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Old 06-03-2018, 01:51 AM   #1
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Curious About Windlass Wiring

After going through the original windlass motor on our 97 Troll, I decided to replace the unit entirely. I'm using a Five Oceans S612. Time will tell if my reliance on a Chinese product will be justified.

In pulling the old windlass off the deck, I was surprised at the small gauge of the wiring. Its no more than #10. The wiring up from the main fuse (I presume) is stouter, maybe 6 or 8, but it steps down to #10 before it goes in to the unit.

I just don't get that. The new one has #6 attached to it from the factory. How is it that the old one could have functioned with such thin wire? I'm pretty wire ignorant, but I'd have bet anything the amperage used to operate the windlass would have heated up that small wire like a branding iron.

I know lots of you guys are way more up on this stuff than me, so figured I'd ask here, to satisfy my curiosity..

thanks

toni
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Old 06-03-2018, 06:04 AM   #2
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Its all about how many amps the unit's motor draws under normal and overload situations.

It is also about distance between the power source and the windlass.

Pretty hard to cover the entire breadth of the subject in posting but yes it sounds like your old windlass had undersized wiring.....and for many of us with batteroes more than 10 feet away from the windlass, be cable size jumps quickly towards 2ga or bigger.

But the size can be all over the place depending on what I posted at the beginning.
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Old 06-03-2018, 08:00 AM   #3
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If the smaller wires than expected are coming out of the windless motor, OEM's "Original Equipment Manufacture", have different rules on wire size.


The installer/user have wire sizes charts based on amperage and length of run from the source, i.e. Batteries.
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Old 06-03-2018, 10:35 AM   #4
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thanks guys. I'm still scratching my head a bit, but plan on installing with the larger wire that is in place on the new unit.

toni
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Old 06-03-2018, 01:50 PM   #5
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You may need larger size wire than what is coming out of the windlass. What has been said about amp draw and distance is critical. You need to find out the amperage draw first. Then measure the total distance from the batteries and back to ground. Then you can make a logical choice as to what wire you need. There are tables that you can look up the distance and amp draw and it will show what size wire you need. You need to get the most voltage to the windlass that you can because the windlass will pull properly and not heat up as much. Keep in mind that you need some over current protection to protect the wires. Blue Seas website has the wiring size tables.
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Old 06-03-2018, 10:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comodave View Post
You may need larger size wire than what is coming out of the windlass. What has been said about amp draw and distance is critical. You need to find out the amperage draw first. Then measure the total distance from the batteries and back to ground. Then you can make a logical choice as to what wire you need. There are tables that you can look up the distance and amp draw and it will show what size wire you need. You need to get the most voltage to the windlass that you can because the windlass will pull properly and not heat up as much. Keep in mind that you need some over current protection to protect the wires. Blue Seas website has the wiring size tables.
using a 20 amp draw, which is what is specified, by my calculations I should use awg 8. that assumes ground goes back to batteries. That would be the max distance. The new windlass has 8. When I traced the 10 from the old windlass, about two feet back, it was mated to 8. So now, I'm using 8 the whole way on both pos and ground.

toni
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Old 06-03-2018, 10:21 PM   #7
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Toni: Sorry you had to replace your windlass. Ughh. What about your chain/rode and actual anchor? Keeping it original?
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Old 06-03-2018, 10:44 PM   #8
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For a 3% voltage drop with 8 gauge wire and 20 amp draw it would be good for 20 round trip. I like to wire just about everything for a 3% drop instead of 10%. It just costs a bit more and everything works better with the higher voltage. Good luck.
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Old 06-11-2018, 02:57 PM   #9
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Update on windlass wiring.

Sorted through the wiring and upgraded to what I thought was appropriate after removing the #10 wiring that had previously been spliced in between the old windlass. the main wiring harness.

As I squashed myself partially in to the chain locker, I turned over to look up at the wiring, which was fastened to the underside of the deck.

First thing I saw was this bees nest about 6 inches from my nose. Took a few seconds to register what it was, then about 5 seconds of pure panic knowing how long it was going to take me to back out of that locker with bees chasing me, then a few seconds of prayer of thanks when I realized it was old and abandoned. May all these years of clean living have finally paid off.
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Old 06-11-2018, 03:12 PM   #10
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So here's the replacement anchor next to the old. Slightly larger, naturally with holes that don't line up, with the gypsy on the opposite side, but other than that, pretty close. New one is, as I mentioned earlier, a 5 Oceans S612. Time will tell how it compares. (pretty low bar since the old one pretty much did not work past a few seconds.)
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