Amplifier keeps cutting off....any ideas why??

 

i have a couple of questions:
1. i purchased a used Alpine 3555 amplifier and connected it to my car's Blaupunkt head unit and a set of 6x9 Infinity speakers. the amp powers the speakers for 10 - 15 minutes before it starts cutting off. it cuts off and then will cut back on for a second or 2 before cutting off again. when i feel the amp, it does not feel hot at all...bareley even warm. so it does not seem as though it is overheating. i am sure the wiring is correct, as it is pretty straight forward. the power lead is fused within inches of the battery and the ground wire is solidly connected to the metal car body only inches from the amp. any ideas as to why the amp starts shutting down??
my Blaupunkt head unit is rated at about 55 watts per channel @ 4 ohm. which leads to my 2nd question...
2. since my head unit is 57.5 watts per channel....do i gain ANYTHING by putting in an amplifier that is anything less then 57.5 watts per channel?
 

Steve
Yes, you would gain something by putting an amplifier that is less than 57.5 watts/channel. The rated wattage for your deck is max and is usually not accurate. Futhermore, your deck will have a considerably higher level of distortion than any half decent amplifier. Amplifiers that are rated at 50/channel are more like 75-100 max(orion, jl, ppi, etc).

No idea about what is wrong with your amplifier? If the wiring is correct and the amp is not hot I would not know. I would guess an internal capacitor in the amp, but as I said, no clue. Good luck
 

who like to buy an ALPINE 3555 Amplifier with ALPINE 7980M 3D Shuttle including ALPINE Tuner Unit and maybe a JBL 3Way Soundsystem:

ALPINE 7980M 3D SHUTTLE
3xCompact Disc Changer including
ALPINE PLL SYNTHESIZED FM/MW/LW TUNER UNIT 7980M (2 rear-line-out, 2 front-line-out and 1 head-unit, all in gold), Wireless Remote Control Unit 4380, 3x 4907-CD-Magazines
ALPINE 3555 4/3/2-CHANNEL POWER AMPIFIER
Size: 263x55x300 mm (BxHxL) 4 kg
Maxgain: 200W / 4Ohm

JBL 3Way Sound System
PX3 Passive Crossover Network
Bass:
Model TC81
Automotive Subwoofer
Size: 200mm
Impedance: 4 ohms
Power Rating: 100 watts
continuous program
Middle:
Model TC50
Automotive Loudspeaker
Impedance: 4 ohms
Power Rating: 60 watts
RMS, 120 watts peak
Hight:
Model TC25
Impedance: 4 ohms
Power Rating: 60 watts
RMS, 120 watts peak
 

Roger, I have an alpine 3543 (very similar) and have some ideas for you. First, I hope you're not feeding that 57.5 watts from your head unit into the RCA input of your Alpine. If your head unit does not have RCA outputs, go buy a hi-low level converter. You can and will destroy your amp without the proper input signal. Due to the fact that your amp is shutting off quickly...like it is getting too hot but it's cool to the touch this sounds like too much input voltage. If not, and you do have the proper input signal read on.


First, the simple stuff.. have you checked all around the speaker wire connectors to make sure that there isn't a stray strand of wire shorting to the chassis? Next, pull the fuse to the power lead and disconnect the speaker leads. Put an ohm meter on the speaker wires and check the impedence on all channels. They should be nearly identical and between 2 and 16 ohms. If all still seems good, do an impedence check across the + and - of each channel. Everything should be even. If all still seems good, pull the back cover plates and make sure all the MOSFETS are secured to the heat sink. They should have a teflon tape type stuff between them and the heatsink, there should be NO gap...some are screwed to the chassis but they have to be tight to transfer heat. Look around for frayed or burned wires/components. If you see anything odd, drop me an email and explain it. Be sure to check the soldered connections from the chassis connectors (speaker wires, power wires..) to the board. if any seem loose, they need to be re soldered to the board.

These amps typically exist in an environment of insane vibration. Things get knocked lose and connections fail...it's a part of life. You happen to own a very high quality amp, it takes more than a little shakin' to hurt an Alpine.
 

