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View Full Version : Mounting amps in my boat - the stereo winter project



bergermaister
10-28-2008, 07:15 PM
So my winter project from now until next May will be upgrading the stock stereo (finally!) in my 2001 MobiusV. I've been doing a lot of research and have decided to run 3 amps: 1 dedicated to the sub and mounted on the top or side of the sub enclosure, 1 running the tower speakers, and basically if needed, one more running the 4 boat speakers.

So mounting the two amps driving the tower and the boat - I'm looking at mounting them right to the floor under my passenger side cushion that rarely sees any action or is used for storage. This is the one right under the swing open door under the glove box, and shares the same compartment where all the life vests are stored. Mine is actually open clear up to the front. (If I take the Playpen cushions out you can pass things clear through.)

Any help or advice here would be greatly appreciated:
Do I need to mount the 2 amps off the carpet for concerns about heat and ventilation? Using some sort of blocks or rack?

Will they get hot enough that I'm going to melt a life vest if it gets pushed over on top of one? The stereo will get cranked up at the beach while sitting anchored. Not always a lot of airflow.

I've seen other boat stereo setups where multiple amps were mounted on a rack, stacked on top of each other with a little space between them for airflow. I'm not getting that radical, just want to be safe.

I've also seen setups where the amps are mounted to the sidewall of the hull but they seemed to have a sort of inner wall they were mounting to - not directly into the hull itself. I don't want to go and ventilate my hull on accident...!

I'm also wondering about running power wires. I'm planning on running a thick gauge up to a power block up and then splitting it out to the 3 seperate amps. I already have a dual battery setup. I've heard you should run one battery dedicated to the stereo, the other to the ignition, etc. Is that true? Or do I wire it to my isolator so it can draw from both batteries (or just one of them, depending on where the switch is set to).

I can't justify $65+ an hour for stereo installation when there's a wealth of info on the forums and on-line. Plus everything is very easy to get to and after all I have 6 months to get it done!

tazz3069
10-30-2008, 10:33 AM
Check out my pics in my profile. I did the install myself. Not hard at all.

ian ashton
10-30-2008, 12:03 PM
I wouldn't mount the amps flat on the floor of your boat; if you ever take water over the bow your just asking for trouble. I mounted mine vertically in the same compartment about 6" off of the floor to a carpeted board. This way if water gets in the boat the amps stay dry, and are up out of the way of stuff too.

ian ashton
10-30-2008, 12:05 PM
Here is a picture of how my amp is mounted;

http://moomba.com/msgboard/attachment.php?attachmentid=1763&stc=1&d=1225382729


**Wiring looks like hell, I've since cleaned it up.

bergermaister
10-30-2008, 02:01 PM
Good points about not mounting flat on the floor - haven't taken a wave over the bow yet - knock on wood! I was looking at running Kicker amps originally but am considering some Rockford Fosgates although they are not marine type, which concerns me a little. For the last 3 years my boat has stayed pretty dry on the inside though.

So, how is your amp board mounted to the boat - that presents the same challenge of not drilling through the hull, or is it wedged in there somehow? I think I need to have everything anchored down so they don't end up bouncing around or tipping over in rough water or those high speed passes back to the launch for a beer run.

cab13367
10-30-2008, 03:19 PM
berger,

I agree with Ian about the possibility of the amps getting wet if you mount them to the floor. It also takes up room that would otherwise be available for storage. I mounted mine to the rubrail backing bar. See post below for pics and details. You'll need to scroll down towards the bottom of the post.

http://moomba.com/msgboard/showthread.php?t=5467

Al

csmsk
10-30-2008, 04:07 PM
Another option is mounting to the duct "chase" like I did. I also mounted one on the inside of the back of the bow passenger side seat. Check the pics.....

http://a341.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/85/l_bcad38fb13f7797285ef958e41819c2c.jpg

http://a97.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/21/l_d55d9e5b9ec5c4f925c22fb934989768.jpg

98outback
10-30-2008, 04:26 PM
When i had my amps in my outback i mounted them to a plastic cutting board. I just picked up one from the walmart. You can get one with a good thickness and just drill holes in it and use small bolts to mount the amp to it or just use screws. I did this to avoid having wood that will hold moisture and rot eventually. You can still cover it with carpet to make it look good.

Razzman
10-30-2008, 05:55 PM
When i re-do mine this winter i'll be using Click Bond aluminum standoffs that will be adhesived to the side of the hull using areospace adhesive. An aluminum mount plate will then mount to the standoffs and the amps will mount to the plates. The amps will all be along the port side completely out of the way of damage or water.

bergermaister
10-30-2008, 06:18 PM
Great pictures - that helps a lot.

I'll have to climb back under and see if I can work out something to attach to the vent ducts and/or rubrail. Unless you can tell me where to find aerospace adhesive Razzman!

