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View Full Version : Tower Speaker Wire Plug - Looking for Suggestions



bergermaister
12-20-2011, 12:55 PM
One of my to-do's for winter/spring is to redo the way my tower speakers plug in. For the last few years I've had one of these style plugs and it has worked pretty well. It is almost unnoticed for the most part until you go looking for it.

http://www.bulletlines.com/universal-wakeboard-tower-speaker-wiring-kit-p/1.htm

You can kind of see where it is mounted in this pic. Left rear leg.

http://i326.photobucket.com/albums/k414/grberglund/MoombaMobiusV/P1070363.jpg

I have an older style tower with thin bars and I have to fold it down every single time I park the boat - the whole thing folds forward. Getting home really late one night last summer I forgot to unplug it before starting to lower the tower and screwed something up by stretching it to where connections on one side broke/died. In hindsight I maybe should have ran the wiring up the front leg of the tower, but in years past I've had to take the tower completely off for storage so that wouldn't have worked out either.

I could just pick up another plug like this one but I'd like to find something a little more low profile, possibly with a 90-degree male end so it hugs the hull closer. Needs at least 4 terminals.

Any suggestions?

EarmarkMarine
12-20-2011, 01:20 PM
At least to my eye the SpeakOn/Neutrik connectors look massive and totally out of place coming out of the deckcap. Its fine for the floor of a prosound application where people are walking on them.
We like to use a small stainless steel deck gland to conceal and dress out the deck cap penetration. But not a clamshell. Then we use a Cole Hersee or Deutsch plug set in-line that is very streamlined. Once everything is loomed and heat shrunk you can barely notice the disconnects.

David
Earmark Marine

dusty2221
12-20-2011, 01:21 PM
There ya go!

bergermaister
12-20-2011, 01:37 PM
Cool - So I'm looking at deck glands (never heard of them) and Deutsch / Cole Hersee type plugs now trying to visualize how this would look. Any chance you could show an example David? I think I can picture it, just not 100% positive.

And yes, smaller would be better! It definitely needs to be a quick connect type of thing since I'm constantly un/plugging.

wolfeman131
12-20-2011, 01:53 PM
Road trip to Dallas & let David do the install!

bergermaister
12-20-2011, 02:02 PM
Right! 4,000 miles round-trip worth of gas towing with my truck I could practically replace the whole stereo!

So, is this sorta what you're talking about?

http://i326.photobucket.com/albums/k414/grberglund/MoombaMobiusV/stereoplug.jpg

Depending on how small those plugs really are I could see that being pretty compact. Wonder if it would be a pain in the butt to unplug after having eleventeen beers and being out in the sun all day though. Some of the automotive ones like that seem to be tricky without the help of a flat screwdriver to pry 'em open.

dusty2221
12-20-2011, 02:24 PM
Stop by and see me on the way thru!

KG's Supra24
12-20-2011, 02:52 PM
David, want to do my install? Apparently Dusty doesn't help on competitors installs.

Berg, I had that same style plug on mine and it was sticky but if you do it often it should loosen up. Or just keep a flathead in the glovebox.

cab13367
12-20-2011, 03:04 PM
Berg, one thing you might consider so you don't accidentally fold the tower again with the plug in place is to rig up a small stainess cable that is just slightly shorter than the electrical cable and attach one end to the tower with a quick connect (like the one on a bimini strap) and the other to the bottom windshield frame so that the steel cable will stop you from lowering the tower if you forget to disconnect the plug. Just a thought.

EarmarkMarine
12-20-2011, 03:34 PM
Berg,
Sure, stop in the next time you're in the neighborhood.
You can see examples of the S.S. deck glands on a Sea Ray 200 Select or perhaps a Yamaha 212X within our installation gallery.
You can avoid all issues with the disconnect by placing it in-line within the harness rather than fixed to the deck cap.
The Deutsch connectors are high quality, durable and snap in one way only so it couldn't be more positive.
Deutch connectors have been an OEM for Moomba, Roswell light/speaker combo bars, Yamaha and MasterCraft to name a few.

