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Old 02-09-2008, 12:34   #1
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VHF cut in device

Hi all;

We like to listen to music when sailing. There are no external speakers on our boat, but I am thinking of installing two 4-5" speakers in outboard our two instuments above the companionway.

We also like to keep an ear on the VHF. This is hard for two reasons. One, the music is on. Loudness depends on how good the song is. Two, the VHF radio is down at the nav station. So I could wire up an extension speaker, and the two stereo speakers, but hey, why not 2:1?

So is there a device that I can wire up to the extension outlet of the VHF radio, the stereo and some stereo speakers, that would cut out the music when there was traffic on the VHF? A nice bonus would be a switch to cut the VHF radio off.

Or even better, help me figure out how to wire a MP3 player into our VHF, which has a FM radio built in. THen I can get rid of the old cassette stereo as well.

Chris
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Old 02-09-2008, 12:48   #2
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Chris, there are car stereos made with this type of feature already built in. There's sometimes a lead "for cell phone" that will cut off the stereo and connect the audio from a cell phone when a call comes in. Look for one of those, connect the speaker from your VHF instead of from a cell phone. Once upon a time, there were also relay boxes sold for this purpose--now that dedicated car cell phones are no longer made or sold, I don't know if they're still around.

"wire a MP3 player into our VHF, which has a FM radio built in. " You wouldnt' wire it in, but get any $20 "plays your MP3 or Ipod ove rthe car stereo" adapter. These are small transmitters that plug into your MP3 player or other device, and play it over the car stereo on an FM channel, no wiring needed.
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Old 02-09-2008, 12:58   #3
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Well, That is a DUH!

Thanks Hellosailor, I have used those radio transmitters, but for some reasion, I just did not think of that. The VHF radio already has the cuttof provision built-in. This solves the problem nicely, if it sounds good. Do these vary in sound quality?

The radio, a Lowrance LVR-880, has a seperate jack for attaching an extension speaker, and wires for the FM stereo speakers. Do you think there would be any problems with binding them together so they both play over the same speaker system? Them, I could get rid of the cassette radeo all together - it takes up valuable space in a soreage compartment right now. The only thing that would be missing is an "A, B, A+B"speaker switch, I assume radio shack or ??? has them.

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Chris, there are car stereos made with this type of feature already built in. There's sometimes a lead "for cell phone" that will cut off the stereo and connect the audio from a cell phone when a call comes in. Look for one of those, connect the speaker from your VHF instead of from a cell phone. Once upon a time, there were also relay boxes sold for this purpose--now that dedicated car cell phones are no longer made or sold, I don't know if they're still around.


Chris

"wire a MP3 player into our VHF, which has a FM radio built in. " You wouldnt' wire it in, but get any $20 "plays your MP3 or Ipod ove rthe car stereo" adapter. These are small transmitters that plug into your MP3 player or other device, and play it over the car stereo on an FM channel, no wiring needed.
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Old 02-09-2008, 12:59   #4
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Hi Chris,

If the VHF aready has an FM radio built in why did they not have an auto cut off when there is VHF traffic?

Any way why not try a new car radio, inbuilt connection to MP3 players and CD's, more bands than just FM, auto mute for mobile phones and if your intrested DAB also.

It should be easy to operate the phone mute from the VHF extension speaker output (may need to make a transistor switch) but the current will be very low.

Martin
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Old 02-09-2008, 13:01   #5
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Dont forget to watch where the speaker magnets have an influence!
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Old 02-09-2008, 13:35   #6
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The VHF radio does have a cutoff circuit. Getting rid of the stereo means one less item to keep track of, maintain, and such. It would also free up some space in a cabinet However, I still might replace it with a newer unit, If I can find one that does a good job of playing MP3 files from a usb key, and has the cell phone cutoff feature, for not much $$$.

Chris

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Hi Chris,

If the VHF aready has an FM radio built in why did they not have an auto cut off when there is VHF traffic?

Any way why not try a new car radio, inbuilt connection to MP3 players and CD's, more bands than just FM, auto mute for mobile phones and if your intrested DAB also.

It should be easy to operate the phone mute from the VHF extension speaker output (may need to make a transistor switch) but the current will be very low.

Martin
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Old 02-09-2008, 14:00   #7
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Chris-
"Do these vary in sound quality?" Somewhat. FM radio isn't great to start with so there isn't much to be gained by really spending on these.

"Do you think there would be any problems with binding them together so they both play over the same speaker system?" Can't say, you could give them a call to make sure. I'd suspect they have to be separate.

"an "A, B, A+B"speaker switch, I assume radio shack or " Yes, RatShack or possibly any car audio shop. You can use a couple of DPDT switches as well, they don't have to say "speaker a/b" to do the job.
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