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JimBuck

Bus Bars and Fuse Blocks

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So I'm finally getting around to cleaning up some of the wiring on my boat....I've heard people recommend getting a bus bar or fuse block to clean up wiring and make things easier to troubleshoot down the road. Can someone explain what these two devices do? Currently I'm running my electronics off of my 12V terminals and I'm a bit of a gear head so I'm running out of room on the terminals. I'll also be adding another battery up front for a stereo and front spotlights. Any recommendations? Cheers.

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I put in a fuse block from Cabela's last year. It's nice. Run one set of heavier gauge wire from the battery to fuse block and then wire all your accessories off of that. Much cleaner at the battery and you don't have all those ridiculous inline fuses--just automotive-type fuses in the block. Mine also has a ground block, too, which is nice. Basically, thr ground wire from each accessory attaches to the ground block, which is hooked up to the ground on the battery.

I really would not bother adding another battery for spotlight and radio. They should be fine off of your starting battery.

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Fuse block - Device where your fuses are installed. A fuse block can be made to hold one fuse or many fuses side-by-side.

bus bar - A conductive metal plate or bar used to interconnect multiple terminals together. In your house you have a service entrance panel where your power comes in. The supply conductors are connected or terminated into screw terminals. These terminals are part of a metal bar or plate assembly that transfers the power to supply all the circuit breakers in the panel. Without the bus bar, it would be necessary to daisy-chain or connect a wire from the main supply conductors to each circuit breaker. A bus bar is a much cleaner and more reliable method.

Bob

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I think a fuse panel would be your best bet you can get them with one circuits or with many more circuits

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Fleet Farm sells a fuse holder that holds 5 of the old style glass fuses. Each fuse is set up to have it's own feed but you can jumper one side together and feed it off of a single wire coming from the battery( make sure that wire is fused at the battery), and then you can step down each individual load with it's own fuse.

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I have that one, except mine has slots for 10 fuses. I got it at Cabela's and it's worked great so far.

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I've been using the same one that Ralph has (10 slots) for years in the last few hovercraft and the latest fish house. It's a great unit, and I've had zero problems with them. The built in ground bar is very handy to have. Been buying them from Surplusunlimited but bought the last one from Cabelas just because I was there and saw they had them.

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Sounds a whole lot like a circuit breaker panel?? Obviously on a smaller scale, but isn't it doing pretty much the same thing?

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Yup, except instead of breakers, you have fuses. Also, they can be much less expensive. There are some marine fuse boxes that go for well over $100 for something similar to that pictured above. For that, though your'e usually getting a water resistant cover, seals and a more solid piece of plastic.

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