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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, This is really starting to make me mad
I turn on my woofer/amp setup with no music on and the woofer still vibrates and sometimes beats. I know the problem is EMI, but I can't figure out what to do about it. Has anybody else had the same experience?
 

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I could write a book on noise. Check your grounds first. Make sure the sub amp is grounded properly and make sure the head unit is also grounded properly. In theory these should yield the same resistance for a noise free system. Make sure your RCA cables are not running by any power cables. If it's not these two we'll dig in deeper.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ok, about the ground. Is it bad to have a ground wire that's bigger than the power wire? BTW, Ground is 4AWG and the power is 8AWG.

P.S. There is no power running next to the RCA and I'm sure the head unit is properly grounded.
 

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IIRC that shouldn't make a difference. In fact I'm pretty sure the rule is use at least the same size, if not, bigger ground wire than power wire. Check this site out.

Troubleshooting Noise
 

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My bad. They do say that the power and ground wires should be exactly the same size. If they aren't the same size then you will get resistance variations.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I didn't know the ground should be short. Mine is like 3 or 4 feet long. And as for the gauge thing, IDK if I have anymore 8 gauge wire. I'll have to see.
 

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My personal opinion is that for a single amp system the wire gauge like that is really not going to make a difference, but I am far from a pro.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think it's because the ground is too long.
 

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I doubt it's because your ground is too long. You could have a "ground loop" problem. That's when there is too much resistance along the ground path between the signal source (head unit) and the amplifier. Usually, good grounds at each location will resolve the problem. However, sometimes there just isn't a good path for the ground to travel through the body/frame of the car.

The cheap solution is to run a small wire (18ga is plenty) from the ground wire on the head unit to the ground connector on the amp. Many RCA cables have this small wire in between the two coaxial leads, so you don't have to run a seprate wire. Accordingly, many amps have a small screw right above the RCA inputs, specifically for this secondary ground connection.

If you don't feel like running another wire from the head unit to the amp, you can purchase a Ground Loop Isolator from Radio Shack. It plugs in-line with your RCA cables, and it resolves most ground loop problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hmmm. I think I'll have to get the ground loop isolator then. Can't do it today though. I'm kinda snowed in.
 

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could be alternator whine too. the problem might be in your RCA's. did you run the RCA's on the opposite side of the car as the power?

my old competition set up used to do that, it was just when there was nothing going through the RCA's and they picked up the alternator noise.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
No, I made it a point to run the RCA's on the opposite side of the power.
 

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Defintiely sounds like a problem with the ground. What condition is your head unit in? are you sure there is no loose connection ? and there exactly do you have your ground wire running to?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Um, the stereo ground? If that I have no idea where it goes. It's just the stock ground installed by ford. As for my amp ground, It's secured under a bolt on the right wheel well in the trunk. I've heard a rumor that seperately wraping all of your wires in tinfoil would help. Any truth to that?
 

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I have never heard anyone using that method. What I would do personally is get some self tapping metal screws, Or drywall screws work great, pick another area and just sand the hell out of it, brush it off (until the metal is very shiny) brush it off, and try grounding it there. Otherwise your probably looking at a hardware issue with either your deck or your amp.
 
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