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Go Back   WakeWorld > >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive > Archive through March 18, 2009

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Old    Danny Simon (wakerider42)      Join Date: May 2002       02-05-2009, 8:35 AM Reply   
Looking for some options for wiring 2 Wetsounds Pro 60s. I have an '02 VLX with Titan tower. I've heard of some pre-packaged wiring solutions (Bullet Lines), but am not that familiar with what might be out there for a clean install. Are those Bullet Lines kits good? There's one for sale on WW right now, so maybe I'll pick that up. Looks like it's 14 ga which is adequate, but Tim has recommended 12 ga in the past.

I'm thinking I want a quick disconnect to go from the tower leg into the gunwale. Then the Wetsounds has its own fitting at the speaker end so I am good there.

I will be powering with an Arc Audio 5150XXK in 2-channel mode.

Another consideration is if I ever want to add a single 485 or another pair of 60s or 80s up there, is there a wiring kit that I could pre-plumb that has this extra capacity built in?

Thanks,
Danny
Old    Earmark Marine (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       02-05-2009, 11:29 AM Reply   
Danny,

Go with a jacketed 14/4 harness for two 60's (12/4 for four 60's). Use a harness with a slick outer sleeve so it's an easy pull. The insulation needs to be thin for a manageable total thickness to pull and fit through grommets. It varies by boat but a 28' 4-conductor harness is the norm. You can pre-run a second 14/4 that can facilitate a future pair of 60's or a single 485. In the case of the 485 you would double up the conductors for increased capacity.

Your exposed deck cap penetration (if need be on your tower) can be dressed with a stainless steel watertight gland. Look below at the thread "How To Run Tower Speaker Wires Through The Boat". There's also a link to waterproof electrical connectors. It could be a challenge with as many as eight 14-gauge conductors.

We carry everything you might need. With 56' of 14/4, (2) 5/16" deck glands, (2) in-line 4-pin quick disconnects, grommets, heatshrink, flex loom, stainless steel screws and marine silicone plus a little excess, you're looking at $132.

infoATearmarkcaraudio.com

Hope this helps.

David
Old    Danny Simon (wakerider42)      Join Date: May 2002       02-19-2009, 7:13 AM Reply   
David,

I forgot about this post for a while. Thanks for the response. Yeah at first I was thinking I wanted a quick disconnect at the deck cap (gunnel), but then I thought about it and decided against it. I’ve never even folded my tower down, let alone removed it. So I can just leave enough slack for future folding. I like the cleanness of the deck gland you mentioned. Wire is straight through, no chance for bent pin conductors, etc. Looks really nice.

I’m thinking I’ll just do one 4-conductor wire for now – I don’t really plan on adding to the tower, and I could always pull another wire later. So I’d only need 1 length of wire, 1 deck gland and some accessories.

I haven’t put a ton of thought into this since my last post. I’m gonna take a look at what my local stereo shop has in stock, but I’ll definitely get in touch with you if I am not satisfied. I have a feeling I won’t be.

Danny
Old    Mikeski (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       02-19-2009, 7:41 PM Reply   
I just drilled through the deck and ran the wire through it. This was temporary until I found a through hull I liked but it turned out so clean I just left it.

For wire I use this stuff:
http://www.audiopile.net/products/Speaker_Cables/NL-4_speaker_cable/NL413_dropdown_cutsheet_2.asp

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Old    Brandon Burek (yubasanger)      Join Date: Jul 2007       02-19-2009, 10:47 PM Reply   
This is what I used for my tower comes in 2c,4c and 8c. I used the 13AWG/8 so I would only have to pull one wire for everything.
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=100-491
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Old    Doug P (dpolen)      Join Date: Feb 2009       02-20-2009, 6:26 AM Reply   
Do you just splice into the cable when you get to the first speaker and pull out the speaker wire needed for the first speaker can and continue running the rest to the other speaker? I've been trying to figure out how to do this myself.
Old    Scott Legge (w00taz)      Join Date: Jun 2007       02-20-2009, 10:26 AM Reply   
as an ex professional cable monkey I would pull through wayyy too much to the farthest point, then strip back the outer cladding to the shotest point plus some slack. Pull some of the excess back then use a fishing tool to pull the wire pairs out you want from the shortest to longest. Use as few splices as possible. When I wired mine up I can 2x 2pair 14ga but if I had more than 2 tower speakers I would use this.
Old    Doug P (dpolen)      Join Date: Feb 2009       02-20-2009, 12:00 PM Reply   
Thanks! Sounds like a smart way to approach this.
Old    266CrownlineBR (266crownlinebr)      Join Date: Apr 2007       02-23-2009, 12:58 AM Reply   
I used stainless steel braided fuel lines and AN fittings where my wires come through the hull to the tower and from the tower to the speakers. I used the polished nickel fittings. Looks like chrome.
Old    Danny Simon (wakerider42)      Join Date: May 2002       02-23-2009, 6:52 AM Reply   
Cole, that sounds pretty slick. Do you have pictures of the final product? What size AN and fuel line worked well?

