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  #1  
Old 10-08-2009, 11:03 AM
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Thrall Thrall is offline
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Stereo gurus....Questions about upgrading setup, X2

Looking for some advice that I'm thinkin in the right direction.
Current setup. Clarion head unit with 6channels pre amp outs (F, R, 3rd set non fade). 4 component speakers running speaker level off the head unit. 2 Tower speakers running off 2 channel amp, 75W RMS? (hooked to rear pre amp outs). 12" Boston Accoustic sub/box radiator hooked to Boston amp (400-500W RMS, pretty stout).
Basically I want to add a 2 or 4 channel amp to power the 4 in boat speakers, but only have 1 pr of pre amp outs leftover. Don't really care if I can fade F to R on the speakers.
Wiring to the battery (all OEM except sub) is a mess, 5-6 wires hooked to each battery post. (Why MC makes everything BUT stereo wiring top notch is another question)
1. Plan to upgrade alternator wire to battery to 4ga. (May need bigger alternator too down the road.)
2. Get distribution blocks for all teh wires off the battery, run 0ga to them and required 2-4ga to amps. Minimize lenght of wires, etc. If the amps are fused, do I need inline fuses from the dist block to the amp? Do I need a big main fuse from the battery to the dist block?
3. Sub amp, run proper 2ga wire to that. Capacitor in line make much of a difference? What's needed 1-2 farad? Should I just put a big capacitor in line before the dist block for everything? (Think i only need one to the sub???)
4. Get new amp for 4 in boat speakers. Only have 2 channels of preamp outs left coming out of the head unit. Do I get a 4 channel amp and run each preamp out to 2 channels on the amp? (Is there an RCA Y splitter to do this?)
Or do I get a 2 channel amp and run 2 speakers off of each channel?
Is there a better way to set up my 6 speakers and sub? 6 channel amp for the 6 speakers and then the sub amp. Is there a way to do this, like run the front preamp outs to teh 4 boat speakers and the rear pre amp outs to teh tower speakers (would be nice to fade from in boat to tower)?
Bottom line I have to buy one amp. Can get a decent 6 channel for around $300, 2 or 4 channels are going to be at least $200. Not looking for crazy sound/power as it sounds pretty good as is. Just looking to fully utilize the in boat speakers'.

5. Alternator upgrade? When is it necessary? What does the OEM alt put out for charging amps? What can I get that would be a direct fit? (I'm not going to be having a stereo contest for hours on end with this system, but want to crank it up few songs at a time, most of the time, not too loud.)

6. Battery upgrade to double batteries? Again, when is it necessary? I can run the current system for a couple hrs at med volum levels off of the one good Odyssey battery I have with no issues starting the boat. To add a battery, connect in parallel to the first battery with a Perko switch in between (what switch maintains starting capacity if you start ot run down the power with accessories on?). Is it that simple?

I've got a pretty good handle on DC electrical stuff in general (what size wires to run, how to properly terminate them, minimize power wire lengths, etc). Just not very well versed in higher end audio setups and what works best (runnign 4 speakers off of 2 channels, etc).

Thanks in advance for any help.

JimN where are you?
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  #2  
Old 10-08-2009, 11:41 AM
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bturner2 bturner2 is offline
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I'll let the real stero guys do the recommendation on the high performance stuff but I did a dual battery install this summer that I thought worked out well. You can do a search on dual battery and find a bunch of good posts with real good in depth information.

I took the easy route and bought the Blue Seas "add a battery" kit. It includes the switch and charging relay to provide automatic charge and isolation. I also went with Optima Blue Tops but there are some holy wars going on about their performance and quality. I've only had this set up for one year so I really can't comment on the quality but so far so good. I did a post on my installion so you should be able to see pictures of my X2 with this set up. Here's the link to my post....

http://www.mastercraft.com/teamtalk/...ad.php?t=29889

There are tons of ways to do the installation and some pretty strong opinions on how best to do it. Mine was pretty easy and straight forward and I'm happy with the results. If you need any detailed information I'd be happy to share what I know.

Last edited by bturner2; 10-08-2009 at 11:49 AM.
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  #3  
Old 10-08-2009, 03:29 PM
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Thrall Thrall is offline
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thanks bturner. I do remember seeing your thread on the 2nd battery install now. Nice clean job on the wiring. That's exactly what I plan on doing, except for adding an amp (or maybe repalcing the 2ch going to the tower speakers with a 6 channel???)
For those wondering about the wiring mess at the battery. Mine looks almost the same. The wiring under the dash is impeccable, as is the engine compartment (well, I've fixed a couple things, but way better than the battery location).
I have to believe this came that way unless MC or the dealers have someone install all the accessory electronics. I know the PO didn't touch the wiring on this boat. He never did anything to the boat, including hardly used it!
Definately need to clean up the clusterfvck of stereo wiring!

bturner, saw in yuor battery thread that you ran 2 channels to 4 tower speakers and that it sounds good. What is your amp rated RMS per channel compared to the speakers? ie: 200W RMS /channel amp running 2ea 100W RMS capable speakers?
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Old 10-09-2009, 08:54 AM
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bturner2 bturner2 is offline
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It took a while to find the specs on the amp. The place that sold and did the POS installation for the PO didn't even bother to use a Marine Amp much less match it up and use a JL Audio product. They installed a Kenwood KAC-7205 amp that actually seems to be fairly nice. It's a two channel amp and supports speaker resistance down to 2 Ohms and is rated at 170 RMS watts per channel,

The Wet Sounds Double Up Package consists of 4 speakers each rated at 150 Watts RMS.

