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Practical Tips For Installing An Amplifier

An adequate power source for your amplifier is one of the most essential elements for good sound reinforcement: especially in bass response and high amplitude peaks. Add extra snap, punch, and critical clipping prevention to your sonic power, by installing a capacitor that stores a large amount of voltage that can be discharged any time the voltage available from the battery drops below the stored voltage set point. But never use any amplifier beyond it's rated capacity, else it will produce clipping even with a capacitor.

Dress the positive (+) red wire directly from the battery to your amplifier. Position the wiring through the vehicle so it is not crimped, nor likely to be disturbed.

One strategy is to run the wire under the vehicle inside of neoprene hose, PVC pipe, or conduit. Be careful where you put this wire if you plan to do an outside run. If your vehicle is an off road type, try to run the wire inside a frame or at least along it, to avoid getting it caught on anything that might snag it along the bottom of the vehicle.

Avoid drilling holes in the frame. Most of the time, you can find pre-existing holes in which to run and attach wiring. Holes in the frame can cause cracks to form over time. If you must drill a hole, drill it close to the center, rather than the edge of the member.
At the point where you decide to run the cable up into the vehicle, be sure to check for obstructions and other wires that you may drill into. Use a grommet to insulate the drill hole from the wire. You may find rubber inserts in some trucks into which you can punch a hole as well.

Always use the fuse on the red wire as close to the battery as possible and wait to put the fuse in as the last step of the installation. If any short circuits appear in your wiring, the fuse will blow.

For the best system integrity, it is advisable to solder all connections. If you know how to solder, you can skip this section. For doing solder jobs on wiring, you will need a 50 watt iron or higher. Use rosin core solder, not acid core! Strip the wire back; carefully separate the strands by lightly pushing on the end of the wire and twisting back and forth lightly! If soldering to a connector, insert the wires together on center till it stops. Now squeeze and twist them lightly together. Crimp the connection loosely. Use a ceramic dinner plate to solder on. Put the wires, or wire and terminal on the plate and heat the work. Let the parts to be soldered melt the solder, rather than the iron. Start rubbing the solder on the bottom side of the iron and on top of the wire, so you will be rubbing along the point of contact of the iron and the wire. Now place these on the plate and heat the crimped part of the connector and let it flow over the wire connection joint.

You can also run power wiring under panels, tracks, and carpet. But make sure your wires aren't placed where a screw can go through them and cause a short. Run power wire well away from the RCA signal cable. DC power wiring can carry induced signals that may leak to the signal carrier and be heard as clicks, noise, pops, or alternator whine.

Also, we recommend that you ground all peripheral components other than the head unit, to the same point. This will prevent ground loop hum. If possible, use a convenient grounding point already in the frame of the vehicle. Take a wire brush or sand paper to clean paint and corrosion from the metal to reveal a conductive metal shine before making your connection. Here again soldering is recommended.

Don't forget to run the remote wire with the power wiring. It connects to the blue (power antenna) wire on many head units (receiver). But refer to your receiver's instructions, for the precise wire to use, to remotely turn the amplifier off and on from the receiver.

Be sure to cover all exposed connections with a wire nut, and then electrical tape - wrap tightly! Good Luck!


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