Question about Sony CDX-CA400 CD Player

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Memory hold on CDX-CA400 CD Player

I got this unit as a thank you gift for installing another unit for a friend. I connect the acc line to the yellow line on unit and I connect the constant 12v+ to the red line and the unit functions perfectly, but will not hold settings after being switched off. I connect ACC 12+ to red line and constant 12+ to Yellow and unit will not power up at all. I connect either source of 12+ to either line and leave the other line disconnected and unit wont power up. Both lines must be connected as in my first discription on the unit will not power on, but this leaves me unable to retain memory settings. I have no history on the unit so I am assuming perhaps it has been shorted at some time messing up the settings. I have tried resetting the unit hoping that would fix it, but no luck. Any other suggestions?

Posted by James Cheatwood on

  • James Cheatwood Jul 31, 2007

    I had looked up the manuals for this unit on-line and recognize the correct wiring scheme, however it will not power on (so-far) in this configuration. I will try connecting it again putting 12+ constant on Yellow and swiched 12+ on red Thanks for your help.

  • James Cheatwood Jul 31, 2007

    Thanks KaeZoo, I did indeed use my multimeter to verify 12+ voltage and also to test ground. I also tested each individual wire on the plug to see if they were grounded. I also am of the opinion that the unit is defective in this one area (mem hold) but as I only am interested in listening to my CD"s as I drive to work I can make myself satisfied with the unit as is. Be different if I had actually purchased the unit.But I don't look a gift horse over too closely.

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Brian Neathery

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The correct wiring is constant power on the yellow wire, switched power on the red wire. I'm not certain why you weren't able to get it to work in this configuration; the unit needs power on both wires before it will turn on, but if you lose power on the yellow wire the settings will be lost.

Posted on Jul 31, 2007

  • Brian Neathery
    Brian Neathery Jul 31, 2007

    Just about any troubleshooting beyond the basic "looking at the wires" requires a digital multimeter (or at the very least, a test light). If you test and find voltage on both wires, and the unit still won't turn on (assuming the ground is good) then you have a defective player.

    If one of the wires has no voltage (with the key in the ON position) the most likely cause is a blown fuse in the vehicle's fuse box. All vehicles have at least two fuses that supply radio power: one for constant power and one for switched power. Often one isn't labeled as a radio fuse, and it's also common for one of the fuses to be located in an engine compartment fuse box.

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1 Answer

Im not sure about power wire red black ground and yellow not sure?


Connect black to earth or battery negative.
Connect red to battery positive or the acc lead from your ignition switch. If connected to acc the unit will power down when the vehicle is switched off. If connected to battery positive it will remain on irrespective of ignition switch position.
Connect yellow to battery positive for memory power. The moment this lead loses power all the settings/memory on the unit will be lost.
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I work at a stereo shop in Cali and it's can be some thing verry easey check your radio memory fuse. this can be found under your dash or under your hood. check all your fuse, it mite not be lable Radio, try acc, dash light, opt. these will be your best bet. Is your radio a factory unit or after market? If after market check to see if your unit haves a fuse in line on the Yellow wire. I hope this help please let my know if you need more help.

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Use a voltmeter (VOM) to find 12v wire always ON, this connects to the receivers YELLOW wire. Then use the VOM to find a 12v wire ON with Ignition, this will connect to the RED wire on your unit, Then use the OHM function on the VOM to find a suitable GROUND, this will connect to the BLACK wire on your unit. The ACC wire is for activating a power antenna.

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The problem is most likely in the wiring to the ignton switch keyed power line wich will possibly be yellow.How ever To be more percise the wiering diagrams for the car and head unit would be nessary.if this could be supplied an answer would easily be supplied.

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