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Old 21st April 2004, 12:02 AM   #1
rasher is offline rasher  United States
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Default Vintage Car: Hooking up a new amp to existing speakers

Here's a strange one hopefully someone can understand:
I have a 64 Ford Thunderbird convertible with the very rare AM/FM radio option which works perfectly (even more rare). I am currently replacing the existing speakers with matching size new speakers to improve sound.
Now, I want to also be able to play my ipod through an amp mounted under the passenger seat and run this amp's speaker output to these new speakers as well.
I'm pretty sure that I can't just go and hook up both sets of speaker leads (one pair from the new amplifier and one pair from the original factory head unit) to the new speaker terminal, can I? That seems like it would damage something with signal from the new amp also moving into the orginal head.
In the interest of minimizing cutting and wiring and keeping my car just as original as possible, I'm not excited about the idea of wiring up an AB source switch to my speakers.
Is there any type of in-line circuit I could make that would prevent signal from one amp from affecting the other while still driving the speaker. In essence, it would be a Y-adapter for two amps and one speaker. Someone suggested a diode, but had no knowledge to suggest details.
Is this possible?
Any help will save what remaining hair I have left....
Bob
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Old 21st April 2004, 01:08 AM   #2
HDTVman is offline HDTVman  United States
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The A/B switch route is the only safe thing to do. You could rig up a relay version of an A/B switch that switched when the ipod was used as long as dummy load resistors were switched to the AM/FM radio.

Diodes will not work for this, don't try it you could danage things.

Later BZ
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Old 21st April 2004, 02:27 AM   #3
peet is offline peet  Thailand
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Yes. You have to use switch or relay to select the source of signal.
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Old 21st April 2004, 04:34 AM   #4
rasher is offline rasher  United States
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What if I did this, then?
<Sorry if this sounds all screwy, but I'm really going for minimal intrusion here and eliminating swiches if possible>
What if I tied new speaker wire into the existing speaker leads at the speakers and ran that back to a spot where I could hide a speaker level/line level converter. Then come out of the converter into a pair of RCA Y-cables, one leg of which goes from the converter, the other leg which goes from the ipod and then merges into the line level jacks of the amp. Then I'd run new speaker wire from the amp back to the speakers.
That way, I'd either just turn on or off either the radio or the ipod.
Or would this just damage the amp or something else at line level?
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Old 23rd April 2004, 01:30 PM   #5
HDTVman is offline HDTVman  United States
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The thing you need to do inorder to protect the equipment is to only have one amplifier connected to the speakes at a time. Connecting two amps in parallel at the speaker terminals will almost certainly cause dammage to 1 if not both amps. If you want to make minimum modifaction to the original wireing then I would put a double pole double through relay at each speaker. connect the original radio to the N/C contacts, the ipod amp to the N/O contacts and the Common connection to the speaker. wire the coil(s) of the relay so that when the ipod is turned on the relay is energized and the soure driving the speaker switches from the old radio to the ipod amp. Not doing this will almost certainly damage the old radio. Do not connect the two amps in parallel.

Later BZ
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Old 23rd April 2004, 01:50 PM   #6
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Why not buy one those FM transmitters? Connect the IPOD to the input of the transmitter and then tune it in on your FM radio?
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Old 23rd April 2004, 01:54 PM   #7
HDTVman is offline HDTVman  United States
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Good choice. I like it.

Later BZ
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Old 23rd April 2004, 04:48 PM   #8
rasher is offline rasher  United States
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Even in Kansas City, the airwaves are so crowded that my vintage FM radio barely picks up the transmitter and then doesn't stay locked on for long. Besids, the amp in the original unit is too weak to really get good volume. Really, what my radio is good for is picking up the ballgame on AM when I'm working on the car. It is a very rare factory AM/FM unit so I want to keep it intact.
I like the relay idea, this sounds like exactly what I'm wanting. Can you give me any more details about what specs (what type of relay, voltage, amperage, etc?) I should buy.
Thanks again for the advice.
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Old 23rd April 2004, 06:38 PM   #9
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"I have a 64 Ford Thunderbird convertible with the very rare AM/FM radio option which works perfectly (even more rare)."

"Even in Kansas City, the airwaves are so crowded that my vintage FM radio barely picks up the transmitter and then doesn't stay locked on for long."

... then the radio doesn't work perfectly.
It's difficult to help if your information isn't accurate.
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