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Old 09-10-2010, 04:47 PM   #1
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Issue with Stereo and Amp wiring

Ok I am throwing this one out there on the off chance someone has some pearls of wisdom...

We have a "car" stereo, an amp and three pairs of speakers--saloon, aft cabin and flybridge.* On the sea trial we asked the PO what a dial knob thing on the flybridge did and he said that was the volume for the speakers up there as he "needs his tunes."* We were trying to get the flybridge speakers to work last weekend with no success.* the fader and balance on the stereo were only affecting the aft cabin and saloon speakers.* My husband tried bypassing the switch on the fly bridege with no success.* He wired the fly bridge speakers into the amp with the saloon speakers, which worked but overloaded the amp and was causing crackling... so he bought some splitter things from radio shack and this is where*things got really weird.* I am not 100% what he plugged the splitter into but the stereo started making an alarm sound--sounded JUST like an engine alarm.* He moved wires around all different ways and no matter what, as soon as we turned the stereo on the alarm sound started.* But get this, I started flipping off switches on the electrical panel and when I turned off the control for the lights in the forward section of the boat the alarm stopped.* Turned it back on, alarm started, turned it off, it stopped...

Any ideas?* Are we overloading something and that particular switch is actually a red herring, the problem is the overall load on something is causing an alarm not directly related to the stereo or the lights at all??* The sound SEEMS to come out the speakers??

My suggestion to my husband was to remove all the wiring from the amp and stereo and start over... *
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:25 AM   #2
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RE: Issue with Stereo and Amp wiring

IPod and headphones. Keep your music to yourself....I don't want to hear it.....
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Old 09-11-2010, 07:23 AM   #3
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RE: Issue with Stereo and Amp wiring

On a slow steady trawler, We've found Cambridge* or Bose music boxes more than quite acceptable. They:
--are portable,
--take up little space,
--can act as a DVD player
--accept I pods,
--play CDs
--can accept a 12V car Sirius/XM input
--and SOUND GREAT
--have headphone output

All the messing around with wiring, hiding speakers etc are gone. On an 18 foot ski boat, no way. Get the big speakers and bolt them on! For a dock queen boat, I'd go with the big speakers and amps too. My Cambrdige will not budge of its rubber pads in a 6' sea.
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Old 09-12-2010, 06:12 AM   #4
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RE: Issue with Stereo and Amp wiring

Quote:
Pineapple Girl wrote:

Ok I am throwing this one out there on the off chance someone has some pearls of wisdom...

We have a "car" stereo, an amp and three pairs of speakers--saloon, aft cabin and flybridge.* On the sea trial we asked the PO what a dial knob thing on the flybridge did and he said that was the volume for the speakers up there as he "needs his tunes."* We were trying to get the flybridge speakers to work last weekend with no success.* the fader and balance on the stereo were only affecting the aft cabin and saloon speakers.* My husband tried bypassing the switch on the fly bridege with no success.* He wired the fly bridge speakers into the amp with the saloon speakers, which worked but overloaded the amp and was causing crackling... so he bought some splitter things from radio shack and this is where*things got really weird.* I am not 100% what he plugged the splitter into but the stereo started making an alarm sound--sounded JUST like an engine alarm.* He moved wires around all different ways and no matter what, as soon as we turned the stereo on the alarm sound started.* But get this, I started flipping off switches on the electrical panel and when I turned off the control for the lights in the forward section of the boat the alarm stopped.* Turned it back on, alarm started, turned it off, it stopped...

Any ideas?* Are we overloading something and that particular switch is actually a red herring, the problem is the overall load on something is causing an alarm not directly related to the stereo or the lights at all??* The sound SEEMS to come out the speakers??

My suggestion to my husband was to remove all the wiring from the amp and stereo and start over...
Napple Girl
wow that's a lot of stuff in one post!
I have no clear understanding of what your husband did, but if the ALARM wasnt ringing before he tampered with things, get him to UNDO whatever he did precisely.
It would be good if you got him to write his description here so we could deal with him directly since he was the one with his hands and eyes on the wires.

First there is a basic tenant of stereo speaker connection. Most speakers are 8 ohms. Most stereos are designed to have 8 ohm speakers connect to them. Lets assume your stereo is standard. If you have a fader then your stereo will allow two pairs of speakers to be connected BUT at two different points on the back of the stereo. When the third pair of speakers was added, it had to be (electrically speaking) connected in paralell with one of the existing pairs of speakers. Now when you connect two 8 ohm speakers together, you reduce their electrical "appearance" to the stereo by half. Therefore your stereo front or back see's only 4 ohms instead of the designed 8. NOT GOOD for many stereos, as you can blow out the stereo final stage amplifier like this.
Best thing is to eliminate one pair of speakers and just wire it so that the flybridge is the BACK speakers and the main salon is the FRONT speakers.

