I have a 1964 Ford Thunderbird on my car stereo I only have one power wire I assume it does to the ignition can I run my new car stereo on just the ignition power or will I need to run a new wire from the battery

2 Answers 2


New car stereos usually have two power supplies -

  1. The switched supply for the main sound functions etc
  2. A permanent supply for the memory functions.

If your existing single supply is switched, then you will need to add another fused permanent supply for the memory. You can take this direct from the battery or from the fuse box.


Presuming back in '64, car radios used mechanical memory; manually dial or tune into a station then push one of several numbered buttons to memorize the dialed position. Tune into other stations and push other buttons to memorize several stations instead having to repeatedly tune into a favorite station(s). 100% electronic radios use two power wires, one is switched power for the radio and wired into the ignition switch and the other is live all the time and used to keep stored radio presets in electronic memory alive. This is the second wire needed directly from either the battery or on any hot side of a fuse. Since radio memory uses very little power, a small gauge wire is more than sufficient for keep alive memory.

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