Adding a stereo amplifier will let you experience high-quality sound reproduction in your vehicle. It also enhances the soundstage while letting you play music louder. If you’re a DIY enthusiast, upgrading the car stereo on your own offers a great opportunity to understand how the sound system works and develop new skills for future upgrades.
However, installing a new amplifier can be challenging if your amplifier kit does not include a remote wire. The remote wire, or simply the turn on wire, is the cable that signals your amplifier to “wake up” whenever the head unit or the car is turned on. Basically, this wire saves the user the hassle of having to turn the amplifier on/off manually every single time.
So what happens when your factory stereo does not have a remote wire? Can I turn on the amp without a remote wire? In this guide, we take a look at what it takes to turn on a car stereo amplifier without the remote wire.
How to turn on amp without remote wire
Before you get started, you’ll need to gather all the supplies and the necessary wiring. Often, amplifiers do not come with any wiring, and as such, you may want to acquire the amp wiring kit. The kit will include;
- Power cable
- Ground wire
- Speakers wires
You may also want to identify a suitable location to install the amplifier. Ideally, amplifiers produce a lot of heat so you may want to mount yours somewhere with adequate ventilation. Also, be sure to disconnect the battery to protect yourself and the amplifier during the installation process. After you’re sure that everything is in place, you can now use any of the following methods to turn on your car amp without a remote wire;
Tapping into your car’s fuse box
One of the best and easiest ways to turn on an amplifier in your vehicle is to get a turn-on signal from your car itself. This method lets you improvise remote wire for amplifier by tapping into your car’s fuse box. Ideally, this method works by incorporating a fused circuit into your stock radio neatly and safely.
All you need to do is to insert the fuse along your car’s remote wire path. You can easily achieve this by stripping a wire and joining it to the fuse. The fuse will act as the amp remote wire switch, which will be responsible for switching your amplifier on and off.
However, before you connect the wire to the fuse box, make sure to use a multimeter to ensure that the fuse sends signals only after keying in the ignition. In other words, the amplifier will automatically turn on upon turning on the ignition, and consequently go off when you remove the key.
Using module trigger
The second method you can use to turn on an amplifier without a remote wire is by utilizing a module trigger. A trigger is a special device that allows you to power on and off multiple stereo components simultaneously. Most trigger kits are effortless to set up, plus you can use one unit to connect multiple components.
Once connected the trigger module gadget will detect the voltage level of your speaker cables and send signals to the amplifier to turn on. The best part yet, the trigger module gadget support any speaker wire, including low-level speaker cables.
Using a LOC (Line Output Converter)
A line output converter is sometimes referred to as a high/low converter, speaker input adapter, or simply a LOC. A line output converter is a form of RCA speaker adapter, whose function is to convert high-level inputs to preamps signals that can be accepted by the amplifier. Now, in case of a car amp remote wire bypass, the LOC will automatically detect when the head unit or car is turned on. The converter will then send a signal to the amplifier making it turn on automatically.
Similarly, the lock will let the amplifier know when to go off, which will prevent it from draining the battery. If the amplifier is left to run non-stop, it will drain out your battery in no time. Alternatively, you can opt to get an amplifier with an inbuilt adapter and remote knob, which allows you to adjust the amplifier’s settings independent of the car stereo.
Tapping into the car’s electrical system
As we have already mentioned most factory and aftermarket stereo systems don’t include the remote turn on wire, but this doesn’t limit you from turning your on/off automatically. If you’re still not satisfied with the three methods that we have already detailed, you can try the last method that entails tapping into the existing electrical system.
The easiest way to do this is by connecting the amplifier’s remote terminal to the car’s electrical part that is only powered when the key is in ON or accessory position. This means that your amplifier will only turn on when the car is turned on and immediately goes off when the car is switched off. The moment you turn the car off the connection loses power prompting both the head unit and the amplifier to shut down.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is the remote wire necessary?
Yes. A remote turn on wire is necessary for you to turn the car stereo amplifier on and off, but this doesn’t mean it can work without one. You can use any of the above four methods to power and turn on and off your amplifier
Q: Can I use any speaker wire for the remote wiring?
Yes. You can use any speaker wire as a remote turn on wire provided that it is the right gauge and made of copper. Considering that a good number of speaker wires are made of copper, then you should not have a hard time getting the right wires for your remote wiring.
In most cases, aftermarket stereos don’t include the remote turn on wire, so is up to you to find a way for driving your amplifier. The remote turn on wire is a critical part of any car stereo, and its importance of speaks for itself. Fortunately, the wire is merely a signal path, meaning you can use any speaker wire to serve the purpose.