Thursday, May 22, 2014

Fixing A Wiring Mess...Now I Have Radio! YAY!!

Well I knew I couldn't get the dash radio to work, and the 12vdc power points were dead.  It was time to go into the dash and put the old multimeter to work.

I lifted the top of the dash off, and was greeted with an unbelievable rats nest of wire, and for the most part no juice anywhere that it should be.

The best and easiest choice was to install a solenoid control fuse panel and move all the extra electronic add on items to a good source of protected power.

Who knows what the previous owner was thinking, but there were big wires spliced to small wires, with clips slipped under fuses.  All that stuff had to go.

I hooked the solenoid directly to the battery with a 40 amp circuit breaker protecting the 10 gauge supply wire.  That fed the fuse panel and each item now has it's own fuse.   Now I can easily narrow down any electrical problems, and more importantly the Sony CD/FM/AM radio in the dashboard is no longer a mystery.  

I've actually got tunes, and I can plug my GPS into the 12vdc power point and avoid getting lost.  Of course getting lost can be a lot of fun too!

1 comment:

John W. Abert said...

Hi Curtis,

As a master electrician and robotics technician, I feel a need to warn you that a 40 amp breaker on a #10 wire is probably not safe. Rule of thumb is that #10 wire is only good for 30 amps. You should either change your breaker to 30 amps or upgrade your wire to #8.

A quick short would probably trip the breaker, but a long duration load of near the limit could overheat that #10 wire and cause some damage, possibly even a fire.

Of course, there are variations in the types of insulation on wires, and only a chart showing what that wire size and insulation type is rated for will reveal the exact safe current carrying ability. But still, better to be safe than sorry.

Rule of thumb is that #18 is good for only 5 amps, #16-10A, #14-15A, #12-20A, #10-30A, #8-40A, and #6-50A. Of course, there are ratings on larger size wires, too, but these are ones most likely found in branch circuits in vehicles.

Best wishes with the motorhome, and travel safe.

John at