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Old    David C (dccd45)      Join Date: May 2012       09-17-2013, 1:58 PM Reply   
This system has been nothing but a headache. I have to two Rockford fosgate amps that I installed in July. They worked fine up until last week. I have a 10" sub running off one amp, and a pair of Rockford dosage m282 tower speakers. The amps were running fine. I never had an issue with them overheating or any sound distortion. Last week on the lake the amps were in "protect mode." I looked through everything. All connections are solid. There are no Knicks in the speaker wires. Amps are not mounted or touching any conductive material. Has anyone else had this problem with their amps. I'm lost and frustrated. I just wanna listen to my tunes when I'm riding.
Old    Murphy Smith (murphy_smith)      Join Date: Dec 2005       09-17-2013, 2:02 PM Reply   
Do you know how to use a digital multimeter and have access to one....could be a whole host of things but if it is killing both amps - then it sounds like an issue before the amps.

When was the last time you charged the batteries?
Old    TigeMike (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       09-17-2013, 2:18 PM Reply   
Since its both amps, I agree with Murphy, its something they boat have in common. Start with battery voltage at the amp.
Old    David C (dccd45)      Join Date: May 2012       09-17-2013, 2:42 PM Reply   
I should have been more specific, sorry guys. I checked the power connections and I'm getting 12 volts to the amps. Fuses are good. The remote is working from the head unit. When I pull the RCA cables out it shuts the amps down, which correct me if I'm wrong, means it shouldn't be a bad amp? The only thing I haven't dig into too deep is the ground that has a 3 cables spliced together, I just figured it was fine since I'm getting power to the amps. Murphy the batteries are fine.
Old    Earmark Marine (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       09-17-2013, 2:51 PM Reply   
David,
From your description it sounds like both amplifiers have become inoperative at the same time. If so, it's doubtful that lighting struck twice in the same place. In this case it's far more likely that there is an external cause common to both amplifiers.
Step by step, the process of elimination will make this easy.
The product manual should have a description for causes of the 'protect mode' based on the color or timing of a status LED. That search and read is a good place to start.
Begin with just one amplifier.
You have to verify that you have a good solid voltage across the amplifier primary terminals....not just at the battery. As mentioned by Murphy, a basic multimeter and knowing just two basic functions is essential. At minimum, you want a good 12.0 + volts. You can have no meaningful diagnosis until you have first established a healthy supply voltage.
Question and verify every ground point of the audio system and the charging system. A connection can look good and measure good under a low current load but behave very differently when passing some current. So give all wire terminations a strong tug. This time of year the accumulative shock and vibration of a boat can take their toll.
You have five external connecting issues of concern with an amplifier.
Primary B+ (12.0 + volts).
Primary negative (voltage is the best confirmation of the ground).
Remote turn-on (12.0 + volts).
RCA inputs.
Speaker outputs.
Sequentially work through and eliminate each potential cause one at a time.
The remote turn-on voltage can be measured. Or, once the primary B+ is verified as good you can temporarily jumper over from there.
Lift the RCA input to make sure there is no negative DC voltage traveling down the RCA shield (from a poorly grounded HU). See if the protect status changes. Use a substitute source such as an ipod.
Then move on to the speaker outputs. The speaker line DC resistance can easily be measured as a safe load on each speaker and speaker lead. Or, you can unhook all speakers and add one connection back in at a time to find out if you get a status change.
Follow this sequence and you should narrow down the cause in no more than 20 minutes. No more confusion and no more speculation as to what the problem is.
If none of these trials makes a difference then it is time to pull an amplifier for a bench check.
Another battery and a pair of jumper cables takes the equipment out of the context of the boat and constitutes an independent bench check.
Normally, if only one amplifier was misbehaving then I would look for that singular tiny wire strand that is jumpered across and shorted somewhere.
There are two basic trouble-shooting methods. First, is measurements with a multimeter which is infinitely less work, faster and accurate. The second is a combination of step by step elimination and substitution when necessary.

