Electrics for the radio in the van.

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 16:40
ThreadID: 91719 Views:1830 Replies:7 FollowUps:8
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Ok, I've got the hole cut for the radio, the speakers and wiring in place, but not connected And about to get the the earth and live wires ready for connection.

The instructions obviously relate to a car so I have made a few assumptions, (dangerous I know), so I thought I would run it by our guru's.

Firstly, they want the red wire to run through the +ve terminal which is energized in the accessory position.

So the assumption is that I run the red into the fuse box in the caravan which is controlled by a switch which turns all the 12v system on, or off. Something like an accessory position on the ignition?

Secondly, they want the yellow wire to run to the 12v +ve terminal which is energized at all times.

So my assumption here is that I run it to the house battery, which is about 400mm from the radio. At this point it did not sound quite right.

I am going to make a third assumption and say an inline fuse of some sort should be between the radio and the battery.

Finally they want the earth connected first and to a metal surface of the car. Can I just run it to the battery which is only 400mm from the radio?

How close am I to getting it right?

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Reply By: Flighty ( WA ) - Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 16:55

Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 16:55
This radio thing seems to have been a great career move, on your behalf LOL.
Being a dumb boily, the way I am reading it Your spot on the money.
Red to + in acc. = Power up
Yellow to + on Batt = Station memory etc.
Black to - Batt = Earth ( And I don,t think you will get one much better than that)
Some may have different idea but seems good to me.

Take care & enjoy


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AnswerID: 477209

Follow Up By: Member - Boo Boo (NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 17:07

Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 17:07
Thanks Paul

You have made my day. lol

It's not easy to put something in a 12' van. You need to be very flexible and patient. I am normally not either, but this time just took it easy and have had few problems.

FollowupID: 752381

Reply By: Rangiephil - Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 17:32

Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 17:32
You are correct in all your assumptions on the wiring. It is really very simple. If you are confident that you will not leave it on, you can run the red wire to the battery also , making sure of fusing it.

Remember that The memory of the radio wiil take a little power even when turned off unless you put a switch in the yellow wire. This will lose the station presets but ensure no drain in the months you do not use the caravan.
Regards Philip A
AnswerID: 477212

Follow Up By: Member - Boo Boo (NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 17:45

Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 17:45
So I do need an inline fuse on the yellow wire.

We use the van a fair bit as we travel about 9 months of the year.

Narooma at the moment, then Central Coast, then St George then Normanton, so the battery never gets a chance to go flat. lol
FollowupID: 752382

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Thursday, Feb 09, 2012 at 08:32

Thursday, Feb 09, 2012 at 08:32
Yes. Put a fuse in both the red and yellow. One in each.

Browse through the Jaycar fuses and you may want to put a panel mounted fuse holder in instead of an inline fuse so that you can get to it without dismounting the radio.

It is good practice to always have a fuse between the battery and anything you hook up.

FollowupID: 752517

Reply By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 18:26

Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 18:26
Fuses should be as close to the battery as possible. They are there to protect the wiring from excessive current which could overheat and start a fire.
If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
Regards Rob

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AnswerID: 477216

Reply By: The Bantam - Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 18:38

Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 18:38
because you dont want the radio to turn on when you switch on the ignition, there is no need for two seperate sources of supply.

one assumes you will turn the radio on using the switch provided on the radio for that purpose.

the yellow wire does indeed hold up the memory in the radio and the red wire is the main power wire.

In cars there is an ongoing asumption that you are installing in a dash that is at least supported by metal connected to negative battery......thus the expectation to earth the body of the radio and the negative supply lead to mearby metal......in car accessory installation almost no one home runs all the way back to negative battery, they pick up an earth where they can.

IF you are installing in a wooden or plastic structure there is no need to provide an earth.....simply supplying a "supply negative" will be just fine....you have no other choice.

the aerial will supply an earth to any metal it is mounted on via its shield.

There are all sorts of funny things that happen in car dashes, and things you do, to try and avoid igniton noise in cars......you have none of those problems...so a straight forward positive and negative supply will be just fine.

and Oh yeh, you need a fuse....remember a fuse is only intended to protect wires that are beyond it, so that fuse needs to be near as possible where you source the supply.


