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Old 05-07-2010, 06:40 AM   #1
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Default Lowrance HDS Power and Ground wire run.

I originally hooked up my HDS to the trolling motor battery (Because I put the HDS in the front) and I am having some problems with sonar interference. I have now found out that I should run the HDS off the cranking battery. The cranking battery is in the rear of the boat, about 17ft away. What size and type of wire should I run, can I just use thin stranded wire? The unit has very thin gauge out the back and because of the run, I wasn't sure if the gauge wire should be increased or is that only for battery charging. Also, should I move the fuse back closer to the cranking battery or can I leave it where I will splice the new wire?

Thanks for any help.

Paul
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Old 05-07-2010, 06:43 AM   #2
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I originally hooked up my HDS to the trolling motor battery (Because I put the HDS in the front) and I am having some problems with sonar interference. I have now found out that I should run the HDS off the cranking battery. The cranking battery is in the rear of the boat, about 17ft away. What size and type of wire should I run, can I just use thin stranded wire? The unit has very thin gauge out the back and because of the run, I wasn't sure if the gauge wire should be increased or is that only for battery charging. Also, should I move the fuse back closer to the cranking battery or can I leave it where I will splice the new wire?

Thanks for any help.

Paul
Inline fuse should always be as CLOSE to the battery terminal as possible. If the wire were ever to overheat, you want the fuse to blow as soon as possible.

You should be fine with 18 AWG wire. Do you not have a fuse block you could connect it to?
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:43 AM   #3
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I go and get a cheap 12 gauge extension cord and use that when I rig boats. Its way cheaper than the single strands.... plus then you can just hook your power up to the cranking battery as you will have enough wires to hook it all up.
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:43 AM   #4
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Inline fuse should always be as CLOSE to the battery terminal as possible. If the wire were ever to overheat, you want the fuse to blow as soon as possible.
Just want to clarify, the fuse goes as close to the battery as possible, this is so that if you have a short the fuse blows. A fuse placed near the accessory will do nothing for a short in between the battery and accessory.

Its not a matter of the fuse how "soon" the fuse blows. If the wire heats up, it is because there is too much current being drawn.
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Old 05-07-2010, 12:52 PM   #5
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Just want to clarify, the fuse goes as close to the battery as possible, this is so that if you have a short the fuse blows. A fuse placed near the accessory will do nothing for a short in between the battery and accessory.

Its not a matter of the fuse how "soon" the fuse blows. If the wire heats up, it is because there is too much current being drawn.
Thanks. Sorry for not spelling it out, but what Viperkiller says is correct.

Good Luck
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Old 05-07-2010, 01:35 PM   #6
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I go and get a cheap 12 gauge extension cord and use that when I rig boats. Its way cheaper than the single strands.... plus then you can just hook your power up to the cranking battery as you will have enough wires to hook it all up.
WHAT ?

Not the correct or safe way to do it.

I hope your tongue is deep in your cheek Rip.
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Old 05-07-2010, 02:00 PM   #7
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Inline fuse should always be as CLOSE to the battery terminal as possible. If the wire were ever to overheat, you want the fuse to blow as soon as possible.

You should be fine with 18 AWG wire. Do you not have a fuse block you could connect it to?


Thanks for all the replies.

Bfox- what do you mean a fuse block?

Right now, if I understand eveybody, I will be running 18 AWG wire from the ends fo the GPS/FF to the battery in the rear of the boat. I will move the current fuse closer to the battery. Then go fish!!

Would that be correct?

Thanks.
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Old 05-07-2010, 04:39 PM   #8
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WHAT ?

Not the correct or safe way to do it.

I hope your tongue is deep in your cheek Rip.
What is "unsafe" about this? Other than the fact the extension cord is not tinned wire, copper wire is just copper wire.
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Old 05-07-2010, 07:12 PM   #9
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I can't imagine it being unsafe. I've been rigging my boats using exterior grade drop cord for years, works great.
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Old 05-07-2010, 07:20 PM   #10
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Just wondering, would 18 gauge speaker wire (monster wire) work? It's shielded just not sure about using as a power and ground. Just a thought.
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:47 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the replies.

