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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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positive and negative leads

anyone know why i have 3 positive leads (red) all inline fused but only 2 negative (black)?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 07:45 PM
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Re: positive and negative leads

ok got the 50hp fired up and voltmeter jumped so it is charging the battery....However i had all my accessories disconnected and noticed i have 3 red positive wires all inline fused with 30A and only 2 black negative wires. is this correct? i have a 6 panel circuit breaker...1 for lights 5A, 1 for nav. lights 5A, 1 for horn 10A, 1 for livewell in 2A, another for livewell in 2A, and the last one for livewell/bilge out 2A...i have a 12v outlet plug and i know my console fishfinder is on it too but i guess they are not wired on the breaker. the reason i'm asking is my fishfinder went dead and the power trim/tilt on the big motor was very sluggish when we got in for the day we only fished about 5hrs. with just the fishfinder on...i don't know why the battery wore down so fast any thoughts?
I assume you have 3 positive and 2 negative leads hooked to your battery? Did you trace where they all lead to (I'm picturing my own boat here which is not a bass boat so this isn't a problem. If you think you might be draining the battery try taking a voltmeter and check across your battery leads, each rocker panel switch, and across any accessories that might still be hooked up. It's what I'd do anyway. Between manufacturers and people adding things wiring gets tough.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: positive and negative leads

yes one set of the red wires there are two leads wrapped together to make one connection.....what am i looking for with a voltmeter?
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 12:00 PM
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Re: positive and negative leads

Originally Posted by Mr.Walleye
yes one set of the red wires there are two leads wrapped together to make one connection.....what am i looking for with a voltmeter?
Sounds like someone joined two black wires to make the connections.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 11:17 PM
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Re: positive and negative leads

you have several questions across different threads, i'll try to address as much as I can here in one post.

5 hours running a fishfinder drained your battery, so you think you have a drain somewhere else. First off, is your battery constantly on a maintenance charge that was disconnected right before use of the boat? If not, how long before use was your battery fully charged? How old is this battery? You said brand new, was this your first time running with it? Was this battery the same capacity and type as the ones you have run in the other years when you had more time? Have you checked the water levels? Batteries self discharge over time. Also, many motors have a slow drain even when not running. Point being battery may not have been fully charged in the first place, and/or just does not have as much capacity as you had in the past.

There should be no inline fuses on your motor leads. Fuses have nothing to do with a power leak.

Regarding the different number of positive and negative leads, that is not abnormal. Maybe not perfect, but not really a problem. whatever uses the odd + wire is tapped into one of the other grounds some other place (I'd guess at the breaker box since you have one).
To find out what wires go where, you don't need to physically trace them back to their end point. Just make sure everything works. Then disconnect one of the + leads, and then turn everything on again. Whatever now DOESN'T work is powered by that + wire. Reconnect it, then repeat for the other + wires one at a time. I suggest labeling them once you know what they power. Then reconnect all the + wires, and do the same process for each of the ground wires. Again, label what they ground.

Once you know what wires power what, you can add up the draws to figure out what fuse size you should be using in the inline holders.

If you think you have a power drain, turn everything off. Then, disconnect all the + wires. You need an ammeter, not a voltmeter for this. Assuming you have a multimeter, set it up for dc current, milliamp range. Put one lead on the + contact of the battery. Touch the other lead to one of the disconnected + wires. With everything off, you should see 0 milliamps flowing. If you see a number greater than 0 with everything turned off, then you have a current leak on something powered by that wire. Repeat for each + wire. Since earlier, you labeled your wires indicating what they each power, if you find a draw on a wire with everything off, you know which items to look at.

How to best test to see which of the items on that circuit has a shut off power draw depends on what those items are and how they are wired.
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