Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 18-07-2013, 02:08   #1
Registered User
 
Oceanride007's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Boat in Whitsundays, heading south.
Boat: Custom Perry Passport 41, steel
Posts: 339
Chasing Wires on an Older Boat

I have to install a new Autopilot on a 30 yo 65' Swan, no original drawings. I have two CB marked Autopilot with cables that I'd like to find the other end of. The wiring is a mess, the old Auto pilot had its wires snipped 15 years ago. Is there a devise that can put a radio signal at the end I have and I could maybe find it that way, what name is the devise. Or what would you suggest, I expect the cable is about 25' long. It would not be easy to lay a new cable.

Oceanrider, not my boat but good practice
__________________

__________________
Oceanride007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-07-2013, 03:47   #2
Moderator
 
noelex 77's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Living on dirt waiting for our new yacht to be built.
Boat: Half built Bestevaer.
Posts: 10,618
Re: Chasing wires on a older boat.

An autopilot is an important bit of equipment an would be inclined to pull some new wiring through.

To answer your question if you have access to both ends of the wire just use a multimeter on the Ohms scale. You will need a long loose bit of wire to extend one of multimeter cable leads, but any temporary wire will do for the test.

To make the connections between the wire and multimeter leads these leads with an alligator clip on each end are very handy.
You can by a packet of them from Dick Smith's (in Australia only )
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	image.jpg
Views:	76
Size:	156.0 KB
ID:	64231  
__________________

__________________
noelex 77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-07-2013, 04:42   #3
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,573
Images: 240
Re: Chasing wires on a older boat.

Circuit Tracers - Electrical Power Testing - Grainger Industrial Supply
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-07-2013, 05:04   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Singapore
Boat: Riviera 33'
Posts: 53
Re: Chasing wires on a older boat.

Ahhh you need a Fox and Hound.
__________________
If you think a professional is expensive, wait until you see how much an amateur will cost you.
Twisticles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-07-2013, 10:20   #5
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: South Carolina
Boat: Philip Rhodes Custom
Posts: 395
Re: Chasing wires on a older boat.

If you just want to trace through the bulkheads where the cables run I made my own crude wire tracer.

I took a 12 volt relay and wired the coil through the normally closed contact so it would work like a buzzer. (Electric bells and buzzers are antiques now ). The arcing at the contact with the coil makes a noise transmitter so I connected one end of the abandoned wire to be traced to the hot side of the coil (after checking that the wire being traced did not already have +12 or ground on it).

I then took a portable AM radio and tuned it off-station so it would pick up the noise, and used it as a sensor to trace the noise.
__________________
Andina Marie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-07-2013, 11:54   #6
Moderator Emeritus
 
David M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: research vessel
Posts: 10,150
Re: Chasing wires on a older boat.

All you need is a multimeter and a length of wire to reach the other end of the wire run. Set the meter on continuity and there you have it.
__________________
David

Life begins where land ends.
David M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-07-2013, 17:46   #7
Moderator
 
Boracay's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Pelican Bay, Great Sandy National Park
Boat: Steel Roberts Offshore 44
Posts: 5,175
Images: 18
Re: Chasing wires on a older boat.

As previously mentioned better to put in new wiring than to use suspect old.

If the old wiring is useable it should be good thick cables and pretty obvious.

An autopilot on a 65' Swan is going to take quite a few amps from time to time, and some of those times any sort of voltage drop due to poor size and quality of cabling and connectors is not going to make your day.
__________________
Rust never sleeps
Boracay Blog.
Boracay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-07-2013, 18:20   #8
Registered User
 
Snore's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: St Petersburg
Boat: Tartan 33
Posts: 1,879
I have dealt with this several times on runs of 15-20 feet. I found it easier to just cut it out of the bundle and run new. For example, start at the AP connector and slowly trace the wires by hand. At every strap or zip-strip, cut the wire. It is slow and tedious, but avoids leaving behind more abandoned wire. Once the old wire is out, pull new wire of adequate size.
__________________
"Whenever...it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off- then, I account it high time to get to sea..." Ishmael
Snore is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 18-07-2013, 18:36   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: North Carolina
Boat: Seaward 22
Posts: 691
Re: Chasing wires on a older boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
All you need is a multimeter and a length of wire to reach the other end of the wire run. Set the meter on continuity and there you have it.
The way I learned to do it.
__________________
ohdrinkboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-07-2013, 18:37   #10
Registered User
 
Oceanride007's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Boat in Whitsundays, heading south.
Boat: Custom Perry Passport 41, steel
Posts: 339
Re: Chasing wires on a older boat.