AnswerID: 477217

Follow Up By: Member - Boo Boo (NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 18:47

Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 18:47
Thanks Rob and Bantam

The rest of the installation will take place tomorrow.

FollowupID: 752391

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 19:34

Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 19:34
Then its rock on Boo Boo.....DOFF, DOFF, DOFF, DOOF....Oh yeah, Oh yeah, Oh yeah.


FollowupID: 752395

Follow Up By: Member - Boo Boo (NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 19:44

Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 19:44
Hell no Bantam,,,, no bl^^dy DOFF,, DOFF. lol
FollowupID: 752399

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 22:42

Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 22:42
OH NO :O...Not the Val Doonican.


FollowupID: 752438

Reply By: Dust-Devil - Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 20:06

Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 20:06

Connect the red and yellow wires together( because there is no ignition switch in a caravan per se) and run the red one to a caravan constant pwr source. (which can/may be the battery) Must be fused somewhere between the radio and battery depending on how you decide to connect to a constant pwr source.

The 'screamers' on the forum will by now be frothing at the mouth because I have said above that there is no ignition switch, when in fact there is or should be a 12v isolation switch somewhere which is the equivalent of an ignition switch in a vehicle. If you know where it is, where it goes to (fuse box etc) and is accessible, you may wish to connect the red wire appropriately there somewhere.

The black has to be connected to earth that goes back to the caravan battery. Caravans are right bitches sometimes depending on construction technique and construction materials to find an appropriate earthing point back to the caravan battery.

In my caravan I have run a length if 6mm twin Red and black cable from the battery along the length of the caravan. I use this as a source for the majority of aftermarket 12V pwr and earthing points.

It has a isolator switch near the battery and is fused between the isolator and the battery.

Each item that is connected to this cable is fused between the 6mm red pwr cable and the subject aftermarket gizmo. (somewhere easily accessible).

And there you have it.

AnswerID: 477228

Follow Up By: Member - Boo Boo (NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 21:03

Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012 at 21:03

I have the fuse box sitting on the floor next to the bed and battery.

Both are very easy to get to and when I put the fuse box back in place it is about 300 mm from the battery.

Wiring the +ve and -ve are probably the easiest part of the project.

Thanks for the help. After the input from you and others I am confident that all will be up and running tomorrow.

FollowupID: 752417

Reply By: Fred G NSW - Wednesday, Feb 08, 2012 at 12:36

Wednesday, Feb 08, 2012 at 12:36
I realise your "sound lounge" is almost complete Boo Boo, but just another idea for others reading this thread.

Some years ago, in our previous caravan, I did not have a battery/charger system in the van, just the old 12v back to the car battery for the lights and fridge.

Like you, I installed a car radio/cd, this one in the bulkhead above the bed, The aerial was a side mounted black rubber type, and the cable came though the side wall into the cupboard to the radio. The speakers were flush mounted on the space above the rear wardrobe doors. For power, I simply ran the wires, totally concealed, down the inside of one of the wardrobes, to the small bottom cupboard under the dressing table part, on one side. I fitted a cig. plug connecton to the wires, and when I wanted to use the radio, I plugged the cig. plug into a battery jumper/power pack, which ftted neatly inside the little cupboard. During travel time, the jumper/power pack went back into the back of the ute and connected to the charger from the car battery. I also used the power pack for 12v shower and external camp lights.

BTW Boo Boo, if you go with the Barry Manilow music as alluded to elsewhere in this thread, it should curb any anti-social behaviour in your vicinity LOL LOL I read somewhere some local councils play it over public address systems to do just that :-)

That 12 footer will be rock'in and a roll'in now aye?


AnswerID: 477280

Reply By: Member - Boo Boo (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 09, 2012 at 07:30

Thursday, Feb 09, 2012 at 07:30
The "sound lounge" is now complete.

I will listen to the local community station while I clean up the van.

The music ranges from hip hop to very very old stuff. lol

Actually it appears to depend on which volunteer is on duty.

Next job is to put a new pedestal under the table.

Oh, by the way my wife said she likes Barry Manalow and Michael Crawford! LOL

AnswerID: 477327

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