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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems > Proper way to tap into 12VDC wire?
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Thread: Proper way to tap into 12VDC wire? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-10-2013 01:21 PM
L124C
Re: Proper way to tap into 12VDC wire?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarbonSink62 View Post
Wow. This thread lives on.
I've purchased the 14g boat cable and 2 small terminal strips; I'll scope out the head side of the cabin/head bulkhead for a good place to mount them.
I'm going to go full on professional with the heat shrink crimp connectors.
I need a good 8g crimper for non-insulated battery fittings; I'm getting poor results with yellow slot of my red/blue/yellow Xcelite crimper.
Ken
It not only "lives on", but inspired me! I searched for it before starting a new thread with the same question. Thats why I laugh when people talk about stale threads. Few topics get stale when you are dealing with Sailboats!
I went "full on professional" on my project as well (apparently, with the exception of the boxes from "Rat Shack"). Genuinedealz.com makes it easy. Check them out for your crimper and wiring supplies. They will even crimp the battery cables for you. I'm not related to them in any way, just a very satisfied customer.
05-10-2013 01:06 PM
L124C
Re: Proper way to tap into 12VDC wire?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
I use Velleman boxes. My local electronics dist has a whole aisle of them...
Thanks for this.
Several of the Velleman boxes are similar to the Radio Shack boxes (Velleman probably supplies them). However, Velleman seems to also have boxes that address moisture issues. And of course...We sailors love that!
Velleman Project Boxes - Enclosures
05-10-2013 11:22 AM
CarbonSink62
Re: Proper way to tap into 12VDC wire?

Wow. This thread lives on.

I've purchased the 14g boat cable and 2 small terminal strips; I'll scope out the head side of the cabin/head bulkhead for a good place to mount them.

I'm going to go full on professional with the heat shrink crimp connectors.

I need a good 8g crimper for non-insulated battery fittings; I'm getting poor results with yellow slot of my red/blue/yellow Xcelite crimper.

Ken
04-28-2013 09:59 AM
Maine Sail
Re: Proper way to tap into 12VDC wire?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
L-
There's a reason some hobbyists use Altoid tins and hardshell sunglass glasses, even small Otterboxes and the like on clearance sales, instead of looking for cases in the shops. Sometimes a trip in the supermarket or the dollar store finds tins or plastic containers that are cheaper--with contents--than "real" boxes.
I use Velleman boxes. My local electronics dist has a whole aisle of them...
04-28-2013 09:51 AM
hellosailor
Re: Proper way to tap into 12VDC wire?

L-
There's a reason some hobbyists use Altoid tins and hardshell sunglass glasses, even small Otterboxes and the like on clearance sales, instead of looking for cases in the shops. Sometimes a trip in the supermarket or the dollar store finds tins or plastic containers that are cheaper--with contents--than "real" boxes.
04-28-2013 08:38 AM
slax
Re: Proper way to tap into 12VDC wire?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Most boat builders, and marine electrical installers, will run a port/starboard lighting run and perhaps a third over head run. Each light is then pulled off the main feed in a parallel manner often using a two position bus bar.. Running an individual wire from the panel to the light is nice but not necessary if the lighting circuit is sized appropriately for the allowable voltage drop..

Some even ran one main feed up one side to the v-berth then across the v-berth and back down the other side of the boat. Ericson for example did this on many of their boats. By the time you get to the end with incandescent bulbs the voltage drop gets pretty high if the wire is not sized right....
Having done led lighting for fairly harsh environments (similarly extreme, ancient ocean floor Black Rock City for Burning man, and automated indoor gardening systems) With LARGE amounts of lights using high draws over long runs of wire, it is very flexible in the amount of loss effecting desired output, also with the correct setup (pwm/555/etc) can nicely and cheaply tied into something similar to the described runs above, self regulating and "flashing" quickly enough to not be noticed by the human eye, but slowly enough to reduce the watts/hr usage by up to 60% below the rated, without too much modification to the original structure/design assuming its in decent condition even the wire will be guaged beyond the need for the led's compunded draw on a 12-24v circuit. Lots of planning and a bit of soldering and its pretty easy to work within the boundaries of the original strucure. Not sure of your plannng on getting LED lights out of the box, or contemplating the DIY, nor am I sure of the quality/usability of your current wiring rig.. but to the OP or anyone else, if you are interested PM me and I can dig up some of the pics and schematics for the pwm/555 units, there small, cheep, and can be encapsulated in epoxy with wireon or whatever connector desired, If there is enough interest I can probably put together some project bags with everything needed and the design etched on homemade breadboard rig (dont have an acid etcher ot would offer the pcb too) it survived the playa for several 6week uses, and the az desert for many more 4day events, some of the units are still in use but the original project outlived its life cycle.

