The Cable Guy

Today’s the day I tackled one of my last big remaining tasks: Routing all electrical cables through wall panel P1.

It’s easy to disconnect the dangerous 120V 30A shore power and turn the ProMariner 2000W inverter off. But then you still have two sources of live power to worry about: The solar panels, and the battery bank. Those two sources connect at the black Rover box you see here. And because these wires are hot, I took care to cap each one, wrap it in tape and label it.

My 10 AWG triplex cable running from the shore power connector to the inverter’s AC IN terminals was never quite long enough, so I made a trip to West Marine in Tigard and bought a new six-foot run. I was able to swap out the cable fairly easily thanks to my helm design. You can see the two galvanized EMT pipes which support the heavy inverter above the black batteries. Those pipes double as rails, allowing me to slide the inverter left and right to work on whichever end I need to access. So here, I’m stripping the new cable before connecting those conductors to the front three terminal ports on the inverter.

The next step was to carefully measure out where the cables should enter the wall panel from the holes in the helm. You may recall I bought a 12″x1″ plastic mail slot grommet just for this purpose. Then I drilled two 1″ holes with a hole saw.

I connected the dots with a black Sharpie and masked the metal with some Frog Tape to protect it from scrapes. Then cut the rest of the slot with my jigsaw. The grommet fits fine, but it would be better if it had a snap or a way to screw it in place. Maybe some silicone adhesive?

Next up was the fancy ($57) cable gland that will feed the Rover box. I decided not to use its rubber insert since I’m not too worried about waterproofing. Four 8 AWG cables and one thin battery temperature sensor wire will snake out of here. I went back and forth about where to place this grouping, and finally opted for a lower position, just above and toward the front of the helm. That will allow me to monitor it from a seated position, and leaves some room for a larger TV in the future. I’ll post a photo tomorrow once the Rover is screwed in and connected.

And finally, here’s the wall panel in a staging position with the first cable passed through. Note that the helm is still movable, even though it’s heavy. I managed to get the dimmer switch connected in the wall panel and all of the cables routed before it got too dark to continue. So tomorrow, Friday, will be the day these circuits get reconnected to the AC/DC panels and the P1 aluminum wall panel gets buttoned up tight. Can’t wait for daylight!

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