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WakeWorld Discussion Board » >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive » Archive through July 28, 2009 » Linking stereos together « Previous Next »
By eric ivey (ericlee) on Monday, June 29, 2009 - 10:23 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I got this all figured out in my head and thus it should work right!!!????

When linking a couple boats together just unplug the rcas from one boats amps, place 2 Y connectors to it, then run another set of RCAs to your amp and to the other boats amps? Is this how its done or am I missing something?

By tom fischer (tomfish) on Monday, June 29, 2009 - 11:09 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
we just split the cord going into the mp3 player input. The only ones that have problems in our group are the ones with the Wetsounds 420eq. It will cut you volume down to 1/2. It is really cool having 3-5 boats all hooked together.
By eric ivey (ericlee) on Monday, June 29, 2009 - 11:17 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I did not even think about splitting the jack from my i-pod and running that. Does this work better for those who have done it?
By nu bu (05mobiuslsv) on Monday, June 29, 2009 - 11:23 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
It works I've done it. Sometimes it doesn't sound good depending on how other boats have their systems tuned.
By Bruce Mac (brucemac) on Monday, June 29, 2009 - 11:34 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
just curious, and maybe i'm not reading right, but adding the 420 inline to the signal cuts the volume down? or is there another problem?
By phil white (philwsailz) on Monday, June 29, 2009 - 11:42 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
The easiest way I have found is a HIGH QUALITY fm transmitter.

Splitting off wiring can be higher quality, but it also can be badly distorted, especially if the boats have different head units, and therefore different gain staging... One guy's perfect unity gain setup can be the next guys "hideously clipped on the front end" distortion generator. Success will depend on having similar gain structures for all stereos. Tim White's WS420 makes it real easy to do right if you insist on going the wired route.

On my boat, I use a Zune and the appropriate Soundgate CORE line level adptor/charger. Out of the adaptor I hit a y-cord. One half goes to the aux in on my stereo. the other half of the y-cord goes to my Mobile Black Box Eclipse-4000 stereo transmitter, (

When we raft up, the rest of the boats just tune to my "radio station" and then each sets their own level. I even created a fake "107.3 The Duck" station ID that plays occasionally, and we also made some fake commercials. It can be fun.

On the list of things to be aware of, you cannot broadcast fake call letters, (KMDF for example) you cannot step on another broadcaster's licensed frequency, and you cannot broadcast profanity, obscene or foul language, and any other material deemed inappropriate by the FCC. Use at this power, and for this purpose is largely legal, assuming you follow a few guidelines, and "broadcast" in the positive interest of the general public. Just do not assume total freedom; I have to believe you can get in trouble... I transmit full well knowing I may get asked about it someday...

FM has its quirks, and done wrong it can sound bad; we have all heard bad wireless FM adaptors. The trick is spending some coin for a good one.
No doubt there are other good ways to do it too; I just share my idea if it sounds like trying...

By Tim White (wetsounds1) on Monday, June 29, 2009 - 1:18 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
The WS-420 has the "Boat Link" feature built into the unit just for linking boats. As far as I know it is the first and only product with this ability. It has a 3.5 mm aux output. You take a 3.5 mm cable and plug it into the output of the "boat link" to the aux input on the next boat. If the boat has a 420, you can then daisy chain the boats. So one boat becomes the "DJ" boat. 3 boats will still maintain a strong signal. If you want more, Arc Audio has the ALD inline line driver.

This will let you maintain a stronger signal for more boats.

Tom, your buddies with the 420 must not have their gains on the aux turned up. There is a separate gain for the aux input. They need to have that set so the volume does not drop. So it sounds like a tuning issue on their end. We have had 5 boats linked up all with WS-420's and the first 3 were full volume, the 4th and 5th boats were about 75% as the signal loss down the line. Adding the ALD would fix that for sure.

I have a black box like Phil mentioned and it works pretty good but we found that most marine systems usually get a weak FM signal so the wired route is more reliable.

Wet Sounds

By Mikeski (mikeski) on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 - 12:10 am:    Edit Post Delete Post

Glad to see you got the FM option working, I never could. Even with a Ramsey hi-fidelity mobile low power radio transmitter I did not have any luck with a signal worthy for our stereo systems.

We pass the signals using RCA's or use 1/8" audio cable to hardwire the boats together.

I have several options on my boat, line-in/aux-in/pre-out/line-out. I can usually find a combination that suits any input or output situation. I am driving a pretty hot signal out of my WS-420, sometimes too hot for people to take so I sometimes need to step it back to the deck rear out.

By Bruce Mac (brucemac) on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 - 9:34 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
i was thinking about this last night and have more questions. so the "boat link" output on the back of the 420 is gained to your aux setting on the 420 itself? or is it simply a line level signal? if it's line level why would there be ANY issues with settings between different boats? i could understand if you're using the headphone jack output from the player, but what if you're using the usb connection on your ipod/iphone for input (volume on ipod doesn't do anything). that's a line level signal, right?
By Tim White (wetsounds1) on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 - 10:01 am:    Edit Post Delete Post

The Boat Link is a fixed line level output and not affected by the gain. The problem they are probably having is their "Aux In" gain is not turned up high enough. So they need to turn their aux in gain up to match the signal coming in.

Wet Sounds

By Bruce Mac (brucemac) on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 - 10:12 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
ahhh, okay, that makes sense. thanks tim
By tom fischer (tomfish) on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 - 1:00 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
When I called you guys on this, (WS) you said that may be the issue, but it would be a hassle to adjust the aux in gain each time you want to hook up then remember to turn it down when you unhook, or am I missing something?
By Tim White (wetsounds1) on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 - 1:09 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
The other boats should just set their aux input on the WS-420 to about 90% of the way up then and leave it at that and tune their system that way. This way you can leave it set and not have to re adjust.

Wet Sounds

By David_E_M (david_e_m) on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 - 2:39 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post

The problem with your scenario is you canít adjust your own output without influencing the other boats.

So, the splitters and subsequent line driver should come from a fixed source, such as directly from an iPod.

Or, the EQ with a dedicated master volume takes care of it.

Earmark Marine


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