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Old 03-21-2014, 02:16 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by BlueSky View Post
I think the determining factor here is that it is a very old unit that I plan on replacing in the next year or so at the most. I'll take a stab at a repair first. Gives me a chance to practice a new skill.

Please reconsider.


"taking a stab" at a repair using "a "new skill" on an item you may really need on a dark and stormy night is not an inspiring thought.

Install some new cabin lights for practice.
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Old 03-21-2014, 02:31 PM   #22
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I would call Raytheon directly with the model number and maybe serial number at hand. They should be able to tell you if the cable is still available. If so, I would go that route. You don't need radar except when it's crappy, and things usually don't fail until it is. I have a similar set up it seems. The PO ran the cable through the pre-cut hole in the (Edson brand) mast, about 2 feet below the radar dome. Had he run it through the base or even close to the bottom of the mast, it would not be an issue. Good Luck and thanks for the reminder to be more careful when I am raising/lowering the mast, which I have to do to fit under my covered moorage.
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Old 03-21-2014, 02:40 PM   #23
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I am not a surveyor so I don't care.

I have spent more time then I care to admit repairing poor and stupid electrical connections that have or will fail at some point, done by others.

My connections cost more, the proper crimping tool cost me over a c-note. but my connections will never need to be redone by me or anyone else.

The connection you describe would be changed almost immediately on my boat, but if it works for you great. I use elect. tape to whip rope ends while making a splice and that's about it.
Can you tell me what you use? I have only ever used the standard automotive crimps. I have tried them but after sometime they ALWAYS end up corroded. I have even the 'marine corrosion resistant' terminals would always come up corroded. Not so much the terminals themselves but the wires inside.

Every one that i have ever put on i have either filled the barrel of the terminal with solder or cut off the connector and soldered the wire.

If there is a better way i am open to learning. I may have a hard time parting with a c-note for a wire crimper. But if the tool makes the difference i could be convinced...Do you loan yours?

I have soldered everything from generator wiring for my camper, to race cars instrumentation, trailer lights (think road salt), to various things in our fresh water boats.

Not one of my solder joints have ever got a crack, split or failed. If they do that then they were cold jointed or disturbed. it is a skill and just sticking it together isn't good enough.


admittedly, The marine environment is still somewhat new to me. I do try to do things the 'right' way.
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Old 03-21-2014, 02:58 PM   #24
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There are likely three or four different issues here: 1) standard electric cables that can be crimped with heat shrink connectors. 2) very small thin wires that cannot be crimped, there are specialized press lock blocks that work for these which can be weather proofed with shrink wrap, liquid electrical tape, etc. 3) coaxial RF shielded cable which usually requires soldering and is prone to degradation in performance when spliced. 4) twisted pair which, frankly I don't know how you splice that right. I am sure there is a way. Not familiar with it being used on radar, but I haven't nearly seen it all.

So definitely a new cable is by far the best solution. It's not so much the cable itself which should be a problem sourcing from Raymarine or elsewhere, but they may have changed the connectors at either end. If no joy from the manufacturer, the salvage yards like Sailorman, Sailor's Exchange et al will often have remainders from take outs etc, like wise larger electronics sales and installation shops.

Edit: Just looked at e-Bay. There all kinds of Raytheon radar cables on there.
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Old 03-21-2014, 03:23 PM   #25
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I was in the Air Force when they transitioned from soldering and lacing wire bundles to crimps and tie-straps. Techs had pride in how well everything was soldered together and laced up. USAF mandated the change to crimps and tie-straps as they are more reliable and don't break. You can get a good ratcheting crimper at West Marine that has removable and inter-changeable dies for different style of connectors. It was a couple of bucks but worth every penny. I won't get into the argument of soldering versus crimp style but there are some smart people that figure this stuff out and there must have been a reason all the services and fed agencies switched and re-wrote the standards.

My buddy got a car when he was a kid. He immediately pulled the front coils out and was cutting them with a hacksaw when his dad came in and asked him what he was doing. He said cutting it down so it was lower and would take the turns tighter. He said his dad just looked at him and said, "Yeah, those idiot engineers at GM probably don't know anything about front ends and handling. I'm sure a 16 year old kid knows better." and just walked away. We always laugh about that whenever we try to out-guess people that write standards and design things. This is just my opinion though, I always thought soldering with shrink wrap and a properly laced bundle looked better...
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Old 03-21-2014, 03:27 PM   #26
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... 2) very small thin wires that cannot be crimped, there are specialized press lock blocks that work for these which can be weather proofed with shrink wrap, liquid electrical tape, etc...
My former BIL worked for verizon and he gave me a bunch of the ones they use for splicing their lines. When I ran out I got more from Lowes. They are filled with a waterproof gel that seals when you press the "crimp" button.



