No, not the RC gear, but Bill and Ben's on-board entertainment system. 😆
The original installation used an FM radio and 22mm speaker hidden below the floorboards of the dinghy. Control from a switched channel on the Transmitter allowed it to be turned on/off, tuned to different stations and the volume to be adjusted. It worked well in the workshop but was not effective out on the lake. It was difficult to hear and difficult to control. So, time for an upgrade.
The first issue to address was the speaker. There is no room under the floorboards for a larger speaker, but with a bit of thought I was able to fit a decent sized speaker under the foredeck. The speaker is mounted on a plywood panel which can be juggled into place past the forward frame. A block of foam rubber under the foredeck presses on the back of the speaker and holds the ply mount up against the frame. With this upgrade there was enough volume to hear the radio out on the lake.
However, many of the radio stations were barely audible owing to poor reception caused by the FM aerial also being below the floorboards. This meant that the aerial was at or below the water level. Not a good position for an aerial 🤔 There wasn't a simple solution to this one, as I didn't want anything sticking up in the air. I did consider adapting the fishing rod, but decided against it. Finally, the radio doesn't retain it's settings when switched off which compounded the difficulties by requiring the radio to be tuned in each time it was switched on.
Time for a rethink. RobBob suggested an MP3 player. I had been looking at these devices for a while, with a view to building a sound unit for the Crash Tender, so time to give it a try. These tiny units are widely available, at very modest cost. The part number is WTV020-16. Putting that into Google will bring up lots of vendors. They are often described as MP3 players, which they are not! What is meant by that description is that they have controls for on/off, next/previous track and volume up/down like an MP3 player (which they don't). They do not play MP3 audio files. They play audio files in an ADPCM format known as .AD4. Fortunately, it is easy to convert MP3 or WAV files into the AD4 format using a free downloaded application on the PC The audio files are stored on a micro SD card which can be loaded from the PC.
The documentation available for these players is very poor. That is compounded by having several different types of these players available which work in different ways and it isn't always clear which one is being offered for sale. They are specified to operate from a 3.3V supply, although mine needs 3.45V to get it going! After many hours of frustration, and one fried micro SD card, I finally got it to work. Having got it working, it has so far been very reliable and simple to operate.
It connects directly to the speaker and has an adequate volume level without the need for a separate amplifier. An RC switch with three outputs allows selection of next/previous track and on/off. The volume up/down inputs don't work as described in the documentation, but that hasn't been a problem.
The end result is that Bill and Ben now have a selection of Sea Shanties to listen to while out on the lake. 👍😊