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Old 05-13-2015, 04:20 PM   #1
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Low VHF speaker volume

My boat has a flybridge mounted VHF radio as does my salon (no lower station). The radio is an Orion/West marine unit. While it works well, the speaker volume is very soft, even at max output it cannot be heard at the opposite side of the salon with the engines off.
Short of replacing the unit, is there an easy way to boost the speaker volume?
It is really not a needed unit, but I believe that if I am in the flybridge running the boat and someone inside or in the cockpit notices an emergency I need to be made aware of, it makes sense to have. Thoughts? Thank you.
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Old 05-13-2015, 04:30 PM   #2
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If there is an external speaker port on the back of the unit, you could add an amplified speaker. Some speakers include volume adjustments to set the output boost level.
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Old 05-13-2015, 04:34 PM   #3
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Old 05-13-2015, 05:43 PM   #4
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I have looked into a Bluetooth transmitter such as this: GOgroove BlueSENSE TRM Wireless Streaming Bluetooth Transmitter & Adapter - Rakuten.com

My VHF is in the cabin and is difficult to hear at times (even with my somewhat young ears) from the outside helm station. The Bluetooth transmitter can be connected to the audio output of my VHF (via an adapter) and connected to a Bluetooth speaker or even a phone. I figure this option would be a great no wiring and no drilling/holes alternative.
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Old 05-13-2015, 06:17 PM   #5
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Old 05-14-2015, 01:12 PM   #6
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Are those hearing aids or radar reflectors.

Try the suggestions but if this is a recent occurence then the output chip is probably in trouble. Or has the radio always been hard to hear.

For a similar reason I use an external speaker that is NOT amplified. It simply plugs in to the speaker port and make a huge difference. The built in speakers are tiny , tinny and usually do not work very well.

My speaker is a Radio Shack unit. I have seen other advertized such as from Shakespeare, Uniden, Standard Horizon, Etc., ect.

Just check the manual for the output impedance that the speaker must match for proper operation. It does make a difference.
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Old 05-14-2015, 04:13 PM   #7
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Well, I tried the big ears but they were too loud!
After removing the VHF radio from its mount in the cabinet, it does have a speaker output jack so I am going to try this.
This was a new install before I bought the boat and was never hooked up.
Thanks.
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Old 05-14-2015, 07:56 PM   #8
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I use an external speaker with each VHF for improved audio quality. I recently moved my FB external speaker to the lower helm from where I normally drive and have a Icom CommandMic mounted. That CommandMic speaker is very tinny. The speaker helps greatly, but I've found that the volume control on the CM only controls the CM speaker and not the external speaker. I'd have to run up to the FB to adjust the external speaker volume. Now I'm shopping for a speaker volume switch to install for the external speaker at the lower helm.

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Old 05-15-2015, 06:45 AM   #9
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Beware of auto based speakers built into a box.

Many of there are optimized for bass response and are crap at anything but boom - boom music.
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