How do you bench test a head unit?

Discussion in 'Gen 1 & 2 - Electronics & Audio' started by JRA2000TL, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. JRA2000TL

    JRA2000TL The Complainer

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    I snagged a premium sound Ford am/fm cassette for my 90 today at the bone yard. How do I bench test the radio to see if it works before I install it in the car? I haven't picked up the car yet, so I want to make sure this one works. It should be a plug n' play since that's the type this car uses. I just want something temporary to listen to some tunes; plus, I use the cassette deck for the adapter to my mp3 player.

    I want to test the unit at home first to make sure it works.
     
  2. only1me

    only1me New Member

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    Those units are hard to find,I know I have one also. You can test it though if you have a power connector but if not you can still test it. I have done this myself on the back you can see the diagram. You have to touch the ground to the 3rd prong, and the hot to prongs 6 and 8, it will then power up.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. JRA2000TL

    JRA2000TL The Complainer

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    Only1me...can you give me further details/explanation? I am a moron when it comes to electronics. I heard you can use a car battery to somehow check it? I don't have the SHO yet and want to check it here at home somehow. Is there a step by step procedure on what I need to do? I don't want to go on a 7 hour return trip with no radio and if this one is no good, I can return it to the junkyard. If it's no good, they have plenty of standard Ford am/fm decks there but I figured I'd need this type because of that extra square plug for premium sound.
     
  4. only1me

    only1me New Member

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    yea you can use a car battery, well from the hot side of the battery you would need to run a wire to prong 6 and 8 on the connector above, and then from the ground side of the battery a wire to prong 3 on the same connector. Then all you have to do is press power and the unit should light right up and you can test all the buttons.Ive done this quite a few times with radios.(its the long rectangular connector 1st one shown)

    You wont be able to test the speaker outputs, because its a low level signal, but you will be able to make sure the unit powers up and all the buttons function properly.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2008
  5. JRA2000TL

    JRA2000TL The Complainer

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    Ok...I have a black and decker car battery charger. I heard somewhere that you can use these as well. I'm assuming I just plug the car charger into the wall then find 3 wires somewhere...connect 2 on the red (hot) "mini jumper cable" attached to the charger and then connect those 2 wires to prong 6 and 8. Then connect the 3rd wire from the negative "mini jumper cable" to prong 3 and it will work?
     
  6. only1me

    only1me New Member

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    yes it should as long as its 12volts. I tested mine with a power converter same way no problem at all.
     
  7. JRA2000TL

    JRA2000TL The Complainer

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    Thanks! I may try that...I just need to find some wires to use.
     
  8. SHO_DOODmorrris

    SHO_DOODmorrris Owner & Fanatic

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    what do these premium sound ones look like? do i have one if my speaker grills say "ford premium sound? i think i chucked mine when i put a new deck in it sucked IMO.

    -Mitch
     
  9. JRA2000TL

    JRA2000TL The Complainer

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    I can't upload attachments, so I can't show you the pic of what it looks like. Basically it is similar to the standard 89-91 am/fm cassette radio but the volume control is almost like a toggle switch instead of a knob. The buttons are all rectangular and thin. The REW, FF, and Eject buttons are different on this unit also. I looked on Ebay but couldn't find an example of one.
     
  10. jelloslug

    jelloslug Digital

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    Even if you power it up you still won't know if it functions correctly. Those head units are bad for the volumn control to quit and the preamp look can fail easily. Unless you replicate the entire sound system you won't really know if it's any good.
     
  11. SHO_DOODmorrris

    SHO_DOODmorrris Owner & Fanatic

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    is the switch like a flippy deal where you push up on it and down? if so i have a premium sound unit but i dont know why you guys would want one lol it had horrible radio tuning! you might as well buy a no name deck and stick it in there for 40 bucks or so.
     