I have similar problems with my 2 alpine amps. I have a 3552 (30x4) and a 3554 (50x4) model. Both are similar in age with a birthday of 1992 or so. This problem is driving me crazy because I actually troubleshoot some electronic equipment for a living (although not usually on such a small scale). It seems that I have tried everything possible to get these things working properly without tracking down the insanely hard to find schematics. It's the saddest thing because the sound I get when they are working is superrior to any of the amps I have ever owned.

Tests:

Wiring:
I have replaced both amps in the car environment with a Rockford Fosgate Punch 150 and a Punch 30 to rule out wiring problems and have absolutely no dropouts or malfunctions with the Rockford equipment.

Bench Tests:
I have extracted the boards on both amps several times to check and re-solder the connections to no avail. Of course they run for hours without a single blip on the bench. I have even brought a car battery in to test them at full amperage with no problems. Even beating on them does not cause a problem. My next step may be a seperate battery test while driving but I really don't think this is the root of the problem.

Electrical System:
Voltage in the car circuit is steady at 11.97v to 12.2v during the dropouts even without ignition. The power up circuit seems steady as well. I have even used battery power to energize the power up circuit with the same dropouts. I haven't checked the voltage while driving yet as the amps seem to act the same way while the engine is not running.

history:
On both amps the problem seemed to start the same way about a year ago with just one side of the amp shutting down. It took extra volume from the head unit (Alpine 7903) to bring the effected side back on and it would run fine for a while. Seemed to happen on the same tracts of road durring my commute to work so this could be either the temperature at that point in my trip or the terrain of the roadway causing vibrations...

Heat & Vibration?
It really seemed to be a vibration problem at first and still may be. What components could be sensitive to vibration like this? Some days you can beat on the amp without a dropout and other days a slight tap causes immideate problems hot or cold. This is especially frustrating because I have checked every solder trace with a magnifying glass and volt meter several times thinking I just missed the crack.

Protection circuitry?
Could the aging components of the protection circuit be causing problems? Of course I would have to find the components of the circuit without a schematic.

Don't really know where to go from here as the only way to track down the problem is to try and figure out what is happening in the circuits during the dropouts and that only happens when the amps are mounted on the speaker box in the trunk. It would be such a shame to replace good equipment.
 

I purchased one of the Alpine 3543 amplifiers the other day and I managed to hook it all up correctly so the light would turn to green, but am I hooking the remote wire correctly? I know there is a socket for some sort of two prong plug, but I ran the remote wire from my stereo into the top prong of the socket. Like I said, the amp turned on, but no sound came out of it. Can anyone help me out? I took the covers off of the back and everything appears to be fine. I know that all the wires I had running to the amplifier are good because they worked fine with the amp I had in the car.
 

Anonymous
Hey JHT, most likely your amps remote is a mechanical switch (relay) oppose to a transistorized switch. Try cleaning the connections on the relay, its hard to explain the effects between bass and you beating on it, but try that and if that dont do it then give me a shout at PimpinAudio@shaw.ca
 

Edgar
anybody interested on buying an alpine 3555 for $150? E-mail me if interested at definite@ureach.com
 

I recently bought a 3552 as well, and have had simliar problems, only at first, it only cut out once and a while, then it started getting worse. Now my amp wont put out any sound at all. It powers up fine, and all my wiring is fine. I have no clue what the problem could be. I have checked the circuit board multiple times for loose wires, however every time Icome up with nothing, any suggestions? anything is better than nothing.
thanx
 

Anonymous
I have a pioneer 45x4,an alpine 3555,and a set of subs at 200 watts each. i'm trying to get a set of 6x9's around the same wattage.Can anybody give me a idea if this good or not and if it is how should i connect them.
 

I recently bought a jeep wrangler with an alpine 3555 in it. It worked fine for about 2 weeks and then it started cutting out. It would play for a second, and then cut off for about 3 seconds, and so on. I was not given a manual for this amp. The light on the top of the amp stays red, I am not sure what this means as I have no material on it.
 

ANTHONYJ
WELL IT SOUNDS LIKE YOUR GROUND WIRE ISNT ON PROPERLY
 

mike t
I would think that also but it is grounded 6 inches from the amp to the body of the jeep. Im perplexed.
 

