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Old 12-03-2005, 14:07   #16
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It is possible that the US has rules differing from ours down here. So please anyone, respond when you see something I mention, that needs a correction to bring it into your chapter of a rule book.
Positive securing terminals are mostly found on individual components especially around engine sensors where high vibration is found. They are also commonly used on heavy cable application and high current application. All the main feeders are ring terminals and all connections between Buss bars are ring termination. Yes I also terminate the way you have suggested. Actually I will post a couple of pictures in the gallery I took yesterday.
Personally, I hate Silicon products on any connection. It is horrible to work with and I find long term, it doesn't provide a positive seal. The glue seems to work very well in both supporting the cable and providing a seal, it is easy to work wth and sets as soon as it cools.
The heatsrink is there to also support the cable. Yes it provides insulation, but cable stress relief is the most important aspect of its job.
All connections elsewhere in the boat, especially where contact with water could be possible,ie bildge pumps, are all done in a sealed water proof plastic box at each termination point.
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Old 12-03-2005, 14:28   #17
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Alan;

I am not certain that the positive securing of terminals is a rule. I think it is just one of the "recommendations put out by the AYBC. I beleive our (US) Coast Gaurd is the body the specifies requirements/rules. I believe AYBC has a certification process for manufacutures and puts out a body of "requirements" for that certification. Gord seems to know far more about this than I!

I was not certain about the silicone. I used to use it in the light sockets of my power boat. It prevented any further corosion, but I only had the boat for 5 year so can't really speak to its truly long term properties. This stuff is not the regular silicone we use/missuse for creating "semi" watertight connection. It is something that I find in electrical supply houses. I guess it is similar to TEF, but I am not positive. I was hoping it would provide some additional assistance in eliminating the ingress of water into the soldiered/crimped/heat shrunked joint. <chuckle> okay, maybe a little overkill, but I HATE having to find intermitant shorts or voltage drops!!

I actually use/or will use a tie wraps to provide physical support and stress relief for all wires. This should/will be within 4 inches of a joint and a minimum of every 18 inches along a wire. In a few instances where I have terminals inside a box, (like my Xantrex inverter), I tie wrapped the wires inside the box together to provide additional strain relief. This is in addition to securing the wire on the outside of the box.


Have fun! Sound like we are all getting it together!

Keith
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Old 12-03-2005, 21:58   #18
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Another photo has just been added. It shows the results of my efforts today. I have pre-wired the panel and dressed the cables. All that remains is the big job of leading through all the feeds and dressing them in position and then soldering them on. I have fitted breakers to circuits that I felt needed them.
Now here's a tip.
Note the cable dressing ties. On the right, a lighter coloured one has been used. This is a real dinkum cable dressing tie and was darn expensive for what it is @ NZ$12.60. Now the big black one in the middle of the shot and the smaller blue ones look like the same stuff don't they. Well actually, they are just plain ole Ring binder back bones. Just a few cents each and they work fine.
Another couple of tips.
If anyone who hasn't done a wiring job of this scale before and wants too, make sure you purchase a good soldering iron, a good wire cutter and a very good set of wire strippers.
Secondly, make sure you buy plenty of plastic cable ties. It's suprising how many you go through and sometimes you cable tie and then later find you had to run another wire to that place and so have to cut the tie and start over.
Now you may wonder why we go to great lengths to tidy cables and dress them around the show and put pretty coloured rapping ties around them. No it's not just because we are nerdish or perfectionists. Hhmmmm, well maybe a little. But the main reason is multi-fold. Firstly it breaks down the share numbers of cables that would be present, into manageable packages. It helps to identify cabling easier. For instance, all my house lighting is on the bottom row of fuses. So all house lighting cables will be packaged and run along that bottom row. All the nav lighting, instrument lighting and any other "special lighting, is on the next row and so on. The most important reason is safety should a wire come away from a termination. I find that thing happening hard to believe, but it does happen. Don't ask me why. It's probably when Jupiter Alines with Saturn and it happens to be the third monday of a Blue moon and somehow randomly a wire is chosen to just drop off. Add to the mix it's importance and current carrying capacity and it will most likely head for the first thing it can fry itsself to, taking out as much as it can sink it's teeth into as it goes. Hence the whole reason why I have had to head down theis path to begin with. So cable dressing holds all the wires in place. It distributes load, as in the physical weight of all that wire. Termination dressing with heatshrink also helps to keep the wire in place as well as offering support to the wire back to its insulation, thus safe guarding the termination from vibration and fatigue.
I think that covers it all for this episode. Next week I will get into the final wiring. Feel free to jump in, ask me or others questions and/or point out possible problems.
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Old 13-03-2005, 16:28   #19
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Terminal Blocks

