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Electric Problems

Old 08-02-2005, 03:38 PM
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Default Electric Problems

Guys- I recently attempted to install a VHF on my boat (2003 Jones Brothers Cape Fisherman 1920 LT)... I am not very good with electrical work, but I thought since there was a bus bar already installed, I may give it a shot... The long and short of it is that I found a open circuit and attached, then I grounded the othr wire in appropriate place.
WHen I turned the radio on, I had power and was able to hear what was going on- the problem is, when I tried to transmit, I pushed the transmit button and the port trim tab goes down! I tried moving the connection, but still have the same problem.
I had a professional look at it today- he said there must be a short and would have to take everything apart. DOes this sound right?
Thanks for your input- I am just trying to stay away from another big $$ hit!
Old 08-02-2005, 04:14 PM
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Default Re: Electric Problems

What kind of 'professional'? There could very well be a short but, need some more info as to where you attached the ground to besides an appropriate place, was it to a negative bus bar? On what did you find an open circuit on? a distribution panel, positive bus bar... Does the wiring on your boat resemble a nest? did someone before you install electronics and didnt know what they were doing and just spliced anything and everything together and put it on one switch? Any further info would be helpfull.
Old 08-02-2005, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: Electric Problems

The 'professional' is of the mobile marine electronics type. I installed the positive to an open + on the bus bar- I did not stack. The negative is attached to an open slot on the negative/ground part of the bus bar. The boat has been mine since new and I have not had any electrical work done. YES, the wiring coming to the bar resembles an ugly nest!
Thank you for your help!
Old 08-02-2005, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: Electric Problems

I don't see your problem. Obviously if you want to call someone on the VHF, just press your anchor windlass switch. Stay away from that "professional" and find soemone who is knowledgeable about 12V wiring. It is a very easy connection for someone with experience and should not be expensive.
Old 08-02-2005, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: Electric Problems

The first thing I would do is lift the negative lead from where you have it grounded and connect it to the negative point (-) on the bus. If the problem still occurs I would check for continuity between the positive and negative vhf leads and the controls for the trim tabs using a fluke meter (if you don’t have one ask a neighbor). The only way for that trim tab to be engaging is if you are somehow closing the circuit to the trim tabs control switch. When you say that this problem only occurs when you are transmitting leads me to believe that when the vhf is at its steady state it does not provide enough current (being that they transmit at a higher wattage). I would trace all the leads from the trim tabs to the control switch, from the bus bar to the terminals. Take a look if there are any wires chaffed, or possibly an arc is sparking creating an erroneous voltage. If all the leads are landed onto the correct terminals and each piece of equipment has there own designated circuits there is no reasonable explanation for what is occurring. When you clean all the wires up and trace them back to there origins it might be a good idea to mark them using a p-touch lable maker with shrink tub cartridges and using zip ties separate the wires accordingly. They are cheap to buy on the net, and will save you the headache if you ever have to troubleshoot your electrical system again. But like I said before you go through this process I would first land the (-) lead onto the (-) terminal on the bus bar. If you can get your hands on a fluke meter it should be fairly easy to find the route to your problem. If all else fails it's a new boat and should be covered under the stern to stern warranty. Let us know how it goes.
Old 08-02-2005, 10:43 PM
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Default Re: Electric Problems

RPS is on right track. "possessed" wiring problems are usually the result of bad grounds. Even if you have it on the right bus, the bus may not have a good ground. The more the ground is loaded, the higher it could float. Simple test, run a jumper right from VHF ground to batt ground and see if that works.

Elusive - did it again, I'm laughing out loud at my laptop and my wife wants to know what's so funny. When I told her about the problem and your suggestion, she just looked at me funny. Guess you had to be here. But that's bnot a bad idea. Makes your boat impossible for anyone but you to use. Push horn button in to crank engine, turn key to blow horn, Hit nav lights for livewell, anchor light for washdown. This could be the latest thing!

Steve
Old 08-04-2005, 01:06 PM
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Default Re: Electric Problems

I agree, sounds like a bad ground. It may be that the VHF wiring is fine and the trim tab hydraulics are incorrectly wired.

Let us know what you find.

Wahoo
Old 08-04-2005, 08:48 PM
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Default Re: Electric Problems

Elusive - 8/2/2005 5:18 PM

I don't see your problem. Obviously if you want to call someone on the VHF, just press your anchor windlass switch. Stay away from that "professional" and find soemone who is knowledgeable about 12V wiring. It is a very easy connection for someone with experience and should not be expensive.

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