DC Electrical nightmare! =O

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Dayenu
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DC Electrical nightmare! =O

Postby Dayenu » Sun May 28, 2017 3:19 pm

Hello all,
Continuing to refit our C26 for an upcoming month long cruise in the San Juan Islands.

I installed a nice 120v system (double pole circuit breaker with GFCI outlet leading to two cabin receptacles.)

I started on our 12v system and found a nightmare of wires (Taped up and unrecognizable leading to the cabin switch panel... One MAIN problem, is that the switches were not labelled except for Acc. (Accessory) There's a very good chance that the functions for these switches won't match others, but I thought this would be a good place to start. (I'm assuming that you pull to turn on, and push to turn off?

My number one goal is to eventually rip out every single wire on board and start over, using "Proper" buses, breakers, fuses etc and marine grade tinned wire, correctly color coded at the correct gauge.

Can anyone share their switch allocation on their C26? Example: forward switch, navigation, 2nd from forward: anchor light, 3rd back from front, VHF etc...

I removed both batteries to replace them and "thought" I kept them grouped together (ie" pos/neg) I could KILL myself for not labeling each wire separately before disconnecting (What was I thinking?!?!?! Just too tired with all the boat tasks I've been doing...
Anyway, connected both batteries and the cables leading to the batteries started smoking and plastic coating melted off!!!! (Glad I just added two new fire extinguishers to our three already on board... Didn't need to use them, Burnt my fingers disconnecting battery terminals instead)

I took out the original battery selector switch as I now don't trust it. I had a new one waiting for my comple3te re-wiring goals...

Been reading like crazy and searching wiring diagrams and I think I found the culprit... My biggest concern are the two "medium sized" wires leading to the switch panel... Both are black!!!! I traced one that was with the engine starting positive cable, so my educated guess (God I hate guessing when it comes to electrical!), is that the other wires is negative.

I'm disconnecting anything that is polarity sensitive (LED lights, VHF, Instruments etc... The incandescent lights will work if polarity is reversed.

If I can connect my batteries through the master selector switch and not smoke anything, then I can turn on cabin lights and other switches and check the polarity going into those items that are sensitive (Example: Power feed to VHF is clearly black and red. Without having it connected to the radio, I can check polarity...

Sorry if I seem dazed and confused... I am! Mostly exhausted... started work at 6Am this morning, had my little fire drill around 8AM and I've been climbing up and down in between checking our websites for info... Went back and re-labeled all wires except the two medium sized wires leading to the cabin switches....

OK... time for a beer and taking the rest of the day off.
Thanks!
Richard
What we now have, was once, only hoped for...

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Kenr74
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Postby Kenr74 » Mon May 29, 2017 7:35 pm

Sorry for your pain. My dc wiring is very simple. A circuit for cabin lights, one for nav lights, and one for accessories ( I added a power socket and a few USB charging ports. I used most of the original wiring, but I converted all bulbs to led. I also added a switch above the head door going to the mast to switch between steaming light, and anchor light. I would love to help you trouble shoot if we weren't across the country. Good luck.

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Dayenu
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Lessons learned... and PATIENCE! ;)

Postby Dayenu » Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:19 pm

Well, I FINALLY got everything hooked up! (Kind of)

(After two minor meltdowns and small fires... really...)

The two wires that I and the previous owner thought were positive, turned out to be negative...

I spent about 8 hours researching how to hook up a battery selector switch (VERY DIFFERENT when You don't know what some of the wires are!!!) and tracing & testing unknown wires...

I replaced all fuses that were glass to blade style and added three fuses to other wires including the two "unknown" wires... Glad i did! Popped them four times while I was trying to hook everything up, but no melt downs or fires...

Started hooking up all my 12v electronics, lights, instruments, stereo, VHF etc and everything works! =D

I still have no idea how the positive is being delivered to the cabin/switches, but as long as I'm fused, I'm stopping here until I strip out EVERYTHING this fall/winter and start from scratch. I want a "proper" 12v electrical system with main leads to a distribution panel, marine grade wires, circuit breakers, lit switches etc...

I briefly checked the 12v control panel under the galley and it seems as if there's only one switch and the rest are fuses??? I'll go back in and re-check... They might be the old twist switch with built in glass fuse... (I'm hoping" anyway). I want to label them all so I know how to turn on/off my navigation lights...

OK... taking a break for a few minutes then going back up to hook up the rest:
Solar charge controller, twin bank 120v AC charger, and two custom leads going directly to the batteries with a waterproof plug so I can easily hook up my voltage meter to monitor the batteries.

Thanks for the help guys!

Richard
What we now have, was once, only hoped for...

