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Old 31 March 2013, 16:52   #1
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Bad wire?

I had been having intermittent problems with my VHF and GPS turning off at random times. I couldn't recreate the problem on the trailer so I figured I would cut back the wire a bit and put new connections on (figured possible bad ground).

I did one end already with #8 rings to attach to the 12v panel. Then I cut back 8 inches into the other end to attach the 5/16" ring and saw this.

Corrosion? A burn?

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Old 31 March 2013, 16:57   #2
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Rotten to the core!

It's a curse - go for the tinned stuff this time.
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Old 31 March 2013, 17:03   #3
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rotten to the core!

It's a curse - go for the tinned stuff this time.

Thanks!! It was existing so I was going to try to use it.


I got some Mil-Spec stuff to use when I do a full rewire in the next month or two and didn't want to break into it yet because I didn't know where I was going to make my wiring runs. This stuff isn't cheap!!! (the 10 gauge wasn't at least...the duplex 16 gauge mil spec was only $1.25/ft)

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Old 31 March 2013, 17:08   #4
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OK - I see your edit now. That looks like very typical damage caused by saltwater to copper wire. I had exactly the same trouble you have with your electronics and found the same thing. It's a PITA as you get full volts at your instruments but that crap won't carry the amps you need. In my case, the VHF worked fine until I tried to transmit, it then fell back to "Lo" power.

Strip it all out and replace with tinned copper wire - it's a bit more expensive but will resist corrosion for much longer.

The random times will have been when you were making demands on the circuit, like running your sounder or transmitting - something like that, maybe even when trimming the motor...
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Old 31 March 2013, 17:23   #5
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OK - I see your edit now. That looks like very typical damage caused by saltwater to copper wire. I had exactly the same trouble you have with your electronics and found the same thing. It's a PITA as you get full volts at your instruments but that crap won't carry the amps you need. In my case, the VHF worked fine until I tried to transmit, it then fell back to "Lo" power.

Strip it all out and replace with tinned copper wire - it's a bit more expensive but will resist corrosion for much longer.

The random times will have been when you were making demands on the circuit, like running your sounder or transmitting - something like that, maybe even when trimming the motor...
Thanks. Yes, I like to take pictures on my phone, start a thread with them, and then edit the thread on the computer by adding all of the text.

I guess that I'll have to break in the stash of the good stuff! Stripping it back with all of that shielding will be fun...
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Old 01 April 2013, 04:11   #6
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As willk says, use tinned. That twin core you've shown doesn't look tinned to me. Unless you can seal the ends waterproof you'll only regret it. (and willk won't forget 'he told you so' when you post pictures of green/black cable again in a few years)
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Old 01 April 2013, 06:22   #7
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ANCOR MARINE Primary Wire by the Foot at West Marine
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Old 01 April 2013, 16:56   #8
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As willk says, use tinned. That twin core you've shown doesn't look tinned to me. Unless you can seal the ends waterproof you'll only regret it. (and willk won't forget 'he told you so' when you post pictures of green/black cable again in a few years)
So, I bought the mil spec stuff thinking it would match the rest of the wiring (some 16 gu and some 10 gu). Then, I read the fine print...

So, don't even use this stuff? Or just use it and seal it up with 2 layers of adhesive heat shrink like I already do for every connection I make?
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Old 01 April 2013, 17:03   #9
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Hmmm, the spec says tinned, but that photo doesn't look it to me. It also looks quite rigid i.e. not many strands.
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Old 01 April 2013, 17:16   #10
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Hmmm, the spec says tinned, but that photo doesn't look it to me. It also looks quite rigid i.e. not many strands.
Spec says tinned for the 16 gu that I bought for some LED light runs but it says 12 gu and larger is not tinned. So my 10 gu is not tinned!

I had planned on using this 10 gu in two places, ~3 ft per run, to/from from my 24v/12v converter (so 3 ft. carrying the 24v in and 3ft from the box out to my 12v switch panel).

What the heck is our military thinking ordering non-tinned wire?????
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