I used to have the same problem. Check all your power wires mess with them while its playin if it kicks on while you do that your power wire needs to be zip tied. If that aint it check your ground the best ground is in the chasis. Take some sand paper find a good ground scratch off the paint with the sand paper use a tap screw to screw the ground into the chasis. Thats all i can tell you hope it helps.
 

FOR ALL YOU GUYS HAVING TROUBLE WITH YOUR ALPINES: MINE DID THE SAME THING. I WAS BUMMED BADLY. I TRIED ALL OTHER AMPS AND NONE SOUNDED AS GOOD AS ALPINE. I TRIED TO TALK TO ONE OF THEIR TECHS, BUT NEVER COULD GET HOLD OF ONE. I WOULD LOVE TO GET IT REPAIRED BUT THEY WANT TOO MUCH (MTX, AND OTHERS REPAIR FOR FREE). I MAY HAVE CURED THE PROBS MYSELF (GOD WILLING). MY 3554 HAS A PLASTIC CONNECTOR FOR THE REMOTE (INSTEAD OF A SCREW LUG). I CLEANED THESE CONNECTOR CONNECTIONS AND SPREAD THEM WITH AN EXACTO KNIFE AND THE PROB SEEMS TO HAVE GONE AWAY. ONLY TIME WILL TELL! I THINK THEY GET A MEMORY AND STRETCH AND BECOME SLOPPY. MINE USED TO WORK O.K. ON THE HIGHWAY, BUT SOON AS I GOT ON THE BACKROADS, IT STARTED CUTTING OUT FOR 3SEC, COMING ON FOR A COUPLE, ETC. HOPE THIS HELPS. I ONLY WITH WE COULD GET THRU TO ALPINE AND SEE IF THEY COULD GET US NEW PLASTIC REMOTE LEADS OR FIX THE PROBLEM FOR US. I HAVE 4 OF THESE AMPS AND HOPE NOTHING IS SERIOUSLY WRONG. IT SEEMS LIKE IT WILL COST MORE TO FIX THEM THAN BUY NEW ONES. MAYBE WE CAN TALK THEM INTO FIXING THEM UNDER WARRANTY. LOL.
 

i have a black light that connects to the lighter outlet that i used to connect to my amplifier. i've already connected the light to the amp and it works fine but at times my amp won't push the bass and the light goes out. then the amp and light goes back on as if the amp needs to cool off. do i need a fuse? if so what amperage?
how do i know what kind of fuse to use on other accessories?
 

motoman22
sc, don't power an amp by pig-tailing it with a black light plugged into the lighter socket.

Nice try but go buy the right cable and install the amp properly. If you don't know how, pay someone who does.
 

teflondog
hey sc, listen to motoman. hooking up an amp to the lighter socket is just asking for trouble. just by doing that, i believe that it's not a good idea for you to be installing car audio. go to a pro.
 

Anonymous
I got a kenwood amp, it works when the car is first started but cuts on and off, most of the time it'll cut on and off when i hit a bump, is it that it is not grounded well enough?
 

teflondog
make sure all the power and ground wires are secure. if that's not the problem, then it might be your headunit. i had the same problem once (when i was a teen) and i blamed my whole system, but then later realized that the only reason that it cut off and on was because the cd was skipping. my receiver didn't have any anti-skip features so when i hit bumps, it would skip. it was a cheap deck and i replaced it.
 

BassFreak
Hi all,
I have a MTX 1502 300watts @14volt. but it shut off after awhile. here is what I found out. I am running the AMP into a 2 ohm speaker( Rockford fosgate Punch HX 12 inch).. so that makes my Amp runs a little hotter.. and finally when it gets hot enough,it shut itself off.
 

...so what is your question?
 

teflondog
lol. i agree derek. what is his question?
 

motoman22
BassFreak, I don't think your amp is stable at 2-ohm mono. This would be the first thing to check.

