Saturday, December 12, 2015

MASTer and Communicator

CRAZY CRAZY warm weather.  It hit 72 degrees the other day and it's DECEMBER!  With moderate temperatures seducing me, I decided to tackle running the new wires and coax for the VHS-DSC radio from the mast boot through the deck and inside the compression post.  The OEM connector had only a 4 prong connector (Figure 167) and I needed a 5 prong connector to support the new LED anchor light and LED combo steamer spreader light. I took some time to determine whether I wanted to array more capabilities at the top of the mast, like an anemometer or wi-fi antennae.  I shot both of them down.  However, that same  thought process concluded in a brilliantly inexpensive idea for the 5 prong connector - a standard trailer harness with male and female connector.  They cost between $12-14 as a kit for both, have 18 guage wire and are built for rugged weather use.  The female end comes with a two foot trailer of multi-color wires that will easily support the amperage requirements of the LED lights and allow that length of wire to traverse through the deck (Figure 168) to the inner harness.
Figure 167 - 4 Prong OEM Plug
Figure 168 - Mast Wires Through Deck
Figure 169 - Ingenuity at its best

I bought a Blue Sea 30 ampere AC/DC 6 circuit terminal block to connect the five wires in Figure 168 to the wiring run from the DC panel.  I was able to buy the exact same color wire (but 16AWG) from Best Boat for a 25 foot roll at $3.50 a roll (Figure 170).  I will work some wood to provide easy access and have it look good at the same time.

Figure 170 - Matching colors of 16 AWG