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Sailboat Electrical Systems

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Safety FirstBattery Acid; Containment; Spark; Explosive Gas; Fire; Corrosive Fumes; Fuse2. Understanding the BasicsTerminologyAmp; Volt; Ohm; WattThree-Part HarmonyOhm's Law; Power; Load Calculations; Desert AlgebraCircuitsNot Like Water; Boys Will Be Boys; Polarity; Open and Closed; Series; Parallel; Extra CreditAC/DCMagnetism and Current; Current; Polarity; Loads; Voltage; Power Factor; Safety Revisited3. BatteryThe Basic CellFully Charged; Discharging; Fully Discharged; Charging; Gassing; Shedding; Plate Sulfation; InefficienciesBatteriesInternal Construction; Plate Thickness; Spongy Lead; Self Discharge; Starting or House?Battery ChoicesAutomotive--Conventional Flooded; Maintenance-Free; Deep-Cycle; Gel Cell; Scales Don't Lie; Absorbed Glass Mat; Selection ChartCapacityAmp-Hours; Cycle Life; Weight and Amp-Hours; Cold-Cranking Amps; Marine-Cranking Amps; Reserve MinutesSizing BatteriesLoad Calculation Redux; The Alternative to Bigger Batteries; House Bank; Starting Battery; Powering InvertersInstallationSeries; Golf-Cart Batteries; Parallel; Matching; Negative Ground; TemperatureMaintenanceDischarge; Recharging; Water; Clean and Dry; Terminal Corrosion; Voltage; SG and Voltage; Specific Gravity; Keep Records4. WireWire SelectionConstruction; Size; 10% Drop; 24 Volts; InsulationRoutingHigh and DryConnectionsCrimp Connectors; Crimping; Soldering; Tinning the Soldering Iron; Heat-Shrink; Bare Wires; Wire NutsOverload ProtectionFuses; Circuit Breakers; Sizing; Installing; Supply Side; Equipment ProtectionSwitchesSPST; DT; DP; Battery SelectorNeatness CountsLabeling; No More Than Four; Terminal Strips; Junction Boxes; Right Angles; Spiral Wrap; Panel LocationCoaxSize; Construction; Connections; Weatherproofing; Backstay ConnectionCopper Ribbon5. CircuitsWiring DiagramsSymbols; More about GroundCircuitry Step by StepClosed Circuit; Open Circuit; Overload Protection; Series; Parallel; Real WorldMapping Your Own BoatAC Caution; WYSIWYG; Circuit Diagrams; Master Diagram; Layout Schematic; Signal Wires6. TroubleshootingSigns of TroubleDimming; House of Cards; Sluggish Starting; Flickering; Blown Fuse; Ground Return; Heat; Odor; Heat Loss; Corrosion; Wet Wiring; Rat's NestTest LightMake or Buy; Using a Test LightDigital MultimeterDigital vs. Analog; Auto Ranging; Polarity; Clamp-On MetersMeter FundamentalsConnecting Test Leads; Measuring Voltage; Measuring Current; Measuring Resistance (or Lack Thereof)Troubleshooting with a MeterVoltmeter Tests; Multimeter Connections; Zero Adjust; Checking Your Hydrometer; Extending Your Reach; Kirchoff's Law; Ohmmeter Tests; Masthead Lights; Changing Resistance; Ammeter Tests7. Charging SystemsAlternatorsOutput; Pulley Ratio; Sizing; Ignition Protection; Expecting Too MuchRegulatorsStandard Regulator; Fooling the Regulator; Manual Controller; Three-Step Regulator; Equalization--The Fourth Step; Charging Gel BatteriesAlternator and Regulator WiringOutput; Internal Regulation; Attached Regulator; External Regulation; Polarity; Excitation; Surge ProtectionAlternator MaintenanceBelts; Connections; Bearings and BrushesTroubleshooting Alternators and RegulatorsAlternator Output; Regulator Faults; Excitation; Bypassing a Faulty Regulator; DiodesBattery SwitchingThe Standard Way; Direct Alternator Connection; Fuse; Isolating Diodes; A Better WaySolar CellsChoices; Output; Uses; Installation; Turning the Panel Off for Installation; TroubleshootingWind GeneratorsChoices; Output; Mounting; Connections; Troubleshooting; Water Generators8. Alternating CurrentWarningAC BasicsFrequency; Voltage; Power Factor; Three-Wire System; The Grounding Wire; Wire Type and SizeAt the DockPlug Types; Polarity; Polarity TesterShore-Power ConnectionInlet Fitting; Power Cord; Supply Wire; Main Breaker; Neutral and GroundAC CircuitsSingle Circuit; Dual Circuit; Breakers; Switch Panel; Polarity Tester; Routing AC Wiring; Junction Boxes; Outlets; Ground Fault InterruptThe Green-Wire ControversyThe Danger; Testing the GFCI; Grounding the Green Wire; Cutting the Green Wire; Unplug; Galvanic Isolator; Isolation TransformerTestingPolarity; Grounding Wire; Isolated Ground; Green-Wire Connection; Ground and Neutral Separation; Ground Fault; Stray Current; LeakageInvertersTypes; Waveform; Sizing; Load Realities; Battery Capacity; Connections; Location; Transfer Switch; Neutral and Grounding; ConnectionGeneratorsTransfer Switch; Frequency9. Heaven and EarthLightning ProtectionLightning Rod; Static Dissipator; Cone of Protection; Wooden Masts; Ground; Freshwater Sailors Beware; Directing the Charge; Connections; Parallel PathsBondingFor Lightning Protection; For Corrosion Control; Isolating; Grounding; Testing for IsolationRF GroundRibbon, Not Wire; Copper Screen; Stopping Direct CurrentLightning and ElectronicsThe Facts; Protective MeasuresIndex

About the Author

Don Casey abandoned his career in banking in 1983 to devote more time to cruising and writing. His work combining these two passions soon began to appear in many popular sailing and boating magazines. He is the author of the best-selling This Old Boat, and six other International Marine titles. He and his wife, Olga, are currently cruising and living aboard their boat. HOMETOWN: Miami, Florida

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