Toyota RAV4 Forums banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts
J

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Yo, All, :)

I've got a 2005 "L" with the 6-spkr AM/FM/CD double-DIN unit. I've just purchased an in-line antenna signal amplifier: the wire from the antenna plugs into the amp and the amp then plugs into the radio. However, this active amp also requires +12V. Where do I find the wire and how do I tap into it?

I've already pulled the stereo, but I'm not sure what to do next. Could anybody help?

---Jason

P.S. - I also dropped one of the stereo's anchor screws down into the console. Any idea of how to get the blasted thing out??? Please?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
986 Posts
The easiest way to do it without destroying the wiring harness is to tap into the lead for the cigarette lighter under the stereo with a t-connector. It is ignition switched so it will turn on and off with the car. If you pull out the glove box it should give you enough room to reach your hand around and work with the lighter socket.

I've run enough of my own wiring throughout my Rav so I rarely ever have to tap into the harnesses when I add stuff. But then again what is easy for me may not be easy for you to do.

By the way, I've dropped about a dozen of the stereo screws/bolts into the dash and vents over the years, and they are not easy to get out. I just leave them wherever they fall and pick up some new ones. If your setup is the same as mine, with the two hex bolts on each side of the unit, the bolts are 10mm and can be found at any hardware store.
 
T

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
ya becareful with the screws it took me 30 min to install the radio and another 30 min trying to get the screws that fell behind the dash.... you have no idea how painful it is... there's like a black hole in the back of your radio deck...
 
J

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Got 'em!

Yo, Ultima, :)

ultima16888 said:
ya becareful with the screws it took me 30 min to install the radio and another 30 min trying to get the screws that fell behind the dash.... you have no idea how painful it is... there's like a black hole in the back of your radio deck...
Whew, I got it! I unscrewed the passenger-side lower console panel (next to the passenger's left foot) and out fell the screw! Dumb luck!!!

---Jason
 
J

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Got amp installed, but...

Yo, Guys, :)

Well, thanks to your advice I got the stereo pulled. And Jeff, I tried to fiddle with the cigarette-lighter wires (I assume you meant the red one?). I've never seen a T-connector before; I didn't have the equipment, so I gave up.

I drove down to my local Pacific Stereo (Fremont, CA) and paid them an outrageous $30 to just tap the 12V line. I mean, I did everything else. Ah, well, ignorance = $$$. ::sigh::

However, it didn't do anything for the quality of my reception! I mean, nuthin'. I couldn't tell the difference at all. I've still got a lot of noise on one channel (91.7) and occasional bursts of mild noise on another (88.5). Frustrating!

Two things: Any chance they blew the tap? Here are some pictures of the wiring harness and how they connected up to it.

Before the tap. This is the wiring harness and the three connection headers that go in to the radio. The left-most header mates to the right-most connector on the back of the radio. This is from where the tap comes (the greyish blue wire four in from the left).

full size

After the tap. Same harness but connected to the stereo and showing the amp on the left ("OLIMPUS"), and the tap on the greyish blue wire. The tap wire connects to the right-most header (when viewed from the back of the stereo) on the bottom right side.

full size

Any chance they tapped the wrong wire? I don't have any equipment to test the wire for voltage.

I'm wondering if the only real option I have is to somehow get the antenna higher. I don't really want to cut into my new baby - any way I could get a longer antenna? Would that even do me any good? Is the length of the antenna conductor fixed in some way? (I ask because LoCustom talks about 14' of antenna being "standard.")

Thanks for any advice.

---Jason
 
J

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
the grey wire should be 12v accessory....so it only reads 12v when the key in on accessory position. the blue with yellow is 12v all the time.
 
T

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
just a note the radio is going to suck anyways... i have a pioneer unit with "super tuner" and i can't hear anything super when it comes to any radio station... so I end up ignoring the FM AM and even took off my antenna and replace it with a better looking short stub...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
986 Posts
Amplifiers don't work well if you start out with crappy reception in the first place, they only take a decent signal and make it better, so if it starts out with crap it just makes it more amplified crap. You should try upgrading the antenna like Stelly and Derek did if the reception is really that bad.

I've worked with various signal amplifiers/boosters over the years for various applications, including AM/FM, TV/CATV, VHF/UHF radio, audio/video and wireless network types, and overall have gotten mixed results. The goal of any amplifier/booster is to take a decent or slightly weak signal and boost it up to overcome interference and effective range.

Put it this way- suppose you have a decent sized house with 4 televisions that have wired cable TV. Since the house is fairly large, the cables that run from the junction box to each TV set are long, and you find that since the cable runs are long, the reception quality is somewhat degraded at each TV set. The solution is not to put an amplifier at each TV set, but to put one in the junction box at the start of the cable runs, where the reception is still good. This way you boost the decent signal so it can overcome the effects of the long cable run.

There is a natural amount of electrical interference created by the vehicle itself, which cannot be easily corrected, although usually this interference is so minor that most people don't notice it. I suggest you upgrade your antenna, and put it on the back of the vehicle where it is farther from the engine. That's what I'm planning on doing eventually.
 
J

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks!

Yo, Jen, :)

jen said:
the grey wire should be 12v accessory....so it only reads 12v when the key in on accessory position. the blue with yellow is 12v all the time.
Ja, that's what they told me at PS. Just never hurts to have independent verification! Thanks!

