|Technical Support - Conversion Radios
|Please note that it can take a few days to become fully familiar your newly converted radio's
operation, especially the process of activating the "virtual" Balance and Fader functions. As
a DVD has been provided of your unit operating properly on all functions, the chances of an
actual malfunction are extremely slim and it's more likely to be an issue with familiarity.
Since I have already gone to the time and expense of making your demonstration DVD thus
providing indisputable proof that the machine itself is fine, I DO NOT offer any type of
assistance over the phone. Any tech support issues must be brought to my attention via
E-mail ONLY at firstname.lastname@example.org
All required connections to your car are very easy to understand for anyone even casually
familiar with audio electronics. If your installer needs any guidance other than that provided
with your paperwork, YOU NEED TO HIRE A MORE COMPETENT INSTALLER BEFORE
continuing with the installation - I do not teach electronics to those who should know it,
and your warranty DOES NOT COVER incorrect hookup which can damage your "new" radio.
|First Let's Make Sure Your Converted Radio is Wired Correctly
If you have requested fully isolated speaker wiring, ALL connections below apply except the blue and/or orange
wires which will depend on your radio's original configuration. The orange and blue wires are not involved with
the unit's BASIC operation, which is what is covered here. All the function - critical wiring is as follows. NOTE
that the same color code applies with a common-ground speaker system, with the exception that none of the
speaker wires will have a black stripe and all NEGATIVE speaker connections are connected to car ground.
|I Just Finished Installing My Radio and I'm Not Getting Any Sound at All
Note that with a converted radio, the FM function is absolutely silent until a station is tuned in. Try moving
the tuner pointer VERY SLOWLY across the dial and see if a station pops in. If nothing, try turning the radio
off and then right back on in case the AUX input was accidently activated and is imposing its 20 second delay
before returning to radio operation (cycling the power bypasses the delay).
Sound WILL be heard between AM stations, so try that function. Also try using the AUX input; this will help
determine if the radio is at least getting power. Check the inline fuse and the car's radio circuit fuse. Make
sure your antenna is plugged in, and it's a good idea to insert and remove ANY type of plug several times
to clean the contacts and restore proper connection. Measure voltage between ground and the red wire to
ensure the radio is getting power. Check current draw when turning the radio on with an ammeter.
Did you recently have new speakers and/or speaker wiring installed - but they haven't been checked yet?
|Everything Seems Fine, Except that One Speaker Doesn't Work
The absence of only one speaker strongly suggests a missing or marginal connection to that speaker, due to
the connectors not quite mating properly. Separate the connectors and look inside the individual female
terminals to check for misalignment, expansion or being out-of-square which can prevent a proper connection.
If still no joy, check to make sure you have continuity from the connector terminals to the speaker, using a 9
volt battery ONLY to feed a test voltage to the speaker and listen for a "click". DO NOT USE THE CAR BATTERY
VOLTAGE FOR THIS TEST, it will instantly DESTROY the speaker ! If using a bench power supply for this test,
SET THE VOLTAGE TO A MAXIMUM OF 3 VOLTS. Apply this test voltage at the speaker CONNECTOR for a
comprehensive test of the speaker AND its wiring to the connector. If a female connector has expanded,
carefully use an awl or dental pick to GENTLY compress it for a tighter connection.
Note that if yours is a 3 speaker system, the center dash speaker should be connected to the solid white and
solid gray wires - both should be POSITIVE connections - and your fader should be set at least partially to the
front speaker for the dash speaker to work. If you requested to use the original connectors to preserve the
common-ground speaker arrangement, NOTE that your radio can now produce enough audio power to burn
out any external faders, such as the dash-mounted fader in some Chrysler vehicles. Such faders should be
bypassed and retained only for appearance, and the "virtual" fader on the radio must be used instead.
Before reporting a problem, FIRST try a different speaker. Note that the FMR conversion is designed to work
with ONE speaker per PAIR of speaker wires, from 4 ohms to 16 ohms. The creative process of adding speakers
in parallel with existing ones will lower the impedance, possibly forcing a "safety" shutdown.
For a description of the "virtual" functions, refer to the FMR user manual.
|I've Tried Several Times, But Cannot Activate the Virtual Fader and/or Virtual Balance Controls
Activating these functions calls upon sensitive detection circuitry, and thus can require some practice to develop the
proper "feel". The tricks to activate these functions are as follows:
1. Always start with the TONE control in the center position, which leaves enough clearance to rotate this control
either way: Twice to the RIGHT to adjust front-rear fader, and twice to the LEFT for the virtual Balance function.
2. At first, try using relatively slow, gentle motions when turning the tone control to activate the function. This gives
the processor sufficient time to recognize and process the movements. NOTE that whichever control the radio had
originally (either Balance or Fader), it will not be available as a virtual function if this control is still being used.
