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Old 18-04-2007, 11:15   #46
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"I have seen the worst among the commercial fishing communities where Jury Rigging is an art form."

You must have seen my neighbor's boat! He used to have a 50' commercial longline troller and would take it to Alaska every summer. (I was the one he called whenever he had an electrical problem.) The worst area was a piece of plywood with a whole bunch of fuse blocks mounted on it in an aft lazarette. Due to unavoidable intrusion of heavy seas, the leakage current in the wood was making it turn black. The fuses would eventually blow, and all he wanted to do was replace them with bigger ones!

If it had been my boat, I would have ripped out everything and started over.

Steve B.

PS sorry if I hijacked the thread.
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Old 18-04-2007, 12:54   #47
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Alan,
Glad to hear that this catastrophe was only "big" instead of "huge". I've read that sailing in the southern ocean is challenging, but that's supposed to be AFTER you leave the dock .
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Originally Posted by Alan Wheeler
There is a fuse on each bank. But the damn things had been shorted across with copper bars. There wasn't a way in the world they were ever going to blow.
This leads me to think you might have an intermittent short to ground, maybe through a switch or something: I doubt the PO would have gone to the trouble of bridging those fuses unless they had blown before, and then decided that "fixing" it entailed the bridge instead of finding the problem.

On the subject of color coding battery cables red is for the "+" side, black ( or more recently yellow) is for the "-" side, but does anyone know if there is a color that one should use for the "cross-over" cable (+ terminal on one batt to - terminal on the second batt) when wiring 6V batteries in series to make up 12V?
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Old 18-04-2007, 13:22   #48
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I have not seen Yellow battery/welding cable. Nor Red for that matter. But we do have an orange which I have been using for all my own work. If I was you, I would use orange for the link. You can quickly tell it is a "live" cable, but different to everything else.
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Old 18-04-2007, 13:24   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thermal

On the subject of color coding battery cables red is for the "+" side, black ( or more recently yellow) is for the "-" side, but does anyone know if there is a color that one should use for the "cross-over" cable (+ terminal on one batt to - terminal on the second batt) when wiring 6V batteries in series to make up 12V?
There may be a specific color for the series crossover cable, but at the least, I would take a black cable and tape it red on the + end, or a red cable taped black on the - end. That's generally a short cable anyway, so when you see the two different colors on the same cable, it can only mean one thing.

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Old 18-04-2007, 13:53   #50
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Don't know about color coding on a boat, but many a/c batteries (nicads) use multiple cells connected in series. While these are usually solid bars, they are still marked with a red + on the pos. end. We had an electric tug that used large 12 volt "house type" batteries, wired in series to give 28 volts. The connectors were black with a red ring around the pos. terminal end. If you use red or orange tape to mark the pos. end it will alert you that it is a "hot" connection. If you're out of tape, use a punch, screwdriver, etc. to punch a + in the terminal lug and drop some paint in it, assuming you have red paint handy..

I have seen some really crappy wiring jobs, even on aircraft, which are supposed to be "inspected" annually. As a minimum, before undoing a connection, I would mark it with masking tape, and label it. Takes a bit of time, but prevents a lot of "backward" connections.

Remember, Murphy never takes a holiday, and if ya let him, he'll bite ya...
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Old 19-04-2007, 00:07   #51
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The point brought out by RichT is a good one. It doesn't matter if you are taking appart something that has only two wires or two hundred wires (I've worked in big panels) the key to successful recommissioning is LABEL EVERYTHING. Unless you have a good schematic with excellent color coding and numbered terminals rewiring something like a radar antenna can only be done by labelling everything. Another thing every boat owner should have is a schematic of his wiring system with labels and numbers corresponding to the actual wiring. Even if you are not totally versed in this black art, it is something you should attempt. The process will teach you a lot about your own system.
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Old 19-04-2007, 00:16   #52
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As a reply to SenorMechanico. Your discription of the electrical wiring in the commercial fishing boat your neighbor owns is almost a standard among that type of boat. Black plywood is a norm. And I have often been asked why the batteries go dead even when they aren't being used for a short period of time. I usually look for black wood that is being used as an insulator or where a terminal strip has been mounted directly on wood that is usually damp.
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