Boat Lights for Night Fishing - Circuit Diagram Help

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by vzaia86, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. vzaia86

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 13, 2008
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    Welcome all,

    I've attached to this thread a (pdf) document of my project details. I am proposing to install 4 No. 240 V 150W Halogen Globe Lights to my boat for the purpose of night fishing and need help confirming if the circuit diagram I have come up will actually work.

    I am proposing to hook up a 12V DC battery to an inverter and 1Farad capacitor to run the 4 globes while the boat is running. This way I have an alternator which can charge the 12V battery.

    In my mind I cannot see how this project is any different from hooking up a capacitor to car stereo amplifier. It is a very similar project.

    I plan to have this project up and running within a months time so any input would be greatly appreciated.

    If anyone can identify a better way to hook up the equipment, I am more than happy to listen to any suggestions.

    I was wondering what would be the maximum Power globes I could use in a set up like this.

    Thanks

    Vince.
     
  2. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    The cap will not do anything for your application. Current draw is too great for it to make any difference.

    600 watts of lights will pull 50 amps from the battery, plus the losses in the inverter - power conversion is never 100% efficient. That will take a lot of capacity in the battery to run that load for very long. Here is a link to some information - http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2000/AronFisch.shtml. The useful stuff to let you figure operating time is at the end of the text.

    One means of getting more run time is to go away from the 240 volt lamps and use 12 volt automotive headlamps. You also avoid things like lethal voltages.
     
  3. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
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    Consider using automotive driving lights. They come in a water resistant housing, and have a bracket for mounting. No inverter losses, no high voltage.

    You'd likely lose 15% to 25% of your power by using an inverter.
     
  4. gerty

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 30, 2007
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    I agree with both posters above. We use 12v driving lights on our Search And Rescue boat, they're 55 watts each. We have a couple of them, pointed in different directions for 360 degree lighting. I know they're not as bright as what you propose, but they are cheap ($16 a pair) and don't use much current. Our boat has a 45 horse outboard and the charging system won't handle much more.
     
  5. vzaia86

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 13, 2008
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    Hey Guys,

    Thank you for all contributing your input in the forum for my mini light project. I've now considered using 12V automotive head lamps as mentioned in the forum.

    Wiring these lamps should be rather simple. I suppose that I will wire them in parallel. However, if I use 4 No. 12 V 55W automotive headlamps will too much stress be placed on the battery?

    My Evinrude E-tec Engine has a 75 A 1100 Watt alternator and I only plan to use the lights while running the engine?

    What do you think? Please offer further suggestions and possible circuit diagrams.

    I will post my new circuit diagram tonight for you to view and comment.

    Thanks Vzaia86
     
  6. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    4 bulbs are only 220 watts. The alternator won't mind a bit.
     
  7. vzaia86

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 13, 2008
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    Thank you for you quick response "Bethere"

    I am now trying to decide whether to use head lamps or fog lights. These lights that I intend to use for fishing will not be used for the purpose of long distance sighting but rather pointed down towards the water to attract fish.

    Would you recommend fog lights to disperse the light or will head lamps be adequate.

    Also, just wondering what would be the maximum strain the alternator could handle before it begins to struggle.

    Thanks

    Vincent
     
  8. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
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    I suggested driving lamps because they come in a relatively sealed enclosure, with a bracket for attachment. You could use standard headlamps I suppose, but you'll have to build an enclosure or mounting bracket(s) for them.

    Headlamps, wether round or rectangular, will have a rather wide and flat beam pattern, while driving lamps will tend to be more narrow and concentrated.

    Yes, you would wire them in parallel. I suggest that you wire not more than 120 Watts worth of lamps per switch, or two lamps; this would limit the current to 10A per switch.

    I=P/E, or Current = Power in Watts/Voltage, so 120W/12V = 10A.
     
  9. vzaia86

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 13, 2008
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    Hey Guys,

    Thanks for you're quick response 'SgtWookie'. I've now been able to come up with a solution.

    Please review what products I propose to use. At the front of the boat, I plan to use the Hella Work Lamps (Product Number 1530) and on the side of the boat Hella Work Lamps (Product Number 1532). I've supplied the website for you to review:

    http://db.hella.com.au/cgi-bin/catalogue.pl?flcmd=prodver&flrecid=1267

    Note, these lights have twin 55W globes. How will this effect the power output? Does the power output simply add up (i.e 2 x 55W = 110W per light??)