David
Old    Earmark Marine (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       09-17-2013, 3:07 PM Reply   
Check grounds, grounds & grounds.
Btw, never plug anything into or out of an amplifier while it is powered up.

David
Old    John K (jk13)      Join Date: Aug 2012       09-17-2013, 3:11 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by dccd45 View Post
When I pull the RCA cables out it shuts the amps down

The only thing I haven't dig into too deep is the ground that has a 3 cables spliced together,
Yeah, go ahead and redo those grounds. If you pull RCAs and the amp shuts off, it's grounding through the RCAs and subsequently the head unit. No bueno.
Old    David C (dccd45)      Join Date: May 2012       09-17-2013, 4:31 PM Reply   
Thanks for all the input guys. It seems to be a remote wire issue. This is the only wire that I have ran in a series type configuration. The wire comes off the head unit into the first amp and then into the second amp. When I get home ill run the remote to only the second amp and see if that one runs correctly. The other issue I just thought of is as follows. I think my remote wire and power antenna/accessory wires May be labeled wrong. When I first installed the system, I only ran the remote wire to the amps and would get sound out of my sub and tower speakers while the HU was playing the radio, but when I tried to play the iPod on accessory, only the in boat speakers would work. I then ran the PA/accessory wire, spliced into the remote and got sound out of the sub and tower while the HU was on iPod. These two wires are labeled with a tag and may be labeled wrong. I read that the remote only supplies 500mA and running this in a series may be causing the issue. Some audio forum guys are running it into a relay from the battery, when supplying more than one amp. Ill check these two issues first. Then if the problem persists ill tear them down to nothing and hook them back up one wire at a time.

Last edited by dccd45; 09-17-2013 at 4:33 PM.
Old    Brian (brianinpdx)      Join Date: Aug 2009       09-17-2013, 5:15 PM Reply   
David - go slow on that. You said the amplifiers where in ""protect" mode right? If the remote was unplugged (like they sometimes can), that would mean your amps dont have ANY power associated with them. This is different than in protect. Protect usually means you have a short somewhere and the amplifier is shutting its outputs off to keep the amp from blowing up. Which issue do you have?

If its no power at all.. then your on the right track with the remote issue.

If its no sound (protect) and the amps show as "on" then you need to unplug all the speakers from the connectors and cycle the power and see if the amps come off the protect.

-Brian
Exile Audio
Old    Earmark Marine (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       09-17-2013, 5:45 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by dccd45 View Post
Thanks for all the input guys. It seems to be a remote wire issue. This is the only wire that I have ran in a series type configuration. The wire comes off the head unit into the first amp and then into the second amp. When I get home ill run the remote to only the second amp and see if that one runs correctly. The other issue I just thought of is as follows. I think my remote wire and power antenna/accessory wires May be labeled wrong. When I first installed the system, I only ran the remote wire to the amps and would get sound out of my sub and tower speakers while the HU was playing the radio, but when I tried to play the iPod on accessory, only the in boat speakers would work. I then ran the PA/accessory wire, spliced into the remote and got sound out of the sub and tower while the HU was on iPod. These two wires are labeled with a tag and may be labeled wrong. I read that the remote only supplies 500mA and running this in a series may be causing the issue. Some audio forum guys are running it into a relay from the battery, when supplying more than one amp. Ill check these two issues first. Then if the problem persists ill tear them down to nothing and hook them back up one wire at a time.
David,
Regardless, I still think jk13 was correct when questioning the quality of the amplifier ground based on your statement that the amplifier power shut off when you unplugged the RCA input.
You really can't run a remote lead in series, although an amp to amp link could appear like series.
Yes, some automatic power antenna triggers only come on with the AM/FM radio selection and is separate from the intended amplifier remote turn-on lead.
A typical source unit remote turn-on lead is rated at 500mA and the typical amplifier turn-on circuit draws 20 to 45 mA. That would indicate that you could safely turn on nine accessories including amplifiers, EQs, line drivers, etc. But I wouldn't run any more than three without using a relay.

