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Old 10-21-2020, 10:29 AM   #1
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Can I assume it is the wire?

Hello team!


Quick question: When we run our windlass and davit crane under load, the chartplotter (and I have to assume other electronics too) power cycles. Last month we replaced the house bank (8x6V GC2 flooded) and also replaced the 12V davit crane winch. Can I assume that the likely problem is that the gauge of the wire from the distribution panel is too small and causing too great of a voltage drop, thus causing a power-cycle(reset) of the chartplotter?



I know this isn't a lot to go on yet. I have not yet explored the current wire gauges, but many things I have seen about this boat has been cost-cutting, so I have to assume that they used the smallest wire they could when constructed. The run to the davit will be about 12' and about 25' to the windlass.



Again, I know this is vague. Sorry. I am just checking my assumptions.
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Old 10-21-2020, 10:39 AM   #2
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Where I would start is measuring the voltage at the windlass when it is under load. Then check the actual size of the wire and measure the distance to the windlass and back to ground. There are many charts out there that will tell you what size wire should be used for the amps that the windlass draws and for the distance of the wiring. Also check each connection and connectors for corrosion and/or looseness. Also do the same for your electronics as the wire problem could be there also. I always go oversize on the wiring since the difference in cost is a one time cost and isnít that much difference.
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Old 10-21-2020, 10:44 AM   #3
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You say you changed the davit winch and battery bank. Was there an issue with this before all of the changes?
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Old 10-21-2020, 10:52 AM   #4
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You say you changed the davit winch and battery bank. Was there an issue with this before all of the changes?

Sort of, yes. The bank was old and was in need of replacing anyway. It was 5 years old and was showing signs of age. However, the trigger point was when we anchored out a couple of months ago. We were lifting the dinghy back to its perch and the breaker for the davit kept popping under load. In an attempt to fix it, it was easy and cheap to replace the old winch for new. That eliminated the winch as the problem for a couple hundred dollars. After that I did a resting voltage test and specific gravity test. It showed the batteries were borderline, so I just replaced them as a preventative measure.
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Old 10-21-2020, 11:20 AM   #5
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Where I would start is measuring the voltage at the windlass when it is under load. Then check the actual size of the wire and measure the distance to the windlass and back to ground. There are many charts out there that will tell you what size wire should be used for the amps that the windlass draws and for the distance of the wiring. Also check each connection and connectors for corrosion and/or looseness. Also do the same for your electronics as the wire problem could be there also. I always go oversize on the wiring since the difference in cost is a one time cost and isnít that much difference.
Good advice. Go to the Windlass website and look up the install instructions. It will tell you the size wire you should be using.

If the batteries are 5 years old, then they maybe ready for replacement. I also have both my engines running with the alternators on when I raise my anchor.

Clean all the windlass connections. and then cover connections with liquid tape.

Is the MFD wired to the windlass circuit?
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Old 10-21-2020, 11:21 AM   #6
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Start measuring voltages. Plenty of wire calculators on line if you know the length amperage needed and current wire size. Also be sure all connections are proper and sized correctly. Once had a boat with a similar problem. Turned out that someone over the boats life had spliced the ground wire together with a piece of copper tubing. Did not find it until we pulled all the old wire out for replacement. Sounds like a little investigation is in your future.
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Old 10-21-2020, 11:24 AM   #7
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Every windlass installation I have seen powered the windlass directly from the batteries, through a 75, 100 or maybe 150A breaker that fed power to the windlass. Voltage drop in that wire would not affect your electronics because they are fed by a different wire to your DC panel.

But the windlass load may be pulling down the battery's voltage and then triggering a low voltage drop out on your electronics. But 8 6V batteries should be plenty stout to handle this.

Measure your house batteries terminal voltage while pulling up an anchor and see if it drops significantly.

