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Old 02-23-2002, 07:43 AM
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Default paging Audiofn: Want to use Laptop Computer on Boat as music source

Or anyone else who has advice. My goal is to use a Laptop Computer in the cabin to drive my stereo speakers playing MP3's, and watch DVD video.

The question is speaker power related. I can get a DC adapter to power the Laptop, but there's only a headphone out jack on most laptops. I'm assuming this will in no way be enough to power speakers or even an AMP. What would be needed or recommend to install in between the speakers and the computer given the low output level from the computer? What other issues do I need to consider? It just seems like a great idea, but there are probably some gotchas I'm not realizing.

The speakers I have installed are two stock round 6" in the cabin (unknown brand, factory installed, and 2 BOSE outdoor/waterproof in the cockpit. I don't necessarily need the loudest system at a raftup, just about the same volume I'm getting now from a standard JVC indash unit.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-23-2002, 07:48 AM
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Kelley,

A buddy of mine does that on lake Perry and it's one of the badest stereo's on the lake. I'll try and email him today and find out what he did for you. He has like a 5000 song database.
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Old 02-23-2002, 08:25 AM
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haha, thanks a million. I have about 6GB worth on my desktop. But the laptop is definitely going to need some sort of power. Thanks for the info and let me know what he has when you hear back.
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Old 02-23-2002, 08:31 AM
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Keith if your tape deck doesn't have a CD in jack, you could use a cassette adapter and plug it into the computer sound jack. Or if you want to put in or have a power amp, you could run the low level inputs right to the computer. Call me if you want and I'd be happy to get you hooked up .
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Old 02-23-2002, 10:50 AM
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Inspect has it. Head to Radio Shack and get yourself the thing that looks like a tape with a pig tail hanging off it so that you can plug a CD player or in this case your computer into the JVC. The problem with computer to the amp directly is a need for a remote turn on that the computer does not have. This can be accomplished with a switch but is king of cluged (sp)

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Old 02-23-2002, 10:50 AM
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Ted & Audiofn,

That's too easy!! Okay, now I feel like an idiot. I had that setup in an old car which is what started the whole idea a few years ago, and I'm kicking my self in the a$$ because I forgot all about it. The adapter lasted about 1 summer so I really didn't think about doing it that way again. I'll check on the CD in jack, opening the boat up around April 1. Worse case scenario, I'll buy the adapter again.

I was thinking it would be a big job to rig up a toggle switch, solder some connectors, get an amp......sheesh. This is what I get for being in the biz and working way too hard, overanalyze and forget the simple stuff. Thanks.
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Old 02-23-2002, 11:36 AM
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Theres someting even better Kelly. I also have a laptop with over 4ooo songs, But for the boat I got the "RIo Riot" It's more compact than the Laptop, and has a built in 20 gig hard drive.
I have all my songs on it, and theres still room. The bateries last about 10 hrs, or you can plug into cig lighter or reg power.I like it most because it's only 5"x5"x1", and you can take it from the boat to the car to the house party , ect...

You can do with the songs everything the laptop can do. It can even remember your favorites.
It plugs into your existing sterio via rear plugs or cassette adapter like what was mentioned in the previous post.
Here is a link to it with all the options it comes with. The best price I found so far was $349.99. but it just came out, so I'm sure it will come down alot once it's been out awhile.

Rio Riot Picture and discription

Rio Riot Specs

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Old 02-23-2002, 11:31 PM
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First one I've heard about that could store that much music.........thanks for the tip, that's excellent.
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Old 02-24-2002, 12:21 AM
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Was just wonderin along these same lines.......I have trashed two cd players in the last couple of months....is there a format other than using a laptop that can withstand the beating that an offshore boat dishes out......I dont want to waste another cd player..........
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Old 02-24-2002, 02:08 AM
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With either the Rio Riot or a good brand name laptop, I'd certainly take extra precaution to make sure it's lashed down while underway, or otherwise stowed as close to amidships as possible.

HDD's are not necessarily as sensitive as they used to be, but I would imagine the Rio Riot is going to be as rugged (if not more) than a laptop. There are only a few HDD manufacturers, and most of us are putting the same drives in our laptops. The manufacturers requirements aren't so much for vibration, but rated in terms of G's as in the energy experienced in a fall from 6-10 feet.

The issue I can't answer is the effect of constant vibration and the pounding for the long term. If Kanookstr hasn't had any problems, than the HDD must be pretty durable and the case it comes with is doing it's job. My laptop case has a G-Shock absorbing system, pretty slick and made by Port, best bag in the biz. I'll use it if I decide to use a laptop. Just have to figure out if I really need a CD-RW/DVD combo in a laptop.

The point of either is to play MP3's, no more discs. Mach1Shorty on this forum uses a new fangled Sony CD player in his boat that plays CD's with MP3's on them. That could be another alternative. Look him up or page him in General Forum.
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