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Old 22-12-2007, 22:23   #16
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Union of more than 2 wires requires the use os a bus bar or power post. Only use electrical terminals that use nylon as an insulator, not pvc. All wire connections are to be machanical in nature, using a racheting double crimper. Lighting circuits may be wired for a 10% voltage drop. All circuits require over current protection. Use only tinned AWG wire, remember SAE wire is roughly 10% smaller for same gauge. Remember most all new 12V electrical panels will be factory loaded with 15 amp breakers, install breakers to match branch circuit loads. Panel feed must be sized to meet panel amp draw, both negative and postive. Your electrical refit is going to be a big project so do your homework. It is also a good idea to make a list of circuit you want and include future expanison circuits. good luck dude
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Old 24-12-2007, 22:10   #17
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If you want to cover all those holes, you might want to either get some thin plastic.
This can be obtained from any plastics supplier that deals with Lexan or Plastic for Signs. It will probably be a wholesaler. Another option I have used is Starboard in Black which I then mounted the panels to. I hinged it at the bottom so I had access to the panel in the event I needed to service or add anything. If I can dig up a picture, I will attach it later.
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Old 25-12-2007, 08:08   #18
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This is probably heresy, but hey, what the hell. I sailed a 54' sloop up and down the northwest pacific coast for 14 years, and everything on it was electric....stove, washer/dryer, 12kw genset, the whole nine yards.

In all that time, I had one failure, which failed over and over, the solenoid on the electric windlass. As for everything else, I found that advice given me by a builder to use a 'hot glue' gun to cover every connection to be golden. No corrosion buildup on terminals, connections, nada. Simple to apply, only takes a moment to remove if you have to change something, and seals up a connection right quick and for pretty much the duration.

Another piece of advice he gave me, wires on a boat should NOT move, i.e. tie everything down.

Good luck, on your project. It's going to be a 'biggie'

seer
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Old 25-12-2007, 08:13   #19
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wow it looks tight back there where the packing gland is .. you better service that while the engine is out.
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Old 25-12-2007, 16:44   #20
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Speaking of panels and holes. Last time I did a job like that we bought some inexpensive white delrin cutting boards, cut and drilled them with conventional wood tools, and laid the new panel face right over the old mess, totally hiding it.

If you want to make up a panel that is a bit fancier, or needs a number of "holes" in varying shapes and nice precise positions, check out Online Machine Shop - Instant Pricing which is an online machine shop. You can download and install their CAD software for free, so you can lay out and spec a new panel precisely on your own computer. Then print out a paper template and see how it works aboard.

And if you're happy, you send the file directly off to them and choose any one of dozens of materials (teak, brass, lexan, you name it) and they will machine the new panel up directly from your CAD file. Opens up all sorts of possibilities.

The software isn't as slcik as AutoCAD, but is fairly simple to use for flat designs. And when all else fails--they are humans, they can take and work from human instructions, just like a conventional shop.<G>
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Old 25-12-2007, 17:18   #21
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I have read quite a bit in this thread as I am getting ready to do a similar wiring project. I have learned quite a bit and truly appreciate the info found here. Thanks all.
Here is my rats nest that I am taking out now:
http://www.cruisersforum.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=3910&c=2
http://www.cruisersforum.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=3907&c=2
http://www.cruisersforum.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=3908&c=2
http://www.cruisersforum.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=3906&c=2
Thanks all for the great information.
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Old 27-12-2007, 08:48   #22
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Hi again all,

I'm having difficulty finding a three position buss bar for use connecting my cabin lights. Is it acceptable to use this:



Use it to connect the cabin light leads, running fore/aft, and then put two the pigtails from my cabin lights on it? That would leave two connections stacked, which I'm not sure is allowed per ABYC.

The other I see is to get a strip of tinned bronze and tap three screws into it for connecting.

Thanks for your time!
Aaron N.
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Old 27-12-2007, 09:33   #23
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"get a strip of tinned bronze "
Of course you would have it tinned after tapping it, so the threads were also fully tinned.<G>

Those connection bars usually come with even numbers (2-4-8-etc.) of positions on them, as far as I've seen. They're not truly bus bars (many items connected to one bar in common), they are designed to connect different wiring runs without the need for crimps, typically something like an engine harness to the rest of the boat's instruments, etc. when the maker isn't using custom "pack" connectors.
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Old 27-12-2007, 10:58   #24
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Hi all,

I suppose the next logical question is "where to get narrow strips of bronze"? Also, how do I go about getting them tinned, or is there a product I can buy to do it myself?

Also, ABYC says "powerpost" I see them available, but way to large.

Would it be acceptable for me to mount two #8 machine screws to a small block of teak or plastic and stack the three connections on that? The power coming from the panel, the light, and the line continuing forward? I could easily mount two screws for pos/neg make it fit well. Just a thought.