David
Earmark Marine

jmvotto
12-20-2011, 03:43 PM
I have had great luck with battsracing deutch plugs . www.battsracing.com

viking
12-20-2011, 04:30 PM
I'll take the work out of it for ya :)
http://www.earmarkmarine.com/set8/large/SR2-C.jpg



Berg,
Sure, stop in the next time you're in the neighborhood.
You can see examples of the S.S. deck glands on a Sea Ray 200 Select or perhaps a Yamaha 212X within our installation gallery.
David
Earmark Marine

bergermaister
12-20-2011, 05:45 PM
Ah, thanks, I see said the blind man. In that one it looks like a combo setup where you unscrew the cap and then pull it out a little to unplug? That would be nice and clean - better than my drawing...

Uh, I was serious about the 4,000 miles round trip. Last time I was in TX was about a year and a half ago, Dripping Springs area just outside of Austin. Would love to come down again though!

mmandley
12-21-2011, 03:52 PM
Last time i did an install on the smaller diameter towers like yours Berg, i ran the cable out the front of the tower tube, then right into the hull. It had the plastic wrap on the wire and looks really clean and simple. No plugs to mess with, no breaks in the wires to ever go bad.

Yea it was for an Exile system on an 05 Moomba lol

bergermaister
12-21-2011, 04:28 PM
Well since I've already got a hole in the hull there I'm going to stick with that location. Plus I could see the need to remove the whole tower again in the future during winter storage. I'm thinking that Deutsch style plug will work for me and tucking it under the screw down cap would clean things up. I think after breaking it once I won't make that mistake again. If anything I will forget to plug them in like I've done in the past, get out on the water and wonder why the stereo seems quiet- LOL

mmandley
12-22-2011, 02:23 PM
I hear ya man just saying what i did lol. I guess another option i would go with is forget the plug all together. Run the wire threw the ull the same keep it clean looking then build a small plug panel on the inside out of site. Then when or if you needed reach in there unplug each wire as needed and pull them out of the hull. IDK im just about the clean lines look and not seeing plugs on the boat. I know you gotta do what ya gotta do man lol

viking
12-23-2011, 01:50 AM
Berg,
FWIW, you can get the replacement neutrik connectors at PartsExpress for pretty cheap compared to the kit through Bulletlines if that's all you need.
I went that route and really don't even notice it when you're out on the water using it. Easy quick disconnect if ever need to pull it. Solid connection and no problems in 2 seasons. Think it looks better than the OEM deutsch plug that is mounted the same way on the outside by the factory.

bergermaister
05-21-2012, 02:54 AM
Hey Viking - ever had any luck taking apart one of the newer style Neutrik connectors? I went with this one:

http://www.neutrik.com/en/speakon/spx-series/nl4frx

Downside is I was monkeying around with it, assembled it with no wire in it to see how it should work, now I can't get the damned thing back apart... The body where it crimps down on the wire is what I need to get apart, not the 90 degree part where it goes into the port.

Cranking on it with a set of pliers is just tearing up the plastic. Sucker is tight!

viking
05-25-2012, 01:34 AM
Never had to mess with the 90 style but yeah - I've pulled the ones I have apart no problem.
I bought 2 different straight styles. One has brushed metal release buttons and the other is black but pretty much the same otherwise. I really don't mess with them now that it's installed on the boat.

bergermaister
05-25-2012, 02:07 AM
Yeah - my old straight plug comes apart easy. This new "3rd generation" or whatever has proven to be a different story. It clamped down so tight that it wasn't coming apart without serious collateral damage. You could hear it clicking as it ratcheted down and the teeth inside were grabbing. $5 mistake. New one ordered and on the way - waiting on shipping is the pain. This time I'll get the wires in place first now that I "see how it works"... urgh

KSmith
05-25-2012, 08:53 AM
I had one of these lock up on me before. If I recall the nylon insert got hung up on the screw off outer casing. I think you may need to get a few small flat screw drivers and pry the insert "petals" towards the center to get them to release off of the outer casing. Looking at the instrcutions from the original like the thing I am talking about is called bushing and the casing is a chuck.

bergermaister
06-13-2012, 04:10 PM
Finally finished this little fix. The 90 degree Neutrik connector did the trick - kept it low profile and easy to put together. Don't really have a before and after shot per say but this is definitely much better!

http://i326.photobucket.com/albums/k414/grberglund/MoombaMobiusV/4d0328d2.jpg

I never did get the other one I 'test fitted' back apart.