1984 gl1200a Sound system upgrade


Step-by-step tutorials on how to maintain and fix your GL1200
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cptkill21
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:59 am
Location: perris, ca
Motorcycle: 1984 Honda Goldwing GL1200 Aspencade

1984 gl1200a Sound system upgrade

Post by cptkill21 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:52 pm



PRIMARY NOTE: YOU MAY WANT TO BUY MARINE GRADE EQUIPMENT THOUGH IT IS MORE EXPENSIVE IT MAY SAVE MONEY IN THE LONG RUN. I ONLY WENT WITH REGULAR EQUIPMENT BEING THAT I'M IN SOCAL AND IT NEVER RAINS.....


Hey guys,

I figured I'd show you my wiring and install of my head unit. I picked up the Dual XDM16BT from walmart for 20 bucks

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Dual-AM-F...tooth/54596679

and Bass Rockers 4" 4 way coaxial speakers BR414 off amazon for 25 bucks

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0... ... ingdocs-20

Overall the install was pretty easy and I kept all the original wiring.

There is a write up already for the correct way to wire into the factory harness from the stock radio

aftermarket Radio Connections for a GL1200

The only thing I did different was I took my constant power to pin 7 for the cb which supplies a constant 12 volts. So no need to remove any other parts or run extra wire. I will be posting an update once I figure out which wires run to the remote switch as I noticed the other threads have all died and there is no update for that one part. It will likely be about a month before I get to that part though.

So things to notice in my pictures:

The wiring is currently using butt connectors and wire nuts on the non used wires. Be sure to cover un-used wires to prevent any grounding and shorting in the system either in the radio or the bike. I recommend soldering and heat shrinking each connection for a more reliable connection against road vibrations.

DO NOT. I REPEAT DO NOT!! JUST ELECTRICAL TAPE YOUR CONNECTIONS TOGETHER!!! I have seen multiple people suggest this and that it is fine to do. This is simply not the case it will hold for some time and possibly indefinitely, but it will more than likely fail and cause a short in the system.

You will also notice that I pulled all unused pins from the stock harness and saved them. Make sure to do this. First off it prevents any grounding/shorting by having loose wires in the system, secondly you will want those wires for when I post my updates for adding in other system to the unit. The only unused wire you will want to Leave in is the antenna wire (more on that in a bit).

Last thing to note is one of the pictures just shows that the new head unit and the stock one match up perfectly in size.


What was done:

First remove the old head unit and take the bottom and rear wiring harness plates off. Gently lift the wiring harness out of place and remove the white electrical clip for the antenna from the circuit board (be sure to follow the wire from the harness to the board as to not snag or break any wires). Then remove the white clip with all the other wires from the circuit board by gently pulling it away.Once the harness is removed cut all the wires off the white clip as close as possible (you will need the length).

For simplicity here is the wiring from the link above if you don't want to click it. The only change is for constant power being routed to pin 7

Aftermarket radio harness:
Yellow - constant battery
Red- accessory
Black - ground
Whites - left channel
Greys - right channel
Blue/stripe - remote turn on(optional, creates turn on pop)

Wires to use off of Factory Connector:
Pin 6 - Accessory power
Pin 8 - ground
Pin 13 - Right Channel
Pin 14 - Left Channel
Pin 15 - Speaker ground
Pin 16 - Power output for Auto Volume Control

Red to Pin 6
Blue/Stripped to Pin 16 there will be a small turn on pop sound as the remote turn on is a delayed output
Black to Pin 8, also tie in Pin 15 to ground as well, Pin 15 is common ground for the speakers. You will not use the negative from the speakers on the new wiring harness it just needs to be capped off. (Do not cut the negative for speakers off the new wiring harness as it will possibly be used in future updates.)
Yellow to pin 7 for constant power. This pin is for the CB and provides a constant 12 volts.
White solid color to Pin 14
Grey solid color to Pin 13

You may want to search for antenna adapters and pick one up so you can install it while the radio is being installed. I didn't get to it yet as I mainly use Pandora so the Bluetooth is fine for me. I will be doing it and I will post updates for that process. What you will do though is follow the antenna lead out of the original wiring harness. You will see that one of the wires goes to ground at the harness and one (should, I forget) goes to its own pin. Cut the white clip off the end of the antenna wire and install ground to the outside connection point of the adapter you bought and power/signal to the center connection leading to the middle pin of the adapter. By doing this you don't need to purchase an antenna extender and run it to the hook up point under the seat.