Keith & Wheels have both addressed one of the problems in terminating stranded wires (required) to a bus bar. Wheels doubles the stripped conductor back on itself, and Keith uses ring terminals.

ABYC recommendations on this question:
9.17.12.5 Terminal connectors shall be the ring or captive spade types.
9.17.12.6 Connections may be made using a set screw pressure type connector providing a means is used to prevent the set screw from bearing directly on the conductor strands.
(which means a pressure plate)

A proper terminal strip, c/w pressure plate, will not require either (Keith’s nor Wheels’) solution.
Utilizing a ring terminal doubles the number of terminations (wire to ring term then ring term to terminal strip).
Doubling the conductor back reduces the problem, without eliminating it.

Most North American Terminal Strips do NOT have the pressure plate. Most European Style Terminal Blocks DO have the pressure plate.

FWIW,
Gord
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Old 13-03-2005, 20:20   #20
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Thanks Gord. That is very plain and concise. The very reason you described is why I don't like ring connectors unless they are large cables and/or high vibration area's.
Yes you are also right about some do and some don't have the pressure plate. Another one that can be found comes with a small copper sleeve that the grub screw crushes onto the conductor. The problem with those, you can only use them a couple of times and the sleeve is then useless.
You can also get a small crimp terminal that simply encompases the wire end and also gets crunched down onto the conductor with the screw. But I personally like to have as little between the conductor and the conductee as possible. I have yet to ever have a connection like I do fail.
Infact here is a wee story. I was fitting speakers to the roof of a Stadium. They underside of the roof structure was 55M (165ft) above the ground seating. These speakers are up there for keeps basically. The connections to these are pretty special as you could imagine. The Company Boss wanted to see the cables in the connectors soldered in place. I have seen more damage done to the said connectors by soldering them than not. I had used these connectors personaly for many years and had never had a failure. So I told my Boss, I will connect these using the set screws and sleeves provided and to the manufacturers specs. If one should ever fail during our warranty period, I will personally get up there and fix it at no charge. Such was my faith in the connectors IF it is done correctly. Well it has been four years now and not one out of 20 speakers, each with four conductors in the connector, has failed.
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Old 18-03-2005, 23:17   #21
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Well I have been a busy boy the last couple of days. The panel is just about compleate. It doesn't look tooo shaby. Certainly better than what the original looked. Although, if I was starting from scratch with totaly new wiring, it could look even better. Take a look in the Photo Gallery at what I have done.
You will see all wiring has been dressed. Just incase you are a real novice reading this, Dressed by the way, means the cables have been lead where they are to go, and tied or wraped in position. All connections have had a small piece of heatshrink over them. This is to protect the connection, help hold the wire in place and provide cable support. Think that sounds like over kill?? Well an important rule of soldering is this. Solder IS NOT glue. You don't use the solder to hold the wire on to something. The solder is there for the electrical connection. You need to provide the "glue" part by something else. This is usually multi step. First the connection itself. Most solder tags will be designed with some means of attaching the wire. Be it a hole, or a tag that you wrap the wire around or what ever. The wire should be able to be fixed so as it can support itself, BEFORE it is soldered. Make sure you soldering iron has a good size tip. Not too big that it gets in the way and melts other wire, but big enough so as it can quickly sink a lot of heat into the connection point. It is most important to be able to ahve