http://www.wetsounds.com/pages/products/double-up.html

This is one area that the PO actually got his money's worth IMO. The speakers are what make this set up work.
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Old 10-09-2009, 09:47 AM
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Thrall Thrall is offline
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Cool, that helps in my decision making regarding amps. I don't remember much of my circuits classes!
Think I'll hook the 4 in boat speakers to the 2channel for the 2 tower speakers and see how it drives them before I spring for a bigger amp for the in boat speakers.
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  #6  
Old 10-09-2009, 10:40 AM
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JimN JimN is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thrall View Post
1. Plan to upgrade alternator wire to battery to 4ga. (May need bigger alternator too down the road.)
2. Get distribution blocks for all the wires off the battery, run 0ga to them and required 2-4ga to amps. Minimize lenght of wires, etc. If the amps are fused, do I need inline fuses from the dist block to the amp? Do I need a big main fuse from the battery to the dist block?
3. Sub amp, run proper 2ga wire to that. Capacitor in line make much of a difference? What's needed 1-2 farad? Should I just put a big capacitor in line before the dist block for everything? (Think i only need one to the sub???)
4. Get new amp for 4 in boat speakers. Only have 2 channels of preamp outs left coming out of the head unit. Do I get a 4 channel amp and run each preamp out to 2 channels on the amp? (Is there an RCA Y splitter to do this?)
Or do I get a 2 channel amp and run 2 speakers off of each channel?
Is there a better way to set up my 6 speakers and sub? 6 channel amp for the 6 speakers and then the sub amp. Is there a way to do this, like run the front preamp outs to teh 4 boat speakers and the rear pre amp outs to teh tower speakers (would be nice to fade from in boat to tower)?
Bottom line I have to buy one amp. Can get a decent 6 channel for around $300, 2 or 4 channels are going to be at least $200. Not looking for crazy sound/power as it sounds pretty good as is. Just looking to fully utilize the in boat speakers'.

5. Alternator upgrade? When is it necessary? What does the OEM alt put out for charging amps? What can I get that would be a direct fit? (I'm not going to be having a stereo contest for hours on end with this system, but want to crank it up few songs at a time, most of the time, not too loud.)

6. Battery upgrade to double batteries? Again, when is it necessary? I can run the current system for a couple hrs at med volum levels off of the one good Odyssey battery I have with no issues starting the boat. To add a battery, connect in parallel to the first battery with a Perko switch in between (what switch maintains starting capacity if you start ot run down the power with accessories on?). Is it that simple?

I've got a pretty good handle on DC electrical stuff in general (what size wires to run, how to properly terminate them, minimize power wire lengths, etc). Just not very well versed in higher end audio setups and what works best (runnign 4 speakers off of 2 channels, etc).

Thanks in advance for any help.

JimN where are you?
If the power to the tower speakers is enough, you can run them on one channel and if the four speakers in the boat don't need to have one pair adjusted separately from the other, they can be run on one channel using Y cords (one for R and L). Then, adjust the input sensitivity for each pair at the amp, for proper balance.

1. If the new amp draws enough current, you'll need a higher output alternator and adding batteries isn't really the preferred way to fill in. The 4 ga won't hurt, though.

2. The distribution blocks don't need fuses if the amps have them. The main power cable needs a fuse or breaker within 12" of the positive battery terminal for the safety of you and the boat, sized to handle the maximum draw + 25%. Use one distribution block for positive and one for negative. They're available as a double, on one plastic plate and it keeps things cleaner looking.

3. The wire gauge is determined by the current draw of the amp. If the amp will accept 2 ga, fine but if not, use whatever the terminal on the amp will take.

A cap is in parallel with the power cable and should be installed as close as possible to the device that draws the most current, which is at the distribution blocks. These aren't charged when they arrive and you need to follow the charging instructions to the letter, if you use one. Many amps have a tightly regulated power supply, which moderates the current demands, to a point. Some amps are more loosely regulated and the peak current draw can be a lot higher, which is why these stiffening caps are used. One Farad is a helluva lot of storage capacity. You need to be careful with these to avoid short circuiting the terminals or wires. If a short occurs, the cap will weld whatever is causing the short and the capacitor can fail. Ideally, the built-in vent is where it will release the heat but in the worst situations, the case can fail and that's dangerous.

4. You can use a 2 channel amp if it will handle a 2 Ohm load. Otherwise, a 4 channel is better and you can use Y cords to send the signal to the channels.

5. If the current used by the accessories exceeds the alternator's charging current, you need a high output version. The OEM unit should have a tag on it with the rating. When the engine runs, the alternator runs the show, not the battery.

6. If you want to keep the power supply for the stereo separate from the cranking battery, use a separate one but don't connect a dead battery to the alternator or the other battery.
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Old 10-09-2009, 03:34 PM
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bturner2 bturner2 is offline
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I used Street Wires distribution blocks for my power and ground wires so I only had to have two large wires going to my battery switch and ground post. I also combined the multitude of ground wires (OK I believe it was close to 7 ground wires) to a single ground post to reduce the number of ground wires attaching to the battery.

On the better wire installations I've seen there is only one or two cables that actually attach to the batteries. All other wires should be attached to bus bars for both hot and ground wires then the appropriate gauge cable routed to the power switch or battery ground.
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Old 10-09-2009, 06:14 PM
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Thrall Thrall is offline
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Jim, thank you. As always, you're a wealth of knowledge.
bturner too, appreciate the input. My goal is to clean everything up like your install. Couldn't believe the rats nest under the front seat hooked to the battery. He!!, I even posted a thread about electrical problems because I forgot to hook up one set of wires going to the battery, couldn't see them!
Well, huntin' season is here, followed by snowmobile (got 4 clutches to rebuild by Turkey day) and ski season. Hopefully I can start tearing into this soon.
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