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MootPoint
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 11:11 am    Post subject: Audio Installation Reply with quote

    Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

No, this isn't the aftermath of a break-in and theft from my '84 Westy. This is what I found behind the aftermarket radio/tapedeck that I removed so I could install a new JVC CD player. Aaarrgh!

Can anyone help me identify the wiring from the two door speakers, the two rear speakers, power, ground, and anything else I need to get this rat's nest sorted out? Or point me to the correct section of my Bentley which does not appear to be particularly clear on the topic (Damn, it wish it had a decent index...). OK, I can identify the power in (with the fuse) and the antenna in (coax cable) but the rest? Help!

Also, the player/head unit came with this device...
    Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

...complete with really vague instructions (didn't take into account that I was installing this in a 26 y/o vehicle) and the tech support folks at Crutchfield didn't seen to help much. What DOES this do? I'm not planning on installing a giant power amp, big-thump speakers, CD changer or satellite radio and I gather it goes between the unit and the speakers but...why?

BTW, if you want to change your cig lighter to a deep-socket model, it's really easy with the deck and the ash tray out. Now, on to the wiring...
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stevey88
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Bentley do not show the radio schematic for a 84. If you do not get answer for another member, you have to trace it out yourself. I do not like all these brown wires shown in your photo. It implies one side of the speaker is grounded. Modern radio drive both terminals of the speaker to get more power so the speaker can not be grounded. Try guessing which 4 pair of wires goes to the speaker, you may get only 4 color wires and 3 brown wires as the rear share a common wire according to the wiring diagram of a 86 so the 84 may be the same. They changed to 4 pairs starting MY87. The diagram also shows the ground for all the brown wires are grounded at the balance control so there is a chance the front speakers wiring are OK but you still need to add an extra wire to the back speakers. Measure if the brown wires are connected to ground with a meter to make sure. You can test which pair go to where buy connecting a 1.5V battery across the wire and listen for where the noise come from, this will not damage the speaker if you leave the battery on for a short time.

From the photo of your new head unit, I would assume it is for the output to an external amplifier. There are 4 level controls for the 4 channels. You don't need it if your new head unit has built-in power amp and you are not going to use external amplifier.
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 12:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Audio Installation Reply with quote

MootPoint wrote:

Can anyone help me identify the wiring from the two door speakers, the two rear speakers, power, ground, and anything else I need to get this rat's nest sorted out?


Get a 9v battery. Disconnect all the aftermarket harness "work".
Connect pairs of wires to + & - on the 9v. You will hear a quiet static coming from the speaker when you have found a matched pair.

As for the ground - once you get + and spk out of the way, it's whatever is left over.

That device you have looks like a connector to use either pre-amp RCA plugs or wired. If you aren't amping the individual speakers, you want the wired harness. Just seeing it laying there without the rest of the hookups is kinda taking it out of context. I could be totally wrong... could be an interface for a factory amp, or door chime, or a bunch of other stuff.
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bjrogers86auto
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 1:11 pm    Post subject: stereo Reply with quote

Are you changing the speakers? Are they aftermarket or original?

I did mine last year and installed new speakers. As soon as I hooked up to the originals it sounded really really bad. New speakers can be pretty inexpensive and improve the sound quite a bit.

Along with the new speakers you will need to run new wires. This sounds a lot harder than it is. It took my Dad and I maybe 2 hrs to do he job. The nice part about new wires is identifying them. They are marked on the wire.

If you want to see what colour goes where just check at the door hinge. Sneak a peek at the wires there.

Good luck, Brian.
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snuf
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a 86 vanagon and the stock speaker wires are as following:
Left front - Blue
Right front - Red
Left rear - Yellow
Right rear - Green

I'm not sure if they are the same on an 84, but you might use this as a reference. One way to find out for sure would be to pull speakers and note the color wire leading to them.

Other old post might give some insight. http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=2247441
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MootPoint
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 2:16 pm    Post subject: Re: stereo Reply with quote

bjrogers86auto wrote:
Are you changing the speakers? Are they aftermarket or original?

The speakers are original and I wasn't planning on replacing them until I heard them with the new CD/iPod set up. If they sound funky they will definitely be replaced. You can't skimp on road tunes!

Good idea on both the door hinge and snuf's idea on checking at the speakers themselves. With luck I won't find more wire nuts.
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pretty sure you're in for a little more work, sorry to say. I'm fairly sure your stock speakers in the back have a common ground. Not something that modern head units appreciate.

