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Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:08pm

Post Subject: How to fit a car radio to a narrow boat?

Hi, I want to fit a radio on my narrow boat. I donât think the actual fitting and connecting to a 12v supply will be a problem but I am not too confident about the aerial fitting. My idea so far is to fit a modern (digital) car type radio and use a car type fixed aerial but will it work (earth bonding issues as boat hull is not a part of the negative circuit etc. etc..) Hope you can advise Ian


Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:52pm

Post Subject: How to fit a car radio to a narrow boat?

We need to be sure what you are talking about. There is no such thing as a "Digital" aerial. There are aerials of a length optimised for DAB reception, thus degrading FM & AM reception. There are aerials with amplifiers in their base designed to give adequate reception across all the wavebands - but often not DAB. If you are talking about an active aerial with an amplifier in its base then my way of solving the problem was o make up a metal mounting plate that is fixes to the wooden cratch board - thus insulating it from the hull but still allowing the "earth" connection for the amplifier. If you are talking about a passive aerial with no amplifier then cut the screen on the aerial lead and solder a capacitor across the cut (typically 0.01 to 0,1 microfarads). This will isolate the DC but still allow the signal to pass. However I bet the vast majority of narrowboats have the aerial earthed direct to the hull without noticeable problems. This does not mean it is good practise but does question if we need to be quite so worried about it. Tony Brooks

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