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390 CC Shore Power Selection Switch for 12VDC Air Conditioning


390 CC Shore Power Selection Switch for 12VDC Air Conditioning

Old 05-28-2020, 09:09 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Indianapolis, IN/ Punta Gorda, FL
Posts: 1,213
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Default 390 CC Shore Power Selection Switch for 12VDC Air Conditioning

We've got the cabin air conditioning option on our 2016 Nor-Tech 390 CC. It is just a little 3,500 BTU unit plugged into an inverter with a dedicated battery bank. A couple years back, I had to sleep on the boat during the Key West races, because there were no hotels available. It was perfectly fine, until the 3rd night when the air conditioner went out. Or so I thought. Turns out, it was the inverter that had gone bad. It was replaced under warranty and I kind of forgot all about it. Had some time the last couple days to draw up a source selection switch in order to be able to run the air conditioner off shore power, when it is available. Before it would be constantly running the batteries at the same time as charging them.

I am already disappointed that Nor-Tech did the shore power the way they did, with no actual AC panel and just a normal 15A plug that is pigtailed to a GFCI outlet that both chargers are plugged into. Very half ass, especially for what these boats cost. Anyways, I didn't feel like making this too involved, so I got a NOCO double plug to replace the single one that came with it, one that the GFCI outlet goes to and the other that goes to the "Shore" section of the switch. The inverter obviously goes to the "Inverter" section of the switch and the air conditioner goes to what would normally be the main 120VAC distribution panel on the selector switch. I still need to find out where/ what 120VAC breaker protects the air conditioner, but another HUGE downfall to Nor-Tech is that they do not have wire diagrams available.

I also ordered a pure sine wave inverter. For whatever reason, Nor-Tech installed a modified sine wave, even though Dometic specifically calls for a pure sine wave inverter.

Ours is hull number 106 and I'd be interested to know if others are built the same way. I have seen pictures of some with AC panels behind the zippered curtain and with an actual 30 amp plug under the dash. Don't get me wrong, I love this boat, but I will be a lot more involved with many details on the next build.

I used a Blue Sea selection switch, Blue Sea bus bar, tinned Ancor marine wire, heat shrink terminals, and adhesive heat shrink over them. It's extremely hot in Florida, so I did all the wiring inside and then installed it in the boat. I wasn't exactly sure where I was going to mount the ground bus bar, otherwise I would have made the ground wires a little prettier had it been cool enough to do the work in the boat. Oh well, it works. Here is the schematic I made, along with a few pictures...

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