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Old 08-09-2011, 11:34 PM
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Wiring spaghetti

Moved from another category, the discussion centers around a mess of wires in the engine compartment for the stereo courtesy of the P.O. and jpian's (Jim's) desire to clean them up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpian0923 View Post
I was hoping to square it away before then. At minimum, how do I separate the stereo from the engine wires? Busbar?
I recommend feeding everything except the engine from a DC distribution panel with either a breaker or fuse for each system. This way the wires are properly protected from overload and clearly separate from engine wiring. Attached is my DC Distribution drawing. There's a bunch of stuff on it but if, for example, you follow the wiring from the stereo back to the source it should make some sense.
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:44 PM
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I was thinking I took that thread too far as well.

Thanks for the schematic but I can't read it.

Can you post larger version here or email it to me?

email is @gmail.com with my moyer login in front of the @.
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:31 AM
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Okay, emailed directly and attached as a pdf here.
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File Type: pdf E-2 DC Electrical.pdf (39.4 KB, 914 views)
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Old 08-10-2011, 05:44 AM
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Jim, Neil's advice here is gold-plated. My suggestion is to start drawing a schematic of what you have, beginning at the battery. Then the circuits will become clearer and you can sort out wires that have no useful purpose, as well as find priorities for cleanup. Like Neil, I ripped all the old wiring out of of our boat and replaced it with modern gear, but started by drawing a schematic of what was there originally.
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Old 08-10-2011, 03:31 PM
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I'm developing a "mental" schematic at present, even when I'm sleeping.

I've done quite a bit of wire tracing to see where stuff goes etc.

The schematics I've seen here and in other threads are really helping me understand the system.

My wire colors seem traditional/standard but tracing a wire that's bright red at one end and dinghy red at the other end has caused me some confusion.

Some serious cleaning is needed for sure and then I can start labeling everything.

After that I'm figuring on disassembly or partial disassembly and repairs to some sketchy connections. And maybe some new wires where needed.

Any advice on cleaning up connections and busbars? Sand paper, emery board, wire wheel, braso??

Access is not easy, most of this is one handed work.
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Old 08-10-2011, 04:03 PM
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Thanks for the schematic example.
I've recently adopted an older boat and plan to refresh the wiring at the next haul out, but sail it a bit first. (In part to see what else breaks.) There are multiple generations of wiring and it's currently fairly disorganized.

If I can see your schematic correctly, you have two master switches. One for the house batteries and one for the engine connection. Most boats that I've seen have only one switch, and I think they usually feed both the engine and the distribution panel from the "common" terminal. At least that's how they seem to work.

Mine is currently set up with the distribution panel attached to terminal 2 (the house battery) so it's "always on." I'm uncomfortable with this because I'm not sure that something in that pasta won't draw down the battery when I'm not there. I'm curious if other boats are commonly set up this way?

I can see maybe having the bilge pump in "always on" status, independent of the rest of the panel. Also have a solar trickle charger on next month's wish list.
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Old 08-10-2011, 05:27 PM
JOHN COOKSON JOHN COOKSON is online now
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Jim

When you reassemble use marine grade stainless nuts and washers instead of the "mystery metal" ones that come with the instruments and you will get rid of corrosion on the end terminals.

TRUE GRIT
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Old 08-11-2011, 06:23 AM
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Cleaning terminals: I use sandpaper, fingernails, contact cleaner, wire brush, small scrapers -- whatever shines up the metal. Avoid steel wool: flakes break off and leave rust stains on gelcoat. Practical Sailor is running a great study of corrosion protectors for electrical connections. Find Maine Sail's excellent webpage on crimping terminals.

Alternative to two battery switches: the Blue Sea Automatic Charging Relay 7610 together with the Blue Sea 5511e on/off/combine switch. This unit allows for keeping the engine start and house battery and their circuits separated from each other, while only expecting the crew to know how to turn one switch on or off. The ACR parallels the batteries for charging over a certain voltage threshold, and shuts off to separate the batteries again if the voltage drops, preventing the lesser charged battery from draining down the better charged battery. But also allows for combining the batteries for emergency start if the engine start battery is discharged. Has been a boon on our boat, but some folks like multiple battery switches for more control over their systems. Here is my amateur schematic for our arrangement (as opposed to Neil's much more professional schematic for the other arrangement).
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Last edited by rigspelt; 08-11-2011 at 06:33 AM.
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Old 08-11-2011, 11:46 AM
JOHN COOKSON JOHN COOKSON is online now
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My Approach To Cleaning Wire End Terminals

I don't do it.

