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Radio Turns off when Volume is too loud

by BreaMark / August 30, 2006 9:23 AM PDT

I installed a car stereo with CD player into my Sea Ray boat and when I have the volume up pasta certain level the radio turns off and on over and over again. I'm surmissing that its drawing too many watts and the radio is doing is because of it. If I disconnect two of the four speakers it can be turned all the way up. I just don't understand why it would be this sensitive when I have a large marine battery and its not like I have some massive speakers, just some small car stereo speakers. Could this have anything to do with a bad ground?

Help . . . . . .

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What I would do is to increase the wire gauge from ...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 30, 2006 9:30 AM PDT

Where the power comes from up to the radio. Either that or double up the number of supply wires.


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by kena10 / August 31, 2006 1:56 AM PDT

Wrong bob.

All you need is a small 30x4 amp and let the amp do the work. The radio (depending on what kind of radio it is), doesn't have enough bawls to power up the 4 speakers, so, regardless of the speaker wire you put to the speakers, your problem is going to persist.

If the radio is decent enough and has pre-out rca's on the back of it for front and rear, then use them.

What's happening is that when you crank up the volume, the radio is going into protection mode and that's why it cuts on and off.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 31, 2006 2:24 AM PDT
In reply to: Um.........

This can't be proven either way since if the wiring can't deliver to your solution we will be back to the wiring again.

The one thing you learn is to not make such a bold statement.


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I doubt it
by kena10 / September 1, 2006 10:19 AM PDT
In reply to: Debateable.

Unless you have a massive stereo setup in that boat (I'm talking five 1000 watt amps, subs and and separate amps for the speakers alone), then I would definitely agree with your suggestion Bob.

We should find out more about the head unit in question and what exactly it is rated at power wise (rms not max).

In most applications, when you wire a head unit to a power source, whether a car or boat, the gauge of the wire shouldn't be more than 16ga. wire to give it power, memory and ground.

I'm assuming that the stereo is going into te fuse box and the fuse box is wired to the battery in the interim (at least that's how I would have it wired).

I do agree with you that the whole situation can't be proven wither way, so, I say we get more info and find out who has the right answer.

Jimmy Happy

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I Agree With jb4674
by RoadRunner6 / August 31, 2006 6:19 PM PDT
In reply to: Um.........

Sounds to me like an impedence problem. 2 speakers OK. 4 speakers are pesenting too low of an impedence load to the amp and shutting it down.


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This is the correct answer from RR6
by HTHMAN / September 3, 2006 9:25 AM PDT
In reply to: I Agree With jb4674

Check the impedence. I'll bet they are 4 or 6 ohm speakers. If you change to 8 ohm speakers, the problem will probably go away.

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Me too!!
by jcrobso / September 8, 2006 12:36 AM PDT
In reply to: I Agree With jb4674

After reading the various posts, two things are apparent. The radio can't handel the low impedence load of 4 speakers or the primairy (12v & ground) wires are too small or both.
For example a 100w amp with a 120v source takes about 1 amp, a 100w amp using 12v soure takes at least 9 amps.

One more thing is that there maybe a short in one of the speaker wires, so when you unhook one set the short is gone. Did you try swapping sets of speakers to check this out? John

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Radio turns off when volume is too loud.
by princeaquaman / March 7, 2012 4:08 AM PST
In reply to: Um.........

Big jump to conclude that all the wiring is Perfect and Correct on a system you have not verified yourself. to advise to buy an amp without verification that simple wiring is correct first, is presumptuous and an assumption.

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Problem solved.
by hankswierd / September 6, 2006 3:17 AM PDT

I had a friend over last night who went through this with an Altima.He thought it was his amps, then head unit...talked to stereo people who couldn't help. Finally he noticed how small of a gauge the battery wire to the radio harness was and ran an 8 gauge from batt. to radio and solved the problem. Didn't change the ingnition wire, just the battery wire.I just did the same thing this morning but also added a 8g ground...PROBLEM SOLVED:)

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Earth not good.
by stonellgl / July 10, 2010 8:55 PM PDT

I had the same problem and the earth was not connected properly. Make sure you have a sound connection.