sufficient heat. Too small a iron will mean that it takes a long time to get the heat into the joint, this means that the heat travels and starts melting the connection itself. Next is to "tin" both the connection surface and the wire itself, with a small amount of solder. Place the wire on the connductor and solder in position. Now slide the heat shrink, umm you neede to have put a wee bit of heatshrink on the wire before hand by the way. Shrink it down and bingo, a wire is done. You can also add a small dab of hot gun glue to the connection before the heatshrink is done, thus totally sealing the connection. I do this in other area's of the boat. where possible water/corrosion damage could occur.
Cable wraps make the cables neat and tidy, but the main reason is support. Lots of cable held tight in a wrap like you see, is very strong. Vibration is taken along the entire wrap and not on any individual connection. Plus, in the unlikely event of an accidental break, the lose wire cannot go anywhere.
If the case of a major fault should ever occur again, and sadly, no matter how good wiring can be, a fault can still occur, then the only wires that get melted, should all be of the same polarity. Thus all that could happen is a light or pump may be turned on. Not like the original mess, where a positive wire burn't into a Negative. That type of failure can be nasty.
All I have to do now is either repair or replace the voltage display device. It seems that is took a bit of a roasting. I am ot totaly convinced the amp meter panel is reading correctly either, but I need to test that.
Oh and from a thread we all had just earlier about the screw connections versus cap screws. I have about a dozen three position 2 bank switches doing variuose duties. all of those type are screw retained connections. The ones where you put a captive terminal on the wire. It was interesting that every single one had quite bad corrosion on the surface between the brass crew and brass terminal, and the tinned eye terminal. I have since soldered all those connections and sealed them. As Mr Spok would say, "Most interesting".
So any questions. Anything I have forgotten. Fire away.
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Old 19-03-2005, 04:17   #22
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I have added several miles of wiring to Eva Luna, and virtually everything I have done is in complete agreement with what I have read in this thread eg; circuit breakers for cabeling, fuses for individual devices, color codes etc. Now for a few comments.
Crimp connectors come in either vinyl or nylon insulators ... nylon only! As for "silicone" I use 3M 101 dielectric silicone paste, expensive but great stuff! Another usefull product is "liquid electrical tape", actually a liquid neoprene, after all connections are made on a buss bar, I coat it completely in this stuff, an icky gooey mess, but provides excellent corrosion control.
We will be taking posession of "Love Nest" soon, and saying good bye to Eva Luna ... and already I'm planning changes to the wiring ... installing shorepower will be the first task. At the moment, all engine contols are in the port coaming, autopilot and depth sounder are in the starboard coaming .. these are awkward to see/operate from the helm .. but blessedly away from the binnacle mounted compass. Like many others (I'm certain) I have said to myself, "how nice it would be to have the GPS mounted right there" on the pedestal guard. Well ... if the GPS is gonna go there, why not the depth sounder as well? Planning to upgrade the existing VHF to a DSC equipped one, and add a second radio in the cockpit .. well shouldn't that be right at the steering station as well? You can see the dilemna, and temptaion ... I can creat a complete dashboard right at my finger tips, easy access to all controls and information .. and all within inches of the compass! The rearward facing bulkhead in the cockpit is a poor choice because of the distance and myriad lines hanging there (all lines have been led aft) so that leaves me with the choice of staying with the contols where they are, adding one or two items only to a dashboard, or moving everything there ... would like to hear from others concerning what worked (or more importantly, didn't work) for them.

