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Total boat audio system?

Discussion in 'Electronics' started by Andytk5, Jan 30, 2009.

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  1. Andytk5

    Andytk5 New Member

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    I was trying to see if such a product exists. I would like to find an audio system that can utilize multiple head units for different locations to control the level, bass/treble, source, tracks etc... and maybe even have small lcd screens that can display the info like an ipod so you can see the info better than the regular DIN size on headunits. These 2 or more head units share control of the entire outside system and access music from a central server or data storage unit. Is there anything out on the market for this. I would like this for a Viking sportfish where I could access this from the cockpit or the bridge and the different rooms could all access the media for playback in the seperate staterooms. I just didnt know if such a product exists where multiple stations could access the central server or storage unit at the same time?:confused:
  2. stevenpet

    stevenpet New Member

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    I'm aware of a few companies that may be able to help. Right now the most popular is Crestron. They are a standard feature in many new builds today and their products can be programmed to control and do just about anything. (Think Austin Powers) However, they are expensive and will require at least a little programing.

    There was a company I used all the time in the past called Home Automation Laboratories, but I'm not sure if they're around any more. So, you might want to check out Smart Home to see if they have some other options.

    They now have audio, video, lighting, monitors and anything else that can be moved that can be controlled, viewed or monitored from a webpage, remote control, cell phone or Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). It's amazing what they're doing.

    (For awhile I really got into the lighting effects. It was cool to turn on or off any light in the house from bed, or to program whole lighting schemes on the computer that could be controlled from any programmable remote or PDA. It was programmed so when the sun went down, the lights would turn on in the rooms we were in and then slowly dim as the evening progressed. I really appreciated the Emergency button that would turn on every light inside and out so I could investigate if the sound came from a burglar or a racoon, and of course the program to adjust the lights just right for a movie, or that hot date.)

    Good luck. Let us know what you find.
  3. stevenpet

    stevenpet New Member

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    I found the company that I believe was once called Home Automation Laboratories, HAL. It looks like they changed their name to Home Automation, Inc. HAI

    Like Crutchfield Audio, they too are very good about educating their customers. In fact, they still have an excellent brochure about the many things that can be done to automate a home, or boat in our case.

    Here is the link to their brochure in PDF format: Learn About Home Automation

    [I hope these links aren't deleted by the moderator. I'm not exactly sure what the links policy is yet since in some of my recent posts the links and descriptions were edited out, for what ever reason--I have no idea.]
  4. 'RoundTheHorn

    'RoundTheHorn Senior Member

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    Boat Audio and More

    Aside from Creston, check out the offerings of AMX, Kaleidescape, and Lantic Systems. For something a little more modest, take a look at the products from Sonos. Kaleidescape offers audio and video solutions and can incorporate controllers from Creston and others. Lantic and AMX can get into automation and monitoring of other systems. Sonos is an audio only solution and offers the benefit of allowing most of the hardware to work off a wireless network which can make installation easier.
  5. PropBet

    PropBet Senior Member

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    I'm familiar with and use the offerings from http://www.kaleidescape.com/.
    Fantastic product. However it can and usually will exceed your expectations on price point. It does audio, as well as video, so I don't know that it will be a direct fit to your needs, but it's well worth the look.
  6. Starrider

    Starrider New Member

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    I agree with Stevenpet...install a home automation system. It forms one central hub that will contol much more than just an audio/visual system. Question is....have they been adapted for use on ships? Can't see why an ordinary home system wont work. It certainly will elliminate thousands of switches and other related equipment that creates a wire loom from hell.

    Starrider
  7. walkinginshadow

    walkinginshadow Member

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  8. stevenpet

    stevenpet New Member

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    I believe Westport Yachts has been doing this on their new 163's.

    They use a Crestron control system to operate all the audio, video, lighting, security, Internet and even the powered window shades.
  9. Starrider

    Starrider New Member

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    Yeah, I think the Crestron range is a good one. Its a simple, yet very practical system and covers most of the items that could be used on a boat. Simple in the sense that the little LCD touch screens(8.5'), are not over the top and could be placed at stategic locations without being intrusive. Combine this with a LED/ Fibre optic lighting system, and you will have the sistership of Galactica.:) Oh, and just to get rid of those dusty, dirty to clean automated blinds...you install electrically darkening windows....now this is COOL stuff.www.smartglassinternational.com
  10. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    Anyone who says Crestron is a simple and very practical system has no real life experience with the system.

