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Old 12-05-2014, 02:43 PM   #1
Rhyno86
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Dizzy Subwoofer kill switch?

Hello all! 2003 Ion-2 here.
I installed a single 12" subwoofer and amplifier in the trunk. I connected the power to the amplifier directly to the battery in the wheel well with 6ga wire and an inline fuse.
The problem I am having is that the amplifier seems to be draining power even though the engine is off. I have the remote wire from the head unit to the amplifier connected correctly, as the amplifier turns on when I start the car and turns off when I turn the car off, but it is still draining the battery somehow while off.
I first noticed the problem when my car sat for a week while I was on vacation, and came home to a dead battery. I tried several different scenarios and finally realized that I had no problems with the battery draining at all after I had completely disconnected the power to the amp.
My main question is:
Is there a switch or relay that I can install to completely kill the power to the amp? I know I could install a switch inline with the power wire, but I don't want to run the 6ga wire all the way to the front and all the way back again. I'd rather run a single, smaller gauge 2-conductor wire (like an 18/2) to the front connected to a switch that would control a relay in the back capable of handling the 6ga wire. If I could do that, what kind of relay would I need?

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Old 12-05-2014, 05:47 PM   #2
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Default Re: Subwoofer kill switch?

Here is the best way to mount your sub woofer 'kill' switch.

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Old 12-05-2014, 07:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: Subwoofer kill switch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhyno86 View Post
Hello all! 2003 Ion-2 here.
I installed a single 12" subwoofer and amplifier in the trunk. I connected the power to the amplifier directly to the battery in the wheel well with 6ga wire and an inline fuse.
The problem I am having is that the amplifier seems to be draining power even though the engine is off. I have the remote wire from the head unit to the amplifier connected correctly, as the amplifier turns on when I start the car and turns off when I turn the car off, but it is still draining the battery somehow while off.
I first noticed the problem when my car sat for a week while I was on vacation, and came home to a dead battery. I tried several different scenarios and finally realized that I had no problems with the battery draining at all after I had completely disconnected the power to the amp.
My main question is:
Is there a switch or relay that I can install to completely kill the power to the amp? I know I could install a switch inline with the power wire, but I don't want to run the 6ga wire all the way to the front and all the way back again. I'd rather run a single, smaller gauge 2-conductor wire (like an 18/2) to the front connected to a switch that would control a relay in the back capable of handling the 6ga wire. If I could do that, what kind of relay would I need?
This is what the remote wire should already be doing. The amp doesn't turn on (and doesn't draw any power) when no power is being fed to the remote wire. Power from the remote wire causes a relay inside the amp to close the circuit for the amp's main power source.

Some amps have an auto on/off feature that can be utilized in lieu of a separate remote wire when speaker/high level inputs are used. The amp turns on automatically when a speaker signal is received and automatically shuts off a few minutes after no signal is received.

In either case, as long as you are seeing the amp turn off when the key is turned off, the amp cannot be the source of your battery drain.

...
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Last edited by ruley73; 12-05-2014 at 08:01 PM..

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Old 12-05-2014, 11:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: Subwoofer kill switch?

I think there may be a grounding issue within the amp, so I do believe it is drawing small amounts of power even though the power light on the amp is off. I can't afford a new amp at this time, so I'm really looking for a solution with a relay.

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Old 12-06-2014, 12:09 AM   #5
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Default Re: Subwoofer kill switch?

It would be really crude but go to Home Depot or the likes and get a switch that can handle that amperage and splice it into your power line for the amp. Keep it somewhere near the front seat and just turn it off when you leave. Or you could remove the fuse out of the line.

