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One of my customers installed a direct tv and kvh system on his yacht. Recently the RCA cables burned up. We do not know the cause of this as the unit was sent back to kvh and was told the unit is perfect. In order to clean up the installation of someone else, I rolled up and ty rapped the excess rca cables, red, white and yellow, and placed the coil up and away from any source of heat. I was told that this could not be the cause of the burning but no one can tell me what can cause this to have happened. Please help so this does not happen again. Thanks, Tom 860-304-6366.

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  • Tom Callan Sep 28, 2008

    Chris, I can understand that if the unit was installed in an area that was closed up but this was in the open and the rca cables burned up, lots of air circulation. My electronics engineers tell me that there must have been high current going through those wires, not just milivolts. The wires were melted together. How can this occur if KVH. says there is nothing wrong with the direct tv box and what could have shorted out in the box that might have caused this. Also, kvh now wants 115.00 to get the box back that they say is OK. Please tell me how these wires could get hot enough to burn if the direct tv box is OK, or what other possible way this could occur. Thanks, Tom 860-304-6366

  • Tom Callan Sep 28, 2008

    Guru, The wires were not near any heat source. The RCA cable set was replaced and voltage tests were performed as I spoke to the KVH tech on the phone. He could not tell me what could have caused this problem, but said that the unit has to be returned to KVH to test and repair, only 2 moths old. Under the assumption that the unit was OK when it was sent back, why didn't it work properly when we changed out the rca cables with new ones. Have you ever heard of cables burning up on these units?
    Thanks, Tom. 860-304-6366.

  • Tom Callan Sep 28, 2008

    Ginko, Thanks for your input that there was excessive voltage/currant that caused these wires to burn up,yes, but again KVH says that the unit is not the cause. Could the KVH antenna that I'm told draws as much as 7 amps have fed back some how and caused this? There is also a Radio Shack coax amplifier powered by a small a/c to d/c transformer that receives the Rca cables after they came from the direct tv box. The amplifier went between the rca cables from the direct tv box to the amplifier the to theTV sets. When voltage was checked at the amp plug output it showed 13 volts dc. The transformer says output is to be 9 volts dc. When I told the KVH tech this, he said that the amp would drop the voltage to 9 volts after it was connected and this could not be the cause. Still have no idea what happened to cause this. Please give me more ideas.Thanks, Tom 860-304-6366

  • Tom Callan Sep 29, 2008

    Benimur, Thanks for your ideas that may have caused the RCA cables to burn. This occurance happened on a clear day when the owner was sailing, he does not have an ssb which does use a lot of power,yes on VHF. The unit is within 2 feet under the radar. The vessel has a common ground with all equipment. I will say that the direct tv box was receiving voltage flucuations anywhere from 9.5 volts to 13.4 volts. When you get on the KVH website concerning the M3 system, they say that voltage is critical. Could these voltage changes have caused these wires to burn. KVH says that only the antenna is affected with these voltage changes, turning in on and off. I still can not come up with a viable reason for this to have occured. Please advise. Thanks, Tom 860-304-6366

  • Tom Callan Oct 06, 2008

    Appreciate all the help, some of the suggestions really gave insight. We believe we have located the answer to our problem. Can honestly say that your group helped me out. Thanks again, Tom Callan.

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It sounds the RCA got shorted,maybe by H2O,if the voltage got flunctuated there must be two possible thing that cause it....the source battery or the wire from rca cable.

Posted on Sep 29, 2008

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Hi,
Since you said you have isolated the RCA from any heat source, i couldthink of one reason,

We know that RCA cables cannot withstand high power or current.
So, this may caused your cable to burn up.
Some way, high power has passed and burnt your RCA cable.
But it is hard to avoid that . Because the high power could be the fault of anyone of its connected components.

Hope my info is helpful,
Thanx for using fixya.
Good luck.

Posted on Sep 28, 2008

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Hey Tom,

I've dealt with elec. for quite sometime now. The advice that you have gotten so far has been good.
There is one thing that sticks out and that is ohms law, especially with low voltage. I can't get back to your comment from this screen but you mentioned something about the voltage raising and falling. A building I use to manage had an exit light that caught on fire, after investigation I found out that 7w bulb was replaced with a 9w bulb. Through ohms law the amperage was more than doubled causing the fixture to go up in flames. This could also apply if the installer any loose connections.



































