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New Hour Meter & Halon Status light (part 1)

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After removing the old (crumbling lens) Halon status light in its escutcheon plate, I needed to install a new one. The purpose of that light is to see if the Halon extinguisher has discharged, without opening the hatch to the engine compartment and potentially re-intorducing fresh oxygen when the suspected fire is hopefully out but the metal is hot enough to re-ignite. Or so goes the theory.

Current ABYC "rules" want this light installed on your Dashboard where you would see it go out (presumably about the time your 454 Chevy in your Bayliner stops running and you notice some smoke around the engine hatch).
Power boats have nice wide flat dash boards for this sort of gear, unlike sailboats. Of course they also carry around about 100 gallons - or a lot more - of gasoline,too.

Most sailboats have no equivalent place - of any reasonable sort - to install such an "idiot light" and in 1988, EY had mounted it on the side of the engine bulkhead beside the access door to the starboard side of the diesel engine. My guess is that you would already know that "something is really really wrong" before you reach that point of curiosity, and you might be quite cautious about opening that door anyway. you'd likely have a 5 pound extinguisher nervously in hand and already be contemplating your plan B.... of jumping ship... !

Anyhow, our Halon bottle was re-certified last year and since that extinguisher costs about $ replace, it seems like a good idea to keep the whole system in working order.

When it comes to dealing with a Fire on Board, a little extra caution seems appropriate.

(Aside: a few years ago both I and the Admiral took the half-day fire fighting course at the nearby PDX fire station, and after a lecture on fires and types of extinguishers we ALL got to extinguish a live propane-fueled practice fire. Our YC arranged the visit/class, and the fire fighters said they really like us boaters to be prepared, just in case.

You will notice that the Hour Meter is powered ON any time the engine is active, i.e. the key is on. I used a terminal strip to combine the plus and minus wires. The light on the Halon indicator and also the Hour Meter device both have a required Plus side, i.e. required polarity.

I did label the wire colors and the cable to the Halon switch is the standard yellow and red 'boat cable', even tho in this circuit that switch has no polarity.

The basic circuitry is just like the previous EY factory install, except that the old electric lift pump that used to also live there is now relocated to the inside of the port lazaretto along with a new Racor 500 filter.

All of the these electrical parts fit inside the aft starboard corner of the engine compartment. The power cable for it comes across from the rear port side of that area.

The Halon Bottle is back where it started, above the front of the engine, mounted just inside the top of the removable step and under companionway area. Note that the "indicator light" has nothing to do with the working of the heat-actuated valve on the bottle.

I did slightly relocate the new Hour Meter to a mounting place just inside the removable door, and you read it sideways, This is actually pretty easy to see and do. I figured that I only really want to read it at the end of a day's run and when changing oil. One other point about the hour meter, while the new Betamarine cockpit panel does have a little hour meter display in the RPM instrument face, it is rather hard to read down by my ankles, so some traditional redundancy seems like a good thing. Further, I deliberately sourced this meter from Aircraft Spruce, reasoning that unlike the cheaper versions on Amazon, their clientele demands that this stuff really be reliable.

This should have been a one or two day project... but as it happens quite often, it took a week of time total, of trial and error, for final install of the parts and cabling.
Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Wiring-Hour meter & Halon.pdf   Click image for larger version. 

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Updated 03-02-2019 at 05:48 PM by Loren Beach

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