well back to wiring in this battery bank and refitting some of bantiks core wiring rig, seems the PO did some work either removing or adding things and didnt label anything he just cut out of the system.. open wires with no clearly defined origin or endpoint depending on location.. gotta love circuit testing..

slax
04-28-2013 04:51 AM
L124C
Re: Proper way to tap into 12VDC wire?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
L-
Not really, but if you look at pictures for any "DB9" type clamshell, you'll see there's a small metal clamp that screws over the wires, just inside the shell. That's to prevent them from being pulled out. Similarly, go to any hardware store, look at the boxes and fittings for BX (armored) cable. There's always a wire clamp inside the junction box, and little red plastic chafe liners to go inside the cable ends as well. There are fittings that bolt into the holes in the junction boxes, again with clamps, even though some folks just run a wire through the hole..
Is the clamp overkill? Most of the time, sure. A knot, a ziptie, some type of strain relief is always cheap insurance though. You never know, when the boat gets tossed by a waqke, who's going to grab whatever is nearby. Like a wire bundle.
No...As I indicated, even the box was probably overkill in this case. Nobody is going to be grabbing these wires. Besides, if I had to add another wire I'd have to drill another hole. They are snuggly contained within the grommet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Digikey and Newark Electronics are good places to get parts, once you wade through the catalogs and ignore any shipping charges. There are a batch 'surplus' suppliers on line as well. Rat Shack? Well, it beats nothing. Sometimes.
Boy! You aren't kidding about "wading". Thanks for the sources. Though my initial search didn't disclose any boxes much better than the ones from "Rat Shack". I'll search further for my next project.
04-27-2013 03:42 PM
hellosailor
Re: Proper way to tap into 12VDC wire?

L-
Not really, but if you look at pictures for any "DB9" type clamshell, you'll see there's a small metal clamp that screws over the wires, just inside the shell. That's to prevent them from being pulled out. Similarly, go to any hardware store, look at the boxes and fittings for BX (armored) cable. There's always a wire clamp inside the junction box, and little red plastic chafe liners to go inside the cable ends as well. There are fittings that bolt into the holes in the junction boxes, again with clamps, even though some folks just run a wire through the hole.
Is the clamp overkill? Most of the time, sure. A knot, a ziptie, some type of strain relief is always cheap insurance though. You never know, when the boat gets tossed by a waqke, who's going to grab whatever is nearby. Like a wire bundle.

Digikey and Newark Electronics are good places to get parts, once you wade through the catalogs and ignore any shipping charges. There are a batch 'surplus' suppliers on line as well. Rat Shack? Well, it beats nothing. Sometimes.
04-27-2013 02:30 PM
L124C
Re: Proper way to tap into 12VDC wire?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
You might also want to put a couple of large zip ties on the wires just inside the box, next to the grommet. That makes them too wide to be pulled back out, ensures that anything tugging on the wire run can't pull something loose in the box. Cheap insurance.
"Real" wiring hardware has options to actually clamp the wires where they pass through, but finding that at Rat Shack, haha, not these days, except maybe for AC power cords.
This is one of the few items of use I've been able to buy from Radio Shack. Every time I go in (rarely) , they don't have something they should carry, or are out of it. Usually, I'm the only customer in a store with three clerks, who know less than I do about the products they carry. I don't know how they stay in business!

Anyway....can you show an example of "real" (ouch!) hardware for this purpose? I've looked all over and this was the best solution I could find. Bought the wire and terminal strips from Genuine Dealz, and they didn't have anything. I was even considering AC boxes, but these boxes seemed less clumsy.
04-27-2013 09:59 AM
hellosailor
Re: Proper way to tap into 12VDC wire?

Rat Shack probably included two front panels because it takes up less inventory than two types of boxes. If you are installing switches or sockets in the box, aluminum is less likely to break when you tighten them down. Did you have to go to the "adult only" section in the back of the store to buy them? (G)

You might also want to put a couple of large zip ties on the wires just inside the box, next to the grommet. That makes them too wide to be pulled back out, ensures that anything tugging on the wire run can't pull something loose in the box. Cheap insurance.

"Real" wiring hardware has options to actually clamp the wires where they pass through, but finding that at Rat Shack, haha, not these days, except maybe for AC power cords.
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