L S/V Eva Luna

Bob & Lynn
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Old 19-03-2005, 10:58   #23
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Forceps

One of the things that I found useful when soldering the wires on was the use of forceps as heat sinks. On occassion, when I have placed the heat shrink on the wire prior to soldering, and I can not move the heat shrink down very far on the wire, the heat from the solder has caused the heat shrink to contract. This then makes it impossible to move over the joint. To mitigate this, I use a pair of forceps to clamp onto the wire below the joint to be soldered before I apply the heat. This lets me solder, silcone, then move the heat shrink to the terminal.

Execellant write-up Alan! Great pics too!

Keith
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Old 19-03-2005, 13:03   #24
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Good advice about Forceps. Long nose or needle nose pliers are OK and it is good practice to use anything other than fingers. It is amazing how fast the heat travels down the wire to your fingers.

Wahoo, this is difficult to answer. Compasses are always a problem. Any instrument, Like sounder, GPS etc, needs to be a meter(3ft) away from the compass. Wiring itself is not the issue. What is the issue, is the current flowing through the wire(thus a magnetic feid is created by the current. So anything high current, like VHF etc, needs to be routed as far as possible away from the compass. This may mean shifting the compass as well. Of course, the compass may need to be swung again if you move it. But then, it is good to have a compas swung every couple of years as things simply change.
Oh and yes it is a good comment about coating the Buss Bar. I use a product by CRC called Soft seal. It's especially made for this type of parctice and is a very good insulator both electrically and corrosion wise. It comes in a spray can and is easy to apply. Actualy it works very well on battery terminals and any electrical terminal and any metal component you want protected down in the boat. Maybe a starter motor or Alternator or anything. Well worth having a can on board.
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Old 19-03-2005, 17:43   #25
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Wahoo compass and instruments

The last three cruising sailboats that I have bought had the instruments mounted on the compass binnacle "handrail". I always had to move them to the forward part of the cockpit for two reasons: Few instruments are totally non-magnetic even without considering the problem of minimizing the field from the dc power wiring to the instruments (normally done by tightly twisting the pos and neg wires together to cancel the field). Viewing the instruments is too limited by angle and position and usually can only be viewed by one person.

Try to mount the instruments in such a manner that anyone in the cockpit can view them easily. Try to mount them so that you can come from below and stick your head out of the hatch swiveling your head and quickly focus on the depth, etc without haveing to spend the extra energy to totally entering the cockpit. You will be thankful later on various occasions.

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Old 19-03-2005, 18:54   #26
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Rick,
Thanks for the input ... still considering what's best here. The forward cockpit bulkhead is a good 6' from the helm (if not more) and pretty well covered with sheets & lines to boot .. so that's not much of an option. The current arrangement with contols & information displays is awkward at best .. but I suppose liveable if necessary .. though it doesn't provide a place for a GPS at all. My current thinking is to create a mount for GPS & depth sounder at the pedestal guard ... those 2 items will be on basically the entire time the boat is underway, so simply correct the compass to their magnetic field. Install the new radio in the coaming and just call it the best of all possible worlds. Still open to any other suggestions

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Old 19-03-2005, 21:23   #27
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Anychance of adding another 1000 words by posting a picture? Then we could be a little more accurate in comments. Nothing like the blind leading the blind otherwise.
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Old 20-03-2005, 04:36   #28
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Wheels,
Haven't figured out how to put a photo into the thread (yet) .. but have posted one, titled "cockpit" in the monohull category.

L S/V Eva Luna

Bob & Lynn
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Old 02-04-2005, 04:56   #29
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Bad Wiring

I for one would love to see your progress and Pics. This something I am going to have to do myself and would love any help I could get.

Island Mike
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Old 02-04-2005, 13:02   #30
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arrr, sorry Bob. Forgot about your thread. I did look at the picture and thought, hmmmmmm. That one is a challenge. I think your idea is going to be best. Pedistal mount with compass binicle mounted as high up as praticle and electronics underneath as far down as practicle.
Good luck and post a picture in the gallery of the end result and a comment here with what issues/results you found.
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