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What Is an ATV Stereo?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 02 September 2016
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An all-terrain vehicle (ATV) can often support such creature comforts as a stereo system. Nearly every ATV that is equipped with a battery and a charging system is capable of powering an ATV stereo. The typical unit that is suitable for installation in an ATV is comparable to the stereo unit that can be safely installed in a boat. A waterproof and shockproof unit is commonly required to be used as an ATV stereo because of the often-harsh environment in which the vehicle is operated. By making certain that only watertight electrical connectors, speakers and head units are used, an ATV stereo can provide years of listening enjoyment.

Nearly every type of passenger vehicle is available with some type of radio or stereo system on board. This is true in the off-road vehicle market as well. Common installation of an ATV stereo includes mounting the stereo in a special housing or mounting box. This housing typically is manufactured from aluminum or plastic and contains vibration-dampening insulation to help protect the stereo during off-road use of the ATV. This insulation is commonly installed within the stereo itself, thereby providing twice the vibration resistance of a stereo unit alone.

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The harsh operating environment that many ATVs occasionally operate in mandates not only a vibration-resistant, ATV stereo, but a water-resistant stereo as well. On a typical stereo designed for installation on an ATV, a special, water-resistant membrane is used to cover the controls. Many of the specialized stereo units also incorporate a flip-open cover to aid in the prevention of mud, water and debris from entering the stereo unit and causing damage. Many of the mounting boxes used on ATVs also include some type of cover, such as a clear, plastic cover that offers a view of the stereo head unit's controls or a hard, plastic or aluminum cover that offers the utmost in protection against flying stones and debris while on a trail.

The wiring for an ATV stereo typically is weatherproofed as well, and specialized connectors must be used to maintain the wiring's integrity in harsh conditions. High-performance connectors, known as weather pack connectors, are used because of their superior performance in wet environments as compared with traditional wire connectors. The weather pack connectors feature snugly fitted, rubberized covers that aid in the prevention of dirt, water and mud getting in and damaging the wiring connections to an ATV stereo.

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