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Chapter 7. Basic Troubleshooting and Repair Procedures. Overview. Tools Needed Circuit Troubleshooting Electrical Interference. Tools Needed. Multimeters Wiring Tools Miscellaneous Tools Do-It-Yourself Test Tools Commercial Testers. Multimeter.

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chapter 7
Chapter 7

Basic Troubleshooting

and

Repair Procedures

overview
Overview
  • Tools Needed
  • Circuit Troubleshooting
  • Electrical Interference
tools needed
Tools Needed
  • Multimeters
  • Wiring Tools
  • Miscellaneous Tools
  • Do-It-Yourself Test Tools
  • Commercial Testers
multimeter
Multimeter
  • Required features in a boat’s multimeter
    • Measure up to 50 VDC
      • DC voltages either 6, 12 and sometimes 24
    • Measure up to 250 VAC
      • AC voltages either 120 or 240
    • Measure resistance or continuity
      • Audible continuity checker is desirable
  • Desirable features
    • Measure AC and DC current up to 10 amps
    • Entry level measure current to approx. 250 mA
analog multimeter
Analog Multimeter
  • Advantage - Low cost
  • Disadvantages
    • Difficult to read measurement value
    • Have to start at max value and work way down
digital multimeter
Digital Multimeter
  • Advantages
    • Easy to read measurement value
    • More accurate readout
  • Disadvantages
    • Have to start at max value and work way down
    • Cost
auto ranging multimeter
Auto-Ranging Multimeter
  • Advantage
    • Only have to select function (not range)
      • DC voltage, DC current, AC voltage or resistance
  • Disadvantage - cost
wiring tools
Wiring Tools
  • Wire Cutter – Diagonal Cutter
    • 5 or 6” overall
    • Plastic cushion grip
  • Wire Stripper
    • Don’t use knife
    • Are dedicated tools
    • Most used – Combination Cut/Strip/Crimp Tool
      • Not to be used as crimp tool
      • Wire cutters at tip not effective
wiring tools 2
Wiring Tools - 2
  • Ratcheting crimp tool required by ABYC
    • Covered in Chapter 2
    • Expensive compared to combination tool
  • Soldering gun
    • Normally boat wiring is NOT soldered
      • Done with crimp on terminals and butt spices
    • Required for some coax connectors
    • Recommend dual 100/140 watt
    • With appropriate tip will cut lines and fuse ends
miscellaneous tools
Miscellaneous Tools
  • Pliers
    • To hold objects
      • Not a substitute for a wrench
    • Types
      • Slip joint
      • Needle nose
      • 5” or 6” overall with plastic cushioned grips
  • Wrench (for electrical work)
    • Adjustable 6”
screwdrivers
Screwdrivers
  • Blade
    • 3/16” blade with 4” shaft
    • 1/4” blade with 4” shaft
  • Phillips
    • #1 with 4” shaft
    • #2 with 4” shaft
  • Small
    • 1/8” blade with approx. 2” shaft
    • #0 Phillips with approx. 2” shaft
circuit trouble shooting
Circuit Trouble-Shooting
  • Batteries
  • Alternators
  • Battery Chargers
  • Boat Lighting System
  • Boat DC Electronic Systems
  • Boat AC Circuits
battery testing
Battery Testing
  • Hydrometer
  • Open-Circuit Voltage
  • Load Test
  • Three-Minute Charge
hydrometer
Hydrometer
  • Hydrometer – best tester of flooded-cell
    • Measures Specific Gravity
    • Chapter 3, Table 5
open circuit voltage
Open-Circuit Voltage
  • For Maintenance Free, Gel & AGM batteries
    • When you can’t use a hydrometer
  • Battery should rest for 24 hours, or discharge with a large light bulb for a few minutes
  • Chapter 3, Table 5
specific gravity voltages
Specific Gravity & Voltages

Specific Gravity (Flooded Cell @ 80 F)

