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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Installed a radio in my boat, per the admiral's strong urgings. Took some shortcuts and just twisted the wire and then heatshrinked it. Had it working fine in the driveway.

First time out on the water, it was fussy. Came on and off several times.

Re-did the connections, this time soldered and then heat shrinked. Now the radio works about 10% of the time (less than before). Makes some beeping noises so I know power is getting to the radio and the signal is getting to the speakers, but I can't get it to work reliably. A few seconds later, however, there is now power to the radio.

Any advice on how to diagnose where the problem is?
 

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I had a similar situation. Turns out it was a bad solder job by the manufacturer. It worked fine as long as the boat was on dry land, but when it started to bounce around on the water the bad connection showed up...
 

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Sounds like a bad ground. Start by verifying that the ground is tight and all connections are good all the way back to the battery post.
 

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Had the same problem turned out to be a bad radio. You can confirm this by using a volt meter and measuring the voltage at the pos. and neg. feed, if it is good then get a new unit. You could also have a bad conn. at the face plate if it is detachable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No antenna - just using this to plug the ipod into.

So wishing I hadn't caulked it in place before testing it.

Okay - now since I'm really stupid - can anyone explain the volt meter process to me and how to check???
 

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So your connecting the ipod straight into the aux jacks on the back and changing the input selector to aux and its still not working?
 

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To check the voltage put the neg lead of the volt meter to the neg and the poss to the poss. you should read anywhere from 11-13 volts. Make sure the volt meter is turned onto dc volt and not ac. If you need you can call me on my cell 443-604-6640
 

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Keep this in mind.90% of 12 volt troubles are related to a bad or corroded ground.A loose in line fuse can also drive you nuts.

Best way to trouble shoot this would be to take it out and connect it directly to a battery.Be sure the red (hot) wire has a fuse in it.If the radio works- then you know a wire /connection is bad in the boat.

You might want to cut off your solder connections and use marine grade butt connectors.These have a heat shrink built in.I still slide heat shrink tubing over the butt connectors-just to be sure.

Learning to use a volt meter is simple and really helps trouble shoot 12 volt systems.

I have jumper wires made up with alligator clips to help figure out troubles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So your connecting the ipod straight into the aux jacks on the back and changing the input selector to aux and its still not working?
That's correct. The whole unit loses power (LCD display goes blank). It will turn back on a bit later for a few seconds, but then go blank again.

When I first connected it, it worked fine for about 3 hours. Ever since, and even after redoing the wiring, it has been on the fritz.
 

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Josh, I agree with Skip, first connect it directly to the battery to rule out something in the radio causing the problem.

Then check for good connections on your battery and especially the ground connections. There may be a ground buss some where in your boat where all the boat ground wires meet before connecting to the battery, make sure that is free of corrision and all the connections are tight on it also.

You might also not be crimping the butt connectors tight enough. This is not permanent, but you could try wire nuts at you connections just to make sure the wiring is okay and then switch to the marine grade connectors after you have proved the system out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks all for the advice. I should have mentioned that the radio is wired to my electrical panel where all my other boat electronics are wired (and all of them work fine). The boat is less than a year old and I do not think corrosion is the issue. I also tried swapping tabs on the panel (i.e. the stereo went on the sonar tab and the sonar went on the radio tab)... and still no love on the radio.

I'll do some testing based on your advice and report back.

Thanks again.
Josh
 

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Some newer radios have a "floating" ground.It seems the Ipod is causing the trouble- perhaps connecting it is somehow messing up the radio.
 
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