Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Maine Coast
Thanked 287 Times in 220 Posts
Rep Power: 17
Re: Autopilot install with a switch
I got an used autopilot for my Catalina 27 (wheel). I don't have a dedicated switch on my fuse panel for my instruments. I will add that in the near future when I replace the non working depth and speed. Today I installed the autopilot and wanted to put it on a switch in the cockpit. I have attached a photo of the switch. I am running directly from the battery to the switch, then off the switch to the control head, with a fuse inline. I connected the negative to the battery and then connected the positive. All worked as it should, except I realized the switch was in the on position. I flipped the switch off and went to put the positive back on and it created a large spark. It then removed the negative, installed the positive and tried to install the negative and had the same issue. The ring terminal even tried to weld to the battery post.
What am I doing wrong?
You wired a dead short!!!!
A switch is intended to OPEN/BREAK a positive wire and gets inserted into the positive wire (would do the same on negative but in the US we open positive)..
You wired a dead short by connecting battery B+ to battery B- when the switch is made....
ANY WIRES CONNECTED TO THE BATTERY NEED A FUSE WITHIN 7", OR AS CLOSE AS POSSIBLE, TO THE BATTERY + TERMINAL!!!!
Time to get Charlie Wings book, Boatowners Illustrated Electrical Handbook - Second Edition
-Maine Sail / CS-36T
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