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by stewart norrie / September 1, 2006 7:06 AM PDT

Joke I had a car stereo business back in the mid 60s At that tine they had these little cheepio power amps that claimed 200 watts that cost $20.00 yes make sure you are using a heavy duty power and ground wire and driving those cheepio speakers you are sucking all the power from the amp, if car stewreo has line out then add a seperate power amp and if you can and have the room install the bigest speakers that will fit here is what I would do buy a large set of stereo speakers used. put some handles on them and when you go out boating just throw them in and plug them in to a r,c,a, jack and blow every one out of the water Also back in the early 60" I had a 53Olds hardtop sooooo cool one day I threw a 15" 3 way speaker in the trunk and hooked it up to that awsome Delco am radio and went to the drive in opend the trunk and had everyone dancing around the drive in you guys have to deal with me until tomorrow how sad stewee

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by hankswierd / September 2, 2006 10:14 AM PDT

I have a sony explode 50w x 4. Exact same crap going on. It's a new (to me) car that had factory everything. I put in the new stereo,all new component speakers,a 900w Rockford 4 channel for my components and a Lightning Audio 250w for a sub. It seemed fine for the few days I was installing. When I was done, the battery was dead when I went out. I thought,oops ran it without the car running too much. So I jumped it with no problem and jammed out for a second and cut off and back on again. And hasn't stopped since.I've replaced my alternator, had the battery charged and tested, and checked my wiring for any flaws. With none found I figured o.k. back to basics, and diconnected the amps and ran the speakers directly from the stereo. No change. I'm so frustrated and confused.

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by stewart norrie / September 2, 2006 2:56 PM PDT

Just joking I sure wish I could help you sounds like you have done everything rite The only thing I can think off you may have a bad speaker or speaker wire may be shorting out somewhere If you are using just your tuner and no amp what is happening is the output of you amp detectes a shorted condition a realy will shut down the ouput section and when everything cools down the amp will fire up again as far as battery going dead that is another issue Just to bore you when I had my car stereo business back in 64 I did some real crazy installations. I would cut out the whole rear package shelf make a template and cut out a 3/4 piece of wood then cut out for 2 10" or 12" 3 way home speakers then cover the back panel with grill cloth and reinstall the package tray The sound was soooooo awsome you did not need 4 speakers and a subwoffer would be useless . and needed very little wattage to drive them please post back and let us know how it turns oput for you stewee

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We'll figure it out.
by hankswierd / September 3, 2006 7:42 AM PDT

I'll for sure get this figured out and when I do I will definately post it. I can't find anyone around here who has a clue though. I'm not far away from just straight wiring everything to the alternator and battery if I can get some info on how to do it right. If you guys can help, let me know. I figure all I have to do is put a wire from the alternator to a fuse (close to it I'm assuming), and run that to the power wire off of the radio. Then connect a small gauged wire (whatever gauge comes with a amp kit) to my battery for constant memory and run my own ground so that I KNOW it is grounded. I'm not sure what gauge should come from the alt. or what size fuse to put in there. The stereo has a 30a in it but the fusebox has a 10a.
Does this all sound right to you? Or is there an electrical component in ther I don't know about and need to go through?

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I bet....
by kena10 / September 7, 2006 11:30 PM PDT

You're using an 8ga wire with a little 10-20amp fuse attached to the wire running from the battery to the amps, right???

Here's a list of things you're going to need...

Go to your local car stereo shop, and you're going to buy 20ft of 2 gauge wire

a Street Wires FHXL fuse holder

a 100 amp ANL fuse

A Street Wires fused distribution block like this one:

A Single distribution block

get about 12ft of 4 gauge ground wire (you'll use about 6ft of that from the block to a point in the trunk and the remainder of it, cut in 2 sections, one for each amp's ground connector.

