The purpose of this shutdown state is that it can prevent serious damage to the amp or other components in the system. In MANY amplifiers, the power LED will be lit but the amplifier will be completely dead internally. I get so many questions about amplifiers going into protection (or blowing fuses after remote turn-on voltage is applied) that I've decided to provide a page to help determine if the amplifier is faulty or if a fault in the system is causing a problem. The following demo is from the Installation Primer page of my Basic Car Audio Electronics site. If your amp failed after extensive use, and you suspect that it went into protect mode because of overheating, you can use the fan method mentioned above to see if a little additional cooling keeps it alive. Although amps usually don’t go into protect mode due to a blown onboard fuse, it’s very easy to check and might save you from a headache down the line. Before you dig in any further, you might want to check a few easy points of failure like fuses. Most meters will not read to 0 ohms. It will help you troubleshoot many amps down to the component level. Amps typically include built-in fuses in addition to in-line fuses, so you'll want to check both of these. If it doesn't go into protect, reconnect one pair of speaker wires at a time. If the amplifier goes into protect with the RCAs plugged in (but all speaker wires disconnected), there could be several problems. Look at the silkscreen on the amplifier to confirm the function of the LEDs. In case that isn’t an option, or you just want to get a head start, here are some easy questions you can ask yourself to get on the right track. If you don't know how they're supposed to behave, ask around. It's helpful to know how the amplifier behaves when working properly. However, the problem lies elsewhere if the amp is no longer in protect mode at that point, and you can start looking for the real issue by connecting the speaker wires and patch cables one by one. Power issues may be related to a loose or burnt wire, but a blown amp fuse is always possible as well. If the fuse holders are melted, you need to have the amp checked by a technician to determine why they melted and to determine if the fuse holders are usable. The owner's manual is the best source to help you decode the blink sequence. If the power light blinks then goes off, the amp is either going into protect mode or there is a bad connection in the power supply wiring. If you place it on a chassis ground point in the vehicle and there is a bad connection between the amplifier ground terminal and the chassis ground, it will appear that the amplifier has sufficient voltage at the B+ and remote terminals (assuming that the feeds to those are intact). If the amp no longer goes into protect mode, relocating it to a less confined space, or even changing the way it's mounted, may fix the problem. My goodness the internet is great. If you know how your amplifier behaves when the amp is in good working order, it will make troubleshooting much easier. Not many amplifiers will illuminate the protection light when the fuses are blown but a few will so you need to check this. The BX250 and many other amplifiers use the same solid red light to indicate both that the signal is muted and that the amp is in protection mode. If there's a question, pull the fuse from the holder and measure the resistance across it (set meter to ohms). The one on the right is OK. B+ and Remote Voltage: Sometimes, a VERY brief drop in voltage (too short to be seen on a standard multimeter) will cause the amp to shut down for a short while. THIS link takes you to a page where it's explained in detail. Amplifier protection mode is essentially just a shutdown state that car amps can go into under a number of different circumstances. It's important that you leave your head unit on during testing so that the remote line will have voltage on it, the amplifier will be on, and the amplifier will be drawing current. You first need to check the RCA shields of the head unit. The first thing you need to check is the on-board fuses plugged into the amplifier (if it has them). Some of the most common causes of an amp going into protect mode include: Fully troubleshooting a problem like this might be over your head if you’re a relative greenhorn when it comes to car audio, so it might be worth asking your friend for some help if he has experience with anything other than just installing components. This is especially true when the power supply has failed. This is what you should read when you touch the meter across the fuse (out of the fuse holder). That typically means professional repairs, or just replacing the amp. If you read over 0.1v, you definitely have a bad ground. If the voltage remains near or above 12v but the amp still goes into protect mode, disconnect all speaker wires from the speaker terminals of the amp and disconnect signal cables from the amp. An overheating amp can also be the result of a mismatch between speaker impedance and the range the amp is designed to work with, or speakers or wires that are totally shorted out. If the amp only shuts down when the amplifier tries to produce high power (when it hits a strong note), you need to measure the voltage at the time when the amp shuts down. To know how low your meter reads at 0 ohms, touch the leads together for 5 seconds. You will also see defective fuse holders. For the most part, this page is for amplifiers that go into protect mode and remain in protect mode or go into protect mode when the amplifier is driven hard. Jeremy Laukkonen is tech writer and the creator of a popular blog and video game startup. Start your diagnostic by checking the power and ground cables and making sure that the amp is physically isolated from any bare metal contact with the vehicle. In the case of a problem that manifested immediately after installing and wiring an amp, you’ll want to start by checking the power and ground wires in addition to the patch cables. In this case, there may be an internal problem with the amp. Above, I purposely recommend placing the black probe of the meter on the ground terminal of the amp. It's important that you disconnect the speaker wires from the speaker terminals of the amplifier and disconnect all RCA cables from the RCA jacks of the amplifier. If you still have a problem in this state then either your amp is defective or you may have an installation problem such … If the voltage remains near or above 12v but the amp still goes into protect mode, disconnect all speaker wires from the speaker terminals of the amp and disconnect signal cables from the amp. If you have confirmed that you have sufficient voltage on the amplifier's B+ and remote terminals and have a good ground, procede to step 3. When there is a fault, the LED changes from green to amber. Also, just because a fuse doesn't look blown, that doesn't mean it's intact. On-board Fuses: If you're using a mono amp and have only one pair of speaker wires, you'll need to disconnect all but one speaker from the other end of the speaker wires. Generally, when there is a bad connection and the connection has been bad for an extended period of time, the insulating material around the connector will be melted. 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