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Cafe Vendor
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As some of you know, last year I installed a fairing on my wife's VStar950T. It was one from EBay that I modified to fit her Yammi. Needless to say I made my wife very happy, she not only has a unique bike but a stereo with 2 6x9 speakers. Here is where the problem begins.


As of last weekend I have put 3 different head units into this fairing. Each a different brand and progressively better quality. This last unit I installed is a Kenwood. The problem is, as she is riding the stereo shuts off.

With the first unit (a cheap Pyle brand) I just figured it was a cheapo radio. So I installed a Sony. It worked for about a month and we got caught in a rain and it went out. (This was before I did the rainshield inside the fairing per Stump's suggestion.)

I found some blown fuses and the radio seemed to work. What I didn't know is that it was cutting in and out. J finally told me what it was doing so I started investigating. I noticed that if I tapped on the fairing nose the stereo would drop out. So I figured the Head unit was damaged from the exposure to water and ordered her a new Kenwood unit.

I installed the unit and tested it each step of the assembly and reassembly of the fairing. Got it all buttoned up and the unit worked. So being the good husband I took the bike for a test ride to make sure the radio stayed on (also gave me an excuse to ride her scoot :D) It worked flawlessly. When I got back home I had her take the bike out for a spin. When she got back she said it was cutting out:banghead::banghead::banghead:

So I got on my bike and followed her having her crank the system up so I could hear when it dropped out. Sure enough it dropped out about a dozen times during the test ride. Didn't matter what the bike was doing, straight smooth road, it would drop out, running over potholes it would keep playing. Stopped at a light it would drop out then come back.

I know a thing or two about electrical and stereo's in particular and this has me a bit stumped. So this weekend I replaced the wiring harness from under the seat all the way to the fairing. When I installed the new Kenwood I replaced all the wiring in the fairing except for the short bit from the 3 pin connector to my terminal block.


After I installed the new cable from the seat to the fairing I had her take it out again. She got back and said it did it at least a dozen times:banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead:. I grab my helmet and off I go, I am really putting her bike thru the paces, hitting every bump I see, dragging her floor boards in aggressive turns, slamming on the brakes, the stereo just keeps playing no problems at all.:nope: Makes absolutely no sense to me. I know it is dropping out on her, I have heard it while following her. I have some spare LED's left over from my Joe Florida kit. I was thinking of opening up the fairing and attaching them to her 2 powers on the radio side and hanging them out of the fairing. Then maybe she could see if the LED's go out when the stereo drops out. If it is a lost power problem.

I am pretty certain I am not loosing ground (only 1 ground for the fairing) because she is not loosing her presets or clock, which tells me she is not loosing the "memory" power.

Only things that have not been replaced are the speakers, the antenna, and the pigtail quick disconnect on the fairing side. Again when the stereo drops out, the entire unit goes dark, not just the loss of sound.

Its almost like J has a charge in her that knocks out the stereo :eek: since it will not drop out for me.

Any of you ever have a ghost problem like this??

Retouch on some of the facts:
No fuses are blowing
Does not seem shock or vibration related
Not related to Handlebar position
So far only happens when she is riding the bike
Retains presets and clock memory
Drops out anywhere from 2 seconds to 10 seconds (on this Kenwood)
Does not seem temperature related (hot or cold it drops out)
Hi/Low beam headlight has no affect
Driving lights on/off no affect

Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome, I don't like seeing my wife unhappy with her scoot, and you all know what happens when momma ain't happy:spank:
 

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The guitar, not the fish!
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Make sure the quick connect going into the fairing is tight....Mine works loose every so often and I have to tighten it back up again...Had the same problem last year and traced it to that...
 

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Klaatu Barada Nikto
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id say while the outer fairing is off turn the radio on and wiggle every wire there to locate your problem
 

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Is the sound cutting off or the power?
Check to see if the speakers are still good. If they Start distorting it will shut down the radio for protection.
 

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Cafe Vendor
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Make sure the quick connect going into the fairing is tight....Mine works loose every so often and I have to tighten it back up again...Had the same problem last year and traced it to that...
Good thought Bass but the trailer connector I am using is a tight MOFO :D

id say while the outer fairing is off turn the radio on and wiggle every wire there to locate your problem
I did that before I buttoned everything up, but its a good idea, I might pull off the outer and have her ride it in around the house and be ready with my meter, easier access that way :D

Is the sound cutting off or the power?
Check to see if the speakers are still good. If they Start distorting it will shut down the radio for protection.
Sound and power, the unit goes dark. But like I said above, she is not loosing her memory settings or clock setting when it comes back to life, so I am pretty sure the constant memory power is not interrupted.

I have 3 wires going to the fairing from the power source under the seat. 1 switched power, 1 constant power and ground.
 

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Premium Member
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May be a heat issue causing the heat sync to get hot enough to shut power on the radio. OR It could be an issue from the power supply over current. Meanig too much voltage to the radio. May have to get an inline power filter for the car radio's on the bikes (they are called smart packs). Commonly used in a door with a card access system. Made by Hess manufacturing. May also go to radio shack and pick up a bridge rectafier. Cheaper! Trust me on this!!!
Your connection to the speakers are not long enough to be causing an issue. It seems to me to be "too much POWA". Good Luck Jim :patriot:
 

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Erect Member
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just give her your bike and you ride hers :D

wish i could help, but i know enough about electronics and wiring to just get by...i have a friend that installs stereos that i consult for all me wiring needs :icon_mrha
 

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Cafe Vendor
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sounds like you loose the switched power side
Is it a relay from your fuse block.
Yes I have a relay that is triggered by her engine circuit. The Yami's have a power circuit that is only hot "after" the engine is running, not just the key on :D

All the suggestions make sense to me, especially drawing too much power possibility, however, the wrench in the works is if I am riding the bike, the radio works flawlessly, only when J is riding the bike does the stereo drop out:banghead:

I will work on it some tonight, but I have to do some design work for Spyker so I don't know how much time I can put on her bike:hmm2:
 

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Check over but one thing I can tell you is I have had kenwoods that would just do things like that. I managed a car stereo shop for 6 years and kenwood was our biggest line. Definitely check things over but it could just be a bad unit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Found it!!!!

OMG what a pain in the ARse this problem has been. Well I am 99.99% sure I fixed it tonight.

As I mentioned, when I would ride her bike the radio would never drop out, only when she rode it. My plan tonight was to pull the outer fairing exposing the unit and wiring and see if I could see the voltage failing on my meeter with her on the bike.

As I was sitting on the bike getting ready to put it into our floor stand, the radio dropped out :eek: I was stunned but happy it was happening for me. As I stood up to check the wires going into the fairing the radio came back, sit down--off, stand up--on:D

Now I knew the problem was somewhere under the seat. To make a long searching session short, it ended up being the spade connector for the main radio power. I had soldered the connector to the wire (can't remember why) and the wire was weak at the solder joint and if you flexed it just right, the power would drop. Cut back at least 1/4" from the solder, restripped the wire and used my ratcheting crimper to put a new connector on.

PROBLEM SOLVED:mosh::mosh::drunk::cheers:
I took the bike for a test ride, had my neighbor test ride it and J took it for a 30 minute test ride:rolleyes:, we all came back with smiles on our faces.
 

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Looks like a good reason NOT TO LOSE WEIGHT! You can always say you are keeping the pounds on to help with electrical troubleshooting.
 
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