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Old 06-20-2009
LookingForCruiser LookingForCruiser is offline
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mast is wired - do I need to redo part?

So my mast now has holes drilled and threaded, and wires running through it.

A few questions though:

a. The mast aluminum was plenty thick enough for threading, so I'm going to use screws to hold the lights. Now the brackets & screws are stainless - should I put anything on them so they don't corrode the aluminum? Or would any sealant/grease just end up trapping water and making it worse? Or should I use aluminum screws (on stainless brackets) ?

b. I have the Orcagreen trianchor LED light. This has a pigtail that comes down, with 3 20-gauge wires. So I stripped them a good ways, twisted & folded the wire, twisted & folden again, and then crimped the 16-gauge heat-shrink butt connector to it (with 16 gauge wire on the other side). Now when I went to shrink the heat-shrink, it didn't shrink nearly enough to fit a 20-gauge wire. Also, on some wires there's a little scorch mark from where the flame from my little butane torch hit it.

The bugs were getting fierce, and I was tired, so I just wrapped the whole thing tightly in electrical tape and figured I'd deal with it on a later date. Now I'm thinking the right way would be to clip the heat shrink tubing off the 20-gauge side, and use smaller adhesive-lined heat shrink tubing. Or are things OK the way that I've described?

I also don't like that little butane torch, no idea how I'm going to keep it from leaving little scorch marks. If I do redo things, should I switch to using a soldering iron to heat the heat-shrink tubing? Or just learn to live with tiny scorch marks?

c. No idea how the idea of using wire ties to keep the mast wires from banging around will work, when you've got a set of wires running to the top, and another exiting half way. How do you get the ties on the second run from getting caught up on the ties from the first run? I also read of a solution that said to slide pipe insulation up. That seems feasible up to the spreaders, so I might do that and let the wire hang loose in the second half of the run.
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