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Old 08-01-2020, 08:38 AM   #1
Califbill
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Default Electrical troubleshooting

I see lots of comments on people who do not have a clue in troubleshooting electrical issues. Yes, some can be bad, but fairly simple to cure the problem 99% of the time. Just takes a Volt-ohm meter. This last week at Donner the Garmin and radio would not power up and stay on. Learn to use a meter. Put it on the 20V or so scale and look at a battery, and you will see the voltage. I measured the voltage to the Garmin from the positive terminal to the negative terminal where I hook up the unit. Read 5+ volts, not 12+ volts. Went back to the panel at the transom which supplies power and had same 5V at rear fuse panel. So looked from positive lug to engine ground. 12v. So the positive voltage is good. Missing a real ground to the negative terminal. The ground wire had pulled loose in a butt connector. Replaced the connector And rebook up wire and all is fine. Is not that hard with a little planning and knowledge. Fairly easy to learn how to use a meter. Admitted, I have a lot of knowledge as I fixed main frame computers while earning an Electrical Engineering degree. But buy a decent meter, and learn to use it. My meter was less than $50 from Home Depot. With the ohm meter part you can check if a fuse is really good. Feel free to add to this mini tutorial.

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Old 08-01-2020, 09:26 AM   #2
gettin' fishy
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Default Re: Electrical troubleshooting

Even the free ones that Harbor Freight gives away will work for the situations most of us encounter on the road. I keep a HF version in the truck and my better one stays at home.

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Old 08-01-2020, 10:47 AM   #3
Califbill
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Default Re: Electrical troubleshooting

Quote:
Originally Posted by gettin' fishy View Post
Even the free ones that Harbor Freight gives away will work for the situations most of us encounter on the road. I keep a HF version in the truck and my better one stays at home.

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They do work, but the $39 Klein Digital is easier to read. Also make sure you can change the battery in whatever you use on the boat with the tools available. My Motorguide fob, battery was dead, had spares on the boat, but not a small enough Phillips to get the screws out to change them. No bow trolling motor control that day.
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Old 08-02-2020, 05:40 AM   #4
shanem
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Default Re: Electrical troubleshooting

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Originally Posted by gettin' fishy View Post
Even the free ones that Harbor Freight gives away will work for the situations most of us encounter on the road. I keep a HF version in the truck and my better one stays at home.

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HF gives out free volt-meters? I knew they sold some for $6-7 but didn’t realize they had free ones too.


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Old 08-02-2020, 06:30 AM   #5
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Default Re: Electrical troubleshooting

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Originally Posted by shanem View Post
HF gives out free volt-meters? I knew they sold some for $6-7 but didn’t realize they had free ones too.


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Haven't seen the free ones for about a year or more. But I got about 3 or 4 of them flowing around. In the boat, car, both shops.
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