m&m

  1. Dodger-mounted Solar Panels

    E32-200 Dodger-mounted Solar Panels

    Solar panels meet the standard: “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Really. You just lay these man-made things out in the sun and they squirt electricity out of attached wires. How good is that? Why don’t we all have these always and everywhere? Our most...
  2. Victron LiFePO4 with Smart BMS CL 12-100

    E27 Victron LiFePO4 with Smart BMS CL 12-100

    What began as a reconnaissance mission to trace some wires to learn how my boat ticks and make sure I wasn’t sitting on a electrical fire waiting to happen has turned into the addition of a dedicated house battery, and an eventual all-out revamping of the entire 12v system on June Bug. Whoever...
  3. Installing, Programming, and Testing a Balmar MC618 regulator

    E32-200 Installing, Programming, and Testing a Balmar MC618 regulator

    References: Balmar Manuals Section Balmar 2019 Service Bulletins Re Lithium Programming MaineSail – Rodd Collins on Programming a Voltage Regulator PKYS Victron Lithium Programming Example Summary I explain how I (as an inexperienced DIY boat owner) installed, programmed, and tested my...
  4. Balmar SmartLink Network and App

    E32-200 Balmar SmartLink Network and App

    A careful user of a sailboat (or any boat, really) should want to periodically know the answer to the questions: How well-charged are my batteries? Is my alternator operating normally? A careful installer of a system monitoring the batteries and power supply of the same sailboat will ask...
  5. Power Update 3: Product Selections

    E32-200 Power Update 3: Product Selections

    Product Selection For house batteries I believe I can fit two group 24 style 50ah batteries and a small start battery in my aft battery compartment. House Batteries: Renogy 50ah Lithium 2A These will be separated as “House Primary” and “House Reserve” batteries. There seems to be a...
  6. Power Update 2: System Design Factors

    E32-200 Power Update 2: System Design Factors

    Battery System Requirements Basics The battery/power system has to be safe. The battery/power system should be “set-it and forget-it” as much as possible. The system should have redundancy built in for when things go wrong. Batteries should be able to be recharged without excessive engine...
  7. Power Update 1: Forensic Analysis

    E32-200 Power Update 1: Forensic Analysis

    Until recently I had been ignoring the battery/power supply system of my boat. The previous owner had advised me with some emphasis, “Leave everything set to BOTH!” The ‘Both’ in this case being the four-position 1-both-2-off switch that (in theory) governs which batteries power the electrical...
  8. How to replace a battery charger on a sailboat:

    E32-200 How to replace a battery charger on a sailboat:

    Summary I replaced the battery charger on my sailboat. The most important lesson I learned was the value of using larger diameter wires from the charger to the batteries being charged. I have done AC wiring before and DC wiring before and I am comfortable with how not to electrocute myself...
  9. Battery Systems Upgrade

    E32-3 Battery Systems Upgrade

    My big project for the winter was upgrading most of my battery-related systems. Though some of this had long been on the list, the whole lot got moved to the forefront when my old Newmar 25 AC charger died. At about the same time, one of my flooded LA batteries was having trouble holding...
  10. Solar Arch 1/2 finished

    E26-2 Solar Arch 1/2 finished

    The bases are mounted the side structure are mounted I bent the top tubes and have them mounted temporally I have to weld crossmembers on the top tubes then bolt some cross members to hold the panels. Its coming along.
  11. Going Overboard with the Engine Instrument Panel

    E32-3 Going Overboard with the Engine Instrument Panel

    Before... ...After It's amazing what a little fresh paint and new gauges will do for an engine instrument panel. And, a box of new marine grade wire, some fancy LED-backlit buttons, a grip of heat-shrink ring terminals, a heat gun burn on my upper arm, 1/8" weatherproof rubber matting...
  12. Fixing the Main DC System Part 3 - Adding Solar