3. If still no results, it's time to get a little more analytical. Before activating any virtual functions, rotate the tone control
slowly through its range and note where the most pronounced change takes place. Leave the tone control in this
positon, and use that position as your new "center" point from which to rotate it to engage the virtual functions.
4. If all else fails, an actual physical control can be added which forces the unit into manual adjustment mode. As long
as the functions could be activated on your demonstration DVD, this indicates that the function is working properly and
there will be an additional charge to add a physical control - which will usually be a screwdriver adjustment that the
customer can access from the front panel.
|My Virtual Functions Work Fine, But the Radio Sounds Like Crap After Adjustment
Remember that since activation of these functions requires the disturbance of your preferred tone setting, you will
need to return this control to the desired listening setting once satisfied with the virtual adjustments. Typically, the
radio will sound dull and muddy if you left the tone control near the center position - simply readjust it for listening.
|Everything Seems Fine, But Sometimes I Hear Beeps For No Apparent Reason
You have inadvertently activated a function, very common with high-strung people like myself who have a bit of a
nervous hand and tend to "hunt" back and forth a bit before arriving at a final setting. Remember that both your
volume and tone controls are capable of activating various functions and are usually fairly sensitive. It can take
some time and practice to get used to turning all controls smoothly and deliberately, with no "hunting".
Also, remember that add-on features such as Bluetooth can add more functions that can be inadvertently activated.
Note that any accidentally activated functions can be cancelled by cycling the power.
|I Can Activate Virtual Functions, Can Hear the 4 Beeps - But it Won't Adjust
You need to be quicker, as the selected virtual function will "time out" after just a few seconds. After hearing the
4 beeps indicating the function is activated, act immediately. Once you hear a single beep, the current setting is
saved whether you actually adjusted it or not. Note that the mere act of ACTIVATING a virtual function can cause
a sudden and unintentional shift, such as the signal suddenly appearing only on the left side. This imbalance will
remain until the virtual fader and/or balance functions are successfully readjusted and the function times out.
|I'm Hearing Engine Noise, Alternator Noise, etc. Through my Converted Radio
This can be the case ANY time a different radio is installed into a car - and your converted radio is indeed a completely
NEW and different radio on the inside. It's not a fault of the radio OR the car, it's simply a combination of two devices
that have a little trouble getting along peacefully. Noise suppression devices are widely available, and no single type
of suppressor can suppress all types of noise. It is recommended to frequent the many classic car related online
forums for ides on which suppression device(s) have successfully been used with your make and model of car.
PLEASE NOTE that two identical car models with identical options may STILL respond differently to the same
measures used to reduce or eliminate external noise sources. It's more trial-and-error than science in most cases.
|My FM Was Working Great Yesterday - Today, Nothing at All
Try moving the tuning dial very slowly in both directions. Chances are that the signal has simply shifted slightly
outside of the tuner's new lock-in range. You'll notice that you don't get the usual fade-in and fade-out when tuning
on the FM band - the signals instead "pop in" and "pop out" and zero-center tuning is more critical for stable lock.
|After Using the AUX IN Function, Now the Radio Won't Come Back On by Itself
Your radio is set up for VOX operation when using the AUX IN feature. VOX stands for "Voice Operated Switch",
which means it automatically activates and deactivates depending on the presence or absence of audio at the AUX
IN connector. To prevent the unit from constantly switching back and forth between songs are during quieter music
passages, the VOX is set to keep the connection active for 20 seconds after removal of the external AUX signal.
During this 20 second delay, there is complete silence. During this delay, AVOID THE TEMPTATION to crank up
the volume and listen for clues - because when the radio does come back on, it will scare the heck out of you!
If the 20 second delay is bothersome, it is easily cancelled by cycling the power. Note that I always wire the 8 track
section to manually force the AUX function (also used for the 8 track), thus NOT imposing this delay after use.
|I Can Activate the Bluetooth Function, But My Radio Will Not Pair With My Device
Chances are that the Bluetooth antenna is not picking up your portable device. On most conversions, I cut a hole in
the bottom of the radio to eliminate the ground-shielding barrier and allow for as much "line of sight" communication
as possible. Thus, there must be a relatively clear, nonmetallic path available between your radio and device. In some
cases it may be necessary to extend the Bluetooth module outside of the radio for better reception, which requires
a short hand-built wiring harness, a separate plastic enclosure and incurs a substantial extra charge.
|When Using the AUX Input, I Get Static Noise and Frequent Signal Dropout
Congratulations, you are the most recent victim of the public's tendency to shop for price and small size instead of
quality. The type of connector used more and more for modern audio equipment - that is, the 3.5 mm stereo phone jack
- is one of the worst and most unreliable connectors ever developed for audio signal transfer. Its physical size does
not allow for enough actual contact area or strong enough springs to keep the connectors held tightly together, and
virtually EVERY 3.5 mm stereo phone jack out there will eventually develop noise and intermittent operation.
