Do It Yourself: Yes
Note: Not much DIY steps here coz I need it to be done quickly. It was race against the rainy weather.
It is about time my audio amplifier busted. It was due to dry joint developed throughout the years. Dry joint is a term to define any soldered contact point in any electrical PCB which no longer provides a good conductive point. Hence, in my case, the amp acted badly with sometime only one channel producing audio. Out of blue, the volume will skyrocket or pitfall.
The hunt for the replacement begun. To find a budget amplifier with good rating and specs and not something that you can find in the flea market is a bit hard. Forget about finding it in the audio or accessories shops, they definitely jack up the price. My only solution is to find an online sale and lucky me I found one. Price is within my budget and the specs is not that bad at all. The important feature is “High Level Inputs” or sometime referred as “Speaker Level Input”; I need this so I can hook up to my factory head unit (Peugeot Siemens VDO RD3) and it will be a walk in the park. Only change and setting up the amp and how hard it could be…
Bought this in less than RM500, ROC made alas, it has a good specs compare with Pioneer GM-6500F which I have been looking all this while before stumbled upon SoundStream. The unit is 4 channels, 320 watts (55RMS x 4; 160RMS x 2), variable crossover, high level input, bass boost (which I do not intent to use it) etc.
The installation was breeze. Remove the old amp, fix the new unit, reconnect all the wiring and tune the gain and frequency. But, I was wrong. I though its gonna be a 10 minutes job but end up I have to go back to the drawing board again. There was an alternator whining noise which is quite audible and it become louder as I increase the engine rev. It was not there when using the old one but somehow the replacement is quite sensitive to pick up the noise. Could it be the old one was Clarion hence it matched with the HU?
Another 30 minutes spent to find the culprit. Remove the high level input connection and turned the gain up. Revved the engine and the speaker was quiet as baby. This must be the HU… It took me one day to think about it. It is not because it is hard to do but I am at a crossroad whether to stick with original HU and beef up the ground connection (to eliminate the noise, but it won’t guarantee a total elimination) or replace the HU with an aftermarket but I will lose the steering control stalk.
Decision made and I will be going for the latter. I have two units of aftermarket HU from my previous rides. Kenwood KDC-MP6026 and KDC-MP436U. Manufactured in 2005 and 2007 respectively. Quite an old school items.
I preferred the MP6026 coz it has red key illumination color which will match with the rest of the dashboard lighting but I have to go with MP436U coz the former has issue with the detachable face panel.
Since I’m going to use the aftermarket HU, some changes in wiring are deem necessary to take the advantage provided by the new HU.
- The remote signal cable which is connected to cigarette lighter will be moved to HU. I will have a working lighter after 3 years disconnected to provide turn up / down signal to amp.
- The high level speaker cables will be replaced by low level RCA cables.
- Additional wiring which is tap to cigarette lighter to provide “illumination” control to HU. It will dim automatically when I switched on the light. Good when driving at night.
- Finally, the amp will be fixed rather than putting it on the boot floor.
Apart from the cost of the amp, some other things need to procure which roughly around RM70 consist of …
- A few feet of flexible plastic tubing in various sizes
- Cable ties in various length
- Cable clips
- Heatshrink tubing in various sizes
- Cable connectivity block
I am using my old RCA, audio cables and ISO antenna converter thus reducing some of the cost. Moreover, I have ISO harness converter which is a direct add on to fix the new HU and using the factory wiring. This will avoid cable cutting. Bear in mind, the ISO cable is following the ISO standard wiring pin out but Peugeot are not. They simply change the wiring pin out. Thus, some pin need to be relocated as per below list… (Only one of the block is affected, the speaker block (white color) is according to standard but I’m not going to use it anyway)
Peugeot Multiplex Pin Arrangement (Source)
- A1 – Tel Mute (not in use)
- A2 – VAN Data Bus (this is for BSI)
- A3 – VAN Data Bus
- A4 – + VAN Data (power for the BSI network?)
- A5 – Power for electric antenna (only provide +12V when HU in radio mode)
- A6 – +12V ignition
- A7 – +12V permanent
- A8 – Ground
ISO Pin Arrangement (Source)
- A1 – Speed signal
- A2 – Tel Mute
- A3 – Not connected
- A4 – +12V permanent
- A5 – Antenna motor
- A6 – Illumination
- A7 – +12 switched
- A8 – Ground
As you can see above the pin out arrangement is totally out. Usually, people will just swap A4 and A7 from ISO arrangement to solve the issue radio will not switch off when ignition is off, although it works but A4 from Peugeot is BSI + connection. It should be A4 and A7 (ISO) with A7 and A6 (Peugeot) respectively. Please exercise caution on this if you do not want to fry your BSI. Only A5, A6, A7 & A8 (Peugeot) is use in my conversion.
Finally, I can hear the wonderful, clean and clear sound after the conversion. Too much limitation and restriction from the under par factory HU. Next upgrade will be the HU, need to find Kenwood that can integrate the steering control stalk but not so soon. At the moment, looking at Google Maps trying to find the longest route for each destination hahhahaha.
Here are some pictures of the upgrade.
View from another angle; the MFD is now only showing date and time when there is no alert from the doors or temperature
I have updated related page on the amp calculation. The previous calculation was wrong. Look here if you like to setup your amp according to Ohm law method.