Electrical; visitors; stereo installed

Yesterday I ended up having a sudden (minor) surgery so unfortunately I have to take it kind of easy this weekend.  Luckily there is plenty of not-too-physical stuff for me to do around the boat.  Today after lunch I spent some time at SimLim Tower looking for various electrical components.  Here’s my haul:

Most of the stuff I picked up at Continental Electric Enterprise in the basement, which has a huge selection of electrical components.  I ended up with a 2 ft 4 AWG single-strand copper cable with clamps (which Continental put on for me) to help charge my new batteries; some in-line fuse holders and 3A fuses; some heat shrink tubing; and an exact replacement for my dead voltmeter which I happened across.  The latter wasn’t exactly super-cheap (S$26) and I’ll replace it soon-ish anyway, but in the meantime it’s really nice to be able to gauge the state of the batteries without having to break out the multimeter.

Back at the boat, the voltmeter snapped right into place since I had left the mount and wiring intact:

This made it very easy for me to notice that (a) the battery voltage is kind of low; and (b) the charger, though on, wasn’t actually charging.  I’ve noticed this kind of peripherally a bit lately, and today, now that I specifically wanted to charge the new batteries, I realized the charger doesn’t seem to actually be working.  I asked one of the marina staff if I could borrow one of theirs, but there was something about “renting,” which seems kind of ridiculous, so I’ll try again with someone else tomorrow, and maybe go shopping for an inverter/charger since I want one for the new electrical system anyway.

After that, Mike and his running friends Chris and Joyce swung by the marina and hung out for a while.  Might as well make them famous by putting them on the internet:

Later I finished out the evening by installing the new stereo.  Step one was to figure out which wires are for what and make sure everything works before doing any serious connecting.  I have a whole bunch of testing leads, so I clamped them appropriately and everything worked!  Here’s the messy testing setup:

It’s a car stereo so there are some unused wires: my boat has no “rear” speakers, no powered antenna, no amplifier, and no ignition standby mode.  The only problem I had is that the starboard speaker isn’t working.  Testing the wire it appears either the wire is corroded or otherwise bad; or the speaker is dead.  I’ll figure out which some other time.  For now I’ll make do with one speaker.  I ended up just soldering all the connections and covering them with heat shrink; I put a 3A fuse in the hot wire.  Here’s the result, which ended up looking pretty good for the first wiring job I’ve done in… forever:

And lastly, here’s the stereo all mounted and in place, blasting some classical music:

There’s actually a big antenna just kind of resting in the compartment behind the stereo, which is fine for now.  I was too lazy to remove the CD changer tonight; it doesn’t connect to the new stereo, which does have a built-in CD player though.  I also need to pick up an auxiliary cable so I can connect my iPod.  And, I’m not super-happy with the mounting: behind the scenes there’s not actually much holding the stereo up.  I may just screw some sort of wood block into the plastic housing to help hold the stereo in place.

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