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Old 14-03-2006, 12:28   #1
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Windlass Reinstallation

Although I have posted this question on two other boards, I'm hoping one of the electrical expert types here will be able to help me.

I have recently had a Maxwell VW1200 Windlass installed on our boat and I am now working on getting the wiring fitted up. As it occures, our boat, a Beneteau First 42, was originally wired for an electric windlass although the windlass itself was never installed. However, the wiring, approximately 3/4" diameter multi-strand copper, is still in place and, if possible, I'd like to be able to use it. However, the cable is of the old, untinned, type and shows evidence of surface corrosion, at least at the ends. I've been told that so long as the corrosion can be cleaned off and a good clean connection made to new lugs at the ends, the surface corrosion of the individual strands is of no consequence.

I will appreciate any information that anyone can offer on the correctness of that assertion; and, on how one might clean the wire to make a good end connection.

Your assistance will be appreciated.

/s/ s/v HyLyte
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Old 14-03-2006, 14:10   #2
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No amount of cleaning will return corroded wire to original condition. Ideally, cut off the corroded ends, far enough back to reach fresh & shiny wire.

Alternative 1
Aged and badly tarnished copper can be thoroughly scraped with a stiff copper pipe cleaning brush, that penetrates the entire bundle and cleans every strand.
Less effective are 3M ‘ScotchBright’ pads, steel wool, or emery cloth.

Alternative 2
Make a paste using flour, salt, and vinegar. Brush it on, let it sit a while, then rinse it off. The acetic acid in the vinegar causes the tarnish to slowly dissolve. Stubborn coatings may require more than one application.
Immediately rinse the wire with alcohol to prevent accelerated corrosion as a result of the vinegar/salt solution.

***
I definitely DON’T recommend the use of "Tinners Fluid", which contains Hydrochloric Acid and Zinc Chloride.
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Old 14-03-2006, 14:21   #3
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Have to be careful around Hydrochloric Acid and Zinc Chloride.
Very corrosive!! YIKES!!!!
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Old 14-03-2006, 21:44   #4
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If the corrosion is Green, then the copper is no good. Although hopefully you can cut back to see if any clean copper is underneath. Do not use any copper area that has had green corrosion. The wire will have severaly rotted.
If the corrosion is black, this is a different problem. This requires a good cleaning as Gord has described. That black coating gets carried electricaly up the insulaion and will most likely have travelled the entire length of cable. It does not seem to harm the conductive ability of the cable, as long as good clean ends are created. However, that black tarnish will not conduct well and will not allow Solder to take. It must be cleaned off before soldering.
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Old 15-03-2006, 07:58   #5
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Firstly, thanks for all of your suggestions.

Some further information. Last evening I cut off a section of one of the (overlong) cables about 6" from the end. At the cut, I removed about 1-1/2" of the cover (which proved to be two separate layers of rubber-like material and a third, inner cover of a thin gray plastic-like material) and discovered that while the copper wire strands were not shinny, they had only some very light green/brown tarnish on the surface of each. I presume that this can be removed with a compound of white vinegar and salt such as we used to use on the bottoms of my grandmothers copper pots, Yes?

I also discovered the following marking on one section of the cable:

"USE <HAR> H07 RN-F 1x35 CDL 213 LYONIFLEX"

Unfortunately, an internet search has not turned up any information on this Cable marking.

I did take the cutting by my local West Marine store on my way home and found that while the cable would not fit in a #2 AWG Lug, it fit a bit loosely in a #1 Lug and I'm now wondering if the wire might not be large enough to take the current demanded by the 1200W Windlass which is some 30 feet forward of our battery bank.

Your thoughts will be appreciated.

s/v HyLyte
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Old 15-03-2006, 08:05   #6
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#1AWG not nearly big enough !
1200 Watts is approximately 100 Amps @ 12V.
a 60 Ft circuit (30' there & back) would require #3/0 or #4/0.

I'm on a teleconference - will reply further later.

