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post #1 of 19 Old 04-14-2010 Thread Starter
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Wink battery wiring

Hello sailors...I have a battery wire ?. I am changing my switch to a blue seas , 4 way, off, 1, 2,and both.I am going to change all the battery cabling. I have a starting battery, and a deep cycle for the what I believe you guys call the house battery. Nothing real fancy, start circuit, interior liting, vhf, couple of 12 volt outlets,auto pilot,run lights,stereo, bilge pump. Leaving some room for modest upgrades, what size cable should I use. Red

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post #2 of 19 Old 04-14-2010
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Try and calculate your fault current.
I take it you have a switch panel for the domestic circuits each providing some form of protection (fuse or CB) as a guide (and I stress guide) assume everything is on = X amps then the item that takes the least has a fault and shorts to earth with a fault current of 12V/resistance of 0 ohms = 12 amps during the time it takes for the protective device to trip = Y amps. Now add X+Y = Z amps thats the the minimum current carrying capacity of the domestic feed between the battery switch and the domestic circuits.
As for the starter circuit check your starter motor supplier that should give you the required current carrying capacity under a fault condition (stalled motor).

Dont forget to put a fuse at the battery swich end of the domestic circuit to potect the cable.

Good luck
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post #3 of 19 Old 04-14-2010
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It really depends on how far the batteries are from the switch and panel, what kind of loads you're anticipating having on the system, and how much of a voltage drop you're comfortable with.

Before proceeding, I would highly recommend you get a good book on 12 VDC systems, like Nigel Calder's Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual, and read it. Once you understand the basics, I would recommend you try and sketch out a rough electrical budget based on how often you will use various equipment and for how long. This gives you a rough daily electrical budget in amp-hours. Based on this, you can properly size the house battery bank and get an idea of what size wiring you're going to need.

I'd also recommend you draw a wiring diagram of the system and clearly label it. This will help you put it together safely and properly.

I would highly recommend you read Maine Sail's article on terminating marine wiring, as it is really one of the best on the subject IMHO...

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post #4 of 19 Old 04-14-2010 Thread Starter
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The panel is less than 3 feet away, I am not changing anything except the guest switch, so I figure there are 4 battery cables, I should change. 1,2 3, AWG??? Red

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post #5 of 19 Old 04-14-2010
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What is your DC panel rated for?

If you're going to have less than 100 amps, then you can get away with 4 AWG wires for the cables. I'd recommend ordering them from Genuinedealz.com, since they can crimp the battery lugs you require onto the cables for you for a small fee.

BTW, 4 AWG wire for a 3-foot run one-way will support up to a 200 amp load with less than a 3% drop in voltage.

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post #6 of 19 Old 04-14-2010
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I just ordered some cables from Genuinedealz.com and I was caught off guard by the size of the battery studs for the cable ends. Had to call the battery makes support line as I was not at the boat to get the size, turns out mine are 5/16. Know the stud sizes and or connection types.
Hope this helps,
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post #7 of 19 Old 04-14-2010 Thread Starter
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My panel is french, with screw in fuses, and some of the devices have toggle switches. Antique, It is on my list for change out. I will probably use 1awg , larger will not hurt correct? Plus when I change panel I won't have to sweat it. I mean I will never have A/C or refrig on the DC. When I upgrade I may do a A/C panel wf some outlets for dockside. Red

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post #8 of 19 Old 04-14-2010 Thread Starter
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How fast is the turn around wf genuinedealz anyhow??

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post #9 of 19 Old 04-15-2010
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Larger is usually a good thing.

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Originally Posted by redhead78 View Post
My panel is french, with screw in fuses, and some of the devices have toggle switches. Antique, It is on my list for change out. I will probably use 1awg , larger will not hurt correct? Plus when I change panel I won't have to sweat it. I mean I will never have A/C or refrig on the DC. When I upgrade I may do a A/C panel wf some outlets for dockside. Red

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post #10 of 19 Old 04-15-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redhead78 View Post
How fast is the turn around wf genuinedealz anyhow??
I ordered from GenuineDealz a couple weeks ago as suggested by SD and MaineSail. The turnaround was just under a week. They really do have the best prices around for tinned wire and lugs. Even though they only charge $1 per crimp, I ultimately decided to buy a battery lug crimper from KL Jack (another MaineSail recommendation) so that I didn't have to get the lengths determined prior to ordering. This is for new wiring, so I didn't have old cables to go by for exact lengths (plus the Admiral never complains when I buy tools). I also found a great source for the Anchor ratcheting crimper that comes highly recommended - only $39.95 and shipping was just about a week. Most places want over $70 for the same tool.
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