Flooded Cell Voltage

Gelled Cell Voltage

AGM Voltage

Chapter 3 Table 3-5

load test
Load Test
  • Hydrometer and open-circuit voltage do not indicate ability to provide current under load
  • Prevent engine from starting
    • Operate starter motor for approx 15 sec
    • Monitor battery voltage after 5 sec
  • If voltage is over 10.5 VDC – Good Battery
  • If voltage is under 10.5 VDC – Bad Battery
    • Replace battery
three minute charge test
Three-Minute Charge Test
  • Actually takes six (6) minutes
  • Charge battery at 40A for six minutes
  • Measure voltage (at battery) with charger on
  • If voltage under 15.5 VDC – Battery is good
  • If voltage is over 15.5 VDC – Battery is bad
    • Not accepting charge
    • Is sulfated
    • Replace battery
alternator testing
Alternator Testing
  • Drive Belt
  • Quick Test
  • Alternator Electrical Connections
drive belt quick test
Drive Belt & Quick Test
  • Drive belt
    • Loose belt if “squealing” when engine started
    • Belt depression when pressed at midpoint
      • Normal (correct tightness) is only 3/8” to ½”
      • Over ½” is too loose, tighten belt
  • Quick test with engine & battery charger off
    • Measure (battery) voltage at alternator
    • Start engine and measure voltage at alternator
      • Alternator working if voltage increases
      • Alternator not working if voltage constant
alternator electrical connections
Alternator Electrical Connections

To check wiring between alternator & battery

  • First discharge battery for five minutes
  • Then start engine & check for high resistance connection between alternator & battery
  • Voltage drop over 0.5 VDC needs to be fixed; or over 1.0 VDC if there are charging diodes
    • Check both positive and negative circuit
    • Clean and tighten the bad connection
    • If you find a bad wire, replace it
battery charger testing
Battery Charger Testing
  • Alternator vs Battery Charger
  • Quick Test
  • Troubleshooting
alternator vs charger quick test
Alternator vs Charger & Quick Test
  • Alternator vs Battery Charger
    • Batteries charged by alternator
    • Batteries not charged by battery charger
      • Defective battery charger; see Troubleshooting
  • Quick test with engine & charger off
    • Measure (battery) voltage at battery charger
    • Turn on battery charger and measure voltage
      • Battery charger working if voltage increases
      • Battery charger not working if voltage constant
troubleshooting
Troubleshooting
  • If Charger not working, check the AC input
    • Troubleshoot like AC Circuit, covered later
  • If there is AC input, check for a blown fuse
    • Replace blown fuse ONCE
    • If fuse blows a 2nd time
      • Disconnect wire going to battery and install another fuse, then turn charger on
      • If fuse blows again, have defective charger
      • If fuse does NOT blow, measure DC voltage
        • Should be between 13 and 16 VDC
troubleshooting 2
Troubleshooting - 2
  • Turn Charger “Off”
  • Disconnect charger positive wire at battery
    • Tape it to prevent wire shorting to ground
  • Reconnect positive wire at charger
  • Turn “On”, if fuse blows have short in wire
  • If fuse does not blow, may have high resistance connection between charger and battery
    • Troubleshoot wiring like you would for alternator
boat lighting system
Boat Lighting System
  • Boat light inoperative
    • First replace bulb with known good bulb
    • Alternate test of suspect bulb
      • Check continuity of filament
        • Good bulb will have continuity or low resistance
        • Bad bulb will indicate no continuity or infinite resistance
    • If good bulb does not work
      • Need to troubleshoot lighting circuit
lighting troubleshooting
Lighting Troubleshooting
  • Need a logical sequence
  • First check circuit breakers and switches
  • Then isolate to battery to power panel

or

  • Power panel to light
slide32

Boat Light Inoperative

Replace / Check

Bulb

A

A

Turn Battery

Switch On

Turn DC Main On

Light

Working

?

Stop

Yes

NO

Power

to Panel

?

Battery

Switch On

?

NO

NO

Yes

Troubleshoot

Battery to Panel

Yes

DC

Main On

?