David
Old    David C (dccd45)      Join Date: May 2012       09-17-2013, 5:57 PM Reply   
Brian, I know it's not a power issue. The amps are getting power, they are strictly just in "protect." The amp still turns on and off with control of the HU. I'm gonna start there and then go back to re connecting everything again. I'm at work until 2000 pacific time. I'm going to dive into when I get home and hopefully find the issue, cause we re riding tomorrow!!!! .
Old    Russ Constable (Midnightv10)      Join Date: Feb 2012       09-17-2013, 5:58 PM Reply   
For what its worth (probably not much) a few years ago I had a system with 3 Rockford Power series amps.. (T-600-4, T-600-2, & T-500-1)..
I had a single remote turn on lead going from the head unit to a small distribution block that then fed the three amps. Cant remember which light on all three amps would come on but I think it was the "protect" and had no sound... Ultimately wound up adding a relay to the Remote power line and everything worked great after that for 2 years...
Old    David C (dccd45)      Join Date: May 2012       09-17-2013, 6:01 PM Reply   
Brian, you may be right also. When wiring the speakers wires through the tower I did have to yank on them with needle nose pliers and may have nicked one of them exposing the wire. So many issues haha. I ll let you guys know what I find when I get home. Thanks for all the help, that what makes this site great!
Old    TigeMike (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       09-17-2013, 6:11 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by dccd45 View Post
Brian, you may be right also. When wiring the speakers wires through the tower I did have to yank on them with needle nose pliers and may have nicked one of them exposing the wire. So many issues haha. I ll let you guys know what I find when I get home. Thanks for all the help, that what makes this site great!
But that would not effect the other amp thats powering the sub, in any way shape or form.
Old    J (Jmorlan)      Join Date: May 2013       09-17-2013, 6:16 PM Reply   
I'm having kind of the same issue OP. in my centurion. Amp comes on, light turns green. No output. Was working fine. Then nothing. I think she's a gone'r
Old    David C (dccd45)      Join Date: May 2012       09-17-2013, 6:18 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by chpthril View Post
But that would not effect the other amp thats powering the sub, in any way shape or form.
Even though they are ran with the same remote?
Old    J (Jmorlan)      Join Date: May 2013       09-17-2013, 6:20 PM Reply   
That distro block sounds like a pleasant idea though for the remotes. I have an extra lying around. And I happen to have 3 amps beneath the observer locker. Running 1 remote to a distro sounds very appealing.


Jesus Im a serial threadjacker here. But my problems are all too common!
Old    TigeMike (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       09-17-2013, 6:28 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by dccd45 View Post
Even though they are ran with the same remote?
Yes. A short on the speaker output side will cause only that amp to go into protect mode. This would not cause any other amps to go into protect mode.
Old    David C (dccd45)      Join Date: May 2012       09-17-2013, 6:32 PM Reply   
Then the only issue the two amps have in common is the ground. Ill start with both sets of speaker wire and the ground. I'm gonna stop at Home Depot on the way home and buy a distribution block and re wire the ground.
Old    Brian (brianinpdx)      Join Date: Aug 2009       09-17-2013, 6:42 PM Reply   
JM - start your own thread. I'll be happy to give you some guidance. I know your not trying to jack, but its going to get confusing...


Dcc - If your amp is in protect, that has nothing to do with remotes at all. remote is simply a triger 12V which tells the amp to turn on and turn off. when you get home, power the stereo up, confirm that amps are in protect, power it down. unplug all the speaker connections and re power it. let us know what changes. This is the fork in the road.

As a side note, its always good to make sure you got good grounds. If you don't, all kinda strange stuff can occur.
Old    J (Jmorlan)      Join Date: May 2013       09-17-2013, 6:49 PM Reply   
Will do guys.
I also was lazy like op and chained the remote off another amp
Old    J J (jjolin01)      Join Date: Oct 2012       09-17-2013, 9:22 PM Reply   
Lift the RCA input to make sure there is no negative DC voltage traveling down the RCA shield (from a poorly grounded HU). See if the protect status changes. Use a substitute source such as an ipod.


