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Old 31-03-2006, 05:22   #1
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Wiring....

Does anyone have tips on how to best route wires up to a cockpit?

I have a center cockpit boat, which means that my cockpit's walls are visible below. I can't simply flush mount my speakers there, since it would be an ugly mess below. For this reason, I am stuck with those speakers that hang from the bimini.

I'm looking to route wires for:

1) GPS - easy... through the pedestal

2) Speakers... not so sure how to get them hanging at the top of the bimini without wires everywhere. Being a guy... I am not great at hiding wires.

3) Cockpit light - I also need to put a light up in the cockpit for evening dining. Preferably a light that I can dim. This would hang from the bimini top as well. Any suggestions?

4) Lastly... I have an antenna cable with a .75" fitting on the end that I can't tear off and re-connect. I need to pass this through my hull at the stern and to the pushpit-mounted antenna. Any suggestions on how to seal up the gaping hole I'll have?

Thanks for any input. I figure as a group... you all have done project like this before and have some good ideas for doing these things neatly, and without making leaks.
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Old 31-03-2006, 09:30   #2
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I use a 12 volt Davis Cockpit light. Plugs into a 12 volt socket and has a bright low power bulb tha is good for entertaining. Also has a mode that uses the built in LED's for finding your way back to the boat after dark. It's not installed so it serves a lot of purposes and can be hung any place. Really a nice solution and can be used any place not just in the cockpit. Also a great work light. This is the fancy one and I like mine.



For the cable through the hull. I have a nylon dougnut that has an oversized hole and a backing plate. I think you need something like that so the hole has a structural support around it. You can then use sealant to make up the different. I would add a restainer on the inside so the cable can not pull in or out and tus break the seal. I really don't know the name of the thing however. One of those things if you knew what it was called you could find one. They use them on RV's too.
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Old 31-03-2006, 11:54   #3
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Visualize in 3-D

Visualize where your speakers will be relative to your compass as well as autopilot compass (regardless of the type). Try to locate the speakers (and their strong magnets) 6 ft or more linearly in three dimensions away from any compass.

True, you may get away with one meter distance yet that will still effect a compass merely not so much as to notice without swinging it. Most people do not realize that many items near their compasses are magnetic, like AA batteries and various instruments.
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Old 01-04-2006, 08:17   #4
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Hi Rick,

Thanks for the input. That's one that I wasn't even thinking of. I did plan on using shielded speakers, which won't create much of a magnetic field outside the box, right?

Autopilot compass is in the v-berth, which is about 18-20 ft away, so that should be safe.

Worst case, I can put the speakers on the forward cross-member of the bimini framework, which is 7 ft from the compass.

VERY interesting that AA batteries are magnetic. I never knew that.

Paul,

Thanks for the input on the light. I will look into it, although I don't have a 12V cigarette-sytle plug up in the cockpit.



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Originally Posted by Rick
Visualize where your speakers will be relative to your compass as well as autopilot compass (regardless of the type). Try to locate the speakers (and their strong magnets) 6 ft or more linearly in three dimensions away from any compass.

True, you may get away with one meter distance yet that will still effect a compass merely not so much as to notice without swinging it. Most people do not realize that many items near their compasses are magnetic, like AA batteries and various instruments.
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Old 01-04-2006, 18:38   #5
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For the antenna connection, you might consider a bulkhead mount connector. This will provide for a neat install, and you can either solder the pigtail to the connector, requiring only a small hole in the hull or deck, or you can use a but type connector, if it is a thin surface, with locknuts, and washers on each side. While this does add additional connection points to the system, it also makes it easier to replace a damaged section of coax without breaking the seal on the hull. Not sure what antenna cable you have that the connector can not easily be removed and reinstalled, but this should provide a clean install regardless. As for hiding wires, a piece of half round wood moulding from the local home supply can be used as a cover and will look attractive. (Or you can make your own). Wood boxes for standard surface mount speakers can look good, and are easy to build.
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Old 01-04-2006, 19:27   #6
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No 12 volt in the cockpit! So just where do you plug the 12 volt blender!

They are easy to install and can be used for a lot of toys that don't draw many amps. Just add a small in line fuse so you limit what they can eat.
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Old 01-04-2006, 19:28   #7
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I have used a bunch of "Cable Clam" devices to pass cables through the deck. You make a hole big enough to pass the cable with the connector, then run the cable through the cable clam and screw it down to seal the hole.

The device is a rubber disk with a plastic ring around it. You drill a hole in the disk that just matches the cable, then make a radial slit to pass the cable into the hole. When you screw down the pastic ring, it squeezes the rubber hard enough to make a good seal. I have a few cases where I didn't drill the hole very well, so I filled it up with 4200. The 4200 turns a little brown, but that is just material from the rubber migrating in to it. So far, I have had no problems on with any of them, with or without 4200.

Look up part number 540757 on westmarine.com for an example, though the picture there is pretty awful.

I've seen similar things from other vendors, but the Cable Clam is the only one that can handle large connectors that I've ever found in a store.


As far as routing wires: They have to go somewhere. If you want to hide them, you'll have to put them inside the tubing that supports the bimini. (You might want waterproof connectors where the wires enter and leave the tubing, in case you ever need to take the bimini off.) I've used 3/4 inch bimini tubing for an antenna mast, but I don't know how much of a hole you can drill and still have something strong enough to hold up the bimini.
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Old 02-04-2006, 03:43   #8
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Posted this yesterday, but it got lost in the shuffle.
Blue Sea Systems "CableClam"
http://www.bluesea.com/product.asp?Product_id=24908
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Old 02-04-2006, 13:18   #9
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Run a low profile square capped conduit. Take it right over the point where the wires go through the wall/deck and seal the hole either with sealant of gland. Then the cap goes on and hides the lot. You can buy these low profile conduits in white and a few other colours. The may not be invisible, but they make a cable run look very neat and tidy.
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Old 02-04-2006, 16:49   #10
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Cable Clams... cool. I'll definitely use these. I'll also look into some conduit and the connectors.

See? I knew you guys would have some great tips on how to keep wires looking neat and tidy.

Thanks!
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Old 05-04-2006, 03:26   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssullivan
4) Lastly... I have an antenna cable with a .75" fitting on the end that I can't tear off and re-connect. I need to pass this through my hull at the stern and to the pushpit-mounted antenna. Any suggestions on how to seal up the gaping hole I'll have?
Sean,

Don't know if you've solved this problem yet, but what you want is a "Cable Clam" from Blue Sea Systems (http://www.bluesea.com/product.asp?P...1=7958&l2=6616), available from West Marine and other chandlers.

Regards,

Tim
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