"... cable would not fit in a #2 AWG Lug, it fit a bit loosely in a #1 Lug and I'm now wondering if the wire might not be large enough to take the current demanded by the 1200W Windlass which is some 30 feet forward of our battery bank ..."
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Old 15-03-2006, 09:38   #7
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svhylyte,

Quote:
#1AWG not nearly big enough !
1200 Watts is approximately 100 Amps @ 12V.
a 60 Ft circuit (30' there & back) would require #3/0 or #4/0.
I agree with Gord May - for the run you have I would recommend 4/0 tinned cable. It sounds like you really need to replace what you have. Between the size of the cable and the apparent condition it seems to be the only correct solution. Just a note, good quality 4/0 is really not that hard to work with and you will never have to worry about it later down the road.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 15-03-2006, 10:03   #8
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Gordo, By Invitation et al,

Thanks for your observations. At this juncture it is evident that the exisiting cable won't do and we'll have to replace it. I have given thought to the idea of adding a starter battery to the forecabin but the charging issue, added weight forward etc. seem to "weigh" against that, in addition to the fact that my one-and-only would be very unhappy with having to give up a sizable portion of her wardrobe locker. Fortunately I may be able to use the existing cable to pull the replacement cable through the same chases. If not, however, it will not be that difficult to route the new cable.

Now, would anyone be interested in a real deal on 60 feet of 1x35mm copper cable?

Cheers,

s/v HyLyte
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Old 15-03-2006, 10:27   #9
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I expect you may have a European* 7mm cable (non-standard size), which would fit ‘loosely’ into a #1 AWG Lug (diameter of approximately 7.348 or 0.2893").

I recommend** using at least a 2/0 (9mm) Copper feeder, in lieu of the minimum permitted #1AWG Cu (8mm). It would require 250 MCM cable to reduce the Vd to 3%.

Background:
CM = (10.75 x Amps x Length) / Vd
Assuming your 1200 Watt Windlass Motor is 12VDC, and the Total Wire Circuit Length is 80 Feet. Total Circuit length is equal to total Wire Length, consisting of Positive Wire Length PLUS Negative Wire Length (NOT distance from battery to load x 2).

Minimum Wire Size (10% Vd) = #1 AWG Copper
CM = (10.75 x 96 x 80) / 1.2
CM = 82,560 / 1.2 = 68,800
#2 AWG = 62,450CM (too small), and #1 AWG = 77,790 CM (next larger)

Compromise Wire Size (6% Vd) = 2/0
CM = 82,560 / 0.72 =114,666 CM
#1/0 = 98,980 CM, and #2/0 = 125,100 CM

A 1200 Watt Windlass Motor draws approximately 96 Amps at 12VDC and 48 Amps at 24VDC. (Watts / Volts = Amps).

* H07 RN-F is a European cable with a 90 deg C rated (not suitable for inside engine spaces) Rubber insulation.
1x35 means single conductor with 35mm squared cross-section.
By way of comparison #1 AWG cable is 42.4 mm sqrd - & - #2 AWG is 33.6 mm sqrd.

** A Windlass circuit is permitted to have a 10% Voltage Drop (Vd), although I recommend sizing wiring for a maximum Vd of 3%, as far as practicable. In this case, I would compromise on a design target of maximum 6% Voltage Drop.
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Old 15-03-2006, 11:36   #10
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Hylyte, can you get a battery forward with not too much work??? If you can, I would recomend it. Leave your cables in place and use them as the charging line. Connect them to the bank you have now. Not a perfect way to charge, but it will work and gets you going. Then later, you can make it "perfect" when you have the finance. A perfect set up would be a charge splitter and having the battery forward as a seperate bank. You can still use the present cables to connect to the charging system.
Then, from the foreward battery, you can now use a cable of the right size and keep it short as possible. With the cost of cable, it maybe cheaper to do it this way, than to replace 60ft of cable with a heavier size.
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Old 16-03-2006, 07:25   #11
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Thanks to

GordMay, Alan et al for your thoughful and detailed responses.

Regarding the battery forward, I broached the possibility with my better half last evening and the possibility was soundly vetoed (as I expected).

We're going to replace the wiring with 2/0 wire per GordMay's suggestion. I have found a source at "Genuinedealz" courtesy of another correspondent and have ordered 70 feet of cables, lugs, heatshrink tubing et al for a grand total of only $212.32. The cable is manufactured in the US so I'm confident of the quality. We'll post some snaps of the results.

