Learning, Wiring,

How to Turn on an Amp Without a Remote Wire (5-Methods)

The remote turn-on cable is in charge of turning your amp on and off. But what if you don’t have a remote wire? How do you switch your amp on and off?

In general, installing a high-low adaptor with a trigger is the most straightforward approach to switching on the car amp without a remote wire. You can also connect a cable from the ignition switch to the amplifier or plug it into the cigarette lighter, but only if the ignition key is used to turn it on and off.

In this article, I’ll show you how to do an amp remote wire switch on the amplifier without using a remote.

How to Turn on Amp Without Remote Wire

There are different ways for remotely turning on and off your amplifier, even if your head unit does not have a remote turn-on wire.

1. Use Your Vehicle’s Fuse Box

breaker with label for awg

One of the best methods to do an amp remote wire switch on an amplifier without using the car stereo’s remote is to get the turn-on signal from your vehicle’s fuse box. Because the remote turn-on wire is low voltage, you may connect it to any fused output terminal, as long as it only powers up when the automobile is turned on. (1)

Use a multimeter before connecting the wire to the fuse to ensure that the fuse receiving the signal only gets power when the ignition is turned on. Using this connection would be much easier to establish if you use an Add A Fuse connection and a 2A to 10A fuse.

2. Using Remote Turn-on Module

As the name implies, a turn-on trigger is a little device that provides a switch-on signal to your amplifier remote wire. It may be triggered by any speaker wire or low-level trigger connection.

different wires in man's hand

When fitted, a turn-on module detects the voltage on the speaker cables of the head unit and sends a 12+ volt input to the remote wire.

Aside from being affordable, the best feature about most of these turn-on modules is that they integrate a few seconds delay before activating the output in all applications to eliminate turn-on noise (in the form of loud pop).

3. Use the High/Low Adapter with Trigger

Another excellent approach to switching on your amp without a remote wire is using a high/low adapter with a trigger. This adaptor detects when the head unit is turned on and provides a remote output that triggers your amplifier to come on. Similarly, whenever you turn off the radio or turn off the ignition, it sees no signal from the car stereo level wires connected to and disables that trigger.

high/low adapter with trigger

A line output converter is a machine that converts a factory head unit’s non-pre-amp speaker output (high-level signals) into a low-level signal appropriate for an aftermarket amplifier.

4. Using Source That Turns On/Off with the Ignition Key

Because standard radios lack a remote turn-on wire, the voltage turn-on signal must originate from somewhere, undoubtedly your vehicle’s electrical system.

turns on/off with the ignition key

Locate a voltage source (part of the vehicle’s electrical system) that activates when the ignition is in ACCESSORY or ON position, tap into it, and attach the turn-on wire. That’s all there is to it.

5. Use the switch to Amplifier Remote Turn on

Another viable alternative for connecting a suitable remote turn-on wire to your amplifier is securing a continuous power antenna, grounding it to a switch, and connecting its output to the speaker wire. It allows you to regulate when the amplifier goes on and off manually with the flick of a button.

wiring the amp

The disadvantage of wiring the amp remote to turn on is that it will continue to operate even if the vehicle’s electrical system is not charging. As a result, if you fail to turn off the switch, the amplifier will continue to consume power until the battery dies.

6. Use Jumper Wire from Power Antenna to Amplifier Remote Turn on (NOT RECOMMENDED)

It is the simplest method for bypassing a vehicle amp remote wire. However, it is not suggested.

jumper wire from power antenna

Why did we provide this approach if we didn’t encourage it? It could work as a temporary solution for one simple reason. It should not, however, be utilized as a long-term treatment. This amp remote wire bypass entails connecting a jumper wire from the power end to the remote turn-on terminal.

Your amp remote wire will get continuous power, continue to operate, and never switch off until it burns out or drains the battery.

Test Your Remote Turn-on Wire

To see if your remote turn-on wire is working correctly, use a multimeter and connect the positive wire to the end of the wire and the negative charge to a ground port.

  • Turn off the electricity of the ignition.
  • Set ON for the ignition and repeat it. It should have 12+ volts on the reading.
  • If the multimeter’s reading is 12+ volts on the remote switch on the wire while the ignition is turned off, it is linked to steady electricity.
  • If the remote turn-on lead does not have electricity while the ignition is turned on, it either has a faulty connection or is not linked to a wire that gets voltage while the ignition is turned on. (2)

What is the Function of the Remote Turn-On Wire?

Once the ignition is in the accessory or on position, the remote turn-on wire gets a turn-on signal of +12 volts DC from the electrical system. This turn-on signal is transmitted to the car amp turn-on circuit via the remote turn-on wire; it turns on when the amplifier remote wire detects this voltage. Similarly, the amps go off when there is no voltage in the wire (indicating that the ignition is turned off). If you tap into an existing constant voltage line in your car amplifier and link it to the remote turn-on wire, the amplifier will always be on.

Similarly, if you connect a wire that does not get voltage when the ignition is in the ACCESSORY or ON position to the remote turn-on wire, your amp will not turn on until that wire receives voltage.

On a side topic, if the remote turn-on-wire is not fitted correctly, your amp may not switch on when the head unit is turned on. Even if it has adequate power and ground connections, it may continue to draw power until depleting the battery.

Take a look at some of our related articles below.

(1) automobile – https://www.britannica.com/technology/automobile
(2) electricity – https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zgy39j6/

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About Sam Orlovsky

AvatarCertifications: B.E.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Electric Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Electrical engineering is my passion, and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. This gives me a unique ability to give you expert home improvement and DIY recommendations. I’m not only an electrician, but I also like machinery and anything to do with carpentry. One of my career paths started as a general handyman, so I also have a lot of experience with home improvement I love to share.

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