Bonding and Grounding
- To those of you who may know more about this stuff than I:
In preparation for wiring in my radar, I examined the bonding and RF ground setup on my boat. Here is what I found:
1. Thin (AWG 12 ) wires linking the engine block, the steering quadrant, and the depth sounder transducer to the hull zinc.
2. Alternator grounded to block and batteries grounded to block
3. Small (2' by 6") Dynaplate and badly corroded (broken) 3" wide copper sheet linking Dynaplate to the engine block with connections for use on backstay antennae and radios.
Here is what I did:
1. Directly connected (via new common ground stud) alternator neg to battery neg (AWG 2), and thence to block and hull zinc (AWG 4). I did not reconnect the alternator neg to the engine as I don't want high amp current flowing there. Engine grounds (starter, heaters and gauges) are all engine grounded. All connections are crimped rather than solder contrary to Nigel Calder's dictates. I am thinking of upgrading the bonding wires to the quadrant and depth transducer to AWG 8.
What I don't know:
When I replace the RF copper sheet, do I connect it to the engine? Should it have a heavy wire to connect it to the hull zinc? I went thru a hull zinc in about two season but I don't plug in. Is that normal?
Question for Cheryl:
How much for a hull zinc and connection bolts?
Thanks everyone for any input.
S/V Dark Lady