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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


Chapter 7

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


Chapter 7

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


Chapter 7

Summary– Interference - 2

  • New electronics and appliances should be FCC and/or CE Type Approved

  • Mitigation Techniques (at interfered-with equipment)

    • Shielding

    • Filtering