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Old 08-01-2021, 09:13 PM   #1
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Outside Connections for Electronics

I'm looking for opinions on how others care for electrical connections to outside mounted electronic equipment. My Garmin gps is not in-dash. When not in use I usually remove the head unit and rubber band a sandwich bag over the plugs. At some point I forgot to bag the terminals. They corroded a little bit and caused a power up issue. This was rectified by filling the holes with dielectric grease and plugging and unplugging a few times.

The plugs have seals. Does anyone just leave their electronics out and plugged in? Is it possible to obtain the male side of the fittings with screw on sealed attachments?
Male plugs are available but not sure about screw-on sealable options like on the unit. Then I could leave them dummy plugged.
What do others do?
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Old 08-01-2021, 09:28 PM   #2
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They do make male cable ends that can be used as plugs, maybe individually and maybe on a cable that can be cut down.. I'd need to see what yours looks like to provide a model number.

My electronics are built in, but on my old boat, before they were, I used small zip lock freezer bags and rubber bands. Neither lasted super long in the sun, but were painless to replace proactively as prudent.

Some people do leave their equipment out and exposed. But, having seen boats where that has been done for a while, it does take a toll.

I've also seen plenty of corroded connectors from exposure so I think you are doing right to protect them.

I don't trust the ip caps that come on them very much. I used them -- and the bags.
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Old 08-04-2021, 07:50 PM   #3
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These are the plugs:
Garmin power
NEMA 2000
and Ethernet

I'm going to check with Garmin as well.

For some reason they don't provide a cap with the power plug
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Old 08-04-2021, 07:55 PM   #4
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Why not o simply replace your cable gland/grommet by an IP65 box with a lid where you can store your cable ends when not in use?

L
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Old 08-04-2021, 10:50 PM   #5
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I have 2 Lowrance chartplotters and a Furuno radar mounted on my flybridge and they are out in the weather whenever the boat is in the water and have been for the past 10 years. On the advice of a marine electronics guru I have all my electronics powered from a common Blue Sea fuse panel and the 12v source for the panel is fed via a switch. He advised me that electronics are best if ALL power supply is removed from each unit. This removes any chance of corrosion in the plugs and cable connections. Just turning each unit off does not remove the power in the cables. I also apply dielectric grease to all connections.
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Old 08-04-2021, 11:19 PM   #6
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I have 2 Lowrance chartplotters and a Furuno radar mounted on my flybridge and they are out in the weather whenever the boat is in the water and have been for the past 10 years. On the advice of a marine electronics guru I have all my electronics powered from a common Blue Sea fuse panel and the 12v source for the panel is fed via a switch. He advised me that electronics are best if ALL power supply is removed from each unit. This removes any chance of corrosion in the plugs and cable connections. Just turning each unit off does not remove the power in the cables. I also apply dielectric grease to all connections.
I Agree with Bill.
My fly bridge electronics are pretty naked, get dosed regularly with salt.
Grease in the plugs, and a frequent wipe down with a corrosion block soaked rag. After a particularly nasty voyage, they get sprayed down with the hose, just like everything else.
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Old 08-05-2021, 10:05 AM   #7
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None of the connections on my flybridge (or tower) electronics are directly exposed to weather, but I put dielectric grease on every plug connection, every time I connect or disconnect. I started doing that because an IP camera I installed at the top of my tower was having intermittent connectivity issues, even though the RJ45 jack was wrapped in waterproof tape. No problems anywhere since.
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Old 08-05-2021, 12:59 PM   #8
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re: "This was rectified by filling the holes with dielectric grease and plugging and unplugging a few times."

You would have done better using electrical contact cleaner and plugging and unplugging a few times. Once the conductors were free of corrosion, then would be the time for the dielectric grease.

Having to remove and reinstall electronics for each voyage is certainly a PITA. Deal with it the best you can.
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Old 08-05-2021, 02:19 PM   #9
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Having to remove and reinstall electronics for each voyage is certainly a PITA. Deal with it the best you can.
I didn't read the OP as having to remove them, but rather choosing to in order to avoid them weathering.

OP: How about a fly helm cover of Sunbrella or other marine material to keep the whole helm area out of the elements? (Or is security one of the issues - canvas wouldn't really fix that except for "out of sight.")
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Old 08-06-2021, 12:34 PM   #10
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I didn't read the OP as having to remove them, but rather choosing to in order to avoid them weathering.

OP: How about a fly helm cover of Sunbrella or other marine material to keep the whole helm area out of the elements? (Or is security one of the issues - canvas wouldn't really fix that except for "out of sight.")
Thanks for all the suggestions.

I do have a sunbrella cover for the helm but the salt air corrosion issues still prevail through that.

Garmin is sending me a weather cap for the power cord. Not sure why they leave that one out. All the others came with a dedicated cap.

No answer from them re. whether they have available screw in female ends like are on the unit so I could dummy plug them.

Rwidman youíre right, shouldíve used something like Corrosion Block 1st.

So for now I think Iím going to use greased up Garmin weather caps.

and I think Iím just going to keep extra bags, Corrosion Block or equivalent, dielectric grease, and extra rubber bands handy on bridge so Iím less likely to neglect again.
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Old 08-06-2021, 05:35 PM   #11
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I do have a sunbrella cover for the helm but the salt air corrosion issues still prevail through that.
Ah, I see.

Then I kind of liked the idea of (I think it was Lou_tribal) about some sort of box around them. Tho that may not be practical with your helm setup.
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