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LED Controller Noise ... wiring or controller?

Discussion in 'Electronics-Stereo/GPS/Chartplotter/Electrical etc' started by JDFester, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. JDFester

    JDFester Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Loganville, GA
    Ratings:
    +17 / 0
    Boat Make:
    Yamaha
    Year:
    2013
    Boat Model:
    AR
    Boat Length:
    19
    My boat came to me with Kicker LED speakers and controller. It has had an issue with AWFUL noise in the system. I've read through the forums and fixed numerous wiring issues in the boat; grounding in particular, and the noise has changed, but not gone away. Sometimes its better and sometimes its worse, with no rhyme or reason that I can find.

    Well, last night I decided to start disconnecting things to see if I could isolate the issue. Lo and behold, when I disconnect the LED controller, the noise goes away. Hook it back up, noise is back. Double checked that it had good power and ground at amp board; no issues. Even tried a totally separate battery connected to nothing except the LED controller. Noise is still there when the controller is on. My thinking now is that the DC lines to the LEDs may have damage/short to something? I disconnect each speaker's LEDs, and the noise does not go away, even with no speakers/LEDs powered, just the controller.

    So, is the controller just potentially that noisy? It is located right next to my amp, and the cables route with the speaker cables, power cables, and other cables... given the quality of workmanship I found with the other wiring, I suspect the wiring is sub-par, but am still at a loss for how that is causing the buzzing when even on a totally isolated battery. Wondering if I should bother replacing the cabling, or just get a whole new controller, such as this one?

    I have read multiple other threads, but most of those seemed to be solved by correcting ground issues. Has anyone had a controller itself cause the noise, or an LED wiring issue? Am I missing something I should try to further isolate the culprit?
     
  2. Mainah

    Mainah Jetboaters Captain

    Messages:
    2,160
    Location:
    Chapin, SC
    Ratings:
    +2,591 / 19
    Boat Make:
    Yamaha
    Year:
    2016
    Boat Model:
    Limited S
    Boat Length:
    24
    Cheap led controllers have cheap parts. The controllers use PWM to deliver the right amount of power to each channel on the led strip at different wavelengths/frequencies. This can emit atmospheric emi as well as loop emi. I would certainly move the led controller away from the amps, headunit, rca cables, speaker cables, and any other wiring or electrical component. I would also use shielded rca cables. If that does not work try a better controller an upsize to one with more power handling while at it. If that does not work you can try running a dedicated ground wire for the controller all the way to the battery, an in line independent power supply to isolate the controller, or shunting the noise with a large in line capacitor.

    Having the same path to ground is important for all of the audio gear or even certain canbus networked stuff. For things that can cause emi you want to seperate those on a different path to ground where the battery is just a large capacitor that can shunt the noise.
     
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