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Kenwood and Boats donít mix?


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keepontruckin 
Member - Posts: 8
Member spacespace
Joined: May†27, 2006
Posted: May†27, 2006 at 3:40 PM / IP Logged  
I installed a Kenwood KDC-3022 head unit and some marine speakers into my boat the other day. We went out and had a blast. The music sounded great, bass response was phenomenal, all that stuff.
Well two days later I went to work on the boat and couldn't get the Kenwood to power on. So I charged the battery and then hooked the CD player back up...nothing. A couple of hours later I hooked it up again and it WORKED!
Get this, now it won't work again. Checked all the fuses and wiring, it's good. I even tried to hook the unit directly to the battery (common in marine installs) to check and I noticed something interesting. When the wiring harness is plugged into the back of the Kenwood, a spark shoots out between the battery and the boats main battery cable when I go to hook it up. But when the harness is unplugged from the Kenwood, there are no sparks.
I called Kenwood Tech Support and I don't think the guy even knew what a boat was, let alone how to help with this. I'm thinking some water may have gotten into the unit and caused a short and that's why there's sparks firing when the harness is plugged in.
Please let me know if you have any ideas, I'm about to go crazy trying to figure this out.
electrostatic 
Copper - Posts: 154
Copper spacespace
Joined: January†06, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: May†27, 2006 at 4:14 PM / IP Logged  
"When the wiring harness is plugged into the back of the Kenwood, a spark shoots out between the battery and the boats main battery cable when I go to hook it up."
please explain in more detail. what part of the battery is arcing?
Prove your connections, use a meter!
I promise, I'll behave!
keepontruckin 
Member - Posts: 8
Member spacespace
Joined: May†27, 2006
Posted: May†27, 2006 at 4:36 PM / IP Logged  
The deep cycle battery I have has the two main posts and two threaded posts w/ wing nuts. I use the threaded posts with heavy duty ring terminals to go from the battery to the distribution panel. So when I go to connect that wire, the lead base portion of the threaded studs shoots a blue spark. I tested this some more and disconnected and reconnected both the hot and the ground and the ground created a much bigger spark at the battery post.
electrostatic 
Copper - Posts: 154
Copper spacespace
Joined: January†06, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: May†27, 2006 at 5:03 PM / IP Logged  
bad connections will cause arcing. i would remove both positive and negative cables and clean the ring terminals as well as clean the posts. then i would apply an electrically conductive grease to the posts and terminals. that should eliminate the arcing problem, and allow you to troubleshoot the radio problem from there.
Prove your connections, use a meter!
I promise, I'll behave!
keepontruckin 
Member - Posts: 8
Member spacespace
Joined: May†27, 2006
Posted: May†27, 2006 at 5:11 PM / IP Logged  
Could a short inside the stereo due to water also cause the sparking? I have plenty of other electronics and none of them cause a spark. Thanks for your help by the way.
electrostatic 
Copper - Posts: 154
Copper spacespace
Joined: January†06, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: May†27, 2006 at 5:17 PM / IP Logged  
a short inside the radio should blow its fuse!
Prove your connections, use a meter!
I promise, I'll behave!
keepontruckin 
Member - Posts: 8
Member spacespace
Joined: May†27, 2006
Posted: May†27, 2006 at 7:07 PM / IP Logged  
Tried it all and still getting nothing. It's killing me though that it worked perfectly for hours and hours the other day and even for a short while earlier today and now it won't even power on.
Oh well, Clarion makes a pretty decent MARINE head unit that might be worth the investment.
mustangfoo 
Silver - Posts: 371
Silver spacespace
Joined: November†16, 2005
Location: United States
Posted: May†27, 2006 at 7:09 PM / IP Logged  
Couldnt you use a normal HU and just make something to go around the headunit so that it gets air, but keeps water out?
electrostatic 
Copper - Posts: 154
Copper spacespace
Joined: January†06, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: May†27, 2006 at 7:15 PM / IP Logged  
is the battery charged? and by what method do you charge it? also have you measured the voltage at the harness while plugged into the radio and with the radio on?
Prove your connections, use a meter!
I promise, I'll behave!
keepontruckin 
Member - Posts: 8
Member spacespace
Joined: May†27, 2006
Posted: May†27, 2006 at 7:22 PM / IP Logged  
this Kenwood is an automotive HU and it's protected by a plastic splashguard. I know that marine units have a lot more moisture protection and are splash proof even without a splashguard.
the battery is fully charged (12.7V) and I've been using a brand new multistage portable 15A charger.
the one thing that's really confusing me about what was said earlier about the bad connections is that none of the other electronics on the boat cause a spark. I changed the fuse too so that's definitely not it.
one thing I may have left out, this unit was given to me for free by a customer and he claimed that it wouldn't turn on as well. I just figured he had the wiring wrong since it worked perfectly for me, so maybe I just got lucky for a little while but it's a dud....who knows...
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