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Author Topic:   Dual v. Separate Bus Terminals
Graphiterod posted 05-05-2009 02:19 PM ET (US)   Profile for Graphiterod   Send Email to Graphiterod  
Please excuse my limited knowledge, this may be a stupid (or too simple) question. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a dual bus terminal on an 18-foot center console boat?

For each component both the positive and negative lines run to a terminal. To me it makes more sense, and appears to be more convenient to have the lines next to each other running to a dual bus terminal. What is the advantage of installing separate terminals and having the positive line run in one direction, and the negative line run in another direction?

jimh posted 05-09-2009 07:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
There is no electrical difference between a wiring configuration in which the positive and negative leads are wired to a electrically-isolated dual bus and one in which separate single buses are used. The difference is simply mechanical.

In a small boat like an 18-foot center console, it is unlikely that the total number of electrical loads would be so large that it would be necessary to segregate the positive and negative leads and wire them to physically separated buses. However, in larger electrical systems, use of two buses, physically separated, for positive and negative leads may be beneficial as it will reduce the density of the wiring. Wiring can become cluttered when its density is high. Spreading the wiring among two distinctly separate buses can help maintain the organization and aesthetic of the wiring.

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