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Old 13-05-2013, 00:52   #31
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Re: So who has tinned battery and other equally fat cables all tinned?

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Originally Posted by Reefmagnet View Post
I'm not saying that statement is wrong but I will say it is very difficult to believe.
You're right, Most info is debatable. and some arguable

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Welding cable, which carries hundreds of ampere - and sometimes thousands - is typically is worked more towards the maximum load current carrying capacity for the x-sectioned area then regular power cables. Granted welding applications have a duty cycle component, however this can not always be relied upon to allow cables to sufficiently cool between load cycles.
Right but welding at that time was done in open air...back then shipyard workers had the right to breathe, asbestos laden air, or go find another job. The abyc didn't exist, and most of the CG./Fed.Regulations were borne before the war.

Quote:
TBH I wasn't around in the 60's but my experience with old welding cable was that it was made of natural rubber which didn't melt at low temperatures but tended to rot with old age over time and was susceptible to UV light degradation, of which electric arcs emit lots of.
Back then most anything that said made with rubber...actually had rubber in it.

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Re tinned wires. I totally rewired my little Vega about 12 months ago. I used a combination of tinned and non tinned wires. Personally, inside the cabin of a boat where it is protected from the weather I doubt it makes a lot of difference. For example, I have original wires in my boat that are moulded into the deck head during manufacture. These wires are around 10g size and untinned. After 40+ years they were still serviceable enough to be left in circuit. I also notice that no marine accessory I've ever seen has been supplied with tinned wires (other than soldered ends).
My Day Job is to re-wire Yachts/Boats. From that experience I can tell you that, 40 yr old anything, except a nice Cabernet isn't valuable. Especially if it's made of copper designed to conduct ...sparks

One nick in a wire sheathing can allow enough moisture into the conductors, that can render the whole circuit either inoperable, or so much high resistance that it blackens wood to the point of spontaneous combustion.

When my parents purchased the Marina, before the Boeing crash of 69, my brother, ten years older told, my dad, that I was a huge liability. Because I said what was on my mind instead of what the customers wanted to hear!

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Old 13-05-2013, 05:20   #32
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Re: So who has tinned battery and other equally fat cables all tinned?

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Originally Posted by FlyingCloud1937 View Post
If you spend the money on tinned lugs, and crimp, Why not tinned wire? A copper wire to a copper lug with a gas tight crimp would be a lower resistance connection? Tinned anything only adds resistance.
I've noticed that a lot of connections on my older boat have corroded at the connectors while the wire is still good inside. Tinned connectors aren't that expensive and I use adhesive shrink tubing.

It's not the resistance I'm concerned with but rather corrosion of the exposed connectors.

Tinned wire is quite expensive, not to mention I'm not going to rewire every connection I repair if the existing wiring is sound!!
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Old 13-05-2013, 05:35   #33
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Re: So who has tinned battery and other equally fat cables all tinned?

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Originally Posted by Fuss View Post
Thanks,

I think this thread now makes it clear that fat cabling does not need to be tinned but does need to have the ends terminated in the right way.
I used the word fat so I did not have to write 50mm2, 70mm2 00AWG etc.

I think it is important that the forums provide the right information to those looking for advice. I think it is now made clear that tinned is better but it its completely ok to use non tinned marine grade cable.

Correct lugs,crimping and heat shrinking is more important.
That may be clear to you, but not to everyone. There is the "best" or "right" way to do something and below that are ways to get by. Below that are many wrong ways.

If I were going to the trouble and expense to wire my boat or install a part, I would use tinned marine wire or cable. If I were paying someone to do it, I would insist on the same, tinned marine wire. If that person told me that untinned or non marine wire was just a good, I would find someone else to do the work. Someone with more knowledge and pride in his/her work. So if we want forums to provide the right information, we will agree that tinned marine wire and cable is the best way to wire a boat and well worth the slight additional cost.

I will admit though, that if you have an old, broken down boat that's seen better days and you don't plan to restore it to great condition, proper tinned marine wire might be out of place. In this case, most anything would do, even stranded building wire from the home center.

About the "fat" cable, well, that shortcut didn't work out that well did it. You had to type more than if you had just used a more understandable term in the first place. My career was in the electrical and electronics field and I never heard the term "fat" applied to a wire or cable. "Large" or "high capacity" would be more descriptive.
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Old 13-05-2013, 06:45   #34
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Re: So who has tinned battery and other equally fat cables all tinned?

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
That may be clear to you, but not to everyone. There is the "best" or "right" way to do something and below that are ways to get by. Below that are many wrong ways.

