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Old 12-27-2014, 10:43 PM   #1
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A path to redemption for an electrical idiot

Hello all,

I've been putting this off for too long already. My name is Dave, and I am clueless when it comes to marine electrical systems. In fact, I've always had an aversion to electricity in general. I don't really understand it, and it makes me nervous, so I stay away from it.

I know what happens when I flip switches, but I don't really understand why it happens. I would like to learn more about this sort of thing, so that I might be more self reliant in the repair and installation department. Also, as I may be living aboard full time in the not too distant future, I'd like to understand how to manage an energy budget.

Do you guys have any recommendations for good guides to start with? Is there some great, glowing book of electrical bibledom that I should read? If it's colorful and could explain it to me like I'm five, that would be great!

Thankee!
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Old 12-27-2014, 11:09 PM   #2
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I believe there is a good book by Nigel Calder on marine electrical and mechanical systems. You might want to start with it.
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Old 12-28-2014, 12:14 AM   #3
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That!^

Calder's book is excellent, Marin is correct!
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Old 12-28-2014, 12:58 AM   #4
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Perfect, thanks gents! Time to git me a edumication!
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Old 12-28-2014, 02:29 AM   #5
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This 288 page book is a free download. Highly recommended.

http://www.mojaladja.com/upload/Boat...l_Handbook.pdf
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Old 12-28-2014, 08:12 AM   #6
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Great primer, thanks Noelex!
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Old 12-28-2014, 09:49 AM   #7
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Dave,
I've seen and used both references and they are worthwhile.
I'd also recommend finding a local US Sail & Power Squadron (Syracuse) and take advantage of their boater education courses. They have an excellent Marine Electronics course that will not only get you another good resource book but will give you a network of local experience to supplement the texts.
I'm an instructor with the neighboring Seneca Sail & Power Squadron... happy to help find contacts if you are interested.
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Old 12-28-2014, 12:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noelex View Post
This 288 page book is a free download. Highly recommended.

http://www.mojaladja.com/upload/Boat...l_Handbook.pdf
Go go gadget download!

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Dave,
I've seen and used both references and they are worthwhile.
I'd also recommend finding a local US Sail & Power Squadron (Syracuse) and take advantage of their boater education courses. They have an excellent Marine Electronics course that will not only get you another good resource book but will give you a network of local experience to supplement the texts.
I'm an instructor with the neighboring Seneca Sail & Power Squadron... happy to help find contacts if you are interested.
Hey, now that's a great idea. Thank you for that, neighbor. I'd love to get in on something like that. I checked the website and there are no courses listed within 100 miles of Syracuse. Actually, I didn't see anything listed anywhere in the state. I looked under advanced courses for engine maintenance, marine electrical and electronics. Do I need to be a member for that to show up? Maybe there just isn't anything scheduled at this point?
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Old 12-28-2014, 06:51 PM   #9
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Yes, the basic boating course is open to the public, but advanced grades and courses are for members only. It is not difficult to become a member. Contact the local squadron, take the public course, and they will talk to you about membership. I have been a member for 35 years. It is a good organization.
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Old 12-28-2014, 08:36 PM   #10
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Wayfarer, I was in the same boat as you some years back. I could put batteries in a flash light but that was about it. I obtained a book from Radio Shack that explained electronics as if you were a 5 year old. It used little stick figure drawings to explain current and voltage, resistance and inductance. Starting with that very basic primer I was able to learn electricity. If you are at the beginners level I highly recommend starting with that Radio Shack book.
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Old 12-29-2014, 12:22 AM   #11
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Thanks for the input, gang! I've got the Calder book on it's way up from somewhere in the Amazon. I'm looking forward to that, since it's got a bunch of other stuff I'd like to know more about as well. I started into the PDF that Noelex posted above as well, and so far that's been very easy to follow. Maybe soon I'll be able to answer as many stupid questions as I ask!
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Old 12-29-2014, 06:39 AM   #12
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I would suggest you make a list of all the electric stuff on board and down load or purchase the operating manual for each.

READ THEM !

Knowing what should happen during operation is all you should need.

Not everyone is amused by rewiring their boat , it is NOT a required part of the hobby.

Knowing why a CB can not be reset as you switch it is good information..

Replacing the CB or wiring or equipment can be done by someone else.
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Old 01-02-2015, 12:10 PM   #13
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I got the Kindle version of the Calder book, but find i would rather have the hard copy. The layout of the figures of the Kindle version are sometimes hard to reference from the text.


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Old 01-02-2015, 12:31 PM   #14
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I got the Kindle version of the Calder book, but find i would rather have the hard copy. The layout of the figures of the Kindle version are sometimes hard to reference from the text.


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I thought about going for the kindle version too. Knowing my luck, when I really need it on some dark and stormy night, the battery would probably be dead.
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:39 PM   #15
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Looking at the USPS site I see locations in up state NY but am not familiar with the distances to the various locations
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Old 01-02-2015, 02:14 PM   #16
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Sooo, are you doing your math homework in the Electrical Handbook? I expect a full report on your progress and will toss in a commercial; remember your high school algebra teacher? You owe him/her a vote of thanks for their efforts and all that talk about "...I'll never use it...?"
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Old 01-03-2015, 12:40 AM   #17
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Sooo, are you doing your math homework in the Electrical Handbook? I expect a full report on your progress and will toss in a commercial; remember your high school algebra teacher? You owe him/her a vote of thanks for their efforts and all that talk about "...I'll never use it...?"
If I'm honest, I haven't done much with it yet. Mr. Steinbeck has been taking up my free time and brain power for the last few days. I'll be sure to issue a report card when it comes in!
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