My boat is the older style with both batteries in the rear, as far back as you can go. It looks like my amp power block needs to be wired into the battery switch as opposed to one battery or the other. I'll have to figure out how that works. Then flipping the switch I can have the stereo run off one battery, the other or both. (same thing with the ignition).

If I remember correctly, a few years ago when I brought it into the dealer to have the dual batteries hooked up they were telling me you can flip it over to (1) and run your stereo all day long sitting on the beach without worries (unless you totally drain it). End of the day, flip it over to (Both) or (2), fire up and drive home. No worries about having a dead battery and being stuck on the water. That sound right?

Maybe will post some pictures of the before (getting advice), during (the mess), and after (the success). May also have to line out my plan of attack with components I've selected and get some feedback.

Thanks guys.

Razzman
10-30-2008, 07:41 PM
Great pictures - that helps a lot.

I'll have to climb back under and see if I can work out something to attach to the vent ducts and/or rubrail. Unless you can tell me where to find aerospace adhesive Razzman!

My boat is the older style with both batteries in the rear, as far back as you can go. It looks like my amp power block needs to be wired into the battery switch as opposed to one battery or the other. I'll have to figure out how that works. Then flipping the switch I can have the stereo run off one battery, the other or both. (same thing with the ignition).

If I remember correctly, a few years ago when I brought it into the dealer to have the dual batteries hooked up they were telling me you can flip it over to (1) and run your stereo all day long sitting on the beach without worries (unless you totally drain it). End of the day, flip it over to (Both) or (2), fire up and drive home. No worries about having a dead battery and being stuck on the water. That sound right?

Maybe will post some pictures of the before (getting advice), during (the mess), and after (the success). May also have to line out my plan of attack with components I've selected and get some feedback.

Thanks guys.

Here's where to get the stand offs & adhesives. http://www.theflightshop.com/Cataspx2.html Click Bond is the product, search the web and you'll undoubtedly find more sources for it.

I would not connect the stereo so that you can switch between batts to run it, unless you want to in a situation where you have NO battery to start the boat some day. Instead i'd run a system such as Blue Seas 7610 ACR SI which charges the batts and isolates the stereo batt when off.

bergermaister
02-20-2009, 08:13 PM
So the UPS man finally arrived today - it was like Christmas all over again. We shared a moment in the driveway before he left. It was beautiful man....

http://s326.photobucket.com/albums/k414/grberglund/MoombaMobiusV/P1020495.jpg

So here's the setup for the stereo project:
Clarion M475 deck (already installed)
Polk Audio MM651UM cabin speakers x4 powered by a Kicker 350.4 amp at 4 ohm
Polk Audio MM2124 12" sub powered by a Kicker 750.1 amp at 4 ohm
Liquid Audio Sounds Polk Audio MM651UM doubles (not pictured) powered by a Kicker 350.2 amp at 2 ohm
Two Clarion CMRC1-SB LCD remotes - one for the driver, one for the swim deck

Looks like I'm going to have to build a custom sub box (along with my amp rack - thanks "Burke" for the great photos and details on your build in 2007) as I got a little over zealous with my measurements and there's no way in hell the Bass Slammer ported sub box I bought is going to fit under the drivers console...

http://s326.photobucket.com/albums/k414/grberglund/MoombaMobiusV/P1020502.jpg

I'll have to stick that in my wife's car with another 12" sub - I'm sure she wont' mind!

So I still need to get some wiring, amp power blocks, fuses, relay, etc. but the Winter, I mean SPRING, stereo project is finally ready to kick off!

jester
02-20-2009, 08:20 PM
Wow that looks like alot of fun. All sorts of toys. Good luck with the project.

tazz3069
02-21-2009, 07:55 AM
Goto www.audioformz.com for your sub encloser.

lowdrag
02-22-2009, 06:53 AM
One little thing that I'd think about doing if I was setting up that system would be to wire an inline switch to the remote turn on wire for the amp that powers the interior speakers. I really like being able to kill the interior speakers and run just the sub and tower speakers. That way when we're pulling someone, we can turn the towers up loud enough that they can hear but it's not deafening for everyone in the boat.

jmvotto
02-22-2009, 07:57 AM
Use the Pac lc1 and some RCA cable to control the amp.Its a snap.

http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_5260_PAC+LC1.html

tazz3069
02-22-2009, 09:59 AM
Thanks JM-- I have been looking for something like this for a long time now.

bergermaister
02-24-2009, 02:03 AM
Okay, hit the brakes on the tower speakers.... I've been waiting to jump on an eBay auction for the Polk MM651 doubles in polished cans from Liquid Audio Sounds but after installing the other MM651's in the boat I'm wondering - what about the crossovers?

Each speaker has an external/in-line crossover with separate wire connections for the main speaker and tweeter. LAS told me their speaker doubles are wired in parallel so they are running at 2ohm off the single speaker wire posts. But that's what got me.

