car stereo install question

nick9882

Active Member
Apr 1, 2009
131
i am installing a car stereo in my 1994 rockwood XL 1280.I am going to run it off of the battery,i was wondering if the battery wires run up to the converter that i can splice into or if i have to run the wires all the way up to the battery.Also was wondering if i am hooked up to Shore Power does it charge the battery or does just the TV charge the battery.
 

jim1999

Super Active Member
Jul 8, 2008
1,645
East Central Illinois
For power to your radio just tap into the closest 12v line going to a light, fridge, water pump or what ever, or if you have a spare 12v fuse on the power center you can run wires from there to the radio.


As far as battery charging goes that depends on:

When plugged into Shore Power your power converter has to have a built in charger. Not all do. It should say on the converter if it does have a charger built in.

When plugged into your TV: You have to have a power wire running from the TV to the camper and the TV has to be running. If you are plugged into the TV without the vehicle running all you will be doing is draining the TV battery.
 

nick9882

Active Member
Apr 1, 2009
131
if i splice into the frige will can i use the fride and radio at the same tone,by the way i have a Magnetek 6400 converter if that helps,i dont think it has a built in charger
 

Big Dawg

Member
Jul 25, 2007
46
No, dont splice into the fridge, it is not the same voltage. You need the lights, they are 10 volts.
 

Erwin

Active Member
Mar 21, 2008
524
Rochester, NY
You should be able to splice into any 12v power line like Jim1999 said. The only thing is, while plugged into Shore Power, you may get interference from the converter (humming noise or such). I would hook it up and try it. If it does hum you may be able to get some kind of choke or filter from Radio Shack to eliminate it.
On your 6400 converter do you just have 1 fuse in the front panel and 3 low voltage (12v) wires? RED.BLUE and WHITE? If so BLUE is your 12v feed from it and you are probably limited to 15 or so amps. No 10 gazillion watt subs [:D]


FWIW- My 6409 did not have battery charging capability. When I mounted a battery (PUP did not have one when I bought it) I ended up swapping it with a WFCO 8725 for the charging feature.
 

Scratch

Member
Jul 19, 2009
23
Edmonton Alberta, Canada
Woah woah woah.

Not just "any' 12v line will do. Many of the wires in my Bonny are 16 or 18 gauge. If you pick up a deck that plays CD, MP3, Aux into 2 or 4 channels will pull more power than I'd be comfortable taking from a little 18ga wire. Hot wires == melted insulation == short.

If you are never using external speakers, satellite radio - perhaps you could tap one of those power wires - but for the effort required to run a couple of 12ga wires with noise filters - I think it's the better route. Power from battery direct, or a switched power block, ground to chassis. A noise filter would be a good addition.
 

nick9882

Active Member
Apr 1, 2009
131
i have 2 fuses on the front of the converter,Should i try to wire into the lights then,i will be running 2 6x9 speakers.
 

ballard

Super Active Member
Jul 11, 2009
926
northeast
You could certainly splice into an appropriate gauge 12 volt wire and place an appropriate fuse on it. If it were my project, I'd locate my spot, run a good heavy wire directly to the battery and ground directly to the chassis. This would completely avoid any interference noise issues. The cost of the wire is cheap and running to the battery should be simple if you drill a small hole in the floor and run the wire along the trailer frame underneath. I bet in the end this could end up being faster as well in the event that you splice and start getting background humming and other interference ---then you have a whole other project to figure out on top of the install of the radio. Usually wiring a radio in one single home run directly to the battery with a good isolated ground to the chassis (and fuse) avoids any need to trouble shoot interference humming from other components later on.
 

nick9882

Active Member
Apr 1, 2009
131
Only thing i worry about hooking up straight to the battery is how long it will last,my converter doesnt charge the battery,i just wonder how fast it will drain the battery
 

Erwin

Active Member
Mar 21, 2008
524
Rochester, NY
Nick,
If you have 2 fuses on the front of your converter you probably have a 6415 with 2 blue 12 voutputs coming out of the back of it.You can hook up to one of those and try it and see if you get any interference noise. Again, be mindful fo total draw on that circuit. They are fused so if you exceed specs the fuse will blow and protect your circuit.
If your '94 is like my '92 the wires are definitely not 18 gauge and if they are, they should be fused appropriately already (unless someone installed them after the trailer was built)
If you have a battery on the trailer there should be a wire already running from the converter to the battery. You could splice into that but it does not help with your concern about draining the battery. Looking at the schematic of that converter the conv/off/battery switch isolates the battery from the converter entirely when it's on "battery" so if you hook to the battery wire you should not have an issue with noise.

I guess you really need to find the power requirement specs on your radio. It can run the whole spectrum from 1 amp and up. A quick search on a "typical" stereo, CDplayer, 4 x 22 watt output,
Ipod input etc. shows it has a 10 amp fuse on the power in wire
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_113MP445U/Kenwood-KDC-MP445U.html?tp=5684

If you are concerned about discharging the battery and you have an electric site or genny (which you would need to run it on the converter anyway) you can always bring a small battery charger with you
 

nick9882

Active Member
Apr 1, 2009
131
My converter is a 6400,ill check tomorrow and see if it has 2 blue wire.I thought about bringing a charger with to tender the battery,i am going to try to just hook it up and see what happens,.
 

nick9882

Active Member
Apr 1, 2009
131
i found a used converter on craigslist i am thinking of buying,it has the charge feature and says will not interfer with a radio.Is it hard to swap converters
 

nick9882

Active Member
Apr 1, 2009
131
I ave the radio hooked up now.I have a couple of 6x9 speakers laying around in the garage.I have seen a couple pics on here where people have mounted 6x9 in the wall(box) of camper,i was looking at to wall and it looks to thin,did anyone have to make any modifications to the outside of the camper to get them in
 

Mongo71

Longwood FL
Nov 4, 2007
79
Central Florida
There is a parallel post going on right now where I addressed the issues I had trying to hook my car stereo up to the converter. Long story short, after blowing fuses and circuit breakers, I hooked up directly to the battery. To answer your question, my system is 40 watts per channel X 2. I can run the RADIO all weekend without significant draw from the battery. The CD player is another animal altogether. The laser in the CD player will suck a 12V battery dry pronto. (Within, four to six hours depending on it's condition.) To solve the problem, I wired in another 110 V GFCI plug
inside the storage bin next to the converter and bought a small motorcycle battery charger. When on Shore Power, I have the means to charge a battery should it get low. YMMV Good Luck. [2C]
 




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