Wiring/Electrical tips from a pro.

Jmolan

Member
There is a lot of discussion here about wiring and battery banks ect. I have found this guys tutorial or illustrations to be very helpful. It is my goal to make it look as good as he does. If you have links that have helped you, feel free to add.

This is the main page, you have to scroll down a bit past boat related stuff (though the sealants link is good) to pick out the electrical stuff (is worth it)

https://marinehowto.com/

With some good stuff pulled out: I was looking for a way to calibrate my Victron battery monitor. Turns out it can be pretty important.

https://marinehowto.com/programming-a-battery-monitor/

https://marinehowto.com/making-your-own-battery-cables/

http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/battery_cables

http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/inverter_inefficiency

http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/wire_labeling

http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/battery_fusing

Much more (along with boat stuff) but I like his style.
 
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Spike HG

New member
There is a lot of discussion here about wiring and battery banks ect. I have found this guys tutorial or illustrations to be very helpful. It is my goal to make it look as good as he does. If you have links that have helped you, feel free to add.

This is the main page, you have to scroll down a bit past boat related stuff (though the sealants link is good) to pick out the electrical stuff (is worth it)

http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/boat_projects

With some good stuff pulled out: I was looking for a way to calibrate my Victron battery monitor. Turns out it can be pretty important.

http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/programming_a_battery_monitor

http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/wire_termination

http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/battery_cables

http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/inverter_inefficiency

http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/wire_labeling

http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/battery_fusing

Much more (along with boat stuff) but I like his style.

BMV 700, when 1st installed set up for 450 hr pack, read the manual seemed important, after a few factory set points reset’s, only care about voltage readings.
Set up, set points changed from default 12 = ON, 14 = 3 min, 18 = 12. 1vdc, 19 = 12.2vdc.
With above listed and the relay wired to a simple relay, all loads are disabled when SOC is <= 12.1 for 3 min. When a large load (microwave) is on voltage will drop below 12 v when pack is not near SOC 12.75 (batt type listed full SOC dependent).
One could use like to disable the charger ( relay or Sterling etc), use function 20, 21 . 14, time may be needed??? Some batteries must not float, charge once full state of charged is reached.
I do use the instantaneous amp reading’s, but not for control or battery health. Batteries get weaker/less amp hr from day one, small unless one leave’ the light’s/etc on and allows SOC way low.
 

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06/2500/140
There is a lot of discussion here about wiring and battery banks ect. I have found this guys tutorial or illustrations to be very helpful....
...
Much more (along with boat stuff) but I like his style.
good find, J!

especially with all the (arguments) discussions re: van+rv electrical 'modifications' and 'customizations'.

people here would do very well, be very well served to pay attention to the stuff boaters have learned
(mostly the hard way) about HOW to build a REAL electrical system on their sprinters.

mostly since land vehicle electrical systems are built with one thing in mind:
'how can we design this thing for mass production, with the lowest-cost outcome'
note that this typically does NOT mean 'lowest price' outcome - it means HIGHEST PROFIT
for both the selling dealers as well as their 'service' depts.

with the implication or rather REALITY that if something fails, the typical land motorist
can simply pull over, look under their hoods and maybe try fix something...

or, worst case scenario?
have to call for a tow to the nearest 'qualified' service bay.

vs boats - particularly blue water cruisers - where the operators know that if they're 1000 miles from land,
and something causes their electrical system to crap out?

they might never be seen or heard from again.

why i've oft noted that airline pilots tend to be my best customers - why?

because they know all too well if something goes wrong at 38000feet,
going 500-600MPH in a pressurized aluminum tube?

it's good night irene.


just my :2cents:
 
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Jmolan

Member
I found this site when doing my 34' trimaran in Mexico. Of everything I've seen he helped me the most.

I am a professional boat driver guy, and cannot help but bring that to my Sprinter. I may not know how to do, but I can tell if it looks cheap or cheesy.

Believe me, Bering Sea crab boats do silly things like cook 8D batteries with old school constavolt chargers. I finally persuaded the owners to get smart chargers for the wheelhouse electronics. Change is not easy for many.

13667849_917792191682627_4456667369189094118_o.jpg
 

NevadaBlue

Member
WOW! I am impressed. Finding someone like you on a van site is great! I have always thought that 'boat' stuff is perfect for land vehicle use too. Not as important, but nice is the normal use of wood in a Yacht too. The beautiful woodwork seen in some water craft just doesn't seem to make it to the land yachts. Adding proper low voltage electrical gear of good design just makes sense.
 
I've been reading this guy's stuff for some time. Just never thought to post it.

http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/battery_cables&page=4

The crimper he describe at the bottom as "The tool on the right, I had the most hopes" is the one I have (see above link). When I went to buy one (long ago and before reading his blog) it was down to the one he recommends and this one which was half the price. The tool he recommends does look less clunky. The one I have is tremendously a PIA to use but it does make good 4/0 crips. It's more of a two person operation. I use the die that is labeled 95mm.

I did not do a pull test like he did but I did try to disassemble a connection. I put the lug into a vice and tried to pull the wire out. That was a nogo. The entire 500 pound workbench moved and acted like it wanted to tip over. I cut the lug from the wire with about 2" of wire, stripped off the insulation and tried to pull the strands out with pliers with the lug held in a vice. The strands did not pull out. They did break off if I pull on too few. I cut through the lug to see if there were any voids. There didn't appear to be but unfortunately I did not have anything better than a hack saw. So take it for what it's worth.

I probably would have spent the extra money had I read his blog first. As it is the one I have works.
 

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bstory

New member
Thanks for posting Mainesail's stuff. I too have been going to this site for a long time as my husband and I are helping our son restore a 40' wooden schooner and the project involves completely redoing all electrical and plumbing on the boat. He has been posting on boating forums for years and his experience and advice is highly valued.

Take a look at his piece on shore power inlets - especially the ones that fail. This is what convinced us to go with the SmartPlug.
http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/installing_a_smart_plug

And, for those considering lithium (lifepo4) batteries, he has built his own battery with lithium cells and has quite a lot of documented testing and experience with it to share.

http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/lifepo4_on_boats

Finally, the last three pieces on maintaining AGM batteries and alternator charging are full of tested & documented information. If you have AGMs or are considering them, definitely worth a read.
 

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