Quick disconnect at mast for wiring? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 18 Old 09-03-2006 Thread Starter
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Once again, thanks for all the great advice!

With all the rain here in South Florida you're giving me great ideas to investigate on the Web waiting for it to dry out a bit. Thanks.
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post #12 of 18 Old 11-11-2006
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Connectors can and eventually/more than likely/on a scale of 1 to 10, a solid 8 will expreience some corrosion. Here in the north reigons if the mast needs to be unstepped, connectors are the only way to go. The more that they can be out of and protected from the elements...will be in our best interests. The image is from my Pacific Seacraft 32' PH. The conections are inside of the mast and they are covered up but still experience some corrosion every year that must be cleaned up.

Last edited by RickBowman; 04-16-2007 at 12:33 PM.
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post #13 of 18 Old 11-11-2006
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BTW, if you do bring any of the mast wires down below, through a cable clam or something similar, don't forget to leave enough slack for a drip loop. This will allow the water that does get in, and it wiil, to drip off the cable rather than drip directly onto the terminal strips.

Boeshield T-9 and a good anti-corrosion electrical grease go a long way to making quick connect plugs last a long time.

While terminal strips are workable, they are generally not as good for blocking RF interference, and for that reason may be very bad for some masthead equipment, like wind sensors. They also take considerably more time to disconnect/connect and are far more prone to error than polarized multi-pin quick connect plugs are...

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post #14 of 18 Old 11-11-2006
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"The conections are inside of the mast and they are covered up but still experience some corrosion every year "
Rick, that just means you have UNSEALED connections located inside the mast. Shelter is not enough, they must be sealed. As SD mentions, a good silicon grease will go a long way. Sold as "dieletric grease" "vacuum grease" or "high temperature brake grease", it doesn't migrate and it allows the direct metal-to-metal contact under it while blocking all water/air from entering.
Depending on how you buy it, from $4/oz. to $4/8oz. for what is mainly the same product.

If you start with a commercial grade fitting, which has water-resistant fittings (i.e. o-rings) in the cable entries, and fully tinned (corrosion resistant) contacts for the wires, and you pack the fitting with the right grease before securing it, it will exclude even salt air and require zero maintenance.

The alternative is to pack whatever other connector you can find, and then cover it with adhesive filled heat shrink, or "coax seal" aka self-vulcanizing butyl or silicone tape, which forms a single rubber vapor-proof boot over it.

Even with those seals, water vapor can migrate inside of inferior wiring, especially braided wires. There is air in the braid, and every time the wire warms up the air goes out, to be replaced as damp air is sucked in when the wire cools down. So, selecting better grade wires and sealing them at BOTH ends, is also a good idea. That can be more silicon grease, or liquid vinyl applied in multiple layers. But the point is, once you appreciate all the ways corrosion can get in--you can keep it out. It takes some extra time and money, but even a good dose of silicon grease can be "enough" to get you through yearly usage.
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post #15 of 18 Old 11-13-2006
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A good discussion about using dielectric grease. I have the tube but not the sence that Neptune gave a Dolphin to rememer to use it. It's that darn ceremonial chill of casting off that I get interferring with proceedure. I will leave a sticky note on the mast base. Thanks hellosailor, and thanks sailingdog.

Last edited by RickBowman; 04-16-2007 at 12:32 PM.
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Rick, using grease and goop kinda becomes a religious matter, or at least a lifestyle choice. It helps to have multiple tubes of stuff, 35mm film cans if you can still get them, little stashes so "I forgot" no longer works.

Once you get into the cult of "everything needs some kind of goop" it becomes second nature. Maybe LocTite, maybe NeverSeize, maybe Silicon Grease...but once you get used to ALWAYS putting something on bolts and connectors, it becomes habit.

Kinda like the way some of us cityfolk *always* throw a lock when we close a door. No concious thought involved, it just happens.
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post #17 of 18 Old 11-13-2006
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you can also use tractor trailor light plug fittings cole/hersey in Boston. these can go to 9 pin i believe regular are 7 pin. also there are multi pin computer connectors up to 40 pin if i remember right (so you can gang multiple components in one plug) you should be able to get these from cos. that tear apart old main frames if there are any left these plugs are really well designed and built (imo) just keep them out of the water which is another subject.
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post #18 of 18 Old 11-13-2006
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Mike-

Even the tractor trailer type fittings will require some sort of dielectric grease to help prevent corrosion. Water isn't the only problem in a marine environment. Air-borne salt is also a problem.

Rick-

That's a lovely image of you...

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