Phase 2 - Wired Remote



The next step is to wire the remote. This took some preplanning and involved disassembling the boat somewhat. This may not be for the meek-at-heart. I had to find a way to get the wiring for the remote from the dash area to the stereo. Fortunately, I did find two wiring tubes in front of the gas tank, as shown in the drawing below. The ends of the tubes are only accessable after removing both the top step (carpeted wood piece) on the port side, and the access hatch for the shower sump on the starboard side of the boat. A digital camera was indespensable for figuring out where to run the wiring. I simply shoved the camera into various nooks-and-crannies in the boat and took a few photos. The camera became my "remote" eyes.

Detail of tube location in boat

The photo on the left shows the sump pump after the access hatch is removed. This hatch is inside the hanging locker, and you must remove the hatch screw, and one screw holding the hatch brace to pop the cover. You can see two holes that exit the rear. These are actually to the starboard part of the boat, and are opposite the entry of the wiring tube. These holes allow access to the side of the boat - up to the helm.

 

 

The photo on the right is what lies beneath the carpeted top step into the cabin. You cannot get to the wiring tube from here, but by using a fish-tape from the sump pump hatch, you can get to the open area to the rear of the fiberglass step base. After I finished this task, I found that if I had also removed the lower step, there was an access hole to make this job easier. The lesson here is to look everywhere for access points.

    
    
Starboard side sump pump access
Port side step support

From behind the fiberglass port side step support, you can see the tubes that run in front of the fuel tank. I fished a nylon cord through one of the tubes and tied it off at both ends so I could always run future wires through the tube without taking apart the whole boat.

The remote consists of two cables. One - a UniLink cable - is about the size of RG-58 coax, while the other cable is thinner, about the thickness of a portable headphone cable. I fished these wires one at a time by taping the connector to the nylon cord then pulling the cord through the interior of the boat.
 
To reserve dash space, I decided to mount the remote in the factory location. You have to be very careful here when drilling, since there is not too much clearance behind the panel. The remote requires drilling three holes - two for the mounting bolts, and one for the cables. The cables have connectors on each end, which allows both remote and receiver to be disconnected from the cables. This makes it easier to remove the components for servicing. So far, the only real problem is that when standing at the helm, I sometimes hit one of the switches with my leg. The lesson this time is that you really have to think things through from an ergonomic perspective as well.


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