Friday, April 23, 2010

12V Power in the Office

Project from s/v Eolian, in July, 2000.

We have several hand-held devices that can use 12V power to recharge their batteries:
  • Our cell phones
  • The remote speaker/mic for the VHF. By the way, this is a wonderful invention. It allows me to have the "VHF" with me wherever I go on board, even tho the VHF is mounted inside at the top of the companionway. It beats a hand-held VHF, in that it uses the real thing, with it's full 25 watt power and antenna mounted on top of the mast. But most importantly, it allows me to turn down the volume on the main set so that it doesn't irritate Jane, and keep the mic beside me at the helm, thereby promoting bliss under way.
The most obvious place for setting up access to 12V for these devices would be in either the nav station, or the office. I chose the office, because nearby shelving was suitably equipped with fiddles to keep things in place under way. And because the nav station always seems to be crowded with other stuff.

First, where to get the power? I chose to tap into the port side lighting circuit, mainly because that is the only 12V wiring in the office. So, step one was to remove the paneling covering the hull liner (Eolian has a hull liner) and thereby expose the wiring.

Next (after opening the breaker to stop the sparks), I cut the lighting wire at the junction where the power for the overhead light was taken off.

I drilled a suitable-sized hole in the paneling down by the shelving, next to the existing 120V outlet.

Voila! After adding a new lead to the new outlet, splicing up the wire and replacing the paneling, the outlet is in place.

And we now have a charging station!

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