By using the pictured diagram and above information you will be able to keep all wiring in its original location no real changes.

Now install the radio sleeve into the radio dock and bend as many pins outwards to hold it in place. You will notice in my pictures that I used zip ties on the bottom to firmly secure the harness as most of the bottom tabs cant be bent out, This is temporary until I have my connections properly soldered. You have two options here for a clean and permanent mount. One is to mark and dremel out the tab locations on the radio dock plastic then bending tabs completely out and around, securing everything tightly. Two is to use a small screw with a flat surface (to no damage the new radio) and screwing through the plastic. The second option would be tough though due to overall available space.

Once the sleeve is installed take your wiring harness and install it to the stock location first. You may want to consider figuring out a way to secure it in place (I have yet to look at that but will do so soon). Super glue may honestly be the best option. Then connect the radio wiring harness to the back of the new radio and slide into place. NOTE: you will need to turn the key lock at the clock to get the radio all the way in. Once installed and everything is hooked up nicely I would recommend removing the outer radio finish plate and running a clean bead of black silicon around the gaps. If done correctly it will look really good and you wont have to cut any new plastic, screw anything in, or cause any damage to the original plastic. Another plus is its waterproof to protect the interior and is easily removed for updated wiring as I post updates.

So that's it for the stereo install for now. Now onto the speakers (easy).

Remove the stock covers (either they just pop out or there will be 3-4 screws holding them in place. Be sure to confirm which one so you don't break them). Set them aside for now (they will require a modification if you went with the speakers in the link above). Remove the 4 screws holding the stock speakers in place and remove the two wires. Install the new speakers being sure to put the smaller negative terminal to negative and the larger positive to positive on the speaker. For added strength I recommend crimping down the connections at the speakers carefully. Screw the new speakers in place then test the system. If everything is working correctly go ahead and start the modification on the speaker covers. You will notice in my pictures I am using the covers that came with the speakers as my stock covers clips were already broken. You will need to outline the three tweeter cones housing on the speakers to the back of the covers. It is up to you how to go about the outline. It may be easier to outline them with the speakers out of the housing but you may end up with the wrong location unless your measurements are spot on. Personally I would figure out where the center of the tweeter housing is and mark it on the covers with them partially in place Then start to dremel out the from the center until the tweeter housing fits through nice and snug. I will post pictures of this after I get new covers and do the mod.

Once everything is done your system should look and sound great. I have found that you can clearly hear these speakers better than the stock ones at 90+ MPH and there is no static at all. Being that these are 4" speakers you won't get much bass out of them but the mid and high range is really good. My max settings at the head unit is 20 on volume and I'll push it to 23 at high speeds. Then I adjust the bass setting to -7 and treble to -3. Those settings allow for a louder volume with no distortion from the stock amp to the speakers unless you have some form of rap on. Overall though these speakers are 75 watts rms and 225 watt peak. So with the stock amp only pushing 10 watts (I believe) you shouldn't be able to blow them out.


My future updates on this thread will include:

Handlebar controls (may figure out using the tune button for volume or both if possible)
Running rear speakers and a subwoofer
Installing an aftermarket amp that will hopefully power everything and fit in the stock amp location.

Please note that if you have a cb connected to your wing that using constant power off the cb pin should not cause any issues as you can run that in parallel (one wire into the pin branched to the radio and cb).


