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Author Topic: Electrical Survey  (Read 11745 times)
W5HOY
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« on: July 03, 2010, 04:58:20 PM »

Hello All - Happy 4th of July!

Yesterday John Lathrop (N5TBM) and I did a quick survey of the boat and the electrical system. Here is what we found:

1.System comes from the power pole outside of museum - we found two distribution boxes one - on for the museum and the second for power going to the boat. The power travels underground to the boat via PVC conduit and includes power for the overall boat and cathodic protection.
2. The power is estimated to be 200 Amp Service - we did not meger the power cables at the pole or entry to the boat - to be done later for confirmation.
3. Power cable connect to a disconnect (dangerous) and has 1 drop cable duplex recept. for misc. needs. The disconnect is not locked and has wiring issues for safety - not to mention heavy corrosion and dirt inside.
4. Power is routed to the two top side A/C units. Units are protected by a breaker box mounted near the units, but not in a good area. Additionally there is a drop cord receptacle- that is not to code.
5. Power comes into the main boat through a vent from topside down into the main maneuvering room.  We did not see any "shore power" location, receptacle or power converter on the topside nor inside.

6. Once inside we started at the front and moved back to the MR. Our 1st initial review centered on the lighting which appeared to be using existing lighting cabling which was confirmed as we went further back. It should be noted that there are no "safety" cages around open light bulbs. This is dangerous to folks moving in and around the boat and the possible fumes that might exist.
7. We did find several different boxes, panels, control type items with control lights working, and found various types of cables, i.e. romex, extention cords and single conductor THHN/THW providing 120V power to give the appearance of power.
8. Further back we did see multiple distribution boxes that appear to be in some working order as current fuses are installed. In some cases power was wired to them using the various cables mentioned above.
9. Finally we did find where the power was brought in from topside and put to a small distribution box, with three breakers - 2- 20 AMP breakers (which are not marked as to what they control, and a 100 Amp breaker which appears to control all lighting (and some other componets.)From the distribution box power was sent through the existing cables which confirmed our thoughts of using the existing system for lighting.

Further review showed panels unlocked, doors opened to past DC power rooms, open lugs etc., etc., etc.,

John and I looked for several minutes and could not find a connection point or switch for shore power. we do not know where that is and if it is available for us to use?Help in location would be greatly appreciated!

After seeing what appeared to be the "power" system, John and I agreed that the boat power was in much needed improvement and safety issues need a solid review across the whole boat.

What we will need is a "general overview" of the electrical system as when she was put into service to outline what distribution boxes may or maynot be in use. Ron KD5VDB has requested drawing from members of Congress/ Navy to get this ball rolling.

Once we have that in place and a general overview can be accomplished; we then can rework the survey and conclude what the possible routing's may be and make corrective actions as needed. We are also going to solicit the resources from another HAM in the area who is a licensed electrician and begin to plan our course of action. Items such as lock out procedures can be done as a "on-going" practice to at least start that process.

Questions can be submitted to via this forum or to Rick and we can as a team put togeher a workable and long-range plan to be her up to speed safely.

Regards, Charlie
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Mark Sarsfield
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« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2010, 05:26:06 PM »

Good write-up.  A lot of the open/exposed circuits that are not lighting are definitely dead.  Rick should have the wiring diagrams, but we will have to go hand over hand to verify what is on the drawings and what is reality.  Like any vessel, things get rewired over time with poor or no documentation.

I visited the Torsk today and they had shore power going through the original shore power switch in the maneuvering room.  Batfish has its shore power switch in the control room and many main power cables in the forward and/or aft engine rooms have been cut out for souveniers/to pay bills. 

We'll leave it to you guys to come up with a better solution than what we have now.
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Mark Sarsfield
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"If you have one bucket that can hold 5 gallons and one bucket that can hold 2 gallons, how many buckets do you have?" - IQ test from Idiocracy
Rick
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« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2010, 06:14:36 PM »

Thank your for verifying everything that we have been touting on since I have been here.  I am of mind that we must review the entire electrical system and set a plan into motion to correct several of these issues as well as issues that have come up on our inspection reports.  Thank you Charlie and John for taking another look at this.  Where do we go from here?
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W5HOY
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« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2010, 06:55:58 PM »

Hi All

Mark- It would be good if you could verify for me where the switch might be on the boat - we looked but did not see the location. Also how the switch works might be good to know as well. The question is can we adapt or use the shore power switch for our purpose or do we need just to re-invent the wheel for our purposes?