Danny
Old    266CrownlineBR (266crownlinebr)      Join Date: Apr 2007       02-24-2009, 12:30 AM Reply   
I don't have any pictures here at work. I had to use really really large AN sizes. If I remember right, they were really expensive for each fitting. I think, if memory serves me, the sizes where both wires came through at the bottom of the tower to the boat were larger than -16AN. That was so I could put two 12 gauge speaker wires through a 90 degree bend. The 90 was on a swivel so I could point it at the tower. Then I did the same size stainless steel braided hose to the same size straight fitting. I drilled and tapped the tower for that straight AN fitting.

For the speakers at the top of the tower I did just about the same except I think I used -12AN for each speaker. At the spot where they mount speakers themselves (on Rubicon 450's), I used those AN to hose clamp fittings. You can't see the hose clamp since it is mounted right on top of the speakers. I thought about drilling out my speakers on the top and mounting fuel line fittings to the speakers themselves but didn't want to go that far. It turned out pretty good. I will see if I can get some picutres up one of these days soon.

I got all the fittings from Summit Racing.
Old    GD (greatdane)      Join Date: Feb 2001       02-24-2009, 12:58 AM Reply   
I used two of these 4 pin connectors -- one off each leg of the tower. This allowed me to wire 4 independent pairs of 14g wire to my 4 pro 60s.

1

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/producte/10001/-1/10001/13554/377%20710%201622/0/Outlets%20&%20Plugs/Primary%20Search/mode%20matchallpartial/0/0?N=377%20710%201622&Ne=0&Ntt=Outlets%20&%20Plugs& Ntx=mode%20matchallpartial&page=CategoryDisplayLev el1&isLTokenURL=true&storeNum=5002&subdeptNum=9&cl assNum=316

(Message edited by greatdane on February 24, 2009)
Old    Ken Land (bulletlines)      Join Date: Apr 2005       02-24-2009, 7:20 AM Reply   
You can purchase a 14 gauge x 4 conductor tower wiring kit with quick release hull mount for $60 bucks at www.bulletlines.com

Thanks,

Ken
Bullet
Old    Danny Simon (wakerider42)      Join Date: May 2002       03-07-2009, 4:31 PM Reply   
Got all the tower wiring done today. Will post pics and a writeup later here for anybody reading in the future.

Just entering this post so the thread doesn't get archived before I have a chance to write up.

Danny
Old    Dave Garland (dgarland0)      Join Date: Apr 2003       03-09-2009, 8:14 AM Reply   
Danny,

I look forward to your post. I am installing new deck, amp and tower speakers this coming weekend.

dg
Old    Danny Simon (wakerider42)      Join Date: May 2002       03-10-2009, 9:49 PM Reply   
Okay, as promised, here is the writeup with pictures. This is my first writeup. I hope it is helpful to someone out there...I know I have always appreciated looking through other peoples’ work to get ideas for myself.

I ordered 25’ of Dayton 4 conductor 13 gauge pro audio wire from Parts-Express.com:

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=100-485

My tower is very simple, and the amps are going to be against the passenger compartment wall, so I probably will only end up needing about 15 – 20 feet, but I always would rather have too much than not enough, even if it costs quite a bit extra (at ~$2/foot).

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I used (1) 3/8” Thru-Deck Seal that I got from Earmark Audio. It is West Marine model #181859. It is chromed brass. I thought it was stainless steel at first, but it looks good. I was a bit nervous because the OD spec of the wire I got was .472” and the quoted ID of the Thru-Deck fitting was .375”. I flipped the rubber grommet inside out and trimmed a bit off with a razor blade to give me some more clearance. Once flipped the normal way, you can’t see any trim marks. The grommet ended up pretty tight, but slid without much difficulty. I’m not sure if trimming the grommet really helped or not.

I got (3) #6 stainless screws from my local mom & pop hardware store. I used oval heads as I thought they looked better than flat.

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Drilling Tower
First, if you are drilling a stainless steel tower, go get a couple brand new nice drill bits (I think I used Dewalt Titanium). I guarantee you the ones in your standard house set are not going to work well. It is WELL worth the extra few dollars to have super sharp bits.