    Crestron programming is a very specialized art, when you buy a Crestron System all you get for your intial costs is the hardware, you then have to get the installer/dealer to write the code to setup your remotes etc. Issues can arise as to who actually owns this code that has cost thousands and thousands to produce- the customer or the programmer ( Company the programmer works for).

    Then comes the interface question , don't assume because you have a Crestron remote control it is going to talk to everything onboard that you want it to talk to. Many different manufacturers use many different comms protocols for their gear, it is a battle to get the Crestron System to talk to some of them to put it mildly.

    IP Addy conflicts on the wireless N/W rendering the Remotes useless- Well that is a whole story on it's own.
  11. Starrider

    Starrider New Member

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    K1W1

    I did not imply that the setting up was easy. These systems are good when specified in a new build project, where the right, compatible equipment can be choosen from the start. Obviously you will encounter problems if you want to connect up a 20 year old piece of equipment to a system like this. Secondly, I have never heard of of a Crestron inslalation where you have to go scout your own programmer!!!!!COME ON. Its like getting a audio specialist to come set up your new home theatre system, only to find out that their services only comprise of mounting the plasma and speakers on the wall- no connecting up of components...unheard of. There are literaly millions of happy home owners that have had this systems installed without the gloom and doom you talk about. Sure there will be some initial comms problems but the watchword is compatibility! The same goes for integrating bridge,nav and ship monitoring systems(NMEA 2000 Specifications).
  12. Andytk5

    Andytk5 New Member

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    That's exactly what I was wanting. Small screens showing me what menus I was in and etc.. That is so great!

    Thanks guys for all the help! You have given me a lot of info to pour over and educate myself on total automation. Much appreciated!
    Andy
  13. bradp

    bradp New Member

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    Just installed an APPLE Tv system for all my home entertainment needs, a 4 TB Mac Pro server and 4 160 GB Apple tv's , can control all of it with my i-phone and have i-touch for the rest. 1/7 of a Crestron and kaleidescape system plus the ease of APPLE.
  14. Chevelle

    Chevelle New Member

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    I have to disagree with starider. Sometimes you DO have to seek out your own programmer. I just went through a $100k+ A/V upgrade. I pulled 5500' of cat6 wire and hooked up alot of ipod docks and remote control charger bases. The A/V guys spent 4 MONTHS+ hooking up all the new equipment in the racks (including a Media Max media server) as well as the new TV's (that I installed). They then had to hire a programmer to come out and program the AMX remotes and switching system. We used the new AMX Rio-4 RF remotes. Pretty spendy at $2k a pop (we got 7). The Programmer spent about 6 weeks to do his end (at $100 an hour). So far so good, we pushed the rack back into the wall tonight, and closed the door. It will probably all melt down by the AM! With this system you can send audio from ipods to any room or deck area.

    Good luck in your search. Just for info, most of the hi-end Ipod docks can display info on T/V screens when tied into a good system.
  15. chrismlewis

    chrismlewis New Member

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    Don't forget that these powerful magic boxes will need cooling especially if installed in a converted broom closet or under a bed!!:cool:
  16. Andytk5

    Andytk5 New Member

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    True, the Viking 68C has a room just forward of the kitchen bulkhead that has the space for any electronics you need.
  17. FabianAndrades

    FabianAndrades New Member

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    It does exist, and you have quite a few options. First of all, I have to agree with K1W1 that Crestron (being the best in the market for automation) is IMPOSSIBLE to install and setup by a regular user. It takes a lot of knowledge of the hardware and even more important of the software. (without even mentioning the wiring required)

    It all depends on your budget, you can go with simple solutions such as SONOS or all the way up to the above mentioned CRESTRON. A solution that is not very expensive and works very well is Russound, you can have 6 zones with 6 different inputs , which I believe is more than enough for what you're looking for.

    You can send me a PM if you have specific questions, this is what I do besides yacht maintenance.
  18. dallas tacon

    dallas tacon New Member

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    I work for Crestron, specifically the Marine Division, being an ex captain and yachtie for many years. To try and sort out some of the queries etc flying about: Crestron provides the gear that will do whatever you wish it to do..imagination and budget are the constraints. There is a network of dealers and installers, many of whom are certified programmers, around the globe for all types of installations and specifically for yachts. We do not supply to the end users( clients) but through this network and as such, a yacht built in the US can be in Australia and still get any potential problems sorted via this network. There is a range of equipment that is simpler to install but still requires an integrator. Your best bet, as always, is if you want it done right and it to work, get the guys in who do it for a living.