Question about AudioBahn A12001DQ Car Audio Amplifier

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Hi I have an audiobahn amp a18001dq that wont output sound but powers up. any ideas?

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One of the more confusing things with a car stereo can be when the amplifier goes into protection mode. One minute it's working and the next minute it's not. Here's a brief troubleshooting method that will hopefully help you if your amplifiers ever go into protection.

1. Try to determine the cause. Amp's can go into protection mode for several reasons. Knowing what happened before it cut out can help determine how to fix it. Did the amp not work as soon as it was turned on? Did it happen after blasting for hours (may be thermal overload and it needs to cool)? Did it cut out after you hit a bump (a wire connection may have come loose)?

2. Tear it down. Get the amp down to it's most basic state. Remove all of the speaker wiring and RCA wiring and leave only the power, ground and remote leads connected. If you still have a problem in this state then either your amp is defective or you may have an installation problem such as the amp touching metal.

Remember that an amplifier should only be connected to the vehicle through the power and ground terminals. Mounting the amplifier to the metal of the vehicle, including putting the mounting screws into metal, can cause problems for your amplifier. Always mount the amplifier to a non-conductive surface. An easy way to accomplish this is to mount the amplifier to a wood board and then mount the board to the vehicle.

3. If the amp is OK in this torn down state keep adding the other wires back on until you find what causes the problem. Add the RCA cables first. Then add the speaker wires one at a time. If the speaker wires cause the problem then they are probably touching metal. Check to make sure that a speaker wire isn't being pinched somewhere between the amp and the speaker. Also check that the speaker wire or speaker terminals aren't touching the vehicle metal near the speaker opening. Rear decks and door panels can easily touch unprotected speaker terminals if not properly installed.

If the problem starts occuring when you connect the subwoofer wires to the amplifier you may have your subwoofers wired at too low an impedence. First check the specs on your amplifier to make sure what kind of loads it is stable under. Then go here and check the wiring configuration to make sure that your load is not too low:

http://www.rockfordfosgate.com/rftech/wiringwizard.asp


If you believe your amplifier is defective contact the manufacturer first. Many have flat repair rates that are very affordable and cover parts and labor. However local repair shops may be cheaper if it is just a small repair. Compare the manufacturer's repair rate to that of a local shop. If you don't know the reputation of the local shop it may be better to send it to the manufacturer who will have working knowledge of the amp and parts readily available.

Posted on Jan 05, 2009

  • blueextc3221
    blueextc3221 Jan 05, 2009

    Protection circuits are beyond the scope of this basic troubleshooting guide but I'll provide a basic introduction to them. In general, protection circuits are designed to prevent damage to the amplifier and, in some cases, they prevent damage to the speakers.


    • The most common protection circuit is the thermal shutdown circuit. It is designed to shut the amp down if it gets too hot.

    • Most amplifiers also have an over-current protection circuit. It's designed to shut the amp down if too much current is drawn from the speaker outputs or when there is an internal fault that causes excessive current draw.

    • Some amplifiers have DC offset protection. This prevents damage to the speakers in case the amp fails in a way that causes rail voltage to be driven to the speaker output terminals.

    • Over and under-voltage protection is employed in some amplifiers. If the B+ supply voltage is too high or too low, the amp will shut down.

    Any of these can shut the amp down. If there are no dedicated indicators to tell you which fault has caused the shutdown, you must determine which fault is causing the shutdown and then find the defective components. With a schematic, it's generally not too difficult. Without a schematic (many manufacturers won't provide schematics), it can be much tougher.

    There are many different ways that an amp can fail but the two most common failures are shorted output transistors and blown power supply transistors (< those are not blown). There are several types of protection circuits in amplifiers. The most common are over-current and thermal. The over-current protection is supposed to protect the output transistors. Sometimes it doesn't work well enough to prevent the failure of the output transistors but it will work well enough to shut the supply down before the power supply FETs are destroyed. If the amp remains in protect mode, goes into protect mode or blows the fuse as soon as the remote voltage is applied, shorted output transistors are almost certainly the cause.

    If the fuse protecting the amp is too large, if the protection circuit doesn't respond quickly enough or if the power supply is poorly designed, the power supply transistors may fail. If you see a lot of black soot on the power supply transistors (near the power transformer), the power supply transistors have failed. Soot on the board doesn't necessarily mean the transistors have failed. Sometimes, technicians don't clean up the mess from a previous failure.

    Transistor Failure/Checking Transistors:
    In general, when a transistor fails, it will either short (common for output AND power supply transistors) or open (common for power supply transistors). Transistors act like valves. They control the current flowing through a circuit. A shorted transistor acts like a valve that's stuck open (passing too much current). In the case of an output transistor, the shorted transistors tries to deliver the full rail voltage to the speaker output terminal. If you've ever seen a damaged amp that pushed or pulled the speaker cone to its limits when the amp powered up (common on some Rockford amplifiers), that was almost certainly due to a shorted output transistor. When checking transistors, you most commonly look for shorted connections inside the transistor. You do this by using a multimeter to look for low resistance connections between the transistor's terminals.


    Note:
    I used the terms short and open on the previous paragraph. A short (short circuit) is a path through which current flows that should not be there. An open (open circuit) is a break in the circuit.


    If you aren’t competent and don’t know what you’re looking at inside the amplifier, please refer to a car audio technician for repair. Internal voltages can be lethal if not de-energized before starting the repair.

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