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Old 07-05-2006, 02:05 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Leipper
. . . Many Airstreams going back to the indedependent Airstream company era (60's) have original solid A/C house wiring in good condition.
Yeah that! Although it looks like it was done by an apprentice, I have to say it was functional after 47 years.

I don't know why there was a big kink in the cable lower center.
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Old 07-05-2006, 03:47 PM   #22
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SmokelessJoe - I don't know. 10g sounds adequate. Armored sounds good. But you will need to decide it it fits your boxes and equipment.

Markadoane - Is that factory installed wiring you pictured? Is that masking tape? One rule is that all junctions for 110 VAC are in boxes. What I have seen so far indicates Airstream follows this code so I don't know the provenance of your pic. Interesting what one can find, though.
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Old 07-05-2006, 03:51 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Leipper
Markadoane - Is that factory installed wiring you pictured? Is that masking tape?
Yeah, that's how it came from the Ohio factory.

My wife's uncle bought the '59 Tradewind new, and I have all his logs and records. It was never modified or re-wired.

Here's another of the same general area.
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Old 07-05-2006, 04:44 PM   #24
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Sergie,
What is the connection to the Marinco plug? What I found on line looks like they have some pretty specific guidelines for choosing the wire.

All power inlets covered by this instruction are equipped with compression
screw terminals, which are suitable for use with stranded wire complying with
Paragraph 183.425(a) of 33CFR Part 183.

I'd follow that and if you need to make a switch from stranded to solid do it in the main distribution box between the Main AC breaker and the power bus the home style breakers snap into. The screw type compression terminals are pretty robust. The style I'd stay away from are the push in blades. Sort of like the type of connection you often see for stereo speakers. Good strain relief should take care of most problems associated with flex and vibration. If you get a chance take a look at how it's done for [proper] marine applications. Overkill for an RV maybe but might give you some ideas.

Wire nuts in my house bug me, in an RV they scare me, in a boat it's just plain stupid.

-Bernie
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Old 01-05-2007, 09:14 PM   #25
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Friends:

Thanks to all who helped with the re-wire of my Argosy 24.

This work was completed late last summer. I should have expressed gratitude before now.

We stripped out all of the old cloth covered wire from another era and installed BX armour shield cable through out, 12 ga.


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Besides the original 3 circuits I added 3 more separate runs: air conditioner, water heater, inverter.

In the end I used a 10-gauge extension cord from a farm supply place for the main feed (from the new Marinco inlet to the distribution panel). It is the very flexible, very tough yellow stuff, more or less exactly like a Marinco power cord (which I also acquired).


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The reason I sliced up an extension cord for this was that I couldn’t find 10 ga. cable anywhere that day. In the end, it didn’t cost any more and the left over cord and plugs will make a very nice 20 amp to 30-amp jumper. (What I call a happy accident).

I increased the 12-v circuits to 8 in total.

We had to build a scaffold-like support to get the centre panel, now with its new Xenon pot lamps, back in place. It was not hard.


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The lamps are on 12v dimmers from Sweden. Nice looking ones are hard to find but these are cool.

The panels have long been back in place, the walls and ceiling painted and new plumbing installed. We are working to complete the hydronic heating system just now.

Once the already dry fitted furniture goes back in we’ll install the electrical distribution panels.

I’m hoping to use marine type panels, such as Blue Sea.

Thanks again to all who helped.

Sergei
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Old 01-05-2007, 09:25 PM   #26
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Electrical Engineering for laymen

As an Mechanical Engineer, I understand electricity in small terms. Electricity is magic, like smoke. Insulation keeps the smoke in the wire. Big Wires carry big smoke. If the wire and the insulation is too small, the smoke gets out and the wire will not work any more. Lots of small wire keep the smoke in better than one big wire as long as the ends are hooked up good.
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Old 01-05-2007, 10:20 PM   #27
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Blue Sea = Quality

Sergei,

I would use just about anything that Blue Sea makes. All of their products are top shelf and exceed what is normally found in modern RV's
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Old 01-05-2007, 11:46 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiHoAgRV
As an Mechanical Engineer, I understand electricity in small terms. Electricity is magic, like smoke. Insulation keeps the smoke in the wire. Big Wires carry big smoke. If the wire and the insulation is too small, the smoke gets out and the wire will not work any more. Lots of small wire keep the smoke in better than one big wire as long as the ends are hooked up good.
I probably understand electricity even less - But, I do understand smoke (and fire). In my estimation, electricity and smoke in any combination usually spell trouble.
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Old 04-01-2007, 06:14 PM   #29
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Why the 10 foot MAXIMUM?