Feel free to contact me for assistance on this install if you live in socal and want to head over. If you don't I will try to help you on here if I can

Pictures will be added in a second on mobile since my laptop is acting up with them.



For the rear speakers and subwoofer install does anyone have any ideas for it to be able to keep all my storage space in the bags? The speakers would probably be 6x9's and the sub would be an 8" all of which are relatively light. My thought is to make a box out of lightweight wood (as the wood would be the heaviest part), and mount it too the trunk rack. The box would have the sub mounted in the center facing the passengers head (sorry... haha) and a 6x9 on either side also facing forward but angled in. I would then secure it to the rack likely using metal strap at at least 4-5 points with 1/4 x 20 bolts and wrapping it in some form of black flexible vinyl or plastic that will match the bike. I would then install limiting straps on the inside of the trunk so the hinges never have a chance to break from swinging to far forward, and possible reinforce the lids interior to keep it from cracking at all.

I would of course design the box to be as lightweight and low profile as possible to avoid messing with the center of gravity as much as possible. Overall any ideas on this would be great though as I can't seem to find any pictures online about it without taking all the trunk and/or saddlebag space.
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cptkill21
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:59 am
Location: perris, ca
Motorcycle: 1984 Honda Goldwing GL1200 Aspencade

Re: 1984 gl1200a Sound system upgrade Long but worth it for those looking to upgrade.

Post by cptkill21 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:54 pm

more pictures Sorry that they are sideways not sure why...
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cptkill21
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:59 am
Location: perris, ca
Motorcycle: 1984 Honda Goldwing GL1200 Aspencade

Re: 1984 gl1200a Sound system upgrade Long but worth it for those looking to upgrade.

Post by cptkill21 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:56 pm

last one I swear really
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cptkill21
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:59 am
Location: perris, ca
Motorcycle: 1984 Honda Goldwing GL1200 Aspencade

Re: 1984 gl1200a Sound system upgrade Long but worth it for those looking to upgrade.

Post by cptkill21 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:24 pm

Here's a link to a video on how it sounds. 23 is definitely the max volume starts to distort at 25 as you can here in the video.




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Superhawk
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Motorcycle: 1987 GL1200 Aspencade
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Re: 1984 gl1200a Sound system upgrade Long but worth it for those looking to upgrade.

Post by Superhawk » Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:42 pm

Hi, great post on your upgrade. I have a 87 aspencade and was wondering would those speakers fit behind the factory grills? I have been looking at speakers but would like to keep the factory look.

cptkill21
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:59 am
Location: perris, ca
Motorcycle: 1984 Honda Goldwing GL1200 Aspencade

Re: 1984 gl1200a Sound system upgrade Long but worth it for those looking to upgrade.

Post by cptkill21 » Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:17 pm

Superhawk wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:42 pm
Hi, great post on your upgrade. I have a 87 aspencade and was wondering would those speakers fit behind the factory grills? I have been looking at speakers but would like to keep the factory look.
Your grills should be the same as mine so they won't fit. You would have to dremel the area where the tweeters come through and they would meet up almost perfectly with the outer portion of the grills.

Only other option would be to get different 4 inch speakers without the tweeter cone. Most likely a standard 2 way speaker that looks similar to the stock speakers.

I'll be updating the thread in about a month with the completed system and look of mine. Got some 5x7 speakers for the rear and an 8 inch subwoofer. Just need the amp and to build a custom box to mount on the trunk.

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Re: 1984 gl1200a Sound system upgrade Long but worth it for those looking to upgrade.

Post by WingAdmin » Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:29 am

Great except for one thing: Never, ever, ever use wire nuts on automotive/motorcycle wiring!! Please!

Wire nuts are meant for house wiring, that does not move, and is not exposed to corrosive environments.

Wire nuts used on a motorcycle WILL FAIL, first intermittently, then completely. They do not prevent oxidation, and are prone to loosening from vibration.