I replaced my boat stereo with one that had a remote control that I wired to the flybridge. Now I can shut it off, volume, mute, whatever. Secondly, on Jay Leonard's advice, I bought a used iPOD on Ebay and installed all of my recorded music on that. I connect the output of the iPOD to the aux input of the stereo, then on the stereo select AUX and play my iPOD tunes. Some stereos even interface more tightly with the iPOD and let you control the iPOD. I cant control mine. I just start it playing from the main salon then control volume from the bridge. Its a simplified system that is reliable and works well and AS DESIGNED.
When running the boat most times I configure the stereo to send almost all of the sound to the flybridge speakers (BACK) with the fader.

R.

*
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Old 09-13-2010, 05:47 AM   #5
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RE: Issue with Stereo and Amp wiring

For some car or marine type stereos you can buy a WIRED remote control to put on your bridge. I have installed them on my last two boats they work great! you can switch stations, change volume and from am/fm to CD or Ipod. Pretty much everything ,except the fade or balance control, which on the ones I have had had to be done from the main unit. It something which doesn't need to be done often in my case.
I second the benefits of the Ipod, if you can hook it up to the main unit you can control it's functions and charge it as well.
If you really" need your tunes" (I do) in my opinion it is worth putting in the latest base units which will allow you to do all of this. Load up your Ipod and listen to the music you like for 3 or 4 days! It is not a great deal of money and maybe one of the things you will use most often to provide enjoyment on the boat, on the way or at anchor, softly.
Good listening,
Steve W.
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Old 09-13-2010, 08:20 AM   #6
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RE: Issue with Stereo and Amp wiring

"My suggestion to my husband was to remove all the wiring from the amp and stereo and start over"

That is what I would do. I did that on my Albin and installed a Pioneer car CD/stereo with a wired remote on the bridge. One set of speakers in the salon and one set on the bridge. Bridge speakers can be removed and set to supply music for the occasional dock party , which we do a few times a year.* Works good.
I also installed a 12 v powered antenna which is all hidden behind the overhead instrument panel and that works well also. *Out of sight, out of mind.

As Ralph mentioned I have the options to use*one of my ipods OR my computer thru the system.
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:15 PM   #7
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RE: Issue with Stereo and Amp wiring

A bizarre follow up--we were at the boat Friday night and our friend*/ dock neighbor stopped by.* Since he does home alarm and entertainment system wiring for a living we thought we'd get his opinion of our problem.* Wouldn't you know it, there was NO alarm sound.*

I think we will leave the interior stereo wired to the saloon and aft cabin speakers and get a separate stereo for the two speakers on the flybridge.*

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Old 09-15-2010, 01:43 PM   #8
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Issue with Stereo and Amp wiring

I have a VERY modern stereo....no CD player or cassette for that matter. Just radio and iPod connector and USB connector. The stereo will navigate the iPod(or USB device) thru the main head of thru the remote. Why carry around a ****load of CDs when everything you own is on your iPod???

PS...JL Audio all the way!!!!


-- Edited by Baker on Wednesday 15th of September 2010 01:43:35 PM
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Old 09-15-2010, 02:11 PM   #9
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RE: Issue with Stereo and Amp wiring

Quote:
Baker wrote:Why carry around a ****load of CDs when everything you own is on your iPod???
LOL yeah we listen to an iPod if we aren't listening to FM radio.* Supposedly the radio that is down below has an iPod input option (got to get one!!) and whatever goes in up top will have to have one!*

I think the system we had two boats ago was JL.* Whatever our boat partner put in*the last boat was impossible to figure out--you could supposedly control the ipod through it but none of us could figure out HOW other than to skip forward and back on the current playlist.* You had to pick your playlist before you plugged the iPod in! phooey on that.* We are all so spoiled this days with our tunes.*

I'll try not to blast my music when I cruise by mister Anode.

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Old 09-15-2010, 03:08 PM   #10
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Issue with Stereo and Amp wiring

With all that noise how can you hear the motor?

My sterio only plays on the deck.

I worry to much if I can't hear my motor running.

What's a Ipod?

