Installing Solar MC4 Terminals

Solar MC4 Connectors These are solar MC4 connectors the FEMALE in on the bottom and the MALE plug is on top.. Today more and more solar panels are shipping with MC4 terminals and less and less with actual junction boxes. I still personally prefer a water tight j-box, [...]

Battery Melt Down Narrowly Averted

Note The Melting of The Battery Case The connections to your batteries matter. How you make them, how you torque them and how clean they are all matter. Not following best practices or marine wiring standards can impact your personal safety. While doing a winterization, and getting ready [...]

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Universal Diesel Engine – Wiring Harness Upgrade

Engine Panel With Ammeter = Dangerous If your Universal engine panel looks like this, and has an ammeter, you are due for some critically important wiring upgrades. The factory wiring, with an ammeter in the panel, is flat out dangerous and this wiring mess really needs to be [...]

External Regulation Conversion – Leece-Neville 8MR Alternator

The Stock Alternator Many boats, specifically sailboats, come equipped with, or have have used, the 5" small-case Motorola/Prestolite/Leece-Neville style alternator. There are literally thousands of these out there. This style alternator is now being manufactured by Leece-Neville. The 8MR series, pictured here, are specifically marinized to meet USCG [...]

Rebuilding & Inspecting a Westerbeke Alternator

Remove The Pulley This article takes a look inside a typical Mitsibishi/Westerbeke 50A alternator. These are tiny little work horses that can suitably handle charging small battery banks. An alternator like this is not designed to charge massive house banks but if you day sail and are most [...]

Making Your Own Battery Cables

Pick Your Crimp Tool I own both the Ancor hammer crimper and the FTZ 94284. The FTZ 94284 makes a beautiful 360 degree crimp that is very solid. In testing which I've conducted an FTZ made crimp exceeds US MIL Specs. A full 360 degree crimp makes a truly cold [...]

Easy VHF Terminations

If You Don't Know How to Solder..... If you really don't know how to solder a VHF PL259 connector there are other options as you'll see below. This one is laughable, except that when this owner needed his VHF it was no joke or laughing matter that it [...]

New Depth Sounder With an Old Transducer

Old Transducer Coax Cable Preface: This article assumes you're vessel is not yet into the 21st century with regard to your marine electronics and that you're not using NMEA 2000 transducers. It's mid season, your boat is in the water, and your old depth sounder dies. What are [...]

Shore Power – SmartPlug vs. 1938

A SmartPlug Kit DISCLAIMER: I consider this article is very serious in nature and I believe so much in the safety aspect of this article that I will not and do not sell SmartPlug products via this site (please stop asking). I do not want any confusion over [...]

Voltage Transients in Marine Electrical Systems

A Look at Voltage Transients in Marine Electrical Systems I had been meaning to put this together for a while and assembled a system for a training class I was doing. Once that was assembled I realized I could simply add a starter motor, an oscilloscope and a [...]

Marine Wire Termination

Marine Wire Termination - The Tools PREFACE: This article is long and rather detailed. It is written in two parts and covers crimp tooling, terminal selection, types of terminals and includes plenty of do's & don'ts. The first part covers heat shrink terminals and then goes over insulated [...]