View Full Version : Waterproofing stereo components

05-15-2007, 09:20 PM
I cannot find any marine amps for a reasonable price, that have the specs I want- Over 600 is not reasonable!

Has anyone taken normal car stereo equipment and taken it apart, then sprayed it with something to coat the circuits to make them resistant to humidity? The amp will be in a relatively dry location.

Any ideas as to what to coat it with? some kind of poly?

This is just for the amp, the head units are so cheap that I ordered a clarion m475, anyone have any comments on that model?

05-15-2007, 09:30 PM
I'd also like to know about this as I have an extra amp from my car that I could use in my boat. If you can't find anything about water proofing car amps, you might want to check ebay. They have some pretty good deals on name brand amps like JBL and Clarion.

05-15-2007, 10:51 PM
I just had a system installed in my boat and it's amazing. I had the amp installed under the front seat near the battery. It has remained dry and no problems. I had a Kenwood cd/mp3 detachable face deck, boston acoustics 6x9's (4), Kenwood 10" sub woofers and a 400 watt & a 750 watt Rockford Fosgate amp put in. Wow.... Talking about rocking the boat! It sounds amazing. I was faced with the same problem you are looking at. Limited stereo selection for boats.

05-15-2007, 11:30 PM
Don't assume the area under the glove box is sealed from the elements. I (almost) found out the hard way that the glove box insert is not sealed in the glove box insert cut out. Luckily, the amp that got wet I had won at the MC East Coast Reunion and was marinized. It just needed some time to dry out (water dripping from inside it).

05-16-2007, 08:56 AM
The water itself doesnt pose a problem to the electronics, its the corrosion associated with it that does. It should be simple to take the cover off an amp, and spray it with some kind of sealant to extend the longevity of it. I figure I can buy 2 a year for 5 years off ebay for the price of a single quality marine 5 channel amp. (excluding boss, pyle, and sony crap)

I think i have made up my mind to do this, ill post whatever coating I spray it down with, and how long it lasts- Ill try to keep the spray off the amp mosfets.

05-16-2007, 09:11 AM
I have never heard of anyone conformally coating a circuit board on their own. Its a multistep process during manufacturing that I doubt could be entirely replicated by just spraying the finished product. What kind of power are you looking for that can't be achieved with the Clarion APX480M? I use that amp to power JL 7.7" separates and it rocks.

As for your M475, that unit is freakin awesome. I just installed one (in a buddy's jeep) last weekend. The sealed, stainless steel chassis looks bulletproof-unlike anything I had previously seen in a marine head-unit. I just upgraded to the CMD4A last season, but I am already wishing I had the CMD5 with that same chassis. The M475, CMD5 and CMD4A all use the same iPod interface (EA1276B) which is the main reason I upgraded in the first place. If you are an iPod guy, you just purchased the best iPod-ready line of head units on the market. And the beauty of the M475 is you don't have to purchase anything extra if you just want to use its front Aux-in.

05-16-2007, 09:33 AM
The water itself doesnt pose a problem to the electronics

:noface: Ummm......nothing could be further from the truth. I can explain if it is really necessary, but simply water (before any corrosion sets in) poses MASSIVE problems for electronics.

05-16-2007, 09:35 AM
I just picked up a soundstream rubicon 405 5 channel amp for half the price of one of the clarions. My goal is to make it last 2 seasons. The old head unit from the boat was a kenwood auto model, and by the looks of it had been in the boat for 5 years or so. It worked last year, however this year the power mosfet wires had rotted out right in the rear, and were covered with corrosion . (freshwater use only)

There are certain parts of the IC that will be more likely to corrode, and I will try to coat the pcb surfaces and exposed metal areas. I know it wont be perfect, but even doubling the expected life of the unit will meet my goal. The amp will be powering 4 tower speakers, and maybe the sub- I have a sub amp already, but I want to see how the soundstream works because it is an all in one unit.

I cant wait for the m475 (it might even be here today), the unit does look feature full, and at 139.00 you cant go wrong. For a music source, I have my Xm2go, and a PDA with 2 gigs on it. Aux input should be fine. I actually do not own an IPOD. Kind of strange considering I do computers and networking for a living.

05-16-2007, 09:37 AM
Well, its not good for it, but most electronics can get wet, dry off, and work fine if they do not corrode.

Its not comparable to submerging it in CFCs or anything- but its not like salt water either.

05-16-2007, 09:42 AM
I don't know... I am having good luck with what I did. I took a few extra steps to seal off the area where the amps and wiring is located and yes, water and mositure are the enemy... That's why I purchased a warranty on all of the equiptment!
Good luck with your project.

wake pop
05-17-2007, 04:28 PM
Mtnsun- who did you get to install your system? Did you get someone around Denver or up north? I just had my system upgraded and tweaked. Sounds awesome.

05-18-2007, 09:38 AM
I have a friend that works for Best Buy in Longmont. He is a certified audio tech. Eric does amazing work. If you want his contact # I would be happy to get it for you.


05-18-2007, 09:52 PM
I just installed the new clarion m475 in about an hour(in the rain), was simple. I cut out the old kenwood harness, and the color codes for the speakers were the same, and they were all pre-labeled. I stripped and tinned the wires on the new harness, then stripped and tinned the ones i cut in the boat, threw some heat shrink tubing on the wires, and soldered the new harness in - in about 30 minutes (had to find a pair of hemostats to hold the wires together while i soldered, needed a third hand) . Slid the new head unit in place, plugged it in, and it worked first try, all channels and sounds beautiful.

Tomorrow Ill mount the two amps and hook up the tower speakers, the wiring is all run, plug and play!

A boat stereo is a simple install, anyone should be able to do it themselves.