Protecting a Marine Radio from humidity? - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 07-13-2020, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
jeepcreek
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Protecting a Marine Radio from humidity?

Hoping maybe an electronics guru has some good tips?

I leave the top off my TJ pretty much all summer, so I've been rolling with marine stereos.

If 3 or 4 years on a stereo is good for that situation, I guess it is what it is? But that doesn't seem quite right to me - thus this post ;)

So far, I've fried a JVC and a Kenwood (I think that's the same company?) - so this year I'm rolling with the Sony DSXM55BT.

I don't remember what fried the JVC, but the Kenwood literally rusted out in the back. It was supposedly a marine radio also.

Based on Amazon reviews, all of the marine stereos suck. Installation isn't fun, so - if I got a bad apple, I'd take the 2 minutes to write up a bad review? So I'm very much hoping that's just the case with the bad reviews - and I don't get stung? But the reviews on the Kenwoods do reflect my experience.

So is there anything I might do that's "one and done" ridiculously simple enough that might extend the life of the cheap Chinese junk I'm installing later this week? ;)

I've looked at silica gel packs and spray urethane seal so far? I have no clue what I'd be doing, so thinking the spray seems kinda dangerous (ruin what's not yet ruined) and the gel packs would just be used up after the first rain?

Also, from what I could tell, the Kenwood stereo rusted out due to humidity, not direct contact with the rain. Basically, whatever rain held back there in all the jumble of stereo wires was enough to create whatever humidity zapped the head unit? Some little connectors literally rusted away in the very back.

Thanks much for any info/advice.

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post #2 of 9 Old 07-13-2020, 03:25 PM
CJ7-Tim
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Where exactly do you live ?

I would say a leaky windshield frame to body seal is the more likely culprit. If you are going to stick with a dash mount stereo, see if you can't fab a water shield for it. If it really is humidity, you should find evidence of the same issues elsewhere behind the dash. Another option would be a Tuffy, Bestop, or similar console that might have a weather sealed stereo mounting space.

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“When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the Republic.”

- Benjamin Franklin
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post #3 of 9 Old 07-13-2020, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
jeepcreek
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Mississippi - it stays pretty humid here year 'round.

Maybe it is the windshield seal - but I do leave it wide open in the rain. This last time, when I pulled the stereo to see if I could do anything, pretty much everything was soaked. We had a pretty heavy rain and the speakers were also soaked.

And thank you for the tip on the new console, but that's way more expense than I'd like to get into? Installation is a pain - they can't even keep the same stupid plugs for whatever reason? - but the stereos are only around a hundred.

But if they're supposedly "marine" - then I still question how they're rusting out in my Jeep? I'd think freshwater rain would be a lot gentler than having a stereo out on a boat in Florida? Or really, any boat?

If you think cutting out a milk jug as a make-shift shield might work - that's quick and dirty enough? ;) But if it ended up touching the stereo (which I'm guessing gets hot?) - would I end up with a melted mess that destroys the stereo?

Also, with the spray concept:

https://www.amazon.com/CRC-Urethane-.../dp/B000IC7ZQ2

If I just sprayed the back part all over with that - would that protect it? Only $12. They can't hardly sell anything sprayed all over - as it wouldn't be perty - but I have no problem with it? Obviously I wouldn't spray the front. And I'd tape over any openings before spraying it?

But the Kenwood had zero rust on the housing - there was just a heavy metal plate that screwed on the back - and inside there, some electronic card had a ton of metal connectors into the electronics on the stereo - and it was just rusted out. Again, I repaired it before by cleaning off the corrosion. And the guy on YouTube who discovered the "issue" - his was in a truck that obviously never saw any rain?

Thanks for the advice. My bad if I'm just being cheap ;) I should be CEO of a "marine" stereo maker, right? :)
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post #4 of 9 Old 07-13-2020, 05:47 PM
CJ7-Tim
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Being cheap myself, I would stock up on junkyard stereos or the $39 marine stereos and just toss out when trashed. The spray might help, but you still want to keep it as dry as possible. Some kind of cover or rain shield needs to have some clearance for heat and ventilation.

A better quality/more expensive marine stereo may have better waterproofing.

How about a Poly-Planar #WC400 or something similar ?

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“When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the Republic.”

- Benjamin Franklin
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post #5 of 9 Old 07-13-2020, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
jeepcreek
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Wow - that's a friggin' HOUSING ;) NICE!