This is the wiring bundle for the trailer and the place were I plan to install the new 6 position (plus Main) AC distribution panel by Blue Sea

The panel is 4.5” x 10.5”. Since it is meant to be installed in a cut out, which I can’t do, I will have a 3” deep surface-mount box built for it.

Blue Sea uses ring connectors so I will ask the electrician to use the same in making connections. I have noted Bernie’s advice about using a good crimper.

The bright yellow cable is flexible strand 10 ga. and is the Main feed.

The other circuits are all the solid copper type, 12 ga.


The Blue Sea panel is beautiful, a work of art.

But it came with two surprises.

In the Blue Sea catalog there are diagrams indicating the MINIMUN DISTANCE from the Power Inlet to the Main Breaker is 10 feet.

The wiring diagram 100% contradicts this. It plainly says, “if the shore power inlet is more than 10 feet, additional fuses or circuit breakers must be installed within 10 feet of the shore power inlet”.

So obviously they meant MAXIMUM distance.

What is the reason for this?

Second surprise: Blue Sea NOWHERE mentions 12v supply in their catalog or literature.

Yet the two small runs of yellow and red wires are labeled “connect to 12v (yellow is negative). These appear to go to circuit boards that back-light the labels on the panel.

I could have neatly supplied 12 volts to this area when we had the wall panels off.

Now we will have to figure out how to do it after the fact.

Anyone have an idea of what the 10-foot requirement is all about?

Sergei
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Old 04-02-2007, 12:25 AM   #30
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I'll take a guess on the 10' requirement. If the run is longer than that and there's a short the wire might become the fuse

Bummer about not knowing about the 12V. Makes sense. On a boat (and a trailer) you've hopefully always got 12V from the battery. So hooking up the lights to 12V means you can see/find the switches when the 110VAC isn't hooked up.

If you're going to light the switchs somehow off the 110 the easiest way might be to see if the bulbs can just be switched out? Otherwise you could get a "wall wart" type power supply to supply the 12VDC. Goodwill or some such thrift store always has tons of these around from various electronics. They should all have the output voltage and current marked.

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Old 04-02-2007, 08:54 AM   #31
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Bernie, thanks.

There are no “bulbs” to screw out. The circuit board seems to have little blue/green “nodules” formed into it’s plastic covering. I’m guessing these glow and backlight the signs.

I can run positive and negative wires from where the battery will be on the other side of the trailer but the holding tanks are right in that area and it may be impossible or difficult.

I could have provided the wires easily if the manufacture had published the requirement for 12v.

Like you, I’ve also thought of adding a small transformer to the side of the panel to supply the 12v.

Blue Sea is out west in Bellingham, Washington. I’ll call them after they open.

Sergei
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Old 04-02-2007, 10:05 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokelessJoe
Bernie, thanks.
Blue Sea is out west in Bellingham, Washington. I’ll call them after they open.
Sergei
Ah, good old B'ham; about an hour north of me. Giving them a call would be a great idea. Sounds like LEDs in the circuit board. Find out if the lights are a separate circuit from everything else, how much current they take and the voltage range they can accept. One thing you might consider if you end up running a decent size pair of wires from the battery is adding a 12V recepticle to the box. Never know when you might want to plug in a cell phone charger or what ever. I'm sure you have them scattered around other places but sounds like there's not 12V near by and the electrical center would be a grand place to have it. Speaking of which I'm surpised there's no monitor there for the battery condition? A really simple volt meter would be nice.

One other thing on the 10' requirement. If I'm right about the reasoning for the length then length is dependent on wire size. So if you're running heavier wire you can run longer, smaller wire (hopefully not) would have to be shorter.