Dave, what do you mean lift the RCA input? Do mean put a meter on the shield and see if negative DC voltage is on it? What should it read? Interesting threat because I am having a similar problem. I have had 3 different subwoofer amps go out this summer. No problems with the other 2 amps. All my RCA's come from a wetsounds WS-420 grounded to the battery.
Old    David C (dccd45)      Join Date: May 2012       09-17-2013, 10:42 PM Reply   
Alright guys. I pulled the speaker wires out of the amps and they are both in protect still. The ground connections are all solid and have 12 volts at the amp and at the battery. Ugh I'm frustrated, I wonder if I just got lucky and blew up both. Any body else got any other ideas before I go out and by another set of amps.
Old    David C (dccd45)      Join Date: May 2012       09-17-2013, 10:47 PM Reply   
So I hooked the volt meter up to the amps again and now I'm only getting 4.5 volts to the amps. Looks like my ground is not solid. Gonna run through the grounds again. Be back in 20.
Old    J (Jmorlan)      Join Date: May 2013       09-17-2013, 11:59 PM Reply   
Hopefully everything turns out good for you,


But in the event it doesn't, the boat I just bought had some Polk audio amps in it that I swapped out for wet sounds sinister series

Polk 500.4 and a 600.1 that id give you a great deal on
Old    David C (dccd45)      Join Date: May 2012       09-18-2013, 12:42 AM Reply   
Well I pulled the ground wire apart and the splice and at the battery terminal and when I did the copper inside flaked away like dust. I think the wire I got garbage. The copper inside was thin and got everywhere when spliced, like fiberglass. I ran to Walmart and grabbed some wire there just to test, and it was even better than the original wire. Tomorrow I'm gonna head down to my local shop and get some quality wire and run 2 grounds from the battery so each amp has its own ground. Thanks for all the help guys.
Old    Surf Addict (Desi) (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       09-18-2013, 12:42 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by jk13 View Post
Yeah, go ahead and redo those grounds. If you pull RCAs and the amp shuts off, it's grounding through the RCAs and subsequently the head unit. No bueno.
This is exactly what I was thinking. Also if you are only getting 4.5v that tells me you have a bad power or ground, with pulling the RCAs and it shutting off, it definitely sounds like a bad ground somewhere.
Ideally you'd want everything (amps, head unit, eq,cigarette lighter if you are charging a mp3 player an using the headphone jack to play) grounded to the same point. Failure to have good grounds with the same ground potential will lead to a lot of headaches, and potential feedback/whine in the system if it does work.
Old    David C (dccd45)      Join Date: May 2012       09-18-2013, 7:33 AM Reply   
I put the new ground wire in and I'm getting 12 volts at the amps now. Time to clean up my mess and hit the lake.
Old    Brian (brianinpdx)      Join Date: Aug 2009       09-18-2013, 8:00 AM Reply   
David - Glad you got it sorted out. Your experience will probably help others having the same type of symptoms. The key to sorting stuff out is isolate isolate and isolate. If your amps are seeing low voltage they'll go into protect. Most amps will turn off at ~10V, so I'm not sure why yours stuck in protect. Feed them fresh grounds and re-measure. Make sure your getting 12+ v at your B+ terminals.

Brian / Exile
Old    David C (dccd45)      Join Date: May 2012       09-18-2013, 9:51 PM Reply   
Got up early this morning and put fresh new ground wires to each amp. Amps worked great all day out on the water. It was nice to ride to some music again after that headache. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the thread, not only did it fix the problem but I learned a lot in the stereo department. If any of you are in Vegas I'd love to pay you back with a beer on the water.
Old    Surf Addict (Desi) (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       09-18-2013, 9:59 PM Reply   
Planning on heading down there for my birthday in January 2015, so like 16 months. If the offer still stands and you're still on the water in January I'd like to take you up on that offer.
Old    David C (dccd45)      Join Date: May 2012       09-19-2013, 2:55 PM Reply   
Bring a wet suit and we can ride in January.
Old    Surf Addict (Desi) (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       09-19-2013, 3:59 PM Reply   
I'll make sure to pack my shorty.

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