Are there any marine satellite receivers that use 12 volt power?

This question comes up a lot with our marine customers. Many ships have 12 volt direct current available throughout the ship, and limited access to 110 volt alternating current. 110 volt AC is the normal outlet you find in the US, of course.

The answer, unfortunately, is no.

There are no satellite receivers that are designed for a 12 volt direct connection. All of DIRECTV’s and DISH’s products are designed to work on 110 volt power from the wall. Some can use overseas voltages like 220 and 240 with the right cable, and you can find out more about this in this article.

A possible loophole?


Take a look at the image above. This is the back of DIRECTV’s H25 receiver. The far right plug is for power. Let’s take an even closer look:

Hmmmmmm…… seems like there might be something there. The H25 itself is designed to accept 12 volt, 1.5 amp direct current. The power is supplied by this EPS10 adapter generally. But could it work for direct wiring?

It’s a proprietary plug

You aren’t going to find this connector in too many catalogs. The most reliable way to get one would be to cut the end off an EPS10 power supply and connect the bare wires to your 12 volt power. Obviously at that point you’re destroying the power supply. If you want to use the receiver with 110 volt power you’ll have to buy another one.

Can your boat supply 12 volts and at least 1.5 amps?

I can’t guarantee this will work with all boats because I don’t know what the wiring is capable of. If your 12 volt system supplies less, you could actually burn up the wires as the receiver attempts to draw 1.5 amps. On the other hand the receiver itself is designed to accept exactly 1.5 amps and supplying more could potentially damage the receiver.

This definitely voids your warranty. I mean, definitely.

This most definitely falls under the category of how you’re not supposed to modify your receiver in any way. Depending on which service you use and depending on whether your boat is classified as commercial or residential, your receiver may be leased. Modifying leased equipment in any way can lead to fees being charged and all sorts of other problems.

If you legitimately own the equipment, which is the case in many commercial situations, you’re free to do what you wish, but you’re voiding the warranty. Any damage to the receiver is up to you.

But, all that said…

chances are it will probably work for you. I do know some people who tried this on a boat and it did work in the short term anyway.  No promises of course, but if you are willing to deal with the risks you may as well try it.

If you’re looking for DIRECTV or DISH equipment, look no further than Solid Signal. You’ll find everything you need from the smallest connector to the biggest commercial system. You’ll find industrial parts and fun daily deals. Why shop anywhere else?


About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.