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ripper

boat radio's power drain on battery?

17 posts in this topic

Just curious on something. I just put a radio in my boat last weekend and now I'm wondering if the battery will be drained down from the clock that's pulling juice off the battery? Didn't think much about it until now...is there enough current being drawn from a clock to cause a dead battery? If so, what options do I have? The boat sits on the lift for sometimes a couple weeks at a time? Maybe just disconnect the memory power line but then the clock and presets would always need to be reset? Any thoughts...Thanks!

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I was in the same dilema this spring. Personally I disconnected the memory power line (actually I wired the red (radio power) and yellow (memory power) to the same switched 12V red power from boat. Flip the master power switch when I leave the boat up north and no drain until I come back.

I rarely use the radio anyway and usually use CD or MP3 player, so no biggie there. Takes about 10 seconds to reset the sound configuration the way I like it. This way I don't have to worry about draining the battery if I'm gone for 3 weeks or more.

It will probably not cause any long term trouble the way you have it though.

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I'm installing a stereo also. So I asked the service tech at my local dealership the same question about hooking it up and he said to hook it up exactly the same way that Solbes described.

Nels

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It should react the same way as you car or truck. the memory on that takes very very very little draw. 2-3 weeks I would think you would be fine, my grandpa's boat sits for that and it starts up fine. the first time you start it up and take it off the lift cruise for awhile to fully recharge the battery.

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Along the same lines, do the gps pucks draw power 24/7/365 whether the unit is on or not if they are hooked directly into the battery system with no disconnect?

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Thanks for the replies. I did the same with yellow (memory) and red (main) to my main power line together. I don't have a "main" switch so mine is always on. Obviously with a car you run it more often usually so it's not an issue. I'll be curious when I get up next if there's power. If not, I'll just disconnect the yellow line and deal with resetting.

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Mine has a detatchable face, so it doesn't draw. I also plug my boat in whenever I get home so I don't really worry about that.

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Usually, the current draw from radio memory is very small, perhaps a few milliamps.

It can be measured with a multimeter if you'd want to.

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sandmannd, the memory will still draw juice with the faceplate off. the main unit stores the preset memory and the clock.

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Well after 2 weeks the battery was dead. So...I just unhooked the yellow memory thinking this would solve the problem..but when I did I have no power at all?? For some reason it only works when wired in with the red? Anyone have this problem? My fix will be to put in a simple switch in between the power source and radio but I will still have to deal with resetting the presets and clock? Can't figure out why both yellow and red need to be hooked together to keep the unit powered??

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What kind of stereo is this??? I had a Dual stereo last year that would do that.. Untill I returned it!

Without the power to the yellow it would turn on but no sound, with power to the yellow the face and clock would stay on even when the red was not powered.

You should have the ~ red wire on a switch

and the ~ yellow direct to battery,

if it causes a large drain or the clock or face stays on then somethings not right.. I spent 100bucks on a pioner (non-marine version) got a splash cover and it works great

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Well after 2 weeks the battery was dead. So...I just unhooked the yellow memory thinking this would solve the problem..but when I did I have no power at all?? For some reason it only works when wired in with the red? Anyone have this problem? My fix will be to put in a simple switch in between the power source and radio but I will still have to deal with resetting the presets and clock? Can't figure out why both yellow and red need to be hooked together to keep the unit powered??

The Yellow may also power up the switched circuits while red supplies the heavy working current for the amplifier part.

Or, possibly, yellow isn't the memory wire. I think, but am not sure, Alpine used yellow for battery and red for ignition switched power.

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Yup, get a switch. You can wire either the red and yellow to the switch, or just the yellow. If you keep the yellow direct to the battery, as the stereo manufacturer recommends, you will still get a dead battery. That's where the steady draw comes from.

Your situation stinks, but hey, I feel better about not hooking my yellow direct to the battery! Thanks smile

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Well, if you don't have an onboard charger, perhaps it's time to think about one. wink

IMO, they save lots of hassles over the long run.

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get a decent stereo and batteries, switch red wire ( which is almost always 12v hot.. Yellow to BATTERY, thats how almost every 12v stereo is wired, cars,trucks,motorcycles,boats..

The yellow(memory) wire should not be enough to drain a battery on its own, if it is, the battery is questionable.

Or.. Get a priority start, they mount on or near your battery and will shut off voltage leaving the battery when it drops below starting voltage ( 11.7v i beilive)

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The yellow(memory) wire should not be enough to drain a battery on its own, if it is, the battery is questionable.

I disagree.

If you don't use your boat often, or if when you do you're only running a short distance with your large motor (which means your starting battery doesn't get fully charged), the yellow wire will draw down the battery over time.

marine_man

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