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Old 06-02-2013, 08:50 PM   #1
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12 volt Wiring Question

My friend has a Boston Whaler, the starboard side electric down-rigger will not power up. Checking the voltage at the female receptacle were it plugs into shows just over 6 volts but shows no continuity on the positive wire, negative wire shows continuity.

What would cause this low voltage, pinched wire.... The port outlet show 12 volts at the plug with continuity and works fine.

All connections are cleaned with the batteries showing 12 volts.

Somehow I cannot wrap my head around this, but I am sure someone here can...
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:41 PM   #2
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Bad connector also?????
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Old 06-02-2013, 11:01 PM   #3
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I've got a 12V power receptacle that just gave up the ghost. I have a voltage readout on a small Garmin GPS that was powered by that circuit and it showed diminishing voltage before it quit working. I looked inside and found many years of rust and corrosion inside the socket. It's now on the schedule for replacement.

I'd suspect a loose or corroded connection or a bad receptacle. High resistance in the + side maybe? If there was no continuity on the positive side, you shouldn't be able to read even 6V.

If he plugs the stbd DR into the port side, it works normally right?

Having a portable 12V source like a jumpstart battery can provide an alternative power source that can point you into one direction (connector) or the other (power source).
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Old 06-02-2013, 11:09 PM   #4
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Port side works fine, female receptacle is brand new, voltage test was on the wires, even cut the connector off the battery end and attached directly to the battery......still scratching my head. The wire looks good and a real bear to replace but I fear this is the answer.I can't understand the 6 volt reading with no continuity. Hoping someone would have a better idea.
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:25 AM   #5
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Check resistance of the wire from plug to source.
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Old 06-03-2013, 02:08 PM   #6
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Wire broken inside its insulating sheath?
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:28 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input, what I was hoping for was if someone could explain why I am showing 6 volts at the receptacle with no continuity reading. Looks like we need to pull a new wire but not easy on a Whaler...... The things you do for your friends
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:42 PM   #8
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wild late night stab...could the positive be partially through very corroded (High resistance) to ground someplace? Thus the 6v and no continuity?

Doesn't sound right to me...but I've been wrong before not believing my hard to believe diagnostics....
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:59 AM   #9
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Troubleshooting Steps: voltage drop /Circuit re DC Equipment

If the issues is voltage drop then the voltage loss may be due to a short circuit, a ground fault or excessive resistance.

For any DC equipment / circuit trouble shooting the steps with the multimeter is Yoda of all. A combo of volts testing and the Ohms/Resistance tool on the meter to track it down from point by point on the circuit will find the problem. Once its done systemically on one problem, your life will be forever easier when the next thing comes up.

Here is a great site that explains the steps to trace down the problem through the entire circuit.

Troubleshooting Basic DC Electrical Problems - BoatingHowTo.com

Good luck! Lori
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Old 06-08-2013, 12:12 AM   #10
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Today we found the problem after trying to find out how they ran the wire thru the foamed hull. Well as it turned out they drilled straight thru the transom behind the rub rail, running the wires behind the insert in the rub rail to the downrigger location and then thru the side of the hull to the receptacle and reinstalled the insert. The wire insulation was compromised over one of the screws heads holding the rub rail on allowing water to get to the wire core which was corroded right thru. New wires and all is well
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Old 06-08-2013, 12:26 AM   #11
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Thanks for the followup, Mike. Glad you guys found the culprit.
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