---Jason
 
J

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Rats!

Yo, Ultima, :/

ultima16888 said:
just a note the radio is going to suck anyways... i have a pioneer unit with "super tuner" and i can't hear anything super when it comes to any radio station... so I end up ignoring the FM AM and even took off my antenna and replace it with a better looking short stub...
That bites, dude. Any idea why the reception is so poor?

BTW, there's too much I listen to on traditional radio - I don't want to give up on it!

---Jason
 
J

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Yo, Jeff, :)

Jeff said:
Amplifiers don't work well if you start out with crappy reception in the first place, they only take a decent signal and make it better, so if it starts out with crap it just makes it more amplified crap. You should try upgrading the antenna like Stelly and Derek did if the reception is really that bad.
Yeah, I'll probably end up doing that. However, I guarantee you I can't do the work. No-way, no-how is Mr. "What's a T-tap?" going to cut into his roof. ::sigh:: I assume I'd look for a reputable body guy, or I wonder if I should just stay with Pacific Stereo...?

jeff said:
I've worked with various signal amplifiers/boosters over the years for various applications, including AM/FM, TV/CATV, VHF/UHF radio, audio/video and wireless network types, and overall have gotten mixed results. The goal of any amplifier/booster is to take a decent or slightly weak signal and boost it up to overcome interference and effective range.

Put it this way- suppose you have a decent sized house with 4 televisions that have wired cable TV. Since the house is fairly large, the cables that run from the junction box to each TV set are long, and you find that since the cable runs are long, the reception quality is somewhat degraded at each TV set. The solution is not to put an amplifier at each TV set, but to put one in the junction box at the start of the cable runs, where the reception is still good. This way you boost the decent signal so it can overcome the effects of the long cable run.
Right-o. The problem is that, in my case, I'd have to boost the radio station's signal strength! Shucks, I don't donate that much to my NPR station!!

jeff said:
There is a natural amount of electrical interference created by the vehicle itself, which cannot be easily corrected, although usually this interference is so minor that most people don't notice it. I suggest you upgrade your antenna, and put it on the back of the vehicle where it is farther from the engine. That's what I'm planning on doing eventually.
Yeah, that's what I'm figuring. Plus, it'd get more height, theoretically improving reception. Ugh, ugh, ugh. Probably gonna be a couple hundred bucks if I pay somebody to do it...

Thanks for the advice and commiseration. This is sort of like my "gotta have it" NAV/GPS unit: "gotta" devolves to "would be cool" given the cost of said unit... :/

---Jason
 
P

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Re: Got amp installed, but...

jasontiller said:
Yo, Guys, :)
fiddle with the cigarette-lighter wires (I assume you meant the red one?).
---Jason
Jason, just to be on the safe side make sure that +12V is going into your signal amp. TO do this head down to your local electronics store and buy a cheapie multimeter for $10 (trust me this is a very useful investment).

Then switch the multimter to DC Voltage plonk the red wire into the wire tap and the negative (black) to any metal piece on your chassis. If the wire tap is good then your multimeter should read +12V.

Have to agree with Jeff's statements on amp's, they just amplify the signal so if you have a crappy signal you are not going to get a better signal. Your only option is to relocate the antenna or upgrade to a better antenna.

One possible way in which you can reduce electrical interference in your RAV is to install a grounding wire kit, im told this does wonders to the sound quality of your car audio, im not sure if it will improve your radio signal but its something worthwhile doing as it gives a fair bit of overall improvement. Plus it doesnt void your warranty.

If you are having dramas send us a pic of your multimeter and ill tell you what setting to use to check the +12V.
 
J

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
DMM - check

Yo, Dude, :)

praveen said:
Jason, just to be on the safe side make sure that +12V is going into your signal amp. TO do this head down to your local electronics store and buy a cheapie multimeter for $10 (trust me this is a very useful investment).

Then switch the multimter to DC Voltage plonk the red wire into the wire tap and the negative (black) to any metal piece on your chassis. If the wire tap is good then your multimeter should read +12V.
Yeah, I'll do this. I haven't had a DMM in a long time. My B.S. was in Electronics Engineering (like an EE, but without the theory...), so I should be able to handle it! :) Of course, I've done software ever since entering the "real" world...

OK, I'll stop being lazy and pick one up. Let you know what my readings look like.

Thanks for the suggestion!

praveen said:
One possible way in which you can reduce electrical interference in your RAV is to install a grounding wire kit, im told this does wonders to the sound quality of your car audio, im not sure if it will improve your radio signal but its something worthwhile doing as it gives a fair bit of overall improvement. Plus it doesnt void your warranty.
Have you tried this? I'll take a look and see what kind of installation is required. This might indeed help.


---Jason
 
P

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Re: DMM - check

jasontiller said:
Have you tried this? I'll take a look and see what kind of installation is required. This might indeed help.
---Jason
Yo :) great to see a fellow EE .Eng, im one too :D As for the real world I am a Control SystemS Eng. so I do a good mix of software and hardware troubleshooting so still got the touch 8)

Well since you did EE then im sure you will understand the principle where a noise spike finds the fastest way to earth, and this is what the grounding kit does. You just give the noise spikes a faster way to earth so they dont have to travel through a higher resistance path (ie through your car audio). I haven't tried this myself, but most guys who I have spoken to say that it does work :) well the principle behind its operation seems a resonable one from an engineering point of view :p
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top