Electronics GURU Needed: VHF Radio External Speaker too Loud - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics
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  #1  
Old 01-26-2010
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Electronics GURU Needed: VHF Radio External Speaker too Loud

Hey electronics guru's. I've got a cheap-o Uniden Solara DSC 25-Watt Full-Featured Fixed Mount VHF Marine Radio that I recently installed on my 27 ft Catalina, Airborne. So I hooked the external speaker inputs and regardless of where the volume knob is the speaker is REALLY LOUD. Sometimes when there's a distant conversation that comes in just as static it's really annoying. I want to install some kind of potentiometer (variable volume control) to reduce the loudness but I'm not sure how to proceed. I'm a pretty technical guy and I can repair electronics but I've never tried to build. I live near the Fry's Electronics in the Seattle are and there's a radio shack nearby. I can go buy some random small value potentiometer but would like some feedback on where to begin.

Does anyone know of a good way to add variable volume to my radio setup?
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Old 01-26-2010
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What impedance is the speaker? Sounds like you have a mismatch. You can add a pot to decrease volume but you will end up with distortion if it is the wrong speaker.
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Old 01-26-2010
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You want an 8 ohm mono L-pad--should cost a couple of dollars.
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Old 01-26-2010
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Speaker Install

I think the speaker is 8 Ohms. I'm going to give that 8 ohm mono L-pad a try and will post back after I've op-tested. Thanks!
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Old 01-27-2010
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If that radio is new and under warranty? Check with Uniden, they may repair/replace it for you. Normally the volume control on a radio controls the external speaker volume as well as the internal.
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Old 02-20-2010
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I was dumb.

So the volume dial does control the speaker output. I bought the 8 ohm l-pad and installed it, then discovered the volume was way too low. I soldered on some nice rca jacks, plugged the speaker directly in to the radio and then it was all good.
My original install was just twisting the speaker wire temporarily to the radio output. I guess that wasn't a solid enough connection so when I adjusted the volume it seemed to be the same volume.

Problem solved. On my Uniden the output volume IS controlled by the power/volume knob.
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Old 03-01-2010
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For future reference when dealing with audio circuits you need to use logarithmic pots commonly known as audio taper.

It has to do with how our ears perceive loudness a linear pot would start out quiet for a majority of the pots rotation then near the end of rotation the audio level would shoot up to max with very little sensitivity to rotation.

Last edited by Krankshaft; 03-01-2010 at 05:21 AM.
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