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Discussion Starter #1
I've had the new to us boat out twice in the last 2 months that we've owned it and all the electronics have worked fine. furuno gps, furuno bottom machine, and icom vhf. Today, I hooked up the battery that powers the electronics and smoke begins to come out the electronics box! Its immediately unhooked, and the power supply to the vhf has melted. All the connections from the battery to the vhf seem fine, no coorosion, tight, good. I took it out and my electrical engineering uncle is going to check it out at work. Any of you think the radio could have ate itself? or its another connection? Then, we continue checking everything out, all seems fine, so we hook the battery back up, and the bottom machine powers up fine, as it did for a short time right before we saw lots of smoke from the electronics box. But, there is a small amount of smoke coming from the power connector on the back of the gps, battery is quickly disconnected. There is a slight bit of melting around one of the holes in the plug. The cable is removed from the boat, and I guess I'll give it to him to check out also. Could the slight amount of smoke(heat) be caused by some coorosion on the connector? It looks fine, but is quite small and might have some on the sides of the prongs or inside the connector....



Also, Its a furuno GP-30, and the only wires that are being used in the power supply cord are the power and ground(red and black). But I noticed that cord also has a blue, green, yellow and white. Is this just a universal cord or should more be hooked up to something else?
 

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Smoke = a few things.



1. There is a short and the fuses are not in the right places to protect your wire and electronics or they are too big. A fuse in the right place will blow before smoke and melting happens. If you have a 18 ga wire and have it fused with a 30 amp fuse, it will smoke before the fuse will blow because it can not handle the load. You can not protect something where you have one 30 amp fuse connected to a 10 gauge wire and you split off of it with smaller wires to multiple things. You need to put a fuse right before the wire is split off for each split. A perfect example would be like expecting your houses main 200 or 400 amp breaker to trip if the cat chewed into the cord to the Christmas tree! Imagine what allowing 200 amps through that small wire would do! It would basically turn it into a heating element and burn down your house! Same is true with your boat! You need to fuse wire size as well as electronics and he sure to choose the correct wire size for the load it will need. It's better to be too big than too small!!!



2. Reversed polarity. If you have the positive connected to the neg and the neg to the pos, it "could" smoke although #1 should save you from this. Since a lot of electronics have a reverse polarity diode in them, they will sacrifice themselves by burning up and this could cause smoke. If this is the case of the problem and your diode did it's job, it should be a fairly inexpensive repair.



3. Resistance (due to corrosion or loose connections or too small or wire or connectors). Resistance in a wire or connector will cause heat. Heat causes more resistance and will lead to thermal overload of wire and connections. This heat will melt things and could cause smoke. If this is the problem, you need bigger wires and better connections.



What did the smoke smell like? Did it small like plastic or really chemicaly (like chemicals...)?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
To respond to #1, there is no fuses, I wasn't aware of this til today really, everything worked fine, connections dont have really any corosion so I didnt pay any more attention to the electrical til today. Everything is getting fused seperatly this week, along with a 30 amp by the battery.



for #2 I'm almost positive it was right, red positive and yellow ground, I replaced the connections to the battery as they were coroded and one broke. I thought it could be this at first, but the bottom machine worked so I ruled that one out....



and #3 This could be it, although the wire is plenty big to power the electronics, I was thinking connections, but they arent in bad shape at all....I was still thinking about cleaning all of them, and re-connecting.



The smoke was a plastic type smell, just the sheathing on the wires melting...



Its just odd, for two trips out they worked fine, 3 weeks later, all this at once....
 

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To respond to #1, there is no fuses, I wasn't aware of this til today really, everything worked fine


The installer should be Shot!:hoppingmad
 

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Hi Matt,

Sorry to hear about the problem. Glad the damage was not too bad and you still got out fishing. But, where are my fish?

X-Shark is right! Who ever installed your electronics is a doofus!

Always remember: Old Flat Heads Theory of Electricity

All of those wires have smoke inside them. That's what makes things like fish finders, GPS, radios, bilge pumps work - smoke in them wires. When you let the smoke out of them wires, nothing works.

Tom:mmmbeer
 

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I'm betting on #2. Its an easy mistake to make. When you reverse the positive and the ground things willpower up but they wont work right and your fuses will blow or your wires will start melting. Rewire and put everything thru fuses and everything should be fine so long as they didn't blow at the time.
 

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Boy are you in "N-Reel-Trouble" EVERY piece of electric/electronics should have it's own separate fuse. If more then one item is on the same fuse, use a fuse rated for the lowest unit. If there is a problem, in-line fuses are ok but use the same type (physical size)on all devices so the spares will only be different in amperage.

