FingerLakes1.com Forums
Topic Options
#1473450 --- 07/15/15 10:01 AM Installing boat radio
Spi63 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/03/08
Posts: 402
Loc: Geneva, New York ,
HELP...Can anyone tell me what this means...
I am having trouble installing my new boat radio. It works fine until you start the engine, then it just breaks up with interference and static. I wrote to Crutchfield where I bought it and this is what they sent me. Can anyone out there translate for me please...
Hi Gary,

Sorry to hear of that trouble. We're glad to help out.

The trouble may be voltage drops or over voltage. From what you describe the best trouble shooting would be to check the wiring at the head unit with a DMM when the trouble is occurring.

The method is to back probe the wiring harness power leads versus the ground lead when in operation. We're looking for voltage above 11 volts for normal operations.

Are there any external power amps in use or are you driving the speakers directly off the power in the radio?

If you would like to call us on your cell from the boat when testing we can help out with how to do that.

We're available 7 days / week at 800-955-9094.
Mon-Thu: 8:00 am - midnight
Fri: 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Sat-Sun: 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
(Eastern Time)

Top
FingerLakes1.com
#1473452 --- 07/15/15 10:53 AM Re: Installing boat radio [Re: Spi63]
Timbo Offline
Silver Member

Registered: 07/18/12
Posts: 14344
Loc: CNY
Originally Posted By: Spi63
HELP...Can anyone tell me what this means...
I am having trouble installing my new boat radio. It works fine until you start the engine, then it just breaks up with interference and static. I wrote to Crutchfield where I bought it and this is what they sent me. Can anyone out there translate for me please...
Hi Gary,

Sorry to hear of that trouble. We're glad to help out.

The trouble may be voltage drops or over voltage. From what you describe the best trouble shooting would be to check the wiring at the head unit with a DMM when the trouble is occurring.

The method is to back probe the wiring harness power leads versus the ground lead when in operation. We're looking for voltage above 11 volts for normal operations.

Are there any external power amps in use or are you driving the speakers directly off the power in the radio?

If you would like to call us on your cell from the boat when testing we can help out with how to do that.

We're available 7 days / week at 800-955-9094.
Mon-Thu: 8:00 am - midnight
Fri: 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Sat-Sun: 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
(Eastern Time)

Or a magnetic shielding issue.
_________________________
Everyone's entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.

Top
#1474003 --- 07/30/15 07:55 PM Re: Installing boat radio [Re: Spi63]
Oldgzr Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 1004
Loc: NY
The tech who contacted you wants you to check the voltage that powers the radio with a DMM (Digital Multi-Meter). Its a good first step for troubleshooting anything electrical, but probably not what is wrong. Your charging system (if working properly) should be putting out about 13.2 volts which is nicely above the minimum of 11 volts he said that the radio requires but not enough to over power it. He also wants to know if you installed any other external amplifiers when you installed the radio.

It would help if I knew how old the engine is and whether it is an inboard or outboard engine. If it is an older boat it may just be faulty spark plug wires (or the old style that did not have radio interference suppression). There are also resistor spark plugs available that are RFI resistant.

Timbo correctly mentioned that it may be an RFI shielding problem, but usually the metal case on the radio shields the internal components. I am guessing that the antenna is picking up interference from the engine. It could also pick up RFI through the power wires to the radio. In this event, there are devices (called chokes)that can be installed on the power wire that will suppress the RFI. Another thing you can do if you suspect that the interference is through the power wires is to use "twisted pair" wire to power and ground the radio. Some guys will also run another separate ground wire directly from the engine block or negative battery terminal to the metal radio case. You can't ever have too good of a ground.

One thing that you can easily check is to rev up the engine with the radio on and listen to see if the static increases or decreases with engine speed. This is a good indicator that it is ignition interference.

Another source of RFI on an engine is the alternator but most modern alternators have suppression devices on them to avoid this.

I hope this helps. Please post again to let me know what you find out.

Top