DIN Rail wiring opinions?

Discussion in 'Electrical Systems' started by Gashmore, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. Gashmore
    Joined: Feb 2008
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    Gashmore Junior Member

    I am about half way through wiring up my power distribution board using traditional barrier blocks and heat shrink ring terminals. I have been meticulous in routing the wires and labeling but I can tell already it is going to be a rats nest by the time I finish.

    I worked on a French built Beneteau 523 last year that was wired with DIN terminal blocks on aluminum rails. It was very neat and incredibly easy to diagnose but I wonder how well the DIN rail system will hold up on a blue water boat. Anyone have experience with this system?
  2. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    CDK retired engineer

    If it is going to be a rats nest you didn't allocate enough space for your wiring. Using square plastic cable guides with lids improves the cosmetics.

    DIN rails weren't designed to bounce and shudder. It may look good when it is just finished, after a bad weather trip it may look quite different, unless there are bezels around all posts to keep them lined up.
  3. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Attached Files:

  4. Herman
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    Herman Senior Member

    Indeed with some DIN rail and cable enclosure you can get your boards to look organised and be reliable.

    Also label your wires, as per your wiring diagram. This might take some hours more, but if you ever run into problems, and need to troubleshoot, you will gain that time at least double.
  5. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    I am a really big fan of distributed power busses. They make the wiring much simpler, add functionality, and help reduce the nest of wires. Plus they save weight and money.
  6. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Thoughts on electrical systems. If you do a professional job and use the correct materials your electric system will last longer than the equipment it services.

    "Service loops " on cable ends are critical to upgrading equipment without violating the cable run, bundle..

    If you spec out a circuit at 15 amps..upgrade the cabling installation to 20 amps.

    Double up on " control" cables, they are the first cable to fail and inevitably the new piece of equipment require an additional control cable

    Keep " electronics service " out of the main cabling loop...electronics like nav gear fail or must be upgraded very often. Use a separate " electronics " breaker box and separate electronics cable runs
  7. GTS225
    Joined: Jun 2011
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    Location: Waterloo, Iowa

    GTS225 Junior Member

    I'm with CDK on this, to a point. I suggest you do some hard shopping if you decide to go with DIN rail and terminals. Some of the terminal blocks fasten rather tightly, while other brands don't snap on tight enough to survive rough seas. I have also seen a German brand, (as I recall), that had screw clamps that tightened down to the rail.
    Personally, I don't care for the "push-to-insert-wire" type of terminals, I would rather use screw-type terminal blocks.
    I'm an industrial maintenance electrician, and have seen some of them survive baths in resin, organic peroxide, and solvents. I can't speak for salt and water corrosion, only fresh water baths. The terminal blocks came out OK, with the exception of those that got burned from arcing due to the water bath. (I typically work with 480 3-phase, combined with 120vac or 24vdc control circuits.)

    One more thing; If you're planning to run comm wiring in close proximity to motor load wiring, use a sheilded cable for the comm circuits. Motor loads can cause interference in low-voltage comm cables, and some of those might make the difference between coming back to port, or not coming back.

    Shop carefully, label profusely, maybe even use some color designation, and use the covered cabling trays in your electrical panel, and you should come out pleased with the end result.


  8. goboatingnow
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    goboatingnow Junior Member

    DIN rail equipment is generally very good, just ensure you are getting materials rated for salt exposure. Most Din rail connector blocks have zinc plated steel as part of the mechanism. This will rust over time.

    Id have no worries over bounce, there are used in construction equipment etc.

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