Use of conduit to tidy up cables - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 18 Old 12-26-2013 Thread Starter
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Use of conduit to tidy up cables

I want to tidy up this rats nest. It's a view of the bulkhead between the lazarette, and the cabin :



The old one inch conduits (you can't see one of them, but it's there!) carry 12V and ground to the breaker box. The rest is a mixture of 12V, NMEA 0183, an antenna cable, and NMEA2000. Oh and upper middle of the pic is a 110V cable to an outlet.

I'd like to use a bunch of Ancor self-extinguishing conduit to tidy this up.

I understand that low voltage and 110V should be separate, so I'll use some 1/2" separately for that 110V line.

I think the rest will then fit in one 1" conduit.

Anything wrong with my plan?

I also plan to cover the back of those two electronic units : they are a voltmeter, and a solar charge controller.

Bristol 31.1, San Francisco Bay
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post #2 of 18 Old 12-26-2013
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Re: Use of conduit to tidy up cables

I have an older Mako center console (1991) and all of it's wiring is run in plastic conduit. It takes a lot more pounding than my sailboat ever does and no wiring failures.

On the northern Gulf of Mexico.


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post #3 of 18 Old 12-26-2013
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Re: Use of conduit to tidy up cables

Done properly, conduit can really extend the life of your wiring as it is not completely supported instead of hanging from straps every so often.

the downside is it is now a lot harder to run new wires or replace old ones.. it can also hide corrosion from view.

Personally, I think it is a great idea

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post #4 of 18 Old 12-26-2013
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Re: Use of conduit to tidy up cables

One consideration is that wires run inside a conduit hold more heat. Hence, if you have any wires that are near the limit for being under-sized, putting them in a conduit could be an issue. If your wires are all quite adequately sized, though, should be no problem.
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post #5 of 18 Old 12-26-2013
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Re: Use of conduit to tidy up cables

Auto makers do it every day just make sure wires are correct sized for their load. The hi volt wires (110 here) are better not in closed they develops more heat to disapate. Homes here don't put them in plastic wire looms like that.

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post #6 of 18 Old 12-27-2013
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Re: Use of conduit to tidy up cables

You mention NMEA and RF wires. I'd look at separating those. I'd be concerned that the antenna might cause cross-talk with the NMEA-compliant wires. Maybe I'm just being over-cautious, but especially when you're transmitting (which probably isn't that often), you may experience some issues.

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post #7 of 18 Old 12-27-2013
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Re: Use of conduit to tidy up cables

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Originally Posted by mad_machine View Post

the downside is it is now a lot harder to run new wires or replace old ones.. it can also hide corrosion from view.
What you can do is leave a couple pull strings in the conduit with small steel washers tied to the end. You can either tuck the string in the ends of the conduit Then retrive as needed with a small telescoping magnet or cut a small slit in each end of conduit to secure string until needed.

And avoid using wire with connnectors ( if possible ) inside the conduit, if you can, make a new run

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post #8 of 18 Old 12-28-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Use of conduit to tidy up cables

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Originally Posted by jimgo View Post
You mention NMEA and RF wires. I'd look at separating those. I'd be concerned that the antenna might cause cross-talk with the NMEA-compliant wires. Maybe I'm just being over-cautious, but especially when you're transmitting (which probably isn't that often), you may experience some issues.
Good idea, and thankfully I achieved it by accident! NMEA and radio antenna never run together, by pure luck.

Here's the finished result. I wish I could do something better with the NMEA 2000. Simnet is such a better system, much neater to wire. (and I have a Simnet network plugged into the NMEA 2000 one, works perfectly)



Now I just have to figure out if having the Xantrex charger chassis grounded to the engine heat exchanger (yes, you read correctly) is a good thing!

Bristol 31.1, San Francisco Bay

Last edited by MarkSF; 12-28-2013 at 01:46 AM.
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post #9 of 18 Old 12-28-2013
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Re: Use of conduit to tidy up cables

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Good idea, and thankfully I achieved it by accident! NMEA and radio antenna never run together, by pure luck.

Here's the finished result. I wish I could do something better with the NMEA 2000. Simnet is such a better system, much neater to wire. (and I have a Simnet network plugged into the NMEA 2000 one, works perfectly)



Now I just have to figure out if having the Xantrex charger chassis grounded to the engine heat exchanger (yes, you read correctly) is a good thing!
There should be only one DC negative ground on the engine, I'm guessing you have more than one if the heat exchanger is involved.

Is that white thing in the bottom of the photo a battery box ? if so, either it or the charger has to be moved. You cannot mount a charger over batteries.

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post #10 of 18 Old 12-28-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Use of conduit to tidy up cables

Well the references I've found, state directly over the batteries. It's debatable whether mine is directly over...;-)

The outputs aren't fused, either!

Well Rome was not built in a day, as they say.
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