Because of these design limitations and the certainly of eventual failure, I do not charge anything to add the connector
so that I don't have to put a warranty on it. Additionally, I will only install this type of jack where it can easily be
replaced by a local technician or anyone confident with somewhat fine soldering skills. The standard 3.5 mm stereo
phone jack is widely available - unfortunately. UPDATE: I NO LONGER INSTALL THIS TYPE OF JACK. I WILL NOW
ONLY INSTALL RCA CONNECTORS, AND AN ADAPTOR CABLE WILL BE NEEDED TO CONVERT THE RCA JACKS
TO THE ROUND 3.5 MM TYPE CONNECTOR - EITHER MALE OR FEMALE DEPENDING ON CUSTOMER'S CHOICE.
And it's only going to get worse, as I hear that Apple is developing an even SMALLER connector to make their cell
phone thinner. Let's just hope that the security of this great nation is not dependent on these new and precarious
technologies. I can only speak for the Aviation industry, and this connector is NEVER, EVER used in airplanes.
Here is how you can restore a good connection: Hold a small piece of VERY FINE sandpaper in one hand, then
twist the male plug inside the sandpaper to rough it up a bit. Then, coat the plug with WD-40. Insert the plug into the
jack and remove it quickly, several times in succession. The radial rough pattern you created on the plug now
becomes an abrasive tool with which to clean the jack by inserting and removing the plug several times.
For the record, the 3.5 mm stereo phone jack is simply an extremely poor connector - and there's no true cure.
|I Have My Converted Radio Connected to a Super-Sound Model XXX-70, One of Those Huge
Power Amps Mounted in the Truck With 4 Inch Lag Bolts, Plus a Super-Duper 4 Channel, 31
Band Equalizer, Noise Gates, Stiffening Capacitors, 7 Different AUX Inputs (not including my
CD player and Satellite Receiver), Reverbs, Compressors, Electronic Crossovers, etc.
I worked on this system for 6 months, spent tons of money - and the radio doesn't work - I'm
very disappointed and upset with your service.
Hey genius, try just the radio without all the other junk connected - the RADIO is all I'm responsible for.
|Call 928-533-9666 (Paying Repair Jobs ONLY)
|DO NOT CALL FOR BELTS, PARTS OR FREE REPAIR ADVICE!
|NOTE: Separate radio/8 track systems require a ground wire connecting their chassis' together. Do not
depend on built-in grounds in the car wiring as this can create a "ground loop", hindering performance.
|Actual diagrams (in color) also showing different speaker arrangements can be found HERE
|THE IMPORTANCE OF PACKING YOUR UNIT MY WAY, AND THE PENALTY FOR NONCOMPLIANCE - CLICK HERE
|The very first step towards solving any problems is to READ THE INCLUDED PAPERWORK very
thoroughly and WATCH THE INCLUDED DEMONSTRATION DVD. I didn't spend an extra hour of
precious shop time creating this stuff for fun, or to show off my typing skill and video equipment.
It is all there to show exactly how to connect your newly converted radio, how to use all the new
functions, and most importantly - to prove beyond any doubt that the unit itself is working fine.
Often , there will be special notes that pertain to ONLY your particular unit that you must know in
order to use it effectively. One call I do not welcome is from a customer who says his radio is not
working correctly - when he hasn't even read the paperwork or watched the included demo DVD !
|DO NOT call to report a problem UNTIL you have read ALL paperwork and watched your demo DVD.
DO NOT send your unit back UNTIL you have contacted me to make sure it is necessary.
DO NOT SEND BACK ANY UNITS THAT ARE NOT PACKED PER THE INSTRUCTIONS ON MY "PACKING"
PAGE. REMEMBER THAT YOU AGREED IN WRITING THAT ALL WARRANTIES ARE VOID IF YOUR UNIT
ARRIVES WITH A DAMAGED CONTROL FROM IMPROPER PACKING METHODS. IF A RETURNED UNIT
IS FOUND TO HAVE NO FAULTS, THERE WILL BE A MINIMUM CHARGE OF $50 PLUS RETURN SHIPPING .
|During Hands-Free Phone Use on the Bluetooth Function, the Other Party Can't Understand
What I'm Saying - My Voice is Garbled or Muffled
You probably need to plug in the external Bluetooth microphone and attach it to your visor, or somewhere else close
to your mouth. The built-in Bluetooth mic can pick up mechanical vibration, and / or be mounted in a less-than-ideal
location inside your radio, such as behind the tuner buttons where it cannot pick up your voice except by reflection.
Unless there is a hole where the built-in Bluetooth mic is located, it cannot pick up any sound directly. Note that the
acoustics of your passenger compartment also come into play if the microphone is not directly in front of your mouth.