Help Requested: Splitting LFE for Bass Shakers - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-11-2010, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
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I currently have a working 5.1 setup and I'm trying to add bass shakers.
I picked up an extra amplifier (Dayton SA240) and 2 aura bass shakers.

My starting position:
I have the subwoofer connected to the Sub Pre-Out port in the receiver.

Working Intermediary position:
I took a y-cable (1 male / 2 female) and connected it to the Sub Pre-Out port in the receiver. I connected the subwoofer's cable to the y-cable. (Retested using the receiver's test tones and bass is working.)

Non-Working current position:
I used another RCA cable to connect the y-cable to the Left channel Low Level Input of my extra amplifier
I used an RCA / speaker wire cable from radio shack (productId: 2102959) to connect the Left channel Low Level Output to one of the bass shakers.

- Observations -
When I play the subwoofer test tone, the bass shaker does not work.
In addition, the subwoofer does not work.
If I simply disconnect the speaker wire from the bass shaker, the subwoofer starts working again.
If I touch the speaker wire to the poles on the bass shaker, the subwoofer stops working again.
If I tap on the bass shaker, sound comes out of the subwoofer.

- Other tests that I've tried -
I tried using the right channel of the extra amplifer, but observe the same problems.
I have two bass shakers, so I tried the second one. I observe the same problems.

I'm reading a lot and I freely admit that I am learning a lot every time I do something, so I could have made an easy mistake. Any help is appreciated!

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post #2 of 10 Old 07-11-2010, 08:28 PM
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The bass shaker may not respond to the receiver test tones in a way that you can notice. I know my shakers do not. To make sure your new Dayton amp and new bass shakers are working connect the new amp input to the receiver output directly without the Y cable and play some bass heavy music and see if you can get a response from the shakers. Then reintroduce your Y cable and subwoofer setup.

If the the shaker amp is not far from the subwoofer you may be able to ditch the Y cable and use the output (line level) from our subwoofer if it has one.

Home Theater is GREAT
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post #3 of 10 Old 07-11-2010, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Richard -

First of all, thanks for your response.

I tried your suggestion. I played a CD (Metallica's latest) first with just the subwoofer (worked great).

Then I tried the subwoofer and the bass shaker together (no sound or vibration from either again).

Then I connected the extra amplifier / bass shaker directly to the sub pre-out of the main receiver (removing the y cable and the subwoofer). No sound or vibration from the bass shaker.

What I am having a hard time understanding is why connecting the bass shaker (even just touching the poles) would make the main sub stop working.
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post #4 of 10 Old 07-11-2010, 09:00 PM
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Connect one of your other speakers(or an extra speaker) to the shaker amp, and verify that it is working with/without the sub connected to the y-splitter.
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post #5 of 10 Old 07-11-2010, 09:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Soho54 -- Thanks for your response also.

I tried this with 2 different bass shakers (same result).

After your post, I also tried with an old speaker that I had lying around (admittedly, I'm not sure if this speaker is capable of playing anything from the LFE channel). I saw the same results. (I tried both with and without the subwoofer connected).

The thing that is most confusing to me about this puzzle is why connecting an additional speaker would cause the main sub to stop playing sound.

My best guess is that there is something wrong with the RCA to speaker wire that I got from radio shack (productId: 2102959) but I really don't understand why that would cause an issue with the main subwoofer.
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post #6 of 10 Old 07-11-2010, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graceace View Post

My best guess is that there is something wrong with the RCA to speaker wire that I got from radio shack (productId: 2102959) but I really don't understand why that would cause an issue with the main subwoofer.

The is the wrong cable, and hook up for what you are trying to do. I didn't look it up before.

You want to connect the shakers to the red and black wires on the other side of the amp. Not the Low Level output.

With two you would go:
Amp red wire to BS1 red terminal- BS1 black to BS2 red- BS2 black to Amp black wire

Just use regular speaker wire for you connections here.
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post #7 of 10 Old 07-11-2010, 10:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Soho54 --

I tried using the radio shack wire to go from the receiver (rca output) to the high level input of the amp (speaker wire input) and regular speaker wire to go from the high level output of the amp to the bass shaker. Is the the setup that you are suggesting? Maybe I'm confused but I thought that the LFE should go into low level input.

In any case, here are the results:
Tested with the CD but no noise / vibration.
I also noticed that the amp isn't triggered on if I am using auto-on.
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-11-2010, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graceace View Post

I tried using the radio shack wire to go from the receiver (rca output) to the high level input of the amp (speaker wire input) and regular speaker wire to go from the high level output of the amp to the bass shaker. Is the the setup that you are suggesting? Maybe I'm confused but I thought that the LFE should go into low level input.

No, that won't work either.

You need a y-splitter connected to the Sub Out RCA jack on the receiver.

Connect one side of the y-splitter to the RCA cable running to the subwoofer.

Connect the other side of the y-splitter to another normal RCA cable, and connect it to the Low Level RCA Input on the amp.

The Bass Shakers (BS1 & BS2) need to be connected to the Red and Black wires coming out of the opposite side of the amp from the hook ups, power cable, and cooling fins.
Connect them in this order with some speaker wire:
Amp red wire to BS1 red terminal- BS1 black to BS2 red- BS2 black to Amp black wire
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post #9 of 10 Old 07-12-2010, 08:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Soho 54 --

I tried your suggestion after work today (work seems to have the unfortunate habit of getting in the way of my entertainment). I'm happy to say that your suggestion worked! After I got the first bass shaker working, I connected the second bass shaker in series. Those things really move; I'm excited to get them on my couch.

I'm still not really sure what the outputs on the front of the amp are for. I (naturally?) thought that the low level output jacks would be the right place for the speakers when I was using the low level input jacks. What are these for? I also have no idea why plugging something into these speakers would stop the main sub from working.

----------

As a reference to anyone else who might be reading this to troubleshoot later, my latest working configuration is:

receiver sub pre-out -- Y-splitter (1 male/2 female)

Y-splitter(output 1) -- -- subwoofer

Y-splitter(output 2) -- -- Y-splitter (1 female / 2 male) -- low level input on the amplifier (left and right)

pos/red wire in back of the amp -- -- positive pole bass shaker 1
neg/black wire in back of the amp -- -- negative pole bass shaker 2
negative pole bass shaker 1 -- -- positive pole bass shaker 2

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post #10 of 10 Old 07-12-2010, 09:23 PM
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Glad you got it going.

From left to right first you have the High level inputs for the Left and Right. These would be from your speaker outs on your receiver.

The next set is the High level outs L & R. This is where you could connect your speaker. It acts like a pass through, but I am not fond of using this type of hook-up.

Now we get to the Low level inputs, and they work as a pass through just like the Highs. It is OK to use a low level pass through if needed.

The reason the sub would be killed before is that line level (RCA) signals operate at very high ohm. The bass shakers are low ohm devices so when you used the Radio Shack cable to hook up the RCA line to the BS with the bare ends they tried to pull to much current, and the RCA out on the receiver couldn't put out enough voltage to do anything. Kinda like a short.

The same thing happened when you used the cable to hook up to the High Level input.
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