If I have enough excess wire I cut the old one off and install a new fitting.
IMO installing a new terminal is less work than cleaning up an old one.
Lots of time the metal on the old terminal will be eaten away and it is near the end of it's useful life.

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Old 08-11-2011, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddster View Post
If I can see your schematic correctly, you have two master switches.
You are correct, I have two battery switches, a house bank switch and an engine battery switch. The house bank switch selects which bank powers the boat systems, the engine batt switch selects what powers the engine. Alternator charge can be directed to any or all banks through these switches as well.

Here is a separate battery wiring drawing and a battery operation/logic discussion from my owner's manual.


Battery switch logic
Kalina has five batteries connected in three banks controlled by two battery switches. The battery switches are located in the dinette, one forward and one aft. The forward switch controls two general use house banks and the aft switch controls a single engine starting battery. Refer to the battery wiring schematic, sheet E-1 in the appendix for further detail. Through these switches it is possible to isolate any of the three banks or combine them in any combination, either for use or charging.

House banks
House bank #1 consists of two group 27 lead acid deep cycle batteries located under the forward dinette seat. Turning the house battery switch to “1” connects this bank to Kalina’s electrical system for use and shore power charging. House bank #2 consists of two sealed AGM deep cycle batteries located beneath the starboard settee seat. Turning the house battery switch to “2” connects this bank to Kalina’s electrical system for use and shore power charging. Turning the house battery switch to “Both” connects both banks together for use and shore power charging.

Engine starting battery
The engine starting battery is a single group 24 lead acid battery located adjacent to the engine. Turning the engine battery switch to “1” connects this battery to the engine system. With the engine battery switch in this position no other batteries are connected to the engine system regardless of the position of the house bank switch and further, the engine starting battery is isolated from all other electrical systems.

Charging batteries from shore power
With the shore power connected, main AC breaker on and charger breaker on, the engine starting battery is automatically charged without regard to battery switch positions. The house batteries can be charged as individual banks or altogether. Selecting “1”, “2” or “Both” on the house battery switch determines where the charge is directed.

Charging batteries from running engine
After starting the engine on the isolated engine starting battery, the alternator output can be directed to any or all batteries. To recharge the engine starting battery only, leave the engine battery switch to “1”. To recharge the house banks, and in this order, select which house bank is to be charged with the house battery switch and turn the engine battery switch to “Both” or “2” WITHOUT SWITCHING THROUGH “Off”. With the engine battery switch on “Both” the engine battery is charged along with the selected house bank. With the engine switch on “2”, only the selected house bank is charged. With the engine battery switch on “2” and the house battery switch on “Off” there is no battery connected to the engine which is the same as switching the engine battery switch to “Off” with the same damaging result as described on page 4, item 15.

Battery management strategies
1. Never use the engine starting battery for general use power. Save it for starting the engine by keeping it isolated.
2. Batteries charge at a faster rate if they’re charged separately rather than altogether.
3. In the event of a low or discharged engine starting battery, the house banks can be used to start the engine by turning the engine battery switch to “2” and selecting which house bank is to be used with the house bank battery switch. Do not attempt to recharge the engine starting battery, it will not deep cycle and therefore must be replaced.
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File Type: pdf E-1 Battery Wiring.pdf (22.0 KB, 721 views)
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Old 08-11-2011, 11:13 PM
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This is probably a dumb question so I hesitate to ask it but, "common" is the same as "both" or "all" on the outside of the switch?
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Old 08-11-2011, 11:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpian0923 View Post
This is probably a dumb question so I hesitate to ask it but, "common" is the same as "both" or "all" on the outside of the switch?
No.

A battery switch has three posts on the back: 1, 2 and common. With the switch in the 'Battery 1' position, posts 1 and common are 'made' (connected). 'Battery 2' makes post 2 and common. 'Both" makes posts 1, 2 and common. 'Off' disconnects all posts.

The usual cable connections use posts 1 & 2 as inputs, common as the output.

edit:
Which raises a question from me: Rigs, your drawing shows a 4 post battery switch. I confess I've only used and therefore only seen 3 post switches. How does yours work?
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Last edited by ndutton; 08-12-2011 at 12:11 AM.
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Old 08-11-2011, 11:37 PM
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Now I'm thinking that it wasn't a dumb question.