    If I have 2 of these lights per switch, I think i'll be fine.

    I aim to have long range 2 No. Hella 1530 Lamps at the front of the boat for long range but on the side of the boat I want to point the lights into the water to attraact fish so I am going to use wide range globes such as 2 No. Hella 1532 Lamps.

    The boat I have is only 4.85m long so I am going to conclude that 4 globes will be adequate.

    What do you guys think? I need confirmation because I will be spending soon to purchase the products.

    Best Regards,

    Vincent
     
  10. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
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    Those look like they'll get the job done. Consider mounting the 1532 lamps on rotating bases so that you can redirect the light forwards while at speed. Just having "tunnel vision" straight ahead isn't good enough.
    Yes, 110W per lamp assembly.
    If you're using switches that are rated for 20A, yes. However, most switches you'll find are limited to 10A.
    You should also use a fuse in your circuit, located close to the battery + terminal. The fuse should not be rated higher than any wiring component in that circuit. I suggest using a 10A slow-blow fuse for each lamp assembly. Carry spare fuses. The pair of 55W lamps in an assembly will draw about 8A when on, but there is a heavy "surge current" when they are first turned on. That is why you need slow-blow fuses.

    Don't omit the fuse; it is your only protection in case of a wiring fault. Otherwise, you will very likely wind up having a fire.

    I suggest using AWG 10 (2.6mm) stranded copper wire. With an 8 Ampere load over 10 meters' worth of wire, you will have about a 0.27V drop. If you used smaller AWG 12 wire (2mm), you would have about an 0.43V drop.

    Use one + wire and one ground wire for each lamp assembly.
     
  11. vzaia86

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 13, 2008
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    Thanks for your help SgtWookie.

    I've just posted a final circuit diagram to ensure that I am going by this the correct way without leading down the incorrect wiring path.

    Download the pdf and have a quick glance and comment where I may require adjustments to the diagram. At the moment I am struggling to understand where grounding should take place. Does the switch have to be grounded! I would think that the 12V battery in my boat is already grounded and there for connecting to the 12V means that the circuit does not need to be grounded!

    Thanks for all your help

    Vincent
     
  12. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
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    You are trying to run common supply and common ground to a pair of lamps.
    If you are running the wiring from the rear of the boat to the front, you will then be using about 12 meters of wire; five for the run up and five for the run back, plus a meter for routing on each end. Each lamp assembly will have approximately 8.5A current draw for 17A total. The wiring will have a total resistance of about 0.04 Ohms, for a drop of 0.68 Volts, and a power dissipation of 11.56 Watts in the wiring alone.

    If you ran separate grounds and supply lines for each lamp assembly, you would have much less power loss in the wiring.

    Since you have decided to use a single switch to control two lamps, you will need a 20A slow blow fuse instead of a 10A slow blow fuse. It may be difficult to find a fuseholder that is rated for 20A.
     
  13. vzaia86

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 13, 2008
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    SgtWookie,

    Can u please post a quick circuit diagram explaining what you wrote in words. I am slight confused what you are trying to get across to me.

    Thanks

    Vincent
     
  14. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
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    Wire it up like the attached schematic. No more than one lamp assembly per complete circuit. To keep things simple, I've just shown the outboard, the battery, the bow lights along with the fuses and switches for the bow lights. Repeat the bow light wiring diagram for your port and starboard fishing lights.

    You will need four switches rated for at least 10A each, and four slow-blow fuses in fuseholders. Carry spare fuses.

    This gives you options. If you are out on the water and have a circuit failure that you cannot immediately repair, you will likely at least have some remaining lighting. You can also elect to run with any combination of lights.

    If you just have one switch and one fuse for the bow lights, you may find yourself suddenly in the dark at a very awkward time.

    Use waterproof switches. If you can't find waterproof switches, build a box to mount them in, and seal the openings.

    Saltwater environments are brutal on electrical/electronic devices. Seal everything up as best you can. Red silicone RTV works quite well. Electrician's "wire nuts" are not suitable. Crimp-style connectors will rapidly corrode and fail. Solder terminals, heat shrink sleeving and red RTV are good.
     
  15. vzaia86

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 13, 2008
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    0
    Thabkyou very much for your help. I'll let you know how it all goes.

    Vincent
     
  16. vzaia86

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 13, 2008
    9
    0
    Sgt Wookie,

    What does a relay do to my circuit. I was told I should use one. What do you think

    Vince
     
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