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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, Folks, the saga of Cayman audio continues.

In trying to work out the fit and appearance limitations and alternator noise from my Android head unit install, I bought a Pioneer W4660NEX. Main selling points were shallow install depth, wireless Android Auto and reportedly high contrast display. These were all problems from the Android unit.

Using a Spiral Audio HUR unit, which worked on the Android setup just fine. I wired in a Pioneer-compatible handbrake defeat diode, which takes up the amp signal wire (blue and white). I tried this install initially with an Axxess inline line-out amplifier, which I had not used before. Battery came completely out of the car so I could route the new GPS antenna through the firewall grommet.

However, on power-up, there is no sound. Radio locks on stations, Bluetooth connects and plays Pandora, but no sound to the BOSE inputs. I removed the inline amp, no change. One big change is that the Android HU came with an ISO standard wiring loom, so it was pure plug & play to the HUR ISO connectors. The Pioneer had a crappy free wire loom, so I had to connect an ISO loom that I had left over from the Metra kit. The old unit got illumination and switched power through the loom. Pioneer needs an add-a-fuse and to manually connect illumination (which I haven't).

Anyone install a Pioneer unit and found a similar issue?

I haven't found any RCA cables that might connect me to a test amp. I used to have all sorts of stuff like that, but analog RCA needs have become lost with HDMI. Looking around for my multitester. I reinstalled the CDR24 and it works perfectly. The BOSE side of things isn't messed up. Unfortunately it is too late for me to return the Pioneer 4660, but I am considering just going back to stock and using my phone for Nav.
 

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So, to understand better, you still have your Bose amp powering your speakers, yes?

My only guess is that you are using the wrong connections between the head unit and the HUR adapter. Not sure if that should be pre-amp out or line out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
OK< thanks for the response.

Yes, I am driving the Bose amp via a MOST-HUR interface. Works great on other stereos. The only RCAs for this unit are Front R/L and Rear R/L. I haven't actually tried the rears and then fading back to them. I reconnected the OEM radio to make sure everything on the stock equipment side was still good, then I left it. I was so disgusted with the process, adn two failed head unit attempts, $1000 spent and no where closer to satisfaction.
Looks like I only have one more year left with the car, and then I am moving abroad. So, I might just revert to stock and forget about it all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Nevermind. I got a new Metra single stack ISO connector and only connected the five wires in a new configuration. Seems to work, now.

Also got the right power, so no add-a-fuse required!

Now, I hope that it runs without coil whine. 95F inside the car right now....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Now, I hope that it runs without coil whine. 95F inside the car right now....
Gah! So, I took it around a few blocks at different RPMs. No alternator whine.

Reassembled it all in the dash: ALTERNATOR WHINE!!

What. The. Hell.

Got a new 10A noise filter on the way. I already have three ferrite magnets on ground and power wires.

Stock stereo is fine (but doesn't have the GPS and USB, speaker wires, etc). This is getting stale.
 

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Alternator whine: Unfortunately, I've been there on other cars. In most cases, this ends up being a loose connector/cable/wire. This happens because the dash panels push things into "new" places, and cause it to move or lose connection. It's very annoying indeed. I troubleshot that by reinstalling panels one at a time, to see when it returned... and then found the loose cable.

Sometimes, with RCAs, if you have the metal barrel ones, those end up touching something and causing a ground loop as well. Plastic barrel RCAs are better for this reason, or you can e-tape the barrel to keep it from touching (of course, the risk there is that over time, the tape could fall off or even break through due to rubbing vibration).
 

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Check the wiring either between the amp and the speaker wires or (unfortunately) speaker wires to speakers. Mine was whining for a while intermittently and I just reset the amp connections and that fixed it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the replies. Yes, the RCAs do have exposed metal. They could have shorted against the bare metal cage of the dash subframe. When I get in there again I will wrap them in electrical tape.

I was so careful, this time, to heat shrink all the splices and be very professional when I made the new pigtail.
I will get a capacitor-style noise filter on Friday. Then, I'll take it all apart and see what we can do. I will use some double sided tape to stick the MOST boxes up out of the way.

I have an inline ground loop isolator that looks like a Barbie toy in blue plastic. Wondering if that is actually making it worse. But, there was no whine when the kit wasn't inside the dash. So it must be something touching the car or other wires when all smashed together.

The Pumpkin unit was better for nav, in that it had its own copies fo maps and its own freestanding GPS. Looks like the Pioneer relies on your phone to do everything. Pioneer seems faster, though. And at least it fits the dash and faceplaces.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
OK, SOLVED!

Damn, I began this path in August, 2018! Jim Roal's Pumpkin Android deck thread got me started, then everything imaginable got in my way.

I pulled it all out, and cloth tape wrapped every bit of metal in teh system. Every RCA end, every little metal piece of the GPS and radio antenna interfaces, the connected RCA L/R pair, etc.

I used double sided Gorilla tape to stick the MOST modules up out of the way, careful to not kink the fibers. I routed the USB extension cable away from the GPS antenna and radio antenna lines. I removed the 3-feet of inline ground loop isolator cabling (which added RCA ends and attenuation potential).

The only issue is slight noise when the radio is muted. Then it sounds like the cars where you have V8 noise simulation coming through the setero to mask the 4-banger you have. If someone had a really soft track of a 930's single spooling turbo that rose with the RPMs, it might sound like this. You'd have to be looking for it to isolate it from engine noise with the radio off. Can't hear it at all with the radio on. I will still add in the noise filter next week, so I am not buttoning up the trim panels, yet.

Finally!

How do others deal with USB extension cables? I was thinking of running it up the edge of the driver's kick panel, so that the tip female is by the driver's knee and flush. Then I can connect the phone easily. I looked at drilling into the sunglass tray to route the cable, but it seems kludgey. So far, no permanent mods to the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Followup.
So, I did have more alternator whine than I wanted. Like a chopped tooth or scratched roof of your mouth, you keep going back to it from the subtle irriration. The whine started to get worse as days went on. It was gnawing through my brain like The Telltale Heart. I couldn't not hear it.

I was thinking that I might have to run a common ground cable to the battery. I didn't know if that long cable could act as an attenuation antenna, however. I was prepared to run a line through the firewall grommet and do a common ground block, that would then take the various grounds from the head unit.

However, I decided to simplify and go one step at a time. First up, I got one of those three lead capacitor style power noise suppressors. It said it was 10A, and was a burly little black shotgun shell of, I assume, wound copper. It had a red, a blue and a black lead. I spliced the red and the blue through the +12V Red line on the radio side wiring harness. Then I noticed that the fan housing on the back of the HU had a screw with a U shaped cutout, like they were expecting you to need a ground spot with wire guide. I took the hint and grounded it to that.

BOOM! No, not an explosion, just the Eureka of solving that danged pesky noise problem! Finally, no noise at any RPM. Glad to have that resolved.

I took the opportunity to run a 1/8" mini plug M-F extender cable to the AUX-IN port on the back, so I can just plug a guest device in without having to permit it to my bluetooth every time. I'll run that under the lower edge of the center stack side panel trim and it shouldn't be too noticeable.

Nice to be done with that. It only took three years to replace the car stereo.
 
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