Need to extend Icom M802 power cable. Need advice - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics
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Old 06-04-2010
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Need to extend Icom M802 power cable. Need advice

The power cable for the M802 is too short, I need it to be 15 feet. I bought 15 feet of 6AWG wire recommend by ICOM for the extension, but want advice on what is the best installation. Right now my plan is to add a breaker close to the battery and then attached the 6AWG to the existing 10AWG cable wire a few inches from the radio via a terminal block. I would love to wire the 6AWG directly to a Molex power connector but don't know how to do that..

Looking for advice from someone who had to extend the M802 SSB power cable.

Thanks

Chet
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Old 06-05-2010
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Very common situation in many SSB installations. Using AWG4 or AWG6 direct to the house batteries is typical for installations I've done.

You'll want to put a 30A fuse in BOTH AWG6 cables near the batteries. And, you'll probably want some sort of switch near the terminal so you can switch power off. The Blue Sea Systems 6006 is a nice little inexpensive switch...a bit of overkill, but works fine.

Like many radios, the 802 draws a bit of power even when "off", so the switch is useful when leaving the boat for long periods.

BTW, the terminal block makes a good place to attach additional things like meter lights (if you have a lighted SWR meter), VHF, etc.

Bill

Last edited by btrayfors; 06-05-2010 at 06:49 AM.
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Thanks Bill. This is really helpful. Couple of more questions based on your response.,

- I was thinking of putting a breaker instead of the fuse next to the battery, so that it doubles up as switch as well. Would you think?

- Why fuses on both +ve and -ve?

- Do you ever put a molex connector on the 6AWG to avoid the terminal connector altogether?

Thanks

Chet
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A breaker could work OK, but should be really close to the battery. ABYC recommends CPDs (fuse or breaker) within 7 inches of the battery. Often this is hard to do, but a bit more won't hurt.

A CPD on both positive and negative leads protects this circuit against the possibility of a ground fault somewhere else on the boat wherein the radio could be called on to serve as a ground. This could be particularly bad if the faulty device were to draw heavy current.

No, I don't use Molex connectors unless I have to :-) If I wanted to substitute connectors for the terminal, I'd probably use Anderson Power Pole 50A connectors (gray). I use them profusely throughout the workshop and ham shack!.

Bill
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"I'd probably use Anderson Power Pole"
And I'd bet you have the right proprietary crimping tool for them. Which the casual user is going to say "IT COSTS HOW MUCH?!" and just not buy.

I also like PowerPoles, but find them somewhere between artful and problematic if someone isn't soldering or using the special crimping tool. Oddly enough one of my Molex crimping tools works, when the wind is blowing from the Northeast and the weather is just right.
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Thanks Guys, this is really helpful.

One more question. Have you seen anyone wire the SSB to the starter battery? I have a dedicated starter battery that is charged by an echocharger.

Pros:
- It's a lot closer to the SSB than my House battery (less than 10 feet)
- Isolated from the house loads (less intereference I figure)
- It's always fully charged (closer to 13.5V than my house battery a lot of the times)

Cons:
- Obviously don't want to drain the starter battery..

What would you advise?
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Tempting because of location, but I wouldn't do it because:

1. you don't want to take a chance on draining the start battery if you yak all day :-)

but, more to the point...

2. the starter puts a very large drain on the battery when in use, drawing the voltage down significantly but -- worse -- it can put a huge voltage spike on the cable when it stops cranking. Over time, that can't be good for the radio.

Have I seen it? Yes, and a lot worse. When you work on other peoples boats, the horrors of your own boat seem miniscule and almost irrelevant :-)

Bill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"I'd probably use Anderson Power Pole"
And I'd bet you have the right proprietary crimping tool for them. Which the casual user is going to say "IT COSTS HOW MUCH?!" and just not buy.

I also like PowerPoles, but find them somewhere between artful and problematic if someone isn't soldering or using the special crimping tool. Oddly enough one of my Molex crimping tools works, when the wind is blowing from the Northeast and the weather is just right.
:-) :-)

Yeah, you're right, but who amongst us doesn't own a serious hex crimper for, e.g., AWG8 lugs? That works just fine! Soldering the little Anderson buggers is a whole 'nother thing, though :-)

Bill
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Thanks Bill, you have been really helpful! I am gonna wire to the house with the breaker, fuse and terminal connector like you suggested.

Chet
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Bill, what is the saying? You can never be rich enough, thin enough, or own enough proprietary crimping tools?

Chet, as Bill said about the battery. I've seen industry specs that starter motors throw 600VDC in spikes, and truck/bus starters up to 2000VDC in spikes, so actually you want to make sure the electronics (ALL of them) are not powered up at all when engaging that starter motor, or when shutting the engine down (when the alternator also throws spikes).

On cars that was traditionally not a problem as the "start" position on the ignition switch physically disconnected the other circuits long enough to miss the spikes (a matter of milliseconds, literally as the spring was turning the key back to the run position) but on boats, everything is usualy "on" and everything gets hit by the spikes, making spike protection more important--on everything.

And since spike protectors so wear out, most manufacturers don't spend money building them in, only to have owners complain "well how come it didn't last forever". Easy enough to buy a bagful and wire them into every electronic circuit, though. Or, at least, keep them isolated from the starter.
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