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DC Electrical Panel Replacement #13872
08/06/12 01:15 PM
08/06/12 01:15 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,581
Portsmouth, RI
Rhapsody #348 Offline OP
Past J/30 Class President
Rhapsody #348  Offline OP
Past J/30 Class President
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,581
Portsmouth, RI
I am considering a project this coming winter to replace the original DC Electrical panel and replace the boat electrical harness. This is driven by the following:

1. The original wiring installed by TPI was not marine grade "tinned". The wire has oxidized and corroded over time. When the insulation is stripped to re-terminate a connection, all the conductors are covered in black. You can't scrape these easily to make a good connection.

2. The fuse connections and toggle switches on the DC panel have a noticeable voltage drop with any sort of current draw. This is a symptom of oxidized contacts.

3. I've added some custom accessories as many have done that require circuit protection and the ability to isolate. Examples of things added are Stereo, Autohelm, Macerator pump, 12V accessory outlets and various navigation instruments.

4. Illuminated circuit breakers are much easier to read and are nicer than having to carry a bunch of different size fuses.

I have asked Paneltronics of Hialeah Gardens, FL to quote a semi-custom DC panel. Additionally I asked that they send mechanical dimensions for an existing Model 5203 panel with 50amp master breaker, meters and eleven circuit breakers of different capacity matched to the loads I've specified and labeled to my specs. The panel is 9.75" tall and 11" wide. Here is a generic picture of the panel.
[Linked Image]

Based on my correspondence with Paneltronics, they indicated they are aware that Lorco, the original J/30 electrical panel manufacturer is out of business. I've asked Paneltronics if they would be willing to quote a standard J/30 drop in replacement panel that uses circuit breakers rather than the toggle switches and fuses. I also suggested that they could offer the "standard" panel replacement, and the custom panel, similar to what I am having quoted. The custom panel would not be drop in compatible as the dimensions would be different and require a different size cutout.

Question - is there interest by J/30 owners for either type of these panels? If so, we may be able to get a quantity pricing discount.


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Re: DC Electrical Panel Replacement [Re: Rhapsody #348] #13873
08/06/12 02:54 PM
08/06/12 02:54 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 116
RI
Bob Rude Offline
Senior Member
Bob Rude  Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 116
RI
For what it's worth...

About ten years ago I bought an 8-gang circuit breaker panel from Bass Industries in CT. There were no LEDs or LCDs on the panel. The reasons for the change were exactly what Bill mentioned. I had the yard install the panel and do the rewiring of it and a KVH digital compass. The total cost was somewhere around $1000.

My present panel has the following switches:

1. cabin lights
2. steaming light
3. running lights
4. autopilot
5. vhf radio
6. foredeck light
7. gps
8. instruments

In retrospect, I wish I had a few extra switches in case I wanted to add anything. Nevertheless, I'm glad I made the switch when I did. I think with a little time and effort, a multimeter, some appropriate 16 gauge wires of the appropriate color, and a second set of hands, the average handyman could make the changeover.

While you're at it, replace your interior lights with LEDs and do the same with your running lights.

Thanks, Bill.

Bob Rude

Re: DC Electrical Panel Replacement [Re: Rhapsody #348] #13874
08/06/12 05:10 PM
08/06/12 05:10 PM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 669
Maryland, USA
Bob Rutsch Offline
Governor at Large
Bob Rutsch  Offline
Governor at Large
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 669
Maryland, USA
Great timing. I've been reading various postings (ground & fuse) as I troubleshoot balky fuses, navigation lights, intermittent speed/depth instruments, and now difficult starting even with fully charged batteries. Daunting task mid-season with temps above 90 to spend a half day below sorting out electrical problems. Maybe wait until after the Fall season ends to rip it out and start over.

Re: DC Electrical Panel Replacement [Re: Rhapsody #348] #13877
08/06/12 10:41 PM
08/06/12 10:41 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 831
New Orleans, LA, USA
David Erwin Offline
J/30 Class Co-President
David Erwin  Offline
J/30 Class Co-President
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 831
New Orleans, LA, USA
Very nice Bill. Bob, what model LEDs do you reoommend down below? I have LEDs externally already - love em'...

Re: DC Electrical Panel Replacement [Re: Rhapsody #348] #13878
08/07/12 03:12 AM
08/07/12 03:12 AM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 179
Apponaug Rhode Island
S
sonskyn Offline
Senior Member
sonskyn  Offline
Senior Member
S
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 179
Apponaug Rhode Island
I was looking at the Bluesea 8068 as a replacement panel 10.5" x 7.5" and a complete rewire for the same reasons.

Re: DC Electrical Panel Replacement [Re: Rhapsody #348] #13879
08/07/12 05:54 AM
08/07/12 05:54 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,581
Portsmouth, RI
Rhapsody #348 Offline OP
Past J/30 Class President
Rhapsody #348  Offline OP
Past J/30 Class President
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,581
Portsmouth, RI
Koos - I looked at that but what I didn't like was it came with all the breakers at 15amp rating. By the time I bought the desired breakers to swap out the various circuits, the cost runs pretty high. My breaker requirements are from 5 to 30 amps and outlined at this link

Re: DC Electrical Panel Replacement [Re: Rhapsody #348] #13880
08/07/12 08:50 AM
08/07/12 08:50 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 482
Chicago, Il. USA
D. Bartley Offline
Governor at Large
D. Bartley  Offline
Governor at Large
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 482
Chicago, Il. USA
Don't seem to have quite the corrosion problems in freshwater.

I'd be interested in how much a panel would cost though


Dennis Bartley
Planxty, s/n 23994
hull 205
Re: DC Electrical Panel Replacement [Re: Rhapsody #348] #13883
08/07/12 02:56 PM
08/07/12 02:56 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 369
Squamish, British Columbia
NaturalHigh Offline
Senior Member
NaturalHigh  Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 369
Squamish, British Columbia
I'd be interested for the right price. What I am scared of is the re-wire that I know needs to be done. I suppose it isn't as bad as other boats but it does not seem easy feeding a new wire harness through the interior fittings!

Re: DC Electrical Panel Replacement [Re: Rhapsody #348] #13889
08/08/12 08:09 AM
08/08/12 08:09 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,581
Portsmouth, RI
Rhapsody #348 Offline OP
Past J/30 Class President
Rhapsody #348  Offline OP
Past J/30 Class President
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,581
Portsmouth, RI
William Montes from Paneltronics has registered on the forum and will be offering suggestions and answering questions for electrical panel alternatives. He sent me an email about a different panel model 2206 that has a single meter and is slightly smaller at 11" W x 8.25" H.

[Linked Image]

I've asked William if it is possible for the single meter to be a multimeter with a switch to select voltage and current monitoring. I've also asked if there could be a switch position for "off" so the meter is disconnected to prevent current drain.

I plan on taking measurements and pictures of the current Lorco panel so that he can work on a quote for a drop in replacement that many J/30 owners might be interested in.

Re: DC Electrical Panel Replacement [Re: Rhapsody #348] #13892
08/08/12 02:28 PM
08/08/12 02:28 PM
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 25
Québec City, Canada
nemonaute Offline
Senior Member
nemonaute  Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 25
Québec City, Canada
Strange coincidence ! The last days I was thinking about re-wiring all the electrical system of the boat and changing pieces on the electrical panel.

Moreover, I am installing a BlueSea multimeter to monitor current and voltage.

It's a pity, my multimeter is already bought. So I won't need one on the panel.

I wonder if Paneltronics will be able to put the "J30" logo on the new panel ?

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