Great marine electrical article in ..

Discussion in 'OnBoard Electronics & Controls' started by rwatson, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    December/January Professional BoatBuilder - on electrical setup on boats, by Nigel Calder.

    titled "Finding Faults" - its about how to install wiring to avoid failures. I found it a really good read, with items like the principle of battery 'Thermal Runaway", and the need to setup battery temperature monitoring, and the best way to do it.

    Well worth a look.
     
  2. pistnbroke
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    Location: Noosa.Australia where god kissed the earth.

    pistnbroke I try

  3. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    you may need to register to get the latest issue - trust me :)
     
  4. wolfenzee
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    wolfenzee Junior Member

    By its very nature every system on a boat should be expected to fail at some time. It is good to design in a few opportunities for failure as possible as well as making it easy to repair any that occur. Try to not only have the ability to repair every system on your boat but plan it as if you will have no access to ant tools parts or assistance other than what is on the boat...because that is often the case.
     
  5. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    If someone could cut and paste this article, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks
     
  6. Boat Design Net Moderator
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    Boat Design Net Moderator Moderator

    Specific permission would have to be obtained from the magazine/author so as not to violate Professional Boatbuilder's copyright. There's a slight delay, but in this case it would probably be easier and faster to signup for a free subscription at http://www.proboat.com/digital-issues.html (registering provides the subscriber numbers for them to sell advertising and keep the magazine healthy)
     
  7. wolfenzee
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    wolfenzee Junior Member

    Does anyone know the article #
     
  8. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

    Excellent article. Nigel does it again!.

    It is in the December/January issue PBB #134, page 54
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    That was certainly a big part of the suggested strategy - but I found the preventative measures particularly valuable -

    eg Putting 'drip loops' in wire connections, so moisture/condensation doesnt run onto the connectors.
     
  10. pdwiley
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    pdwiley Senior Member

    You mean that you didn't before reading the article? Sorry, not trying to be a smart arse, just that I've been doing that for over 30 years. Expensive electronics and salt water have never cohabited nicely.

    I've found a local supplier of butt-weld fittings in black & stainless steel so that's what's getting used on my hull. 2 90 deg sweep bends, a piece of pipe, a weld-in thread fitting & cable gland and presto, deck penetration probably capable of meeting an IP67 rating. Have to chase up some connectors with suitable current carrying capacity & pressure rating next. I can't afford the ones we used to use.....

    PDW
     
  11. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    yeah - you may be 'in the know', but I haven't come across that concept in years of reading boat magazines (including the articles on wiring) and from reading this forum - that I remember, so its news to me. Look up 'drip loop' in the electronic forum - not a single hit.

    I have never heard of 'Thermal Runaway' either - once again, news to me. Do you use coolers on your batteries too ?

    There's a lot of other good stuff as well.
     
  12. thudpucker
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    thudpucker Senior Member

    Nigel Calder's been writing for years. As an E.T. Student I read his stuff. Later in Class the Instructor could say about the same thing using almost a Different language.
    I thought, as a Teacher, I'd rather have Nigel, than what I had.

    The only unwarranted Electrical failure (in all the boats I've run or fixed or owned) came from "installation errors" or "Operator abuse" or Corrosion from using Cheap stuff.
     
  13. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    That's like saying "the only crashes by airplanes involve the ones that hit the ground!" :p

    'Expensive stuff' will corrode or have failures in the coverings - eventually, batteries will eventually fail even if no mistakes are made in installing or usage. Alternators and mechanical and electronic 'switches' will eventually wear out etc etc.

    I doubt there is any 'perpetual electrical gear' even if it is installed 100% perfectly, there are just ways of making it last longer.
     
  14. thudpucker
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    thudpucker Senior Member

    LOL, good one Watson.
    Corrosion is almost impossible to contain but the better material will last a heckuva lot longer.
    Restraining wire runs and routing with care will account for a lot of failures if it's not done by somebody with experience.

    Another thing you wont see is something like a Cabin, not secured. As you hit a good wave, the whole works comes up in the air, the hull bangs into the water first and then the cabin comes down on the hull.
    In one case, the Cabin came down like a Guillotine and chopped the Whole wire harness in two just ahead of the engine.
    I'd call that a 'poor restraint' failure :)
     

  15. pdwiley
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    pdwiley Senior Member

    Not surprised it hasn't been mentioned in boat magazines. I don't buy them because, the ones I've looked at, seem mainly advertorials.

    Never heard of thermal runaway, no. Keep in mind (if I hadn't mentioned it elsewhere) that my marine background is oceanographic research vessels not small pleasure vessels so we had a lot more electronics, it cost a lot more money and it had to operate under severe conditions for more days than the average pleasure vessel ever does. So things like drip loops are standard, fabricated from pipe fittings and welded in a snorkel shape so the wire has to run uphill to enter. That's how I'm doing mine - welded steel pipe which also avoids possible deck leaks. Nubco has the pipe fittings. Inside the hull, running wire in conduit and using minimum IP56 plastic boxes where you need junctions is both neater and more corrosion resistant. Easy to do at initial construction stage, difficult to retro-fit.

    Battery stuff, no, I know bugger-all because when you have 415V 3 phase gen sets you only have batteries on the UPS. I foresee hassles with batteries....

    I'll have to get that article, for sure.

    PDW
     
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