  12. JRA2000TL

    JRA2000TL The Complainer

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    Yeah it's the flippy type volume control switch. The car currently has no radio in it, and I don't want to drive back 500 miles w/ no radio or have to listen to my mp3 player with those annoying earbuds. I just snagged this one out of the junkyard for $25 and if it doesn't work, I can return it and get my $ back. If it doesn't, I'll go to Best Buy and get a harness and CD player and throw it in there and be done with it.
     
  13. SHO_DOODmorrris

    SHO_DOODmorrris Owner & Fanatic

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    nice i c what you mean lol i would kill meself if i had to drive 500 miles without music or just drive in third lol
     
  14. Lightning

    Lightning New Member

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    *2

    That's exactly what I was going to say.




    I've got that same HU in my '89, works fine, but no passenger side output. I'm thinking this is a wiring/speaker/amp issue rather than the HU, but I been too damn lazy to install my high end system (Alpine HU, PPI separates, RF sub, Phoenix & Orion HCCA amps) in the ol' girl.
     
  15. SHO_DOODmorrris

    SHO_DOODmorrris Owner & Fanatic

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    Yeah i just installed an alpine CDA 9886 for the head unit 2 12" type R subs (4 ohm) and an alpine PDX 1.1000 Mono. it kicks the shiza out of my car lol.
     
  16. JRA2000TL

    JRA2000TL The Complainer

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    If you don't mind saying, what did that alpine deck and subs cost for ya? Back when I had my 93, I had a small system that consisted of a Kenwood deck, a small Kenwood 225 watt amp, and 1 10" MTX and it sounded great. I paid $700 for everything installed back then.
     
  17. Lightning

    Lightning New Member

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    keep in mind this was about 7 years ago (and in then worthless Canuck Bucks), so my memory could be a little out of whack as far as pricing goes...

    Alpine HU (sorry, don't remeber model, is to cold to go out to the garage tonight) ~$500
    PPI 6 1/2" separates $350
    Phoenix amp $400
    Orion HCCA 250 (stable @ 1 ohm bridged = 800 watts RMS) $1,200+
    RF power dvc 12" sub $400
    assorted heavy gauge audiophile grade wiring, connectors, fuse blocks, and hardware ~$400

    All sitting in a plastic tote under my workbench inthe garage...:scared:
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2008
  18. JRA2000TL

    JRA2000TL The Complainer

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    Unless I did something wrong, looks like this radio is a no-go. I went to radio shack and bought some stereo wire and some wire cutters (needed them anyway). I took my battery charger and plugged it into the wall and set it to battery voltage. I cut 3 wires (2 red, 1 black) and stripped both ends. I twisted the reds together and connected them to the red clamp on the charger, then hooked them separately to prong 6 and 8. I took the black wire and ran it from the black clamp to prong 3. I made little loops at the end of the wires to slide them over the prongs so they'd stay on. I hit the power button and nothing.

    I guess now I need to find something cheap to stick in there temporarily. I like the clean stock look but Ford radios are a POS.

    I think I asked this before but can I go to the bone yard and just buy the regular am/fm cassette deck that every single 88-91 Ford with any options came with and use it.....or does the fact that it's "premium sound" come into play with that extra plug?

    I gotta get the car, get it registered, buy a few goodies for it, etc. before I mess with putting any kind of serious sound system in it. I just want something that will look good and work for right now.
     
  19. only1me

    only1me New Member

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    May be a bad unit, both my gen 1 and gen 2 radio powered up when I done this. I removed my gen 1 radio when my gen 1 cd slave quit working. I bought a gen 2 radio and amp, turned out bad amp, so I have 2 premium radios gen 1 and 2, so I decided to just switch to a pioneer cd player cause it was easier for me.

    You could put a standard ford radio in there no problem though. Just to the left in the dash you will see a black connector looks like the grey power connector, disconnect it from inside the dash thats for your speakers, and fits to a standard radio.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2008
  20. CPUNeck

    CPUNeck Glow-plug Detox

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