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battery to switchboard connection

Old 07-02-2016, 05:40 AM
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Default battery to switchboard connection

Hi,
One of the last projects I have on my C-22 restoration is the electrical. I am very inexperienced in this area but have been reading alot about it. I changed out the original switch board for a 5 switch +1 masterswitch board off of overtons. I have the rest of the electrical figured out now and will be running bow/stern together, mast/deck light combo, anchor light, cabin lights, and finally a depth sounder. The switchboard to deep cycle battery connection is confusing me.
Here is the question:
I want to connect the battery directly to the switchboard. the switchboard has a positive and ground 16 awg wire with a male disconnect. how do I go about doing this? 16 awg wire direct to battery?
right now I have #1 gauge cable, should I attach this to the battery with lugs and then to a buss bar that has the 16 awg wire connected to it?
thanks
Old 07-03-2016, 04:45 AM
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Put a 50A fuse on the positive cable close to the battery and from it go to the switch board.
Old 07-04-2016, 07:23 AM
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Okay, that makes sense thanks.
So from the battery to the fuse I'd need what gauge cable?
after the fuse I'd stick with the original 16awg + male disconnect right?

thanks for the help
Old 07-04-2016, 07:45 AM
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Also, the 16 awg ground can be connected directly from the panel to the negative battery post without a problem right?
Old 07-04-2016, 05:28 PM
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Negative supply always goes directly to the Battery or to bus bar.

16awg is a little thin so I would change it to 10awg or 9.
Old 07-04-2016, 10:11 PM
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The gauge of the wire depends on the legnth of run both ways, and the amps that will be drawn. I am guessing you got a switch panel like the Sea-Dog Wave 5 Rocker Switch Panel from Overtons?

16 gauge doesn't carry much power, here is a link to a chart that should help you decide what wire size to use. http://www.offroaders.com/tech/12-vo...gauge-amps.htm

When you choose a fuse put it as close as possible to the battery. In sizing the fuse the rule of thumb is 150% of the load you expect the wire to carry for DC. Probably all switches won't be on at the same time.

You seem to be running power directly from the battery to the switch panel if I understand you correctly. As has been said put a fuse within a few inches of the battery positive. Calculate the average amperage that will be drawn, which is usually less that all loads that will be switched by your panel, and size the fuse and wire to the panel. Remember that the fuse is there to protect the wire. If a short occurs the fuse should blow before the heat from the short can melt the wire insulation and start a fire.

Instead of running power straight to the switch panel, how about also putting in a fuse panel before the switch panel? Then you could protect each load with its own fuse. The setup would be, fuse with in a few inches of the battery, heavy wire to the fuse panel, smaller wires to each switched load which would be able to be fuse protected.
Old 07-05-2016, 02:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Chessyman View Post
The setup would be, fuse with in a few inches of the battery, heavy wire to the fuse panel, smaller wires to each switched load which would be able to be fuse protected.
Personally I'd use a breaker instead of a fuse immediately after the battery...
Old 07-10-2016, 08:32 AM
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Thanks for the responses.
Just to clarify, the switch panel has a breaker for each of the 6 switches. I still need another fuse or breaker in front of those? There is a link below to see the switch panel.

I guess my dilemma at the moment is still the setup between the battery to panel. I read the above suggestion "The setup would be, fuse with in a few inches of the battery, heavy wire to the fuse panel, smaller wires to each switched load which would be able to be fuse protected." Problem is how do I connect "heavy wire to the fuse panel" when I have 16 awg wire fixed to the panel? Do I remove and replace it? The positive is connected to a disconnect to a breaker and on this same disconnect is another short positive that loops to the next breaker and so on. The negative is connected to a ridged skinny uninsulated wire that runs vertically next to all the breakers. I appreciate the wire gauge chart as well but am confused by the length part. I have a 22 foot boat, and 25 ft mast...I'm running like 200 ft of wire and all of the charts I see max out at 25 or 50 or even 100. I'll be pulling less than 5 amps average FYI. If someone could walk me through in detail the 2 ft gap between the battery and panel I would really appreciate it. Do I need battery terminals on the posts or will a connection to the bolt 1/4" bolt next to it be sufficient?

http://www.overtons.com/modperl/prod...7GEaAqY-8P8HAQ
Old 07-10-2016, 10:24 PM
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Since your switch panel has breakers, you just need a fuse a few inches from the battery post on a suitable heavy wire going to the switch panel.

