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#17366 - 03/16/16 11:18 AM Boat work begins, First up: Electrical
Happy Camper Offline
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Registered: 12/17/14
Posts: 379
Loc: Holland, MI
Well, the cover is off, the boat is washed up and itís in the garage for the remainder of her refit.
This weekend I worked on the 12V DC electrical. I installed the battery, and ran a bunch of new wires.
I did get to re-use some of the old lighting wires that were already there. I needed to clean them really good before I could solder them.

I found this little trick on the internet:
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-perfectly-clean-wires-in-minutes/

I mixed up the solutions as the article suggested, and it worked pretty well.
My wires were pretty corroded, and the two minute idea just wasnít enough.
I ended up fanning out the wires a bit, scraping them with a knife a little to open a few spots in the oxide and I left them in the solution for about 10 minutes.
It worked really well. I was able to solder all the wires. Pretty cool.
Next I mounted the battery and tied it down with a spare bungee.
Itís ok for now, but I may have to change this to a strap instead of a bungee at some point.



I ran the main battery wire to the main cut off switch that I mounted in the back of the cockpit where the old electrical gauges were located.
Once switched, I ran them up to my breaker panel under the step into the cabin.





I mounted the breaker panel on a Stainless hinge setup so I can remove a couple of screws and get at the ďBusiness EndĒ of the wiring.





I used one of the circuits to connect the combo volt meter, 12 volt outlet and USB charger ports.
I used another circuit to connect the red, green and white running lights. Last summer I converted these to LEDís, very efficient and nice and cool running as well.
My next circuit was for the interior cabin lights. I rewired the ďdome lampĒ, added an on/off switch and converted it to LEDís as well. Looks nice and bright now.







For a little extra convenience, I added LEDís under the forward edge of the quarter births.
These little stick on LEDís were very inexpensive and they sure will help with finding things under those births.





The last part of the 12 volt system was to add a length of wire that goes from the battery directly up into the cabin where I will connect a battery tender Jr. to keep the battery charged.
I have a love/hate relationship with these little chargers; I have had them kill a couple of batteries before I figured out that they will cook off a battery if left on all the time.
The trick seems to be to put them on a timer and only let them stay on for an hour a day or so.
Once I discovered this little trick, my batteries have lasted a very long time.
You have to leave them on longer if you have been using the battery of course.
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#17382 - 03/21/16 11:05 AM Re: Boat work begins, First up: Electrical [Re: Happy Camper]
FreeBird
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Very neat and tidy HC I like it:)
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#17383 - 03/21/16 11:21 AM Re: Boat work begins, First up: Electrical [Re: ]
Boulter Offline
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Registered: 04/13/14
Posts: 195
Loc: Central Ontario
Hi:

A few comments...

A real charge controller (for solar panel) is about $120. I never worry about my battery now ... in the summer anyhow. I left it and the solar panel on all winter, so will see if I pooched something. Should be OK as it is temperature compensated. If you want to leave plugged in to line power, about $80 does the job. I have one of those "Genius" chargers on my tractor that charges up to 4A I believe (so not fast), after killing my battery in 3 years (2 times) I figured my infrequent usage of the tractor needed a touch of technology.

I hate those sea dog panels. ~$100 buys a blue sea unit. I have two 6 switch units and have had IIRC 3 switches fail. I had spares from a third unit, but the last failure (always closed) happened after I installed my electrical works, and it is too hard to replace it now, a 2 or 3 hour affair. My bad in not being modular enough.

LED lights on boats are great! LED lights everywhere are great.

Boulter
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#17384 - 03/21/16 11:50 AM Re: Boat work begins, First up: Electrical [Re: Boulter]
Happy Camper Offline
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Registered: 12/17/14
Posts: 379
Loc: Holland, MI
Good tip on the unreliable switches!
Now is probably the best time to replace them with something more reliable, at least get a couple of spares!
Thanks Boulter.
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#17386 - 03/21/16 11:56 AM Re: Boat work begins, First up: Electrical [Re: Happy Camper]
Boulter Offline
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Registered: 04/13/14
Posts: 195
Loc: Central Ontario
 Originally Posted By: Happy Camper
Good tip on the unreliable switches!
Now is probably the best time to replace them with something more reliable, at least get a couple of spares!
Thanks Boulter.