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EmergencyExit
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Postby EmergencyExit » Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:45 am

I briefly checked the 12v control panel under the galley and it seems as if there's only one switch and the rest are fuses??? I'll go back in and re-check... They might be the old twist switch with built in glass fuse... (I'm hoping" anyway). I want to label them all so I know how to turn on/off my navigation lights...


Wait, you had a switch on that panel ? Must have been a factory option. :twisted:

On EE they were all fuses only, but there were single switches here and there that were in line with the fuses.

They were push, twist, remove type as well.

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Dayenu
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Postby Dayenu » Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:30 pm

there was only one switch, (looks like it was added on), but I couldn't figure out what it went to.

So I'm guessing that with the fuses, you disconnect to turn "off"? Example: if we were at anchor and I didn't want navigation lights on, I'd disconnect that fuse (Once I figure out which one it is), to turn them off? We have a separate LED anchor light with a custom plug, mounted on an aluminum pole/tube on the stern rail.

There are about 6 fuses, one switch and a cigarette style plug... Everything seems to work (still have to check navigation lights).

Tresa and I just did a radio check using the boat's VHF base and our handheld. She drove about a mile away and it was clear as a bell in both directions (low and high power on both).

So nice to have electrical working on the boat! :)

Still have to hook up power supply to our GPS and Fish finder (Separate fused plug leading to our house bank which will be charged with 200watts of solar.) Not ready for a permanent installation until I re-do all the wiring.

OK... calling it a day! Tresa took the day off. Bless her soul, she cleaned out our rigid water tank (Super dirty inside from sitting open and dry for years) She came up with a great way to clean it! She placed a bunch of polished (clean) river rocks inside and a length of 1/2" 3-strand nylon inside as well... Put about a gallon of water inside with some bleach and placed it on our hammock. Rocked it back and forth for about an hour... She got it SPOTLESS! =D

Next big task is hooking up our fresh water system. 12 gallon rigid tank centered under the rear berth, 15 gallon flexible tank under the starboard seat and the standard 5 gallon water bottle under the galley sink. With a 5 gallon deck jug, we'll have about 35 gallons. The rigid and flex tanks will be filled via new deck fill fittings, We'll use the 5 gallon water bottle along with a 5 gallon jug to ferry water back to the boat while at anchor when we can't get to a dock hose. The three water supply tanks/bottle will be connected to a set of valves under the galley counter so we can choose which water source we'll be using. The rigid tank will be fitted with an overflow that empties into the galley sink. (God! I'm already tired just describing it! LOL!)

We're getting close though (both in time and re-fitting!). Tresa's grown son is coming over Sunday to raise the mast so I can go over the rigging... Checked our turnbuckles and found a bent 1/4" lower T-toggle on one of them!!! =O probably stepped on at some time. Ordered one from Defender and will replace it when it arrives.

Thanks for the support!

Richard & Tresa
What we now have, was once, only hoped for...

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CaptainScott
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Postby CaptainScott » Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:50 am

Sounds like you are almost there!


Scott

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Dayenu
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Postby Dayenu » Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:09 am

It's been raining here and the deck was wet this weekend so I opted to wait until next weekend to raise the mast (slippery/safety). I did drill and install a masthead block for an adjustable topping lift (I want to make sure the boom doesn't scratch our Bimini mounted flex-solar panels.) Found our Windex and it was badly broken... Glad i work with plastics... used carbon fiber and CA glue and it looks like new (from 4' away anyway.) Also cleaned the plugs for our wind speed and direction sensors... I kept spinning the anemometer and couldn't get the cockpit gauge to move... Checked the wires, turned on the battery and gave up... This morning, I realized the mast was still down and the plug at the base of the mast was not connected to the receptacle on the deck! LOLOLOL!!!! (I need a break!)

I did get to test run our outboard though ( replaced the impeller, new oil and gear lube)... Pretty much started right up! (after 3 years of sitting! I will never use ethanol gas!) ;) My fuel connector was dripping a little, so I'll be replacing that before fiddling with the idle (running a little too low), just in case the drip is effecting how it runs.

A whole list of boat tasks for today, mostly around the new anchor locker (Hatch lid, chain tensioner etc...) Still have to wire up our GPS and Fish finder... (I'll try and take some photos of the teak removable mount I made for them. Fits into the aluminum drop board slot with a finger screw to keep it in place (galley side so there isn't much interference with getting through the companionway.)

I want to re-measure for our fresh water plumbing hoses (I think I went a little overboard and some of the ribbed, flex hose is expensive.)

Cleaning and replacing O-Rings in our dinghy valves before inflating and searching for leaks... The special 2-part adhesive and hypalon patches arrived this weekend. Old 10' Achilles and it leaks big time.

OK... time to get to work instead of talking about it! LOL!

I'll be back when I get some photos.

Richard
What we now have, was once, only hoped for...


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