If your sub is a dual voice coil (4-ohm each coil) that you have running parallel to your amp in mono mode (single 2-ohm load) try this:

Set your amp to stereo mode, run each voice coil of the sub to it's own channel on the amp (make darn sure you're not out of phase,) and set the signal from your crossover to MONO. This will make sure each channel of the amp gets the same signal and the voice coils on the sub work the same movement at the same time. You won't have quite as much power but your amp shouldn't shut off on you.

...or get another 1502 and mono one to each voice coil. That would be cool :c)
 

Anonymous
the left channel cuts off when i go over bumps and cuts back on when i go over another bump. The right channel works fine and it's all hooked up the same. Why does it cut off and on on one side only?
 

tomatoman
Anynomous, you have an intermittent bad connection...probably on an RCA plug.

Park the car, turn on the system, wiggle wires one by one. When you find the bad one, fix it.
 

teflondog
i had the same problem once. you better replace that rca cable immediately if it's not working right because bad rca's can blow the channel on the amp or the deck after prolonged use.
 

Hi Y'all,
I have an Alpine 3555 and have it currently running on the bench. It works great, with good quality sound. It's running into 2x4 Ohm AWA speakers . The problem is... It gets hot! Not quickly, but over a period of aprox' 2 hours it will be almost untouchable and will cut out. Any ideas why this is happening? All help most appreciated... Thanks... Geoff.
 

I was wandering if anyone had a dead Alpine 3555 with a decent heatsink that they might wanna get rid of. I have two functional 3555s and would like to make an amp bridge out of the old carcass of another one. Lemme know. Thanks.
 

I have never hooked up an amp before. I have 2 pioneer 450W TSw29C 10" Subs and a alpine 3552 4/3/2. I was planning on installing this myself, i understand how power works and such but i was not sure how i would exactly set this up. I have a pioneer DEH-3500 50x4W and i just wanted the amp for the subs. Is there a special way to set up the amp? If somebody could help me, i would greatly appreciate it. I'll check back everyday, Thanks.
Jordan Ross
rossiboy_z@hotmail.com
 

teflondog
i don't usually explain this since it takes so damn long, but i'll make an exception this one time only. basically, an amp has 3 primary connections. the power, ground, and remote wire. the power wire goes directly to the + terminal on the battery, but make sure you have an inline fuse on that cable. the ground can be connected to any bare metal that contacts the chasis. the screw in your trunk is good. the remote wire connects to a wire on the back of the cd player. there should be a blue wire labeled antenae motor on the deck. it just dangles there and isn't connected to anything. strip it and connect the remote to this wire. when all that's done, connect the speaker wires to the subs and you're ready to go.
 

teflondog
i almost forgot...the rca wires connect to the back of the deck as well.
 

What does the remote do? And is there a special way to set up the amp to work specifically for 2 subs? Thank you very much for what you have told me so far, i have looked at www.alpine.com but they no longer have any information about my amp.
 

teflondog
the remote wire tells the amp when to turn on. when you turn on the cd player, it sends a small voltage to the amp so they both turn on at the same time. if you don't connect this wire, your amp won't turn on at all. how many times did i write "turn on"? :) how many channels does your amp have? i'll help you out.
 

Andrei
Hallow, guys, I am from Russia. I am offered now an Alpine 3555 at $130. I think i'll take it. In connection with this i got 3 questions
first: how long to test it to understand wether it cuts off or not?
second: is this a really great piece of amplifier?
(sorry didn't want to hurt anybody)
third: what years were they when they were new, i.e. what is the year of origin for 3555?
 

Matt N.
Andrei, I would test the amp before I take it to make sure it fires up. If it goes green then you should be safe, but i would try running a signal through all the channels to make sure you get an output from the speakers.

I own two myself and they are wonderful amplifiers. As far as the age, I'm not sure myself. I know I have two that are slightly different in appearence (lettering and what not) so there must be a few years that they were produced, but I don't know what they are.

Happy Hunting :)
 

I am looking for an old 3554 for the same reason as the above listing,, to make a bridge,, does not have to be in great shape as i am painting it anyways to match my other one,, any help would be appreciated......
 