Yes, replace the 16 gauge wire assuming it is too small for the loads.

For wire length, you only need to be concerned with the run from the switch panel to the load. When you say you are running 200 feet that sounds like that is all the wire in the boat. You size the wire by the length of the run to each load and the amp draw.

For example for the mast head light that draws 2 amps (25 watts) your run both ways might be 70 feet, 25 x 2 for the mast, plus say 10 x 2 to the switch panel from the base of the mast. Looking at a wire size chart you would want to run 14 gauge wires for a conservative 3% voltage drop. If the load were 5 amps you would want 10 AWG wire.

Here is a link to a convenient voltage drop calculator: http://circuitwizard.bluesea.com/#

Calculate the wire size for individual loads on the switch panel.

Either a post or the 1/4" bolt should work.

I did not really understand this part of your question:

Originally Posted by astevens View Post
The positive is connected to a disconnect to a breaker and on this same disconnect is another short positive that loops to the next breaker and so on. The negative is connected to a ridged skinny uninsulated wire that runs vertically next to all the breakers.

Last edited by Chessyman; 07-10-2016 at 10:26 PM. Reason: Additional Information
Old 07-11-2016, 05:39 PM
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chessyman
thanks for the help. I was describing the back of the switch panel in that confusing part.
You stated that I "just need a fuse a few inches from the battery post on a suitable heavy wire going to the switch panel" but the heavy wire connection to the switch panel will be a problem for me as I do not know how to go about connecting it. My description was bad. What I was trying to say is that the current 16 awg wire is permanent and I do not know how I would go about connecting heavier wire to it??
Edit: I tried to post a pic and can't seem to get it. any help with that and I'll do that because it would explain it

Last edited by astevens; 07-11-2016 at 05:51 PM.
Old 07-11-2016, 06:11 PM
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Old 07-23-2016, 11:26 AM
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any new info would help...I hope these pictures are easy to figure out
Old 07-23-2016, 07:29 PM
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I wouldn't protect 16-gauge cable with 50 ampere fuse or breaker. The load capacity of 16-AWG is 18 amperes. You need your circuit protection to kick in below the capacity of the cable.

As others have suggested the 16-gauge is too light for the main supply. Select the right sized cable for the load and distance to give a voltage drop of less than 3%. Then choose a fuse/breaker that protects that cable.
Old 07-24-2016, 03:00 AM
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Originally Posted by astevens View Post
Looking at that fuse box I'm thinking it's not what you should have gotten... The fact that the feed wires (the ones with the tags) are the same gauge as the individual leads is quite puzzling... What make and model is that fuse box?!... Frankly, every properly prewired fuse box I have seen had thicker wire for the feed then the loads... A bigger picture would help...

Be that as it may, just replacing the feed wires isn't going to work... Let me explain why... Let's say you have 5 load wires (L1 through L5) with L1 being closest to the feed wire... Please note that the 5 load wires jumping from one breaker to the next are the same gauge (16) as the feed wire...

Now, assume that the combined load of L2 through L5 is more then a 16 gauge wire can handle (considering the load, the length of the run etc)... Can you guess what will happen?!... Although you increased the gauge of the feed wire the jumper wire between L1 and L2 (which supplies power to L2 through L5) won't be up to load!... The main fuse on that feed line (the one closest to the battery) won't "know" anything is wrong... The individual breakers won't "know" anything is wrong... Things will start smoking and might even catch fire...

If I were you and I really wanted to use this fuse box what I would do is calculate the total load (L1 through L5)... Then I'd add 20%-30% to allow for future additions... Then I'd calculate the required wire gauge for the wire run from (and back to) the battery... Then I'd select the next thicker gauge and run a pair (positive & negative) of wires to a couple of bus bars... Then I'd scrap the two feed wires as well as the individual load wires (both sides - positive and negative)... Then I'd connect each individual load positive of the fuse box to the positive bus bar and each individual load negative to the negative bus bar...

HOWEVER, before I went through all that work I'd double check the specs of that fuse box... What is the TOTAL amp rating?!... Does it even have a load rating?!... What are the individual amp ratings?!... Are they up to the job?!... Can you post a link to the overton page for this product?!...

