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Old 05-02-2012
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Re: Wiring & Installing A Battery Monitor

Really great information here. I am installing a Blue Sea Systems monitor (VSM 422 Vessel Systems Monitor) over the next 2 weekends along with an upgraded battery bank, high output alternator, etc.

I have a 1987 Catalina 34 that was built with #4 wire for all high load positive and negative wire. Due to very helpful information at the Catalina 34 Organization website (thanks Stu, Jim, and others), I am familiar with the limitations of this stock wiring size and distances, and I am addressing some of this with an upgrade to various components. My Blue Sea monitor looks to be a similar setup, and I now understand how to configure the shunt with negative loads downstream.

My question is what to do if also installing an inverter that calls for 2/0 wire to support high DC loads. Assuming the negative needs to be a similar size, will I also need to use this size negative wire from the battery to the shunt and from the shunt to the negative load bus bar? According to the wire sizing chart I referenced, #4 wire can only support up to 100 amps over a short distance and the negative should not be more than 1 size smaller than the positive.

Thanks. I think this is one of the last pieces of the puzzle to complete my wiring plan.

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