You are probably looking at running new wires to the back speaks, and if you have to do that, go ahead and spend 50 more bucks for a pair of new speakers. Small speakers like the ones in the back cabinet are cheap and even $50 ones will sound 10x better than your stockers.
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Man do I feel your pain. The only photo I have the of the PO work I've been stuck with is above. Current plan is to pull what's there and re-run wiring, replace head unit, and find a way to express my extreme disastifaction with the current speakers by replacing them with something that doesnt sound like two sandy butt cheeks rubbing together while someone runs.

Bentely does not actually contain a wiring diagram for my 1983 Diesel L that would help me get a contempoary headset and speakers into the rats nest of a wiring that exists behind the dash currently. As you can see fishing cable is not going to be a problem for me at the moment.

What are you installing specifically? I'm curious how it turns out and what the wiring diagram turns out to look like.
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pinealservo
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a link to the manufacturer of the gadget in your photo, which includes a manual (in case you didn't get one with it).
http://www.pac-audio.com/productDetails.aspx?ProductId=883&CategoryID=28

I believe it's there to deal with the single-ground issue others have mentioned. See the "Common Audio Signal Ground" section in the manual for instructions on how to hook it up.

You may get somewhat better audio performance if you re-wire with nice speaker wire, but you can use that gadget to avoid running any new wire.
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 3:53 pm    Post subject: speakers Reply with quote

I was looking for a metaphor to describe the sound of the speakers....two butt cheeks full of sand rubbing together while running wasn't exactly what I was thinking...but it works.

Another thing to consider is that some head units actually have fried (according to another post) when hooked to the common ground.

I used the dish soap and pulled the new wire with old wire method. Worked great except that at the rear cabinet where it meets the passenger side of the van...the wire is heat shrinked in a group of wires. No pulling that through.

Ahh...the memories....Brian.
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 4:32 pm    Post subject: Re: stereo Reply with quote

MootPoint wrote:

The speakers are original ...


toss them - speakers only last so long in a harsh (door) environment; they probably weren't real great to begin with either...
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MootPoint
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, gang, for the info. Can someone explain, in terms that someone who doesn't trust things "electronic" understand the difference between "common ground" and...whatever the other is between early V'gons and later within their audio systems? That would help me (and perhaps many others who Use the Search, Luke) as I sort all this out.

I'm going to try and tackle this in the next couple of days.

Mucho apreciado, y'all, íPuntaDiscutible!
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Love My Westy
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too need to redo my stereo system. I have an old Alpine tuner with a cassette. I have been using one of those cassette inserts things to plug into my Sirius radio, but the damn tape deck keeps pausing to try to change direction. Very annoying. What kind of stereo are you installing? I don't want to add an extra amp either, but I will need new speakers. I know that behind my dash it looks like yours because the original plug was cut off and wires were spliced on when the current stereo was installed.

One difficulty I see is trying to unscrew the original speaker covers in the rear. I can't get to the back side of them to hold them so they just spin in place without unscrewing. Mine is an '86 with the newer A/C shrouding that makes it so hard to get to the speakers. Any suggestions? It looks like I will also need to run new speaker wires. Rich
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MootPoint wrote:
Thanks, gang, for the info. Can someone explain, in terms that someone who doesn't trust things "electronic" understand the difference between "common ground" and...whatever the other is between early V'gons and later within their audio systems?


Most modern systems have two wires for each speaker, one (+) and one (-). Older systems have one (+) wire for each speaker and all the speakers attach to the same (-) wire. That shared (-) wire is the common ground.
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A common ground is for the little people, unlike the royal ground found in UK. Common ground is common to the chassis or to both channels, most modern stereos use individual grounds for each speaker channel, as they tend to have seperate amps for each channel.

New speakers would be a really good investment. run new wire, a pair to each one. VW used absolutely the worst wire they could find. It is even worse than the Wire the Russians used. Even speakers stolen from the PA system of a hospital would be better than the speakers that you have left in there.

Lots of stores have open box specials on speakers as the low lifes try them but then decide they cannot afford them. You can save a substantial amount that way.
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MootPoint
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dogpilot wrote:
most modern stereos use individual grounds for each speaker channel, as they tend to have seperate amps for each channel.

OK, so my ignorance continues. Why does this matter? I've always thought that a ground was a ground was a ground and when I put the new engine in I spent a lot of time cleaning up the ground connectors throughout the van to make sure that ground connectors continued to...well... ground. Again, electronics is not my fortÚ. So, what's the deal?

The unit I'm planning on installing, once I get all this straightened out, is a JVC KD-AHD69 which is one of the three (and only three) that Crutchfield's said will "fit" in a V'gon. The one that GW promoted in the past is now apparently NLA so short of installing a couple Dixie cups and some string, the options appear to be limited.

As mentioned in the original post, my goal here is a simple system. I have no plans for installing satellite radio or other amp options. My real goal is to have something that I can use to play music from an iPod (my ancient one and Ms. Moot's new one). The CD player will grow moldy because the disks will stay home as everything of merit has already been transferred to the Pod.

