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Old 13-05-2021, 08:30   #1
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Single panel mounted blade fuse holder to fit a round hole

I have a 12VDC switch panel with toggle switches and individual fuse holders on a 50 year old sailboat. The old panel was the classic design with a series of panel mounted toggle switches, each paired with a panel mounted glass tube fuse holder immediately adjacent. For the replacement panel, I want to keep the basic design but use blade fuses instead. You can get panel mounted blade fuse holders but they use a rectangular hole which is tedious to cut when you have more than a dozen to install. I would like to find a single blade fuse holder which is panel mounted and made to fit in a round hole (much easier to cut). If I can't find that, I would like to find a rectangular hole blade of the appropriate size for an oscillating tool to cut the holes in the plastic or wood panel. I've had zero luck finding either of these. I know there are plenty of us out there who prefer fuses to breakers, and who prefer blade fuses to glass tubes, so I thought I'd consult with the brain trust here to see if any of you have found a source for either of these apparently hard to find items.
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Old 13-05-2021, 10:20   #2
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Re: Single panel mounted blade fuse holder to fit a round hole

Did you look on defender.com?

I know i have seen a lot of fuse type distribution panels. Personally i would replace it with a modern breaker panel, but ..
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Old 13-05-2021, 11:24   #3
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Re: Single panel mounted blade fuse holder to fit a round hole

Never install exotic or hard to source stuff on your boat. When you'll need a replacement, you wont find it. Also, the more exotic the thing is, the more likely you'll need at least one more than your have spares.

Go for standard-components, preferably stuff used in industrial equipment. They'll make your life hard enough that you don't need the aggravation of the exotics.
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Old 13-05-2021, 11:29   #4
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Re: Single panel mounted blade fuse holder to fit a round hole

the breakers are so nice .. just flip the switch and back to business. but I've never thrown a 12v breaker.
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Old 13-05-2021, 12:00   #5
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Re: Single panel mounted blade fuse holder to fit a round hole

I can think of two easy ways:
1. Cheapest way is to get a Blue Sea fuse block with enough fuses. Hook the switches up after the fuses.
2. Check with Digikey. I though once-upon-a-time I saw some round hole blade fuse holders. Maybe.
3. If you’re making a new panel, check with FrontPanelExpress.com. They do great work, have great customer service, and they’ll make you a custom panel with all the holes and lettering cheaper than you can do it. You’ll probably save enough money to pay for it by not using the circuit breakers.
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Old 13-05-2021, 12:36   #6
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Re: Single panel mounted blade fuse holder to fit a round hole

It would be interesting to hear your concerns regarding circuit breakers.
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Old 13-05-2021, 12:50   #7
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Re: Single panel mounted blade fuse holder to fit a round hole

If you’re asking me, I don’t have concerns about circuit breakers. The OP said he liked fuses and switches. There’s no good electrical reason not to do that.

I prefer to use circuit breakers where the design calls for protection and switching at the same capacity. Where the system design feeds a number of smaller loads from a common feeder, fuses are usually simpler and cheaper than lots of breakers. For example, a 15a breaker for the forward cabin feeding a fuse block with 3A fuses for LED lights and fans.

I use breakers where being able to quickly restore operation after a fault is important, eg a winch or windlass.

I prefer fuses for bilge pumps. Quick to change on the rare occasion when you need to.

I’m not always religious about it. But I don’t like in-line fuses. Blocks are more rugged, take only one hand to change a fuse.
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Old 13-05-2021, 13:04   #8
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Re: Single panel mounted blade fuse holder to fit a round hole

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bycrick View Post
If you’re asking me, I don’t have concerns about circuit breakers. The OP said he liked fuses and switches. There’s no good electrical reason not to do that.
I think this represents most cruisers' views.

I was interested in SieveSailor's perspective.
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Old 13-05-2021, 14:52   #9
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Re: Single panel mounted blade fuse holder to fit a round hole

The idea of not installing "exotic" stuff is nice, but the devil is in the details. Try sourcing the breakers used by Amel in Central America. And nothing else fits the panel holes.

Most toggle switches all mount in a nice, simple 1/2” hole. OTOH, try finding a toggle switch that’s SPST and rated for 20 amps DC. It’s often easier to use a Class A breaker.

One may like the looks of the fancy lighted panel full of breakers looking like the Space Shuttle, but it isn’t really necessary. There’s a lot of trade offs here that most people don’t pay any attention to. "Just buy a breaker panel like everybody else."
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Old 13-05-2021, 17:05   #10
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Re: Single panel mounted blade fuse holder to fit a round hole

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
It would be interesting to hear your concerns regarding circuit breakers.

