Wake 101
Home   Articles   Pics/Video   Gear   Wake 101   Events   Community   Forums   Classifieds   Contests   Shop   Search
WakeWorld Home
Email Password
Go Back   WakeWorld > Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-14-2010, 2:48 PM Reply   
In 2008 We did a party where we linked over 30 boats together. We used a Audio Control BLX-10
It takes a audio signal and converts it to a balanced Cat 5 Line. That Cat 5 Line was run a few hundred feet from the DJ booth on land down to the Dock's where we used more BLX-10's to convert and split the signal back to a RCA. Then boats passed the signal from boat to boat with Rca's We used 1 BLX-10 for every 5 or 6 boats.

We are doing the same party again and wanted to see if there was a better way of doing it. FM modulators (No Bueno)

Wondering in anyone has played with the Audio over bluetooth
Here are some picks from the orignal event so you can see how the docks are set up.
Old     (bawshogg)      Join Date: Dec 2005       05-14-2010, 7:01 PM Reply   
Not quite yet, But I hear someone is working on technology that will allow boats to link signals wirelessly. It is similar to bluetooth and will allow a "master" source and "slaves" to be playing the same music. I believe you will need some sort of aux type input to your system for it to work. Can't say too much more a this point. Can't really think of a way yet without cables or Fm type brodcasts.
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-15-2010, 9:28 PM Reply   
For home Audio and video i have seen CHEEP digital transmitters and recievers. Noting i have seen is 12v or set up for cars or boats.

Here is a example of what Im talking about. This one is $45

Old     (mastercraf)      Join Date: Jul 2009       05-15-2010, 9:31 PM Reply   
we used to do this with cars on long trips. One person with an Itrip plugs in their ipod. Everyone tunes their radio to the right station. Let one person DJ and play it through everyone's speakers!
Old     (bawshogg)      Join Date: Dec 2005       05-16-2010, 7:29 AM Reply   
Grant, why could those not be used in a 12 volt situation. They are home audio based, but the transformer that plugs into the wall converts the voltager down to 9-12 volts dc, says so right on the case. Hack the transformer off the cord and put a cigareete lighter plug on the end of the cable. Betcha that would work. 12 volts is 12 volts.
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       05-16-2010, 7:48 AM Reply   
The only bad thing about this thread is that between Grant and myself we have probably already tried most of the options most of you have been thinking about.

FM transmitter = done that, fail
Low power FM radio station = done that, fail
Direct RCA link, done that, works well but limited to a few boats
Headphone Y and extension cable, done that, same as RCA
WS-420 to WS-420, done that, works well as but everybody needs a WS-420

In my experience if you go with an active solution like an FM station/transmitter, signal repeater like the BLX-10, or otherwise, you are begging for engine noise as soon as two boats are running. If you go with a passive solution like the RCA or headphone link you can only split the signal 2 or 3 times before it becomes too weak to drive systems to full output.

Currently I can drive 4-5 boats off my boat with the WS 420. This works for most impromptu cove/beach/dock get togethers for the other boats as long as they have an IPOD hookup or AUX input. Sometimes we experience different signal sensitivities but it's not usually an issue as long as the other systems have their gains set to work with an IPOD. I think I am sending out about 1V which seems to be close to an ipod near full volume.

When we did this last time with the BLX-10's I was only getting about 75-80% out of my system because of mismatch and noise issues.
Old     (liljohn)      Join Date: May 2007       05-16-2010, 8:22 AM Reply   
What about streaming the music from the web. Seems to me most people have a smart phone of some type that can access the internet. Then people would only need to stream the feed. I know most of us can plug are ipods and what not in so connecting your smart phone shouldnt be hard. Just a thought.
Old     (hatepain)      Join Date: Aug 2006       05-16-2010, 9:18 AM Reply   
I like liljohns idea but I wonder how hard it would be to get that all to work and have all the music playing in unison and on a network that can facilitate the traffic. You would want it streaming at a minimum of 128kb/ps so not to lose to much sound quality. Not a bad Idea.
Old     (wakeborder5)      Join Date: Jun 2002       05-16-2010, 12:18 PM Reply   
Goin off liljohn's idea, you could use laptops and wire ethernets and have a LAN-based broadcast. Don't know what program you could use, but that would get rid of any latency/network issues you would get from an internet-based broadcast. Of course, that would be a bit more of a pain using laptops though.
Old     (clayton191)      Join Date: Apr 2006       05-16-2010, 12:24 PM Reply   
latency and carrier issues would stop the internet option -- I dont think you could get that timed correctly, IMHO....
Old     (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       05-16-2010, 2:19 PM Reply   
I know a couple of you said you had tried the FM transmitter idea. But we've been to a couple of parties, specifically one on the Columbia River between Sunland & Crescent Bar, where they have used FM transmitters successfully. I never heard a final boat count but there were dozens of boats parked on the beach & tuned into the same music without many problems. I sent an email to one of the organizers to see what transmitter they were using. It wasn't one of those cheezy Ipod things though.
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       05-16-2010, 2:43 PM Reply   

I actually have a small low power commercial FM radio station transmitter and it's noisy.

This one might work?

I gotta agree that a wireless FM signal would probably be the most convenient way to do it.
Old     (jp1)      Join Date: May 2008       05-16-2010, 3:43 PM Reply   
The problem I see with the fm transmitter is the noisy signal and leaving out the people with iPod only's a little hard to get an fm signal with no
Old     (volzalum)      Join Date: May 2009       05-16-2010, 6:04 PM Reply   
I use an fm transmitter. I found that I have to use a volume controller on the cable exiting the radio to turn down the output until it sounds correct on the other boats tuning in. I ended up using last years version of this:

not sure how the 2.0 performs, but the gold version worked well last year.
Old     (philwsailz)      Join Date: Feb 2009       05-17-2010, 7:14 AM Reply   

A good small-power FM radio station option is available from the guys at They have transmitters that will run on 12 volts, and the big one, the Orion-5000 has a 5-watt power output; enough to get in trouble with the FCC rather easily.