    E35-3 Fixing the Main DC System Part 3 - Adding Solar

    It was clear when we bought the boat that it had been designed to sit at a dock with the shore power charger doing the bulk of the work. Then when offshore, I assume it was all about the 100A alternator. However, we weren't going to be having our boat at a dock, so it was imperative that we...
  13. Fixing the Main DC System Part 2 - The Battery Box

    E35-3 Fixing the Main DC System Part 2 - The Battery Box

    So the first thing to do was trace the wires and figure out what was what. Since MOST of the cable was good Ancor marine wire, my plan was to re-use it, and re-terminate it, using the FTZ power lug crimping tool as found on Marine How To. I did this by using electrical tape, then when I was...
  14. Fixing the Main DC system (up to the panel) Part 1 Discovery

    E35-3 Fixing the Main DC system (up to the panel) Part 1 Discovery

    When we bought Rhumb Ration, one of the issues that I had to fix right away was a comment from the surveyor. The main house batteries were not secured in any manner, neither was the engine battery actually. Three batteries were in the original battery box, just sitting there due to friction...
  15. Solar Arch

    E26-2 Solar Arch

    So I'm adding a solar arch on my 26-2 its something to do with a lot of time on my hands. I have a mill and a tig welder to make it less expensive. I'm using 1.5" aluminum tube and making it so I can knock it down without getting to nuts. I just got the bases back from the powder coater and have...
  16. Projects: Voltage, Balls, Bilge, Cold Start

    E32-200 Projects: Voltage, Balls, Bilge, Cold Start

    High Voltage I headed out for a day sail this week and was motoring about 50 yards out of my slip when my remote radio mic on my helm began beeping at me and flashing a “HIGH VOLTAGE” warning. Having blown a fuse in a Standard Horizon head unit during my electronics upgrade, this seemed like a...
  17. When AC Current Runs Astray

    E32-3 When AC Current Runs Astray

    "Noticee" It began one day when I arrived at the slip and found Rumour's shore power cord disconnected... Spelling errors aside, I immediately wondered who was playing a prank on me and why they would do it this way. Upon calling the marina office I discovered the maintenance staff had...
  18. 200 Watt Solar Installation on an E-38

    E38 200 Watt Solar Installation on an E-38

    I’ve been studying adding solar for quite a few years and this summer (2020) I finally purchased two 100 watt rigid panels, two MPPT controllers and the necessary wires that connect the panels to the controllers. Along with the modifications to the lifelines to mount the panels I’ve spent about...
  19. Last-minute Solar Install on a 32-3

    E32-3 Last-minute Solar Install on a 32-3

    After my boat splashed again after two months on the hard getting a keel rebed and standing rigging replacement, I had all of three days off work where I had to complete a Herculean laundry list of tasks before we left on our fall San Juan Island's cruise. The biggest one as far as net-new work...
  20. Mast Re-Wiring, Lighting upgrades

    E32-200 Mast Re-Wiring, Lighting upgrades

    Time dedicated: About 7 hours - two yesterday pulling wires and five today messing with fixtures. Edit: 8/5/2020 - Costs: $165 combined on two light fixtures from marinebeam.com. $64 on new tinned wire from Amazon. $81 on the LMR240 coaxial that the boatyard. (does not include the...
  21. Inverting the Cockpit Panel for Visibility, Thelonious II

    E381 Inverting the Cockpit Panel for Visibility, Thelonious II

    On many Ericson models the helmsman can't see the temperature gauge or the tachometer without a swooning, eye-bulging contortion that alarms guests and can cause them to cry out, "Is he all right?" That's because the panel has the ignition, glow-plug and start button on the bottom, and the tach...
  22. Out with the old wiring, notes on Raymarine parts

    E32-200 Out with the old wiring, notes on Raymarine parts

    One of the marks of good craftsmanship is tight tolerances between materials - pieces of wood, metal ducts, pipes, etc.. It seems that Ericson boats came out of the factory with fairly snug fittings all around. To change around the electronics in my boat, I would need to pull some new wires...
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