As said you will find the computer is the biggest power gobbler.
Lights these days in LED draw very little current.
I bought 10 of these things put, into battery holders in a lunch box. I should have bought batteries with tags and soldered together. In my case They are charged by 10w solar an overkill. But I discharge them by about 4AH each night in garden lighting.
The beauty of NiMh batteries is that love to be discharged fully so you can get 11AH and are easily ligt enough to take home for charging. Just a thought olewill
Yes you can....................KISS
keep it basic, keep it simple and buy a small portable car/caravan solar charger to keep it topped up.
house wiring is generally better than 12v car wire, thicker and stronger too, lasts a few years more.
I'm part way through a rewire & have used 2.5mm trirated (whatever that means) untinned cable for £9.99/20m off ebay & switch panels from uk yacht rigging & supplies, also ebay...
The 'cheap' cable will 'only' corrode if damp.
So, keep it dry, sort all the leaks in your boat.
Tin the ends with soldering iron.
Spray connections with water repellent spray. (hard to solder again after that though)
Wrap the connections with self amalgamating tape, i have connections like that on deck which have lasted over 5 years.
Charge the battery up at home, cheapest option.
Some good advice from Vic.
A marine environment is a very hostile place for electrickery so you can do one of two things:
1. Build an unreliable lash up using cheap and unsuitable materials that requires relatively constant maintenance.
2. Do the job correctly.
Plan carefully and add additional circuit spurs via a larger accessory fusebox than you envisage you will need. This fusebox should have a main positive bus bar on one side and individual fuses out to simplify your connections. The bus bar must be rated to stand up to at least double your estimated current draw.
Each output should have its own switch.
Remember you will need a negative bus too, unlike most motor vehicles which uses the bodywork as the negative bus.
Battery: Where are you going to site it to keep the boat level, keep it out of the spray and out of your way? It will need to be in a box or tucked away in the hull out of the way. It will need to be fastened down and the terminals will need to be protected against getting shorted out by errant metal objects.
It will need a battery switch and main fuse located outside the battery compartment.
The main bus cable supplying your switch, main and accessory fuse box will have to be of the correct size.
As a rule of thumb I would suggest a cable rated similar to the capacity of the largest battery so a 60ah battery would use a 60amp cable. This should support a long cable run with minimal drop for the amps you suggest and allow a comfortable margin to allow the system to grow - as it almost certainly will. Main fuse in this case would be 30amp.
Terminals - 8mm tube terminals either soldered or crimped and protected by adhesive heat shrink tube. Secured to battery clamps by wing nuts. Terminals covered in vaseline and plastic covers over the top.
Accessories. All your lamps ect should have cable tails with waterproof connectors so if something fails it is a simple matter to unplug and sort out in comfort.
These are ideal and will take 14amps, also available with cable supports.
Another good connector is the jap bullet:
The insulator sleeves can be filled with vaseline keeping the moisure out and the cable is supported by its own outer insulation sleeve rather than by the connection.
You do need the correct crimpers for these to do a good job:
Cables: Why do you need tinned when you intend to keep moisture out via sealed terminations, heat shrink and liberal smearing with vaseline?
Fuse boxes: power distribution type with lid.
The dreaded spade connector - you will need female spades to connect to your power distribution box, again jap spades with insulating covers are best:
Again the sleeve / connector can be filled with vaseline to keep moisture out and the cable is supported by the insulation not the connection.
All these are best placed carefully in the dustbin.
Impossible to tell whether the cable is supported correctly, very difficult to fill with vaseline and cannot be inspected readily for corrosion. All this type IMHO should be used with the insulation removed and in conjunction with adhesive heat shrink on the tail to support and seal the cable. Male types as below you have no option. Remove the coloured insulation and use adhesive heat shrink in its place to seal and support the cable.
Again correct crimpers required:
AAARGH Nuff said - Davy Jones's locker for that one, the bin is too good for it.
Throw it over the side too.
and yes I do practice what I preach hope it helps you.
Last edited by tinkicker0; 15-04-12 at 07:15.
Avatar = Bailey - Gone but not forgotten.
on a nano budget all those things he's throwing overboard, grab and use, they'll do.
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