Electronics power feeds, what’s truly bad?
Bert van den Berg, proprietor of Cruz Pro, writes that “Once every few weeks or so we get an instrument back or get a call from someone who says one of our instruments is acting erratically. Almost invariably it ends up that the customer (or worse, their electrical installer) has done something dumb and wired it so that the instrument is susceptible to voltage transients. For this reason I have written an article to help show how electronic installers would wire electronics into a boat as opposed to how many electrical installers wire electronics into a boat…Please have a look and let me know what you think.”
Well, I’m not sure what to think of Bert’s advice. I don’t doubt that it’s good practice to keep electronics off circuits that sometimes get loaded hard, but I’m not sure it’s a good idea to have numerous circuits running directly to the battery bank (nor is it common). I do know that the NMEA likes to see a dedicated battery for electronics, but I don’t see that done very often in the real world. And I’ve observed that Gizmo’s electronics seem to work fine despite intermittent loads like water and maceration pumps and refrigeration that share at least the heavy pos/neg cables that feed the main breaker board. Then again, I’ve discovered that some circuits, like the (damned) wipers and my shippy “clear view” spinner, bypass the main breaker board (fuses still unfound), and wonder if that’s because they caused some electronics problems?
So what do you make of Bert’s good/bad electronics power pointers? And, while we’re at it, why is that some electronics seem much more sensitive to voltage transients than others do?