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Old 03-21-2014, 03:28 PM   #27
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If I were splicing the cable, I would use properly sized uninsulated butt splice crimps staggered, 3:1 adhesive lined heat shrink at least 2X the butt splice length and one large piece to enclosed all. I use the unisulated to be sure the crimp is in proper alignment with the tool so you dont crush the barrel. You can crimp down to 26 gauge if you have the proper tool.
McMaster Carr, Newark Electronics, Mosley, all carry what you need and way cheaper than at a marine outlet.
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Old 03-21-2014, 03:35 PM   #28
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My former BIL worked for verizon and he gave me a bunch of the ones they use for splicing their lines. When I ran out I got more from Lowes. They are filled with a waterproof gel that seals when you press the "crimp" button.



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That would be a 3M Scotchlok. An example of what i was referring to for the thin wires.

Again, it sounds like the OP has some wires too thin for crimp connectors.
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Old 03-21-2014, 03:50 PM   #29
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Wow, lots of good advice here. I appreciate the responses.

Looks like this had happened before, when I pulled out some of the cable I found a place where half of the wires had been previously spliced.

I'll give this some more thought before deciding exactly what to do. By the way, the unit is a Raytheon R21X. And I'll try and include a photo of the wires.


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Old 03-21-2014, 04:01 PM   #30
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Why not count the number of connections needed and get a weather proof amphenol connector and fix both the wire and the problem?
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Old 03-21-2014, 04:05 PM   #31
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The OP mentioned crimp connectors so I assume the wire isn't smaller than what would be appropriate for the smallest crimp connector that as far as I know is the red colored crimps.

I would use them. But not solder. In my ultralight flying days I started out using soldered connected wires thinking I was doing a good job only to find out that vibration would break the wire right at the end of the solder. Engineers would probably call that point a stress riser. The wire would break just like you were trying to break a wire by bending it back and forth. The more vibration the more soldered wires break this way. The crimp connectors don't seem to do that.

On my radar arch I crimped all the connectors minimizing their number and sealed them w 5200 or similar. Lasted 8 years at least. I think it helps to feather out the sealer so the bending part of the wire is as long as practical. If you don't like the globed on look of the sealer shrink wrapping is a positive move.

As for splicing a coaxial cable it is easily done if you know what you're doing as I did when I was an electronics technician in the Navy. That was in the 60s. Now I'd get a new cable.
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Old 03-21-2014, 04:37 PM   #32
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That is a shit-ton of wires in a single bundle to try and fix if you don't have some pretty good slobbering skills. I took a college course in it and I don't know that I would attempt it. It's not that I couldn't do it, it's just that I wouldn't trust it for very long after. More importantly, it would take many hours to get right.

Can you pull the whole bundle out of the arch and get it on a bench to work on it? That would be key to me.
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Old 03-21-2014, 04:55 PM   #33
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We spliced our Furuno Radar. We talked to 3 different Furuno installers/specialists/etc. The answer was, "it's done all the time". Right or wrong, here's what we did. The original installers left a service loop under the seat by the fly bridge. We had 24 wires in varying gauges. A water proof box and 2 euro type terminal strips. The coax was a bit of pain. The shields I tied together. This was 2 years ago and it has work.
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Old 03-21-2014, 05:00 PM   #34
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Hey! That's pretty slick, Larry. Nice.
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Old 03-21-2014, 06:00 PM   #35
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Can you tell me what you use? I have only ever used the standard automotive crimps. I have tried them but after sometime they ALWAYS end up corroded. I have even the 'marine corrosion resistant' terminals would always come up corroded. Not so much the terminals themselves but the wires inside.

Every one that i have ever put on i have either filled the barrel of the terminal with solder or cut off the connector and soldered the wire.

If there is a better way i am open to learning. I may have a hard time parting with a c-note for a wire crimper. But if the tool makes the difference i could be convinced...Do you loan yours?

I have soldered everything from generator wiring for my camper, to race cars instrumentation, trailer lights (think road salt), to various things in our fresh water boats.

Not one of my solder joints have ever got a crack, split or failed. If they do that then they were cold jointed or disturbed. it is a skill and just sticking it together isn't good enough.


admittedly, The marine environment is still somewhat new to me. I do try to do things the 'right' way.