When connecting wires on a motorcycle, the wires should always be soldered (stabilizes the connection mechanically, and prevents oxidation), and insulated, either with heat-shrink tubing (best), or electrical tape and a zip tie (second best).

When insulating with electrical tape, always put a zip tie around the tape after you have wrapped it. The adhesive on electrical tape melts with heat, and the tape will over time fall off, leaving exposed bare connections to short out. Keeping the tape tightly wrapped around the wire with a zip tie prevents the tape from falling off or the adhesive from failing.

cptkill21
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:59 am
Location: perris, ca
Motorcycle: 1984 Honda Goldwing GL1200 Aspencade

Re: 1984 gl1200a Sound system upgrade Long but worth it for those looking to upgrade.

Post by cptkill21 » Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:11 pm

WingAdmin wrote:
Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:29 am
Great except for one thing: Never, ever, ever use wire nuts on automotive/motorcycle wiring!! Please!

Wire nuts are meant for house wiring, that does not move, and is not exposed to corrosive environments.

Wire nuts used on a motorcycle WILL FAIL, first intermittently, then completely. They do not prevent oxidation, and are prone to loosening from vibration.

When connecting wires on a motorcycle, the wires should always be soldered (stabilizes the connection mechanically, and prevents oxidation), and insulated, either with heat-shrink tubing (best), or electrical tape and a zip tie (second best).

When insulating with electrical tape, always put a zip tie around the tape after you have wrapped it. The adhesive on electrical tape melts with heat, and the tape will over time fall off, leaving exposed bare connections to short out. Keeping the tape tightly wrapped around the wire with a zip tie prevents the tape from falling off or the adhesive from failing.

Completely correct thank you for pointing that out. Not sure if I did. To note in the current stage of this install wire a few things are in temporary setup.

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coolrogue1
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Re: 1984 gl1200a Sound system upgrade Long but worth it for those looking to upgrade.

Post by coolrogue1 » Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:47 pm

Superhawk wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:42 pm
Hi, great post on your upgrade. I have a 87 aspencade and was wondering would those speakers fit behind the factory grills? I have been looking at speakers but would like to keep the factory look.
I found a set of Pioneer speakers at Pep Boys that fit very nicely behind the OEM grills. But just about any 4 inch round speakers should fit as long as the "tweeter" doesn't stick out too far...


Sam
Sam

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coolrogue1
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Re: 1984 gl1200a Sound system upgrade Long but worth it for those looking to upgrade.

Post by coolrogue1 » Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:53 pm

WingAdmin wrote:
Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:29 am
When insulating with electrical tape, always put a zip tie around the tape after you have wrapped it. The adhesive on electrical tape melts with heat, and the tape will over time fall off, leaving exposed bare connections to short out. Keeping the tape tightly wrapped around the wire with a zip tie prevents the tape from falling off or the adhesive from failing.
Use of heat shrink tubing is a great substitute to electrical tape... It can be found at Radio Shack and come in different sizes to fit different size wires. It works great when soldering the wires together just slip it over one of the wires and you can use a "bic" lighter to shrink it.(just don't get over zealous with the heat)
Sam

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jbaviera
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Re: 1984 gl1200a Sound system upgrade Long but worth it for those looking to upgrade.

Post by jbaviera » Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:59 am

coolrogue1 wrote:
Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:53 pm

Use of heat shrink tubing is a great substitute to electrical tape... It can be found at Radio Shack and come in different sizes to fit different size wires. It works great when soldering the wires together just slip it over one of the wires and you can use a "bic" lighter to shrink it.(just don't get over zealous with the heat)
The hardest part of this will be finding a Radio Shack!
Making sawdust with 100% efficiency!

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WingAdmin
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Re: 1984 gl1200a Sound system upgrade Long but worth it for those looking to upgrade.