Bfox- what do you mean a fuse block?

Right now, if I understand eveybody, I will be running 18 AWG wire from the ends fo the GPS/FF to the battery in the rear of the boat. I will move the current fuse closer to the battery. Then go fish!!

Would that be correct?

Thanks.
That is a good plan. Good luck!
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Old 05-09-2010, 06:20 PM   #12
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OK, ran 14 gauge wire. The unit has thin wire, not sure what gauge but definately thinner then 18 gauge. I connected the 14 gauge to the thin wire, now can I use the thin wire fuse at the end by the battery? It would be thin wire, then 14 gauge, then thin through a 3 amp fuse (came with the unit) to the battery. Or can I use a bigger fuse and a 14 gauge wire back by the battery? I really don't understand gauge, fuse and stuff like that. Just want to make sure everything is proteceted.

Thanks for all the help.
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Old 05-09-2010, 06:32 PM   #13
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OK, ran 14 gauge wire. The unit has thin wire, not sure what gauge but definately thinner then 18 gauge. I connected the 14 gauge to the thin wire, now can I use the thin wire fuse at the end by the battery? It would be thin wire, then 14 gauge, then thin through a 3 amp fuse (came with the unit) to the battery. Or can I use a bigger fuse and a 14 gauge wire back by the battery? I really don't understand gauge, fuse and stuff like that. Just want to make sure everything is proteceted.

Thanks for all the help.
ALWAYS use fuses that are sized for the unit by the manufacturer. The wire may be 22 gauge, not sure. I just wired up my power plug today for my HDS-5 unit. However, I wired it to a Blue Sea fuse block with integrated negative bus bar.

How are you connecting your wires? Are you using crimp connectors with heat shrink protection?

It's important to protect your connections as much as possible. You can see a picture of my wiring in my console by clicking on this link: ABSOLUTE Success with FUSION, JL AUDIO and KICKER! Pics posted.
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Old 05-10-2010, 07:23 AM   #14
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WHAT ?

Not the correct or safe way to do it.

I hope your tongue is deep in your cheek Rip.
I have rigged hundreds of boats with outdoor extension cords. It is the same wires as in individual stranded wire. Now that being said it doesn't rest in water anywhere, it runs through the chase ways of the boat, which has the same kind of wire that is in the cords. Now if it is going to sit in water you need to get a special wire to do that. I also use it to wire trailer lights as well. Its a good cheap alternative to the same automotive wire you buy.

So Edd why won't it work? You didn't give a reply as to why.
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Old 05-10-2010, 07:03 PM   #15
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Called Lowrance, actually got through in about 10 min, the tech said to connect the supplied 3 amp fuse to the 14 awg wire run and connect the other end to the battery. I guess that is what I will do, hopefully he is right, he didn't sound convincing but conformed.

BTW, I told them they have to do something about their connections. You shouldn't have to drill 1" holes through everything to run the cables. Had to drill 1" hole in transome too, it took awhile but I did it. I also stated that if they don't change the size of their connectors that they should supply a through hull grommet of sort. That's a big hole to fill with sealant.

Any other thoughts on the fuse, if not hopefully it will work and those who do this install can learn from this post.

Thanks
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Old 05-10-2010, 07:21 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Pup300 View Post
Called Lowrance, actually got through in about 10 min, the tech said to connect the supplied 3 amp fuse to the 14 awg wire run and connect the other end to the battery. I guess that is what I will do, hopefully he is right, he didn't sound convincing but conformed.

BTW, I told them they have to do something about their connections. You shouldn't have to drill 1" holes through everything to run the cables. Had to drill 1" hole in transome too, it took awhile but I did it. I also stated that if they don't change the size of their connectors that they should supply a through hull grommet of sort. That's a big hole to fill with sealant.

