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Sherky

Intermittent helm switches

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Our 2004 Signature 260 seems to have an issue with intermittent operation of all the 12v helm rocker switches such as blower, trim tabs, horn, stereo, interior lights, etc..  They are not working most of the time and when they do, they work as normal but it's for a short period.  All the switches near the galley work fine and the generator and main engine start as normal. It feels like it's a loose connection but I wouldn't know where to begin.  Batteries are new/terminals are very clean.  Any suggestions?

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Those gang switches are connected to a common feeder buss bar. I'd start the search there as there should be a single 8# gauge multi-strand feeder cable.  W

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The problem continues to exist.  i checked under the dash and all the fuses and connections seem solid and fine.  Course, I can't get my hand much higher than the access door.  Interesting that when I run the generator, i turn on the blower from the cabin and return to the helm.  If i then turn on the blower at the helm, all the 12v items will suddenly work.  Strange.  Perhaps it's getting a shared ground or something of that nature.  Anyone have experience removing the battery switch panel?  Mine is located just aft of the deck sink and contains all the circuit breakers plus the two main battery switches.  Just curious before I attempt to pull it open and take a peek. I appreciate any feedback!

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Still have a LOOSENED connection.   Terrible location. But loose. PLUS or NEGATIVE heavy sized wire. 

I took care of a impossible loose  connection buy installing a TEMPORARY Heavy PLUS and MINUS wire right out on the deck to the battery posts. Bingo !!  WE then pulled the wire out of sight to bypass the defective one.

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The power and ground is generally looped through each switch to feed each other.  So check the looped connections first.  Also you can meter each switch to make sure that the switches are all working.  But it seems strange that all the switches are bad.  So that would tell me either the feeder power or ground has a bad connection somewhere from the buss bar.  

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Sherky

 How does your wiring look ?  Like somebody cut ,tested, a lot, trying to find a problem ?  I always disconnect ALL batteries while I take apart any DIY connections & redo them correctly.

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Well, problem solved.  I removed the circuit breaker/battery switch panel facing.  it didn't want to pull away too much being there is a lot connected on the back.  We were able to find a wire (terminated with an O ring) simply resting on it's threaded post... without a nut threaded on!  Years of vibration apparently backed out the nut till it fell off.  This explains the intermittent 12v operation at the helm.  

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It sure is nice when you can find the "smoking gun" for your problem.  I assume you tightened all the connections while you were in there.

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I had the same issue behind the instruments are some large 2 piece plugs, Miner had the locking ears snapped off so I ran a wire tire around them and it has keeped them together.

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