Sunday saw more work on the installation of the ProSplit R; I had already got all of the terminals wired up by Saturday, or so I thought. However, it turns out that I’d missed the part in the instructions about the positive terminal that needs a take-off from the D+/61/L terminal of the alternator (as remarked at the end of the previous post). The Hitachi alternator (12V, 35A) on a Yanmar 3GM30F has a very nice connector for two wires that go to the control panel that sits above the companionway ladder. Unfortunately, it’s a bugger to get the spade-type plugs out of, and I really wasn’t keen on the idea of cutting a wire and splicing in the sense wire to the splitter.

After lots of consultation with the various manuals, the Internet, and my father, the conclusion was that a take-off could be done on the back of the ignition switch – no one in their right mind leaves that thing turned on (due to the buzzer) unless they’re starting the engine, and that’s all the splitter wanted, an indication that the engine is started/running/will be started imminently.

I don’t have any cable on hand for doing this properly (yet – the order is placed with a local chandlery, and should be delivered this week), so I used a bit of antenna wire that I have for doing long-distance continuity checks – it’s several metres of wire, with enough copper to carry a low amp draw without getting warm.

With that wire in place, one end on the terminal of the splitter, and the other end on the “off” side of the ignition switch, the splitter did nothing. Turn the key, and the lights on the splitter come on, relays go click, and the engine can be started.

To prep for installing the permanent connection from the splitter to the ignition switch, two mouse lines were run from the battery area in the saloon, under the stove, under the fridge, and into the space behind the galley drawers. Pretty easy to do, because there’s access everywhere except under the fridge box.

Hopefully, the next post will be “new battery installed (because the old one was down to 8.8V and not holding a charge), house batteries are now in parallel, and all wiring is complete”. The bare terminals on the splitter will get fixed this week – I merely forgot to take the boots with me out to Blue Opal.

Further work with the Sterling ProSplit R
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