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Old    Joe (ilikebeaverandboats)      Join Date: Jul 2007       06-13-2011, 8:37 AM Reply   
Need some help. This stereo was installed before we had the boat so I do not know a whole lot about it. 6 Clarion Component speakers, 2 10" subs, Pioneer tower speakers, and 3 Clarion 400 amps.

2 of the amps in the stereo are intermittently shutting off and then stay off. These are the amps that run the in boat speakers and the tower speakers. First the boat speakers go out, and then the tower speakers. Head unit stays on, 3rd amp (powers 2 10s) stays on but they produce no sound. Only previous issue with the stereo was sound cutting out and it would be during a long hot day, assumed the amps were over heating and we would let the amps cool down and they would start again.

I have 2 batteries in the boat, both just marine starting batteries from autozone. We have the same amp shutoff issue regardless of using both or either 1 of the batteries. all plugs on the amps are tight.

I covered all the details that could think of.
any ideas?
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       06-13-2011, 10:25 AM Reply   
How old are your batteries? What's your shore charging protocol? What does your voltage read when the amps start wigging?
Old    Ryan (Wakesounds)      Join Date: May 2011       06-13-2011, 11:31 AM Reply   
Joey, it sounds like you could have a number of issues that you are possibly dealing with. You said the sub amp stays on but doesn't produce sound, do the other two amps completely lose power and shut all the way off? Is there any pattern to when this is happening? (ie loud volumes, hot days, bump trips) Without knowing the succession of how things are wired its basically a troubleshooting game trying different ideas.

If the amps are completely losing power, I would get a light tester and check the remote leads as well as the power cables (close to the amps) when it shuts off. You could have a loose wire somewhere that cuts power that either feeds that amps or triggers them to turn on/off. Do the amps feel hot or have a protection light that stays on? That could be an indicater of something else.

For now we will think that the HU is ok and that the speakers are wired correctly to the amps since it has been working well to this point. Ultimately I don't think much can be completely ruled out just yet, but start with those ideas and we'll help you from there.
Old    Joe (ilikebeaverandboats)      Join Date: Jul 2007       06-13-2011, 5:09 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wakesounds View Post
Joey, it sounds like you could have a number of issues that you are possibly dealing with. You said the sub amp stays on but doesn't produce sound, do the other two amps completely lose power and shut all the way off? Is there any pattern to when this is happening? (ie loud volumes, hot days, bump trips) Without knowing the succession of how things are wired its basically a troubleshooting game trying different ideas.

If the amps are completely losing power, I would get a light tester and check the remote leads as well as the power cables (close to the amps) when it shuts off. You could have a loose wire somewhere that cuts power that either feeds that amps or triggers them to turn on/off. Do the amps feel hot or have a protection light that stays on? That could be an indicater of something else.

For now we will think that the HU is ok and that the speakers are wired correctly to the amps since it has been working well to this point. Ultimately I don't think much can be completely ruled out just yet, but start with those ideas and we'll help you from there.
They completely lose power and shut off. The green "power" indicator light turns off and the 3rd amps light stays on.
Last summer the music would shut off when playing the music loud for long periods of time when the temp was really high. ambient temp of about 110+ here in AZ.
This summer, the music seems to shut off much sooner...after about 30 minutes of playing at nearly maxed out volume. The amps are warm, but I can put my hand on them and keep it there...they arent THAT hot.

The music typically gets turned up all the way while we surf and turned down when the rider falls. I turn the base down (subs sound terrible) and the trebble up a little.
All wires to the amps are snug.
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       06-13-2011, 5:15 PM Reply   
sounds like a battery issue to me.
Old    Ryan (Wakesounds)      Join Date: May 2011       06-13-2011, 9:10 PM Reply   
It definately could be a battery issue, but just because the wires are tight on the amp doesn't mean they are loose elsewhere.

Severe hot and cold temps drastically affect battery performance and sorry but marine autozone starting batteries aren't exactly the best option for powering a system at while the engine is at rest. You need better quality batteries with much higher AH (amp hour) ratings for deep cycling.

Do the amps shut off when the engine is running too? Are the batteries separated or tied together at all times? When the engine is running, the alternator will provide enough juice to the system to keep it near 14v (maybe a little lower if your pulling more amps than generating). But it would at least be enough to keep them operating at a semi-functional level. Amps have a voltage range that they need to operate and if the voltage gets low enough it could cause them to completely shut off. Honestly I'm not sure what minimum voltage those amps require or if they would actually completely shut off or just go into protection mode if the voltage drops below that operating range.

You could take them out and get them load tested or buy a voltmeter to monitor the levels and that will give you a pretty clear idea if the battery is the culprit.

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