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Bizarre EF radio problem 

 

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 Post subject: Bizarre EF radio problem
Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:17 pm 
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OK here goes: Just recently (like, in the last 5 days - 1 week or so) the radio in my EF Fairmont (stock mid series set up) has started acting wierd. It'll turn on, look as though it's playing something (whether it be the radio or a CD. Haven't tested the tape player as I don't have any tapes but I suspect it'll be the same too) but no sound will come out of the speakers. It's not just one or two, it's all four of them. It's almost as if some kind of muting has been triggered but I was under the impression only ELs and up had anything like that. Any ideas on what may be causing it or how to fix it?

 

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Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 10:28 pm 
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what is showing on the display?

 

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Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 1:22 am 
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Nothing out of the ordinary at all. The radio will still wind the aerial up, display the frequency of the tuned station and even pop up the little ST indicator to show it's got a stereo signal, the CD player will still go through all the motions of loading and starting a CD, display the track no. etc. As I said, apart from the fact that I get no sound everything appears to be working perfectly, it's weird.

 

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Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 1:24 am 
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internal amplifier blown?

disconnect speakers to see if there is a short circuit anywhere that is making the H/U cutout.

good excuse to buy a new unit :)

 

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Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 3:12 am 
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Possibly, but I'd expect that if that were the case I'd still get *some* audio as the probability of both internal amps (or all four depending on just how its wired internally) blowing at exactly the same time is almost nil. I'd rather it not be the head unit itself as I don't really have the money to replace it :(

 

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Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 4:54 am 
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a simple test to find out if the output chips are working and to find out if the pre amps are ok is to open the HU, just the bottom plate has to come off. the output chips should be mounted at the back or sides. next thing is to dampen your finger by licking it (this is perfectly safe for you and the HU) next thing to do is whith the HU on and volume at a moderate level with speakers connected run the moistened finger over the pins of the output chip, this should make a buzzing niose through the speakers. if it does its the pre amp gone or further back. if there is no buzz and speakers test ok its either blown chips or no rail voltage.
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Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 4:56 am 
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one more thing to check before that test is for dry/broken solder joints around the output chips, they are prone to breaking from the expansion and contraction due to the heat the chips generate.
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Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:23 pm 
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Lack of voltage to the amp could be a possibility, it's the only thing that would be common to all four channels. Is there any other way of checking it besides pulling it out of the fascia? I still have bitter memories of trying to remove the radio from my old Corona...

 

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Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:55 pm 
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if it was a lack of power to the HU it would chop in and out on the display. Do you have the system with a seperate power amp in the boot?
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Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:57 pm 
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The HU is simple to remove so if it does come to replacing it theres no need to stress!!
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Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 2:50 am 
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joolz wrote:
if it was a lack of power to the HU it would chop in and out on the display. Do you have the system with a seperate power amp in the boot?


Nah, nothing fancy like that. I was referring more to the power circuitry for the amp which, even for a factory unit, would be seperate from what powers the rest of it.

In the event I need a new H/U, what's the cheapest Alpine unit worth?

 

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Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:39 pm 
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it is seperate to what powers the rest of the unit but as i said earlier its a matter of testing to narrow it down. if you dont know much about repairing audio equipment i would either take to a tech or look into a better HU with mp3 if you like a large selection of tracks without changing discs.
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Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:38 pm 
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I put an Alpine MP3/CD stacker in it shortly after I bought it so it's already capable of playing MP3s. If I have to replace the H/U then I'm forced to buy Alpine unless I want to replace the changer. I'd rather not have to replace the H/U because the current generation of Alpines would look butt-ugly on the dark grey interior of the EF :(

 

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Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 1:30 am 
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i know what ur saying alot of the pioneer dont match at all and i didnt even bother with sony!! i went for jvc, its a darker metalic silver with red lights. matches quite well but ur not in the market for a new player (yet!!!) ill post some pics soon to give you an idea.
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Posted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 5:12 am 
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Well I went home for the long weekend and took the oppurtunity to pull my head unit out and try it in my folks GLi. It played up there too :(

I'm not sure exactly just how to proceed at this point. I can try and get the factory unit repaired which will cost a minimum of 45 bucks or replace it with a completely new one. My gut says the latter is probably the best long-term solution but my wallet says may be the former would be better, I just don't know.

 

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