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  • Interior LED rings on the cheap

    • Year: pre 1985 Brand: Nautique / CC Model / Trim: Ski nautique 20 Cost: $0-$249 DIY or Professional Install: I installed it

    So obviously the interior LEDs are a cool upgrade, but they can be very very pricey, especially on a boat that's on the low end of the price scale. IMG_20180810_221448942.thumb.jpg.6cbb87f622ef54d394f5f3f558413600.jpg


    I ended up doing some research and found a couple guys that used the semi-clear water line for appliances like an ice maker. I stole that idea. This stuff is cheap, $5-10 for a roll, Wich will do at least 15 cupholders. I used the 1/4" ID for cup holders and 3/8" ID for the speakers, the 3/8 wouldn't make the bend for the cupholders I found out later. 


    I'm not going to get in to the wiring too much. I used waterproof rgb strip LEDs, rgb wiring and connectors. I put connectors at each light location as well as between each piece so I could leave for instance the 3 cupholders and speaker hooked up and remove the interior piece they are mounted in. 


    For the cup holder rings, I used 1/4" aluminum rod cut to about an inch long to connect each end of tubing (pics are of steel rod with flaking white paint on it used temporarily). IMG_20180808_130550924.thumb.jpg.f85c0873d98918dfaab6a8832c305534.jpg

    It is absolutely necessary to heat each tube up to make the bend, and press each end on the rod about half way. Without heating it, the tubing tries to straighten out and splits to a point of failure, so I got to them all twice. 


    The LEDs stick around the cupholders, then drop in to the ring, and in to their mounting location.IMG_20180808_130513630.thumb.jpg.912296eb973d8646a916ca2b258bf075.jpgIMG_20180808_130650825.thumb.jpg.923e30fa39d6894da117a7581bbeed44.jpg


    For the speakers, I didn't take any pics, but I used the larger hose, the 1/4" fits inside it almost perfectly, I added a bit of hot glue to each side to join the ends together. The mounting screws also run through the tube. There's not a good place to stick the LEDs like on the cupholders so the I sized the strips to a point where they basically held themselves against the tubing, then as it was tightened down, the vinyl behind them holds them tight, so far so good.IMG_20180802_204810070.thumb.jpg.86ae80b5f953829fac5addb18195cb5b.jpg


    There is also one strip in the storage cubby by the motor, the led strip is pressed in to a piece of aluminum c channel for a very snug fit. 


    Last little note, there are words printed on the tubing, a little rubbing with my fingers took it right off.IMG_20180810_221600817.thumb.jpg.9790993315c74fd3c3e8c33b1a6c0bf3.jpgIMG_20180802_204712276.thumb.jpg.711bb4a26ea7559aa251062d4c7636a8.jpg



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    That's a great trick.  Looks awesome.   My previous swim deck had something like that tubing on it with LEDs running underneath along the edge.   I haven't redone that since I switched to the surf gate deck, but I know it worked great.   It was more clear though, since it was underwater and didn't need to be translucent.  

    Speaker LED rings are not cheap, so I'm sure those reading this post will definitely thank you for this idea.

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    Can you take a picture or draw up how you terminated the 4 conductor wires back at the controller, this may be very obvious to most but I am having a hard time deciding how to do it and cant find alot of info out there. 

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    8 minutes ago, Stirsman21 said:

    Can you take a picture or draw up how you terminated the 4 conductor wires back at the controller, this may be very obvious to most but I am having a hard time deciding how to do it and cant find alot of info out there. 

    If I recall correctly my controller has a plug. The rest of the rest of the lighting is ultimately spliced back together and plugs straight in to the controller

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