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Old 12-06-2014, 08:51 AM   #6
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Default Re: Subwoofer kill switch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhyno86 View Post
I think there may be a grounding issue within the amp, so I do believe it is drawing small amounts of power even though the power light on the amp is off. I can't afford a new amp at this time, so I'm really looking for a solution with a relay.
What makes you think it is a grounding issue? If the amp is drawing power when it's turned off, there is another problem not related to the ground connection. Any grounding issue you may have would either cause a short circuit which would be blowing fuses or an open circuit which basically means it is disconnected from the battery. The only way to confirm the amp is drawing power is to connect an ammeter around the positive or negative power cable going to the amp.

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Last edited by ruley73; 12-06-2014 at 08:59 AM..

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Old 12-06-2014, 09:29 AM   #7
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Default Re: Subwoofer kill switch?

Its really not that unusual for electronics to draw power even when they are switched off.

What the op really wants to do is install a relay to totally cut power to the amp when not in use.

There are a couple ways to do this and there are different types of relays that would work for this.

You could put a small switch on the console to send switched 'signal' power to your relay, that would close the circuit to your direct 12v battery feed.

You could also tap the relay 'signal' feed into a 'key-on' 12v source so that your amp get direct 12v only when the ignition key is on.

Or, You could do both, tapping the signal switch into a keyed 12v source, so that you could turn amp power on/off, but only when the ign is in the on position.

One other option is that you just draw the relay signal wire from the stereo head unit. I suspect, that if you dig into the manuals, thats probably how it should be done. This way turning on the head unit will trip the relay and supply full battery voltage to the amp.

I would find a simple relay that can handle the amperage your aplifier draws, and find one with a matching harness. Just make sure you make clean connections with plenti of insulation. Install the appropriate inline fuse, so you don't burn up your car.

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Old 12-06-2014, 11:43 AM   #8
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Default Re: Subwoofer kill switch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by caveeagle View Post
Its really not that unusual for electronics to draw power even when they are switched off.

What the op really wants to do is install a relay to totally cut power to the amp when not in use.

There are a couple ways to do this and there are different types of relays that would work for this.

You could put a small switch on the console to send switched 'signal' power to your relay, that would close the circuit to your direct 12v battery feed.

You could also tap the relay 'signal' feed into a 'key-on' 12v source so that your amp get direct 12v only when the ignition key is on.

Or, You could do both, tapping the signal switch into a keyed 12v source, so that you could turn amp power on/off, but only when the ign is in the on position.

One other option is that you just draw the relay signal wire from the stereo head unit. I suspect, that if you dig into the manuals, thats probably how it should be done. This way turning on the head unit will trip the relay and supply full battery voltage to the amp.

I would find a simple relay that can handle the amperage your aplifier draws, and find one with a matching harness. Just make sure you make clean connections with plenti of insulation. Install the appropriate inline fuse, so you don't burn up your car.

...And please don't get next to me in traffic and blast your bass so loud it makes my teeth rattle!
I know it's normal for some electronics to draw power when turned off, but a car amplifier is not one of them unless you have a really fancy one or there's something wrong with it. They don't have any memory that is required to keep settings like most other things on the car like the BCM, ECM/PCM, radio, and OnStar. Putting a relay in the main power circuit would be a good idea if in fact it is the amp drawing power when turned off. I just don't want to see the OP go through all that work unless they are absolutely 100% sure the amp is the problem.

What make/model is the amp?
How old is the battery?

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Old 12-08-2014, 09:11 AM   #9
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Default Re: Subwoofer kill switch?

had the same issue in my GF's civic with theamp killing the car. it was an issue with the amp, and it was brand new.
all we did, if the car was going to be parked for a long time, then wed pull the fuse under the hood. the gound and everything were properly installed
Somehow, the amp would keep itself powered on at all times.
this amp was a planet audio 1800w 5ch

adding a switch inline on the remote power on wire will help to turn it on and off, being the amp works properly.
Since in your case, the amp may stay powered on, even when the radio or car is turned off, which indicates something wrong with the amp possibly
i would deffinatly get the battery tested just to be sure, and make sure your audio wires and remote wire are away from the power wire.
run them along the driver side of the car since the main power feed from the battery runs along the passenger side.

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