View Full Version : PowerFlow Installation Tech Tip

02-24-2011, 07:59 PM
Guys - Since there are so many of you doing upgrades to your stereo's right now, I thought I'd pass along one of our tech sheets lays out how to properly wire your system. Dusty asked me about this a month ago and I totally forgot.

Wiring gear is sometimes an over looked building a stereo. This sheet is based on a typical Exile system but the amplifiers and speakers could be changed out to suit whatever brand gear is in play. I've got a lot of these things. We use them for training retailers and such.

When it comes to picking a brand or style of RCA or power cable etc, my advice is simple: Dont be a cheapskate. Feeding 500.00 amplifiers with an .89 cent RCA cable is a receipe for trouble out on the water. Same goes for power cable.

Lastly, please take note: there is no 1 way to wire gear. This is the way I reccomend to do it for a number of safety reasons. Hope it helps take some of the mystery out of things.

WIRE CHART DOWNLOAD (http://exileaudio.com/downloads/ExileMarinePowerFlowChart.pdf)

Exile Audio

02-24-2011, 08:35 PM
A couple of things.
The parallel wiring on two channels of the 800 amplifer will be confusing. Its absolutely right but until the layout is improved a bit not everyone is going to follow it and it will raise more questions than it answers.
The wiring of the Perko switch is contrary to the way its been wired in the marine industry since that switch was introduced. It should be a battery direct to position 1 and a battery direct to position 2. ALL the stereo electronics, helm buss/breaker panel and alternator feed (which is parallel with the starter) should attach to the Perko switch common post. There is no other acceptable way in order to avoid potential conflicts and misuse. Plus you don't want to do something that any boat dealer will be opposed to, especially since they may disconnect and reconnect batteries during winterization/summerization.
Email me your fax and I will send you a revision. I've already got it prepared.
Earmark Marine

02-24-2011, 09:00 PM
fwiw, my boat, and I know several others on here came from skiers out of the factory hooked up the same way brian's sheet reads.

right, wrong, or indifferent, both are being used today.

02-24-2011, 09:47 PM
I understand that as we do all the local dealer work for Supra/Moomba.
A dual battery switch is an entirely different scenerio than an ACR with a dual circuit switch. This isn't just a little wrong as its major wrong. Otherwise I would let it be. Keep in mind that there is a great range in boater proficiency in comprehending electronics so we cannot afford to leave any potential problem open or open to interpretation. Here is just one dangerous scenerio that is left unresolved in this diagram. There are countless other reasons but one is more than enough.
In the factory scenerio the helm buss is connected to the Perko common. If the user switches the battery switch to the same position that the amplifier is on that is usually okay. If the user has the switch rotated to the starting battery side which could be easy to do then the source electronics is hooked to one battery while the amplifier is hooked to a different battery. Certainly these two batteries will seek to level their different potential via the lowest resistive path even if it is along the connecting RCA shield. While the RCA shield may terminate into 1kOhm above ground (typical amplifier input impedance) this represents the lowest resistive path and the only resistive path that circumvents the dual battery isolation. The ground shield is intended to protect the signal path from external noise but now we are sending a voltage down the shield path. If the charge level between the batteries is significant you will have noise. This also has the potential to fry a fragile IC chip OP amp which constitutes the source unit preamp.
Trust me. You do not want this. I can provide other possible isues with this but all it takes is one. If its done the correcy way then you have eliminated all potential problems. So in this case there is only one way.

Earmark Marine

02-25-2011, 06:36 AM
A dual battery switch is an entirely different scenerio than an ACR with a dual circuit switch.

As you have mentioned, it seems that there are 2 switches that you can be talking about. the problem is much the same as the word "bandaid". if you hurt yourself, you go to the closet and get a bandaid, no matter the brand or type. the "perko" switch has evolved into the same thing. a brand word has become the generic word for any switch that allows 2 batteries to be used. in some cases, the installer(professional or weekend warrior) will use the term "perko" when infact they may have something different.

I have been involved in several discussions on this topic on here, and really still don't know if mine is hooked up properly, but have taken the following position:
-300hrs on the boat with not a single electrical issue or problem, nor any battery issues/problems
-skiers installed it the way it's currently run, and they have installed hundreds, if not thousands of them
-local stereo shop that does boat installs didn't change it.

Personally, as you stated with the potential for damage if not hooked up right, I have no issues chiming in on stereo threads as I have done dozens of installs, from simple deck-and-four to full-on systems, but with "perko" switches, there's too much unkown in what a person not only has but what they plan on installing that it's best to use the phrase "contact the manufacturer"..

oh ya... forgot to add... a big thanks to both david and brian for all the input on this forum :)
it is appreciated....

02-25-2011, 09:02 AM
Now, you're beginning to scare me.

02-25-2011, 01:37 PM
Just as a concerned pro wants to make sound recommendations regardless of brand, let me point out a few things to keep in mind when looking at the schematic Brian presented. As currently precsented there are a few things that need fixed, cleared up, and better explained visually.

1. A battery switch, (from whatever brand) has no lugs for connection of the ground wiring as is shown in the schematic. There are only three terminals on thd back of a typical battery switch, BAT-1, BAT-2 and the COMMON output fromn the switch, (or whatever the switeched output is labelled if not COMMON). You want to wire the battery grounds together directly from battery to battery and not out to the switch or any other periferal device.

2. The schematic makes no differentiation or call out with regards to the location of the fused distribution block. Know that you want overcurrent protection as close to the batteries or battery switch as possible. In car audio the standby recommendation has always been within 18 inches, but The U.S. Coast Guard mandates by law that every boat builder provide overcurrent protection, (a fuse or breaker) for every primary positive current carrying wire within 7 inches of the battery, as measured along the wiring. The law is stated in CFR 33 in Subpart I, section 183.455.

The American Boat and Yacht Council similary mandates the same requirements as the Federal law in their STANDARDS AND TECHNICAL INFORMATION REPORTS FOR SMALL CRAFT. You can find this spec in A.B.Y.C E- for all loads except cranking motors. To be NMMA certified, every participating boat builder must comply with E-

For this schematic, consider putting the fused distribution block right next to the battery, or consider adding a master fuse right next to the battery which exceeds the sum of the individual fuses in the distribution block. Then the fused distribution block can be mounted near the amps. If you wire as shown, but put the fused distribution block near the amps and far from the batteries, you run the risk of burning up your boat in the event of a shorted power wire.

3. If interpreted literally, the 4 channel amp has all its speakers wired in series or parallel, as it shows only 2 sets of speaker outputs. I am assuming here, but know that in the schematic drawing, you want to see the top two speakers each on their own amplifier wiring. Then for the bottom 4 speakers you will want to see two sets of speaker wires with each pair wired in series or parallel depending on the manufacurer recommendations. You will not want to wire all 4 in either parallel or series as shown, as it will either show a 1-ohm load or lower if wired in parallel, or around 16-ohms if they are wired in series.

Hope this clears things up for a few of you. I can clean up the schematic if it will help someone better understand. just let me know.

Glad to help out Ed! Thanks for the kind words!

p.s. Keep your hands off my "stuff" I don't need anything roasted or toasted... :D