As an aside, we just got back from a couple (hot) days in Phoenix. The rental car came with satellite radio and when I turned it on we discovered the previous driver had left the satellite radio tuned to the all-Grateful-Dead station. Ms. Moot, the ex-Deadhead, thought she'd died and gone to heaven. It almost made Phoenix and Scottsdale tolerable. Not quite, but almost. Still, it wasn't enough to want to get satellite radio into the V'gon.
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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MootPoint wrote:
OK, so my ignorance continues. Why does this matter? I've always thought that a ground was a ground was a ground and when I put the new engine in I spent a lot of time cleaning up the ground connectors throughout the van to make sure that ground connectors continued to...well... ground. Again, electronics is not my fortÚ. So, what's the deal?

The unit I'm planning on installing, once I get all this straightened out, is a JVC KD-AHD69 which is one of the three (and only three) that Crutchfield's said will "fit" in a V'gon. The one that GW promoted in the past is now apparently NLA so short of installing a couple Dixie cups and some string, the options appear to be limited.

As mentioned in the original post, my goal here is a simple system. I have no plans for installing satellite radio or other amp options. My real goal is to have something that I can use to play music from an iPod (my ancient one and Ms. Moot's new one). The DVD player will grow moldy because the disks will stay home as everything of merit has already been transferred to the Pod.

As an aside, we just got back from a couple (hot) days in Phoenix. The rental car came with satellite radio and when I turned it on we discovered the previous driver had left the satellite radio tuned to the all-Grateful-Dead station. Ms. Moot, the ex-Deadhead, thought she'd died and gone to heaven. It almost made Phoenix and Scottsdale tolerable. Not quite, but almost. Still, it wasn't enough to want to get satellite radio into the V'gon.


I installed a Pioneer unit in my Syncro. The rear was a bit tight against the air box, but I zipped tied all the wires against the back of the unit and used a 90 degree antenna cable adaptor. It fit fine after that.

The grounds they are speaking of are the negative wires to the speakers, not exactly grounds. As stated, older systems used a common positive and separate negative wires for the front and then the rears had a separate common positive.
Newer units have a positive and negative wire for each speaker.
Agreed on the speaker wiring on the Vanagon.....I ran new 16 gauge speaker wire to each speaker, but did keep the old speakers......though I may invest in new ones later. For now they are fine.
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stevey88
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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, let me try to explain what a common ground is and why it is no longer used in late model radios.

In normal power amplifier output ( as opposed to bridge amplifier output ), the voltage swing to both positive and negative voltage in respect to ground. When you connect one of the two terminals of the speaker to the output of the amplifier and the other terminal to ground, the cone of the speaker will move forward when the output of the amplifier is positive and move back if the out put is negative ( assuming the speaker is wired correctly, this is call absolute phase connection in the audiophile world, my other hobby ). When you have more than one channel, each speakers will have one of their terminals connected to ground, hence the term common ground.

In the automotive radio, only 12V DC is available, this limit the output power to 4W max. if you use a 4 ohm speaker. For some of you who has electronic background, 12V peak to peak = 6V peak and times 0.707 = 4V rms. So power with a 4 ohm speaker is 4X4 / 4 = 4watts of continuous power. Note that there is no such thing as rms power.

Now if you use two power amplifiers and feed the same input signal 180 degree out of phase to one of them, the output of one amplifier will go positive as the other go negative. So if you connect the two terminals of the speaker to the two outputs of the amplifiers, you can 4X the power because the voltage swing is doubled. This is called bridge operation. All the above calculation assume no loss in the circuit so obviously is not the case in real life. As none of the terminals of the speaker is connected to ground, you can not share the connection as in the rear speaker of the Vanagon. This is used in nearly all radio now as the cost of IC has fallen.

Additional note:
Forget about music power, it is something to fool the consumer.
Some car speakers are 2 ohms to get more power out of the radio.
Separate power amplifier for automotive application has built-in DC to DC converter so the DC voltage supply to the power amplifier can be much higher. There is no enough room in the head unit to put in a DC to DC converter.
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MootPoint
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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A good education is happening here (mine, at least). So I gather from all of the above that if I run new wiring to the front and rear speakers (old or new) with two conductors to each (8 total) they will wire directly into the 8 outputs coming out of the back of the new unit. Correct? And with this configuration the big ol' "PAC" unit in my second photograph will be unnecessary. Am on the right track here?

Then it's just a matter of finding the various power and ground connections.

Thanks for all the help. I'll let you know the outcome.
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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ha, This is what my previous owner left me... a rat's nest.
I drew a wiring diagram just to get my head around it, before I cut any wires Wink

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