Had my sons and a gaggle of youngsters on the RIB couple of years back and they felt it necessary to inform me that my Fusion MS-IP600 sound system was pants. Now Fusions say it is the best in the world so I pointed this fact out to the mob and was faced with derision that only the young can impart with such withering contempt for the more senior members of the human race. So complaints where:
IPod is ancient technology from the stone age (whatever IPods are/where)
That bag of inserts, to suit different IPods, is so gash itís beyond belief
No blue tooth connectivity
Rear speakers are crap
No place to charge a phone
Anyway after counselling and a substantial course of self administered liquid antidepressant I thought I would take a look at the system and try to understand how those Kiwi fellas could have got it so wrong.
I started with the rear speakers and on close inspection noticed a speck of green corrosion on a speaker membrane, or whatever that black flexible material thing is called. Scratching away at the surface material with a scalpel revealed a broken and corroded wire. So the waterproof speaker was not waterproof after all; unless waterproof means something different in NZ. Time for the soldering iron and some advanced soldering techniques followed by a blob of clear silicone and the speaker was fixed up good. See photo(repair is to the just visible fine wire within the main blob of silicone)
Using the internet a quick search revealed that blue tooth connectivity was going to be an easy fix. You can buy some really cheap devices, some reasonable priced devices and then you can buy Fusions own expensive water proof MS-BT100. Is that waterproof like the speaker or British water proof? Remortgaged the house and went for the MS-BT100. Very straight forward just stuck it up under the consul, wired it up, plugged it in and away we go.
Now the IPod, or is it P-Pod, problem. Kinda had to agree with the gang that all those inserts and pods malarkey is just rubbish. So I took the lid off the unit and binned it all (no no, the insert bits inside, not the lid). Cut an aluminium plate to shape, bored some holes to aid ventilation and mounted it clear of the board on short lengths of copper brake pipe cut at say 6 or 7 mm. Used copper pipe to preserve the conductivity through the board on which they sit. Covered it with foam, ordered some longer screws from EBay and screwed it down as you can see in the photo. Located the 2 IPod charge wires in the right hand side of the plug then chopped off all the rest and covered the exposed ends with hot glue. Checked polarity of the 2 remaining cables, soldered on a USB female connector cut to length, used heat shrink and green cable tie located in a hole drilled in the plate for this purpose. See photo.
The system has now acquired full approval and has been in use for a full season. This included a bash out to the Channel Islands for a few days. We took a right pasting getting caught in a viscous tidal race on our way to Sark and an ill-advised and untimely approach to Alderney through the Swinge; I have never seen anything quite like it. It has charged phones and power banks in very hot sunshine without a problem. We had a phone charging through the Swinge experience and it was fine. I took it apart for a look last week and made no changes.
Please note I do not recommend this stereo repair or modification to my fellow RIBnet members or to the wider public in general. However it works fine and if it goes on fire there is usually plenty of water around.