Tips for adding RCAs to a typical car head unit

Written By George James on Jumat, 18 April 2014 | 14.53

If you wish to upgrade your sound system in your car by including a sub woofer or speakers powered by an auxiliary amplifier without having to get a brand new head unit then hopefully this should enable you

I made a decision to maintain my customary head unit because it appears to be like properly in the car, is much less prone to appeal to thieves than a shiny after-market unit and it is a manufacturing facility upgraded unit anyway and that i find it offers fairly good audio quality, it works with the steering wheel controls and has bluetooth and aux-in, so an after-market unit wouldn't offer a substantial upgrade.

Manufacturing unit head models hardly ever have RCA or "Low line" outputs which your amplifier will want for it is input signal.
A "Low line converter" is a tool which can piggy back your speaker outputs out of your head unit and convert them to Low Line RCA outputs to your amplifier

The converter i purchased also offers you a "remote wire" output which tells your Amp when the automotive is on so it doesn't drain your battery, if you happen to get a converter with out this selection you can simply be a part of the distant wire to the Acc circuit of your car, or the 12V circuit with a change (you'll have to bear in mind to show it off though or your amp will drain your battery)

The strategies i used would require an understanding of automobile/automotive stereo electrics so just be careful in order to not harm your automobile or your self
Bits You'll need:

Low Line Converter
Stereo Keys to take away your head unit, you might not need these depending on the manufacturer and becoming type in your car
Multimeter
Wire Cutters
Pliers
Sharp knife or wire strippers
Torch
Electrical tape or heatshrink tubing
Wire to extend the piggyback cables on the converter (i used round 20 AWG)
Soldering iron to solder extension wire if needed
Scotch Blocks i ended up using 6
Cable ties not important however helpful for conserving wiring neat

Earlier than you unplug your factory fitted radio, be sure you have the "unlock code" usually in the owners handbook. If you dont have it then you should purchase it out of your automotive producers customer service phone quantity, your local seller or the internet.
Getting them online generally is a bit unreliable and expensive. If you dont have the code and you unplug your stereo it will not let you listen to it as it'll assume it has been stolen. Don't guess the code as you often solely get a few makes an attempt earlier than it can permanently lock it'self!

Take away your head unit. At the back of your stereo there is most likely one massive plug which includes all of the inputs and outputs to and out of your head unit.

You will have to find a wiring diagram to your plug type or work out which wires are which
You can find most wiring diagrams on-line, most Ford plug diagrams can be found right here
Also if your local vendor is sweet they might offer you a hand, though be sure you look on the web first as they'll most likely want cash

Remember that the diagrams are usually of the Pins and they are normally within the head unit, the "plug" is made up of all the sockets which correspond to the pins, so you'll have to treat the plug as a mirror picture of your diagram, however examine your diagram is correct with a multi meter anyway to  be certain

Check your diagram with the below:

The resistance between + and - speaker channels (on the same speaker) ought to get around 4 Ohms

Verify for 12Volts between the 12v pin and the bottom pin or the automobile chassis

You will also need an "Acc 12V" or "Accessories 12V" which will solely be 12V when the secret is turned the first click in the ignition, and will read under 1V when the secret is not turned, that can even be between the Acc pin and floor

Really, don't mount it yet.

Find where you are going to mount it and work out if you'll want to add any wire to your converter to get it to succeed in comfortably to where your head unit cables are. Consider that your head unit will need house behind it to fit back into the sprint correctly so don't rely on splicing into the cables right at the plug with the converter proper behind the pinnacle unit, it might be higher to mount it some other place and lengthen the wire to reach.

I initially thought that behind the glove box could be the most effective place however i ended up cable tying it to a heater pipe that runs down the centre console.

When you have got a rough idea where you will be mounting your converter unit, solder on the additional wire you may need to reach your head unit cables and insulate them with electricians tape or heat shrink tubing

Okay, now you will must match up your head unit wiring with the wiring required by your converter.
Your converter ought to include wiring instructions so you will simply need to match up the wires and splice them with the scotch blocks, use the pliers to press the metal splice bar so you may be certain of a superb connection.

When you've performed it is a good suggestion to verify speaker splices by doing a continuity check between the plug pin and the new wire
And 12V, Acc 12V and grounds between one another using your new wire and the plugs pins utilizing voltage tests to prove the connection is sweet (or not, but i had a a hundred% success charge with the scotch blocks)

You possibly can Solder the wires if you happen to do not want to use scotch blocks BUT i'd advise in opposition to it, the scotch blocks are REALLY straightforward to make use of, you don't have to fret about burning your inside or cold solder joints which shall be a ache later on

Okay so now you're converter needs to be working
Mine only comes on when the Acc +12V circuit is activated with a click on on the key turning within the ignition, at this point a blue mild on the converter comes on, however that can be dependant in your converter and how you wired it, although i am positive the converter attracts a minuscule quantity of energy it's in all probability greatest not to have it "on" on a regular basis, so be certain it is off when your automotive is

Plug in your RCA plugs and examine that the sign is being taken to your Amp or Sub, wherever the opposite finish of the RCA wires are
If it works, examine the distant wire output from your converter by using a voltage check between the wire and a ground, you should get a + studying from 5V to 12V depending on your converter.

Tape up your scotch blocks to stop them rattling round and to maintain the cables bundled up neatly. Then unplug every thing, put all of it again in your dash and plug all of it back collectively once more

If it doesn't work, make sure you have examined the connections with a multimeter and redo any that fail
Additionally, my converter has "Gain adjusters" on the PCB you possibly can modify with a screwdriver, be certain they are not turned all the best way down, i am sure they don't go all the way to 0 sign but it surely's finest to make sure :)

Everythings working, you simply must mount your converter to something, only actually to stop it rattling and tapping when you're driving, then cable tie any unfastened wires together and ensure they won't intervene with things like your glove box lid. Keep away from cable tiying the extension wire to strong issues, as it is going to make removing your head unit troublesome in future. Otherwise you'll be able to just undo the plug from the converter after which the again of the top unit.

Run your RCA wires and distant wire to your Amplifier and then enjoy improved music high quality

Hope i've helped







written by : George James ~All About Autos

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