Adding a separate nav light panel and panel light switch

One of the things I have realised as I squeeze more gizmos onto Gudgeon is that I may actually be low on breaker space – which was not something I had imagined would be possible!

So, I decided to add an entirely separate panel for the navigation lights. I calculated I needed 5 breakers – Running Lights, Steaming Light, Red over Green Lights, Anchor Light and Spreader Lights. I bought a 6 panel blue seas panel, and started to install it.

First, tracing out the template and starting to cut using a manual saw.

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Finishing the cut out

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Next, mounting the panel

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Then it was just a matter of wiring the panel positive and negative buses to the panel next to it, which was done without issue.

Next up, putting all the panel backlighting on it’s own switch.

Why do this? Because it was causing -0.2 amp drain, and I wanted to be able to check my multimeter was reading current correctly. AND, if I had guests over, I’d have the option to turn off the backlighting if it was annoying when they were trying to sleep.

First, I installed a single panel switch and breaker

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Next, wiring it all up.

No pics cos I am kind of embarrassed at how messy the wiring is! I’ll tidy it up one day.

Now to test – with the switch off

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Note the 0.0 amps on the multimeter. Yay!

Next with it on

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Perfect! You can see the -0.2 amps displayed on the multimeter display.

Of note, I used a 5 amp Ancor breaker originally – and it just flat out didn’t work. Ugh. So I substituted in a 15amp Blue Seas one for the time being, while I get hold of a 5 amp Blue Seas breaker. That caused an annoyed 15 minutes of troubleshooting.

Lastly, I labeled the SHIT out of everything using my label maker. It’s… really calming. I should probably look into why that is so.

Matt

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