Photos of electrical installations

Discussion in 'OnBoard Electronics & Controls' started by KnottyBuoyz, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. KnottyBuoyz
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    Location: Iroquois, Ontario

    KnottyBuoyz Provocateur & Raconteur

    Hi Fellas

    I'm looking for photos of electrical installations onboard boats. Particularily of any unique or innovative ideas for keeping the wiring neat and secure. Here's one example:

    Before;

    [​IMG]

    After:

    [​IMG]

    I don't get to stick my head in many new production boats on such an intimate level but I'd like to see how the pro's do it. We're currently re-wiring our 1987 express cruiser (originally all household wiring) and are planning a trawler build next spring. Not too much worried about estetics as long as the wiring is neat, secure and safe.

    Thanks.

    Rick
     
  2. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Thats a very good before and after photo. it is very neat and safe as you say.

    The top photo looks like my boat --well nearly.

    I just think that if I had to fault find and trace out a problem I would rather work on the top photo than the bottom.

    Apart from the 1mm loose neg there above the battery switch.

    Why is there red,white,green and black all going into the sub neg bus?
     
  3. TerryKing
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    Location: Topsham, Vermont

    TerryKing On The Water SOON

    Wiring, and troubleshooting...

    The key to reliability is good design, and mechanically-solid construction.

    They key to enabling troubleshooting is an accurate system wiring diagram, with terminal-strip layout drawings and back-of-instrument panel layout drawings, with wires labelled. Then you are not tracing a circuit by following the physical wire thru a bunch of other wires, wiggling it to see which one it is. You hope.

    The US CG standard on electrical systems says quite a bit about mechanical issues in boat wiring. Every time my whole instrument panel goes "Bang!" with a hard wave-front, I think about how good my crimps are!

    I started out wiring patch panels in radio stations, and putting connectors on 7/8 inch Heliax (Coax cable). I see wires in my sleep, still...

    Those wires are going to bounce, hard, many thousands of times. The mechanical attachment is real important. Good lacing / tyrap / raceway etc keeps the wire from flexing at it's terminal with every bounce. That's a good thing.

    (Somewhat) Other Subject. I'm not the expert on all this, but I started a Boatdesign.net Wiki page on Electrcial Systems at: http://www.boatdesign.net/wiki/Electrical_systems

    Please drop in there (There's a 'discussion' Tab at the top), and contribute!

    I'm looking for some schematic diagrams of typical boats of different types and sizes, and lots of other stuff.

    This is a WE kind of effort...
     
  4. KnottyBuoyz
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    KnottyBuoyz Provocateur & Raconteur

    Thanks for the feedback Terry. I've been working on the wiring plan for some time with a number of other fellas elsewhere on the net. Hadn't shared the plans on here till now. See attached PDF file.

    Just a bit of background on the boat. It's a Jacques Mertens designed 28' trawler built in "Stitch & Glue" composite method.

    http://www.bateau.com/proddetail.php?prod=TW28

    [​IMG]

    We'll use this boat for occasional weekend trips up and down the St. Lawrence river and extended (3-5 weeks) in the Rideau, Trent Severn and Erie Canals. Maybe a side trip through the Hudson River, Champlain Canal and Lake Champlain.

    Electrically speaking we want her to be self sufficient w/o the need for a generator relying on shorepower for charging, which is abundant in these cruising areas, and a solar array for maintenance. Largest AC load will likely be a microwave oven, refer and the laptop computers (2). I would like to be self sufficient for a few days on the hook and am thinking about adding a large frame alternator to be able to recharge form the main engine. I'll probably switch the lead acid batteries for AGM's as well. Ease of maintenance is an issue.

    The drawing attached (in Adobe PDF format) isn't totally complete and not all the equipment is specified. I'm also working on a systems mimic panel which isn't included. Any feedback or suggestions are welcome but I won't be revisiting this plan for a while yet.

    I have access to the ABYC standards and as you know they aren't a "How to do it" book. I also have Nigel Calder's and Charlie Wing's books which are great but I find them a little lacking in some areas. I'm currently re-wiring our '87 25' express cruiser and am thinking techniques that I can use to make the refit look professsional. I have all the proper tools and am using all approved marine cabling and connectors.

