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  #21  
Old 02-26-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maccauley123 View Post
SD, to control each of the lights I have fixtures that each have a switch. The switch on the main panel would be used to energize the cabin light circuit and I can then turn each one on/off at the fixture
Notwithstanding all of the danger warnings that have gone before, look again at the series circuit shown above. The electricity in a series circuit has to be able to pass through one appliance to get to the next one. If your lights each have a switch on them and you switch any one of them off, you switch the whole circuit off.

To put it in more understandable terms - imagine a hose pipe with ten ball valves along it. Turn any one of the valves off and visualise how much water will come out of the end of the hose.

(I think I got that right?? )

Andre
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  #22  
Old 02-26-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
Notwithstanding all of the danger warnings that have gone before, look again at the series circuit shown above. The electricity in a series circuit has to be able to pass through one appliance to get to the next one. If your lights each have a switch on them and you switch any one of them off, you switch the whole circuit off.

To put it in more understandable terms - imagine a hose pipe with ten ball valves along it. Turn any one of the valves off and visualise how much water will come out of the end of the hose.

(I think I got that right?? )

Andre
Andre, in this case, I don't think you did..

Cabin lights typically have a switch on them which is wired internally as part of the fitting. Connections are made to terminals *before* the internal switch.

If maccauley123 wires them up the way he said he was going to, then he will be able to turn each one off individually or turn them all off together at the main panel.
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  #23  
Old 02-26-2008
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Actually, you've missed the point... Andre is talking about what happens if you have a set of lights hooked up in SERIES, and you turn one of them off... they all go dark.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
Andre, in this case, I don't think you did..

Cabin lights typically have a switch on them which is wired internally as part of the fitting. Connections are made to terminals *before* the internal switch.

If maccauley123 wires them up the way he said he was going to, then he will be able to turn each one off individually or turn them all off together at the main panel.
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  #24  
Old 02-26-2008
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Wow, you've got me confused now!!.. and I actually read this thread (now, now, don't act so stunned!) and mostly agree with what you and Duffer have posted.

..unfortunately, your circuit (as good as it is) doesn't show the fixture light switches.
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  #25  
Old 02-26-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
Wow, you've got me confused now!!.. and I actually read this thread (now, now, don't act so stunned!) and mostly agree with what you and Duffer have posted.

..unfortunately, your circuit (as good as it is) doesn't show the fixture light switches.

At least the thread is not how to run composite LPG tanks together and what kind of connectors to use (thread coming up shortly as I discovered that Britain, US, and Norway all use different connections....) Talk about standards mismatch (and feel the pain for cruisers that go somewhere)...

None the less back on topic... Original poster you should by all means avoid doing anything in series for the before stated reasons... a DC circuit breaker providing the input for the parallel connections to each of the lights will do fine as it is a single source to cut them off and turn whatever ones on - that were left on... It really is not that confusing ...But if it is hire someone to come out for an hour to explain and walk you through- will be money well spent... I do that all the time on systems I am not totally confident on and most good consultants will gladly share knowledge plus their hourly rate and tell more sharing a liquid beverage of some said alcohol content...

This thread I agree has made wiring lights more complicated than need be... but then I am still trying to figure out the gizmodo that another thread posted and have not yet won the 1858 Scotch Whisky Label Scotto de Bellegario so there ya go....

It is a DIY job..here is yet another obscure link on wiring: http://www.screamandfly.com/home/hul...4/wiring_1.htm
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  #26  
Old 02-26-2008
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The reason I didn't show the individual fixture light switches is because they are integral to the light fixture, and not wired separately... if you've bought a marine light fixture and the switch wasn't built into the fixture, you've done something very strange. When you're wiring up a marine light fixture, you're only attaching wires to the fixture... so I showed just the fixture as a unit. Besides, overly complicating a drawing when you're trying to explain a very basic electrical principle is a bad idea. Sorry to confuse you with all the three-syllable words...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
Wow, you've got me confused now!!.. and I actually read this thread (now, now, don't act so stunned!) and mostly agree with what you and Duffer have posted.

..unfortunately, your circuit (as good as it is) doesn't show the fixture light switches.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Last edited by sailingdog; 02-26-2008 at 08:18 AM.
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  #27  
Old 02-26-2008
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I've seen a couple of references to breaker / fuse size in this thread which concern me. The reality is that the breaker size is determined by the wire size. Too big a breaker and the wire becomes the weak link in the system and will burn in an overload situation. The breaker size (ampeage) is determined by the wire size (gauge) which is determined by the sum of the load and a safety factor (amps). Failure to do this properly equals fire.

The voltage isn't as much of an issue to safety, amperage is. Wattage = volts X amps, so if the voltage is less for a given wattage, the amps will increase accordingly. In the case of 12 volts vs 120 volts the amperage with be 10 times as much for a given wattage.

Than being said, with all due respect to all concerned, I've seen references ranging from correct to frightening in this thread. If someone doesn't know what they are doing they could wind up at the minimum doing damage, if not killing someone.

If you don't know what you are doing HIRE AN ELECTRICIAN.
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  #28  
Old 02-26-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjrogers View Post
The reality is that the breaker size is determined by the wire size. Too big a breaker and the wire becomes the weak link in the system and will burn in an overload situation. The breaker size (ampeage) is determined by the wire size (gauge) which is determined by the sum of the load and a safety factor (amps). Failure to do this properly equals fire.
mj, you are correct that wire is sized depending on the load and a safety factor. However, the breaker/fuse is sized either to the wire or to the load, depending on the location on the electrical system. A very simple system will have a 12V battery, a DC Main Panel and branch circuits.

The 12V battery has a fuse protecting it, and that one is sized to the battery wire. The Main Breaker of the DC Panel is sized to the total load on the panel (sum of all circuit currents). However, on the individual branch circuits is where things change.

One of the branch circuits has a Rule 360 bilge pump, which draws 2.1 amps and will probably be wired with a #18 gauge (not taking into account voltage drop, wire length, bundling or any other de-rating issue). Outside of engine space, a #18 will give you 20A according to industry tables. The fuse or the breaker is a 2.5 Amp. The reason behind it being fused to the load on the branch circuit is that if you have a short circuit of say 18 Amps, and your breaker/fuse was 20Amp, the breaker will not protect the load. However, if you fuse to the load, with a 2.5Amp fuse, you will be protecting BOTH the load and the wire.

So, in branch circuits, you size the fuse/breaker to the load.
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  #29  
Old 02-26-2008
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This is only true if you've wired the circuit with wire of a heavier gauge than necessary for the load and run length. Generally, I prefer to oversize the wiring on my boat by a bit...going up a size in wire gauge, since oversized wiring is generally not the problem undersized wiring is, and it reduces the voltage drop at the terminal end as a bonus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xtatico1404 View Post
One of the branch circuits has a Rule 360 bilge pump, which draws 2.1 amps and will probably be wired with a #18 gauge (not taking into account voltage drop, wire length, bundling or any other de-rating issue). Outside of engine space, a #18 will give you 20A according to industry tables. The fuse or the breaker is a 2.5 Amp. The reason behind it being fused to the load on the branch circuit is that if you have a short circuit of say 18 Amps, and your breaker/fuse was 20Amp, the breaker will not protect the load. However, if you fuse to the load, with a 2.5Amp fuse, you will be protecting BOTH the load and the wire.

So, in branch circuits, you size the fuse/breaker to the load.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #30  
Old 02-26-2008
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Sailingdog,
I made the series comment again because you hade posted:

"It really depends on how the boat is wired... you can have the boat wired in series or parallel...."

and I was looking for some clarification on the series comment you made.
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