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  #1  
Old 06-17-2009
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Stupid radio, stupid question. (stupid owner?)

Our boat has an older Sony pull-out marine radio (am/fm/cass).

It stopped working about a week after we bought it and has been intermittent since. When it works, it works fine, but it never works when you want it too.

I find electricity to be like french. I can understand it if I try really hard, but it does not come naturally.

Back to my stupid question: Is it an internal radio problem or an external wiring issue.

It turns on, but has no FM output, cannot find and lock onto a station.
On AM, it is mostly static but with a few stations are clear, but cannot lock onto a station when in search mode and will hunt all day(same as FM).
I had originally thought it to be an antenna issue but unplugging the antenna connector results in AM totally cutting out which makes me think that the antenna wiring is sound.
The rest of the wiring appears to be okay, no obvious broken wires, no bared wires, no corrosion, .....

Then, while trying to listen to the play-offs, I flipped on the battery charging circuit, and the radio cut-out.

Needless to say, this scared me.

Up until the battery charger incident, I had assumed it was an internal radio issue, now I am not so sure.

For the record, since we bought it, no new electrical equipment has been added, no wiring work has been done, said charger is original and functions as it should, other than the radio interference issue.

The only other electrical issue we have is the water heater will not function on shore power, breaker trips right away, I will, for the moment, assume that is an unrelated issue.

The radio is on the upgrade list but I prefer, where possible, to fix existing problems before replacing equipment.

Thanks
Jeff
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Old 06-17-2009
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JJ,

DC power is acually pretty easy. and radios are eay to wire. It still sounds like an antenna issue and I'd check the wire all the way to the end.

If the charger cut the radioout that is a voltage problem. Check the voltage at the bus bar and see if it drops. The radio probably would n't work under about 10 volts.

So, two wires at the radio for power, two wires per speaker. If all those connections are good and the voltage is good and the antenna is good whack the radion with a hammer. If that doesn't fix it replace it.
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Old 06-17-2009
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Check for a bad ground.
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Old 06-17-2009
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You really should go over the wiring on your boat until you know what is connected to what and how.
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
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Old 06-17-2009
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My radio would cut off when I switched batteries. No biggie.
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Old 06-18-2009
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I did check the wiring visually and all is as it should be. I say visually because I didn't have a meter on hand. I will go back and check the voltage drop to be sure nothing is amiss, and verify all grounds same time.
I traced the antenna wire all the way, no chafes or other obvious issues.

Once, when I was very young, my mother decided to fix the vacuum plug and proceeded to cut the wire with a pair of scissors but forgot to unplug it first. She got a nice burn on her hand, a hole blown through the blades of the scissors and to this day, I am overly wary of 120V.

jfdubu - I have a FORD hammer (it also works on old chevy starters) that is perfect for fixing this radio, thanks for reminding me.

Looks like it is time for a entertainment system upgrade.

Thanks to all.
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Old 06-18-2009
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Go buy a cheap replacement antenna at an auto parts store. You can plug it into the back of the radio to find out if the problem is the antenna or not. Be careful opening the package in case you need to return it. If it is an antenna problem, a new radio would get you the same result, and that would really suck.
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Old 06-18-2009
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US27 - point taken.

I think I am going to use this as an excuse to replace everything, the radio sucked anyways and while the wiring is goes to the right places, it is sloppy and poorly routed, 2 things I cannot stand.


By the by, I owe you one, just did my chainplates and used your suggestion of floor wax as a release agent, worked like a charm and no templates required.
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Old 06-22-2009
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I had issues with the quality of power to the electronics, radio and added a large capacitor close to the nav station. All of the problems I experienced are gone. The capacitor was from an car audio store, and was simple to install. It can power the electonics for about 5 seconds when the batteries are switched off. It keeps the power to the equipment during power surges, starting the engine, etc.... It also reduced the noise on the radio!
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