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Author Topic:   Electrical Interference From Steering Cables
1985supersport15 posted 05-07-2008 10:26 AM ET (US)   Profile for 1985supersport15   Send Email to 1985supersport15  
Is running [a SONAR] transducer cable along steering cable going to cause any interference? Is there any risk of interference when mounting GPS unit and GPS receiver on the console too close to each other or too close to metal parts?

Any advice on in-line fuse versus traditional connection to a circuit board?

where2 posted 05-07-2008 11:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
I would test the antenna location and the receiver location for the GPS in the yard prior to mounting the antenna permanently. I have seen a Standard Horizon CP150 unit which had symptoms of poor satellite acquisition when the antenna was mounted too close to some internal component inside the receiver. When the antenna was moved 6" away, it worked fine. That's why I suggest testing it.
swist posted 05-08-2008 11:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
"Is running transducer cable along steering cable going to cause any interferance."

Not likely. It's done all the time.

"Additionally is there any risk of interference when mounting GPS unit and GPS receiver on the console too close to each other or too close to metal parts?"

See previous reply by "where2". It's not like it's difficult to set it up temporarily to see how it works.

"Any advice on in line fuse vs traditional connection to a circuit board?"

Do you mean traditional connection to a more permanent distribution panel with breakers? Most electronics come with inline fuse holders because they don't how it is going to be installed. On most small boats, all you have is some DC distribution bus bar (or less) and inline fuses are your only choice. Obviously if you have a breaker panel, it's a lot neater way to go - inline fuses are awkward to route and secure neatly (and if you do it makes them hard to change). Most of the time you see them dangling in the air somewhere in the console wiring.

It's easy enough to clip off the inline fuse if you have a better way.

jimh posted 05-09-2008 09:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Mechanical steering cables do not have any electrical signals in them. There is no possibility that a mechanical steering cable can cause interference to an electrical cable run parallel to it, unless there were some sort of electrical short circuit being created.

I don't quite understand the difference between a "GPS unit" and a "GPS receiver." To me those are equivalent items. If you are referring to a GPS antenna and a mandatory separation of the antenna from the receiver, check with the manufacturer for their recommendation. The signals being received by a GPS receiver are coming from satellites which can be located as low as on the horizon or as high as directly overhead. The antenna for the receiver needs to have a clear and unobstructed view of that sky to be able to receive signals from the satellites. Materials such as Sunbrella cloth or the typical fiberglass laminate structure of a boat are transparent to radio signals. Metal components are opaque to radio signals.

As far as I can tell any connections to circuit boards are usually inside the enclosures of marine electronic devices. You should not be making any sort of direct connection to circuit boards.

In-line fuses are often provided on equipment, but in most boats there are electrical distribution panels which provide fused circuits. Some manufacturers recommend retaining an in-line fuse to protect their device with a lower current rating fuse than that used for the entire circuit branch to which it is connected.

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