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Old Radio/speaker Wiring


Ralph Wiggum

Question

I've got an old AM/FM/Cassette in my boat. I'm replacing the speakers (4), but the harness is wired unlike any system I have seen before. There's 8 wires coming out of it. Red and black are obviously for power to the unit. So that leaves 6 wires for speakers. I've got a blue, white, green, orange, brown, and grey wires. Anyone have an idea how they should be matched up? The radio is a "Sparkomatic" if that helps.

I've wired my share of these before, but they've all been newer and this one just doesn't make sense to me.

Thanks!

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pull the existing speakers and see what is hooked up. obviously you need a pos. and neg. to each speaker, maybe that will give you some needed info as to what is what.

sometimes on car stereos there is a positive (turns on when key is turned), negative, a memory positive(has power constantly to keep presets and clock), a dimmer wire for the backlight.

usually though each speaker on the newer stereos have their own pos and neg.

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Unfortunately, I have the old ones pulled out, so I can't use that as a model frown Shoulda noted it before I unhooked everything, but I didn't think it'd be a problem as newer units are a piece of cake to hook up.

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Ralph, Have you tried pulling up a schematic on the net? You may be able to even get to download a whole owners manual. That's what I did for my fish house radio/CD. Phred52

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Ralph, Have you tried pulling up a schematic on the net?

No luck on that yet, although I will keep poking around.

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Wild guess...

Red and Orange = battery power (memory) and switched power...not sure which one's which though.

Black = power ground and speakers (-)

Blue = remote turn on for amp or power antenna

White, Green, Brown, Gray = speaker (+) wires...not sure which is left front, right front, etc.

Again, these are best guesses...not responsible for accidents or blown radios.

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it's been a while

red= positive to battery

black= ground

blue= amp/powered antenna on

white or green= positive to a speaker

gray or brown= negative to a speaker

....maybe...

Are you sure it is a four or two speaker radio?

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It's a definite 4 speaker system. From what I am gathering from some other sources, three wires go to the front speakers, three to the back (two positive and a common negative).

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I would suggest taking the speakers out and looking at the back of them also. Might help you with the wiring colors. Have had similar problems and after looking at the back of the speakers it all seemed a lot easier.

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Sounds like its time to upgrade the stereo now as well. wink

Cassette?

Yeah, but this one works just fine, so I can't justify replacing it at this time. The new trolling motor set me back a bit, so I don't think the wife would approve a new stereo, as well.

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I'm wishing I had a camera to show the schematic I found. It is on an old DUAL cassette, 2 speaker car radio stereo. It only has four wires, though. It does show the blue wire being used for right speaker positive, green for left speaker positive, red is put through a fuse and connected to battery positive, black is ground for both speakers and grounded to chassis.

I'm surprised their isn't the (yellow?) power on wire, but I suppose these old decks didn't need it. And I suppose the blue wire for power antennas/amps wasn't around back then.

Not really sure if it helps you with 4 speakers.

Good luck.

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You might just have to put it on the bench and connect the seemingly obvious wires, red and black, to a power supply or battery.

Then, using a multimeter and an old speaker, map out what wires do what.

Start with the multimeter because the speaker might not like being connected to a 12V hot wire, nor will the player like a 12V output shorted to ground.

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You might just have to put it on the bench and connect the seemingly obvious wires, red and black, to a power supply or battery.

Then, using a multimeter and an old speaker, map out what wires do what.

Start with the multimeter because the speaker might not like being connected to a 12V hot wire, nor will the player like a 12V output shorted to ground.

I know which wires are for power to the unit. Just the speaker wires are anonymous. I should be able to figure it all out with a little time and effort.

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I think that's what he's talking about. If you have balance and fade on the stereo, you could put the fade all the way forward and the balance all the way to the left to find out which speaker wires are the front left by hooking them up to the speaker.

No lines or nothing on the wires? just solid colors? That's wierd there are 6 speaker wires and not 8 though. My guess is you have 2 speaker connections (pos and neg) and the other 2 extra wires are for something else. How old is this unit?

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Well, after some experimentation, I got it all sorted out. Basically, three wires go to the front speakers and three to the rear speakers. Two are postive and the negative wire is shared between the two speakers. Not a setup I have seen before, but all four speakers work as do the balance and fade functions.

For what it's worth, I would peg the stereo as a mid-80s model.

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