A

NO

Yes

Troubleshoot

Panel to Light

battery to power panel
Battery to Power Panel

No DC at battery side of DC main breaker

  • Check/replace large fuse at battery
    • Use multimeter
  • Check/clean/tighten wiring
    • Battery to battery fuse
    • Batter fuse to power panel
power panel to light
Power Panel to Light

Have DC at load side of branch circuit breaker

  • Check/clean/tighten wiring at branch breaker
  • Check/clean corrosion at light socket
    • Use CRC QD Electronic Cleaner or equivalent
  • Check/replace in-line fuse near light
  • Check/replace switch in light
  • Check wiring with temporary wires from branch circuit breaker to light fixture
boat dc electronic systems
Boat DC Electronic Systems
  • 90% of equipment problems is lack of DC

or bad corroded cable connections

  • First check for power to equipment
    • If there is power
      • Check for blown fuse
      • If fuse is good, there is an equipment problem
  • Then check/clean cable connections
    • Use CRC QD Electronic Cleaneror equivalent
  • Lastly troubleshoot like a lighting system
    • Previously covered
boat ac circuits
Boat AC Circuits
  • Testing
  • Troubleshooting
testing ac circuits
Testing AC Circuits
  • Shore power polarity
    • Verify correct with Reverse Polarity Indicator
  • Outlets
    • When first installed and once a year
    • Verify with AC Outlet Tester
  • GFCI outlets
    • When first installed and once a year
    • Insert AC Outlet Tester
      • Press “Test” – tester lights should go “Off”
      • Press “Reset” – tester lights should go “On”
testing hard wired appliances
Testing Hard Wired Appliances
  • Turn on appropriate branch circuit breaker

and

  • Appliance “On” switch
  • Appliance should work

or

  • Expose the AC terminal strip
    • Use multimeter
    • Check for AC voltage and polarity
  • If have AC input and won’t work = Defective
troubleshooting ac circuits
Troubleshooting AC Circuits
  • Need logical sequence
  • First check circuit breakers and switches
  • Then isolate to dock to power panel

or

  • Power panel to outlet or appliance
slide40

A

A

A

Reset Service Breaker

AC

Main On

?

Turn AC Main On

Troubleshoot

Dock to Panel

Troubleshoot

Panel to

Outlet / Appliance

AC Troubleshooting

Start

Power

to Panel

?

Service

Breaker Tripped

?

NO

Yes

NO

Yes

NO

Yes

dock to power panel
Dock to Power Panel

No AC at line side of AC main circuit breaker

  • Check/reset dockside circuit breaker
  • Check service cord
    • Use adapters and AC Outlet Tester
    • Power at dockside outlet?
    • Power at boat end of cable?
  • Check/clean/tighten connectors and wiring
    • Disconnect AC power before working on AC
    • Use CRC QD Electronic Cleaner on contacts
power panel to outlet appliance
Power Panel to Outlet/Appliance

Have AC at load side of branch circuit breaker

  • Reset GFCI outlet
  • Disconnect AC power before working
  • Check/clean/tighten wiring at breaker
  • Check/clean/tighten wiring at

outlet/appliance

  • Check wiring with temporary wires from branch circuit breaker to outlet/appliance
summary circuit troubleshooting
Summary – Circuit Troubleshooting

DC

  • Battery tests: Voltage, Load and 3-minute charge
  • Alternator tests: Drive belt, quick test and wiring
  • Battery Charger: Quick test, AC power and wiring
  • Inoperative lights: Bulb, bulb contacts and wiring
  • DC electronics: Verify DC power & clean contacts
  • DC wiring: Start at power panel and isolate

AC

  • Test outlets yearly
  • AC appliances: Verify AC power and check wiring
  • AC wiring: Start at power panel and isolate
electrical interference
Electrical Interference
  • Introduction
  • Sources of Interference
  • Locating Interference Sources
  • Interference Suppression
  • Mitigation Techniques
introduction
Introduction
  • Causes and Effects
    • Caused by rapid on/off current switching
    • Radiated through air
    • Conducted though wiring
    • Degrades high sensitivity electronic equipment
  • Noise Layers
    • Usually have interference from several sources
    • Remove/reduce till acceptable
    • Difficult to identify stronger interference
sources of interference
Sources of Interference
  • Ignition Systems
  • Charging Systems
  • Voltage Regulators
  • Electric Motors
  • Gauges and Instruments
  • Propeller Shaft(s)
  • Video Displays
  • Electronic Equipment
  • Fluorescent Lights
identification by sound
Identification by Sound
  • Ignition
    • Popping Sound related to engine speed
  • Alternator
    • High-pitched musical whine related to engine speed
  • Voltage Regulator
    • Intermittent rasping sound
  • Electric Motor
    • Hissing sound or whine
locating sources
Locating Sources
  • What is Different?
  • What is On?
  • How is interference getting into equipment
    • Radiated?
    • Conductive?
  • Pigtail Check (with bypass capacitor)
  • Radio Noise “Sniffer”
interference suppression
Interference Suppression

