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Boat Audio Problems

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Viper_Freak1 View Drop Down
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    Posted: May-15-2018 at 12:12am
Hey all, first time poster here, long time forum user though


I'm having a problem with my boat's audio. I know these can be difficult to troubleshoot so I figured I'd list all the symptoms I'm having and see if anybody could point me in the right direction for troubleshooting. I'll get started. Any time my boat is bone dry, and on the trailer the boat audio works perfectly. After a few hours on the water, I start to get a static buzzing sound coming from my right side speakers inside the boat. The problem doesn't exist for the tower speakers or the left side speakers inside the boat. Here are some more symptoms:

-issue only arises when the boat engine is running
-static buzzing sound will increase in pitch and frequency as the engine RPM increases, and decrease for decreasing RPM
-if engine is off, audio is back to normal with the occasional VERY faint clicking sound that usually goes away after a bit
-the static buzzing sound does not change in volume as I adjust the volume of the music on the head unit, it is a constant volume regardless of music volume
-the issue exists regardless of music source, it happens when using my phone for music or listening to the radio tuner
-since the problem arises after being on the water for a while, I'm wondering if water is getting somewhere to cause the onset of the problem

It will be difficult to troubleshoot this at a car audio place due to the fact that the boat needs to be wet, and engine running. And last time I ran the engine at home, the audio worked perfectly due to being dry after an hour and a half drive in the wind.

Any help or pointers would be greatly appreciated!
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throttle out View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote throttle out Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-15-2018 at 7:11am
Grounding issue somewhere no question!
1989 Ski Nautique 2001 351 PCM w/ 1-1.23
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Blamey View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Blamey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-15-2018 at 7:29pm
Generally this is caused by the radio being on the same ground circut as other thing that are causing interference. Things like engine, water pumps and blowers will all cause issues.

The solution is to wire the radio items on a separate circut to the rest.

. So basically the power and ground wires for your headunit, amp and anything else should wire directly to the battery or battery switch..
Google ground loop for various solutions
96 Super Sport
Previously: 95 Sport Nautique, 1980 Ski Supreme
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geecee View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote geecee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-16-2018 at 3:18am
Ground directly to the battery, should sort you out.
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Tim D View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tim D Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-16-2018 at 10:15am
First thing to check is RCA cables (by moving/wiggling them) Sometimes they can get a break in the shielding. Then check speaker wires, are they running parallel with a power wire? If your playing source (phone/ipod) is near the motor box, the ignition will interfere.
Tim D
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gt40KS View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gt40KS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-16-2018 at 6:14pm
With tower speakers, I'm guessing you have an external amp. Make sure the power supply cable to the amp is as far away from the RCA cables and also the speaker line out wires. If they are too close this exact scenario can happen. Usually it is heard all the time and not intermittent, but it's worth checking. I've also I've heard of alternator interference when the voltage regulator is on the fritz
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Viper_Freak1 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Viper_Freak1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-16-2018 at 8:13pm
Thanks for all the helpful replies! Im going to look into what everyone has said so far and see if i can pinpoint the problem. If the voltage regulator is having problems, will this require a whole new alternator?

Please keep the helpful tips coming!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote audiodude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-20-2018 at 10:08am
You may need a ground loop noise isolater
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