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Author Topic:   170-Montauk Electrical Distribution
Holy Cow posted 05-15-2003 11:43 PM ET (US)   Profile for Holy Cow   Send Email to Holy Cow  
Is there an electrical BUS BAR inside the console of the MT 170 to connect electrical acessories? I did not see one. HC
Jimm posted 05-16-2003 08:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jimm    
Nope! Ain't none - wire one direct from the accessory switch.
jimh posted 05-17-2003 12:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Changed TOPIC; was "Is there an electrical BUS BAR inside the..." Requiring the reader to recall the topic in order to make sense of an article is not a good technique because I often changed the TOPIC line of an article to reflect that actual contents of the the thread after it has run its course. The TOPIC and the article should both be comprehensible without referring to each other.--jimh]
Holy Cow posted 05-18-2003 11:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Holy Cow  Send Email to Holy Cow     
Yes there is a Bus Bar... But it is all used up, but I bet you could piggy back on top of some of those grounded items screwed down under that black cover............ I put a new West Marine 5 array Ground Bar and a 5 array load Bar for the VHF, console courtsey Lights, and the GPS, and FM radio... The 10 watt 2.5 inch round courtsey lights work great... Halogens!!! one on all four sides and the accessory toogle switch has a male prong ready for tie in!!! HC
jimh posted 05-19-2003 01:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I don't know if there is a section of the electrical code that governs 12-volt wiring on boats, but it is a good practice to conform to the requirement in 120/240 Volt distribution that only a single wire can be retained under a screw.

In other words, you should not use a screw threaded into a bus bar to hold more than one conductor, although this is not always observed in practive. Nevertheless, it is a good idea.

I also recommend using ring terminals on the ends of the wire to be retained under the screw. If you have to double up on a screw terminal it is best to use ring terminals to retain both wires.

Holy Cow posted 05-19-2003 08:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for Holy Cow  Send Email to Holy Cow     
Ring connectors, male/female connectors with shields and liguid rubber for tight sealed electrical connection is a must... I am wondering if any water ever comes through the front underside of the console at the "CANT"???
The bus bar is mounted on the CANT and am wondering if any water would or could ground out the battery and possibly break the 12 Volt system??? HC
kingfish posted 05-19-2003 08:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
(Geez, jimh, I guess I can't let you look at my wiring inside my console until I put about three more bus bars in)

tripled and quadrupled in Battle Creek

Jimm posted 05-19-2003 10:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jimm    
Cow, I think that bar you're referring to is for ground only - I added one for the positive side and fused everything from there.
Holy Cow posted 05-19-2003 10:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for Holy Cow  Send Email to Holy Cow     
Where did you put that Load/Positive side BUS BAR??? I have it now on the floor closest to the CANT/toe kick, but am going to more it up HIGH as possible so as to not allow water to hit it!!! HC
Jerry Townsend posted 05-19-2003 11:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
Having two bus bars is advisable - one for the ground and one for the hot side.

On my '96 17 OR, I have two (positive and negative) bus bars, both mounted high inside the console. Incidently, I also have non-conducting covers over each bus bars to preclude the possibility of something shorting between the bus bars.

Also realize that many electrical building codes vary from city to city. Some are downright scary. And like Jim, I am not sure if there is a electrical guide for marine 12v systems - but I would bet that the USCG has some guidelines - I will see what is there. ------ Jerry/Idaho

kglinz posted 05-19-2003 12:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for kglinz  Send Email to kglinz     
I haven't spent any time studying the CFR, but here's the link. It's Subpart I and starts at sec. 183.401.... ...
Kemp Lindsey
Jerry Townsend posted 05-19-2003 02:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
Thanks Kemp - I took a little time reviewing the regs - and could not see anything pertaining specifically to bus bars. One restriction that is applicable is that all conductors outside of the engine compartment must be at least 16 gauge - which certainly a metallic bus bar meets.

Another reg that is germane to this general thread is that a fuse or circuit breaker must be located in the proximity of the power source on each circuit. There are wire length limitations (183.455) from the power source, that should be reviewed as required by everyone planning electrical rewiring.

The regs also require that each ungrounded terminal which is continously energized (such as a bus bar - my words) must have a cover or shield preventing accidental shorting. ---- Jerry/Idaho

daverdla posted 05-19-2003 05:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for daverdla  Send Email to daverdla     
The National Electric Code, NEC, does not cover boats directly, read on.
From NEC 2002, 90.2 (B) (1)
"Installations in ships, watercraft other than floating buildings, railway rolling stock, aircraft, or automotive vehicles other than mobile homes and recreational vehicles."

However, after that section there is an FPN, fine print note. The explanation in the NEC handbook of the fine print note is:
"The NEC does not specifically address ship board wiring, Title 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 110-113, however does contain many specific NEC-referenced requirements. Those requirements which originate in the NEC are enforced by the US Coast Guard."


daverdla posted 05-19-2003 05:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for daverdla  Send Email to daverdla     
Oops-NEC 90.2 B 1 is a listing of what is NOT covered in the NEC.
Jimm posted 05-19-2003 06:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jimm    
HC, I put it on the rear console wall just over the "slanty" part. It's also in a little plastic box that I fabricated from a small (3 X 5") Plano parts box. There is an available lug on the accessory switch so that you can bring the power down to the new buss and also turn it off via the switch.
David Jenkins posted 06-17-2004 03:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Jenkins  Send Email to David Jenkins     
For running lights, etc, which wire should run to the switch, positive or negative?
Chuck Tribolet posted 06-17-2004 05:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
With 110V, ring conectors are rarely used, and it would be
dumb to put more than one bare wire under a screw. But two
ring connectors on the same screw? I don't see a problem, esp
if you can route the two wires in different directions.


Chuck Tribolet posted 06-17-2004 05:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
David: switch the positive side.


David Jenkins posted 06-17-2004 11:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Jenkins  Send Email to David Jenkins     
That's what I thougt. Thanks, Chuck.

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