kenwood dpx308u - display setting problems

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kenwood dpx308u - display setting problems

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Just replaced my factory receiver in an 03 GMC Sierra HD crew cab w/ the dpx308u.  Found that the speakers did not work.  Crutchfield gave the the $50 discount on 2 sets of Kenwood speakers!  All works and sound is great now...

One problem remains:  the color settings on the display are not retained after turning off the truck for more than 10-15 minutes.  I can set custom colors, but if I come back later in the day to use the truck, the display colors always revert to continuous varied colors (default, i guess).  Other settings are retained (presets, clock, etc...).  Any ideas??  Also... used the GM wiring harness adapter as suggested by Crutchfield.  Any ideas on how to check into this problem further?

Kenwood USA troubleshooting was no help.  They said I was performing the setting procedure correctly (turning off demo mode, etc... etc...).

Thanks in advance!


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  • You should try CF's tech support as well ....  (Number should be on your invoice, or their 800 sales number can connect you).

    I'm not sure what is going on, but I'm going to give you some guesses:

    • I assume the variable colors are the DEMO mode of the unit.
    • I assume the presets and clock being retained means you have the yellow wire connected correctly.
    • From your response, I'm assuming that you know how to turn off Demo mode (Page 29 of the manual), and further from your response, I assume that color does not change once you turn off DEMO mode if the unit stays powered - that the color stays the same if you quickly cycle power, but that the color varies if power is off from more than 10-15 minutes.

    There are really only four possibilities that I can think of:

    • Perhaps the unit is not designed to remember DEMO ON/OFF SETTING in RAM memory, but this seems highly unlikely.
    • The unit could be defective - best way to check would be to connect the red, yellow, and black wires to a spare battery or another vehicle and see if the problem occurs there.
    • Hard to imagine exactly how, but it is possible either the battery has say 10V - which is enough to keep the clock and presets but not enough for the DEMO mode, or that the GM adapter somehow is only outputting lower voltage when the truck is off - you can check the battery voltage and make sure the terminals are clean and water level is good, and you could try wiring the radio without the GM adapter (you'll lose OnStar, though) and test and see if that helps.

    Hope This Helps!!!

    Anyone else have suggestions?

    2002 Ford Focus JVC KD-A815 Sony CDX-GT410u Sony XT-100HD HD Tuner Stock speakers, no amp, no subs

  • Some more information.  I checked the wiring with a digital multimeter and the yellow wire shows 12 volts on the factory side of the adapter harness and on the radio side constantly-as it should.  The red power wire shows 12 volts when ignition switch is on and 0 volts when the switch is off.

    As far as the color display... it holds settings until the instant that I start the car, at which time the head unit restarts as if everything had been turned off.  All settings are good again EXCEPT the display color settings as noted before.

    Does this info give anyone an idea?

    Will give Crutchfield tech a call and see what they think since I have checked voltage and all seems correct.

  • Definitely give CF's tech support a shot at this.

    I have a rough theory, but it's a long shot.

    The yellow wire is supposed to be constant power, but i don't think it REALLY is - when you start the car, I think all interior power gets shunted so all battery current can be sent to the starter.  So for a few seconds when you start the car, the yellow wire has 0 Volts.  Normally the radio stores preset info and probably has an internal capacitor to retain these settings for several seconds when power is removed, but maybe the color settings were not included - pretty big oversight on Kenwood's part, though.

    You might have better luck running the yellow wire directly to the battery (with an appropriate fuse), but I'm not sure that would fix the issue.

    Hope This Helps!!!

    Anyone else have suggestions?

    2002 Ford Focus JVC KD-A815 Sony CDX-GT410u Sony XT-100HD HD Tuner Stock speakers, no amp, no subs

  • TigerHeli
    when you start the car, I think all interior power gets shunted so all battery current can be sent to the starter.  So for a few seconds when you start the car, the yellow wire has 0 Volts. 

    Now THIS is a workable theory!  Why not put the DMM on the yellow wire and start the car?  See if the 12V power is temporarily terminated.  If so, wiring straight from the battery may be your fix.

  • You've got me curious, but I think it will be - i.e. I think in my car the radio shuts off when the starter engages, so I assume the yellow wire shuts off, but I don't lose my presets, my color settings, or the fact that I don't want to be in demo mode - but it's a JVC head unit.

    2002 Ford Focus JVC KD-A815 Sony CDX-GT410u Sony XT-100HD HD Tuner Stock speakers, no amp, no subs

  • OK... more info.... if I physically turn off the radio (on-off) switch before turning off the car, I can start the car later and then turn on the radio and the display colors are still set.  Sooo the problem seems to be some interruption (or surge) when the car is started (unlikely), or some kind of defect in the unit that only affects display settings (possible). 


    Update:  I talked w/ Crutchfield tech and they are going to send me a NEW unit to swap out as soon as they receive more stock from Kenwood (free of charge-- I don't even have to pay return shipping for the 1st unit).  Hope the new one will not have this issue!

  • Drband,


    I just installed this unit in my 05 altima 2 days ago. I am having the same issue. They are sending me a new unit once off backorder. I at first thought maybe the battery wiring was wrong, but my clock, presets, etc are saved. I also notice the color choice is saved on acc mode but the minute you turn to ignition it reverts to variable scan (which is the first option in color select) which cycles through all colors. I dont think it is reverting to demo mode.Crutchfield also recommended I call kenwood and let them know as crutchfield has now had 4 calls regarding this problem. All different cars. I called kenwood and I am the first person to inform them of this issue. Call Kenwood as well just to let them know. My thought is the replacement unit will do the same and will be purchasing a different unit.

  • Sadly, it does sound like a problem with the unit - one good thing is that is is possible Kenwood might offer a firmware update to fix the problem - although it doesn't appear that anything is out yet.

    2002 Ford Focus JVC KD-A815 Sony CDX-GT410u Sony XT-100HD HD Tuner Stock speakers, no amp, no subs

  • DrBand,

    I just installed this unit in my 2011 Civic and I feel your pain. This unit is awesome but having it reset everytime my car starts is a major annoyance. Crutchfield Tech support said they are going to contact Kenwood today because they are getting so many calls about it. I will post any updates once i hear from Cruthfield again.

  • Hope they contact them (Kenwood) ASAP!  I think Kenwood would respond more quickly to Crutchfield complaining than to a single customer or two calling.  I too really like the unit and would rather have it working properly than another.  Who did you talk with at Crutchfield?  And would it do any good to call them again-- do you think?

  • Robert from Crutchfield helped me out and he said he would email me with any news. He advised me to hold on to the unit in case a firmware update became available soon, seeing that its already on backorder it might take a while before a new unit would arrive anyways. In response to calling  again I would wait, they seem to have their stuff together

  • same problem here as mention multiple times, i will be keeping an eye on this post.

    PS, mine was installed by local professionals in my 06 infiniti g35 sedan

  • Update: Robert in tech emailed me stating that Crutchfield had inquired with Kenwood and they are checking with their engineers to see what's going on. He said it would probably be a few days before Kenwood would let them know anything. Big Ups to Robert at Crutchfield.

  • Also got a call from Robert after calling 1800KENWOOD to report the same issue.  He noted the issue, said Crutchfield had contacted them, and said they were working to determine the cause.  He confirmed that the only way around the issue is to turn off the radio manually before turning off power to the unit.  Then, after restarting the car later, manually turn on the radio (radio power switch).  That's exactly what I had discovered, too.  Anyway, now that Kenwood is working on this... hope there will be a fix (software or new unit) that will be forthcoming.  Robert also said he would keep in touch to resolve my problem.

  • Robert was from KENWOOD support.