Saturday, 19 March 2016

Repairing the bow thruster

Today the bow thruster was repaired.  This entailed replacing the existing soft touch control panel with the one collected yesterday.  The first step was to cut the plug off the new control panel.

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You can see the proprietary clear plastic plug in the above photo.  There is little point in retaining the plug as the existing control panel was fitted without using it.  The original control panel was permanently wired using butt crimps.  I don’t like permanently connecting cables in this situation.  My plan is to use a spade connector.  That way it will be simpler to disconnect the control panel at a future date should that be necessary

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Spade connector crimped on the cable ends.  I’ve crimped the male ends onto the control panel.  This was deliberate and the reason is to reduce the potential for a short to earth (ie the steel hull) if the control panel needs to be removed.

The existing control cables to the bow thruster are not marked.  My plan was to individually cut and re-connect each cable on the old panel to the new.  This would eliminate any error in incorrectly connecting wires.  I also decided to cut the old cables 2 inches from the controller leaving the exiting butt crimps in place.  This would provide additional spare cable in the loom making it easier if it becomes necessary to examine the wiring in the future. 

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The original wiring and control panel.

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The new control panel was connected using the spade crimps.  I individually taped each of these to both ensure there could be no short to earth and prevent the spade ends separating.

The next step was to turn the bow thruster isolating switch back on and test the new control panel worked (it did).  Then all the cables and joins were taped to make a single loom.  This should provide further protection.

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The last step was to secure the control panel using the fascia and screws.  I lightly smeared each screw thread with Vaseline just in case they need to be removed at some future date.  The bow thruster then had a final test.   

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