View Full Version : Kenwood eXcelon KDC-X592 works with factory wired remote

04-09-2008, 08:47 PM
There's quite a few threads about this topic, so I wanted to post my experience. Like many, I wanted to upgrade the factory stereo in my boat (05 Mobius LSV) without losing the factory wired remote functionality or having to buy a new remote.

Great news! I just finished installing the KDC-X592 and I connected the single black wire with a sort of twist-lock connection to the 'REMO CONT' (blue wire) coming out of the head unit. This was a separate wire from the wiring harness for everything else. This was also the experience of SethC way back in 2006 (https://forum.moomba.com/viewtopic.php?t=2853). I can change to different inputs, including iPod/USB, skip back and forth on iPod songs and mute, etc.

The factory wiring harness fit the new stereo, too, so if I had been happy with the wiring, I could have swapped out the stereo in 5 minutes. However, the wires were all cut really short and used wire nuts (not sure if this was the previous owner or factory) and I wanted to clean up the amp installation, which was horribly done (I'm sure by the previous owner) so I spent the afternoon under the glove box getting everything pretty.

Many people have reported that you have to buy a Kenwood marinized HU to get the wired remote to work, but this simply isn't true. When I was doing my research I also looked at a KDC-X492 at a local shop and it had the same blue wire (which is designed to connect to an adapter for steering wheel controls in cars). I agree with many posters that 'marization' doesn't offer any value for the features you lose at substantially more money.


My main desire was to have a jukebox in the boat with high quality sound and the ability to create custom playlists or DJ while out on the water. iPod is one of the few choices, because the iPod direct control is a pre-amp output and it has the ability to use playlists. The Zune does not have a pre-amp output unless you have the Sync technology in newer Fords. I don't own a Ford and really wouldn't want to strap it to the top of my wakeboarding boat anyway. I could not find a single HU of any brand that supported playlists on CD/DVD or USB memory. My factory HU already had the adapter to take a portable media player input (mini-DIN connector) but this is a line-level input and I wanted to be able to play the stereo loud and clear enough that the rider could easily hear.

After extensive research and suggestions, I wanted to go with another brand of HU for the quality of iPod controls (Alpine or Pioneer), but I wasn't sure if they would work with the factory wired remote and didn't want to take the chance. I finally settled on the X592 because it had better iPod controls and visibility (new in 08 - it now has a 3 line display for scrolling through iPod content).

I picked up the KDC-X592 for $156 shipped from CartronixPlus (Kenwood doesn't warranty items bought on the Internet through un-authorized dealers, but CartronixPlus offers to service it for 1 year).

The only thing I don't have is ability to create a playlist on the fly or DJ.

For my next project, I'll likely be adding the nicer Kenwood LCD remote at the driver seat (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270217820204&ssPageName=MERC_VIC_ReBay_Pr4_PcY_BIN_Stores_IT&refitem=280207023916&itemcount=4&refwidgetloc=closed_view_item&usedrule1=CategoryProximity&refwidgettype=cross_promot_widget&_trksid=p284.m183&_trkparms=its%3DS%252BI%252BSS) and moving the existing remote back to the transom.

BTW, my KDC-225MR is up for sale (works just fine). If you are interested PM me an offer.

04-10-2008, 01:32 AM

Thanks for sharing! That "REMO CONT" wire is the key - it's designed to connect to steering wheel mounted audio controls on some cars so it makes sense that it works with our wired remotes.

I looked on Ebay and ended up buying the one model higher (KDC-X692) as it has 4 lines of text display and was only $13 more ($146 total with shipping). The KDC-X592 is $133 shipped on Ebay.

Here is a link to several pics of the unit from soniceletronix.com, including a great pic of the rear showing that blue "REMO CONT" wire:


Thanks again for the tip.


04-10-2008, 01:07 PM
Here is a picture of the finished job:


The glove box doesn't look nearly as nice as Aquaholic's, but the install is good.

The adapter to mount the USB input was pretty cheesy. I thought it would be a 5 minute job (after dremeling through the gel coat/fiberglass) but it ended up taking me almost 30 and it's still not the most sturdy thing. However, I'm glad they included something for free, so I guess I can't complain.

Cab, I wish I had got the X692. Somehow I missed that one in my research.

06-29-2008, 11:38 PM

The driver's side remote works. However, sometimes it doesn't respond. This is frustrating when you are trying to pause to talk to a downed rider, for instance, or trying to turn the volume down to hear your wife yell at you.