Cheers,

s/v HyLyte
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Old 16-03-2006, 08:38   #12
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HyLyte:
I’m very suspicious of the excellent price you got ($212.32/Lot) - I would have expected a decent wholesale (trade) cost of about $3.50/Foot (3.50 x 70 = $245) for the cable alone. Retail might be >$7.00/ft. Tinned Lugs run about $1.25/ea Wholesale, and over $5.00/ea Retail. Heat shrink is fairly cheap (tho’ not at retail).
For your own peace of mind*, please confirm that the:
Cable is:
Tinned (plated) Copper
Type III Stranded (Not Type II), and Not “Welding Cable”
UL Standard 1426 - BC-5W2
105 Degree C Rated
2/0 AWG (Not SAE)
*American made doesn’t guarantee quality
Lugs should be Tin Plated Copper , Closed End, With-Out exposed Seams.
Heat Shrink should be Heavy-Walled, Adhesive Lined, with 3:1 Shrink Ratio.
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Old 17-03-2006, 09:54   #13
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Gordo--

As to the guality of the product offered by GenuineDealz, we tracked down the manufacturer of their cable and it proves to be Pacer Marine of Sarasota, Florida, one of the manufacturers that Ancor uses to make its own "branded" cable. (As opposed to popular misconception, Ancor is a distributor, not manufacturer.) It's the same cable absent the "Ancor" branding. Unfortunately, Pacer Marine won't sell to the public or I'd drive over to the plant--15 minutes away--and pick up the cable in person.

As far as suppliers, we've found two. GenuineDealz, above, and a similar company, "Genuine Cable and Power", both of Louisville, Ky. (One of the people there indicated that they had decided to operate out of Louisville because of it's strategic geographic location.) Coincidentally, it turns out that a friend of ours that's a NAMS Surveyor used Geniune Cable and Power to provide the same cable to install the same windlass on the very same boat as we have--a Beneteau First 42!


N'any case, after using some spare line to actually pull out the length of the cable runs aboard ship (to ensure we've got the right lengths, the following is what we ordered:

1. 40 Feet of 2/0 Tinned Marine Grade Battery Cable--Yellow Cover; and

2. 53 Feet of 2/0 Tinned Marine Grade Battery Cable--Red Cover; and

3. 15 Tinned Copper Compression Lugs to fit the above Cable; and

4. 1 Foot Yellow 1.1" Heavy Wall 3:1 Adhesive Heat Shrink Tubing;

5. 2 Feet Red 1.1" Heavy Wall 3:1 Adhesive Heat Shrink Tubing.

Excluding tax and shipping, the final pricing came in at $289.44 or about $150 less than the cost of the cable alone based on West Marine's Port Supply Prices!

SO we're pretty pleased with that. Fortunately I have a Nico press tool to "swage" the lugs in place and I'll drill a hole lengthwise in a piece of slotted 2x4 to make neat cuts with a hack-saw.

On a sad note, I've discovered that we cannot extract the old 35mm cable in one piece. It seems that the cable runs along the junction of the deck and hull behind the woodwork in the Salon and then down through the space behind the reefer in the galley which the former owner filled with the most tenacious foam-in-place insulation I've ever seen--effectively gluing the cable in place. Several hours of effort accomplished nada in terms of freeing it so we'll have to cut the loose sections off at either end and abandon the remainder in place. Very frustrating but I can see no other solution.

N'any case, I appreciate everyone's suggestions and observations.

Cheers,

s/v HyLyte

PS: Gordo--If you will explain how to do so, I'll post a few snaps of our work if you like.
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Old 17-03-2006, 13:27   #14
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Rest easy, you done good.
Pacer were my prime electrical supplier when I was working in Ft Lauderdale - great people, great products, great prices!
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Old 21-03-2006, 10:45   #15
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After placing my order with one of the discount houses discussed, it turned out they didn't have yellow 2/0 cable after-all and that there would be a significant shipping charge for shipping 50# worth of cable/connectors et al from Kentucky.

So, looking up Pacer's local phone number to see if I could convince them to deal direct I discovered that I had been given the wrong information (by a vendor) and that they would deal direct as long as one doesn't need shipping. So, this AM I stopped by their facility after dropping my daughter at school and they had everything ready. Cable on spools, connectors et al boxed etc. Total cost? $327.00. (The sales manager even gave me a tour of the plant!)

I can tell you this is some heavy duty cable, and looks to be twice as thick as the old 35mm. It seems to be very supple, however, and should go together nicely. Now I just have to reconcile myself to boring 3/4" diameter holes in the bulk-heads and into the chain locker. (This I am not looking forward to doing!).

Cheers,

s/v HyLyte
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