The Hull Truth - Boating and Fishing Forum

Go Back   >

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 04-12-2016, 09:10 PM   #1
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 2
Post Help with chronic electronic burn out problem

Can anyone direct me to a "know how" person or forum that could solve this problem:
(I am troubleshooting for a friend who has a much much better boat than me)
Over the past two years he has had to replace 2 vhf radios, 2 stereo receivers, 2 depthfinders and one Garmin auto pilot. I suspect that a loose intermittent 12 volt connection in the fuse panel is somehow creating spikes that are causing the problem. But I am not an electronics wiz.
Captn Ken is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2016, 10:30 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: covington la
Posts: 463

could also be a ground . are breakers or fuses blowing ? keep in mind you can get brown outs from a cable or wire coroding and not allowing current to flow it usually the wire gets hot and lights can dim etc .
gregdecedue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2016, 01:26 AM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 753

any proof of the failure mode of the electronic devices in question?

what engine?

what batteries?

any wingnuts involved on battery terminals?

some engines dont have regulators on the electrical output.... for instance my old johnson 60 can put out 19 volts at wide open throttle - can be bad for modern electronics.....

any loose connection between the battery and the volt regulator can cause the regulator to wildly adjust the output voltage..... ditto for any bad grounds in the system

could also be poor or failing/failed electrical filters on the engine, or a short circuit/arcing somewhere unseen.

could be insulation breakdown on a sparkplug lead flashing high voltage over onto a 12v line
could be internal failure of an ignition component doing same....

so many possibilities
mickt243 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2016, 02:35 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: South Australia
Posts: 2,055

Agree with Mickt... so many possibilities.
Can you advise whether or not all the failures where their power supplies whereby they failed to power up rather than performance failures, like dead screen or no reception etc?
isitstuffed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2016, 07:07 AM   #5
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 2

Thank you friends for the reply. I now need to check these things and get more info from my friend who owns the boat. At least we have some things to check into now.
Does this hint help any??--- The intermittent 12v connection was at the fuse panel and it powers a 120 v. inverter plugged into the cig lighter. I was thinking possibly that inverter going on and off could be sending a spike back up the line?

Regarding the failures: the radios seemed to be power supply failures (would not power up) the Garmin auto pilot and Humminbird 777 c2 powered up but had internal failure of some sort.
Thanks again for your advice.
Captn Ken is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2016, 09:08 AM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 646

All of the above and one other comment. Most boats employ battery switches and most of them claim to have "make before break" designs. As for the "make before break", I can personally attest that if one rapidly switches the batteries, good luck on that so called make before break.

I had two horrible experiences with those switches and it is hard not to switch them fast because of the force needed just to make a switch.

The problem originates from current flowing from a source such as an alternator, generator or in one of my cases, a battery charger. The first time I encountered this problem was on my sailboat when I switched batteries when the engine was running. The event wiped out my electronic cluster containing my depth and speed displays.

The next time was on my Silverton where I had just connected a 2000 watt Heart inverter/charger. The charger was charging my batteries with almost 80 amperes when I switched batteries again with one of the supposed make before brake switches. The inverter damned near EXPLODED AND HAD FLAMES SHOOTING OUT OF IT ALONG WITH HEAVY SMOKE. I came close to having a fire onboard before I could switch the batteries off.

The problem!!!! Anything with that contains an inductor......and almost ALL electronics do have a risk of failure if the current flow in that inductor is interrupted for the slightest amount of time. Even a microsecond is enough to cause MAJOR problems. You cannot stop current flow instantaneously! A good example is how an ignition spark is generated via either the ignition points or the electronic switch. Both of these components are protected by design to prevent failure. For those familiar with math---

V = L*di/dt so if there is little change in current..( i ) and t approaches 0, V will try to approach infinity.

foggysail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2016, 09:29 AM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,150

Just speculating....
A cheap or bad invertor would concern me, especially on sensitive electronics. Or, a convertor/charger that was especially dirty or was developing problems.
You might try measuring voltage at the power terminals of the electronics while under load/in use.
Maybe scope the supplies looking for dirty content.
The point being....try to get into the realm of measuring the issue.
David Analog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2016, 09:49 AM   #8
Admirals Club
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: SouthBay SF
Posts: 1,347

I thought this was going to be a psychological problem.

Constantly "Burned Out" on electronics due to the rapid pace of development.

Takes me 2 years at the most to get burnout.

Now I need an HS60 and Navico to update my EVO2 to use it. Heaven forbid I need an S2016.
The Kid is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:21 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.