My 3543 has a plug thingy for the remote connection. I do not have a harness that plugs into this, so how would I go about hooking the remote up, as it has two wires..
 

motoman22
X, your 3543 has two 'connections' in the mod but only one has a wire in it..take a look, the other one is empty.

The correct way to fix this is to order a new plug from Alpine. If you want to solder a lead to the board and bypass the mod, that's up to you (I did with my 3543.) If you are going to ask how to solder a lead to the board, either take it to someone that knows how or buy the plug.
 

OK, thanks motoman22, we'll see how it goes..
I was having trouble with it turning on but no sound came out, the circuitry looks sound inside, but the connections on the outside were corroded, I polished them up witha dremel tool and we'll see if I can get any sound outta this baby in the morning..
 

motoman22
X, there is a green light on the top of your amp..about a 10mm square. If it lights up green, you should be golden; if it lights up orange the amp is going into protection mode; if it won't light up at all, it probably needs repaired.
 

X
It's green, just no sound.. :( I've tried adjusting the gain knob and such but still nothing, I know the wiring to the amp is good because I pulled another one out to put this one in..
 

I have two amplifiers in my trunk. One powers a subwoofer and the other is a 50 watt x2 that powers my 4" speakers in the back. Both stopped working. I check the power and both are getting 12 volts and the remote is fine. They are grounded in the trunk, which is also in good shape. If I remove the fuse in one of the amps then replace it the speakers will go on for 1 second then cut off again. Any ideas what is wrong?

kachud@hotmail.com
 

Yeah, I just brought an alpine 3552 for NZ $140, which is approx $70 US.

Is this a good deal, it works fine, I was just wondering on the WRMS value of it, bridged and in stereo... Thanks..
 

Hey I don't know as mush as most of the people that have posted on here, but I do know that my problem is driving me crazy!!! My damn amp keeps cutting in and out. Its a 760wtt amp powering two 12" subs I believe its a two channel. When I wiggle the fuse near the car battery for the amp it seems to cut back in and out. Like ij I hit a bump or round a corner a certain way it will do the same thing. I have made sure that its not the connection to the battery itself. Only when I wiggle the fuse and move it around. Can anyone give me an idea. I would say the fuse is about 6 or 7 inches away from the battery give or take an inch if that helps anyone. I appreciate any helpful hints.
 

New member
Username: Luvtwodrum

Post Number: 1
Registered: 12-2003
i also have an alpine 3555 and my light is orange, all my connections are good and everything is hooked up right, what do i do????
 

New member
Username: Motoman22

Post Number: 24
Registered: 12-2003
DSchrock, check the connections going into and out of the fuse holder, shoulds like one is loose. If that all checks out OK then replace the fuse and check for corrosion around where the fuse mounts. You've found the problem, that's the hard part..

Tyler, if the light is orange then the amp is turning off to protect itself from something. There are a multitude of circumstances that can cause this, did this just happen all of a sudden after working fine or have you just hooked up the amp and not had it working yet? Are you sure that none of your speakers is shorted out? Test this by disconnecting all wires in and out of the amp except the batt (+) and (-) and the remote turn on wire. If the amp still goes into protection then you most likely have an internal problem. If not then the problem is somewhere else in your system. Check the speakers...and the connections on each end.
 

New member
Username: Motoman22

Post Number: 25
Registered: 12-2003
Sam, Alpine's website is very helpful with this kind of question.

http://www.alpine1.com

Go there and click on the 'Tech Center' link. Sign up for a username and password (free) and go through the archives. You can download manuals, PDF files with all the specs, comparisons... really helpful site. Alpine quality goes beyond the actual device, their support is top-notch.
 

New member
Username: Luvtwodrum

Post Number: 2
Registered: 12-2003
yea i just hooked it up and it did that
 

New member
Username: Motoman22

Post Number: 31
Registered: 12-2003
Tyler, the amp may be broken. The protection light comes on when the amp senses a problem and refuses to power up...but when things go haywire they can go really haywire.

If it still goes into protection mode when you have no speaker wires or RCA cables hooked up to it, chances are that it's in need of repair.

The good: Alpine repairs pretty much any of their products regardless of age.
The bad: It isn't cheap. You may be better off buying a new amp.
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