Plus the lights are incandescent bulbs, about 50mA each IIRC. You may have cause to be concerned about energy consumption there. I installed a diode on each lamp and lead all to a switch so I can turn off the lights. You need a diode to isolate all the circuits.

Boulter
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#17390 - 03/21/16 12:42 PM Re: Boat work begins, First up: Electrical [Re: Boulter]
Happy Camper Offline
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Registered: 12/17/14
Posts: 379
Loc: Holland, MI
If I just pull the ground lead off the switch lighting, they all just stay off!
Do I really need the lights?
The more I think about that part, I bet I don't need the indicators at all.
Every circuit has a visible indicator as it is. Two are lighting circuits (the lights they activate are pretty good indicators!)
and the third is the rear power/volt meter combo. The volt meter is a pretty good indicator as well.
I bet the incandescent bulbs in there are pretty good sources of heat also, I wonder if the bulbs heat is shortening the life of the switches! Most plastics don't like excess heat.
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#17392 - 03/21/16 01:01 PM Re: Boat work begins, First up: Electrical [Re: Happy Camper]
Boulter Offline
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Registered: 04/13/14
Posts: 195
Loc: Central Ontario
 Originally Posted By: Happy Camper
If I just pull the ground lead off the switch lighting, they all just stay off!
Do I really need the lights?
The more I think about that part, I bet I don't need the indicators at all.


No this does not work. Close a switch, power goes through bulb to other side, then into another bulb and partly powers the other circuit(s). Thus the diodes. You need to separate all the bulb ground leads from each other. Maybe this is easy to do, I don't remember.

But certainly, no need for illuminated switches. I mean, how far away from the panel can you get in a Sandpiper anyhow?

Boulter
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#17394 - 03/21/16 03:16 PM Re: Boat work begins, First up: Electrical [Re: Boulter]
Happy Camper Offline
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Registered: 12/17/14
Posts: 379
Loc: Holland, MI
Hey Boulter,
You mentioned "You need to separate all the bulb ground leads from each other."
That appears to be a very easy thing to do. The "bus Bar" that connects the grounds just unplugs from the switches.
The bar is one piece with the female spade terminals formed right into it. Should just pop right off. I will try it and report back!
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#17395 - 03/22/16 05:20 AM Re: Boat work begins, First up: Electrical [Re: Boulter]
Sandpaper Offline
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Registered: 02/20/16
Posts: 477
 Originally Posted By: Boulter

But certainly, no need for illuminated switches. I mean, how far away from the panel can you get in a Sandpiper anyhow?



That was my chuckle for the day. Observational comedy. Thanks, Boulter.

Happy, the electrical installation looks phenomenal. Good work.

I have a question about the switch panel. Are they circuit breakers or fuses? I see the word FUSE on the red block next to each switch. If those are fuses, how do you eject them to change? I'm just not familiar with this hardware. Sapphire has screw-in fuse holders.
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#17396 - 03/22/16 07:48 AM Re: Boat work begins, First up: Electrical [Re: Sandpaper]
Happy Camper Offline
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Registered: 12/17/14
Posts: 379
Loc: Holland, MI
The're fuses Sandpaper,
And they don't come out very nicely either!
You have to insert a little straight blade screwdriver, or small knife tip in between the red cap and the black fuse holder and pry loose a snap.
The "bump" part of the snap is on the red part and the catch part in molded into the black fuse holder.
Once the red cap comes out, a spring pushed the fuse out.
Now that I think about it, I should check these fuses to be sure of their amperage!
I just flipped the switch and it all worked. \:\)
The only one I am concerned about is the Aux circuit; it has the 12V power outlet on it. I may use this for a spot light, or small inverter. Will need about 10 amps for that.
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