Running wire for anchor light down 26x mast

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Goldenist
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Running wire for anchor light down 26x mast

Post by Goldenist » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:46 am

Hi,

I've tried to do my research on this here and the internet and can't seem to find clear information.

How in the world do I run wire down and inside the mast for an anchor light?

How can I snake the wire down the whole thing? When I do get the wire all the down how would I get it out of the mast!?

I have a little hole where the wire for the steaming light comes out of but I have no idea how I'd be able to get the additional wires for the anchor light from and out of that hole.

Thanks,

Jason

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rsvpasap
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Re: Running wire for anchor light down 26x mast

Post by rsvpasap » Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:50 pm

I have a 2002 X.

I use a 50 ft steel 1/4 inch "fish tape" to run cables through the length of the mast. https://goo.gl/KpR7QL

Be mindful that wasps, bees, bird's nests, etc., may be inside the mast.

The fish tape is also very useful for running wiring inside the cabin, especially through the roof of the cabin.

I generally uncurl or flatten the "hook" on the end of the fish tape and then attach the wire/cable to be pulled through with duct tape or electrical tape, thus reducing the likelihood of snags while passing through tight spots or around bolts.

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Re: Running wire for anchor light down 26x mast

Post by paul I » Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:14 pm

As previously stated, use an electricians fish tape to snake through the mast. Attach your wire to it, then pull it though. Where you want it to exit the mast, drill a hole, and pull it out. Use a water tight electrical grommet at the exit location. None of this is difficult, in fact its the easy part. The hard part is wiring the boat and the deck to provide power to the anchor light wiring that you will now have in the mast.

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RussMT
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Re: Running wire for anchor light down 26x mast

Post by RussMT » Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:22 pm

Run a string along with the wire for the next time you want to pull something you have a means to do it without the fishtape.

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Goldenist
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Re: Running wire for anchor light down 26x mast

Post by Goldenist » Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:26 pm

OK, well that certainly makes sense... It seems like it'll be pretty challenging to get that tape out of tiny hole after traveling down the mast but If its been done Im sure ill get it.

I plan to wire it up to a perko male deck plug, same as the steaming light and just use the existing deck plug. Theres never an occasion where both should be on.

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Re: Running wire for anchor light down 26x mast

Post by paul I » Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:01 pm

Goldenist wrote:OK, well that certainly makes sense... It seems like it'll be pretty challenging to get that tape out of tiny hole after traveling down the mast but If its been done Im sure ill get it.

I plan to wire it up to a perko male deck plug, same as the steaming light and just use the existing deck plug. Theres never an occasion where both should be on.
No, but it also means you have to climb up on deck whenever you want to switch them. Not something I'd opt for, but you are the captain of your boat.

You can remove the mast hinge from the bottom of the mast. I think its a single bolt. You can then fit your hand up the mast and push the wire through the hole you drilled. Eazy peazy.

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Re: Running wire for anchor light down 26x mast

Post by K9Kampers » Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:04 pm

Goldenist wrote:OK, well that certainly makes sense... It seems like it'll be pretty challenging to get that tape out of tiny hole after traveling down the mast but If its been done Im sure ill get it.

I plan to wire it up to a perko male deck plug, same as the steaming light and just use the existing deck plug. Theres never an occasion where both should be on.
Since the :macx: mast is open at each end, after removing the mast hinge, run the fish tape from one end to the other. Then, at the same time, pull the wires for the anchor light and a string. Secure the string at each end of the mast in a way that it is near the hole for the steaming light, then with a hooked wire, pull the string thru that hole. You now have a way to pull the steaming light wire thru. Best to pull those wires from the hole to the mast base.

When I wired my mast for the same, I used a single four-prong deck plug to allow two light circuits at the same time. As Paul said, running wires above the cabin liner is the recall fun part!

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Re: Running wire for anchor light down 26x mast

Post by paul I » Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:17 pm

Truth is you could get away with replacing the existing wire in the deck roof with only a single 3 conductor cable. You only need one ground and a hot lead to each light. When I did mine I also ran wire for a Davis Windex light so I could see the Windex at night. I know others have hung deck lights from the spreaders. To each his own.

