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Old 11-09-2008, 19:14   #16
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colemj:I take it you prefer BIEH. Any particular reason?
I just think it is an excellent book. I have all three of the ones mentioned in this thread and like that one the best.

Mark
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Old 12-09-2008, 03:01   #17
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... In ten thousand hours you could become a PhD in astrophysics, Gord. The union journeyman/apprentice system is NOT designed as an educational resource, it is designed to restrict access to a trade guild.

A couple of basic DC electronics/electrical courses, some ham radio classes, a couple of books and kits, and I'd venture to say anyone able to read and understand their daily paper will be able to maintain boat electrical systems just as well as the journeyman electrician.

It ain't rocket science. (1280 hours, B.S. in Combustion Engineering, too.)
In Ontario, the certified trades apprenticeship program is administered under the Ministry of Colleges & Universities, not the Union*.

On the job training is not nearly as concentrated a learning experience as is “formal” classroom and home study.
Many newly certified journeyman electricians are, IMHO, sadly underqualified.

In Canada, a Bsc. (Engineering) qualifies the graduate to work as an Engineer in Training, for about four years; after which he writes a few more exams (law & ethics, etc). Only then does he become a Professional Engineer, with an authorization to practice (“Seal”).

Personally, I wouldn’t let most Astrophysicists work on my boat; partly because it’s not rocket science.

* My Local Union also required apprentices attend a Union school, for four hours, every second Saturday.
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Old 12-09-2008, 05:59   #18
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I have Calder, 12V Bible for Boats, Living on 12V with Ample Power and Charlie Wing's Boatowner's Handbook of Wiring. The one with the broken binding, dog eard pages and grease spots is Charlie Wing's.
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Old 12-09-2008, 06:11   #19
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i only have the 12 volt bible book and i can honestly say it made wiring my tri so much easier i cant vouch on the other book but the 12 bible was worth every cent perhaps your local library has the other one borrow it and see if its what your looking for you never know
andy
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Old 12-09-2008, 07:20   #20
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I was a commercial electrician for years. Gord is correct.
When it comes to electrical work it takes years of practical experiance under the watchful eye of master electricians to become worth your salt. While somewhat helpful, two books and community college does not an electrician make.
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Old 12-09-2008, 08:27   #21
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Another Book

I've been slowly working my way through John Payne's Marine Electrical Electronics Bible. It's pretty good but I think that you have to have the book in hand, sitting in front of the hardware and tracing it out with your eyes and handy dandy multimeter. I guess that I think that Payne's book is more of a text book of information that you should know rather than a hands on DIY manual. I'd love to hear other's opinions if they've read more of it than I have.

BTW he has lots of discussion of charging systems and battery types and conditions (charged vs discharged). I'll scan the contents and send them if you would like.

Bill
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Old 12-09-2008, 13:13   #22
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I've been slowly working my way through John Payne's Marine Electrical Electronics Bible. It's pretty good but I think that you have to have the book in hand, sitting in front of the hardware and tracing it out with your eyes and handy dandy multimeter. I guess that I think that Payne's book is more of a text book of information that you should know rather than a hands on DIY manual. I'd love to hear other's opinions if they've read more of it than I have.

BTW he has lots of discussion of charging systems and battery types and conditions (charged vs discharged). I'll scan the contents and send them if you would like.

Bill
Bill: I would like to see what MEEB has to offer
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Old 12-09-2008, 17:12   #23
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Living on 12 volts

Just finished reading "Living on 12 Volts". Moving on to the "12 Volt Bible for Boats" next. I gleaned about 20% of the info presented. Just like the author states, you use it as a reference. Its like witchcraft or some kinda black magic. Its Electric!

I might have to go back to kerosene lamps and drink my rum neat.
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Old 12-09-2008, 18:12   #24
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Licenced or not

Gord,

With all due respect - "hellosailor" is right. The main reason that apprenticeship takes 10,000hrs (or 5years) is to restrict trade access. Unfortunately, this does not mean that after 10,000 hrs you will have a person that know how to design electrical circuits. IMP(prof)O they are trained "robots" that know how to apply certain regulations, codes and tables. I would not let a licensed electrician to work on my boat. The training is to teach them to memorize electrical codes and only to the certain extend. You may not agree with this but this is my observation. We are lucky to be alive with such practice.
Would you ask an electrician to rewire your car?

Chris
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Old 12-09-2008, 19:34   #25
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Gord,

With all due respect - "hellosailor" is right. The main reason that apprenticeship takes 10,000hrs (or 5years) is to restrict trade access. Unfortunately, this does not mean that after 10,000 hrs you will have a person that know how to design electrical circuits. IMP(prof)O they are trained "robots" that know how to apply certain regulations, codes and tables. I would not let a licensed electrician to work on my boat. The training is to teach them to memorize electrical codes and only to the certain extend. You may not agree with this but this is my observation. We are lucky to be alive with such practice.
Would you ask an electrician to rewire your car?
As one who considers, incorrectly, that DC circuits cannot have impedance and that capacitance depends on frequency (ref Series/Parallel Wiring for 24Volt post #14) are you sure that you should consider yourself qualified to comment . (Impedance Z=R+jX and remains impedance whether X is zero or not. And a 10pF capacitor, for example, remains 10pF regardless of frequency).

