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Old 07-04-2008, 18:10   #1
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Radar install question

Hi all;

I have installed our radar scanner on our mast, while the mast is lying horizontal off of the boat. The cable conduits are on either side of the mainsail groove. Rather than running the radar cable down inside the mast with all of the halyards, I drilled a hole on the outside into the conduit.

This leaves 10 inches or less of cable exposed on the outside of the mast as it loops around the side of the mast. I figured I could wrap it with electrical tape to reduce the effects of the sun.

So did I do an ok thing, or should I have drilled right in the front, and run the cable inside with all of the halyards?

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Old 07-04-2008, 18:45   #2
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I figured I could wrap it with electrical tape to reduce the effects of the sun.
Inside is the prefered location and then if it is secured so it can't flog inside the mast. Electrical tape really won't last long with the UV and the salt. if you could do it over I would otherwise I think it's something that come come back to get you.
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Old 07-04-2008, 19:23   #3
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I think inside a conduit (wherever it is) is better than unsecured inside the mast. If it goes in the mast, especially if there are internal halyards, you need to be sure that it can't chafe or snag.

As for UV protection, don't use vinyl electrical tape. The tape and especially the adhesive will break down fairly quickly. You might try some opaque hose. I've heard of people using the outer braid from double-braid line to protect wires, and that sounds like it might work well. I've also had good results with the "self-amalgamating" tape. It seems to hold up quite well in harsh conditions, and will provide good protection for a cable.
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Old 08-04-2008, 02:07   #4
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I’d sleeve the exposed wires with “Adhesive Lined Heat Shrink Tubing”.
Use a coloured (black, white, blue ...) heavy wall, cross linked polyolefin tubing, c/w a 3:1 shrink ratio. (available in 4 Ft. lengths)

Connect to the radar end with a Liquid-Tite Strain-Relief cable connector (Bullet Hub, SkinTop, etc).

Make certain the mast end is “bushed” against abrasion, and sealed against moisture intrusion.
Gord May
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Old 08-04-2008, 13:06   #5
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Consider just using black wire loom to voer the exposed cable.
Hosa Cables, Corrugated Tubing, Hosa Cable, HOSA WHD-410, Split Loom Corrugated Tubing
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Old 08-04-2008, 14:10   #6

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Wire loom!
Split loom or spiral loom, either way, but a real plastic protective sleeve to go over that cable and prevent chafe from the hole in the mast. Under ten bucks will buy you at least six feet in any auto parts store. Eiter one can simply be wrapped around the existing cable run, and then secured with black (UV resistant) tie wraps, or butyl tape.

The only problem that I can see with drilling right into the conduit, might be that the cable has to make an acute bend to get into it--and acute bends tend to become failure points. If it isn't a force-fit, and you don't have a chafe problem, you should be OK.

Do put a "drip loop" in the cable (it should go down and then back UP to the hole, not simply down into the hole) and use something like "coaxseal" to plug the hole against further moisture instrusion. That's another black butyl(?) putty sold in Radio Shack (sometimes) and electronic supply houses. Any other caulk would make a good second choice.
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