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Re: Running wire for anchor light down 26x mast

Post by Tomfoolery » Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:29 pm

If you don't want to buy a fish tape, simply put a weight on the end of a string, lay the mast down, put the weight into the top of the mast, and raise the mast back up. The weight should pull the string to the bottom of the mast. You will have to lay the mast back down and roll it forward enough to get the base plate off, but you should be used to that if you do much trailering.

While it's down you can finish the work by pulling the wire, mounting the anchor light, etc.

I used the existing 2-conductor cord and plug by putting a diode in series with the masthead (steaming) light, and another in series with the anchor light, with a DPDT switch to reverse the polarity in that wire to light one or the other. Many here have done the same thing. I sketched up a circuit to use a relay, which I know at least one other person has built, it in the end I elected the simpler reversing switch, which works quite well.

My anchor light is an LED, but it has a built in rectifier so it will power up regardless of polarity, or even on AC power, so I had to use a diode in series with that light or it would light up no matter which way the reversing switch was set.

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Re: Running wire for anchor light down 26x mast

Post by Chinook » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:51 pm

Fish tape works well. For running my antenna cable up the mast, I got 2 10 foot lengths of 3/8 " pvc pipe and a connector splice. I slid the tubing into the mast and then fed cable into the tubing. I was able to push the cable the rest of the way through. It's a good idea to attach 6" zip ties every foot or so to your antenna cable, to prevent it from noisily slapping the inside of the mast. When I wired my mast head anchor light I simply spliced onto the steaming light wire and ran it up the mast. I hooked a double pole/double throw switch to the circuit inside the cabin and installed LED bulbs in both the anchor and steaming lights. LED lights are polarity sensitive, and by reversing the polarity with the DPDT switch, I can power either light with a single wire pair, and can use the factory installed plug fitting near the mast step.

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Re: Running wire for anchor light down 26x mast

Post by RussMT » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:46 am

Tomfoolery wrote:I used the existing 2-conductor cord and plug by putting a diode in series with the masthead (steaming) light, and another in series with the anchor light, with a DPDT switch to reverse the polarity in that wire to light one or the other. Many here have done the same thing. I sketched up a circuit to use a relay, which I know at least one other person has built, it in the end I elected the simpler reversing switch, which works quite well.

My anchor light is an LED, but it has a built in rectifier so it will power up regardless of polarity, or even on AC power, so I had to use a diode in series with that light or it would light up no matter which way the reversing switch was set.
^ This.


http://www.macgregorsailors.com/modt/index.php?view=453

A simple DPDT switch at the panel saves a lot of wiring and work.

Image

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Tomfoolery
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Re: Running wire for anchor light down 26x mast

Post by Tomfoolery » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:46 am

Image

The label makes it look like there's an 'off' position in the middle, but the switch actually has no 'off', just one or the other. I specifially did not want an 'off' position, as it's always one or the other, and the DC panel label simply says "Mast", as those are the only two lights on it.

I'll probably make another label and put the two symbols above and below for neatness, but at least it gives you an idea what I did, for some ideas on what you could do.

I sketched out a circuit using a relay, with separate switches for 'anchor' and 'masthead', with the unenergized (NC) position being the anchor light (the relay doubles the draw of the anchor light is wired the other way), but I just didn't feel like getting into that much more wiring inside that little space (would require two more diodes at the relay, also), so I never did it. I'm sticking with simple and bullet-proof here. :wink:

DownSouth
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Re: Running wire for anchor light down 26x mast

Post by DownSouth » Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:00 pm

In Australia we use fencing wire - but then again we use fencing wire for everything.................. :D :!:

DownSouth

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sailboatmike
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Re: Running wire for anchor light down 26x mast

Post by sailboatmike » Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:37 pm

You forgot the 4 inch nails commonly used for replacing fuses :D

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Re: Running wire for anchor light down 26x mast

Post by 1st Sail » Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:54 pm

I originally intended to wire up the anchor and mast lights using the diode circuit. However, my mast light and replacement LED for the festoon mast running light are polarity neutral with COB (circuit on board) so you can orient the bulb regardless of polarity. I replaced my deck connector with this https://www.fisheriessupply.com/sea-dog ... c-426234-1. I connected the mast light power wire to a DTDP switch and eliminated the need for diodes with two circuits one for the mast light and a second for the anchor light.

I really like these for the running and mast lights. https://www.fisheriessupply.com/lunasea ... 189w-21-00, very bright.

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