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Peter Kennedy has been in  business since 1991 designing, installing and servicing marine electrical systems. The purpose of this blog is to offer support to both professional installers and  do-it-yourself boat owners who wish to undertake this work themselves.
Peter Kennedy has been in  business since 1991 designing, installing and servicing marine electrical systems. The purpose of this blog is to offer support to both professional installers and  do-it-yourself boat owners who wish to undertake this work themselves.

An overview of wiring standards for boats in the US

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 11/16/2018 to Electrical Standards
he standards that apply to wiring your boat in the US are the ABYC standards and the Code of Federal Regulations Title 33 CFR Sections 183.401 - 183.460 The ABYC standards are voluntary and the CFR standards are mandatory. The ABYC standards incorporate the CFR standards so a boat built to the ABYC Standards should automatically meet the CFR standards. This article is a brief introduction to the subject

Keep your wiring neat and tidy

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 11/15/2018 to Projects
Neat wiring is hard to achieve but it makes everything about the project go better. Take a look at these project photos if you need a bit of inspiration.

Installing your Victron MultiPlus Inverter Charger

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 11/8/2018 to Victron MultiPlus and Quatro
The post details unpacking, mounting and wiring your new MultiPlus, subsequent articles will detail the programming options.

Programming your Balmar alternator regulator for Lithium Ion batteries

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 10/12/2018 to Alternators
The Balmar MC-614-H alternator regulator comes with a built-in program for Lithium Ion batteries but it needs to be adjusted to suit Victron's specifications

Duplex and Triplex wire versus using Single Conductors

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 8/4/2018 to Electrical Standards
Should I use duplex and triplex wire for my rewiring project or is it easier to use single conductor wire?

Sourcing High Voltage DC Equipment

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 7/13/2018 to Circuit Protection
I get asked all the time about high voltage DC applications.  Most equipment we sell at PKYS tops out at 48 Volts DC rating, only a few items are rated higher, and quite a lot have lower ratings.  Finding equipment for high voltage applications is not that easy.  

Customizing your Venus

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 5/23/2018 to Software
We know that Victron software is open source and we know that really clever people can write their own programming integrations, and we know that the Victron Venus is the most tweakable and programmable item in the Victron product range.  However talking about this and actually doing it are not the same and for most of us this is too intimidating an excercise to attempt.  Here is the story of one installation with all the explanations necessary to accomplish it yourself.....

What is the load output used for on certain Victron MPPT charge controllers

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 4/4/2018 to Solar
The smaller Victron MPPT Charge Controllers have a load output separate from the battery connection.  This short article explains what it is used for.

Adding an alternator to your lithium battery setup

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 12/19/2017 to Alternators
A discussion on the best way to incorporate an alternator into a Lithium-Ion battery setup

Charger Settings for AGM Batteries

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 10/19/2017 to Battery Chargers
What are the recommended charge settings for AGM batteries.  We looked it up for you.............

Which is better, a Balmar Smart Gauge or a Victron BMV Meter?

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 9/6/2017 to Battery Monitoring
The Balmar Smart Gauge and the Victron BMV meter come at their answers in totally different ways. Which does a better job and why?

What happens when I have multiple charge sources charging a single battery bank

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 5/2/2017 to Battery Chargers
What happens when I have multiple charge sources charging a single battery bank? I get this question asked almost every day. "I have a battery charger, an alternator, and solar panels charging the same battery. Does it get overcharged?" Here are some thoughts on the subject.....

Ampacity Tables

Posted by Administrator on 5/31/2015 to Electrical Standards
I end up looking up this table so often I decided to post it on my blog

What is the Start Isolation feature of an ACR for?

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 4/3/2015 to Battery Combiners
The start isolation feature of Blue Sea Systems ACR's is even incorporated into the name of the device. It is an optional feature with a very specific application......

How do you size a battery charger for a sailboat

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 4/3/2015 to Battery Chargers
What are the factors that go in to deciding how big a battery charger to install on a sailboat?

Isolation Transformer or Galvanic Isolator - which is preferable?

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 10/24/2014 to Corrosion
A discussion on the relative merits of transformers and galvanic isolators

Battery layout for twin engine boats

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 10/16/2014 to Batteries (Conventional)
Battery layout for twin engine boats
There are many ways to do a battery layout for multi-engine boats, here is one simple layout using remote switches.

What does an alternator regulator do and how does it work?

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 5/1/2014 to Alternators
What does an alternator regulator do and how does it work? An alternator regulator supplies current to the rotating part of the alternator. The rotating part is called the rotor, and when current is applied to it it becomes an electromagnet. Its rotation generates an alternating current in the fixed windings of the alternator, called the stator. The regulator acts as a control mechanism for this process

Help - my batteries are getting HOT!

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 1/24/2014 to Battery Chargers
Help!  My Batteries are getting hot!  What should I do?

Uses for terminal strips

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 12/27/2013 to Techniques and How to...

Terminal strips seem such a lowly part of the electrical system that they hardly get a mention normally, but there are a lot of useful things you can do with a terminal strip, here are a few suggestions......


Choosing the right PowerPost for the job

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 12/19/2013 to Techniques and How to...
PowerPostPowerPosts were the first products made by Blue Sea Systems. Now they make a bewildering collection. How do you select which one to use?

What is the alternator field disconnect terminal on a battery switch for?

Posted by Administrator on 12/12/2013 to Alternators
AFD Terminals Many battery switches come with a pair of small terminals labelled "Alternator Field Disconnect" or AFD. Of all my years working on marine electrical systems I have never once seen these terminals hooked up correctly. What are they for and how should they be wired.........