Installation of a VHF Marine radio can be a bit difficult especially for the people who are new to the equipment. However, the process can greatly be mollified by following a simple guide. The task is no harder than installing the car stereo. The main reason as to why most of the marine radios seldom work or do not last long is due to poor installation and maintenance.
It is therefore advised to take your time during this process.
The first step includes the decision making. You need to establish the position on the boat where you need you VHF marine radio installed. Most people often prefer the side of the counsel or at the bottom edge in the front panel of the counsel. However, the preferred location, other than the two suggestions, is influenced by a few factors. You should ensure that the location is suitable with no obstruction which can lead to knee bumping or other accidents or damage exposure. Inner surfaces are the most preferred since they offer better protection and keep it away from potential thieves. You should also bear in mind if children are onboard and their interest to keep occupied on long periods – the radio can become a great toy to play with in times of boredom.
The next step would be the wire connections and routing. Direct 12 VDC wiring from the boat battery is the most preferred for the VHF Marine Radio. The wire used should not be smaller than the 14 gage. A standard wire should also be used to ease the installation process as well as the affordable cost. Special attention should be paid to the connection method when splicing the power wires. The spliced wires should be sealed to prevent short circuits. It would be even better if adhesive line shrink tubes were used. They offer more protection from short circuits which can lead to fire or malfunction of the electrics.
The location of the antenna is the next step after the VHF Marine radio mounting. This can be situated on the boat. It is recommended to keep the antenna towards the middle half of the boat. This will help keep it safe especially when trolling. It is also advised to keep it as far as possible from the electrical noises such as fish finder transducer cables. Excessive cutting of the antenna cable will greatly affect the performance of the radio. Try as much as possible not to manipulate it against the guides given.
After the cabling and antenna mounting, the next step is fixing the bracket. This is the part that holds in place the VHF Marine radio. Stop nuts and regular nuts are most recommended. This is because the radio is subject to vibrations created by outboards and rough waters. The nuts will be able to hold it in place. The power supply connectors can then be plugged on the radio with the antenna connector secured behind it. Fix the radio on the brackets to ensure that it is firmly clasped. Fasten the nuts. With that, the whole installation process is over. However, the equipment requires constant checks to ensure it is always in good working condition and one way of doing that is to make a radio call when leaving port and Log On with the local marine rescue group.
Written by shailesh2222