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Old 31 January 2010, 14:11   #1
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A-frame Nav Lights - Wiring Q ??!

Hello!

Anyone who might be able to assist your comments much appreciated...

I need to re-wire the Nav Lights on my A-Frame. They were not properly connected when I took ownership of the boat [think a lot was changed when the engine was replaced] so I am not just replacing old wires hence my Q below!

For ease and less wiring running about I had though of effectively using one cable. Colouring aside would this be a big mistake, effectively it would run from battery / switch to the stern of the boat then pass it through Stb / White / Grn lights and then back to the battery?

Not an electronics wizz but keen to do things myself if I can as can't imagine it is particularly tricky. Thanks in advance for any advice!

Tom
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Old 31 January 2010, 14:15   #2
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works

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomd View Post
Hello!

Anyone who might be able to assist your comments much appreciated...

I need to re-wire the Nav Lights on my A-Frame. They were not properly connected when I took ownership of the boat [think a lot was changed when the engine was replaced] so I am not just replacing old wires hence my Q below!

For ease and less wiring running about I had though of effectively using one cable. Colouring aside would this be a big mistake, effectively it would run from battery / switch to the stern of the boat then pass it through Stb / White / Grn lights and then back to the battery?

Not an electronics wizz but keen to do things myself if I can as can't imagine it is particularly tricky. Thanks in advance for any advice!

Tom
That the same as I have done so I hope it's right.
Any joins were soldered and then wrapped in self amalgamating tape .
The a frame entry and exit holes were then sealed with sikaflex.
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Old 31 January 2010, 14:24   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomd View Post
Hello!

Anyone who might be able to assist your comments much appreciated...

I need to re-wire the Nav Lights on my A-Frame. They were not properly connected when I took ownership of the boat [think a lot was changed when the engine was replaced] so I am not just replacing old wires hence my Q below!

For ease and less wiring running about I had though of effectively using one cable. Colouring aside would this be a big mistake, effectively it would run from battery / switch to the stern of the boat then pass it through Stb / White / Grn lights and then back to the battery?

Not an electronics wizz but keen to do things myself if I can as can't imagine it is particularly tricky. Thanks in advance for any advice!

Tom
That sounds like you intend to wire the lights in series, when you need to wire them in parallel .
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Old 31 January 2010, 14:35   #4
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As Dirk says, you need to make sure they are in parallel. It doesn't require any more wire, just make sure all the nav light positives are conected to one wire (normally red) and the negatives connected to the other wire (black). The other end of the black is connected to the neg terminal of the battery and the red the is connected to a switch and then onwards to the pos of the battery.

This ensures each bulb gets 12 volts. In series, each would have received approx 4 volts, so they'd be very dim.
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Old 31 January 2010, 15:05   #5
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Earth the A frame, then earth each light to the A frame via it's mounting screw (can be hidden inside the light), then run a single positive cable inside the a frame to each light. So 2 lights ill have 2 positve wires in the terminals but the last one just the 1 wire in the positive terminal.

Hope this helps.
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Old 01 February 2010, 06:45   #6
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Ok, many thanks for the below guys. Makes sense I think:

So positive from power / switch through the first two lights +ve terminal and to the last light. Then negative back from the last light through the other two lights -ve terminal and back to the battery?

Easy suggestions for earthing the A Frame?
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Old 01 February 2010, 07:49   #7
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I used 7 core trailer wire for mine - gives you the ability to switch nav /decklights separtely.

Took a bit of planning with wire lengths and only awkward part was running the earth in and out of all the fittings. But meant no connections in the loom to fail.

SDG
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Old 01 February 2010, 08:17   #8
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The only downside to wiring all the nav lights to one switch is that you can't have just your all round white on if your at anchor and it's dark/limited visability.
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Old 01 February 2010, 09:01   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomd View Post
Ok, many thanks for the below guys. Makes sense I think:

So positive from power / switch through the first two lights +ve terminal and to the last light. Then negative back from the last light through the other two lights -ve terminal and back to the battery?

Easy suggestions for earthing the A Frame?
I think you'll need to draw a picture that sounds like it could still be in series?
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Old 01 February 2010, 12:50   #10
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Originally Posted by tomd View Post
Easy suggestions for earthing the A Frame?
Yes: Don't.

Better to have dedicated pos and neg wires to the lights, back to either your distribution panel/fuse board and a dedicated ground buss.

a) If you have problems down the road, troubleshooting will be much easier than trying to figure out where you're losing the conductivity through mechanical connections.

b) With large structural parts in an electrical circuit, you need to be really careful about electrolysis eating metal bits from your boat (granted, though, the arch shouldn't be in the water.)

My $.02;

jky
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