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Old 01-29-2009, 08:58 PM   #1
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Need Help connecting a radio to a 1979 Argosy

I am running into an issue with figuring out the electrical for a 1979 Argosy radio. I would like to install a newer sony cassette radio, with a pos, neg, and 8 speaker wires. I have been able to find the rear speaker wires, the positive, but I can not find a ground and there is a wire that I can not figure out. I think the wiring is the originial setup. The wires are in the front with the radio antenna.

I marked the ones that I could ID. But I dont understand why the two rear black wires are tied together and the two red front wires are tied together. Then both the red and black are are linked with a red wire. To make matters more confusing there is a rogue white wire that is tied in as well. I put an Ohm meter on and the only hot is the lone grey wire on the very bottom.

My Questions are:

Where is the negative?
Why are the rear and fronts tied into one another?
What is that rogue white wire?
Should I drop the black plastic connector and just connect the wires directly to the radio? If so where do I get a negative from?

I hope you all can read the photo. I would appreciate any help.

Nick
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:10 AM   #2
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Can't help with the exact labeling of the wires but it is entirely possible that the radio used a metal mount that grounded the radio chassis to the trailer skin or that it grounded through the antenna shield and the antenna mount to the aluminum skin.

Regarding the rear and front speaker wires being tied together, did the radio have provision for front and rear speakers in addition to right and left? If not then it would have been wired to feed audio to both front and rear speakers.
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Old 01-30-2009, 01:13 AM   #3
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Tracing mystery wires is easier if you have help. My guess is the white ???? wire is your 12 volt neg. All the 12 v- in my MH were white. Know for sure where each wire goes before making any connections. Remove the speakers to check what wire colors go to which speaker. Hold a continuity checking device (light or meter) on disconectted wires at the terminal while helper touches the diconnected wires from the speaker. your checking light should flash on & off while helper touches wires together & pulls them apart. The needle will bounce back & forth if you are using a meter. Do this test to confirm where each speaker wire goes.

Check the wires you think is 12v+ & 12v- in a similar fashion. You'll need a length of wire that reaches from the wiring treminal in photo to the battery. Disconect the battery 1st. Use the same continuity check procedure as on the speakers. Check continuity by having helper touch/pull apart spare length of wire & positive battery clamp while you check spare wire & assumed 12v+ wire. Repeat with spare wire & neg battery clamp with assumed 12v- wire.

It's always wise & cheaper to know what wire goes where before applying power. Never connect anything that is assumed & hope it works. This is where things get expensive. Once you know where each wire goes, write it down. It looks like writing it near the wiring terminal will help you in 10 years when you update to a CD player or whatever else may be popular then.

Ricky
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Old 01-30-2009, 11:14 AM   #4
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Looking at the picture you posted, it looks like the system you took out only had 2 speakers that ws supported from the unit.

The two green wires you have marked as FR, FL should be marked as FR+ and FR-, each speaker has a pair of wires one positive and one negative.

In 1979, having a car stereo with a fader option would be hard pressed to find. I dont beleive that this was standard until the late 80's.
(fader controls the front and back speakers, either turning them off or down)

I am not an Airstream wireing guru, so I have no idea what those red and black waires are, I would say they are not speaker wire, because speaker's would not be a pair then a pair with a jumper in the middle to connect them, I would have to say this was used for something other than the stereo.

This is what I would do to install the stereo:
First I would check each wire to make sure they are not all hot
Cap off the hot wire's and push them to the side
I would pull the speakers that are installed, what to look for here is either the same color wire from the two poles on the speaker that you have near the power block, if they are not the same color, you can do a continuity check with an ohm meter or if you have one of the new fancy toners as I have for telephones and networks, you can tone out the wire useing sound.
Once you have identified your speaker wires tape them together, mark them for the front right speaker etc.

When you are ready to install your new stereo, aftermarket brands normally stick a wireing diagram on top of the unit, and also mark each wire with its respected speaker (FR RR etc) and its polaraity - or +. Check the ground wire to ensure that it is indeed grounded properly.

You can use the power block to connect everything if you wish, remember that if you do not have the fader control on your stereo, but you have the balance, you can connect both your front speakers to a front channel (FR) and you back speakers to the other channel (FL) and use the balance as a fader control option, to control the speakers in the front or back.
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Old 02-08-2009, 06:29 PM   #5
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Ok, I finally got the radio hooked up. There were 4 speakers, (but i knew that because I could see four speakers.) I had the correct wire for the hot, but the unknown wire was the ground. I am not sure why they had the ground tied into the negatives of the speakers. Maybe that was something with older radios. I hooked up all the wires directly with one another and did away with the connector rail on the wall. The only thing that made it tough was I did not realize the radio yellow wire (always hot for the clock) had to be connected as well to the hot.

Now I have a problem with it drawing (I am guessing) too much power. I turn the radio up and turn up the bass booster in the radio and it will shut down. It will also shut down if I turn on the flood light. I am guessing the original humming Univolt converter can not handle the power draw. I plan on starting a new post with this question.

Thank for all your help.
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Old 02-10-2009, 01:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nick6930 View Post
Ok, I finally got the radio hooked up. There were 4 speakers, (but i knew that because I could see four speakers.) I had the correct wire for the hot, but the unknown wire was the ground. I am not sure why they had the ground tied into the negatives of the speakers. Maybe that was something with older radios. I hooked up all the wires directly with one another and did away with the connector rail on the wall. The only thing that made it tough was I did not realize the radio yellow wire (always hot for the clock) had to be connected as well to the hot.

Now I have a problem with it drawing (I am guessing) too much power. I turn the radio up and turn up the bass booster in the radio and it will shut down. It will also shut down if I turn on the flood light. I am guessing the original humming Univolt converter can not handle the power draw. I plan on starting a new post with this question.

Thank for all your help.
It was/is not uncommon to use a single ground for all the speaker wires, I have seen it done many times in the past on older cars/trucks, as a fact a lot of the factory car stereo's used to do this a lot, and yes, it would be a pain to trace out the factory wiring. I simpley stopped doing it, and just ran new wires, it was easier, faster and normally sounded better.

I'm not going to try and pull out numbers, its been a long time since I dealt with numbers on 12v equipment.. but yes your correct, a "bass boost" would cause you to use more power, this is normally just a small amplifier inside the stereo, when this is activated, it will draw more power, you may need to run a new power wire, or relocate the exsisting wire on the fuse panel to its own fuse. The last install I did for myself, I ran my amp and stereo straight from the battery, my kenwood has a remote wire for on/off with the key (so a second 12v wire was needed). You may try running the stereo from the battery to see if this helps, but you may want to use a much heavier wire to keep it from catching on fire or melting the sheathing.
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Old 02-17-2009, 07:13 AM   #7
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Wanted to thank everyone for their help on this project. It is done and works great. I went with a junkyard radio with a cassette player. The cassette player makes it very easy to run my XM and Ipod. I used a 6x9 speaker box that fit perfectly in the bin above the Gaucho, to set the radio in. I even added a radio shack 12V plug for the XM and Ipod on the side of the speaker box. I put in a lighted switch to turn the entire system off so the clock does not drain the battery.

Thanks again.
Nick
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Old 02-24-2009, 12:53 AM   #8
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Putting in the lighted switch was a great idea. I have a master power switch on the radio/CD changer/CB radio circuit. No need to have unwanted power drain while boondocking. Clocks are abundant in my AS.
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