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LCD Television/DVD Player

Project date: 2006

Well I finally gave in and bought a television for the boat. The timing was perfect too, because it rained for a month straight after we purchased it. So, whether or not I jinxed the weather, it at least gave us something to do on rainy weekends.

The TV is a Sharp model LC-13E1U, and although the box indicated it was both DC and AC powered, the TV was in fact AC powered only. Kind of a strange TV, because while the TV itself is DC powered, it only works with an AC adapter - there is no DC adapter included. And, since the DC connector is pretty strange looking, I don't think you will find on at an electronics store. However, since we do not have a TV antenna, and get cable TV only when hooked up to shorepower at our slip, being AC powered is not a problem. While the DVD player runs on 12VDC, if I have a requirement in the future to watch DVDs while away from shorepower (which I cannot ever imagine doing), I can always use an inverter. The TV only consumes a few watts, so there should not be much of an issue.

The first item was to deterime where to mount the TV. I had three possible locations; 1 - the bulkhead in front of the head on the starboard side of the boat; 2 - the bulkhead that made the front side of the helm; 3 - the area in front of the galley on the port side. Due to wiring considerations and being a good area to view the TV from different vantage points, I chose area #3.



The next order of business was to locate a suitable source for AC power. As luck would have it, the Microwave had a duplex outlet built into the rear of the cabinet, so this was the logical choice. For whatever reason, the builders only wired in the top half of the outlet, and left the bottom half unpowered. This was done by breaking the little tabs that connected the two outlets together. So, $1.95 later and I had a new duplex outlet. The TV gets plugged into the top outlet, and the microwave to the lower one.

One of the great things about this boat is how everything goes together, and the hidden areas that you can get to. The top trim piece over the galley is simply Velcro'ed on, so it became the perfect place to hide the AC adapter for the TV. I simply used cable tie anchors and secured the adapter and wiring and ran it along the back of the microwave cabinet to the TV. When the trim piece is replaced, it will cover up the AC adapter and wiring.

I ran three cables to the TV. The power cable, RF Antenna cable, and audio output. The audio output went directly to the AUX input of the on-board stereo system. If you read my stereo project, you know that I selected a receiver that had line inputs. While this is an unusual feature for an automotive stereo system, it was a necesary feature I looked for when making the purchase.

I mounted the TV using an articulated mount called an Omni Mount. This mount is a medium quality item, and is really not designed for marine or RV use. For this reason, it does allow the TV to move around too much when underway. So, the simple solution was to make a couple of straps to secure the TV when we take the boat out. I am not completely happy with this setup, but it will do until I think of something better.

The next issue was where to route the TV coax to the outside world. There were two choices here. I could purchase an expensive TV/Telephone outlet to match the shorepower outlet and mount it to the outside of the boat, or purchase a cheaper weatherproof TV outlet and mount it to the inside. The second idea is the one I used.

The area I chose for the TV outlet was in the cooler bin in the port side of the boat. Unfortunately, a cockpit courtesy light was in the way of my desired location. I found a marine-grade halogen strip light that I mounted under the top surface of the well, so that it shone down on the cooler, rather than from the side.

I then mounted the TV outlet in the hole from the original courtesy light. I also found a quick disconnect connector for the cable so that I could remove it quickly. This location is easy to get to, yet is out of the way, and doesn't interfere with opening the cooler. And, it is sure a lot easier than drilling a hole in the outside of the boat. The cable actually routes behind the cooler, and up and over the coaming to the outside of the boat.

The last step was to mount the Sony MV-101 DVD player. This is a ruggedized mobile unit, and consequently it is a bit on the large side. I had originally planed on making a matching mounting plate from Corian and mount the player below the stereo receiver, but due to the size of the unit, there wasn't enough room. One of the challenges of a project is being able to make changes mid-way through the project.

I ended up mounting the DVD player in the top of a cabinet. This out of the way place was the only location I could find that would be large enough for the player, but not look out of place. You can also see the stereo remote amplifier from my stereo project in this photo.

The DVD player's designers intended it to be mounted in the trunk, under a seat, or other out of the way location. For this reason, the player includes a remote sensor for a wireless remote. I mounted this sensor in the corner of the cabin within range of the remote control unit.

To wrap things up, I connected audio/visual (AV-2) output from the TV into the AUX inputs on the stereo, and the DVD player to the audio/visual (AV-1) input on the TV, I can play DVDs to AV-1 on the TV while at the same time sending the audio from AV-2 to the stereo.

I think that now my boat's entertainment system is complete. What I really need now is to make an owner's manual for all of the equipment on board so I can remember how to run each piece of equipment.


Also see: Stereo Project

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