    I've done some testing of my battery cable crimps and have been able to hang my somewhat substantial body weight from the ceiling with them without failure. I think that makes the basic ABYC standard! *lol* I use a double ratching crimper for the smaller connections. Static pull test on a 12 ga cable & connector exceeded 70lbs to break it. I think that exceeds the standard as well.

    I've attached a couple more contributions I've received from elsewhere.

    PS. I'm sorry I posted this thread in the wrong section. If one of the moderators could move it to the proper category (http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=25) I'd appreciate it.

    Thanks again.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Tim B
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    Tim B Senior Member

    Keep it simple, keep to a colour code. Nothing will go wrong.

    Tim B.
     
  6. marshmat
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    marshmat Senior Member

    KB, that is an excellent example of the type of wiring diagram I like to see. Everything clearly laid out and labelled, colour coded, etc.
    The presence of Xantrex equipment is an additional clue that you know what you're doing (OK, ok, I really like their stuff).
    Regarding the first post, though... I think there is such a thing as too many zip ties! The rat's nest is a pain, yes, but if there's a zip tie every inch, it's a real pain in the butt to add something or to upsize a wire to handle a replacement unit that draws more power than the old one.
     
  7. KnottyBuoyz
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    KnottyBuoyz Provocateur & Raconteur

    Hey Matt

    Thanks for the feedback. It's easy to be seduced by all the options when you're in the design phase. I'll probably plumb and wire for almost every eventuality as I've indicated in the drawing even though when the boat goes in the water it may not have the thruster or windlass etc. actually installed but the wiring will be there and ready. I like the Xantrex equipment mainly because they're Canadian! Go team! *lol* I have an Iota IQ4 charger in our current boat and I just luv it! I was a little leary about going with a combined inverter/charger but a retired Xantrex engineer who helped me out with the original wiring diagram changed my mind.

    Here's a few more that have been haunting my hard drive.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. TerryKing
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    Location: Topsham, Vermont

    TerryKing On The Water SOON

    KB, that looks really good. How soon does this boat hit the water?? When you get to the Chambly Canal or the Champlain Canal, call 802-439-5503 and see if I'm in Vermont, USA. I've never boated on the Rideau Canal, but I've skated on it!

    Two minor questions:

    - Fuse locations on Thruster / Winch: Might it be better if these fuses were close to the battery bank, thus protecting the cabling running all the way to those forward locations? or is the switching you show actually back close to the batteries?

    - Terminal block positions identification: I know you have the wires ID's at their end, but I sometimes find those hard to read. It might be nice to have an ID strip right alongside each terminal block, readable "RightSideUp". I started to do that in Broadcast installations after grumbling about what the heck was what.

    And troubleshooting on shipboard might not be "armchair" and relaxed...

    Also, I like permanently-installed independent in-cabinet lights so you don't have to have the flashlight in your mouth when needing two hands... I spec'd those in some Automatic Test Equipment cabinets and was asked why they were necessary. Later the maintenance manager said "We really like those lights!".

    No design is ever finished unless you lock your office door :)

    Oh: Was that diagram done in Visio?? If so, could I / we get a copy of the Visio file?? I'd like to learn how to do a diagram that looked anywhere near that good!! And I need to do some for the Wiki. Did you use a special template or set of Icons??

    You are setting a standard that's tough to meet!
     
  9. KnottyBuoyz
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    KnottyBuoyz Provocateur & Raconteur

    We should be starting construction about this time next year. I think I'll actually be able to get it in the water the following spring and fit it out while it's in the water. Plan is to build "out of pocket" so it'll look like a workboat finish at first then progress towards the complete fit out over the next year or two.

    Will do.

    Understood. I haven't gotten to the point where I've actually spec'd a particular windlass or thruster so I have "guestimated" loads. I think most equipment mfgr's provide or spec circuit protection and recommended installations. The batteries will be close, I'll be mounting them midships deep in the bilge so the runs will be short.

    I've got one of those fancy Dymo labellers that I plan to use a lot. I've plenty of experience labelling wiring and I find that the best choice.

    Absolutely. I've got a bunch of LED's and am tinkering with them for that purpose and a systems mimic panel.

