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An explanation of the interrupt rating for circuit breakers and fuses

In extreme cases a fuse carrying an excessively high current can vaporize and the metal can be deposited on the base of the fuse block in a way that permits it to continue to carry current. Similarly with circuit breakers, if the level of fault current goes above a certain level the circuit breaker can become inoperable while still conducting current. Fuses and circuit breakers all have an interrupt rating which is a measure of the current that a circuit breaker can safely disconnect in the event of a fault. The interrupt rating may be different for AC and DC and may vary at different voltages..........
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When and where do we need to install a battery switch?

The ABYC standards say that a battery switch is required for all DC systems. One of the main reasons is that if a fault such as an electrical fire is discovered the system can be turned off quickly and easily. However certain circuits are exempt from the requirement to be protected by a switch. Do you know which ones?
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Uses for terminal strips

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......


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Choosing the right PowerPost for the job

PowerPostPowerPosts were the first products made by Blue Sea Systems. Now they make a bewildering collection. How do you select which one to use?
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What is the alternator field disconnect terminal on a battery switch for?

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.........
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Installing a Balmar alternator on a Yanmar 3JH3E

Yanmar 3JH3E
Here is a short video clip, some photos and a description of a project to replace the standard alternator on a Yanmar 3JH3E with a Balmar 60-100-SR-IG alternator. The boat is a Dehler 38 Sailboat and as it is going on the Annapolis to Bermuda race next summer the owner wanted to have plenty of power available for the trip.
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Sabre 54 Fly Bridge Sedan uses Blue Sea Systems custom panels

Sabre 54The circuit breaker panels on this Sabre 54 Fly Bridge Sedan and custom made from the Blue Sea Systems 360 Series modular panel system.
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Cricket Trailer uses Blue Sea Systems

Cricket Trailer exterior shot

This is the Cricket Trailer, an easy to tow "pop top" room on wheels, and it comes complete with its own mini-electrical system featuring Blue Sea Systems products.......
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Overcurrent Protection

ABYC Standard 11.10 OVERCURRENT PROTECTION is a key section of the standards. The principal is very clear, an overcurrent device, such as a fuse or circuit breaker, needs to be placed within seven inches of where the conductor is connected to the source of power. The overcurrent device is protecting THE WIRE from carrying more current than it is able. What follows is an outline of this part of the standard but please see the disclaimer at the end.
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ABYC publishes new safety essentials iPhone App

This iPhone app won an award at the 2013 IBEX Show. "Boat Essentials" is used to file a float plan or to check, suggest and schedule maintenance of the safety equipment on your recreational boat
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Sparkman and Stephens Yawl "Bolero"

BoleroThis 73 ft Yawl "Bolero" designed by Sparkman and Stephens and originally launched in 1949 was the first major electrical refit project undertaken by Peter Kennedy Yacht Services.
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Digital Multimeter

Digital multimeterI use this Blue Sea Systems digital multimeter as my every day meter. It does almost everything I need. I also have a couple of other meters for specialized uses but this is what lives in my toolbox and gets used every single day
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USCG standards for Electrical Systems on boats

Federal Regulations on electrical systems for boats are covered by 33 CFR 183.401-460. The regulations, although mandatory, are somewhat limited in scope. They are available for free online:  33 C.F.R. PART 183—BOATS AND ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT  In addition the ABYC has published a booklet explaining and simplifying the rules. What follows here is a brief discussion of the material covered by the regulations, please see the disclaimer at the end.
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An outline of ABYC Standards for Electrical Systems

This is an outline review of the ABYC standards relating to Electrical Systems. It just highlights the subject area of each standard. Further Blog Posts will delve into the details of the standards. The ABYC standards are a voluntary set of standards written and maintained by the American Boat and Yacht Council. They cover the design, manufacture and outfitting of small craft built in the US and compliment the compulsory standards written by the US Coast Guard. Each ABYC standard is updated every five years.  The USCG standards are covered in a separate Blog post.
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ABYC standard for installation and wiring

ABYC standard E11 covers AC and DC wiring on boats. In this post we are going to look at one small part of the standard relating to installation. In particular this standard refers to how electrical conductors should be routed and supported. In the standard its referred to as 11.14.6 Installation-General
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Simple AC circuit tester

AC circuit testerI carry this simple and inexpensive AC circuit tester on every job too
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Non Contact AC Voltage detector

I carry this little gizmo on every job I go onFluke non contact AC Voltage detector
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40ft Sailboat custom panel

Custom 360 PanelThis panel was designed for a 40 ft. sailboat. It was designed by PKYS in conjunction with the owner who installed it all by himself.
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Custom AC/DC powerboat panel example

Custom poweboat panel This boat from Annapolis MD got a new Blue Sea Systems custom 360-Series AC/DC Panel. It was supplied by PKYS and installed by Yacht Electronic Systems.
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A simple 230 Volt AC panel example

Custom PanelBlue Sea Systems Custom 360-Series Circuit Breaker Panels.

This is a very simple 230 Volt AC panel that was shipped to New Zealand. The boat owner already had a single 360-Series panel on board which he liked so much he decided to redo the entire AC system and so this panel has a blank which will be replaced by his existing panel.
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