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Author Topic:   Wiring Basics
Jefecinco posted 06-04-2010 10:48 AM ET (US)   Profile for Jefecinco   Send Email to Jefecinco  
An unnecessarily long post follows.

After installing a new VHF radio I found it would not power up/switch on. After reading the manual I found I was twisting the power knob rather than pushing it. Pushing it made no difference.

I had surface mounted the radio with some difficulty and hated the idea of removing it and replacing it later. So I called Standard Horizon's help desk. The technician I reached, Devin, suggested the radio was not getting power. Of course I'd already checked the fuse and removed the ground wire from the ground strip and wired it directly to the battery so that both power wires were now directly connected to the battery. He suggested using a volt meter to check battery voltage as a minimum of 12 volts is needed to operate the radio.

Battery voltage was 12.55 volts. Next I disconnected and checked the battery side of the radio to power cable connector pins and found no voltage. I then opened the positive side of the cable at the fuse holder and checked voltage to the battery side of the fuse holder and again found no voltage. What could it be? Could the cable be open inside the insulation. Of course not. Next I removed the battery terminal nuts and placed the radio power cable ring terminals on top of the others and reinstalled the nuts. I checked voltage again from the ring terminals only. That was 12.55 volts.

I then checked voltage from the battery terminal to the fuse holder once again and got no voltage. I decided to test the cable for continuity so I removed it. While preparing to do the continuity test I observed that the ring terminal did not look quite right. Close inspection revealed I had crimped the wrong side of the crimping surface. I've done a lot of terminal crimps over the years and this is the first time I've made such a basic mistake.

Of course when I replaced the ring terminal and reinstalled the wiring the radio powered up properly.

My excuse for such sloppy work is that while I was doing the radio installation it was trying to rain and I was in a hurry to finish up so I could close the console and get in the house.

This fiasco has been added to the long list of errors I have made while trying to do work in haste. I reached my 70th birthday today. You would think I would have learned by now!


Bella con23 posted 06-04-2010 07:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bella con23  Send Email to Bella con23     
Happy Birthday!
jimh posted 06-05-2010 08:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
One of the aspects of electrical or electronic diagnosis which I find enjoyable is the very great consistency in which electricity follows the Laws of Physics. As you discovered, when there is no connection there is no current flow.

Based on reading your many articles, I had developed an impression of a much younger person, and I was very surprised by your announcement of having reached age 70. I would not have suspected it! As for age, I will turn 60 later this year. In regard to visual acuity, I have three pairs of glasses, each with different focal lengths for various situations, and I keep a magnifying glass handy, both at work and at home.

Jefecinco posted 06-05-2010 09:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     

Yes, the Laws of Physics seem always to win.

Thanks for the hint about the usefulness of glasses with differing levels of magnification. I have worn glasses for as long as I can remember. During a road trip with my father in 1946 when I was around the age of six he discovered my vision was not normal. I could almost read at that age and liked to show off at any opportunity. To be helpful my Dad invented a little game. He would read the first Burma Shave sign, I would read the second, he the third, etc. He noticed that I would read the sign when we were much closer than when he would read it. He then slowed the car and told me to read the signs as soon as I could. I was wearing the dreaded specs within the week and ever since.

This year I will probably have cataract surgery. I'm hoping for 20-20 long vision results but am advised I will continue to need reading glasses. I think I'll get three pair.


jimh posted 06-06-2010 10:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
ASIDE: Mentioning Burma Shave signs is a clear indication of your age! I recall many vacation trips in northern Michigan in the 1950's and 1960's where reading Burma Shave signs along the two-lane roads was a great way to pass the time.

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