Thanks!
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Old 08-11-2011, 11:41 PM
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I don't recall ever seeing a dumb question on this site.
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Old 08-12-2011, 04:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndutton View Post
Rigs, your drawing shows a 4 post battery switch. I confess I've only used and therefore only seen 3 post switches. How does yours work?
Neil, the switch is here: http://bluesea.com/products/5511e . There are four posts. When turned to "on", the switch makes the two circuits independently (engine and house). When switched to "combine", the switch connects both circuits together. When "off", both circuits are broken, disconnecting the batteries from each other and their respective circuits. This switch comes in a kit with their ACR (automatic charging relay). For our simple two-battery day-sailing life, this is sufficient. If I was cruising again or had a slightly more complex battery bank system like yours, I'd want more control I think.
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Old 08-12-2011, 04:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddster View Post
Most boats that I've seen have only one switch, and I think they usually feed both the engine and the distribution panel from the "common" terminal. At least that's how they seem to work.
When we got this boat 3-4 years ago prior to our 2-year refit project, the wiring was original. It had obviously worked fine for 34 years for at least 3 previous owners, but there were some oddities from the 70s that were very different from the way things are done today. For example, most of the house circuits were fed from the ammeter way back in the cockpit to a single post on the engine space bulkhead, and distributed from there! The archives have a great schematic for C&C boats from that era: http://www.moyermarine.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1341 . That old way of doing things worked, but did not allow for adding the new toys that came along in later years.

POs had plunked in new appliances over years, tapping into various power sources and grounds here and there over the years. The only two bolts in the engine's cooling passage side plate that broke off when I removed the plate had been used to attach a ground wire to the block for some appliance. Of interest, most of that 34 year-old non-tinned copper wire was shiny, and the plastic covering moderately flexible, except in places closer to heat and moisture. I still recall the joy of literally pulling all that stuff out during the refit, not quite understanding the pain of installing all the new wiring, but the peace of mind since then has definitely been worth it.
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:30 AM
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Very interesting Rigs.

My education in such components was 40 years ago and I tend to use what I know hence my ignorance of newer devices. Appreciate the information.
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:30 AM
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jpian,

Any progress on the wiring de-tangle? How did it go?
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:10 AM
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No real progress. Still on my list though. Did replace the 2 24DP batteries and cleaned up all the connection attached to them.

Everything still works, and with the great weather...I've chosen to sail everyday instead of work on it.
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Old 09-04-2011, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndutton View Post
I don't recall ever seeing a dumb question on this site.
OK, if you'd like, I'm sure I could come up with one.
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Old 09-04-2011, 07:41 PM
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I spent all day today mostly hunched over my boat's engine (and dripping sweat on it), hooking things back up. I also crawled around in the aft quarter berths, under the cockpit. What a royal pain. It's so tight and awkward under there.

Anyhow, one thing I keep finding is old, abandoned wires. Every time I encounter one, I pull it out.

Today I found probably 25 or 50 feet of coaxial cable, connected to nothing. It ran from above the port quarterberth, across the bulkhead behind the engine, to above the starboard quarterberth, where there was a coil of probably 20 feet tied up with a wire tie, and then forward a few feet to where I'm guessing there used to be a radio or something because there I found a couple more cables with connectors on them that look exactly like what I used to have on my old CB radio back in the 1970s.

Which gave me two more wires to trace and pull out next time I'm back on the boat. At that point, I said, "oh *%&^" and decided to deal with it later.

I also found a red stranded wire of about 8 gauge in size, that was just hanging there with a bare end of wire sticking out. Haven't found the other end of it yet.

The wonders of a multi-owner, 43 year-old boat evidently will never cease.
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:23 PM
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I think I jinx myself.

The weather went south today.

Also, I lost my prop today!

Looks like a great opportunity to do some re-wiring.
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:33 AM
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How did you lose your prop?
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:55 AM
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Backed out of the slip fine yesterday. Went to throw it into forward and it kept going backwards. After docking, went under the boat...no prop! Holy cow!
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:59 AM
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Yikes!

Did the locking nut and cotter pin just let go? Hope it didn't do any other damage.
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