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#17412 - 03/28/16 11:19 AM Re: Boat work begins, First up: Electrical [Re: Happy Camper]
Happy Camper Offline
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Registered: 12/17/14
Posts: 379
Loc: Holland, MI
Well, disconnecting the ground wire and removing the ground bus bar for the switch lighting did the trick perfectly!

It turns out the ground connection for the switch back-lighting is made using a stamping with formed on spade terminals. Removing the whole bus bar turned off all the switch lighting with no "ill effects"
Good tip Boulter!



Just for fun, I flipped the switches on for a bit when the back-lights were on and left them running for about 5 minutes and when I checked, they were getting pretty warm!
Not good. I'm sure the little bulbs were doing a really nice job of heating up the cheap plastic switch parts.
Maybe disconnecting the back-lighting will help improve reliability a bit!
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#17434 - 04/01/16 07:11 PM Re: Boat work begins, First up: Electrical [Re: Happy Camper]
kenn Offline
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Registered: 03/08/08
Posts: 1112
Loc: Toronto ON
Nice wiring job, HC.

One suggestion - some sort of current limiting/protection right at the battery. If you ever get a short somewhere before the fused circuits, that battery can dump hundreds of amps into it causing dangerous arcing at the short (eg molten copper flying around) and/or burn the wire.

Many 'big' boats have honking fuses of 100 to 400A rating on their house bank, depending on the wire used. On our boat, I used an automotive thermal breaker of about 40 A to offer a bit of idiot-proofing.

ABYC specifies the max allowable current in a wire of a given gauge, which should be the rating of your fuse or breaker.

Most of our boat lighting is now LED and it's a big current saving.

For the last couple of years, we've been using a Canadian Tire solar panel about 14" square to keep the charge topped up. The panel just sits loose on the cockpit seat, then gets put away when it's time to sail. No charge controller, but I do have a voltmeter so I can tell when the battery is close to full (eg over 14v when the solar panel is strong)
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#17435 - 04/01/16 08:50 PM Re: Boat work begins, First up: Electrical [Re: kenn]
Boulter Offline
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Registered: 04/13/14
Posts: 195
Loc: Central Ontario
 Originally Posted By: kenn
Many 'big' boats have honking fuses of 100 to 400A rating on their house bank, depending on the wire used. On our boat, I used an automotive thermal breaker of about 40 A to offer a bit of idiot-proofing.


I did not look at the photographs closely enough to note the fusing, so nice catch Ken.

If you are feeding the whole boat with over #10 wire or 30A to a panel, the safest system is a fuse block that mounts directly on the battery terminal, Blue Sea part 5191. Holder and fuse are not cheap $40 to $50, but anything else leaves at least a half foot of unprotected wire before you hit the fuse. I note here also that most boat fires are caused by electrical failures and not gasoline or propane issues, so maybe $50 will work for you.

Most of you are just trying to run a few lights and maybe the VHF, so probably a water resistant in line fuse of 15A with #14 wire will do a good job for you at under $10. I use these for the wires that run to the solar panel and bilge pump circuits directly from the battery. Everything else is sub-fused at a panel, sized according to the particular branch wire size. The wire to the panel is sized to the battery fuse right at the battery.

Boulter
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#17452 - 04/04/16 07:48 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
One part I have not installed yet is a main fuse at the battery. I was looking at a nice underhood bolt-on from Autozone.
They are available in various sizes and can be made to fit right under the wing-nut on the battery top. This will fuse the main lines coming from the battery to the rest of the system.
In my system, here is one + wire going from the battery to the main disconnect switch and from that switch forward to the fuse panel.
There is another + wire going straight to the charger, however, that one is fused about 3 feet from the battery with the inline fuse from the battery charger.
A bolt-on at the battery will eliminate all those concerns.
You have convinced me, it's a good thing to do.
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#19452 - 01/12/18 07:44 AM Re: Boat work begins, First up: Electrical [Re: Happy Camper]
Sandpaper Offline
addict


Registered: 02/20/16
Posts: 501
Retiring A Trusty Battery Charger

Look in the scrap metal bin. An old friend has been retired. This charger has kept vehicles and boats powered for more than a couple of decades. But it has died, and it took a battery with it.




Here is the heart of this gizmo. It is a reed switch half-wave rectifier. This little electro-mechanical device flipped ON/OFF 60 times per second, until it welded itself closed. Then, instead of a very bumpy DC voltage, it started to deliver an AC voltage to an unsuspecting battery. If the battery was weak before, it would be dead after being connected to this failed device. No warning. Just painful agonizing death.



Battery Charger Photos by Sandpaper, on Flickr


What are you using? What would you recommend?
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Saturday July 7, 2018

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#19453 - 01/12/18 10:42 PM Re: Boat work begins, First up: Electrical [Re: Sandpaper]
Bob Offline
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Registered: 03/24/08
Posts: 660
http://www.batterychargers.com/sc-1200a-ca/

I have had good luck with this one. Light weight but very good at getting a full charge.


Edited by Bob (01/12/18 10:43 PM)

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#19454 - 01/13/18 07:39 AM Re: Boat work begins, First up: Electrical [Re: Bob]
Sandpaper Offline
addict


Registered: 02/20/16
Posts: 501
Bob, that is a mighty fine charger. I read some of the reviews on your link. Most seem really impressed.

In an era when things are getting smaller, that is a BIG charger! I guess it matches your BIG Johnson.

Are you counting the days to launch?
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Saturday July 7, 2018

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#19455 - 01/14/18 12:13 PM Re: Boat work begins, First up: Electrical [Re: Sandpaper]
Bob Offline
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Registered: 03/24/08
Posts: 660
Dennis , It really is not that big. And it is very light. I have been able to restore some batteries that were on their last leg. It is very good for getting the most out of a deep cycle battery.

Yes, I am counting the days. We came back from Arizona on Dec 30th to -2 degrees and 10 inches of snow on the car.


Edited by Bob (01/14/18 12:13 PM)

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#19457 - 01/15/18 08:12 AM Re: Boat work begins, First up: Electrical [Re: Bob]
Sandpaper Offline
addict


Registered: 02/20/16
Posts: 501
 Originally Posted By: Bob

We came back from Arizona on Dec 30th to -2 degrees and 10 inches of snow on the car.



Bob, what a change in environments! That must have been rude!




94026806CA_L__74322.1425560366.1280.1280 (couldn't share it, so had to steal it) by Sandpaper, on Flickr



Your smart charger has a 12 Amp rating. The doorbell buzzer I just retired had a 6 Amp rating and I never saw the needle go higher than about 2 Amp. Have you seen your charger output 12 Amps? Did the battery emit coffeemaker noises?
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Sail Mazinaw
Saturday July 7, 2018

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#19459 - 01/15/18 07:05 PM Re: Boat work begins, First up: Electrical [Re: Sandpaper]
Bob Offline
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Registered: 03/24/08
Posts: 660
The display never shows amperage, just percentage of charge and voltage. No coffee maker sounds, however if the battery is in bad shape the charger may go into desulfation mode and you may hear the acid boiling. I love this charger.
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