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Old 29 April 2014, 15:17   #1
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Extending battery cables

Hi

I got my first RIB in February and having spent the first few trips getting used to the quayside gatherings whilst I demonstrate my amateurish launches and recoveries, I am now trying to sort out a couple of things that don't seem right.

When I got the RIB, the fuel tank was out on the deck and the battery was in the space under the jockey seat. As part of getting it serviced I had the battery cables replaced as they were shot. I now realise that I have been a total numbnuts and that the battery has its own high level compartment at the front of the console and I should have the tank under the seat. My nice new leads are now too short. I understand from a web trawl that extending the cables is frowned upon as the joints are prone to water ingress and corrosion. What's the view on here? It just feels a bit mad to buy new longer cables after having spent 100+ on new leads only 6 weeks ago. Is there a decent way of extending them?

Thanks in advance
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Old 29 April 2014, 15:27   #2
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Don't patch in new cable onto an existing power cable, that's a recipe for electrical faults down the line. Use tinned cable, solder ends, heat shrink protective sleeve, etc. You might be able sell existing cable on Ebay to recover some money. That's my tuppence worth!

Earlier thread on exactly the same subject. Extending The Battery Cable
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Old 29 April 2014, 15:32   #3
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you can use butt connectors, either solder or screw fitting types, then heat shrink or self amalgamating tape to seal the joints

VWP - battery terminals
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Old 29 April 2014, 16:20   #4
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Cheers. Seems opinion is divided reading that old thread. No idea why I couldn't find it though as I did do a search.

I can see that replacement is ultimately the best fix but I like the idea of doing a good butt joint as it means that I can spend the cash on juice getting out this weekend rather than fixing something I probably should have thought of in the first place. I feel slightly better knowing that the joins will be high up inside the console and not too exposed.
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Old 29 April 2014, 16:57   #5
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If you really need to extend your battery cables perhaps look at Anderson style battery cable connectors. These are designed for the job, available in different sizes, easy to use and maintain. Although they are not waterproof they are extremely durable. If you use them within a console environment I'm sure they will last you at least a season or until you can justify replacing with longer cables.
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Old 29 April 2014, 17:10   #6
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Thanks. Will check these out too. It will only have to last this season and I'll see about getting them done over the winter.
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Old 29 April 2014, 20:01   #7
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Andersen connectors are good for a quick, effective, removable, plug in extension, but for a permanent joint, I'd suggest an inline crimp connector with heatshrink.
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Old 30 April 2014, 01:27   #8
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Personally would never add to a battery cable,,
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Old 30 April 2014, 04:01   #9
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Just read the old thread regarding joining battery cables and saw this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nos4r2 View Post
The ONLY thing I'll say on solder V crimp is there's a reason it's illegal to solder connections on aircraft.
For the record:
Soldering was once an accepted method of connecting cables in aircraft, there was a standard written for it and training for it's correct implementation.

I'm long since removed from that industry but was surprised to learn that what was once considered best practice is now (6 years ago) considered illegal. Who, when and why?

Back to the OP - Andrewe251003 - if that's your dob get an adult to help you
I think we all agree here that joining battery cables in an often exposed marine environment like on a rib is not ideal.
However a quality joint can be made by crimping and soldering that will retain the electrical properties of the cable. Just remember that if anything this will potentially be the weakest link in the system. Insulating the joint and protecting it from the environment are critical, lack of flexibility in the joint can be an issue and regular inspection and maintenance of the joint is advisable.
We all cut our positive cable and install battery cut off switches so perhaps you could treat this problem in a similar manner.

Good luck!
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Old 30 April 2014, 05:30   #10
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Wish it was my DOB! Sadly it's the date of my second marriage...
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