I used a center punch and hammer to make a mark where I wanted the holes. This prevents the bit from walking, which will definitely happen when trying to drill round things, especially if drilling stainless steel because it is so hard. Then, I used a 3/32” bit to start the hole. My technique is to start the drill, push reasonably firmly, then let off. Then repeat. If you leave the bit spinning, you’ll just burn it up. Don’t forget to make some kind of sling with a beach towel or something to catch the shavings. Be patient, and take your time. Took me about 2 hours to drill the (3) holes, mostly because I only had (1) sharp bit. The hole I had the sharp bit on only took a few minutes.

Next, I used a scrap piece of metal in my garage to mock up the grommet/tower/cable interactions to make sure I liked the fit before I decided on a final diameter of hole.

I used a Speed Bit (tapered, conical tool) to increment the hole to the right size for the grommet. This creates a nice round hole without catching like drill bits can when you are trying to increase the size of a hole.

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Drilling Through Deck
I set the Thru-Deck Seal on the gunnel and pretty much eye-balled what looked “right”. Sometimes measuring isn’t as good as what looks pleasing to the eye. Then I put down a piece of duct tape and set the fitting back on there, again eye-balling where it looked nice. Then I marked the ID with a pen. **Key thing: Make sure you put the fitting in a spot where you’ll be able to get your drill in there to drill the mounting holes and a screwdriver in to drive the screws.** I puckered my you-know-what, then pilot drilled the center with a small bit, then drilled it with a bit the same size as that of my hole saw. With a 5/8” hole saw, I drilled in reverse all the way through. The hole came out perfect, no chipping.

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(Message edited by wakerider42 on March 10, 2009)

(Message edited by wakerider42 on March 10, 2009)
Old    Danny Simon (wakerider42)      Join Date: May 2002       03-10-2009, 9:54 PM Reply   
Mounting the Thru-Deck Seal
Set the fitting back on there and line it up. Mark the mounting holes, then drill. Make sure you are perpendicular to the boat deck, and make sure to really hit the center of each mounting screw hole. One of mine almost leaned too much, but you can’t notice when it was done. Close call though. After drilling to a size just under that of the mounting screws, use a bit just larger than the screw thread to clearance hole the gel coat (good call David at EarMark). Gelcoat is very brittle and will not withstand the stress of having something threaded into it and will crack (this probably explains why my gelcoat is cracking where a screw goes in from the windshield…I doubt it is clearanced...)

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Pulling Wire
Next is time to pull the wire up the tower to the speaker locations. Before forgetting, I put the top piece and rubber seal of the Thru-Deck seal on the wire, then the grommet that will go in the tower.

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I used the vacuum trick with some kitchen twine, which would have worked well except the twine I used was quite “grabby”. I ended up using a combination of fish tape, string, and vacuum. I think something like fishing line would have worked better because it wouldn’t have snagged.

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Old    Danny Simon (wakerider42)      Join Date: May 2002       03-10-2009, 9:58 PM Reply   
If mounting numerous speakers, just cut the insulation back so you can split off at the needed points. Leave yourself a bit of extra for slack. You can always trim excess later where the wire will feed into the speakers.

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I then fed the (2) sets of wires into the main hole. Be careful when pulling the wire so as to not scratch it where it will be exposed between the deck and the tower.

Once the wires came out at the top, I slipped a grommet over and covered with 1/4“ split loom. Then I put heat shrink on the tower end, pushed the covered wires into the grommet, and maneuvered the grommet into the hole. My grommet technique is to put the grommet on the wire, then finesse the wire in. I use a little screw driver to push the inner lip over if necessary. This is where it paid off to know my hole size worked well with the wire/grommet I had. Not sure if that's the right way, but I don't see how you could push or pull a wire through a hole that already has a grommet in it - the grommet just pops out. Lastly, make the connection that will go into the speakers. This will differ by brand of course.

Finished Product
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^Yes I know there are no bolts holding the speaker up there. Just a test fit, it was wedged in pretty good!! Don't worry, I was ready to catch it if it moved!!

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This process took a little over 4 hours start to finish.

Hope this helps for anybody looking for ideas or wanting to try this themselves.

Danny
Old    Clint (ttuclint)      Join Date: Sep 2003       03-11-2009, 6:59 AM Reply   
get rid of the split loom and buy some nice cable sleeving.
Old    Danny Simon (wakerider42)      Join Date: May 2002       03-11-2009, 8:00 AM Reply   
Yeah, I wanted to do that, but I couldn't find any locally, and didn't have first hand experience with anything from online, so I held off. Do you have a particular brand that you like?

It will be easy to upgrade in the future.

Danny

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