Also it may be that your windlass is wired to some intermediate point like a 1,2,all switch and the connection from the batteries to that switch is light or maybe has a loose connection. So measure the voltage at that point which I would assume distributes power to both the windlass and the main DC panel. If that point has a significant voltage drop and the battery voltage doesn't drop much then you have a bad connection or small wire- unlikely because this is usually big starter cable size wire.

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Old 10-21-2020, 11:30 AM   #8
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You replace the crane motor and batteries.
So now after performing the same test the electronics cycle?
Did you check the new batteries to see their condition after the test? Results?

You run the crane and the windless at the same time? If that be true, you are sucking the voltage to very low. Let the voltage rebuild a bit via the charger or the engine.

What is the total amperage of the new (house) battery bank?

Have you considered moving either the crane or the windless to the start battery?

In my perverted mind, I would suggest to start the main engine before you make significant demands on the house batteries.
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Old 10-21-2020, 11:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldDan1943 View Post
You replace the crane motor and batteries.
So now after performing the same test the electronics cycle?
Did you check the new batteries to see their condition after the test? Results?

You run the crane and the windless at the same time? If that be true, you are sucking the voltage to very low. Let the voltage rebuild a bit via the charger or the engine.

What is the total amperage of the new (house) battery bank?

Have you considered moving either the crane or the windless to the start battery?

Good and excellent points!! Running the windlass and craine at the same time would kill your batteries.
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Old 10-21-2020, 12:33 PM   #10
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Don't assume its the wire. Lots of connections could cause this. Measure with a DVM and write down the results.
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Old 10-21-2020, 05:55 PM   #11
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Assume away., NOT. However, as said it may be loose or corroded/oxidized connections or a poor installation where they have drawn power from the control panel. If so then maybe all that is needed is a good cleanup , tightening, and maybe some new terminals if the existing are questionable.

I'm including both the neg & pos leads to the batteries.

Loads like this should be taken directly from the batteries through an appropriate C.B.

Often when just tagged onto a panel the panel feeds themselves are then to small to have this added without trouble.

An additional advantage to a direct feed is motors, especially those working fairly hard, can backflash a high reverse voltage upon shutdown, often several times that of the voltage they are fed with, which can do damage to electrical/electronic equipment. When fed directly from the batteries the batteries will act as a capacitor absorbing the back flash voltage protecting other equipment.

If the leads are lead to the panel yet are of appropriate size and type for the load then rather than rewire the entire circuit consider using Blue Seas Power posts for the neg & pos leads and extend to the batteries. Cover the power post connections of course. Of course check out that the existing wire is adequate.
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Old 10-22-2020, 08:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Good advice. Go to the Windlass website and look up the install instructions. It will tell you the size wire you should be using. Thanks... I will do that

If the batteries are 5 years old, then they maybe ready for replacement. I also have both my engines running with the alternators on when I raise my anchor. You might have missed it, but I have already replaced them when I noticed this was still happening

Clean all the windlass connections. and then cover connections with liquid tape. Will do... Like I said, I haven't started digging yet, but this will be at the top of the list.

Is the MFD wired to the windlass circuit? No

Inline above
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Old 10-22-2020, 09:00 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by DavidM View Post
Every windlass installation I have seen powered the windlass directly from the batteries, through a 75, 100 or maybe 150A breaker that fed power to the windlass. Voltage drop in that wire would not affect your electronics because they are fed by a different wire to your DC panel. Our is fed thru the breaker panel and not direct to the bank.

But the windlass load may be pulling down the battery's voltage and then triggering a low voltage drop out on your electronics. But 8 6V batteries should be plenty stout to handle this. This is what I assumed as well, so I think your above statement could be the issue

Measure your house batteries terminal voltage while pulling up an anchor and see if it drops significantly. I will try... We might have to do it in the yard. There's a lot going on during an anchor haul and I prefer to be at the helm while bess manages at the bow.

