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2006 Outback Wagon 2.5L
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Discussion Starter #1
2006 Outback wagon. Been getting sketchy radio reception recently. Searched here and found some threads that indicate the wires feeding the antenna amp in the rear hatch feed through the boot/gaiter between the hatch and body. I opened each end of the boot and tugged on the wires, but all 3 appeared taut when tugged. All connections on the hatch side of the boot appear snug:
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I suppose the way to go from here is to confirm continuity between the 3 wire ends on the hatch and their respective ends at or near the radio. Is there a pinout/diagram that indicates where the wires in the hatch go to, at/near the radio?
 

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2006 Outback Wagon 2.5L
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Discussion Starter #3
CD functions as expected.
Which wire is supposed to be 12V? There are three that I see—black, black with long brown dash, black with short red-brown dash.
 

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2008 Subaru Outback Base. 2005 Subaru Outback 2.5i. 2013 Harely-Davidson FLHTK.
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CD functions as expected.
Which wire is supposed to be 12V? There are three that I see—black, black with long brown dash, black with short red-brown dash.
Hook a test light to ground, power up the radio and then check for power at one of the wires. It won't hurt a thing to probe all the wires with a grounded test light. If none of them lights the test light then worry about which one is the 12 volt feed.
 

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Well, considering the long brown "dashed" wire is grounded to the hatch sheet metal, that only leaves the black and short brown dash to check. :)
 

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2008 Subaru Outback Base. 2005 Subaru Outback 2.5i. 2013 Harely-Davidson FLHTK.
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Well, considering the long brown "dashed" wire is grounded to the hatch sheet metal, that only leaves the black and short brown dash to check. :)
I guess you answered part of your question. A Factory Service Manual is your friend!
 

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2006 Outback Wagon 2.5L
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Discussion Starter #7
So given that the two wires in question are plugged into (what I presume is) the antenna amplifier, can I just unplug and touch my multimeter leads to the connector, or do I need to backprobe the wires with the connector plugged in?
 

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2006 Outback Wagon 2.5L
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Discussion Starter #10
So I measured about 0.4V between the short dash wire and the long dash wire that's bolted to the sheet metal. What kind of voltage are you all getting?

Unplugging the connector degrades the signal, but that's probably just because it's entirely disconnected from the antenna, right?
 

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Going from memory, the black wire with red marks that is grounded to the hatch, goes through the flexible boot and is similarly grounded to the car body above the headlining. This ground is needed to ensure the hatch is well-grounded, for the amplifier and other functions.

The thicker black wire with the "0812" imprint is the coaxial signal cable from the amplifier to the radio. This goes through the boot, down the D pillar, where it goes to a connector. The other side of the connector is also a coaxial cable that goes up above the headliner and then forward along the headliner to the radio.

The remaining black wire with red dots coming from the amplifier also goes through the flexible boot, down the left side "D" pillar, to a one-wire connector. The wire from the other side of the connector runs forward in the rear wiring harness to the dashboard area where it ends at terminal 14 of the connector at the back of the radio. This carries power for the amplifier that's switched on when the radio is on.

If there's only 0.4 V on the black short dash wire to the amplifier, then that could mean the amplifier isn't getting power, and therefore isn't working.

I just noticed that you don't have the Subaru radio in there (https://www.subaruoutback.org/threads/oem-head-unit-connectors.516096/#post-5898394). If the problem with radio reception started with that install, then the new unit or related wiring might explain the problem.
 

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2005 Outback 2.5i, Auto Transmission, 270k+
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DID the problem start with the new head unit install? (Kind of a major variable to leave out)

There are places on the web to download service manuals for these vehicles, that would have your wiring diagrams and troubleshooting procedures.

(I am away from the computer that has all my bookmarks, otherwise I would post the link here. Hopefully someone else can provide the link, or you can try some Googling...)

I do know on my Chevy Malibu there was a wire in the aftermarket harness marked "12v ANT" or "Antenna" or something like that that HAD to be connected for the amplifier to work. I will not be able to check my install before the weekend, but that might something to check.

(This wire provided switched power to the amplifier in my Malibu, the amp didn't receive power unless the radio was switched on.)

Will report back when I have a chance to check things on my end...
 

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2006 Outback Wagon 2.5L
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Discussion Starter #13
Problem with reception started before HU install. If it had started with the HU install, my suspicion would have fallen on it, and not the antenna.

