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Aftermarket HU: Help with some questions!

[Slip] Nov 19, 2008

  1. [Slip]

    [Slip] New Member

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    Hi guys,

    Apologies for the long post but I hope this can collate some common questions with some definitive answers :icon_thumright:

    So I've just had an Alpine iDA-X100 installed with the Alpine KCE-350BT Bluetooth phone kit and I have a few niggling problems that other members seem to have had before (and apparently fixed).

    I've browsed/searched these forums and wondered if someone could help me clarify a few things (and hopefully help a few others in the future!) so that I can get on with fixing them this weekend...

    My car is a rear amped only 2004 Audi A4 Avant.....

    So the first common thing is rear speaker whine... from what I've read there are a couple of things I could possibly do to fix this...

    1. Renew / Improve the earthing...
      1. What earth needs improving? The fuse box? The rear amp? The head unit?
      2. With what cable and connector? (green/yellow earth cable but what gauge) and to where on the car?
    2. Or ..... Rewire the rear speakers to directly use the new head unit and bypass the amp...
      1. Should I run new wires from the headunit adaptor to each speaker (there's two in each rear door) and use what cable?
      2. How do I split that single wire / signal between the speakers or is it one connection that feeds both in one door?
      3. How is the sub/amp then powered/fed?
      4. Can I avoid rewiring from the headunit and hook straight into the exisiting amp/speaker cabling (as shown from this AndyMac picture in this thread: http://www.audi-sport.net/vb/showthread.php?t=51904 ) , again if I do that what happens to the amp/sub?
    If I can utilise the sub (I know it's not the greatest) then I'd like to as currently the volume of the rears and bass is really low and worse than it was before :banghead: (2x20w from the rear amp for the rears and sub compared to the 2x50w from the new HU for the fronts I assume is the problem)

    The second problem is the dimming of the headunit doesn't work... is this something that's easy to fix? I've read about running a new cable from a certain fuse but can't find out much info about which fuse, and what sort of cable.. anyone help / links to advice would be great?

    To top it all off the bluetooth bit isn't quite working :keule:

    I can pair my phone with the Alpine Bluetooth adaptor fine, and it stays paired, but when I click the "Phone" button on the HU it says "No Unit"... I've been through the menus setting Int Mute to Off then gone to Bluetooth menu and set that to "Adaptor" but still the same... I can pair but the HU doesn't see the box.


    I'm gonna take the HU out at the weekend so hopefully it's just a cabling issue but I have a feeling (like with all these things :sly: ) it's going to be more complicated that that!

    Can someone please help :sos: (and sorry for such a long first thread!)

    Thanks alot!

    Matt
     
  2. AndyMac

    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Rewire the rears to the new HU. Run new cable from the HU to the rear amp. Chop the rear speaker feeds, insulate the bare wires coming from the amp and connect new cable to the speaker sides ensuring +ve to +ve etc.
    At the HU, reconnect the RCA adapter to the sub pre-out then at least you jack up the sub level to give you something approaching bass from the tupperware unit.
    The rears will then match the fronts, the whine will be cured and you'll have some bass from the sub.
     
  3. [Slip]

    [Slip] New Member

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    hi andy, thanks for the reply (judging from all the replies in the other threads you're the guru :salute: )

    So just to be clear...

    1. I run two new speaker cables from the HU's (+L/-L) and (+R/-R)
    2. I cut the two existing speaker cables that where feeding the amps L+R and insulate the wires that are now coming out from the amp and are bare.
    3. My two new wires and the two old wires coming from the amp that are now cut are joined together (chocolate block or something) completing the circuit.

    I haven't looked at the rear of the headunit yet but your saying just drive the sub off the proper sub pre-out of the HU (presumably meaning I can also control the sub volume properly on the HU as well) instead of from the harness

    All sounds so simple :)

    any reccomendations on what cable to use and does Haynes cover removing panels etc to feed the cables?

    Cheers!
     
  4. AndyMac

    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The 2 new wires join the 2 old cables going away from the amp, the ones still connected to the amp should be taped off.
    You still use the Audi harness to feed the sub pre-out to the Audi amp.
    Any speaker cable will do, and you can just tuck it under the trim, no need to remove any panels.
     
  5. [Slip]

    [Slip] New Member

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    So do I actually need to run new wires from the HU?

    Couldn't I re-use the existing rear speaker wiring that currently goes into the amp?

    If I take the rear speaker wires that are currently being fed from a non amped output on the HU, hooked those up to an amped source (effectively swapping which of the harness blocks they're currently in) then cut the cables either side of the amp and join them together, effectively bypassing the amp altogether, shouldn't that have the same result? i.e. rear speakers driven from HU and the amp/sub being driven from the sub preout n the HU thrugh the existing Audi adaptor?
     
  6. AndyMac

    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    No and No. There aren't any speaker wires going from the HU to the rear amp. The only ones are feeding the fronts. The feed to the rear amp is via pre-outs (non amplified low signal feed). This feed is just a single core, one for left, one for right, with an earthed screen round them to minimise interference. If you tried to use this cable to drive speakers you would short out the HU's internal amp.
    Even if you could use the existing cable you would then lose the feed to the sub/amp.
    Why would I suggest running new speaker cable if there was already one there?
     
