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rstonge123 04-04-2012 04:43 PM

Threading radar wire through the mast
I am installing a new Raymarine 18" radome (RD418D) on my 1995 Catalina 36 and am having trouble threading the cable through the mast.

The original radar was a Furuno 1621, so I increased the size of the hole in the mast since the RD418D has a larger cable. The hole is now about 1.25" x 1" and is large enough for the connector to fit through. The mast is out of the boat, so I decided to thread the cable up from the bottom though the PVC wire conduit. I got the connector up to the hole, but cannot get it out of the PVC wire conduit since the connector's bend radius is too large. I have two questions:

1. Is it easier to thread the cable in the other direction down the mast instead of up?

2. If someone has done this before I would love to know how large the hole in the mast should be for this type of Raymarine radar cable.

copacabana 04-04-2012 05:25 PM

Re: Threading radar wire through the mast
I "uninstalled" my radar which was wired from the nav table, through the cockpit and through the SS tubes of the targa. I scratched my head for a while wondering how I was going to get that fat plug (both ends had one) through the conduits. My electrical guy came by and solved the problem for me: he just removed the wires from the plug pins and pulled out the wire. Perhaps you can do the same if the plug at the end can be undone. Just remember to write down the pin schematic (and take photos) so you can put it together the same way after!

alturia 04-05-2012 08:44 AM

Re: Threading radar wire through the mast
I cut the cable (this was a Raymarine radar) leaving one piece long enough so that it would go from the radome on the mast down to the bottom of the mast. The other piece ran from the mast step aft through the cabin and ultimately up the pedestal guard to the display unit. I connected the two pieces of the cable using a junction box that sat on the bottom of the mast step.

Doing it this way meant I did not have to thread either connector through the mast or the pedestal guard.

copacabana 04-05-2012 10:11 AM

Re: Threading radar wire through the mast
Cutting the wire is another solution, although I wouldn't go that route personally. It introduces another point where you will lose some of the signal and create a possible point of corrosion in the wire.

SanDiegoChip 04-05-2012 12:16 PM

Re: Threading radar wire through the mast
We snaked our wires down the mast and then out the bottom.
Here is a shot of the old wires comming out of our mast. You can see a broken rivit and I think we forgot to fix it :confused:
Here is our new radar but the loop was installed upside down :rolleyes:
We will need to fix this later.
New wires comming out of bottom of mast
We then installed mast steps and other new gear - my wife Debbie
From the top

rstonge123 04-05-2012 09:59 PM

Re: Threading radar wire through the mast

Thank you for your suggestions and thoughtful comments. I was able to get the cable threaded. I enlarged the hole about Ĺ”, and was able to get a wire tie around the connector head. This gave me some side leverage, and I was able to get the cable out of the hole.

I have a great tip for anyone threading wires in a mast. I went to Home Depot and got Klein Tools Premium Synthetic Wax Lubricant. This stuff is amazing and the best $7 you ever spent if you are trying to get cables threaded though tight spaces.

Here the link at Home Depot: (32 oz. Premium Synthetic Wax Lubricant-56117 at The Home Depot)

Thanks again for your help.

copacabana 04-08-2012 01:31 PM

Re: Threading radar wire through the mast
Just curious, have you let a rigger see the hole in your mast? I'm not an expert, but I can't help but think the large hole you have made could weaken the spar.

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