Rick - to your point, John and I think that it would be good to have a schematic of what is suppose to be there and mark in yellow what we see and reverify that with the power we have now what is connected and then start a systematic approach by compartment of the conditions. Do you have a wiring diagram of the boat? Once we are semi-certain that we know where the power is coming from then we can know what our amperage conditions are now and what they will need to be moving forward. Secondarly, one thing we can start doing now is securing nonessential panels, etc., with lockouts so the general public will not be enticed to try to energize or put a unwanting finger in to them.
Since there are so many devices you never know what might be hot at this point; some simply tye-raps (color coded for our use) can be installed to keep prying hands out.

As noted above - we did notice the smaller distribution boards, (usually white with red levers) that they did have current fuses in them. Are we replacing them frequently or not at all?

We should also start a "work-order" or problem list for electrical that can be keep in your office so we can record specific occurrences and have someone check it out. When those of us for instance who are responsible for the electrical comes on board we can review the list and see what the occurrence was and try to correct if possible.

Long-term is would be great to use as much of the existing electrical connections as possbile as long as we know what the consequences are - and not energize something that would be open for serious shock.

What do you think?

charlie


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Darrin
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« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2010, 06:58:48 PM »

hand over hand, inch by inch tracing every wire onboard to see what has been cut/removed. At one time Torsk had a shore power box topside and then the lines were run through the Salvage Air Valves (In some cases someone removed them) to run the power and then proceeded to run the power through the bulk head flapper valves and the list goes on and on.

It has taken the electricans on Torsk 12+ years to get it to where it is now and they are still finding new stuff everytime they start a restoration project.

Good luck to you all on the Batfish  Smiley
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Tom Bowser
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« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2010, 08:31:26 PM »

Electrical on the Drum is a night mare. At some time in the past someone tried to use to high wattage light bulbs and fried most of the light bulb sockets, which we have not found replacements for that fit, the wire connections are getting crisp and we some times get a fireworks display just changing bulbs. It doesn't help that the parks current electrician (?) doesn't know what he is doing and doesn't care..It is good that he is lazy and it is a long walk and climb to get on the boat so he confines his bumbling mostly to the target and gift shop. We are hoping the wiring holds out until we are finished with the hull, then we will have real fun. We are still finding wires that have been cut and are still hot.

Good luck.
Tom
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Mark Sarsfield
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« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2010, 11:12:38 PM »

Tom,

  We have sockets that arc, too, when bulbs are changed with the power on.  It's a result of someone reversing the polarity and making the outer socket hot, instead of neutral.  You have to turn the lights off before changing bulbs out.

Charlie,

  Enter the control room from officer country and on the floor to your left will be a large switch that looks like a breaker and is very hard to move.  As far as I know, that is the shore power switch.  Don't ask me where the connection is outside the boat, because I have yet to find it, but my guess is somewhere around the bridge.  Once the power entered the boat, it was sent aft to the maneuvering room.  I forget what panels and large breakers it was routed through before going to the rest of the boat's circuits.  The Fleet Boat manual on the HNSA site will provide a basic layout/theory of the electrical systems, but the reality is what we trace and record.  

  For instance, you will find fuse boxes for fuse boxes.  There is a high amperage fuse box in the pump room (next to the ladder on the overhead) that supplies power to other fuse boxes in the control room and control tower.  Lots of fun to figure out which one blew.  Sad

  If you can ever get a hold of Vaughn, he can tell you how the shore power currently ties into lighting and how they bypassed all of the other electrical systems in the boat.  It was probably Jerry-rigged before he got there.  He just made it a little better and added power for the AC units.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2010, 11:14:51 PM by Mark Sarsfield » Logged


Regards,
Mark Sarsfield
USS Batfish reenactor



"If you have one bucket that can hold 5 gallons and one bucket that can hold 2 gallons, how many buckets do you have?" - IQ test from Idiocracy
Rick
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« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2010, 06:26:02 PM »

Charlie,

I like the sounds of your plan.   I want EVERYTHING documented sow we do not run into the proplems we are having right now.   I would maintaing a 3 ring binder for your repari orders.  We can keep it in my offic on the small book shelf next to my desk.  We have a copy of the 1940's training manual here at the museum and it is for anyone to use.   I do ask that we keep the manual here however. 