  7. [Slip]

    [Slip] New Member

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    So I spent the day running two cables from HU to cut speaker cables and it's a hell of an improvment!

    No hiss and greater volume and clarity!

    Spot on.. cheers Andy!

    I've left the red harness in place for the RCAs to sub but I'm not 100% that's working.... will check tomorrow... I got too bloody cold!!
     
  8. AndyMac

    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    glad you got it sorted. Yes, the sub will be quite quiet so you need to jack the sub level up to max to bring it inline with the cabin speakers. The other option is to either buy a small bridgeable amp and use that to power the sub, something like this:
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI....m=230308003052&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=013
    You could try a line driver to boost the feed to the Audi amp, but I doubt it would have much effect as the Alpine has pretty good voltage on its pre-outs. The issue is the Audi amp.
     
  9. [Slip]

    [Slip] New Member

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    Cheers Andy,

    I'll jack up the sub volume on the HU, the sounds still pretty good and I think I'l save the pennies... may as well upgrade the amp and sub rather than spend mney after bad

    Thanks again,

    Now to phone Alpine about my Bluetooth ;)
     
  10. [Slip]

    [Slip] New Member

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    so.... appears the sub isn't on at all..

    Could it be wired incorrectly?

    Here's what I've got..

    The red harness is connected to the sub out RCAs on the HU and nothing else.
    The wires that where coming out of the amp that where to the speakers I cut and taped up the amp ends and connected the +/- to the newly run cables from the HU.
    Anything I've missed ?
    The Sub is "On" onthe HU and turned up..

    :wtf:
     
  11. [Slip]

    [Slip] New Member

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    I suppose the question is..

    are the RCAs for the sub enough or should it also be connected to a speaker out too...
     
  12. AndyMac

    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    No, you just need to connect the "remote on" from the HU to the flying lead on the red adapter. This is the trigger to turn on the Audi sub amp.
     
  13. [Slip]

    [Slip] New Member

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    and now you've posted that I've remembered that this one is connected already.. apologies..

    I'll double check that it's firm etc
     
  14. AndyMac

    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Presumably when you taped up the rear speaker output from the amp, they are not shorting together in anyway?
     
  15. Kryten

    Kryten New Member

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    LOL!!!
     
  16. fran-s3

    fran-s3 Active Member VCDS Map User

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    I have this headunit and the phone adapter and it works perfectly.

    So let me get this right you can pair your phone to the adapter yes? So presumingly when you go to the Bluetooth menu in your head unit and look under paired devices your phone name is there?
     
  17. [Slip]

    [Slip] New Member

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    No. The Pairing section of the menu isn't selectable even when the phone is paired.

    However, after following some advice from a diff. forum I got hold of an iPod Full Speed lead, connected my iPod to the BT box and the BT box to the HU as normal. (rather than iPod connected via USB to the HU)

    Now this is where it gets weird :)

    As long as I have an iPod connected, the HU can see the BT unit and also sees my phone (once paired) and it works (albeit terrible quality and crackily), as soon as the iPod disconnects (which it seems to do of it's own accord every so often anyway) the phone is lost.

    I think I've given this a good go myself... tried to find out what's wrong... I think I'm gonna sell the BT unit as it just doesn't work for me. Maybe it's my phone or something I've done but I do know that I could get any other car kit and it would work 100%.

    Really disappointed in Alpine..
     
  18. fran-s3

    fran-s3 Active Member VCDS Map User

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    My goodness thats random mate - you def shouldn't have to plug your ipod to your bt unit to get it to work!

    Right so you pair your phone to the bt and you cant even see it on your headunit?! Mate that sounds like your headunit doesn't even know it's plugged in! In the setup menu you actually have to tell the headunit you have the BT unit plugged in, have you done that?

    If so try reseting the BT adapther, theres a really helpful thread here with UK number which someone used and said they were able to help. Worth a look: http://www.avforums.com/forums/car-...300bt-headunit-not-showing-paired-device.html

    Is the bt unit def recieving power of from your ign lead? (sounds like it could be using the ipod for power or to know when to turn on!) see whenver my ignition is on my phone will pair even before I've even switched my headunit on!

    I would suggest taking it to a prof audio fitter and have them check the wiring of the BT unit. I wouldn't blame Alpine mate, honestly it's a fantastic kit when it works properelly!

    Hmm as regards the terrible sound quality I would borrow a friends phone and pair it to see if that helps. My Sony Errision W880i works superbly well, but my mums older Samsung flip phone doesn't sound so good at all... I know you'd think it wouldn't make a difference what phone u use but in my experience it does! Pants I know - ok Alpine have messed up there.
     
  19. [Slip]

    [Slip] New Member

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    It does just seem too weird to be true :)

    Seems to be working reasonably reliably now (when an iPod is there!) but the sound quality is shockingly bad with my Nokia 8600 Luna... I'll try another phone and report back.

    As far as wiring goes.. I was under the impression that the A4 '04 plate didn't have an ignition lead as such as it was done through the CANBUS...

    The BT unit is powering on at the same time as the HU but only when I turn the HU on (think it migh be through the blue ext. amplifier wire not sure though)

    Another thing..... everytime I first hit "Phone" on the HU. it goes "Searching" then "Updating" sometimes updating for 30+ seconds...

    Is that right or a consequence of how it's wired?

    Cheers! :keule:
     

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