Help with 'Cooler Stereo' wiring - AVS Forum
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Just so everyone understands, I am basically ignorant when it comes to wiring in general...

With that said, I am in the process of building one of those goofy redneck 'cooler/ice chest stereos'. I am using a 12v lawn and garden battery to power a 200w amp. I know the rule of thumb when installing a new battery is to connect the hot wire (to the battery) first. Next, I've connected the ground (to the battery) and when connecting to the amp it sparks.

I've tried connecting wires to the amp first and then to the battery, and again, there are sparks.

Can someone please provide this ignoramus with a step by step - what wires go where and when - how to?

It would be greatly appreciated. If this is the wrong forum, please advise to the proper one.

Thank you
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Old 05-19-2013, 09:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Here are some photos for reference. I am also trying to use a toggle switch (purple wire) to control the power of the system. From the research I've done, I believe I have the wiring for that correct.



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Old 05-19-2013, 09:03 PM - Thread Starter
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The sub in the picture is just being used to set the amp on, FYI.
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Old 05-20-2013, 10:45 AM
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The switch should be in the power line. Should go from battery to switch to amp, then the negative straight back to the battery. The way the switch is could be causing the sparking.
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:35 PM
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There are 2 wires on the switch going to the amp. What are the connections on the amp marked?
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtsmith55 View Post

Just so everyone understands, I am basically ignorant when it comes to wiring in general......I've tried connecting wires to the amp first and then to the battery, and again, there are sparks....
First off, a link to the devices you're using would be helpful. I'm seeing two devices on your sub?

The sparks are to be expected. That's the reason for connecting jumper cables hot-to-hot then to ground somewhere away from the battery, so sparks don't ignite hydrogen gas, if present. A 12V high-current source will draw an arc due to the current. Voltage just varies the distance the arc will jump.

I would start with a volt-ohm meter (VOM) so you can test the load of the amp before connecting the battery. Assumning the amp's not open or shorted, I would then connect things up, but with a fuse in the circuit, just in case (plan to keep the fuse). If the sparks bother you, use the switch. For safety, I'd recommend a double-pole switch, so you switch both hot and ground lines. Make it double throw as well (aka DPDT) and you can flip between charging and playing.

The VOM has other uses. A good tool....
- check speaker continuity
- check amp function (measure AC voltage; 1W is 1-2V)
- measure battery charge level.

HAv efun,
Frank
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