Any other thoughts on the fuse, if not hopefully it will work and those who do this install can learn from this post.

Thanks
I chopped my sonar transducer cable in half and will be splicing it back together. Seems like its about a 3/8" hole vs a 1" hole. The sonar cable is shielded and based on the signal (Even though its low frequency) the actual cabling matters, so I wouldn't use anything but shielded cable for it, but you should be fine to cut it.

12ga extension cords are fine. Many boats were wired with untinned copper wire. Remember ABYC ampacity requirements differ from SAE, in that a 12ga marine wire will actually have more current carrying capacity than a 12ga SAE wire. The extension cord will be finely stranded which is good.

Use tinned wire where corrosion potential requires it.

The fuse should be as close to the battery as possible. If you have a battery switch, you can crimp a ring terminal to the fuse and connect it to the "output" side of the switch.
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:16 AM   #17
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Is it a no-no to fuse the wire near the voltage source with a fuse sized for the current carrying capacity of the wire, and then to put a fuse near the powered device sized as recommended by the mfg?

I.e. in this case, with a 12ga wire run back to the battery you'd typically use a larger fuse to protect the wire, but then you have to connect to the much smaller wires feeding the HDS unit - would you then use the 3A fuse there? Or, just put the 3A fuse back at the original source an way overprotect the full wire run?
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Old 05-11-2010, 12:12 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by mwardncsu View Post
Is it a no-no to fuse the wire near the voltage source with a fuse sized for the current carrying capacity of the wire, and then to put a fuse near the powered device sized as recommended by the mfg?

I.e. in this case, with a 12ga wire run back to the battery you'd typically use a larger fuse to protect the wire, but then you have to connect to the much smaller wires feeding the HDS unit - would you then use the 3A fuse there? Or, just put the 3A fuse back at the original source an way overprotect the full wire run?
I do have the fuse at the battery. It goes thin wire from the unit, to 14 gauge run than thin wire fuse to battery. The fuse is thin wire too, it was supplied by Lowrance.

No fuse by unit.
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Old 05-15-2010, 05:42 PM   #19
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Is it a no-no to fuse the wire near the voltage source with a fuse sized for the current carrying capacity of the wire, and then to put a fuse near the powered device sized as recommended by the mfg?

I.e. in this case, with a 12ga wire run back to the battery you'd typically use a larger fuse to protect the wire, but then you have to connect to the much smaller wires feeding the HDS unit - would you then use the 3A fuse there? Or, just put the 3A fuse back at the original source an way overprotect the full wire run?
It's not a no-no, but it is unnecessary. You fuse the circuit based on what the load(s) (accessory) is rated. Just put the 3 amp fuse by the battery-
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Old 05-16-2010, 06:03 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Rippin_eyes View Post
I have rigged hundreds of boats with outdoor extension cords. It is the same wires as in individual stranded wire. Now that being said it doesn't rest in water anywhere, it runs through the chase ways of the boat, which has the same kind of wire that is in the cords. Now if it is going to sit in water you need to get a special wire to do that. I also use it to wire trailer lights as well. Its a good cheap alternative to the same automotive wire you buy.

So Edd why won't it work? You didn't give a reply as to why.
Hundreds of boats huh....why? Rig how you like. If you like your junk looking very amateurish then wire with extension cords. If your boat is worth enough to insure, you may want to check with your company to see if they will cover a loss when wired this way. It appears senseless to suggest a basic Marine Wiring Fundamentals book at this point. And if you're wiring your friends boats this way, you're doing them NO favors.
When a person gets in the habit of doing things on the cheap, those bad habits will follow them (100's of boats) for a long time. Maybe one day you will buy something expensive and you're going to wire things the same way. Well....maybe you already have.

Wire it how you like.

Edd
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