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Negative Battery Switching Troubles

We recently had to trouble shoot a problem on a boat that had negative battery switching instead of positive. In North America, everything is switched (and fused) on the positive side of the battery. In Europe, some boats have both positive and negative battery switching (i.e. Beneteau) however, we have never seen a negative only battery switching before.

Voltage Drop in Primary Distribution

Most marine electrical systems will have a DC (direct current) system as part of their electrical design, and for most boats it may form the largest and most intrinsic part of the electrical system. With lower voltage electrical systems, those below 50V, it is of paramount importance that particular attention is paid to distribution of the power and maintaining voltage drop to a minimum.

VHF Antennas vs. VHF-AIS Antennas

I recently added a Transmitting AIS antenna to an existing (working) 8 foot Shakespeare VHF antenna with alarming results. It was giving me high VSWR alarms (3.5:1) despite it testing good (1.5:1) on the VHF.

ELCI Breaker with an Inverter/Charger

Equipment Leakage Circuit Interrupter (ELCI) breakers are fairly new in the North American marine industry. Older boats are not equipped with them however they are now in the ABYC standards for new boats and refits. They are similar to a GFI outlet (like in your bathroom) but they protect the whole boat and trip at a higher level, 30mA instead of 5mA.

Thermal vs. Magnetic Circuit Breakers

Thermal circuit breakers respond to over-current situations, as their name implies, by the circuit generating an inordinate amount of heat causing the bimetal contacts inside the breaker to disengage due to unequal expansion. A magnetic circuit breaker responds to over-current situations by a loading coil inside the breaker lifting the contacts apart when the current flow through the coil is sufficient to overcome the spring force holding the contacts together.

Battery Bank Sizing

There are a lot of factors that go into determining the appropriate sized battery bank for a boat, and no hard and fast criteria. However, there are some general guidelines that can help in setting up a bank of batteries that will provide enough power for the DC systems on board without sinking the boat or your finances.

Engine Starter Circuit

A common calamity for which we often get requests for a service call is the engine failing to start or even “turn over”.

Electromagnetic Fields on Your Boat

Electromagnetic forces (EMF) are one of the four fundamental forces in nature, and although they exist naturally, they can also be created. Any wire carrying any amount of electrical current will generate a magnetic field,

Battery Bank Integrity

Batteries, once cabled together to form a single bank, will only charge and discharge equally if care is taken in the initial design and configuration of the bank, and consideration is taken with the maintenance of the bank.

Ever Wonder How A Battery Stores Electricity?

A battery is composed of multiple cells alternating between a positive and negative charge. For instance, a 12 volt battery is composed of 6 cells at 2.1 volts each. All the positive and negative cells are connected together in series, but insulated from one another. The plates have a grid configuration that helps them retain the active material which stores the battery’s energy.

Page 1 of 19    Total Results: 181