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Old 06-12-2019, 01:11 AM   #1
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Jensen radio turned on by itself

I had a problem with my Jensen radio turning on all the sudden. I am seeing other threads stating what could be wrong including replacement. I had also heard that it could be from Radio interference from Airlines or maybe automobiles with newer technology. The radio turned on by itself two or three times a day. After looking at my battery charge inside the trailer panel I saw it was only charged halfway . I plugged in my trailer and charge the batteries for 2 days. After I got a good charge on it and inspected my batteries I found a corrosion around some of the terminals and check the water. After cleaning the battery and making sure the water was up I reattach the battery. When I reattach the battery the radio came on. So I went inside and turned it off and it has not been turning on since so you might want to check for corrosion around your battery and make sure it's fully charged. I don't know why it worked the way it did but it did. I'm thinking a voltage problem with the battery being too low with the corrosion and making a connection again. I also have a trickle charger attached to my batteries charged. I hope this information can help somebody else out for having to tear out there stereo in their trailer.

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Old 06-12-2019, 06:01 AM   #2
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If you have the model Jensen I had in a previous rig weather alerts can turn the radio on when a alert hits.


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Old 06-12-2019, 03:45 PM   #3
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Both my A-frames had automotive stereos installed, and both had the issue you had. I traced it down to ANY sudden DC voltage change turned the stereo on. It could be turning the disconnect switch on/off, plugging/unplugging the camper (turns the converter on/off), etc. So I decided to install a separate power switch in the positive 12V lead of the stereo. When I pulled out the microwave to access the stereo wiring I understood what was happening.

An automotive stereo has 2 power leads. In a car or truck, the main power runs through the ignition relay, so that relay has to be on for the stereo to power up. The second power lead bypasses the ignition switch to provide "keep alive" power for presets and memory. If you remember replacing the battery in your car or truck, you remember losing all your radio presets and equalizer settings - because both wires are unpowered when the battery is removed.

Since campers don't have an ignition relay, both the keep alive and main power wires are connected to the same unswitched +12V DC source. A quick voltage change has the same effect as the ignition relay being turned on in your car or truck.

My cure was to install a switch in both stereo power leads. I didn't want the current draw of the stereo "keep alive", even though it's quite small. Losing the presets and other settings reverting to default was worth the power savings, since I rarely use the stereo while camping. But if you want the "keep alive" function, only switch the main power lead.

Fred W
2019 Flagstaff T21TBHW A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
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Old 06-20-2019, 02:55 PM   #4
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Also check the alarm setting on your radio (if it is like mine - the DVD/Radio/Clock all in one - ours is a Jensen).

We would be sitting on the deck at the house, and occasionally hear musing from inside the TT. I finally figured out it was the alarm had been set and the radio came on as the alarm sound. Once I turned it off, did not happen again. It happened at odd hours in the evening as apparently one time the power was off and I had the battery disconnected from doing some work and when I reconnected the battery the clock restarted at midnight with the alarm set for like 6AM. So six hours later, music for a while then off.....
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Old 06-20-2019, 07:51 PM   #5
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pgandw nailed it.

Mine did the uncommanded activation thing every now and then -- until I installed a hard cutoff switch to save a few amps of parasitic drain when I'm on solar.


Rich Phillips
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jensen, radio

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