Post by WingAdmin » Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:31 am

coolrogue1 wrote:
Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:53 pm
WingAdmin wrote:
Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:29 am
When insulating with electrical tape, always put a zip tie around the tape after you have wrapped it. The adhesive on electrical tape melts with heat, and the tape will over time fall off, leaving exposed bare connections to short out. Keeping the tape tightly wrapped around the wire with a zip tie prevents the tape from falling off or the adhesive from failing.
Use of heat shrink tubing is a great substitute to electrical tape... It can be found at Radio Shack and come in different sizes to fit different size wires. It works great when soldering the wires together just slip it over one of the wires and you can use a "bic" lighter to shrink it.(just don't get over zealous with the heat)
I think I mentioned electrical tape as a second option only to heat shrink tubing.

If you are only an occasional user, the best (i.e. cheapest) place to buy heat shrink tubing is Harbor Freight. I use a LOT of it, so I buy it in large spools, from an outfit online called Del City - https://www.delcity.net/ (I also buy all my spools of wire from them). For bulk wire and heat shrink tubing, they've got some of the best prices.

jimh352
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Re: 1984 gl1200a Sound system upgrade

Post by jimh352 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:56 am

Was wondering if the Aspencade model has the auto-increase volume as speed increases? I have the Ltd, so mine does, and isn't that built into the oem radio?

I changed my front speaker to some 50 watt max Boss 4" ones, rms? https://www.amazon.com/BOSS-Audio-BRS40 ... B001RNNX8K

then on the rear I added a little 100 watt amp in my trunk, took the rear speaker wires into line converter, then into amp, then into some 125 watt Boss 4" speakers.
https://www.amazon.com/BOSS-Audio-NX424 ... B004S55KVW

The little 100w amplifier https://www.amazon.com/Sound-Storm-SMC2 ... 00B5MUJNA/

And the line converter, not really neededbut prevents drawing power from oem amp https://www.amazon.com/PAC-SNI-35-Varia ... B001EAWS3W

Sound is awesome, more than loud enough actually. My head unit volume is about 11oclock, the dual on the little amp is about 60%. Auto volume on travel computer is about 12oclock.

My auto-increase volume works, extremely loud at 65mph, tuning, mute, but of course I still have the oem head unit. The amp does have rca input for anything else such as a usb player. I have a small recorder/player that works beautiful. Just have to stop to make any changes.

I would like to change out my head unit, but definitely don't want to lose the three functions:
autovolume, mute, channel change.

Anyone been able to accomplish this?

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SlowTyper
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Re: 1984 gl1200a Sound system upgrade

Post by SlowTyper » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:14 pm

I would like to change out my head unit, but definitely don't want to lose the three functions:
autovolume, mute, channel change.
Forgive me if I am wrong - I am just going by memory, rather than looking stuff up...

The Mute & Channel change are switch connections to the head unit. Mute is a On/Off switch. Up/Dn are momentary contacts. The head unit monitors these inputs and makes internal adjustments accordingly.

The AutoVolume is a different story. It is a pre-amp of sorts that is located in the left fairing. It is connected between the head unit and the power amplifier (which is located inside the fairing, on the left side. The audio inputs and outputs for the AutoVolume unit are DIN connectors - one of these connectors also includes a pin with 12v power to run the AutoVolume unit. When you open the connector, you should be able to ascertain the pinout. A separate singlr wire is the signal from the speedo which tells the unit how fast the bike is moving. Basically, it echoes the output of the speed sensor, having pulses that increase in frequency with speed. The AutoVolume output is the same as the input at no speed. The output is boosted in relation to the speed.

In theory, you should be able to insert the autovolume unit into the audio path of any replacement radio. However, finding an appropriate point along the audio path to insert it may prove to be a challenge. :)

If you are only wanting better speakers, pay attention to the rated efficiency of the speakers you buy. Wattage rating is only a small part of the story, and a high wattage rating can equate to poor efficiency. For example, one speaker with 2 watts of power applied my play louder than another with 20 watts applied! Yes, there is that much difference between speakers!

