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Author Topic:   Stereo Power
ktm3ten posted 04-15-2014 09:21 AM ET (US)   Profile for ktm3ten   Send Email to ktm3ten  
So I have a new stereo I will be installing in my Boston Whaler. The stereo has one wire that can be attached to switched power and then a separate set of wires to go directly to the battery. Presumably this allows a low power switch to act as a relay and direct wiring to the battery for the full power needs of the stereo.

The stereo runs at 70 Watts which, on a 12V system I calculate to be about 5.83 amps. Several of the switches on my dash panel have breakers of 10 or 15 amps. What would be the downside of wiring directly to this switch for power and avoid utilizing the switched power wire all together?


jimh posted 04-15-2014 10:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
In the past--really the ancient past--some devices for music reproduction with loudspeakers that incorporated a receiver for the AM or FM Broadcast bands needed to be constantly connected to a source of 12-Volt power in order to maintain stored data in memory, such as preference for stored memory channel frequencies, and those devices often came with instructions about connecting them directly to a battery without any sort of intervening shut-off switch.

In a modern small boat, there is no good reason for any device to be connected directly to the battery if the boat has good primary and secondary power distribution. Advice in installation manuals written by product manufacturers tends to presume their wiring has some sort of priority over all other electrical power wiring. Adhering to that advice tends to result in poor wiring practice and sloppy installations. I would ignore it.

Connect any electronic device load on your boat to a branch circuit in your secondary power distribution, using a branch circuit that is protected by an over-current device of appropriate rating for the wiring and load. If the device cannot tolerate being disconnected from 12-Volt power without losing important presets, return the device and get something more modern.

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