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Old 21 September 2013, 20:49   #1
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Switch panel wiring thoughts?

Hi,

So I am getting ready to think about wiring the new boat. I am planning on running a circuit breaker switch panel for the accessories. I wasn't sure what my best plan is for that. One switch per device? Do I run items that already have a power switch through the panel?

I am planning on:
Lowrance HDS9 with radar
VHF
bilge pumps(s?)
Stereo
Deck lights
Nav lights

I'm just trying to figure out how many switches I need and what size panel to buy. This is in addition to the big battery switch.

Thanks,
Jason
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Old 21 September 2013, 20:56   #2
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What I did was to use a 12 fuse panel and a 6 switch panel .
Anything with it's own inbuilt on/off switch uses that. I can't see the point in adding another switch.

If I need to isolate something completely, I can pull the fuse from the panel.
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Old 22 September 2013, 03:43   #3
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The fact the device has it's own switch us not really relevant, it's the fuse that's important.

My logic is....

I don't want inline fuses anywhere. They corrode and I will forget where I put them!

I don't want fuses because I will need to carry spares because, were, they corrode and I will forget where I put them.

So, circuit breakers all the way for me.

I sometimes put more than one device on a single breaker. However this has to be carefully planned. For example you don't want all navigation aids on the same circuit and for that circuit to blow, do you?

When I label them I always include the value of the breaker, that way I don't need to take it out to see the value
Good luck

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Old 22 September 2013, 04:18   #4
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I'd only not want to switch something if it had a hard off rather than soft off switch. Anything that is relient on sending low volt electronic signals to a 'brain' to shut down the system is (a) probably not 100% switching off or how does it send a low voltage on (b) assuming the brain will never have a huffy moment and stop listening to the switch... ...I'm sure we've all pulled the power wire to out computer etc at some point.

So you could do that with a fuse. But actually a switch and combined fuse might make sense?

You obviously MUST switch the blige, nav and deck lights seperately so thats 3 switches. So as these things usually come as 4's or 6's I'd have then said get a 6, and switch the VHF and Nav seperately and then decide what to do with the radio - same as the VHF or use the spare but will you ever want the spare for something else...

I'd get switches with fuses combined myself so the switch is also the fuse panel.
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Old 22 September 2013, 12:24   #5
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Can you give an example of a device that has a 'soft off'?

The only thing I can think of is my domestic fm radio that needs both a permanent live and switched live. The permanent live maintains the station memory so I wired that direct off the battery via (horror!) an inline fuse. I might add I don't carry a spare fuse for that because - who cares if the fm radio is down, unless it's time for the Archers! (o:
Ian

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Old 22 September 2013, 13:50   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j.i.wilson View Post
Can you give an example of a device that has a 'soft off'?
Be suspicious of anything that doesn't have a proper click switch! If its got soft rubbery keys like you get on a TV remote control then I'd expect power does something inside the unit even when off. Might be only 1 or 2 mAmps. Only way to know is to run the power through an ammeter.

So I'd want to be sure that most GPS, Plotters and Fish Finders really draw zero power when 'off'

Quote:
The only thing I can think of is my domestic fm radio that needs both a permanent live and switched live. The permanent live maintains the station memory so I wired that direct off the battery via (horror!) an inline fuse.
Thats the more transparent versions of 'soft off' - you know you are leaving a power supply running. I can't think of any decent marine kit that killing the power to it would wipe its memory like that.
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Old 22 September 2013, 17:53   #7
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thanks guys. I think that helps.

Jason
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