I'd hit up the junkyard too - I thought about getting a Blaupunkt - they're TWENTY DOLLARS now ;) They were only $10, but then they turned out not to be complete junk ;) So they doubled their price.

If the Sony croaks - yeah, I'm definitely just rolling with that 80s suhWEET German engineering again. All the fine ladies....

I hope the Kenwood was just a POS, and I'll have better luck with this Sony. Or maybe they're both headed the Blaupunkt way? Crazy world.

How exactly does the stereo NOT overheat inside that igloo thing? I don't get it? That's the same reason I was worried about spraying it - 50Wx4 RMS sounds like a TON of heat? You'd think it'd melt that igloo down in no time? Either that, or just melt into itself?

Oh, for anyone scanning this - I literally just leave my top off - I think the Kenwood lasted 3 years? And it just rusted out because it was junk in the first place. I double-checked the guy's youtube video. His was definitely safely inside the cab of his truck and his rusted out before mine ;)

BUT I'd very much like to at least have the pretense that I tried to protect the stereo this time around? I greatly appreciate the advice - but, if the spray is a waste?

As you pointed out, I'm better off just buying 3 or 4 Blaupunkts? That way, when they die, all I have to do is yank it and replace with another - NO REWIRING for 2 hours ;)

And if I ever do spend the money on a new console - I should still stick a Blaupunkt in there... only -

THIS'n - https://www.autoblog.com/2019/07/21/...in-production/

How suhWEET is THAT!?! Grab Farrah out of the ambulance - Dun dun DUNNNN!!!!
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post #6 of 9 Old 07-14-2020, 04:57 AM
CJ7-Tim
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I did the big car stereo thing back in the day, it was fun. Now I just listen to the stock radio in the Cherokee, and I have a few spares. There is a radio in the CJ-7 but it is simply too loud with a bikini top and mud tires. In the 15 years I have owned the CJ the radio has been on maybe 15 minutes.

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post #7 of 9 Old 07-14-2020, 08:11 AM Thread Starter
jeepcreek
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Every time I switch out my stereo, I mentally check back in to the good ol' days - thinking I should finally at least add a subwoofer or something?

But when I was living in Austin, I'd end up walking out to my Jeep - find the glove box and center console open. The first time, I was stupid enough to leave them locked - and they used my own tire iron to wreck the dash ;) Crackheads just love being crackheads.

Now I just snag a marine deck with a detachable faceplate and hope for the best.

My 2000 remains my daily driver, so I listen to the radio a good bit. Stubby little 32GB USB stick holds all the music I ever wanna hear - so I just set the thing to random and done. And, on road trips, it is really good to have the GPS on my phone with better control of what I'm listening to ;)

But, when I'm out - just toss the faceplate in a ziploc bag in the back - so far, crackheads are too lazy to look back there? I still randomly find whatever junk papers I have in my glovebox scattered on the floor. But luckily, the big yellow club on the steering wheel keeps them moving on to greener pastures?

I'm most definitely NOT looking forward to the stupid rewiring. Why can't they just pick a damn universal plug for the stupid wires already? ;) "No, but our wiring is extry special what to enhance your listening pleasure!" Idiots...

Still, I was hoping an audiophile stereo guru might jump in -

"Just grab this can of spray - get it here - spray up the housing real good. Don't worry - it can't melt or hurt nothin'. Should be good to go - no matter how crappy whatever BS marine coating they never even put on your stereo in the first place. Can't trust nothing these days."

But oh well? Guess I'll just be hoping for the best again? It's HOT outside and I'm so not looking forward to sweating over a bunch of idiotic wires. Gonna have to hunt down that splicing wrench again ;)

Thanks VERY MUCH for taking time out to lend your advice!

Eventually I too hope to "graduate" - but I'm longing for a Grand Wagoneer. Holding out 'til they go retro, though, and I can snag the real mahogany wood paneling? It's gonna be a beaut!

Edit: And lookee HERE - AWESOME!!! I'd want it in Navy and hate the disco rims and grill, but still...

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post #8 of 9 Old 07-27-2020, 02:04 PM
KPCJ76
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After my radio fried I bought a waterproof bluetooth speaker. Bolted behind the dashboard panel. I also installed a 12v plug so it can stay charged. It's a altec lansing.
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-02-2020, 05:53 PM
jeepbastard
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i went bluetooth so now I use a removable tablet or just use my phone to attach to the amp. I was looking at the marine amps, but they all have weak wiring instead of proper wiring. SO i might stick with my 50 bucks walmart amp and mount it behind the dash. Boom looks empty!

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