Get about 20 ft of remote wire (16 gauge blue coated wire) for the remote wire connection from the head unit to the amps.

Now for the install tips and reasons why I listed the equipment I listed....

It is always a good thing to have a nice gauge wire going from your battery to your amps, especially if you're running more than one. 2 gauge or even 1gauge wire will ensure you get plenty of power to the amps.

The fuse will be strong enough that it will be there to protect the equipment. I had a 60amp barrell fuse before with 2 amps and it would sometimes pop, so I put an ANL style fuse holder with a 100 amp fuse and it never popped.

Assuming you have used a wiring harness to the car from the sony, don't forget to use the remote lead from the head unit and use the blue wire to run it to the area where the amps are (trunk perhaps?) run the remote wire from the head unit straight into the 4ch amp cut another piece and plug it into that same remote connection at the rockford and from there, run it into the other amp's remote connector, you're done with that for now.

The reason why your battery got drained is because you hooked up the power to the amps straight from the battery and even though your stereo was off, the amps were still turned on and sucking juice from the battery b/c they were never turned off to begin with. Once you connect that remote lead to the amps, everytime you turn the stereo off, the amps will shut off also and your battery will be fine. Also, remember to turn your volume down to 0 everytime you turn your stereo off, that will prevent the speakers from emitting a popping sound accidentally since the amps will be turned to a certain gain.

If you're interested and would like to simplify things, street wires makes a 6ch rca cable in different lengths, so all you have to do is run a single wire to the trunk and it has 6 heads on each end, that would cover your speakers and the subs as well from the head unit. Now, don't be confused when I say "speakers", what I meant was connecting the audio out channels from the head unit to the amps to bypass the radio's built-in amp.

If your head unit doesn't have front, rear and sub out connections, you may have to use a y adapter for the front connectors so you can amp both front and rear channels. Keep in mind that if you do this, you will lose your ability to fade the front and rear channels.

You will still need speaker wire from the head unit to the amp for your fronts and rears. You will need 4 pairs of 16 gauge speaker wire and run them from behind the head unit to the amps. If you have already done this then, the install should be done.

Let me know if you have any questions.


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Got it covered... I think?
by hankswierd / September 9, 2006 3:56 AM PDT
In reply to: I bet....

If this one was for me...
I have a 4g from my battery to a barrel shaped fuse holder about 6in. from the batt. The 4g goes to a fuse/distribution block under my back seat with about 3ft of 8g going to my amps. I had to put bigger battery (constant) wire to my car stereo(8g) it was turning off and on at high volume, this fixed that problem. I don't know why or how really, a friend who was having the problem a year ago and told me how he fixed it.
I am in the process of putting a capacitator in there and am a little confused about a couple of things. Tell me if I have this right, 4g wire from batt. to fuse, frome fuse holder, about 8ft.of 4g to another fuse holder (because I'm short about 3 or 4 ft.) then to the cap (wich needs to be charged?) and from there I think I'll go from cap to fuse/distribution block with 6 to 12 inches of 4g wire and use 8g for the remaining 6 to 12 inches off the last distribution fuse holder. I'll eventually have 4g all around. All of my components are on a mounted board close to eachother but not too close, thay all have room to breathe.
Does this all sound correct? Id love any advice anyone has. I really need to know about my fuse sizes. My lightning Audio 250w amp has a built in 30a fuse. But my Rockford 900w amp has nothing. What should I give it? Did you say ANL fuses are better? Or did you just need a bigger fuse?
I think that's all I have right now. Please make sure I do this right.
Does this all sound right? My cap only has the two bolts and has a digital display.

