Powering an Outdoor Sound System

Michael De Costa

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
May 8, 2001
Messages
156
I am looking for advice on setting up an outdoor sound system. I was wondering if anyone has either considered, or currently uses a car stereo deck to power your system? Taking this approach, it would give me the flexibility of not having to go inside the house to control the volume or channels. I would then build a control center on my deck, to protect it from the elements. I figured to get decent power; I would use a mobile unit with a 200 watt rating. Not to mention this should be pretty cost efficient, if it works. Does this sound like a good idea? Does anyone have a better idea? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for any responses.
 

JoeHard

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 24, 2003
Messages
136
Michael,
I've had speakers on my deck for many years. Don't know about the car stereo idea, but You can buy a seperate volume control and mount it outdoors. There are even weatherproof units made for outdoor use.
 

Michael De Costa

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
May 8, 2001
Messages
156
Joe,
The funny thing is that I puchased a Sonance Volume control to use already, but then realized I needed another amp. to power the speakers. That's when using the car stero idea came to mind. The second issue is the amount of wire I would need to get from my main unit to the outside. Easily about 100 ft each side. By using a volume control, would the length of wire cause an issue?
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Aug 5, 1999
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6,585
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Wayne
Michael,

Your idea has some merit and some problems. The idea of using a car stereo head unit is novel, but it would probably work well. The convenience of a small local source component.

The prospect us using a car amp is problematic, however. To start, you would need a power supply. Typically they induce hum and other noise because they don’t deliver clean DC power – it’s tainted with AC artifacts. This is because they are not designed with audio equipment in mind.

Other problems: A 200-watt car amp probably needs a 50-60 amp power supply to deliver its rated power; most power supplies are only a few amps. If you can live with reduce power output you could probably get by, but if not a hi-amperage power supply will set you back a pretty penny.

So while the head unit idea has merit, you would be better off using an AC powered amplifier for your outdoor system. It would be cheaper and easier in the long run, especially if you get a used one. However, it you intend for it to be outside,

Either that or use a deep-cycle marine battery. This would eliminate the power supply issue.

By the way, Michael, we aren’t supposed to include equipment lists in our signatures. You might want to change it before a Moderator notices. See #6 at this link, Forum Rules and FAQ. If you like, the Forum can set up a web page with an equipment list - even photos if you like - and you can use the link in your sig. Look for the "Theaters" icon at the top of each index page.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

JoeHard

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 24, 2003
Messages
136
Michael,
I have about 50 ft. of speaker wire to each of my speakers. Performance wise, hasn't seemed to be an issue, but honestly I'm not sure how You could tell if it was.Let's face it the backyard isn't exactly an A/V showroom. I power my outdoor speakers with a Sherwood stereo reciever I bought at CC for $ 80.00.Seems to do fine for what I need. Another option could be to go to an RF remote since it should work thru walls.
 

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