Installations for Group Listening on Boats

here are many ways to connect your DolphinEar DE200 on your boat for large group listening. Below are a few examples. If you have questions, or have an unusual installation contact our tech support team by e-mail for advice.

Connecting to a WIRED PA (Public Address) System 

If you have an existing PA amplifier and speakers, you can connect the DolphinEar to the AUX IN connector of the amplifier. You will need an appropriate ‘patch cord’ to run from the DolphinEar to the amplifier. On the DolphinEar end, the connector is a standard 3.5mm (1/8 inch) stereo plug. (The tip and ring are connected together so both channels are the same.) On the PA side, you’ll need to match the connector that fits on the amplifier’s Aux In input. There is plenty of audio drive from the DolphinEar and you can adjust the volume level as needed with the volume control. 

(NOTE: Some stereo/CD amplifiers on music systems have an extra input line for external devices, you might be able to hook your DE there too!)


Connecting to a Portable Battery Operated Amplifier

If you are using the DolphinEar from a small boat such as an inflatable, a dinghy, or a kayak, then you might want to consider a battery operated amplifier. These work great for small groups of six to ten people in close proximity. These are generally sold as amplified speakers and have self contained batteries (usually ‘AA’ or ‘C’ cells). You can find them at Radio Shack, Tandy, Maplin and many other electronics stores as well as some computer outlets. These work quite well and aren’t too expensive (generally US $20-40). These amplifiers usually have 3.5mm connectors that plug directly into DolphinEar. If you like, you can mount the DolphinEar and the portable amplifiers in a waterproof case (like the ones made by Pelican).



Connecting to a Automobile-style Amplifier

If you don’t have an existing PA amplifier you might consider using a 12 Volt automotive style ‘booster’ amp. These have ‘CD’ or ‘LINE IN’ connections where you can connect the DolphinEar directly. Again, you’ll need an appropriate ‘patch cord’ with a standard 1/8 inch (3.5mm) stereo plug on the DolphinEar end, and a mating connector for the amplifier. Many amplifiers will come with cables already. Remember you don’t need a ‘stereo’ model, a ‘mono’ unit will works as well, though most of the 12 volt auto amplifier will be set up for stereo. Adjust the volume control on the DolphinEar for the best sounding audio.


Using Optional FM TRANSMITTER for Whale Watching

One of the easiest ways to have large groups listen to underwater sounds being picked up by your DolphinEar DE200 is to use an options FM transmitter.  It will send a signal to your FM radio on an unused frequency. The sound quality is very high and the range of the transmitter is usually sufficient to to reach all parts of a typical whale watching boat. Simply plug the FM transmitter into the DE200 earphone jack, select an unused frequency on the LCD screen and tune your FM radio to the same unused frequency. These FM transmitters cover the normal FM radio band of 88-108 mHz. Tuning to an unused frequency is easy – just press the button and watch the LCD display.


Using Optional BLUETOOTH Link

Another way to connect the DE200 headset amplifier to an external amplifier is to use a wireless Bluetooth link. A Bluetooth transmitter (model BT-TX) is connected to the DE200’s earphone jack. A matching Bluetooth receiver is connected to the external amplifier. This works well over distance of approximately 10 metres (33 ft) and produces excellent high quality audio. These A2DP Bluetooth devices Don’t connect to a mobile telephone so don’t confuse them with Bluetooth headsets.

Connecting to a 12 Volt Electrical System

One thing to keep in mind when trying to connect to 12 volt boat power is that the noise generated on marine electrical systems can be a problem with amplifiers and with DolphinEar. Using a battery operated amplifier like the ones described above may be the preferred way to go to avoid any extraneous noise and hum. DolphinEar can be operated from its own internal 9 volt battery.



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