I think breakers and fuses are both good, and each has their place. But:


1. Breakers involve moving parts which can wear or become corroded and eventually need to be replaced. A bad fuse is much easier to identify and replace than a bad breaker.


2. Fuses come in a much wider variety of denominations than breakers, making it easy to find the exact amperage you want.


3. Changing the current limitations on a circuit by changing a fuse is far preferable to me than swapping out a breaker or installing inline fuses at the fixture. (e.g. replacing your incandescent fixtures with LEDs and their ridiculously tiny wires).
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Old 13-05-2021, 17:10   #11
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Re: Single panel mounted blade fuse holder to fit a round hole

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bycrick View Post
I can think of two easy ways:
1. Cheapest way is to get a Blue Sea fuse block with enough fuses. Hook the switches up after the fuses.
2. Check with Digikey. I though once-upon-a-time I saw some round hole blade fuse holders. Maybe.
3. If you’re making a new panel, check with FrontPanelExpress.com. They do great work, have great customer service, and they’ll make you a custom panel with all the holes and lettering cheaper than you can do it. You’ll probably save enough money to pay for it by not using the circuit breakers.

Yeah Digikey was my first stop, but no dice. I'll check out FrontPanel. I'm not cheap, I just like using off the shelf stuff as much as possible, but I am not fond of the old glass fuses, hence the interest in blade fuses.
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Old 13-05-2021, 17:12   #12
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Re: Single panel mounted blade fuse holder to fit a round hole

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bycrick View Post
The idea of not installing "exotic" stuff is nice, but the devil is in the details. Try sourcing the breakers used by Amel in Central America. And nothing else fits the panel holes.

Most toggle switches all mount in a nice, simple 1/2” hole. OTOH, try finding a toggle switch that’s SPST and rated for 20 amps DC. It’s often easier to use a Class A breaker.

One may like the looks of the fancy lighted panel full of breakers looking like the Space Shuttle, but it isn’t really necessary. There’s a lot of trade offs here that most people don’t pay any attention to. "Just buy a breaker panel like everybody else."

Exactly.
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Old 13-05-2021, 17:19   #13
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Re: Single panel mounted blade fuse holder to fit a round hole

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Originally Posted by Joh.Ghurt View Post
Never install exotic or hard to source stuff on your boat. When you'll need a replacement, you wont find it. Also, the more exotic the thing is, the more likely you'll need at least one more than your have spares.

Go for standard-components, preferably stuff used in industrial equipment. They'll make your life hard enough that you don't need the aggravation of the exotics.

I agree wholeheartedly with that philosophy, simple is usually better. That's why I replaced my old diesel with an electric motor. But a blade fuse isn't really exotic. I'm actually surprised a round blade fuse holder is so hard to find. Blade fuses are commonly available and frequently used by auto enthusiasts, electrical hobbyists, and other DIY types who would probably love to be able to drill a round hole to insert a fuse holder rather than drilling and filing a rectangular hole.
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Old 13-05-2021, 17:34   #14
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Re: Single panel mounted blade fuse holder to fit a round hole

Just thinking out loud - one idea is to make the panel hinged and mount a Blue Sea (or similar) blade fuse panel on the backside of it, with only the switches coming through the panel face. It'll be a cleaner-looking panel, and if you blow a fuse you just swing it open and change the fuse. I can't see a need to have the fuses mounted on the face of the panel. If a particular circuit is so important that it requires a near-immediate reset, you can simply put an auto-resetting blade circuit breaker in that spot in the fuse panel instead of a regular blade fuse and you always have the option of replacing that with a regular blade fuse if it ever fails while at sea.
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Old 13-05-2021, 18:25   #15
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Re: Single panel mounted blade fuse holder to fit a round hole

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Just thinking out loud - one idea is to make the panel hinged and mount a Blue Sea (or similar) blade fuse panel on the backside of it, with only the switches coming through the panel face. It'll be a cleaner-looking panel, and if you blow a fuse you just swing it open and change the fuse. I can't see a need to have the fuses mounted on the face of the panel. If a particular circuit is so important that it requires a near-immediate reset, you can simply put an auto-resetting blade circuit breaker in that spot in the fuse panel instead of a regular blade fuse and you always have the option of replacing that with a regular blade fuse if it ever fails while at sea.

I'm liking this idea...
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