For the rest of the fleet boats,  can you advise how we may go about getting the wiring diagrams in question?

Thank you for the help guys...

Rick
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Rick
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« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2010, 06:42:19 PM »

Just made a check to verify what I thought.  the tie in for the shore power is in the after engine room aft end of the room above your head.  I made a discover while locating this.  There is another panel with 3 breakers.   2 single pull one double pull.  I was not able to determin where the single pull goes to, however the double pull is the ships power. 

One more mystry solved.....

Rick
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Mark Sarsfield
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« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2010, 09:05:18 PM »

Is that a modern box that you found, Rick, or the original?
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Mark Sarsfield
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"If you have one bucket that can hold 5 gallons and one bucket that can hold 2 gallons, how many buckets do you have?" - IQ test from Idiocracy
W5HOY
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« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2010, 09:33:14 PM »

That should be the one that John and I discovered. That one is tied into the power leads coming from the pole outside. It has I think a 20 A and possible 40 A and the large double pole that is (we think) a 100A. That one controls all the power to the boat.

What are going to need to do is see what the incoming power is (meger) and then most likely put in a new distribution box and start from there. The current one ties to two (2) feeder lines by power lugs which we think are the lighting circuits and then it branches to who knows what. We are not 100% certain that the two feeder lines only control lighting - it may go to other circuits we are just not sure.

That will be our first line of attack

1. See what the line voltage is coming in from top side, and then do some additional investigation.

Charlie
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Rick
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« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2010, 11:38:11 AM »

Again it sounds like we need more investigation and discussion.  Let's set a meeting date to discuss our findings and make a valid game plan....

Rick
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Darrin
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« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2010, 12:30:37 PM »

Funny thing that I learned while teaching the school of the boat is that the BALAO class boats did NOT have AC power, they are strictly DC idiot2 that change came later in the years. . Here is the link to the fleet manual  http://www.hnsa.org/doc/fleetsub/elect/index.htm
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Ctwilley
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« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2010, 03:21:35 PM »

If I'm not mistaken, to run off of shore power, you had to run off of your batteries using the main control cubicle in the maneuvering room and run a constant recharge from the shore connection through the after auxiliary bus. This means, that technically, you should be able to run it by selecting battery power while bypassing the non-existant batteries IF (and it's a big if) all of your battery cables are still present. I cite chapter 4A2 on shore connections coming through the auxiliary circuits of the after auxiliary bus switchboard.

4A2. Shore connection. The bus-tie circuit is equipped with terminals to which an outside source of power, such as a shore connection or tender, can be connected for operation of the auxiliary circuits. The procedure to be followed in connecting the shore cables for operation of the auxiliary circuits is as follows:
1. Make certain that both bus-tie switches are open.

2. Check the polarity of the 250-volt external power supply.

3. Connect the positive lead to the positive terminal of the shore connection block and the negative lead to the negative terminal of the shore connection and energize the circuit.

4. Trip the auxiliary board battery breakers and close the bus-tie switches on both auxiliary power switchboards.

5. Current is now available from theexternal source through both auxiliary power switchboards.
To connect shore cables for charging the batteries, proceed as follows:

1. Place the battery selector lever in the main control cubicle in the OFF position.

2. Check the polarity of the external power supply.

3. Bring the shore cables down through the after engine room hatch.

4. Connect the positive lead to the positive terminal and the negative lead to the negative terminal on the battery bus in the control cubicle.

5. To charge both batteries, move the battery selector lever to the BOTH BAT. position.

6. To charge a battery separately, place the battery selector lever on FORWARD BATTERY or AFTER BATTERY position.

 
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Darrin
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« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2010, 04:30:23 PM »

The big thing that you have to remember is the cubicles were maintained a heck of a lot better when the boat was commissioned then they have been since she was decommed, when we do any work on our cubicles (cleaning, maintenance) we shut the boat down and turn off shore power before we even go into the cubicles, it makes for a LONG night for the electricians when they do this.

Yes Correy you are correct with how shore power was brought down when the boat was on Active duty, however now that she is open as a tourist attraction you can't be runnin all dem shore power lines through the boat like the were once run. On 688's our shore power came into the boat through the After escape trunk and then tied into a shore power connection box in the engine room. and then the power was fed to Manuvering and then distrobuted throughout the boat.

I think that Torsk documented removing the shore power service topside when TVA came onboard. I will look and see if it is still posted on the website.

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