Friday, October 16, 2020

Fixing our Electrical System (part ii)


Fixing our Electrical System (Part ii)

Next step: Prepare the Terminal Block Bread Board.

The Electrical Panel is mounted to a wooden frame that had a hole cut into it that is pretty snug around the switches and circuit breakers in the panel. 

When completed, that panel will have some 'handles' on the front. That will allow the panel to be unscrewed from the supporting woodwork and pulled away to be laid flat with the front now facing down. That will expose all of the switches and breakers while keeping them elevated from the surface of the chart table. Hopefully, that would avoid accidentally operating any of those switches or breakers. The electrical connections from the switches and breakers will be via a loom that's long enough to facilitate pulling the panel away from it's supporting woodwork.

Oh, currently there is a hinge on the bottom edge of the panel, that is supposed to make it easier to get behind the panel, but it doesn't do it very well. Being able to pull the panel away will make it a lot easier to get both to the back of the panel and to all of the terminal blocks that will be mounted on the Terminal Breadboard attached to the hull brackets outboard of the electrical panel.

Cardboard template cutout. I was hoping to be able to make the breadboard 9" tall, but that's not going to fit. So I'll trim it to 7.5" tall.

Next time we're at the boat I'll check to see that it will go in through the gap when the electrical panel is open.

Like many boat owners, I watch a lot of YouTube videos on everything from Cruising stories to Boat repairs, from Rope splicing to Electrical how to's.  Watched one about a new boat on the market, and typically they have nicely done electrical systems. Because of one image, I got the idea of modifying the way that the Electrical Control Panel pulls out.

Right now the big issue is that the panel is only able to hinge out and down by about 50º and that restricts the access both to the wiring on the back of the panel and to the wiring that is on the bulkhead behind the panel.

Right now the big issue is that the panel is only able to hinge out and down by about 50º and that restricts the access both to the wiring on the back of the panel and to the wiring that is on the bulkhead behind the panel.

If I remove the lower hinge, then the entire panel could pull away from the bulkhead. To prevent the switches touching the Nav Table Surface when the panel is laid down, I could attach a few 'handles' that are deeper than the switches. So that's the plan. I would also clean up the edges of the hole in the bulkhead so that there is better clearance between the panel switches and the hole.

Next. Closer review of the wiring.

This photo shows the top most Circuit Breaker which is a double throw for the AC power. It connects the Hot and Neutral lines to the AC Distribution Breakers (A/C, Water Heater, Outlets and Inverter/Charger) 

The switch (back) in the foreground is the Reverse Polarity Test Switch and, just to the right, the Reverse Polarity Indicator Lamp.

If the Shore power Hot and Neutral lines were incorrect, ie. Reversed, then the lamp should light. 
The Test switch is simply to test the lamp.

The problem is that there is that missing connection on the left side of the switch! That switch should connect the lamp to Earth (the neutral and ground are connected on the boat) and the Neutral input at the main AC circuit breaker. If the Lamp illuminates, then that would mean the Neutral side of the breaker is actually a Hot connection! Wrong! Big time!  

Reverse Polarity Switch Circuit

Reverse Polarity Circuit Diagram
This picture shows what I believe is the correct wiring of the Reverse Polarity Indicator system.

Note. It does not show the additional parts of the boat shore power and Inverter power distribution nor does it show the Galvanic Isolator. The sole purpose of the image is to show the wiring of the Reverse Polarity indicator system.

The 'red' wire is not included in the current wiring on the boat (that's the empty tab on the Lamp Test Switch.)

And now the good news! While at the boat yesterday, the template for the Terminal Bread Board fits easily. So I can go ahead and cut the board then attach the Terminal and Fuse Blocks.

New Terminal Block Bread Board

 The New Terminal Block Bread Board is cut to size and the terminal blocks, fuse block and +ve Busbar are all a attached. I used 3/4" #6-32 S/S Dome headed screws and Captive nuts.

I'll drill the holes for the screws that will attach the bread board to the existing wooden fillet that is currently fiberglassed onto the inside of the hull.

Every little step is just that, a step forward. Right now, I'm working on the overall wiring diagram of the bread board. My intent is to get all of the wiring locations figured out before I start ripping into the existing panel wiring. 

This image will auto update if I make any changes.
We're hoping to get out on the water pretty soon, a few days of grumpy weather are already forecast. Looks like sometime next week. 

So, see you on the Water.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Got questions or suggestions about our boat, our sailing or our adventures?
Leave a comment.