Posted on Sep 28, 2008

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If the transformer is rated @ 9volts output, it should stay @ 9volts. It's on DC so it must be regulated.

Posted on Sep 28, 2008

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Hi maxilube,

i worked with yacht for quite sometime and there is one thing i can not understand is the electrolysis that is happening in the whole boat.

where are the units plug in?..are they plug in the same outlet source? was the source a generator? a shore power ? or an inverter?

the issue of electrolysis in a boat is about proper grounding.
all metals in the boat should be grounded properly.

so to answer your question what burned the rca cables?...it could be voltages passing trough the ground of the rca cable.

if the units are not properly grounded, then voltages from one unit passing to the other unit could have caused it to burn.

another theory of mine is if the unit is 110 volts?

if it is 110 v, the plug is polarized in order to plug one spade to the known ground of the outlet. so if the other unit was plugged the other way around then the hot wire is connected to the body of the the other unit and would create a short when you use an rca cable. because rca cable has ground wires that would short both chassis of the two units being connected.

i think that is what happened...

tnx,

drcool

Posted on Sep 28, 2008

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Hi,

If I may offer very remote possibilities:

  • near lightning strike (though there should be scorch marks somewhere);
  • RF induced from transceivers (HF/SSB, VHF, Radar especially if antennas are near each other);
  • voltage differential (if the units uses different power sources or at different grounding point or no grounding at all).
Hope this be of initial help/idea. Pls post back how things turned up or should you need additional information.

Good luck and kind regards. Thank you for using FixYa.

Posted on Sep 28, 2008

  • Louie  Role
    Louie Role Sep 29, 2008

    Hi again and appreciate the post/comment back.

    Without knowing the make/model and/or the electrical layout of the yacht, it would be basically a guess/generic work.

    Most I have worked on would have anywhere from 12, 24 and 36 volts batteries as DC power supplies, plus a genset for either or combo 220/110. With this in mind, a couple of more ideas:


    • if the yacht uses anything higher than 12, then chances are that there is a master DC to DC converter to provide the 12V supply used by the devices where the RCA cables were burned;

    • alternately, some techs/electrician makes use of tapping on the last/lowest battery (in a series/bank) + terminal to have the 12volts supply therefore eliminating the need for a DC to DC converter;

    • in other designs/systems, a high current regulated 13.8 power supply is used in lieu of the battery DC to DC converter or 12V tapping and makes use of the AC mains;
    If I may suggest, pls check/determine:


    • how the devices were powered. As you said "...The vessel has a common ground with all equipment..." but as we all know (and as somebody else has pointed out) marine environment tends to wreck havoc on electrical/electronic devices;

    • the grounding of the batteries and their charging system;

    • if you can hardwire a grounding strap to the chassis/body of the equipment in question. This is distinct and separate from the power supply negative supply and from the shielding/grounding of the RCA cables. Normally a strap is flat braided versus the stranded wire.
    Post/comment back any updates/development. Appreciate your use of Fixya and good luck.






  • Louie  Role
    Louie Role Oct 02, 2008

    Hi,

    Any developments?


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Cbles burn up for three reasons, either there is an heath source near to them, there is a short (even water can cause it), or there is an overvolatage.

In your case it was probably an overvoltage, and this was caused by a defective TV or a defective Box.

Even if it is not frequent, I have seen cable , and sat receiver sending the wrong voltage on RCA out. Get a local repair shop, pay for an inspection (here is 20 pounds, in US must be $30 or so) and ask a written report stating that the box is faulty and shorted out, or burnt the RCA cables.

Posted on Sep 28, 2008

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Looks like either the cable was too close some kind of heat source, or the cable itself was defective from the start. High resistance in the wires may have increased the temperature of the wires causing them to burn..

Posted on Sep 28, 2008

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It can be the heat that started the burning up make sure there is fresh cool air circulating around the system ok

the only other thing is you left it on to long over night with no fresh air

plese feel free to ask me any thing u need to no

Posted on Sep 28, 2008

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