Problems installing a car radio in my Trillium - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-26-2021, 07:27 AM   #1
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Problems installing a car radio in my Trillium

I currently have a JVC car radio in my 1977 Trillium 4500 with an original power center. It is running off of a 110 plug and transformer and works fine. I am wanting to connect it to the trailers 12 volt system and remove the transformer. The radio will not power up from the trailer 12 volt system. The line is live as I have tested it with a tester and connected to a line that feeds a light. The ground goes back to the power convertor. Is there a difference in the 12 volt power coming out of the converter compared to the regular 12 volt power from a battery where the electronics in the radio would have problems with. I don't think so but I have limited knowledge of 12 volt systems and can't figure this one out. Anyone else run into this issue. Thanks in advance
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Old 08-26-2021, 08:22 AM   #2
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Do you have a battery installed? If so will it power up when running on the battery?

The original converter is a primitive device. I have not looked at the output of it on an oscilloscope, but I would not be surprised if it has a lot of ripple, especially under heavy load.
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Old 08-26-2021, 09:45 AM   #3
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Are both grounds connected? Trailer ground and battery ground?
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Old 08-26-2021, 09:53 AM   #4
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Are you connecting the correct wires? The radio, since it's designed for a car, probably has a black ground wire, where the camper might use black as positive.
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Old 08-26-2021, 10:28 AM   #5
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The Ground on the power convertor is connected there is no battery in the trailer.
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Old 08-26-2021, 10:29 AM   #6
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I believe i am. I am using a tester that lights up when connected to the power wire on the radio.
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Old 08-26-2021, 10:49 AM   #7
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I'd try it with a battery.
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Old 08-26-2021, 10:56 AM   #8
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Yes a battery

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Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
I'd try it with a battery.
A battery will add filtering to the system. It may be interesting to check the AC voltage at the radio with and with out a battery. Lights are not so fussy, electronics are. Also recall that big stereos in a car often add a capacitor to help filter (smooth out) the power, you should not need that here.
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Old 08-26-2021, 11:15 AM   #9
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Question

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Originally Posted by Tbrew100 View Post
I currently have a JVC car radio in my 1977 Trillium 4500 with an original power center. It is running off of a 110 plug and transformer and works fine. I am wanting to connect it to the trailers 12 volt system and remove the transformer. ... ...
Itís been many many (**MANY**) moons since I dabbled in this but, if my electronics memory serves me correctly, I think removing the transformer would only be the first step. The transformer (in this case) converts 110v ac to 12v ac and the radio would need 12v dc.

If the radio is a car radio (for 12v cars), you would want to disable the circuitry that converts ac to dc in addition to the transformer. Can you identify where a carís 12v wiring would originally connect to the radio?
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Old 08-26-2021, 11:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AC0GV View Post
A battery will add filtering to the system. It may be interesting to check the AC voltage at the radio with and with out a battery. Lights are not so fussy, electronics are. Also recall that big stereos in a car often add a capacitor to help filter (smooth out) the power, you should not need that here.
The trouble is that the original converter in a Trillium is switched between battery, off, 110 VAC. When on battery, that is the only power source. When on 110 VAC, the converter is the only thing providing power, with all the limitations that implies.

I suggested using a battery just to confirm 12VDC operation of the stereo. If that works, than the converter is just not the right source. At that point, I would power the stereo directly from the battery.

Do you plan to have a 12VDC battery installed in the future? If so, how are you going to charge it?
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Old 08-26-2021, 12:54 PM   #11
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JVC audio in a Trillium

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Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
The trouble is that the original converter in a Trillium is switched between battery, off, 110 VAC. When on battery, that is the only power source. When on 110 VAC, the converter is the only thing providing power, with all the limitations that implies.

I suggested using a battery just to confirm 12VDC operation of the stereo. If that works, than the converter is just not the right source. At that point, I would power the stereo directly from the battery.

Do you plan to have a 12VDC battery installed in the future? If so, how are you going to charge it?
That makes sense, I have to get a hold of a 12 volt battery to try it out. I think it may be something to do with the converter and it's limitations. Thanks I will keep looking at this as I would prefer to run it off of the Trillium's 12 volt instead of the plug in transformer that is set up now. It was wired like this when I bought it.
Thanks for the advice
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Old 08-26-2021, 12:59 PM   #12
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JVC audio in a Trillium

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Originally Posted by LarryB. View Post
Itís been many many (**MANY**) moons since I dabbled in this but, if my electronics memory serves me correctly, I think removing the transformer would only be the first step. The transformer (in this case) converts 110v ac to 12v ac and the radio would need 12v dc.

