is not grounded.
Link Posted: 1/20/2006 11:20:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:

Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:
You say you have a filter from crutchfield, could you link me the exact, or similar item? Theres a few different types. Hooking them up properly is important too. I have also seen many that just plain did'nt work.



The filters are on this page:

www.crutchfield.com/S-l1NSCq991uh/cgi-bin/ProdGroup.asp?search=filter&skipvs=T&o=v&g=890

I have the 15 camp noise filter and the antenna filter. I notice they now sell an alternator filter and maybe I need that too? I am planning to replace my alternator with a factory rebuilt AC-Delco model (my current alt supposedly has one bad diode). I'm replacing my battery with an Optima red-top.

GunLvr



That would explain the noise right there if a diode in your regulater has failed it is putting AC into the circuit.
Link Posted: 1/20/2006 11:31:08 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/20/2006 4:46:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:
That would explain the noise right there if a diode in your regulater has failed it is putting AC into the circuit.



I didn't realize that. The weather is going to be fine this weekend but I don't have time to put in the new alternator.

Garand_shooter, you going to be over there for a while longer? I was going to send you a couple of boxes of gun magazines (the paper type).

GunLvr
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 1:12:46 PM EDT
Okay, I just made a direct power connection to the battery. Still get the whine as I did before and just as bad. Based upon advice in this thread...the new power supply sounded like a sure thing...guess not. The wire I am using is just some 14 ga. speaker wire I had lying around.


Haven't tried the the DC noise filter yet. Think I'm gonna call Radio Shack and see if they have them in stock.

Any other suggestions?
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 1:22:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zippy_The_Wonderdog:
Okay, I just made a direct power connection to the battery. Still get the whine as I did before and just as bad. Based upon advice in this thread...the new power supply sounded like a sure thing...guess not. The wire I am using is just some 14 ga. speaker wire I had lying around.


Haven't tried the the DC noise filter yet. Think I'm gonna call Radio Shack and see if they have them in stock.

Any other suggestions?



its might be your spark plug wires.
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