Thanks for your time!
Aaron N.
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Old 28-12-2007, 03:06   #25
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See Blue Sea Systems on-line catalogue: Blue Sea Systems

Common Bus Bars: Busbars - Blue Sea Systems
Terminal Blocks: Terminal Blocks - Blue Sea Systems
Power Posts: Power Posts - Blue Sea Systems

See also Pacer Marine Pacer Marine

Bus Bars: http://www.pacermarine.com/catalogparts/busbars.pdf
Terminal Blocks: http://www.pacermarine.com/catalogpa...inalblocks.pdf


Use a Common Bus Bar to join multiple wires, on the same circuit (fuse/breaker):
Attached Images
  
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Old 28-12-2007, 06:45   #26
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Gord,

Thanks - I'm fairly acquainted with all of the Blue Sea/Pacer stuff (which is the same). I only need to join three wires though, so it seems a bit silly to have a five position pos/neg bus bar by every one of my cabin lights. I just don't have that much room for the connections.

Ideas for a smaller approach?

Thanks!
Aaron
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Old 28-12-2007, 12:02   #27
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Be sure to replace the oil pan gaskets and the rear oil seal on the Perkins before you slip it back in. Those are the two biggest maintenance items on a 4108 and they are MUCH easier to do out of the boat.
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Old 28-12-2007, 12:33   #28
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Aaron-
If you look at Electrical Connections by Don Casey you'll see "three way terminals" among the illustrations. These are basically three ring terminals pop-riveted together to form one connection. And, I've only seen them in "all the same wire gauge".

But you could adapt the same concept, crimp two large gauge ring terminals onto your main wire, one smaller ring terminal into your lamp's drop line, and then either pop-rivet or bolt the three together. (Once each for positive and negative, of course.)

Frankly at that point, it just seems easier to solder and that way you don't have to cut the primary power wires--just push back the insulation and join in the drop runs.

Or, to use a plain crimp cap that allows you to put all three wires (i.e. the drop line and the two halves of the main run) into one cap and crimp them together. These are cheaper than wire nuts, but the same concept. (And of course, wire nuts are discouraged on boats.)
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Old 28-12-2007, 15:44   #29
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Thanks for the advice all. I think I'll use an adaptation of the "three ring-type" - I'll make my own double power posts. I like the idea of having connector that can be taken apart without shortening leads. It's annoying to not quite have enough wire because people have had to cut over the years because they wanted a different brand light. I'm going with Alpenglows throughout, so I doubt any possible future owners would want to replace them, but the point is the same.

Next question - is it okay to have device specific fuses a few feet away from the devices? I intend to protect my VHF, depth finder, GPS and battery monitor with fuses, but don't really want four inline fuses behind each item. All of these are within a few feet of the distribution panel breaker, so I'm thinking of going out of the breaker into a small fuse block and on to the item.

This seems sort of stupid though as then the small, say 2 amp, fuse is protecting both the wire and the device, rendering the more expensive breaker useless. Obviously if the wire shorts, the 2 amp will go before the breaker. But it's only a few feet of wire, so I'm not sure. Perhaps I should just put toggle switches in...hmm.

Thanks for your thoughts!
Aaron N.
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Old 28-12-2007, 16:56   #30
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Aaron-
"It's annoying to not quite have enough wire because people have had to cut over the years because "
Sometimes I'm chided for not making nice tight exact wire runs, I prefer to leave enough slack, or a loop of some kind, so that there's enough to work on repairs at a later date if need be. I hate having to make a double splice just to get another two inches of wire.

"I'm going with Alpenglows throughout,"
Never heard a bad word about them, only praise.

"is it okay to have device specific fuses"
Well...I can tell you about a custom 45 where something went out and I finally wound up crawling to the waist behind a panel only to find a small fuse protecting that meter, tucked behind a bulkhead instead of being in the breaker panel.<G> There's nothing wrong with having a fuse or breaker for each and every device--as long as there's room for them and some logic about how they are spread around.
Having one "instruments" breaker to protect a longer wiring run, or to let you turn everything on/off from one position, and then using individual fuses for fast-blow protection on each instrument, should be OK. Make sure you've got spares for the fuses.<G> Putting them in a block is way better than having them scattered all over the place. In theory each of those fuses should protect the instrument and blow before the wiring itself would need protection (against catching fire).

"This seems sort of stupid though as then...Perhaps I should just put toggle switches in...hmm." Whichever makes you happy. Bearing in mind that breakers can stay closed for quite a while during an overload, while fuses can blow very quickly, the main question is how to logically split things up or combine them. I would not put the VHF and anything else on "only one" common breaker/fuse, since that would kill your VHF if the other stuff blew the circuit. Make sure your VHF can get power and work--not matter what else is blown.
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