If your head unit is OK and you just want louder sound, consider replacing only the power amp located in the fairing left side, rather than getting a new head unit. Take apart the DIN connector going to the amp and you will quickly figure out which wires are the L & R audio signals to connect to your replacement amp. Oh yea, admin says your should solder your new connections!!

In summary: Head unit --> AutoVolume --> PowerAmp --> Speakers.

jimh352
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Re: 1984 gl1200a Sound system upgrade

Post by jimh352 » Sat Nov 04, 2017 7:54 pm

The AutoVolume is a different story. It is a pre-amp of sorts that is located in the left fairing. It is connected between the head unit and the power amplifier (which is located inside the fairing, on the left side.

I have the 85 Limited, with the ETC (Electronic Travel Computer) so my auto volume is located inside that.

One of the connections in the din plugs from the head unit carries power to the auto volume, which then sends that power the amp to increase power output to the speakers.
So if a add a new head unit, what am I to do about this wire? It's #1 on the din pinout. Above instructions say to with use power or sending power from new head unit. Makes sense, and then the speedo input to the auto volume will increase voltage to amp, hence louder speaker output.

Ok, now I have a problem, my radio no longer works, again. When I bought the bike, it didn't work. Came on, could see the station !nd change it, just no sound. I cleaned the contacts, everywhere, and it worked. Toggle on my ETC has issues, left channel out, but it works front to back. So I tied my front left speaker to the right at speaker connections. The rear is simply using the right channel through the line converter to rear amp to speakers.

So I'm back to my original plan to install a new head unit. If I just tap the din connector (before auto volume) for my speaker channels, and also send that power needed by the amp through there, will the speaker output from my new head unit be accepted by the auto volume and/or the amp? Or will I need a line converter in between there? I'm thinking the new head unit outputs speaker level signal, and the auto volume and amp won't accept that high, need to use that converter in there as one normally would to add an additional amp, like I done. I'll find out...

But this still has to go through the defective toggle. What a dellimma! The ETC has speaker connections in both the din connectors and the 10pin connector. Trying to figure all that out.


Well, So here's what I'm gonna do. New head unit, run speaker out to the din wires, along with the sending power to din. If the left channel issue isn't there, that means the toggle is fine but the head unit was bad. Good to go. I'll let you know if auto volume still works. Of course the handlebar functions will no longer work, that's ok. I'll leave my rear speakers the same, just if the left channel works, then I don't have to use right-channel-only on my rear speakers.
If I still have no left channel, I'll have to bypass the toggle. But here's how I believe the connections work on the Ltd:
Head Unit (din out) - autovolume (din) - terminal component (din) - amp (din) - toggle (10pin)- speakers.
So to bypass the toggle, i need to use one of those two dins coming into the ETC. Because the 10pin connector has the four speaker channels in that. Two channels in ny way of din, and four chanels out by way of 10pin. So use one of those dins as my speaker feed. The reason I also think those two dins work the way I think is that you cannot plug one into the other as the manual states, it blows a fuse. So the din with power on #1 is the one from the head unit. The other din is from the amp.

Does this make sense?
If all else fails. I'll eliminate all oem stuff, run my front speakers direct off the new radio, and use an additional set of left/right channel into the line converter dropping the signal so it can be input into he little amp, then into the rear speakers. When I need auto volume increase just turn on rear amp (switch by right handlebar) which will instantly give more volume. A LOT more volume. Plus this way I eliminate the extra power draw of the oem amp, auto volume, and that junction box and terminal component if there is any there.

This is such an extremely complicated sound system, but there are a lot of things invloved is why. I don't need intercom, cb, headsets, fader, or even auto volume really. Now the head unit has all these things in it.

Sorry for such a long post.

jimh352
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Re: 1984 gl1200a Sound system upgrade

Post by jimh352 » Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:11 pm

I've figured out how the sound signal flows. It goes as I wrote above, only the connectors are as follows:
1) From head unit to auto volume using din
2) From auto volume to amp using din
3) From amp to toggle using 8pin(not 10pin)-see photo) left and right in, two grounds, four channels out. Read color code on schematic.