Also it may be that your windlass is wired to some intermediate point like a 1,2,all switch and the connection from the batteries to that switch is light or maybe has a loose connection. So measure the voltage at that point which I would assume distributes power to both the windlass and the main DC panel. If that point has a significant voltage drop and the battery voltage doesn't drop much then you have a bad connection or small wire- unlikely because this is usually big starter cable size wire.

David

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Old 10-22-2020, 09:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldDan1943 View Post
You replace the crane motor and batteries.
So now after performing the same test the electronics cycle?
Did you check the new batteries to see their condition after the test? Results? I have not done a post install test, but yes, the chartplotter did it both before AND after the new batteries were installed.

You run the crane and the windless at the same time? If that be true, you are sucking the voltage to very low. Let the voltage rebuild a bit via the charger or the engine. No... Never.



What is the total amperage of the new (house) battery bank? I don't know what the total amperage available on-demand, but with 8x6V batteries in series-parallel, the amp-hour rating at 12V is ~450 (4xbanks of 12Vx110AH each)

Have you considered moving either the crane or the windless to the start battery? I have not, but will consider it

In my perverted mind, I would suggest to start the main engine before you make significant demands on the house batteries. When using the windlass, the motors are running, however, when using the davit crane, they typically are not.

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Old 10-22-2020, 09:15 AM   #15
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Assume away., NOT. However, as said it may be loose or corroded/oxidized connections or a poor installation where they have drawn power from the control panel. If so then maybe all that is needed is a good cleanup , tightening, and maybe some new terminals if the existing are questionable.

I'm including both the neg & pos leads to the batteries. You are correct. I plan to start investigating this moving forward. I'd like to eliminate the easy stuff first.

Loads like this should be taken directly from the batteries through an appropriate C.B. Unfortunately, the builders weren't as smart as you. *sigh*

Often when just tagged onto a panel the panel feeds themselves are then to small to have this added without trouble.

An additional advantage to a direct feed is motors, especially those working fairly hard, can backflash a high reverse voltage upon shutdown, often several times that of the voltage they are fed with, which can do damage to electrical/electronic equipment. When fed directly from the batteries the batteries will act as a capacitor absorbing the back flash voltage protecting other equipment. Neat-O

If the leads are lead to the panel yet are of appropriate size and type for the load then rather than rewire the entire circuit consider using Blue Seas Power posts for the neg & pos leads and extend to the batteries. Cover the power post connections of course. Of course check out that the existing wire is adequate. That is an option, however, there is a pretty major rewire project in the near future. Currently all the battery switches and buss bars are in the engine room. My plan is to bring them into the salon. At that point, I can make some adjustments like direct to battery loads like these. At least I hope so

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Old 10-22-2020, 09:17 AM   #16
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Thanks for the tips everyone!!! And for the record, some of your acronyms/initialisms are odd.
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Old 10-22-2020, 09:20 AM   #17
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Remember, clean all the contacts, if you change the wiring, BIG circuit breakers and fuses unless the the breakers have a manual reset. Blue Seas make the ideal breakers.
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Old 10-22-2020, 12:25 PM   #18
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What is the total amperage of the new (house) battery bank? I don't know what the total amperage available on-demand, but with 8x6V batteries in series-parallel, the amp-hour rating at 12V is ~450 (4xbanks of 12Vx110AH each)

This was a error... Our total capacity is ~920AH. I miscalculated that the East Penn (NAPA branded) batteries were 110AH each and they are listed as 230AH. I knew that, but just messed it up while thinking and typing
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Old 10-22-2020, 01:10 PM   #19
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This was a error... Our total capacity is ~920AH. I miscalculated that the East Penn (NAPA branded) batteries were 110AH each and they are listed as 230AH. I knew that, but just messed it up while thinking and typing
110 or 230AH each makes a big difference.
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Old 10-22-2020, 02:28 PM   #20
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We had the same problem with instruments resetting due to the voltage drop. Rewired our windlass from the house batteries to the start battery and no more resets. To me this makes more sense because the start battery first starts the motor and then we operate the windlass.
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