Trolling with Tunes
|I've owned my boat for several years, but it didn't come with a radio.
Sure I had a VHF, bait tank, bilge pump, fish finder, Loran... But, no tunes
or ability to listen to a good ball game. So, I brought along a portable for a few
years, never had enough juice to hear the thing while moving, batteries were expensive,
corrosion was an issue. The portable option was never too satisfactory. Since
I've been carrying some electronics on the Tackle Store section of things, it was only a
matter of time for me to start this little project. I should have done it about five years
ago. It's really easy enough, that procrastination or pure lazyness isn't a good
excuse for putting off this project these days.
I have a small center console, didn't really want to make a big deal about the installation, but definately wanted enough power in the radio to push the speakers to a good volume while under way. I was considering the cassette verses the CD option, but settled upon the CD given it's better reliability in a marine environment. I purchased Jensen equipment, they've been on the market long enough to have their act together in terms of meeting the challenges of a boat installation. So, the CD400M and both surface and cut out model 6.5" speakers. The CD 400 puts out 100 watts (25 X 4), has a detachable faceplate, rustproof marine chassis, and more presets than radio stations broadcasting in English.
There are a couple things you'll need to have to do the installation. These things are not part of the radio's package, but you'll need to secure them.
| Well, once the
speakers were done, it was time to figure out the radio. My first response was pure
insecurity followed procrastination. But, I couldn't afford the time. It was Friday
night and I wanted to fish Saturday morning. The harness was easy to figure
out. The speaker leads are all clearly marked, so hook up is really pretty
easy. Use some zip ties to organize things. After your done. I used
connectors for the battery hookup, rigging additional wire, heat crimps and elec.
You have one hot lead to the battery, another to the ignition (or to the accessory switch in my case, or your battery switch...) and the negative or ground. I went ahead and connedted the ground and the hot lead directly to the battery. by It's wiring harness is clearly labeld, you won't make mistakes on polarity. Just stay consistent through out your wireing. I had to run a snake (in the pic) to string the wires back to the battery. Once that was done I had some juice and only a couple more tasks to accomplish.
I decided to place the radio inside the console to keep it out of the spray which is a frequent guest... Here's where I made a bone head error. Be sure you have enough room for the radio... I came up short. If I'd mounted the radio an inch lower she would have locked down in the DIN bracket which supports the radio. As it is, I had to use an extra brace to keep the radio in place when I go airborne. I purchased stainless hardware for mounting the radio's bracket to the console, three screws and nuts. The last detail was the antennae. There are two ways to go here. You can use a coupler to your boat's VHF antennae or you can go with a dedicated antennae. I decided to get a separate antennae. It was about 1/2 - 2/3 the expense of the coupler. It's a pretty nifty stick on contraption. The thing installed within about 20 seconds, and works great.
Here's the radio in it's protective place. The performance is quite good, way better than my expectation of what it would sound like. The speakers handle the power well, and there's ample amplitude for rock-n-rolling while under way. In all I'd say I spent about three hours on the installation, including a trip to buy the screws for the speakers and radio bracket. The owner's manual provides some installation info, not a whole bunch, but really there's not a whole lot to know. It's a quick and painless job. You could get by with no cutting, only 18 drill holes, and a small amount of hardware for this project. Your return on time invested should be pretty darn high. It's a great, easy, enhancement of your boat, any boat that has a battery is a good candidate for adding some tunes.
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