I'm not sure what causes this as it's very random. I'm thinking maybe the connection to the head unit isn't great as I had to jimmy my own female bullet connector using a butt connector.

Anyone else having a similar problem before I stick my head under the dash and start fiddling with wires?

06-30-2008, 12:39 AM

I installed the model KDC-x692 and added a second remote to the transom and both remotes work flawlessly. There was one time when the skip back and skip forward buttons didn't work and it was because I had scrolled thru the Ipod using the head unit and had accidentally kept that screen open. Once I closed it, everything worked fine again. So maybe that's the problem you're having??


06-30-2008, 01:27 AM
No, that's not the problem. If I drive with the glove box open, I can see the commands work sometimes and not others. Like pressing the volume down button 50 times only to have it work 8. Oddly, once one button works, they all work. So I can hit volume several times, then pause works.

It must be a connection issue. Probably something is corroded (like most other parts of my boat). I'll stick my head in a few places and see what I see.

Thanks, cab! You're the Moomba upgrading guru!

06-30-2008, 03:54 PM
I'm just not comfortable with Cab being the Guru. Guru aaaaarghh

06-30-2008, 04:00 PM
I'm just not comfortable with Cab being the Guru. Guru aaaaarghh

LOL! I am definitely not even in the same league as Aqua and many others!

I do like to tinker with the boat and find ways to make it better/nicer, without spending a ton of cash.


05-23-2010, 06:10 PM
Well, I've played with this several times. It always seemed to work well in my driveway, but have issues (sometimes severe issues) out on the water. However, this time it wasn't working even at home barely at all.

Today I got out the volt meter and took some readings. The connection all the way from the remote to the head unit seemed to be fine. After thinking about it for awhile, it occurred to me that maybe the head unit case wasn't grounded. So I ran a test wire and that seemed to do the trick. I've got it permanently wired (less temporary at least), so hopefully this fixes the problem.

I just wanted to put that out there in case anyone else has a similar problem. I'll try to post back after next weekend on the lake, hopefully with good news.

moomba wannabe
05-23-2010, 09:13 PM
Thanks for the info and confirmation on the factory remotes. I have an '05 Outback with the factory driver and transom remotes, just no stereo. Good to know for sure they'll work. Lookin like the 692 will be one of my next purchases. Thanks again!

05-23-2010, 09:22 PM
I'm just not comfortable with Cab being the Guru. Guru aaaaarghh

that's the funniest thing i've seen all day http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-laughing001.gif

j/k man...

LyndonH Dubai
05-24-2010, 12:25 AM
i have looked at the above posts and also have a problem with my stereo set up. the stereo i have in at the moment which is a kenwood, wont appear to work with the wired remote that appears to have been a factory fitted option. my remote is a small white remote in the dash. my boat is the 2004 XLV grav games edition. any ideas on what the best thing is to do, and also was it easy enough to drill and install the ipod lead in throught the glove box etc? mine is currently down by the amps in a holder which is neat, but not accessible when friends sat in the boat etc.

LyndonH Dubai
05-24-2010, 12:27 AM
can anyone send me pics of a factory remote on thier ride if they have an 04 XLV please to see if it is the same as mine, and if it is and they have upgraded a stereo recently, can you please give me some model number etc. this would be a massive help

05-28-2010, 01:06 PM
I have the x592 and it has worked great for the last 2 summers. Just these last few weeks I have been on the water and after connecting an iPod and iPhone immediately get a "USB Remove" error. I've tried the troubleshooting and nothing helps. I swapped the USB cable per custom sounds, in austin, and still nothing. The catch is, the stereo plays iPods and my iPhone sitting on the trailer in and out of the water...tested it with engine running and off, no problem. The second I start moving or shortly after it shuts off and says "USB Remove."

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Another issue while driving is i press the volume up button one time and it shoots all the way to the max without control. This doesn't happen when parked either.

Custom Sounds of course suggested I buy a new head unit...i find it hard to believe it went bad just 2 years old.


06-03-2010, 11:00 AM
The remote worked like a charm this weekend. I'm sooooo happy.

Austin, I would check your connections. It's possible the head unit went bad, especially since they aren't designed for damp/wet conditions. But if it works fine out of the water, there's probably something else going on. I would guess that maybe two of the USB wires are touching when moving.

06-10-2010, 10:55 PM
Which wired remotes are you guys connecting? I see that kenwood says the rc60mr will work with the x794 but I am wondering if my factory one, rc100mr, would work as well.