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post #8 of Old 02-28-2008
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For some reason, a 30-amp panel sounds awfully small for what you've got listed. A good stereo system can easily use 10-12 amps if you've got it turned up and four speakers attached.

I'd also agree with Btrayfors that the 4 AWG is way too small... For a 3% drop in voltage, for 100 amps and a total distance round trip of 15', wire that is 2 AWG is recommended, and I'm a big fan of going up at least one wire size as a safety factor... If the distance is more than 20' round trip 1 AWG or 0 AWG wire is recommended.

You also might want to re-think the running light breaker setup. You'll probably want at least three switches for the running lights, especially if you have both deck-level running lights and a tri-color.

One switch would turn on the deck-level lights (stern & bicolor), one switch would turn on the steaming light (required when you're motoring), and one switch would turn on the tricolor.

An alternative setup would be one switch for the deck-level bicolor, one for the tricolor and one for the stern light, and you could use your anchor light for both the stern and steaming light when under power.

A digital voltmeter is a much better idea...since they're accurate enough to give you a rough idea of battery charge state. 12.6 VDC is roughly a fully charged battery, 11.6 VDC about dead... 12.1 VDC about 50% discharged and time to charge again.


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Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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