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post #1 of Old 11-25-2007 Thread Starter
Montgomery 17
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More 12v Troubles and ?'s

I am currently working on my '83 Mac 25's wiring system. I have never really understood what I was looking at till I purchased The 12 Volt Bible for Boats by Miner Brotherton revised by Ed Sherman (second edition), which really helped me understand the electrics on my small boat.

The running lights have never worked since I have had the boat and currently dont still after fiddling with them today. My FM/CD player was hooked up straight to the battery so I rewired it to my control panel(this was the first thing that I have done correctly in my vast trials with electricity).

My wiring system (I think) is not normal. The + and - coming off of the battery run directly to an approximatly 4x12 peice of thick plexiglass with 2 narrow copper sheets running parrell down it lengthwise (one is for + and one for -). This has about 4 seperate + and - studs on it for various items. From one of them is wire leading to my control panel. Also off of it are wires leading to my bilge switch and bilge, and my VHF radio. I dont think this is a good thing but I am not sure. Do my bilge and radio need to be ran to my control panel? If anyhting what is so bad about my switch and fusesless plexiglass control panel?

The main panel works and I wired my FM/CD to it today and it works well. I have a total of four ummmm... switches? to wire different applications too. BUT there is only a place for ONE ground????? I dont get it, shouldnt it have 4 different places to ground things?????? A freind and home electrician told me to splice wires together and ground all the applications on the one ground. Is this correct?

On my control panel, the ground is a copper strip with a ground wire attached that runs to the - point on my battery. I guess that being so then everything that I ground (on the panel and the plexiglass panel) is then grounded to my battery. Is this alright? Should I make a ground that is on my swing keel winch or something?

Do I need a master battery switch for only one battery? My assumption is that the master switch is only there to eliminate anything that may use the battery even when it is not turned on. For example, a VCR still draws a little power when switched off for the clock. Is this needed?

I have a good freind who is an home electrician by trade and good at what he does but I am not sure what he knows about boats. (he is the one that wired up my FM/CD to the battery) I knew that wasnt good but it worked at the time.

Sorry its long but I worte down these questions today as I was working. Thanks for all replies!!!!!!
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