If I were going to the trouble and expense to wire my boat or install a part, I would use tinned marine wire or cable. If I were paying someone to do it, I would insist on the same, tinned marine wire. If that person told me that untinned or non marine wire was just a good, I would find someone else to do the work. Someone with more knowledge and pride in his/her work. So if we want forums to provide the right information, we will agree that tinned marine wire and cable is the best way to wire a boat and well worth the slight additional cost.
I understand what you are saying.
If I was building my boat from scratch, I would definitely try to get tinned cabling.
However in Europe, the reality is, when you walk over to the marina supply store you will more than likely find that the large capacity cabling is non tinned. That is the reality over here. So you buy it, fit it and ensure that you do a very professional job of fitting the ends. (this last part is unfortunately not always carried out)

I wonder how many electrical engineers in the Med normally only fit tinned large capacity cabling. Very few I think, else they would need to have on hand their own supplies or keep customers waiting for a week/s while the cable is ordered and delivered. (Hope they dont get the length wrong!)
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Old 13-05-2013, 06:48   #35
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Well I'm an old formally qualified engineer too and, as an alternate analysis, I think Fuss's conclusion is reasonable. Additionally, I understand the layman's term for 'fat' in relation to wiring to most probably indicate power cabling of 25mm2 or greater. In my neck of the woods, hen's teeth would be more easily procured then tinned wire of that capacity and it would be as stiff as rod anyway.
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Old 13-05-2013, 06:55   #36
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Tinned wire in boats is a US affectation. ( Like long keels) There are certain external areas on boats where water ingress is possible and here tinned is useful.

My current boat was built in 1989. It has spent its entire life in salt water , on the UK , and Italy. The internal wiring is not tinned and is as good as the day it was installed.

Tinning is no substitute for poor connections , which give far more trouble then the lack of tinning. Good quality non insulated crimps covered in adhesive lined shrink wrap will outlive you, tinned wire or not.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

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Old 13-05-2013, 08:03   #37
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Re: So who has tinned battery and other equally fat cables all tinned?

I second that. It seems like only those in the US are pedantic about tinned wiring. Outside the US, it is very difficult to find and often requires expensive special ordering (from the US) with several weeks wait for it to arrive. Everyone else in the world is happily building and equipping boats with good quality non-tinned wiring.

And using good quality connectors and proper crimping and sealing techniques are essential no matter what type of wire one is using.

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Old 13-05-2013, 17:21   #38
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Re: So who has tinned battery and other equally fat cables all tinned?

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Originally Posted by Fuss View Post
I agree fully,
Thats what I said in this thread below. The thread basically states that anything other than tinned is unacceptable in a marine environment. I think that this gives the wrong priority as what is most important is the quality of the crimping/heat shrinking etc.
Heavy Duty Battery Cables
OK, fair enough. This conclusion, however, has to be gauged (pun intended) in light of the intended pattern of use. I had auto-grade copper wire (correctly sized, at least) dimple-crimped lugs on my batteries for my Atomic 4 on Lake Ontario. They lasted 35 years with only a bit of superficial greeniness. The lack of salt air and regular applications of a light coating of lithium grease seemed to keep the corrosion at bay (another pun intended).


Last year, I redid much of the wiring. The negative ground wire was fine, however, so I didn't bother replacing it.

The world encompassed: All the fixin's

Most of the rest was replaced, with tinned wire and heat shrink. I still used auto-style lugs, however. On my "headed for salt" boat, on the other hand, I will crimp on the correct tinned lugs.

Could I have done a more "professional" job? Yes, I could have, but the amperages and usage pattern in a freshwater lake don't strictly call for it. Certainly, the minor improvements I made to my elderly boat's power setup are arguably safer and easier to service than was the old setup.

The salt-water voyaging boat does merit a more methodical (and expensive) approach. Apply as needed to your own situation.
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Old 13-05-2013, 17:28   #39
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Re: So who has tinned battery and other equally fat cables all tinned?

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Originally Posted by Reefmagnet View Post
Re tinned wires. I totally rewired my little Vega about 12 months ago. I used a combination of tinned and non tinned wires. Personally, inside the cabin of a boat where it is protected from the weather I doubt it makes a lot of difference. For example, I have original wires in my boat that are moulded into the deck head during manufacture. These wires are around 10g size and untinned. After 40+ years they were still serviceable enough to be left in circuit. I also notice that no marine accessory I've ever seen has been supplied with tinned wires (other than soldered ends).
This is a valuable point. An instance: I have "house-grade" 18-22 gauge wires to my cabin lights in my 40 year old sloop. The leads are literally painted over inside the cabinets. By switching from incadescents to LED lights, I drop the draw by 85-90%. I'm pretty sure tearing up those tiny wires without evidence of a flaw would be a false economy.