There's also that exchanger in there, but for my purpose, it doesn't matter.

So I can check the din after the radio, or after the auto volume to check for the left channel malfunction. To see if I do in fact need to bypass the toggle. I hope not.

So all toggle input and output comes in that single 8wire plug. Converting the signal from two channels to four.
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Photo of plug under ETC for toggle
Photo of plug under ETC for toggle




jimh352
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Re: 1984 gl1200a Sound system upgrade

Post by jimh352 » Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:15 pm

Better photo of the wire diagram
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SlowTyper
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Re: 1984 gl1200a Sound system upgrade

Post by SlowTyper » Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:36 pm

One thing to keep in mind about all this is:

The signals going in & out of the auto-volume are unbalanced.
The signals going to the speakers are balanced.

What does that mean?! Well, an unbalanced signal has one grounded wire, and one signal wire. A balanced signal has one (-) wire, and one (+) wire -- no ground.

So... going in & out of the auto-volume control are 3 wires for the audio. A common ground wire, a signal wire for Left, and a signal wire for Right.

But... going out the power amp to the speakers are 4 wires. A (-) wire for Left, a (+) wire for Left, a (-) wire for Right, and a (+) wire for Right.

Thus, trying to connect the auto-volume to the speaker output of a replacement head unit runs into the problem of feeding a 4 wire signal design (in new radio) to a 3 wire signal design (in auto-volume).

If you just connect the two L/R (-) wires together in order to go from a 4 wire signal to a 3 wire signal, you will short out the radio (and the auto-volume?)! And if you only connect the L/R (+) wires to the auto-volume (and connect the common ground wire for the auto-volume to ground), you will likely fry the auto-volume unit. The problem is that in the case of an unbalanced signal, the average voltage potential is ground potential. But in the case of an unbalanced signal, there may be a significant (and same) average voltage on both wires. In the case of car radios, this voltage is typically 6-7VDC! And that DC voltage is what will zap your auto-volume unit. (The work around is to use an isolation transformer. But that is likely more trouble and expense than it is worth. In professional sound system applications, the isolation transformer is called a 'direct box' and it has a 'Gnd Lift' button that tells it to remove any DC voltage component (that 6-7vdc) that may exist.)

So, in short, it is only practical to keep the GL1200 original auto-volume unit and power amplifier in the signal chain if you buy a radio that has unbalanced speaker outputs, where one of the speaker wires for each speaker is a common ground wire rather than a (-) signal wire. Typically, this is only the case in car radios putting out just a couple watts.

jimh352
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Re: 1984 gl1200a Sound system upgrade

Post by jimh352 » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:46 pm

So you're saying that adding a new head unit before the autovolume cannot be done? Isn't that what the op done above, and has a video? Unless he fried the av as you suggest and just not telling us, or he doesn't know it, or it did in fact work. Here's the wires he used:

Pin 13 - Right Channel
Pin 14 - Left Channel
Pin 15 - Speaker ground
Pin 16 - Power output for Auto Volume Control

Three audio wires in. No speaker grounds as I understand from his wording:

You will not use the negative from the speakers on the new wiring harness it just needs to be capped off. (Do not cut the negative for speakers off the new wiring harness as it will possibly be used in future updates.)

Could this be the trick? to not use the speaker grounds, but tie that into the main ground?

I'm still interested in changing out my sound system, but I'll admit something dumb I done, just so others can read this and double check stuff. One of the connectors under my ETC was unplugged, duh. Must have come loose when I was checking relays on air pump. So now, yes my radio works again. (Only after cleaning and bending those tabs out).
So new sound system is back burner again. Someday I may do a trial install just to find out and post results. I see a LOT of radio posts wanting new stuff. It would be nice to know for sure.



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