Richard Craver

Thoughts, Musings And The Occasional Rant

Self Inflicted Bite To The Butt – Part 3

Written By: richardwcraver - Feb• 15•15

While I was waiting for the Bluetooth receiver to arrive, I began making plans for the USB power connection it required. I had already put a lighter outlet in the glovebox to keep my phone charged while driving. A 2.1A and 1.0A dual USB outlet charger. My first thought was to run the 3.5mm phone jack in there and plug it up. No! Too simple, and the glovebox is too cluttered already. When the bluetooth arrived I plugged into the outlet in the glovebox, confirmed that it worked and audio is clear (At idle). Yes! Now off to simplifying wiring.

Bluetooth Receiver

Work was slow, so I had plenty of time for experimentation. So what I’ve done is remove the lighter outlet from the glovebox and connected it to the rear of the original Honda cigarette lighter, behind the radio, so it is powered off the ignition switch. I ran the charger cable over the heater control panel and out through an unused switch plug. All that shows is a short length of micro USB cable from the dash, a custom phone holder above the center vents. OK, it’s cobbled together with coat-hanger wire and covered with gray vacuum hose (But it works and works quite well!), along with the unassuming Blaupunkt radio. I like that the Blaupunkt is unassuming, it has no bling, it’s not thief bait in a parking lot.

The trouble, is on the highway at 3,500 rpm I still have that stinking alternator whine. I decided to call on my friend Google again. Google tells me that a capacitor wired to the output terminal of the alternator will take care of things okie-dokie. The shop I work at specializes in Acura and Honda products, they have been in business since 1978, and have a wealth of N.O.S. (New Old Stock) stuck away in boxes in corners. There was a bin of ignition points and condensers (capacitors) still in cellophane wrap. So I grabbed a condenser, bolted the can to the alternator housing and the lead to the output lug. Fired that puppy up, still whining…….

condensorSo I go back to my friend Google. Google tells me to make sure the radio is well grounded, and anecdotally wrapping stuff in aluminium foil and grounding it is helpful. So back out into the shop. I removed the capacity and returned it to N.O.S. bin, and pulled the radio out once more. Obviously the radio has a ground or it wouldn’t be playing. How’s about I add a ground wire to the case lug and run it to the metal bodywork of the car? A piece of wire and two eyelet connectors later it was done. Now about that aluminium foil. I went to the break room and pulled off a six” length of foil, which I then cut into 3″ strips, folded them around the 3.5mm input cable making sure the foil was bolted under the end of the ground wire on the radio. Taped it up with electrical tape, put it all back together and behold there was no alternator noise. I could turn the volume to any level and raise the engine speed to any level and no alternator noise! Red Neck engineering had triumphed!


This was on a Wednesday; I drove home with superior audio quality listening to a playlist of podcasts basking in my victory. I picked up my wife, we grabbed a bit to eat and went to choir rehearsal. Home from choir rehearsal still resplendent in my new found audio functionality.

Work had been horribly slow, but it was a good day!

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