I'm the OP
Fox and hound, Extech, Grainger all appear to have something. I'll see if I can talk the owner into getting one of them.
I've had problems in past on ships where a CB could not have been located to isolate, too many distribution boxes, not enough labels.
On one sail boat the cable I was chasing was joined 3 times, looking for similar cable wouldn't work. (Twisticles quote applies here: "If you think a professional is expensive, wait until you see how much an amateur will cost you.")
On this boat the cables are lost in loom or used now for something else. I have seen a auto technician prick the cable so he could use his Avo meter. Maybe but that could lead to other problems.
On this boat they have used a solenoid device extensively, to avoid voltage drop I suppose.
For these reasons, I think I'll get one myself, any user experience out there? any recommendation?.
I want to know what I got before I decide how to solve it, but probably will lay new cable and CB.

Thanks
Oceanrider
__________________
Oceanride007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-07-2013, 20:08   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Cruising the Gulf of Mexico.
Boat: 1980 Morgan 415
Posts: 1,439
I have used a Fox n Hound for many years. It will pay for itself quickly if you chase circuits for a living.
__________________
Working on spending my children's inheritance.
Cap Erict3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-07-2013, 20:54   #12
Registered User

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Toronto
Boat: Sandpiper 565
Posts: 2,941
Re: Chasing wires on a older boat.

I bought a "fox and hound"-type of instrument when on sale for $20. This unit is a bit flimsy, but worked well for tracing some boat wiring. Note that the wire you're tracing should not be connected to anything except the tracer's generator unit, or the signal will be weak. You can trace a wire coming off of a breaker as long as the breaker is OFF, and there's no load or connection on the other end.

That buzzer/AM radio seems clever, too.

However I don't think any professional would agree to re-use old wiring. When you hire someone to install something professionally and the old wiring craps out, you blame the installer, not the wiring, don't you? Don't re-use abandoned wiring unless you have very high confidence in the integrity of the old wire.
__________________
Lake-Effect is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-07-2013, 12:22   #13
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Chesapeake Region and Maine
Boat: 42' Bob Perry sloop
Posts: 4,038
Images: 4
Re: Chasing wires on a older boat.

I use the Fluke Pro3000 Analog Tone and Probe kit. It is about $75 new and as low as $30 used on eBay.

Multi-function, very well constructed and documented. Will trace single wires/cables, cable pairs, has positive identification of pairs in a bundle, will locate wires behind bulkheads, etc.

Click image for larger version

Name:	Pro3000.JPG
Views:	89
Size:	63.8 KB
ID:	64305

Here's the User Manual: http://www.testequipmentdepot.com/fl...o3000_manu.PDF

Note that while the use of a simple continuity check may work in many cases, it is also potentially misleading, since you don't know how the hidden part of the wire is connected, and there may be multiple devices connected to the same wire you're checking. To be sure, you might have to employ a TDR (like the Fluke TS100) or, heaven forbid, do some radical surgery :-)

I agree 100% with the previous advice to run new wire, and for the reasons given. In this case, I wouldn't even bother tracing the old autopilot wiring. Much too critical a circuit to fool around.

Bill
__________________
btrayfors is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-07-2013, 14:39   #14
Marine Service Provider
 
Scott Berg's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Aboard
Boat: Seaton 60' Ketch
Posts: 958
Ditto on what Bill said.... And it's good form to cut the old conductors out of the bundle and re-loom when you're done. Oh, it's a good time to start labeling <grin>
__________________

__________________
Scott Berg
WAōLSS
SV CHARDONNAY
Scott Berg is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Newer or older boat? Kapten Buff Boat Ownership & Making a Living 31 20-03-2013 17:09
OpenCPN Release Candidate Version 3.1.1411 Released bdbcat OpenCPN 48 24-02-2013 07:59
Boat Held Hostage By Marine Transport Company CREOLE-BELLE Rules of the Road, Regulations & Red Tape 676 26-10-2012 11:37
What is your Favorite Boat? cruiserbill Monohull Sailboats 43 09-04-2012 20:07
Cruising on $500 per Month . . . goprisko General Sailing Forum 3094 24-03-2012 23:32



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:39.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.