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Old 22-03-2014, 07:17   #1
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NEW MAST WIRING

I'm installing new wiring and a new tricolor AquaSignal Series 34 masthead lihgt (Series 34, LED). Both the anchor and navigation lights draw approximately 2 amps. I've studied the charts carefully and have read numerous threads on this message board, but still come away with contradictory recommendations ranging from 10 to 14 gauge wire. The more conservative Don Casey tables would lead me to running two sets of 10-gauge duplex cable up the mast but I would much prefer to go with a single length of five-wire, 14-gauge Ancor mast cable available at Jamestown Distributors. I would appreciate any clear thinking and/or guidance....
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Old 22-03-2014, 07:52   #2
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Re: NEW MAST WIRING

Good news chuck g, the series 34 LED tricolor draws almost 2 Watts, not amps. On a 12V system that works out to be about 0.16 Amps so the 14ga wire will be more than adequate, you could even go down to 18 gauge. LED lighting is also more tolerant of voltage drops, the electronic drive circuitry keeps a constant brightness so the voltage drop tables don't apply.
Some masthead LED anchor/tricolor use only 2 wires, the polarity is reversed by a switch to select the function. I didn't see that feature mentioned on the series 34 so I don't know if you have that feature.

Steve
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Old 22-03-2014, 08:32   #3
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Re: NEW MAST WIRING

Thanks Steve, it wasn't making sense to me that I would need such heavy wire... much appreciated!
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Old 22-03-2014, 08:55   #4
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Re: NEW MAST WIRING

While you have the mast on the ground, why don't you consider adding a small white LED array at the base of the Windex (assuming you have one), that is wired in parallel with the masthead nav lights. That way, when underway at night, you can just look up and see the wind direction easily. The black Ty-Raps both hold the UV resistant cable loom and keep birds from hanging out at the masthead. Click on the picture to enlarge and see details.

Also, if you use a double pole double throw rocker switch for your navigation lights, you can choose whether to operate your nav lights in Power or Sail modes. In the Power position, the deck nav lights, the steaming light and compass light are on, in Sail mode, only the masthead tricolor and the compass lights are on. You need the double pole switch to activate the compass in either position without turning on the other lights.
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Old 22-03-2014, 09:11   #5
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Re: NEW MAST WIRING

Thanks for the wise and timely suggestions, Roy -- any specific suggestions on where to find an LED array suitable for that harsh and faraway place?
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Old 22-03-2014, 09:17   #6
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Re: NEW MAST WIRING

OPTX MARINE LED Pod Light, White | West Marine

In the picture above, it's the little, egg-shaped cluster below the Windex mast.
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Old 22-03-2014, 19:34   #7
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Re: NEW MAST WIRING

A slightly oversize (Amps wise) wire may be easier to maintain, fit and last longer too?

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