Electrical Mystery. Need help. - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 18 Old 03-30-2012 Thread Starter
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Electrical Mystery. Need help.

This is a question for all the electrically inclined folks out there because it has me absolutely baffled.

When I turn on the instrument circuit breaker, the wind speed and tri-data displays take about 10 minutes before they come on. Same thing with the autopilot.

What in the world would cause a 10 minute delay in supplying power to devices when the breaker is turned on?!

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post #2 of 18 Old 03-30-2012
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Corrosion in the breaker maybe. Check the contacts. Low amperage makes electronics do funky stuff.
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Re: Electrical Mystery. Need help.

I didn't notice an at the breaker panel, but I'll check the length of the wire runs as best I can. Low amperage could make sense, Ill try to measure resistance as well.

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post #4 of 18 Old 03-30-2012
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Re: Electrical Mystery. Need help.

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Originally Posted by creedence623 View Post
This is a question for all the electrically inclined folks out there because it has me absolutely baffled.

When I turn on the instrument circuit breaker, the wind speed and tri-data displays take about 10 minutes before they come on. Same thing with the autopilot.

What in the world would cause a 10 minute delay in supplying power to devices when the breaker is turned on?!
I think I'd also suspect the breaker itself. Does this problem affect everything on this breaker? They can get temperamental when they get old.

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post #5 of 18 Old 03-30-2012
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Re: Electrical Mystery. Need help.

Is it always ten minutes? Or is it one minute sometimes, five sometimes, ten sometimes, fifteen sometimes, etc.?

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Re: Electrical Mystery. Need help.

The only things on this breaker are the 2 Raymarine displays: wind speed/direction, and a tri-data. The autopilot circuit breaker is separate and the autopilot has the same 10 minute delay.

While the delay isn't exactly 10 minutes, it is consistantly the same amount of time before powering up.

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post #7 of 18 Old 03-30-2012
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Re: Electrical Mystery. Need help.

What is the state of charge, 12.2 or under will cause some delays.
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Re: Electrical Mystery. Need help.

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Is it always ten minutes? Or is it one minute sometimes, five sometimes, ten sometimes, fifteen sometimes, etc.?
Right, if it's a bad connection you'd expect it to be somewhat random. You'd also expect it to turn off sometimes (this is what happens with my depth sounder and spreader lights..).

I don't know, something time dependent makes me think heat. Perhaps there is a marginal, highly resistive connection which heats up causing it to change shape and make a better connection. But it's highly unlikely that it could happen independently on two different circuits.

Do they all come on at the same time? Do you have a voltage meter on your panel, is it reading ok? Bottom line I think you need to get out there with a multi-meter and start following the circuit path. Measure the voltage along the way. At least it's re-producible.

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Originally Posted by creedence623
I didn't notice an at the breaker panel, but I'll check the length of the wire runs as best I can. Low amperage could make sense, Ill try to measure resistance as well.
The length of the wire shouldn't be a factor. Remember to keep things straight, low current would be caused by high resistance which would also cause low voltage at your load. You can't have one of these things without the others, ohms law always holds true.

Generally I can't see how high resistance/low current/low voltage would cause a delay - it should result in no operation or flaky operation but not a delay behavior.
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post #9 of 18 Old 03-30-2012
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Re: Electrical Mystery. Need help.

If your having other ccts affected I'd start looking for grounding issues...

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post #10 of 18 Old 03-30-2012
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Re: Electrical Mystery. Need help.

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Right, if it's a bad connection you'd expect it to be somewhat random. You'd also expect it to turn off sometimes (this is what happens with my depth sounder and spreader lights..).
That was my thinking as well.

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The length of the wire shouldn't be a factor.
I think he means "I will check all parts of the wire" rather than "I will measure the length and see if the resulting number indicates a problem."

That said, longer conductors provide linearly greater resistance.

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