If the radio is a car radio (for 12v cars), you would want to disable the circuitry that converts ac to dc in addition to the transformer. Can you identify where a carís 12v wiring would originally connect to the radio?
The radio is working on a 110v -12v transformer now not sure if the output is ac or dc. I am hoping to get rid of the plug in transformer and go with the 12v wiring in the trailer. I don't have a battery only the original converter that is used to power the lights in the trailer.
I have the wiring instructions for the radio.

Thanks
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Old 08-26-2021, 01:05 PM   #13
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The Ground on the power convertor is connected there is no battery in the trailer.
No battery no power to radio most likely. It would be like trying to run the radio in your car without a battery. You do have to know exactly which wires go where to hook it up properly. We put a car radio in our Casita and put switches on it for the power and shut off. That way there's no parasitic draw when we are parked. Works very good. You also have to have an antenna. We just sit one in the corner so there's nothing going up through the fiberglass anywhere. Radio stations are useless anyway so we use ours with our Sirius portable radio and for CD's. We also can hook a wire from our television to the radio hooking it into the headphone jack, put it on auxiliary setting and use the radio speakers for sound so we can hear since the television doesn't have enough volume. We've never had any problem with it.
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Old 08-26-2021, 05:23 PM   #14
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JVC audio in a Trillium

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Originally Posted by Tbrew100 View Post
I currently have a JVC car radio in my 1977 Trillium 4500 with an original power center. It is running off of a 110 plug and transformer and works fine. I am wanting to connect it to the trailers 12 volt system and remove the transformer. The radio will not power up from the trailer 12 volt system. The line is live as I have tested it with a tester and connected to a line that feeds a light. The ground goes back to the power convertor. Is there a difference in the 12 volt power coming out of the converter compared to the regular 12 volt power from a battery where the electronics in the radio would have problems with. I don't think so but I have limited knowledge of 12 volt systems and can't figure this one out. Anyone else run into this issue. Thanks in advance
Thanks for all of your suggestions!
I put a meter on the 12v dc coming out of the converter. It meters at 19.1Volts, I am thinking I will need to step it down to 12volts. In hindsight the interior lights ran very hot.
Thanks again
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Old 08-26-2021, 05:28 PM   #15
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What was the AC volts out?

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Originally Posted by Tbrew100 View Post
Thanks for all of your suggestions!
I put a meter on the 12v dc coming out of the converter. It meters at 19.1Volts, I am thinking I will need to step it down to 12volts. In hindsight the interior lights ran very hot.
Thanks again
Did you check the ac voltage out as well? Just adding a battery could fix everything if the two were on together but it sounds like yours is a choice between the two.
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Old 08-26-2021, 07:17 PM   #16
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There are often two 12V power supplies on aftermarket radios.


One is "keep alive" power and only powers station memory and the clock memory.
The other is normally wired through the ignition and powers the amp /tuner part of the radio, along with the back lighting.
You probably only need to find the second 12V power wire.
Also check the inline fuse holder to be sure that it has a good fuse properly installed.
The harness often comes with tiny tape labels on the wires marked for speakers and +@- etc.
Also on top of the radio head unit there is commonly a sticker with a wiring diagram with color code.

If your radio is DIN mount you may not have seen that.
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Old 08-26-2021, 07:41 PM   #17
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Did you check the ac voltage out as well? Just adding a battery could fix everything if the two were on together but it sounds like yours is a choice between the two.
The voltage out is 120
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Old 08-27-2021, 09:17 AM   #18
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Tom, we had a similar problem when attempting to install a MaxxFan into our 1978 Trillium 4500. We have a battery and the original converter. The fan worked fine when switched to battery, but would not work on shore power when switched to take power from the converter. Turns out that our converter was putting out 20.1 volts which was more than the fan's control board could tolerate.
My temporary solution was to disconnect the converter coil internally so that we would not accidentally cook our fan controller. We have a separate trickle charger for the battery and our power needs are meager since the lights have been converted to LED.
Still thinking about replacing the converter though, although we have not found one we like that would fit in the existing hole under the furnace. We may end up putting one under one of the bunks.
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Old 08-27-2021, 10:16 AM   #19
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IMHO, one of the best upgrades to my 1977 Trilliun 1300 was replacing the old inadequate, battery boiling power center, with a PD4135 and a battery. Cost me $250 including 30 amp 120v connection.

Has made dry camping possible. I’m dry camping right now at a national park.
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Old 08-27-2021, 10:17 AM   #20
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Sounds like exactly what I am dealing with. Thanks. I am thinking of replacing the converter section with a plug in converter. need to do lots more investigation on this one. Thanks again
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