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Author Topic:   Electrical appliances - help! :-)
JohnT posted 06-05-2001 02:27 PM ET (US)   Profile for JohnT   Send Email to JohnT  
I have recently purchased a depth/fish finder, a kill switch (the kind with a lanyard), a cigarette lighter plug thingy (you know, the female part that you plug stuff into) and a replacement hours meter (wiring and hole in place in console already). Does anyone have any suggestions/practical advice regarding installing these items? I think I'll install the hour meter first (it's just a plug-in kind of operation, after all), then the kill switch, lighter socket and last, the fishfinder (Humminbird 200SX with temp sensor). Does the order of installation matter (would it be easier to do things in a different order?), and does anyone have any tips on installing these items?

Thanks for any help you can give.


lhg posted 06-05-2001 02:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
John - without getting into too much detail, the kill switch and the hour meter will be connected into the engine electrical system. I would use engine manufacturer's instructions. Kill switch system should have been bought from them. Hour meter is simple and can be wired off another gauge. The power point socket would come off the "house" wiring system. Most electronics manufacturers recommend (to avoid interference) that the vhf and sonar/GPS be wired from leads directly connected to the battery, and not the "house" power bar. The fuses for these would be housed under the battery box top, at the positive lead. Be sure to use heavy enough wire to prevent voltage drop. See West Marine catalog for an excellent chart, giving round trip distances.
You'll be surprised at wire gauge needed to prevent more than 3% voltage drop.
triblet posted 06-05-2001 03:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
Figure how where everything is going to go.
Leave room for a console mount GPS and
compass amd VHF. Physically mount everything,
thens start wiring. That way you only have
to get a given tool out one day (I'd say
you are looking at three days work -- this
stuff always takes a LOT longer than you

I like to wire the "power point" (PC for
cigarette lighter socket) between the Aux
fuse and the Aux switch. That way you can
plug in a tricke charger there (yes, you have
to be careful about shorting the mail power
point plug on the charger), or charge your
cell phone/handheld VHF/battereies for the
GPS, etc, without leaving the AUX on.


JohnT posted 06-06-2001 01:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnT  Send Email to JohnT     
Thanks, Larry and Chuck! Your suggestions are very helpful and I will take them to heart. BTW, my kill switch is NOT an OMC (motor is a 1990 Johnson 88SPL) - I bought it at West Marine. There are very specific wiring instructions that came with it, and it appears to have been manufactured with OMC engines in mind, so I'm tempted to try it anyway (in other words, not heeding Larry's warning), but I'd rather not have one at all than damage my engine...

Larry - how important is it to be an original manufacturer's part? what is the concern, exactly (e.g., is it engine damage or the switch not working in an emergency or just nuisance)?

Thanks again for your help.


bigz posted 06-06-2001 01:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
JohnT, you probably got a Marine Works "universal" or maybe an after market Sierra "OEM" safety switch which just wires into your ignition and frankly that is all the OEM's do --- when the lanyard is pulled it opens the circuit and you kill the engine -- absolutely nothing wrong with using it just follow directions and mount in a convenient place near the ignition switch --- good luck and you do want it for safety reasons
lhg posted 06-06-2001 02:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
My Dual Merc 200's came with one of these kits, and it was complicated to install. Included some "diode" fittings, etc, and was not just spliced into the ignition wires. Took a lot of time to do. So I just figured these are somewhat complicated and engine specific. On mine, one cord kills both engines.

I don't use mine in the way intended. Instead, I have set it up as a hidden, security ignition kill, to prevent boat theft, or unauthorized joy riding (which I've also had happen at a dry stack place). It actually saved my boat from a total theft loss once while on vacation.

Mercury's system is interesting. The keys will still crank the starters, gauges light up and register, but there is no spark. Even fools me sometime, when I can't figure out why the EFI's won't start.

hauptjm posted 06-06-2001 02:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
Larry, interestingly I use mine for the same reason. One day I sat around trying to figure out how I wanted to set-up a "kill Switch" system as an anti-theft device. After an hour or so of 'playing' around with the boat, thinking of this and many other things to do, my wife walks up and says I thought you said that's what that thing does, pointing to the lanyard. Boy, I love my wife! Now, I know all someone has to do is carry the piece I remove to enable the system, but in reality, they don't. And if someone attempts, then returns with the correct piece, well guess what....they get your boat. Most thieves are opportunist, not geniuses or persistent.
dfmcintyre posted 06-06-2001 06:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
regarding the kill switch as a security system....

Good idea. I'd think about taking it one step further. If you pick up a second "key", complete with the red line, modify it to make it look like it's the real thing, replace your good one with the fake, the would-be thieves would NEVER figure it out.


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