SD

-- Edited by skipperdude on Wednesday 15th of September 2010 03:10:20 PM
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:13 PM   #11
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RE: Issue with Stereo and Amp wiring

Quote:
I have no clear understanding of what your husband did, but if the ALARM wasnt ringing before he tampered with things, get him to UNDO whatever he did precisely.
Exactly. Two rules to electrical wiring:

1. If you don't know what you're doing, leave it alone.

2. Read rule #1.

You started out with one problem, now you still have that problem plus another problem (possibly more). You will seldom fix something you don't understand by adding or changing things. If your husband can put things back exactly as they were, fine, have him do that, then call in someone who understands marine/auto audio systems.

If he can't put everything back, you may also need help from a marine electrician who can wire everything the way it's supposed to be.
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:20 PM   #12
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RE: Issue with Stereo and Amp wiring

Quote:
skipperdude wrote:

With all that noise how can you hear the motor?

My sterio only plays on the deck.

I worry to much if I can't hear my motor running.

What's a Ipod?

SD

-- Edited by skipperdude on Wednesday 15th of September 2010 03:10:20 PM
We don't live aboard but we do spend two or three nights a week on the boat and we need some music to drown each other out.* LOL.**

We do occasionally like to crank up "I'm on a BOAT" as we blast by some unsuspecting ragbagger at WOT.** Ok, just kidding!* not too long ago I was a ragbagger.* We slow down a little bit!* Actually you should have seen the speakers on the radar arch of the sailboat.**We looked like we should be towing water skiers.* (courtesy of the PO).* Of course, we only played Jimmy Buffett and other such suitable sailing type tunes.



*
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:20 PM   #13
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RE: Issue with Stereo and Amp wiring

Quote:
skipperdude wrote:

With all that noise how can you hear the motor?

My sterio only plays on the deck.

I worry to much if I can't hear my motor running.

What's a Ipod?

SD

-- Edited by skipperdude on Wednesday 15th of September 2010 03:10:20 PM

If the motor's not running, the boat will stop moving.*

I don't listen to the stereo while underway either.* I listen to my VHF radio.* Someone might be trying to call me.

An Ipod is some kind of music thingy that everyone seems to think they need.* I think it's a replacement for a "walkman".* A "walkman" was a replacement for a portable radio.

*
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:33 PM   #14
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RE: Issue with Stereo and Amp wiring

thanks Ron!**My husband*actually has a lot of experience with CAR stereos and was really baffled by this whole thing.* I followed up that we had a friend by who "does this for a living" (at least with HOME equipment) and asked for a consult on our "alarm" but we couldn't reproduce the issue.*

I think some serious investigation of the boats wiring is in order and we may well need to call in an expert to get it sorted!* There is some evidence that past problems were dealt with by cutting wires.* For instance, we seem to have a very nice, inoperable tank level monitor that was simply "disconected"*snip snip.* PO also did some interesting things with splicing extension cords to get outlets into various nooks and crannies to plug in golden rods, a charger for the generator starting battery and some other odds and ends that look*a tad frightening.* We have already removed that charger and its extension cord at the advice of our surveyor!* We have had the boat all of two weeks now.
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Old 09-15-2010, 06:23 PM   #15
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RE: Issue with Stereo and Amp wiring

Quote:
Pineapple Girl wrote:

thanks Ron!**My husband*actually has a lot of experience with CAR stereos and was really baffled by this whole thing.* I followed up that we had a friend by who "does this for a living" (at least with HOME equipment) and asked for a consult on our "alarm" but we couldn't reproduce the issue.*

I think some serious investigation of the boats wiring is in order and we may well need to call in an expert to get it sorted!* There is some evidence that past problems were dealt with by cutting wires.* For instance, we seem to have a very nice, inoperable tank level monitor that was simply "disconected"*snip snip.* PO also did some interesting things with splicing extension cords to get outlets into various nooks and crannies to plug in golden rods, a charger for the generator starting battery and some other odds and ends that look*a tad frightening.* We have already removed that charger and its extension cord at the advice of our surveyor!* We have had the boat all of two weeks now.
I think you should consider having a pro check the boat's wiring if the PO did what you say.* Boats should be wired only with "marine" grade wire and cable and terminals, etc.* There are specific proceedures that must be followed to insure a safe and reliable boat.

Also, Radio Shack has about the lowest quality electronic components that you can buy.* I was in the business for most of my career and RS was our last resort for most buys.

*
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Old 09-15-2010, 07:27 PM   #16
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RE: Issue with Stereo and Amp wiring

thanks for the info Ron, we know a top notch guy in the area and will have him take a look.* Sure would hate to lose my new boat over some faulty wiring AND I'd love to have some of that disconnected stuff working!
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