I don't screw around with main panel or starter feeds. If I need to wire in a locker lamp of a watt or so draw, I won't always reach for the tinned wire if I have extra 18 ga. lying around (like speaker/lamp wire).
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Old 17-08-2013, 10:06   #40
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Re: So who has tinned battery and other equally fat cables all tinned?

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After being told that high quality crimps on normal copper battery cabling is not good enough in another thread. I decided to check a few chandleries when passing to see how available fat battery cabling is in the tinned form.

Do you have only tinned battery and other fat cabling on your boat?
The factory built my boat w/ un-tinned copper conductors.

The factory used adhesive shrink tubing over all the crimped battery lug connections.

When I upgraded from five flooded-cell group 31 batteries to six Lifeline GPL-31XT AGM batteries I needed to redo some of the terminals on my battery cables because the shape of the top plastic did not permit usage of the original terminals.

The original crimped terminals were cut off the un-tinned copper wire. The copper strands looked brand new, no discoloration or degradation at all after over 10 years in a marine environment.

When I crimped new battery lugs onto the terminals I also replaced the shrink tubing, using the special thick-wall high-adhesive Ancor battery cable shrink tubing. (That tubing required a high-output heat gun to relax the tubing and to get the adhesive to flow.)

When I do battery cables, I use my T&B TBM6 w/ appropriately-sized dies.

Here is that tool crimping 2/0 wire.






Another option, if an appropriately-sized crimp tool is not available are the really nice NAPA compression battery terminals? Those don't need a crimp tool. They are available on-line and from any NAPA store.

For 2/0 here is a battery terminal. They also have a 2/0 right-angle flag terminal. They also have a 2/0 lug It doesn't list the size, but it looks like 3/8" to me.
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Old 17-08-2013, 10:16   #41
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Re: So who has tinned battery and other equally fat cables all tinned?

I'm a believer that tinned is better inside the boat, but not necessary. Although, if you use heat shrink sealed end terminals... tinned not so much an advantage. Often there wont be corrosion that is evident on non sealed terminals.... but voltage drop can occur. If you look at a freshly stripped piece of copper wire it is shiny bright. An older piece is dull copper like an old penny.... that is because of surface oxidation. That oxide is a barrier againt current flow. Many boats have open terminals onthe back of the switch panel, and some voltage drops can be significant, heat is caused and that is a detriment too.
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Old 17-08-2013, 11:29   #42
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I'm a believer that tinned is better inside the boat, but not necessary. Although, if you use heat shrink sealed end terminals... tinned not so much an advantage. Often there wont be corrosion that is evident on non sealed terminals.... but voltage drop can occur. If you look at a freshly stripped piece of copper wire it is shiny bright. An older piece is dull copper like an old penny.... that is because of surface oxidation. That oxide is a barrier againt current flow. Many boats have open terminals onthe back of the switch panel, and some voltage drops can be significant, heat is caused and that is a detriment too.
A proper crimped connector when opened will reveal good quality semi bright copper. Oxidisation will occur on the outer areas so what. Of course you don't make up connectors unto non shines copper. I've peeled back 25 year old boat wire and found perfect copper.

Lets not get carried away here.


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Old 17-08-2013, 11:40   #43
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Re: So who has tinned battery and other equally fat cables all tinned?

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A proper crimped connector when opened will reveal good quality semi bright copper. Oxidisation will occur on the outer areas so what. Of course you don't make up connectors unto non shines copper. I've peeled back 25 year old boat wire and found perfect copper.

Lets not get carried away here.


Dave
Well.... I too have peeled back old copper and found it great.... I've also peeled back old copper wire and found it corroded for several feet inside the casing! In fact, not uncommon at all. For this reason alone, If rewiring, I would definitely go with tinned. Would I rewire a boat just to have tinned? no. A proper crimpe terminal has different meaning to different people/manufacturers from what I've seen.
Stranded wire sometimes oxidizes inside the terminal because of the air gap between strands. One reason good wire with more/smaller strands is better.
One good way for someone to test is to turn everything off, but leave the feed to the breaker panel on. Check the voltage at the battery, then at the main panel feed terminal, then at several of the smaller feeds on the breakers. Then you'l find out what the losses are or are not.
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Old 17-08-2013, 11:51   #44
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Re: So who has tinned battery and other equally fat cables all tinned?

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One good way for someone to test is to turn everything off, but leave the feed to the breaker panel on. Check the voltage at the battery, then at the main panel feed terminal, then at several of the smaller feeds on the breakers. Then you'l find out what the losses are or are not.
Hmmm,

If here is no load ("turn everything off"), then the voltage will be the same everywhere, baring actual open circuits. No current=no voltage drop.

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Old 17-08-2013, 11:53   #45
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Re: So who has tinned battery and other equally fat cables all tinned?

hmmm... are you saying there is no voltage drop in a length of wire?
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