Last edited by Navatech; 07-24-2016 at 03:25 AM.
Old 07-24-2016, 07:50 AM
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thanks guys,
Navatech, the link to the overtons site is in one of my earlier posts. It says on the packaging that each breaker is 7 amps and the total protects to 35 amps. I estimate amp usage will go as follows...

3 cabin lights at .04 each that will be on their own breaker switch
bow and stern lights at 1.25 each on their own breaker switch
steaming and deck lights together for a combined 2.5 amps on their own switch
anchor light running at .12 amps on its own breaker switch
depth sounder running at .2 amps on its own switch

I hope depth sounder amp usage is correct, I thought it'd be higher but online it says 200mA max, its a hawk eye d10d

Looks like total amp usage is 5.44 amps. none of the switches are overloaded.

If this panel won't work can anyone point me towards one that will? If I could modify the panel could you walk me through the process?

thanks...
Old 07-24-2016, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by astevens View Post
Navatech, the link to the overtons site is in one of my earlier posts. It says on the packaging that each breaker is 7 amps and the total protects to 35 amps.
Sorry... Missed that...

Originally Posted by astevens View Post
3 cabin lights at .04 each that will be on their own breaker switch
bow and stern lights at 1.25 each on their own breaker switch
steaming and deck lights together for a combined 2.5 amps on their own switch
anchor light running at .12 amps on its own breaker switch
depth sounder running at .2 amps on its own switch
If it were me I'd put the steaming, bow and stern lights on a single switch... There's absolutely no reason to split the navigation lights...

Originally Posted by astevens View Post
Looks like total amp usage is 5.44 amps.
So, let's guesstimate that your console is about half way and and your batteries are in the back... I'm going to guesstimate he total (positive & negative) run from the battery to the console at 40'... And I'm going to calculate for a total of 7.5 amps... http://circuitwizard.bluesea.com/# tells me you need to use 10 gauge wire... So, obviously the 16 gauge wire isn't going to be enough...

Originally Posted by astevens View Post
If I could modify the panel could you walk me through the process?
I've already done that... See above... Here it is again (adjusted for the new information):
  • Run a pair (red & black or yellow) of 8 gauge wires from the battery to a couple of bus bars in your console... Put a fuse near the battery... 15 Amp should be good...
  • Scrap the two feed wires (the one's with the labels) as well as the individual load wires (both sides - positive and negative)...
  • Connect each individual load positive of the fuse box to the positive bus bar and each individual load negative to the negative bus bar...
  • Do NOT do anything to the control light wires!... Just leave them as they are...
Old 07-24-2016, 07:15 PM
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Old 07-24-2016, 09:02 PM
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Okay thanks again for the help,
I will combine all navigation lights, that's a good idea.
You said do not do anything with the control light wires. By control light wires do you mean the red wires that bridge the gap between the rows of black breaker and switch boxes? it may be hard to see in the photo but the black ground wire is soldered to that metal rod that sits between the two rows of black switch and breaker boxes. Do I cut that off?

In the above photos, I have removed the individual load wires. I would like to walk through my plan of attack in detail so let me know if you find any faults.

Starting at the battery. on the positive side:
Connect 8awg red wire to the 1/4" bolt next to the + battery post via ring terminal and a nut.
This wire will run into the 15 amp fuse box which will continue as 8 awg wire from there to the positive bus and be connected via ring terminal and nut.
Each of the screws will hold an 8 awg wire by a ring terminal and these wires will connect to the corresponding breaker with a female disconnect. loads will start on the opposite side of the panel connected to the other row of male disconnects.

Now for the ground wires.
All grounds will run back to the ground bus and connect to screws on the bus bar with ring terminals. At one end of the bus, an 8awg wire will be connected by ring terminal and nut to the bus bar bolt an eventually make it back to the bolt on the battery next to the negative post and connect by ring terminals.
I hope this made sense. Please let me know if you see any fatal flaws with this game plan
thanks for all the help thus far
Old 07-24-2016, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by astevens View Post
You said do not do anything with the control light wires. By control light wires do you mean the red wires that bridge the gap between the rows of black breaker and switch boxes?
I suspect that control light wires refers to the lights powering the red LEDs on the panel.
Old 07-24-2016, 09:28 PM
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The black 16awg wire marked "-" needs to connect to the negative bus as well. I believe that wire is the negative connection for the red LEDs.

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