Question: how is the 0812 wire coaxial? It appears to only have one pin in the connector.

Regarding the ANT wire, the HU does have an ANT wire for a power antenna, which I left unconnected because I didn't have a power antenna. Incorrect? Is the antenna amplifier supposed to receive a signal to turn on?
 

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2005 Outback 2.5i, Auto Transmission, 270k+
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Have a look here:

http://ae64.com/Legacy-pinout.htm

This is the pinout for the 14-pin connector that goes to the radio, and what your aftermarket harness adapter connects to.

This connector supplies all power and speaker connections.

Pay particular attention to pin 14. Notice in the table from the link above it shows a yellow/black wire going to the antenna amplifier. This is power for the antenna amplifier (so yes, it is supposed to receive power/signal to turn on from the radio).

Also note that this is entirely different from the radio signal antenna connector. I couldn't find a decent picture of the car end of the connector (behind the radio, inside the dash), but it mates to the aftermarket head unit antenna adapter shown here: https://www.crutchfield.com/S-aFNxpLyT3dr/p_12040SB10/Subaru-Antenna-Adapter.html

You didn't specifically mention the adapter in your head unit thread, so I don't know if you are actually connected to the antenna or not.

If the inside-dash antenna connection was not made for the stock unit, that might explain why the reception was sketchy.

Prior to replacing the radio, was the factory radio ever removed for any reason (to your knowledge)? The antenna connector has a way of dropping out of sight when disconnected, and is easy to overlook when putting everything back together.

Oh: Service manuals available here: http://jdmfsm.info/Auto/Japan/Subaru/Legacy_Outback/

You just need to click/scroll through to find what you need.
 

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2006 Outback Wagon 2.5L
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Discussion Starter #16
sgoti, the antenna is connected. The installation kit came with an adapter cable with a Subaru antenna connector on one end and the standard coax pin/peg connector to stick in the back of the aftermarket head unit. Is that what you're asking about? Looks just like the ones you linked.

Will dig into the rest of your post when I get a chance.
 

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2005 Outback 2.5i, Auto Transmission, 270k+
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sgoti, the antenna is connected. The installation kit came with an adapter cable with a Subaru antenna connector on one end and the standard coax pin/peg connector to stick in the back of the aftermarket head unit. Is that what you're asking about? Looks just like the ones you linked.

Will dig into the rest of your post when I get a chance.
Yep, that's what I was asking about.

Sounds like you have that end covered...
 

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Question: how is the 0812 wire coaxial? It appears to only have one pin in the connector.
So I measured about 0.4V between the short dash wire and the long dash wire that's bolted to the sheet metal. What kind of voltage are you all getting?
Battery voltage when the ignition is at ACC (or On), and, the radio is turned on.

I just pulled the trim and verified.

Pretty much the same set up at the top of the hatch . . .
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Except the smaller black wire to the amplifier connector has the larger red mark:
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When the connector to the amplifier is removed, this is what the amplifier side looks like:
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The "coax shield ground" is connected to the amplifier case and through that to the car ground.

The harness connector, viewed end on, reveals not only the contacts for the power and the coax center wire, but also small fingers, on all four sides of the larger (antenna) opening, that contact the coax shield ground in the amplifier's connector (my apologies for the poorer focus, especially for the "fingers"):
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With the ignition at ACC (or ON) and the radio switched On, there's battery voltage at the small, power supply pin. (In this case, I also measured to the bolt of the nearby black with red dot wire after confirming continuity to the car body itself.) There's no battery voltage with the radio Off.
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Incidentally, here's the back of the harness connector. Note that the opening next to the black/red wire is not used (blocked).
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So, if there's no voltage at the connector with the ignition at ACC and the radio On, and as the same problem was experienced with the previous radio, it suggests a discontinuity between that pin #14 on the radio connector, and the antenna amplifier connector. Although none of wires going through the flexible boot are visually broken, there's a possibility that the wire inside the insulation is broken. At this point, as you mentioned earlier, the continuity should be checked, perhaps working first between the antenna connector and the power wire on the other side of the flexible boot, then on from there to the radio. Note, that wire goes to a connector just below the "D" pillar, where it connects to the yellow wire going, via the car's "rear harness", to the radio. This might be a point for checking continuity to the amplifer and also forward to the radio connector.
473682
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks so much! To confirm, the arrows in your last pic are the power wire that's paired with the coax wire in the connector at the amp?
 
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