    Visio 2007. You'll have to get the admin to allow .vsd files to be uploaded. I've got a slightly older version of that drawing you can play with. I used a lot of the standard icons in the Visio library and drew what I couldn't find. The entire back of the electrical panel I drew myself. It's easy and quick once you catch on. I followed Alden Trull's examples as the basis as well as the wiring diag's for the Coast Guard 47' MLB's.

    http://www.midcoast.com/~aft/index2.html

    It's not hard. All those drafting classes in Highschool & College helped I think! I could have used AutoCad but Visio is much quicker.
     
  10. TerryKing
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    Location: Topsham, Vermont

    TerryKing On The Water SOON

  11. KnottyBuoyz
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    Location: Iroquois, Ontario

    KnottyBuoyz Provocateur & Raconteur

    Mimic panel. Have you ever seen the damage control panels on ships? The ones with indicators as to the status of water tight doors, emergency pumps etc.? This is something similar that uses LED's to indicate the status/operation of various systems. The one I've attached is a fake but should illustrate the concept.

    XP caused me problems renaming the file. It wanted to suck it into our document management system which choked on the file type. I've zipped it up.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. TerryKing
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    Location: Topsham, Vermont

    TerryKing On The Water SOON

    Mimic Panel

    OK, OK, got it.. just never heard that term. We used to call them "Pictorial Status Panels", I think...

    It would be cool to find a good material to put the graphic on that could have the LED's come thru well from behind.

    I'm looking to have a helm position that is totally sealed plastic from the outside, that can take multiple pails of seawater thrown at it, but includes decent visibility of a large LCD panel, most-necessary switches and controls, and helm-position display of variables like engine and electrical system 'gauges'.
    I keep hearing about high-end 'waterproof' electronics like chartplotters and radars that end up 'fogged' inside their displays. Yuck...

    Oh, the Zipped file was fine! I gotta get more Visio time.... Thanks!
     
  13. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    I haven't tried using Visio for more than the most basic block diagrams. Good to know it's capable of more.
    I'm a lot more familiar with OrCAD for electrics. Still learning it, but it's incredibly powerful and it's possible to create your own component libraries. Knowing the input power needs of all your equipment it would be pretty easy to model everything in OrCAD, lay out the schematics, and actually simulate the power flow including any weird feedback or interference effects, as well as where things are likely to blow. Would be more work than the Visio method but it'd give me a lot more confidence in my system.
    Frosted plexiglas, perhaps? (The stuff they sell for bathrooms.) Take two pieces. Print the graphics on one, leaving the lamp spots white. Print only the lamp spots on the other, and drill them out. Stick the two together and glue the LEDs in the holes.
    Good idea. "Waterproof" equipment means it won't be fried by a dousing, not that it will still be in pristine shape afterwards. Keeping the water off in the first place is the best option.
     
  14. TerryKing
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    TerryKing On The Water SOON

    Tools!

    Matt, as much as I would find it recreational to go off on a discussion of tools, software tools, etc, I'll try to be good...:D Each of us carries our tool history with us. Every time I change continents the last few years, I bring my torque wrench, my DMM and a few other favorites...

    I've used ORCAD quite a bit, even did a full PCI card with a DSP on it once. That was not what I recall as a lot of fun, and I had to do it away from home. Actually, I did start with a similar card, to be accurate. But Anyway, I'm not good on Visio yet, but if (a boat type) someone was starting from scratch, I bet Visio would be good to cover the non-hull-design stuff including electrics, plumbing, panels etc.

    I like the plexiglass idea, although today "Polycarbonate" (Lexan) is easy to get and stronger. I wonder if it has that "transmit light sideways" effect like plexiglass?? I bet it could be done so that it could be edge-lit at night with orange or red LEDS.

    I like the double-layer-layout idea. Mounting the LED's and stress-relieving their attaching leads with clear RTV would cushion them a bit, but still allow one to be dug out if it failed.

    Why is it SO easy to get side-tracked onto something like this :p

    If It don't have blinkin' colored lights it ain't fun...
     

  15. marshmat
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    Location: Ontario

    marshmat Senior Member

    Lexan has a refractive index of 1.59, Plexiglas (acrylate) is 1.49. Your edge-lighting effect should still work; if anything, it might work better.
    Why? Sheer coolness, is why. Gotta look hi-tech and all. If your helm looks like the pilot's station of the Starship Enterprise, so much the better.
     
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