Original installer needs to be hung from the tallest tree by his........you know what.<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TD class=SmallTxt width="80%"><DIV id=_ctl1_ctlTopic_ctlPanelBar_ctlTopicsRepeater__ctl1_smAuthorName_SimpleMenuDivLayer onmouseover="InstantASP_OpenMenuMouseOver('_ctl1_ctlTopic_ctlPanelBar_ctlTopicsRepeater__ctl1_smAuthorName','_ctl1_ctlTopic_ctlPanelBar_ctlTopicsRepeater__ctl1_smAuthorName_SimpleMenuDivLayer','<table width=100% class=PanelBar_OuterTable cellspacing=0 cellpadding=0><tr><td><table width=100% cellspacing=1 cellpadding=7><tr><td class=TableCell_Light>View Member\'s Profile</tr><tr><td class=TableCell_Light>Add to Buddy List</tr><tr><td class=TableCell_Light><a href=__doPostBack(\'butSendPrivateMessage\',\'476\'); onmouseover=\'window.status=window.location;return true;\'; onmouseout=window.status=\'\';return true; Class=\'SmlLinks\' Title=\'Send Private Message\'>Send Private Message</a></tr><tr><td class=TableCell_Light><a href=__doPostBack(\'butSendEmail\',\'476\'); onmouseover=\'window.status=window.location;return true;\'; onmouseout=window.status=\'\';return true; Class=\'SmlLinks\' Title=\'Send Email To Member\'>Send Email To Member</a></tr><tr><td class=TableCell_Light><a href=__doPostBack(\'butShowMemberPosts\',\'476\'); onmouseover=\'window.status=window.location;return true;\'; onmouseout=window.status=\'\';return true; Class=\'SmlLinks\' Title=\'Find All Member\s Posts\'>Find All Member\'s Posts</a></tr></td></tr></table></td></tr></table>','165px');" style="DISPLAY: inline" onclick="InstantASP_OpenMenu('_ctl1_ctlTopic_ctlPanelBar_ctlTopicsRepeater__ctl1_smAuthorName','_ctl1_ctlTopic_ctlPanelBar_ctlTopicsRepeater__ctl1_smAuthorName_SimpleMenuDivLayer','<table width=100% class=PanelBar_OuterTable cellspacing=0 cellpadding=0><tr><td><table width=100% cellspacing=1 cellpadding=7><tr><td class=TableCell_Light>View Member\'s Profile</tr><tr><td class=TableCell_Light>Add to Buddy List</tr><tr><td class=TableCell_Light><a href=__doPostBack(\'butSendPrivateMessage\',\'476\'); onmouseover=\'window.status=window.location;return true;\'; onmouseout=window.status=\'\';return true; Class=\'SmlLinks\' Title=\'Send Private Message\'>Send Private Message</a></tr><tr><td class=TableCell_Light><a href=__doPostBack(\'butSendEmail\',\'476\'); onmouseover=\'window.status=window.location;return true;\'; onmouseout=window.status=\'\';return true; Class=\'SmlLinks\' Title=\'Send Email To Member\'>Send Email To Member</a></tr><tr><td class=TableCell_Light><a href=__doPostBack(\'butShowMemberPosts\',\'476\'); onmouseover=\'window.status=window.location;return true;\'; onmouseout=window.status=\'\';return true; Class=\'SmlLinks\' Title=\'Find All Member\s Posts\'>Find All Member\'s Posts</a></tr></td></tr></table></td></tr></table>','165px');"></DIV></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
 

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Discussion Starter #8
LOL...I'm not gonna say his name, a lil research and someone could find it easily...but its a member!

I double checked, polarity was not reversed. red is positive, and yellow is negative. I'll know more about the radio later in the week, The bottom machine still works, I'm thankful for that. BUT, the gps will not, I took the case apart, and there is a "pigtail" that goes from the connector on the outside, to the "motherboard" inside, and a few of those wires are melted together. So, If Georges or Offshore Electronics cant get a pigtail, I'll have to send it back to furuno to get checked out. Unless anyone knows any other way?

Saturday evening, we went for a quick ride down escambia river to make sure the newly finished baitwell worked and didnt leak, my accomplice hooked up the battery trying to get the gps to come on while i was messing with the bait tank....maybe he hooked it up backwards??? Dunno...that very well could have been the reversed polarity incident! Again, I'm just thankful it didnt fry everything! I'll know more later this week and update as to my losses!
 

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as far as the plug on your GP 30 having more wires other then just power and ground...they are for hooking up a computer and using a chart ploting program..most of the boats i have ran offshore have GP 30 units on them...great GPS!! i can hook up my laptop to the unit and i also have a chart program and it will plot on my laptop for me, i just cruise along and look at the computer screen every now and then to check my location!!! but from what it sounds you are not wanting to do this just wondering what the other wires are for, well now you know...i would make sure they are taped up good though...dont want them to short out on anything...
 
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