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Old 02-02-2018, 20:12   #1
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Wiring mess

Here’s a pic of our Cat 30 wiring. Still works, kinda of. Want to change the whole setup. Any suggestions. Not rich. So need to be reasonable.
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Old 02-02-2018, 20:21   #2
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Re: Wiring mess

Get rid of the wire nuts.
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Old 02-02-2018, 20:33   #3
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Re: Wiring mess

It's not the worst project in the world, and the results are probably worthwhile.

Get excellent tools -- the very best you can find. Crimping tools must be very good to create so much pressure that the crimp fitting and the wire are essentially welded together, and you cannot pull any crimp connection apart. Cutting tools must be strong and sharp. Such tools cost $100 to $200 each.

Cheap tools will make this entire effort a horrible waste of your time -- you will have endless electrical problems after you are done.

Get excellent wire and crimp connectors. Do not cheap out on wire! Do not cheap out on crimp connectors!! Only use Ancor wire and heat shrink connectors and heat shrink tube.

Cheap wire and connectors will make you hate life.

Use a really good panel. I got mine from a local marine electrical shop, Common Ground Electrical, on Production Lane in Costa Mesa.

Wire from panel to a nearby terminal block, and then wire from terminal block to device or to another terminal block close to devices. Never ever wire directly from the panel to devices. Ensure you have slack in the wires between panel and the nearby terminal block so you can easily install and remove the panel.

Run very heavy battery cable from battery to terminal posts near the panel, and then something like 8 AWG from those posts to the panel. You can't use battery cables directly on the panel: such wire is too stiff and heavy.

Always use heat shrink crimp connectors, or use heat shrink tubing over the wire-connector interface. You must use Ancor heat shrink, as it shrinks well and it includes glue to ensure water can't get to the wire. This cannot be emphasized enough: use crappy heat shrink and you will get glitchy electrical problems after a little while: very tough to diagnose. Don't cheap out!!

Always have the wire go UP to any connections at the panel or terminal blocks, so condensation on the wire runs away from the connector.

Flex-loom, which is a plastic woven tube, is a great way to keep wires bundled together. Its sorta like a finger trap, in that its loose weave allows the tube to be "milked" over the wire, making a smooth tight bundle that slips through holes in structure and interior as you lead the wires throughout the boat. Use heat shrink tubing at the ends to bond the flex-loom to the wire bundles. Always leave yourself enough wire outside of the loom so you can easily connect the wires to devices and terminal blocks.

ProBoat often publishes articles by Steve D'Antoni showing photos illustrating many of these concepts.

I should post some pictures ...
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Old 02-02-2018, 20:47   #4
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Re: Wiring mess

I guess i should of added a few more details and my experience. Very familiar with wiring and proper tools. I know ive looked over manny post on wiring, panels etc. This is somethi8ng I’ve wanted to tackle for some time. We live in Canada and our boats kept in Puerto Vallarta. So having time when i get there is issue. Usually stay a few weeks to a few months. Want to tear the whole issue out and replace. Blue Sea seems have good things. I have 2 batteries and also solar. On board battery charger when plugged in. would like to have a nice setup. Sent Blue Sea an e-mail in regards to setting up for 2 batteries and solar. Never got a reply. Someone in a post said all charging devices goes to the house. Then use the Add A Bat that’s Blue Sea has for second battery. So just need to sort out the whole wiring issue using the 1,2 ALL switch which I’m replacing. I’m sure there of lots of you have similar setups. Just need a little help setting it all up.
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Old 02-02-2018, 21:17   #5
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Re: Wiring mess

I don't suggest using a 1-2-all switch. I suggest wiring the batteries together into one bank. This one change will make the biggest positive difference in your life under battery power. Instead, use thermal breakers on the battery cables, say 100amp. You will still be able to start, because the breaker won't get hot in just a few seconds.

Its a good idea to have no switches on the starter motor and all charging circuits. Use thermal breakers on those cable runs. Those circuits should be simple, route using terminal blocks or posts, and use battery cable, like 1/0AWG. Having low resistance aka low voltage drop will enable you to charge your batteries. Low charging voltage is a quick way to kill batteries.

For a separate starter battery, I'm using one of those $100 portable jump start units that are charged via USB, and only use it if the house bank is dead.
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Old 03-02-2018, 00:07   #6
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Re: Wiring mess

We've been very happy with our single 420ah/12v house/starting bank.
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Old 03-02-2018, 01:58   #7
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Re: Wiring mess

This diagram may help. Your choice which bat. bank that you connect various charge sources to.
Adjust fuse sizes as required for your install.
Add a supply for "Always On" stuff,such as bilge pump,fume alarm,etc.,by tying in at house bat. side of house bat swx.-if desired. / Len

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Old 03-02-2018, 02:02   #8
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Re: Wiring mess

Similar diagram with a couple of changes

https://www.dropbox.com/s/l7fuzp9c45...ching.pdf?dl=0
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Old 03-02-2018, 02:15   #9
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Re: Wiring mess

Quote:
Originally Posted by deblen View Post
This diagram may help. Your choice which bat. bank that you connect various charge sources to.
Adjust fuse sizes as required for your install.
Add a supply for "Always On" stuff,such as bilge pump,fume alarm,etc.,by tying in at house bat. side of house bat swx.-if desired. / Len

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Question - can't think of what a "VSR" is ?
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Old 03-02-2018, 03:01   #10
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Re: Wiring mess

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldManMirage View Post
Question - can't think of what a "VSR" is ?
Voltage Sensing Relay. Also called ACR Auto Combining/Charging Relay

The relay closes at approx 13.6v & parallels the two battery banks so that both banks are charged if there is a charging source (alternator,mains charger,solar,etc)
The relay disconnects if system voltage drops below approx. 13.6,which indicates no or insufficient charging. This prevents the start bat. from being discharged.
It is all automatic. No manual switches are required for normal operation.

There are many brands of VSR/ACR. Here is one: https://www.westmarine.com/buy/blue-...7?recordNum=45
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Old 03-02-2018, 03:15   #11
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Re: Wiring mess

When using a VSR you really need the same type of batteries for house and starter.

Most will be using FLA for the house bank, but if you then have an AGM starter battery, it's going to be getting the wrong charge profile.
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Old 03-02-2018, 03:42   #12
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Re: Wiring mess

Thanks, it had me stumped.

After reading a lot of posts on here I'm thinking I'll eventually change my setup to two "house" banks, rather one starter and one bank. Most of my charging will be solar, engine when needed (hopefully very little).

Hard to make a decision sometimes !
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Old 03-02-2018, 04:18   #13
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Re: Wiring mess

Wisdom of the forum states that two banks is inferior to a large single bank. The batteries are loaded higher and go through more (and deeper) cycles.
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Old 03-02-2018, 04:57   #14
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Re: Wiring mess

You need to know your loads before you start sizing wires for your panel. I wouldn't trust Catalina to get this right, nor any sins of the previous owner/s. I would also agree with proper wire and fittings, mostly which is absent in your pics. There are obvious signs of corrosion at fittings and terminals. Also, do yourself a favor and pick up a wire marking pack and mark and identify each wire and laminate one or three corresponding charts. You won't be sorry later that you took the extra effort now. Also, neatness counts,...A LOT.
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Old 03-02-2018, 05:50   #15
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Re: Wiring mess

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Originally Posted by mikedefieslife View Post
Wisdom of the forum states that two banks is inferior to a large single bank. The batteries are loaded higher and go through more (and deeper) cycles.
OK, VERY sorry not trying to hijack this thread. But you are saying the general consensus is one large bank ? No starting battery needed ? That would really simplify things.
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