-Bernie
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Old 04-02-2007, 10:41 AM   #33
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size of unit?

Sergei - what's the size of the unit itself? Those wires look like an awfully small size to be taking 120 volts? The distribution center looks more like a 12v one... although I see that it is clearly marked 120 volts on the faceplate. Is there enough room in there to get your wires in?

I'd also ask when you call what is the cooling size that you need around the unit.... put into a wall cavity, I'd suspect it has plenty of cooling room... assuming not insulated. Enclosed (which I assume you will be doing), I think you want some air circulation?..... I did stay in a Holiday Express... but I'm no electrician

I'm with Bernie - I think the 10ft rule is because of the voltage drop with longer runs. Bigger (thicker) wires would let you get away with it.

Where is you 12v distribution panel and converter going to go... I'm assuming this feedline is already fished? If not, i'd say pull your 12v line back along the 120 volt one back to this panel?
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Old 04-02-2007, 11:35 AM   #34
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4 conductor wire (3 plus ground) #8 would be good for 220/240V 2 phase 50 Amp service.
3 conductor wire (2 plus ground) #10 would be good for 120V single phase 30 Amp service.
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Old 04-02-2007, 03:35 PM   #35
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The '10 foot' rule may be for Coast Guard requirements - remember boats are like airplanes in that if something gets bent dramatically, the vessel must be able to continue floating-flying.

If I was at the stage you are now I'd be adding a lightning arrestor and some basic surge protection. I've browsed ebay for a Blue Sea 3 place 12VDC panel, 450A A-B battery switch and another battery cutout switch and a kohler shore-generator switch plus a DC lightning arrestor - I think the 12V provision is for illuminated circuit labels, the lamp kit is a seperate accesory..
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Old 04-02-2007, 09:50 PM   #36
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Bernie, Marc, Wabbiteer

I spoke to Blue Sea this afternoon.

The Minimum /Maximum conflict regarding the 10 foot rule was a printing error in their catalog, which they have now corrected.

The installation literature calls for the breaker to be within 10 feet of the power inlet because they must meet the strict membership standards of the ABYC.

Wabbiteer is right. Codes are very strict in boating. The reasoning behind the rule is that only 10 feet of your boat can supposedly catch on fire this way.

The panel's position is perfectly safe for me. Trailers don’t need to meet boating codes.

They understood my comment about the lack of information on the 12v supply situation and apologized. They said they would take note and update their literature.

The reason behind their oversight was that backlit signage was until recently an option. Now it’s included with the panel. The technical designers are ahead of the graphic designers.

I considered mounting an $18 transformer for this but 12v from the battery is better. That way the panel is lit even when I’m not on shore power.

Phil and I poked a feed to that area in about 10 minutes tonight.

They said the box I will have built for the panel does not need to have cooling.

I will have the box built tomorrow over at Wiltsie’s.

Now I hope my local electrician will not be afraid of this sophisticated looking equipment.


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Old 04-18-2007, 09:07 AM   #37
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Blue Sea update

This is the box that I had built for the Blue Sea panel, which we plan to install tomorrow.

For a full update on how it is progressing, check my main thread at:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f227...-18448-16.html

Sergei
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Old 04-25-2007, 06:52 PM   #38
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Wire

The NEC requires 10 AWG conductors if a 30 amp circuit breaker is used. If the run is very long (over 50 feet) you might want 8AWG to minimize voltage drop.

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Old 04-26-2007, 09:57 AM   #39
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110v completed; moving on to 12v distribution

This is the completed Blue Sea 110v distribution centre.

The toggles on each breaker move with a quiet but solid “click”. LED lights indicate power. There is even a built in Reverse Polarity Indicator.

The circuit nameplates remain constantly backlit with 12v power. You can come into a pitch dark trailer and read the labels. I really like that feature.

The 4455Tc Paramode Converter/Charger with TempAssure in on it's way and we will shortly order a Blue Sea 12v distribution panel and battery shut-off.



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Old 04-26-2007, 10:22 AM   #40
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sorry, photo above missed

Blue Sea distribution panel 4" by 10", 5" deep. State of the art.
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