What about the crossovers? Are they buried in the cans somewhere or did LAS opt to bypass the connection of the tweeters? If the crossovers are not in the cans then I'm thinking there would need to be two sets of speaker wire posts - one for the mids and one for the tweeters, with the crossovers buried down in the boat somewhere in-line before getting connected to the amp.

Anyone out there own the LAS doubles with Polk Audio MM651's - how is yours setup? I need to get more details before I chunk down a few hundred bucks on these babies. I've also contacted LAS directly (just earlier tonight) but haven't heard back yet.

Thanks!
Berg

jmvotto
02-24-2009, 06:51 AM
If you are buying them already assembled in the cans then the cross overs should be secured in the can. If not you with have to secured them with some type of packing and tape in the can as not to rattle. it looks like the liquid audio doubles have the polk mm650 with the tweeter in the middle (meaning two way sepeakers vs seperates)and should be packed properly and pre wired at 2 ohms. The new polk um651 have the crossover mounted directly to the back of the speaker, therefore no tape but are pricier.

my .02

Chad M
02-24-2009, 01:25 PM
One little thing that I'd think about doing if I was setting up that system would be to wire an inline switch to the remote turn on wire for the amp that powers the interior speakers. I really like being able to kill the interior speakers and run just the sub and tower speakers. That way when we're pulling someone, we can turn the towers up loud enough that they can hear but it's not deafening for everyone in the boat.

I am wanting to do this as well, but I also want a separate amp for the tower + sub. I'm running the factory '07 LSV dual battery, sub, and std tower speakers. The amp is now powering the sub + 4 rear + 2 tower and the head runs the 2 in the bow. Any recommendations on an amp? Also what is the best combo to double up on an amp? I assume the tower + sub?

bergermaister
02-24-2009, 05:54 PM
LAS responded this morning - the difference in the MM651 and MM651UM is that the UM's have the crossover built right into the back off the speaker at the magnet. Not external like the standard MM651. Ah ha! Surprised I missed that. I had to stare at the drawings in the installations guides for a minute or two before I got it. Polk's website nor Crutchfield, etc. have any good pictures that show the difference.

At any rate I am planning to run my LAS Polk MM651UM doubles with a Kicker 350.2 (2 channel amp). Since the doubles are wired in parallel they will draw 2 ohm. Each speaker is rated at 100watts so I was told to get amp power to match the total number of speakers.

At 2ohm the Kicker 350 will push 175watts per channel = so each set of doubles will be getting 175 watts, well within safe range of 200watts per pair, or roughly 87.5watts per speaker.

I only have four cabin speakers in the boat so the 4 channel amp is an easy one. As mentioned earlier I'm running the MM651's in the cabin as well but will only be pushing 60 watts per channel to them from the Kicker 350.4 at 4 ohm respectively. The reason I went that route is I'm thinking more power = more volume to the tower speakers, and a little less power = less deafening in the cabin...

I'm no stereo expert though - I've been researching this all out as I go and asking lots of questions.

mustangairchair
02-26-2009, 07:48 PM
i mounting it on the right wall there is a 1x1 piece of wood around the boat you can screw into with out going through hull with the right lenth screws. here is a picture. there all off the floor and mounted tight.

bergermaister
03-06-2009, 06:00 PM
I've read that you can toast the remote power lead from a head unit by trying to power on too many accessories/amps with it. The recommendation is to use a relay - Single Pole Dual Throw or SPDT.

If I understand this correctly, you wire all amps or accessories to the relay as indicated, a dedicated 12v power line, and then finally the remote power lead from the deck. The remote power lead hits the relay when the deck comes on and the relay acts as a "powered switch" to make sure that all amps/accessories have sufficient juice to come on as intended.

Anyone else using one of these with a multiple amp setup? Am I paranoid and the deck remote power on lead will do just fine to kick everything on?

Thanks!
Berg

newty
03-06-2009, 08:19 PM
Is your stereo on a switch? If so then wire it into the switch. Otherwise I would wire the amps to a relay. I have burned out the remote on a deck once. So I use relays now.

bergermaister
03-17-2009, 03:06 AM
Thanks - My stereo is actually wired hot all the time so I don't have to have the ignition on or hit a switch. Just remember to turn it off when done. I haven't noticed any battery draw when it's just when sitting.

I wired up the amps to the deck with a relay in between; works like a charm. Luckily I added an extra hot line off my power distribution block so it was a pretty easy setup. Hit the receiver, all three amps come to life with an ominous red glow through the Kicker logos!

I've posted some pictures of the installation progress so far in a new album under my profile. (http://moomba.com/msgboard/album.php?albumid=136) Still a bunch of shots stuck on the camera and I'm getting too tired to do anything more with it tonight. Fun stuff though. All the planning, research and asking questions is paying off. Have a lot of fun with it but taking my time!