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Old 10-05-2016, 08:18 AM   #21
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I recently installed a charge relay and for the ends I had some copper lugs, but no crimper.
So I took a tubing flare tool. separated the 2 halves.
pushed the #4 gauge wire into the copper lug
Laid the lug on the crescent of the flare tool.
Used a large punch and hammer, smacked it down which secured the wire tight in the lug.
Then I soldered it using a torch.
Then if covered in heat shrink tubing.

Instead of a lug, a rectangular flat tool maybe a broad large screw driver would also work.
the flare tool cradled the copper lug, anyway it worked well for me.
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Old 10-05-2016, 10:03 AM   #22
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.......... As to a fuse, have not seen one, plans do not show one, and the first two or more feet of the cable does not have a fuse. But that is something to investigate. Thanks.
ABYC requires overcurrent protection in all circuits except the starting circuit. I'm just stating how it is supposed to be. If a previous owner did this install, there's no telling what you will find (or not find). Consider doing it right. The overcurrent protection is supposed to be as close to the source (battery) as possible.
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Old 10-05-2016, 10:07 AM   #23
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Greetings,
Mr. ww. One thing you might try in conjunction with your "small" wire test, as a last resort, is connect the "small" wires as before and starting at one end, push a small straight pin through the wire insulation to contact the inner copper wire. By moving the straight pin along the wire and testing with your VOM you should be able to isolate the stretch where there may be a break. I'm with the other guys though and think it unlikely that a battery cable is actually broken.
You can buy a tester with that small pin for piercing the insulation for testing purposes but only a hack would intentionally pierce the insulation of a wire or cable, especially on a boat. I would fire anyone who tried that on my boat.

It would be simple to feel along a cable to find a broken spot but it's highly unlikely that a battery cable would break internally. Remember it's made up of hundreds of small wires.
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Old 10-05-2016, 10:13 AM   #24
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Every man to his trade.. call a marine electrician.
Yep, we all need to understand our limits and call in a pro when necessary. When I was working I often had to undo the attempts at repairs by amateurs before I could tackle the original problem.
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Old 10-05-2016, 12:17 PM   #25
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I've seen but never used one of these - might be worth a try

Wire Tracer Kit

Underground / Buried Tracer Kit

Lots of videos of how to use these
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Old 10-05-2016, 02:25 PM   #26
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I've seen but never used one of these - might be worth a try

Wire Tracer Kit

Underground / Buried Tracer Kit

Lots of videos of how to use these
The first one is trade used almost specifically for voice /data cable. Does not work well thru insulation. The second one is what will help the O.P.
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Old 10-05-2016, 02:54 PM   #27
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This looks more like the sort of tool for 12v DC: (I don't buy Craftsman much since their slide in quality 30 years ago.)

Sears.com

Or a fancier one:

Sears.com
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Old 10-05-2016, 03:23 PM   #28
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This looks more like the sort of tool for 12v DC: (I don't buy Craftsman much since their slide in quality 30 years ago.)

Sears.com

Or a fancier one:

Sears.com
I have one of the second link - and it is simply a DVOM w/ a clamp on Ammeter that does work on DC - but the continuity function is the same as any VOM - it will tell you you have continuity or not but not where the break is - the ammeter won't help as if there in no continuity you can't get any amps to test

Not sure about the first one - not sure how they work - but I'm wondering if the circuit is broken if it will give you any indication where

The ones I linked actually put a signal into the wire to be tested and the unit receives the signal indicating how far it is traveling - As tinped mentioned the second unit is more likely to be of help to you
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Old 10-05-2016, 03:31 PM   #29
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You're right, Don. 'Ammeter' says it all. 'Voltage Detector' might actually be what it says it is.
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Old 10-05-2016, 03:42 PM   #30
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First checking for continuity (resistance) on a live DC cable will not work with any DVM. You should be looking for voltage and where it goes away.
Second if you can't trace the cable how do you positively know you have the right end?
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Old 10-05-2016, 05:44 PM   #31
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Thanks for all the help.
Today's frustrations went as follows: Based on suggestions went looking for a fuse(s). Actually found them buried in the cable trays. The fuse for the suspect cable was blown (no voltage on the downstream side. Went and got a new fuse (actually bought two figuring it was like headlights). Put new fuse in, now have voltage on the downstream side. Celebration starts ...

Go to panel, no voltage at the other end. Many curse words later... way I figure it somewhere between the fuse and panel there must be some problem that caused the original fuse to go (luckily for the PO)

So I am back to square one. At this point I will spend the money to get a pro in to run new cable to keep something bad from happening.

It would be interesting to find what caused the issue but not worth pulling an engine.

Thanks for all the suggestions. They did help.
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Old 10-05-2016, 05:49 PM   #32
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Progress sometimes comes in steps.
I have seen a report of issue w a battery selector sw. You might re check input post - or other end of suspect cable - to see if V is getting that far
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Old 10-05-2016, 06:11 PM   #33
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Bacchus,
tried all that. I actually ended up disconnecting both ends just in case. Since I don't know where it goes astray I figured better safe than sorry.

I actually probed under the insulation to get away from the crimped connector to be sure it was not the fitting gone bad.
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