I use a heat shrink with sealer/adhesive butt connecter (Anchor brand) and a ratcheting crimp-set with the correct size dies for the connecter, this is for all "inside" connections.

For "out side and bilge" I do as above but add an adhesive lined heat shrink sleeve to the connection.

I buy my connectors from any good marine supply house and have found Anchor to be of very satisfactory quality, pricey yes, but like I said, only do it once.

Saltwater spray, mist, vapor, smell is the most nasty thing to electrical stuff and will destroy a poor connection quite fast.

When I flip a switch I want whats connected to it to work.
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Old 03-21-2014, 07:14 PM   #36
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No problem splicing power wires, but as ksanders said, one of the cables is signal cable. It's either RF coax cable, or a twisted pairs network cable similar to today's CAT5E Ethernet cables. I suspect the latest as you indicated seeing "telephone" wires.

If it is a twisted pairs cable you can splice it or install RJ45 male and female connectors (specialized tools required).

If splicing make note how the individual pairs of wires are twisted and retain it while splicing. The twisting protects pairs from each other and from external interference. This might be a bit finicky as each wire and each pair soldering points must be stacked and insulated from each other. If there is any external shielding, recreate it too.

I think you will find terminating the ends with RJ45 connectors easier. Again, these could be male and female connectors, or two male connectors, one on each side of the signal cable plus double female mating piece.
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Old 03-21-2014, 08:50 PM   #37
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Lots of advice here, some pretty good and some not so good.

Certainly twisting the wires together and putting a drop of solder on them is in the "not so good" category. If you don't know how to solder wires neatly and correctly, soldering should be off the table unless you hire someone to do it.

Wrapping the connections in electrical tape for insulation or "mechanical fastening" is also in the "not so good" category. Tape is not permanent and doesn't stand up to heat, cold and moisture.

Repairing these conductors as a way to put new skills to work could result in failure at the worst time. If one wants to try out new skills, practicing on scraps of wire would be best.

Additional plugs and sockets are additional potential points of failure.

Anything 18 gauge or larger should be spliced with marine grade crimp connectors appropriate for the wire gauge. The best are the ones with the adhesive filled heat shrink tubing attached. Done correctly they are waterproof and vibration proof.

Smaller conductors can be spliced with the ScotchLok connectors shown above but again, be sure they are the appropriate size for the conductors. Keep in mind that they are heavy enough that when subject to vibration they could eventually fatigue the wires. It would be best to secure them in place to avoid this.

Personally, I would solder the very small wires and cover the joint with heat shrink tubing but I have many years experience as an electronic technician and have made thousands of soldered connections. I wouldn't suggest that a beginner do this on a boat and a critical system.
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:49 PM   #38
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Lots of advice here, some pretty good and some not so good.

Certainly twisting the wires together and putting a drop of solder on them is in the "not so good" category. If you don't know how to solder wires neatly and correctly, soldering should be off the table unless you hire someone to do it.

Wrapping the connections in electrical tape for insulation or "mechanical fastening" is also in the "not so good" category. Tape is not permanent and doesn't stand up to heat, cold and moisture.

Repairing these conductors as a way to put new skills to work could result in failure at the worst time. If one wants to try out new skills, practicing on scraps of wire would be best.

Additional plugs and sockets are additional potential points of failure.

Anything 18 gauge or larger should be spliced with marine grade crimp connectors appropriate for the wire gauge. The best are the ones with the adhesive filled heat shrink tubing attached. Done correctly they are waterproof and vibration proof.

Smaller conductors can be spliced with the ScotchLok connectors shown above but again, be sure they are the appropriate size for the conductors. Keep in mind that they are heavy enough that when subject to vibration they could eventually fatigue the wires. It would be best to secure them in place to avoid this.

Personally, I would solder the very small wires and cover the joint with heat shrink tubing but I have many years experience as an electronic technician and have made thousands of soldered connections. I wouldn't suggest that a beginner do this on a boat and a critical system.



May I add a +1 to this post. I agree completely.
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:29 AM   #39
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I used to routinely splice 12v bilge pump wires with anchor adhesive butt connectors. They were often submerged & always damp - never had a single failure. Trick is to use good crimper, pull firmly to test (good crimp is actually fusing wires physically) and slowly rotate crimp while you heat; making sure you visually see adhesive seep out fully around wire. Never fails :^)
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Old 03-22-2014, 11:28 AM   #40
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,I was forced to repair a cable on a Raymarine radar the same as you. A trip to Radio Shack will get you the proper size connectors. use quality heat shrink tubing of the correct size and you will not have any problems
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