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  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-20-2014 04:05 PM
Re: Autopilot install with a switch

Let's cut the OP some slack. He screwed up. He knows that, we know that, no need to keep beating him up about it . After all, there are only two types of people answering the OPs question in this thread:
1. Those who have screwed up at least once in the past
2. liars
So, let's not miss the fact that the OP did a smart thing. Instead of repeating his error with a new switch, he stopped and asked for some advice.
Even better, he got some good advice, quickly.
Even betterer, the OP is following it.
02-19-2014 11:09 PM
Re: Autopilot install with a switch

Everybody has been ignorant at some point or another, there need not be shame in that. Fortunately, it's curable - unless you're *willfully* ignorant, but that's a different (and harder) problem. The rare talent is being able to recognize your own ignorance. Seeing it in others is all too easy.
02-19-2014 01:40 AM
Re: Autopilot install with a switch

Stupid isn't the term I would use, but certainly ignorant as far as electrical wiring. He should either get the book linked to or hire somebody qualified before he either does some damage or hurts himself.
02-19-2014 01:31 AM
Re: Autopilot install with a switch

My suggestion to test the switch was so that in doing so he would find out what he was doing wrong on his own ...saying someone is stupid really doesn't help...
02-18-2014 02:04 AM
Re: Autopilot install with a switch

Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
On a SPST switch it doesn't matter. You are connecting one side with the other.

This is a SPST

This switch is a SPDT and the center is the input.

Charlie's book could turn out to be a best seller.

Forgot the sarcastic font again. Sigh.

Dead short was the wrong term as it referred to a circuit, I rescind that statement.

What I was so awkwardly trying to get at was that it is just a basic switch, there are no options, off no continuity, on continuity. It just closes a gap, there are only two ways it can fail, open or closed. If you put that between the poles of a battery, and have to ask a community forum what is wrong, maybe electrical just isn't for you.

With another user suggesting they test this switch as it could be broken from factory, when the OP has :

A: Proof it works (almost melted ring terminal to battery)
B: Clearly no clue what he is doing.

This only furthers to confuse the problem, people who don't know how to troubleshoot telling people that have no knowledge or concept what to do.

It isn't that difficult, but the consequences for failure can be dire.

If you had absolutely no clue how to put in a thru hull would you just come and drill a hole in your boat?

How many fires on board are attributed to shoddy electrical?

Not only are you risking your personal health and safety, but you risking damage to other peoples property as well as their health and well being. Is that really worth not learning how to do it right? Or pay someone to do it?

When your boat burns down and writes off mine next to it and all I receive for that is actual cash value for my 5ksb? Thanks, I really appreciate it. Didn't work hard for that at all.
02-18-2014 12:58 AM
Re: Autopilot install with a switch

On a SPST switch it doesn't matter. You are connecting one side with the other.

This is a SPST

This switch is a SPDT and the center is the input.

Charlie's book could turn out to be a best seller.
02-17-2014 11:20 PM
Re: Autopilot install with a switch

Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
To give a dead short? No.

A SPST switch is designed to connect the incoming wire with the outgoing wire. Both wires are POSITIVE.

The op connected a positive to a negative and that is a dead short. No different than tossing a crescent wrench across the battery posts, he just used small gauge wire that burns faster!
Of course. Thats exactly what it is. So which side is which? Im having trouble figuring out what one is the outgoing..... Is it labeled?

And yes, my post was rather non answer, but if you cannot figure out a switch, maybe it is something better left to the professionals.

There are plenty of other projects you can do that leave the rest of the people moored near your boats in less jeopardy when you do it horribly wrong.

What kind of draw is your autohelm using, is your wire sized accordingly? Where is the overcurrent device? These are factors to be concerned about when doing electrical work, having both sides of the battery hooked up to either side of your switch suggests that you haven't thought about these other concerns.
02-17-2014 10:19 PM
Re: Autopilot install with a switch

Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post

Time to get Charlie Wings book, Boatowners Illustrated Electrical Handbook - Second Edition
I'll second Maine Sail's recommendation. The best book I have seen on the subject, easy to understand and up to date.
02-17-2014 10:15 PM
Re: Autopilot install with a switch

It was a mistake and you're still alive, if the auto polite is still ok, no harm, no foul and you learned something...

I'm glad people bring these issues to the forums, it helps me learn...
02-17-2014 10:12 PM
Learning about electronics


It occurred to me that my original response could have been more helpful. In case someone wants to learn more about basic electronics, there are number of TOYS that can help.

My dad was always buying things like this for my son:
50-in-1 Project Lab (eleep-50) Elenco Electronic Science Kits Non Solder

We would play around with them and you really can learn a lot about basic electronics.

Of course, there is a lot more information in books, but this is a cheap way to learn about wiring, switches, diodes, LED's, etc.

This thread has more than 10 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

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