Wiring drawing software.

Discussion in 'Software' started by mpe, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. mpe
    Joined: Apr 2012
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    Location: UK Norfolk

    mpe Junior Member

    Hello all, I am in the process of tidying up the awful wiring in my boat and would like to print neat diagrams of the completed system when finished to keep on the boat.
    Has anybody come across a simple piece of software for drawing a circuit?
    I have found some that appear to be excellent (and free) but for too complicated. I don't need a sledge hammer, just a tiny toffee hammer.
  2. boat fan
    Joined: Sep 2008
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    boat fan Senior Member

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  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The software will only do what you ask, so if your understanding of wire diagrams, devices, applications, etc. is limited, it's not going to fix this for you.

    If you're capable of designing an effective diagram, then I'd recommend a pen and paper at the kitchen table. The symbols don't need to be accurate, just write down what it is. Using a few different colored pens, can save you some marking and notation chores.
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  4. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Ike Senior Member

    Good advice from PAR. I started out years ago as an electronics technician, but even today I don't draw in all those symbols. The average Joe (or Jill) wouldn't know what they are anyway. I just use boxes and circles and label what it is. There are a few symbols I do put in because they are obvious.
    a switch,
    a fuse
    a bus bar
    a Battery

    The diagram here is about as complex as you need to get. use the KISS principle. (Sorry it was so big. But I fixed it.)
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  5. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    That's way more work than I would put into one. I'd just write Ignition switch next to a circle, with the Acess, Ign-1, Ign-2, etc. wires coming out. On these I would just write the eventual location (starter relay, coil, etc.). The same with a bilge pump or anchor light. I would assume I'll be carrying the bonds to a bus bar or common lead to the negative bus, so I wouldn't even include these in the drawing. In fact it's often easier just to number the contacts: 1 goes to 1, 2 goes to 2, etc. You just number the locations they need to be at, so come running wire time, you connect 3 at the starter relay and run it anyway you can to the Ign-2 post on the ignition switch (also marked 3).

    Keeping things simple makes it a lot easy, if you wiring job is complex. On a simple boat, like an 18' bow rider or similar, I don't use them, just running each wire as I need them. On a bigger project, some planning is nice, so a simple diagram might get used, if only to optimize wire runs, ganging things together, etc.
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