I use the Eclipse-4000, which in practice has a transmit range pushing a mile on good days. It has switchable mono-stereo output; stereo is a tiny bit noisy due to the multiplexed signal, but mono operation is very quiet; and seriously, who really can appreciate stereo in a raft-up anyway? Yes, you lose a little fidelity, it is not the audiophile solution that a hard wired link can be, but it is WAY better than those little cig-lighter plug-in FM things...

On our boat, I have created fake radio station ID tags, commercials, etc. You could also do commercials for bogus memorial day lakefront concerts, bogus lakefront restaurants, and even commercials with directions on how to get to your favorite party cove. It is a blast to have those sprinkled in on your playlist.

For FM, if you choose to go that route, remember a few guidelines that will keep the FCC away:
1. Never use a radio station call letter, ID, like KCOV, or WREK; that is a big no-no with the FCC; as it is basically fraudulant. Use a station name, like "DAX FM 105.5" or "107.3 The Duck", (my bogus ID).. no fake four-letter station ID's.
2. Never broadcast profanity, bad language, or explicit/graphic content, another no-no.
3. Never purposefully or knowingly step on another legal licensed transmission frequency. Here is a handy website that can give you a good recommendation for a clear channel near you: This cann be the big one, as a small local radio station can throw a fit, listen in, figure out where you are and then call you in. That is the most likely scenario that will cause you to get a visit. Be a good neighbor in the FM neighborhood.
4. Know that you are operating in a very gray area legally; there are lots of proper uses for this type of equipment, but as many that can land you in hot water. I personally believe that if you follow the guidelines above, in a transmit radius, (power) that is appropriate, (i.e. you probably do not want to buy the 5-watt transmitter) and you are not on and transmitting except for the times you are rafted up, you probably will not get harassed.

Oh, and p.s. I do not advocate or recommend this behavior, I only show you where and how so that you can get in trouble if you want to... that is totally YOUR decision!


Last edited by philwsailz; 05-17-2010 at 7:18 AM.
Old     (wetsounds1)      Join Date: Jan 2006       05-17-2010, 9:10 AM Reply   
We have been working on some really cool ways to do it but not ready to spill the beans just yet.

One way to do it is similar to the way you did it before but instead of going from a BLX and then splitting to each 5 or 6 boats. You could use a CAT 5 dist amplifier with a cat 5 Balun in each boat.

1 input to 8 output linkable to 64 locations. AVDA-8-F Only issue might be the cost. each boat would need a break out Balun. AVO-A2-F But this way each boat would get the same signal versus trying to re amplify going into another BLX for 5 or 6 boats.

There are other options but I would try looking for a system that allows you to take the one source, convert it to cat5 then dist it to the multiple boats with each boat breaking it out from a in boat balun

But G your wireless one looks pretty cool and for the price, might be worth getting a couple of them and see. But being 2.4GHz, might run into some issues

We have had really good luck with boats running our WS-420 and a Arc Audio ALD line driver out of the boat link. So each boat has a really hot signal.

Wet Sounds
Old     (johnny_jr)      Join Date: Mar 2006       05-17-2010, 7:22 PM Reply   
Thinking of installing an ARC Audio SRI line driver before the BUMP. Not really using it as it was designed to be, but I should get the result I want. This would give me 1 RCA input (I will have AUX in and CD player etc.. pre line driver) then 3 outputs with an adjustable gain on each. I can take 1 signal in and 1 output to my EQ than the last 2 will be for a port side output and another for starboard. If we go the BLR/BLX route like last year I will just add in my BLR before the line driver.

Anyone have any feedback or comments on this method? Should get some really "hot" (Tim White) signals out to the other boats.

Double checking with ARC tomorrow to make sure it will work as I intend it to. I'll update once I know for sure this will work.
Old     (olskooltige)      Join Date: Mar 2007       05-18-2010, 7:10 AM Reply   
I'm with Phil. Wires are a PITA. A well powered FM broadcast wins. You can paint about a mile of decent quality that will not be discernible to nearly everyone with those if you get an antenna up. Ramsey makes some good boxes too.
Old     (mendo247)      Join Date: Mar 2005       05-18-2010, 8:11 AM Reply   
Are you really getting that good of sound quality with the FM transmitters? Seems like it would be the simple way to go when hooking up a bunch of boats..
Old     (philwsailz)      Join Date: Feb 2009       05-18-2010, 8:42 AM Reply   
Richard, we are using the good ones. Mine cost me about $130.00. It is definitely not one of the cheap WalMart cig lighter plugin thingies....

Actually, I was so impressed with the first Eclipse - 4000 I got , that I bought a second one. I keep one on the boat, and I rent out a separate little transmittier package for outdoor events in parks etc. My rental unit has the transmitter, with a stereo compressor on the front end for dynamics and gain control, to prevent the thing from clipping when some dummy yells in a microphone, or some piece of electronics makes a big nast pop. The last time it was used was at a 24-hour Relay For Life fundraiser. Instead of a big PA sound system blaring all night all through the park, each team's "camp" just had a little FM radio to keep up with announcements, etc...



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 9:16 AM.

Home   Articles   Pics/Video   Gear   Wake 101   Events   Community   Forums   Classifieds   Contests   Shop   Search
Wake World Home


© 2016 eWake, Inc.    
Advertise    |    Contact    |    Terms of Use    |    Privacy Policy    |    Report Abuse    |    Conduct    |    About Us