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post #1 of 13 Old 04-13-2011 Thread Starter
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Replacing DC Panel

My Islander 30 has a 7 switch DC panel.

I am thinking I would like to replace the DC panel with something a bit newer with built in gauges for battery level / and electrical load from appliances.

Any suggestions?

( my gut feeling says - just stick with what I have ).
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post #2 of 13 Old 04-13-2011
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Stick with what you have and add a Victron BMV-600 gauge. It will tell you everything you need to know about the state of your batteries.

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post #3 of 13 Old 04-13-2011
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Would be interested to hear suggestions for this as well.

Regarding your "just stick with what I have" feeling, consider the pros and cons:
1) Is the current panel easy to maintain?
2) Is the current panel in good working condition with no corrosion on the connections?
3) Is the wiring behind the panel in good condition and well-organized?
4) How long will it take you to do the replacement, assuming it goes smoothly?
5) What are the chances that things will not go smoothly?

For my part the wiring is atrocious but otherwise my answers to 1, 2, 4, and 5 all tell me to leave well enough alone.

s/v Laelia - 1978 Pearson 365 ketch
s/v Essorant - 1972 Catalina 27
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post #4 of 13 Old 04-13-2011 Thread Starter
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1 - easy to maintain ?? Everything works 100% so yes
2 - same as # 1
3 - good condition - I assume so -
4 - no clue on time
5 - high

- I better stick with what I have.
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post #5 of 13 Old 04-13-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpcAlan1 View Post
My Islander 30 has a 7 switch DC panel.

I am thinking I would like to replace the DC panel with something a bit newer with built in gauges for battery level / and electrical load from appliances.

Any suggestions?
I installed a Victron battery monitor and couldn't be happier with it. It was very easy to install and works really well. It'll provide you with a lot more information than any DC panel will.

That said, I also busted up my breaker panel a bit a few weeks back and plan to replace it if I can't fix it outright. The biggest problem is finding something that fits, because I don't want to do a lot of cutting. I was looking at Blue Sea Systems 10 Position Toggle DC Circuit Breaker Panel

Quality construction, good reviews, lots of pre-made label options, etc etc. But pricey.

The Victron is a lot cheaper and you can mount that pretty much anywhere. Comes with something like a 30ft cable that snaps right into the monitor from the shunt you install near your battery bank. Installation for me was a couple hours and most of that was figuring out how my batteries were wired up because I had never messed with them much before.
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-13-2011 Thread Starter
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- I am not an electrician.
- Always hoping to just 'plug and play' with detailed directions ( good thought though ).
- see gallery for photo of current panel

pervious owner replaced the battery switch ( perko ? ) and did not fix cabinet..
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post #7 of 13 Old 04-13-2011
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Even if your existing panel was absolute toast, it would still be cheaper to buy the BMV-600 battery monitor plus a new breakers-only DC panel than it would be to buy one of the panels that has the built-in digital voltmeter. The monitor will also tell you a lot more about the status of your batteries than a voltmeter or ammeter alone will. I installed a BMV-600 last year and absolutely love it.

s/v Spindrift
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formerly Lippincott 30
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post #8 of 13 Old 04-13-2011
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Its more like unplug and a bunch of work

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post #9 of 13 Old 04-13-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpcAlan1 View Post
- I am not an electrician.
As a boat owner, you are now!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpcAlan1 View Post
- see gallery for photo of current panel

pervious owner replaced the battery switch ( perko ? ) and did not fix cabinet..
Oh wow, what a mess. Here's the install guide for a Victron: http://www.victronenergy.com/upload/...e%20-%20EN.pdf

It's just a "shunt" that mounts next to your battery and sits in between the house bank and all your crap, so it can monitor the flow of power. From there 1 cable leads to the monitor which you can mount anywhere you want. It's very easy to install.
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post #10 of 13 Old 04-13-2011 Thread Starter
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I know - right ?
I am also now a diesel mechanic, plumber, deck washer, electrician - and in my spare time - learning how to sail.

Looks fairly simple - until I get started.

My current panel works perfect - just figured that if I am going to do it, do it right....
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