At source of interference

  • Approaches
    • Repair or replace faulty equipment
    • Shielding to confine interference
    • Special-purpose components to reduce interference
general suppression
General Suppression
  • Replace/repair faulty equipment
  • Correct defective wiring
    • Bonding straps still connected?
    • Check wiring for loose connections
  • Re-run wiring
    • Separate power and signal wires/cables
    • Dress regulator field wire close to the alternator
  • Shielding
    • Wires
    • Compartments with grounded copper screen
ignition system
Ignition System
  • Primary
    • Shield ignition switch wiring
      • Ground shield at engine (only)
    • Ground case of ignition coil
    • Install 0.1 µf coaxial capacitor
      • in positive wire at coil
    • Install 0.005 µf disc ceramic capacitor
      • at negative terminal of coil
      • rated at 1,000 volts
    • Replace and adjust breaker points
    • Select and replace capacitor
ignition system cont d
Ignition System – cont’d
  • Secondary
    • Install resistor spark plugs
  • Install resistor cable (between distributor and spark plugs)
  • Can be used together if needed
alternator
Alternator
  • If output less than 50 Amps, add a 0.5 µf coaxial capacitor at output terminal
  • If over 50 Amps add a low-pass filter or in-line choke at the output terminal
  • Never bypass the alternator field
charger voltage regulator
Charger / Voltage Regulator

Battery charger

  • Install near battery and away from electronics
  • Suppression built in by manufacturer
  • Home-made copper wire shield

Voltage regulator

  • May be built in to alternator
  • If external
    • Mount close to alternator
    • Consider shielding field wire (ground both ends)
electric motors
Electric Motors
  • Well seated brushes
  • By-pass with 0.25 to 0.5 µf capacitor
  • Ground housing
gauges and instruments
Gauges and Instruments

Gauges and instruments

  • Bypass with 0.25 to 0.5 µf 200 volt capacitor
  • Some may stop working when bypassed

Electric tachometers

  • Don’t bypass (it will stop working)
  • Shield wire and ground both ends
propeller hash
Propeller Hash
  • Shaft Hash
  • Indicates stray current or galvanic current problem
    • If possible fix problem
  • Best to ground the shaft with carbon brushes
    • Fixes the symptom, not the problem
electronic equipment
Electronic Equipment
  • All electronics and appliances should be FCC Type Approved
    • Part 15 B of the FCC Rules
    • Look for decal/label
  • Europe has a tougher RFI standard “CE”
    • Look for decal/label
mitigation techniques
Mitigation Techniques

At equipment being interfered with

  • Approaches
    • Shielding against radiated interference
    • Filtering against conductive interference
  • Capacitors (or condensers)
  • Chokes (or inductors)
shielding and capacitors
Shielding and Capacitors
  • Shielding for radiative interference
  • Capacitor (or condenser)
    • For conductive interference
    • Provide low reactance to AC
    • Placed across (parallel) input power terminals
    • Bypass undesirable AC noise to ground
chokes inductors
Chokes (Inductors)
  • Choke (or inductor)
    • For conductive interference
    • Provides high reactance to AC
    • Placed in series with power wires
  • Types of RF chokes
    • In-Line
    • Snap-On
    • Ferrite Data-Line
steps
Steps
  • Ground metal case
  • Bypass DC leads
  • Bypass and shunt DC leads
  • Add choke (in series with DC leads)
  • Shield (and ground shield)
tv conductive interference
TV Conductive Interference
  • Turn AC outlet “Off”
  • Install 0.01 µF (micro farad) disc ceramic capacitor across hot and neutral terminals
    • Keep leads as short as possible
  • Install snap-on choke in power cord
    • 5 turns, left to right, on one side or core
    • Followed by 5 turns, left to right, on other side
summary interference
Summary- Interference
  • Locating source
    • By its sound
    • What is different?
    • What is on?
    • By use of “sniffer”
  • Interference suppression (at source of interference)
    • Equipment repair
    • Specific at equipment
    • Shielding of equipment
slide65

Summary– Interference - 2

  • New electronics and appliances should be FCC and/or CE Type Approved
  • Mitigation Techniques (at interfered-with equipment)
    • Shielding
    • Filtering
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