I strongly side with Gord on this and I come from the point of view of a person who uses trades professionally, rather than being one myself, and from seeing far too many amateur electrical installations on boats both pleasure and commercial; also from reading "solutions" given on forums. But I realise that it will be pointless to discuss the matter further.
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Old 12-09-2008, 19:53   #26
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Okay, returning to the subject of planning an electrical system, I offer a trick I used when redesigning and installing my overhauled circuit panel on WILDERNESS. First, I wrote down a list of all the electrical stuff I could possibly think of including aboard the boat, divided into 12 VDC and 110 VAC columns. I didn't bother, at first, with trying to put them into separate circuits, I just wanted to see how crazy things could get. There were a whole bunch of electrical goodies that weren't included in my original six circuit breaker panel when I built the boat.

Then, I set up an Excel spreadsheet to handle the next phase. On sheet one I listed all of my "wish list", along with the current and voltage needs, which I Googled the specs from the manufacturer.

Then, in an adjacent column, I estimated the anticipated hours of use per 24 hour day, and set up a calculation format to give me the amp-hours I might expect to consume per day per unit.

Now, I had a better idea of how battery capacity I needed, and what would be required to recharge my system's needs.

On sheet two, I began to create the circuits that would be needed. I had two cabin light circuits (port and starboard, in case I blew a circuit and needed light to repair it). I made circuits for navigation lights, communication and electronic navigation circuits, pumps, 12VDC outlets, etc. Then I distributed my wish list into these circuits to see how much electricity they needed, per circuit, if I should go crazy and turn everything on at once. I did the same for the 110 VAC circuits.

Now, I could order a panel from Blue Seas with all the circuit breakers I needed, and some extras for the future. Because everything was already in Excel, I could now consider how to distribute the available current out to the myriad goodies. From the books mentioned, and other sources, I had decided to use a distribution system for wiring. This meant that one wire, of sufficiently large size, went to a buss, from which radiated smaller gauge wires to the various parts of the boat where the power was needed for the individual circuit. Having a center cockpit boat made this particularly attractive because there are several locations where power for lights, for example, are needed. The wires went to remote distribution busses in different compartments of the boat. From the remote buss, they went directly to the light or other unit needing electricity.

How to keep track of everything and how to determine the correct wire size was an issue resolved easily enough using the Excel spreadsheet. I just made a column for the current consumption, another for the length of the wire run (out and back), then made a column for the wire size needed to keep voltage drop down to 3% or lower. Each circuit breaker was given a circuit number. The distribution leg was given a sub number, and the final leg to the lamp was given a third number. For example, a wire labelled 1-3-2 could mean circuit one (Cabin Lights Portside), aft cabin, galley sink overhead lamp. A label maker made keeping this stuff under control was easy.

I could plan all my circuits out in advance, build wire harnesses to remote distribution busses, and label everything in advance using the spreadsheet. Not only did it work, but it made installation MUCH faster and error free. There were very few mixups and a wonderful sense of accomplishment when I would find a loose wire that hadn't been connected yet to some unit I hadn't yet installed. It has kept me saner than I might otherwise have been.

In summary, decide what you want on your dream system. Break it down as to electrical needs. Put it into relevant circuits. Calculate the wiring sizes needed from the battery, through to the unit (and back to ground). Make a printout for reference. Label each and every wire in an orderly and simple numerical code (add words, as well, if that helps). Start at the circuit breaker, wire outward to the destination, labelling as you go. Flip the breaker on, switch on the unit, and congratulate yourself.
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Old 12-09-2008, 20:14   #27
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MidLandOne, you are right that my post in wiring contained some errors. I noticed it too late. The proper statement should be:

Impedance is the total value of resistance, capacitance and inductance.... Capacitive and Inductive reactance values depend on circuit frequency ... for dc f=0Hz....

And I strongly oppose using the term IMPEDANCE for the dc circuits. For dc circuits RESISTANCE is the proper word. You may agree or not.
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Old 13-09-2008, 03:36   #28
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Bill: I would like to see what MEEB has to offer
Duke
Goto:
The Marine Electrical and ... - Google Book Search
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Old 13-09-2008, 04:50   #29
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I regret that this portion of the thread has devolved into a, only partially informed, semantic debate. Notwithstanding, this debate reinforces my contention that it takes more than perusal of a book (or two) to become a truly qualified “expert“ in any field.

My reference to Internal Battery Impedance (‘Z’), is industry standard terminology, relating to a common method of applying an AC Voltage to a battery, and performing internal Ohmic measurements, to determine capacity. (Google <Battery Impedance>)

As MidLandOne correctly indicates, it’s also common engineering & science practice to refer to Impedance (Z), even in DC circuits, where Reactance (Xl & Xc) is zero.
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Old 13-09-2008, 07:30   #30
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GordMay: Thanks for the link. It appears MEEB has a lot of info to offer. I haven't worked on RF circuits for many years so it looks like it will be added to my library.
Thanks again.

RoyM: You have used a technique similar to what I have set up. One big difference I hadn't thought of using wiring harnesses. Good info. Thanks.

Duke
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