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Author Topic:   MONTAUK 170: VHF Tranceiver Installation
whale tauk posted 06-25-2004 01:25 PM ET (US)   Profile for whale tauk   Send Email to whale tauk  
Hello to all, I'm new here having picked up 2004 Montauk 170 last weekend. The information I found here here helped me in countless ways, thanks!
My question (even after searching) concerns the optimal mounting place for a Standard Horizon Quest. Above the throttle on the vertical surface seems best for viewing and hearing but that's not three feet from the compass. Also, though not NEC approved, is it okay to get power via doubling up with another feed (ignition) on the bus bar with a ring terminal? Lastly, I have a Dremel with those fiber re-inforced cuttoff wheels as well as a jigsaw with fine tooth blades. Any distinct advantage to either of those?
Maximus posted 06-25-2004 01:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Maximus  Send Email to Maximus     
I chose to mount the VHF below the control. The spot above the control I saved for the AMFM. I have no problem hearing the VHF from this location but seeing what channel you are on is difficult.

The area below the control is 3/16 fiberglass. The area above the control is 3/16 fiberglass + 1/2 of plywood. I was able to dremeled through both. If you use a jigsaw, a fine, reverse tooth blade is probably best.

Your best bet on finding power is use the AUX switch. I wired my switch to power a separate bus bar I located on the inside of the console. This is good for future accessorie additions as well.

Marlin posted 06-25-2004 03:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Marlin  Send Email to Marlin     
Check out these links for VHF mounting info and pics:

For wiring, I mounted additional +12V and GND bus bars inside the console just below the steering wheel. After some debate, I wired them direct, bypassing the accessories switch. The VHF, GPS, and fishfinder can be turned on at any time. I figured I'd save the accessories switch for some futhre use.

To cut the console, I drilled a 1/2" hole then inserted a jigsaw/sabersaw with a fine-toothed bit. I covered the console face with blue painter's tape, which allowed me to mark it up liberally and also helps to prevent gelcoat chips. Others have suggested rotary cutters for the job, but I didn't want to experiment with a new tool.


whale tauk posted 07-02-2004 12:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for whale tauk  Send Email to whale tauk     
Maximus, Marlin, thanks for the replies. I'm going to cut with a fine-toothed sabre saw blade and mount it below the throttle. Measure 10 times then cut...
jimh posted 07-02-2004 12:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Most VHF Radio transceivers have a fused power cord. I recommend connecting the power cord directly to the 12+ Vdc distribution bus. I would not connect it via a panel switch. A radio already has a power switch. There is no reason to have multiple power switches in series.

It has become popular to use flush mounting for the radio, but I personally have some reservation about that style of installation. It is too bad that the newer Montauk console does not have the classic cabinet door. Mounting the VHF transceiver inside the cabinet is a good idea. Most all of the older Boston Whaler consoles have the cabinet and have the radio mounted inside.

If you do mount the radio on the console, I would locate it so that the display is easily visible, and also I would install it so that the loudspeaker has a clear line to the operator's ear. These newer radios have considerably better loudspeakers in them, and can often produce quite a bit of sound. Of course, a drawback to mounting is the magnetic field of the loudspeaker. This should be considered if planning to locate the radio near the ship's compass.

Marlin posted 07-03-2004 10:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for Marlin  Send Email to Marlin     
Whale tauk, you might find, as Jim suggests, that it will be difficult to see and hear the radio in that low location. I find that with my VHF in the console above the throttle that I often am hunched over while at speed trying to hear the radio clearly over the wind noise; I'd think it would be much worse mounted lower.

I originally mounted the VHF vertically below the wheel. It was fairly easy to see and not really any worse to hear than where it is now, but I kept whacking my left knee on it. Also, my retriever likes to wedge herself in between my legs and the console, and the radio just didn't leave enough room! After much measuring and working up of nerve, I moved it to its current location. By the way, I checked the compass readings yesterday, and the compass agrees pretty closely with the GPS heading over a variety of directions, so the VHF speaker does not seem to be causing a problem.


whale tauk posted 07-06-2004 05:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for whale tauk  Send Email to whale tauk     
jimh, Bob, thanks. I did mount it on the console, four inches below the centerline of the kill switch on the vertical section. I used a Digital four-foot antenna, a ratchet mount, and clamped that to the center of the topmost railing/grab rail. The tip of the antenna is eight and a half feet above the floor. I wired the VHF Tranceiver directly to the battery. I hope there aren't any disadvantages to that. The reception seems really good and I can hear it fine with the volume up. It is hard to see it unless seated. My only other item to add is a small, combo GPS-chartplotter/fishfider, and that will go up on top of the console.
jimh posted 07-08-2004 07:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The only problem with connecting the transceiver directly to the battery terminal would occur if you happened to leave the radio ON. The radio could discharge the battery in a long-term storage situation, or if the radio happens to unsquelch and the the volume is turned up. But those are rather unlikely situations.

I like to have all electrical loads disconnected when the primary battery switch is in the OFF position. That way I know there is nothing that can drain the battery, nor is there any +12 Vdc running around the boat.

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