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Radio Turns off when Volume is too loud. Any Car Stereo.
by princeaquaman / March 7, 2012 4:05 AM PST

Same thing happened when i used existing wires from a previous Car Stereo, to Hook up my New Car Stereo !!!!!!! BEFORE buying An Amp or Going Further, Please Just Verify All Wiring. If you do not have an Instruction Manual go online and search for wiring diagram, most manufactures of stereos post instruction manual and installation manuals. The verification of All Wiring is going to be the Major factor in the performance of your system. Do Not Assume former wiring is correct or is not compromised. Or if you did the wiring remove all covers and or under dash or under carpet etc. and Recheck for damage and Recheck all power & Ground and Speaker wires are All Perfect, somewhere a wire may of gotten crimped/cut etc. Keep It Simple. Take your Time and Go one by one and verify. Make sure the Accessory lead from Stereo is connected to a power wire that is only hot when in the Accessory mode and is an Accessory wire, Not a Battery Power Wire. To check an Accessory Wire turn key counterclockwise to Accessory and test wire you have chosen for this lead. Remember with Accessory Fuse is powering your unit, to check and double check in future that it is still not Popped or Blown. If an Accessory wire is not Apparent ? You can use the fuse to the accessory block say for the Horn, to wrap/loop the stripped end about 1 1/4" of wire IN A FIGURE 8 Pattern around the the 2 metal spades/prongs of the Fuse and push the fuse into its slot. Use A wire a little larger then your Stereo Accessory wire will work. 16 - 18 guage wire. Do Not leave too much bare wire exposed just so that the insulation of the wire does not keep the Plastic Head of the Fuse from securely being pushed into the fuse block. To check a Battery wire with key off this should be hot. If you have to Run a New wire to the battery ? Just do it as it will only be done so go for it. Find where the loom goes thru the fire wall and snake it thru. Then make sure the Battery wire is connected to a power wire from the Battery. Battery wire is only for memory of the unit, Not just Power. For Both Accessory and Battery Power Hot Wires, install an In Line Fuse, ( from Radio shack or other electronics store), install a 10Amp fuse inside. Keep these in line fuses easily available, do not push them up and tie off under dash after install where you can not get to them. Then Make sure that the Ground wire is Grounded to a Chassis/Body existing Bolt, (Bolts are better than Screws). Lot of bolts or screws up under dash that can be used as grounds. For ground connection use metal washers on each side of the electrical crimp connector you are going to use for the end of your Ground wire to assure a Perfect Ground. To test power and to find a good ground, use a simple Voltage Test Light ( an ice pick sharp probe on one end and in the handle a light, and at the handle end there is an attached wire with an alligator clip). The sharp tip is to push thru and into the insulation of the wire to the wire itself and the clip is attached to a bolt or screw that goes into the body/chasis for ground. If you are testing the bare End of the wire, use the Alligator Clip to connect to the Wire and the Sharp Point to push into the head of the bolt or screw. (the probe light can be used either way, all you are doing is making a proper connection at each end and the light will come On). Use this test light to verify either an Accessory or Battery Power wire that is used to attach to the wire you are verifying it is the correct power wire desired. Also will be used to find a Perfect Ground. Next verify all your Speaker wire is not compromised/scraped/crimped/cut or faded because of age. Go online if you do not have wiring diagram for your Stereo to verify If i did not verify my wiring first, i may of followed other advice here and bought an Amp and it Would Not of Solved the Problem of ....... Radio/Stereo turns off when Volume is tuned Up. It may seem at the time to use old or existing wiring without verification to save time, It rarely works out that way. Also you will have verified all wiring yourself and know where it goes and what it is connected to. Take your time and do it correctly.

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Ground wires
by tbeams1972 / December 20, 2012 3:41 AM PST

I guess youve fixed your problem by now, but I bought a brand new sony stereo with new speakers and installed it in my Bayliner boat. I was having the same problem as you. Since it is very hard to find a good ground on a boat, I ran a ground wire directly from my negative terminal on my battery to the ground on my stereo. It fixed my problem!!

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