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2002 Cabo electric panel red "on" lights

Discussion in 'Cabo Yacht' started by Jrms80, Nov 14, 2015.

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  1. Jrms80

    Jrms80 Member

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    hi all,

    New to me boat and on my DC panel the 2nd dozen red lights don't come on when I flip the switch. The components all work but no red light when I flip the switch. Seems odd that so many lights in a row would be burned out rather than a more random pattern. Is there some easy fix here or any other ideas on how to proceed? When I look inside the panel when open its not obvious to me how it works and the bulbs themselves are hidden behind all the wires and board. There is a red curled wire that looks like it goes to each bulb from the panel. I'm trying to decide if I should trouble shoot this myself as I don't want to spark anything. So I'm here looking for someone with experience with this systems advice.

    Thanks! Joe
  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Sounds like you have an in-line bus fuse blown or lose. It would be in the common line delivering juice to the all the bulbs.
  3. Jrms80

    Jrms80 Member

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    What's confusing is the first 1/2 of the lights work. Is there more than one fuse for the lights on the panel. Can you describe what it would look like and where it/they would be located. I'm familiar with various automotive 12V fuses/boxes but haven't seen anything like that on this new to me boat. Is there a small 12 volt fuse box hidden somewhere on this boat? It's a 2002 31 X.

    Thanks! Joe
  4. Kafue

    Kafue Senior Member

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    As it is low voltage, I am inclined to give advice, but considering we are talking electricity, that is maybe not a good idea.
    Sounds like a relatively easy diagnose and fix, but giving advice that you action would be irresponsible.
    Get a sparky for an hour and fix this. If you can afford a Cabo, you can afford an hour for a qualified person to fix the problem.
  5. Jrms80

    Jrms80 Member

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    How about just helping with the location of a 12 V fuse box ? Anybody know what it looks like and its location on this boat?

    Thanks!
  6. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    You don't need an electrician to look for or even to change a bus fuse, or even to reconnect a wire that's worked its way lose, especially when talking 12v or 24v DC. You can even shut the battery switch if you're afraid of getting tickled. If it gets more serious than that, yes, but even if you can afford a Cabo you don't pay en electricians rate including travel time to change a $2 fuse.

    Google: "Bus fuse holder" and you'll see several examples of what you're looking for.
  7. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Not sure where your12 V fuse box is located, but it's often right near the helm, generally a little out of the way like low below the helm or a long a side wall near the helm, and that often has button breakers which pop out and you just push back in. However those are usually for things of more voltage than that line of lights; things like wiper motor, helm lights, Nav lights, etc. That's why I think it's an in-line fuse you're looking for, but in theory it could be either.
  8. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Follow the wires from the lights to where they go. I cannot remember what the panel on your boat looks like. The digital displays for the power (volts/amps) on some had a small fuse on the back side of the volts/amps. Pay the electricial. It's common for red indicator lights to burn out if they're the ones that are always on such as battery charger and the age of the boat.
  9. Jrms80

    Jrms80 Member

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    I'm hoping someone who owns a Cabo will chime in with the typical location of the fuse holder. I know what they look like on cars and have seen them on my previous boats but haven't come across one on this boat. I have some electrical experience and certainly know how to change a fuse and use a basic meter to read voltage and continuity.

    Is this fuse holder hidden somewhere or in a box so the actual fuses are not readily visible? That's my question as I obviously need to know its location.
  10. Jrms80

    Jrms80 Member

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    Aren't the DC panel switches I turn on on the electrical panel circuit breakers for each circuit and there are only in line fuses on some other items like a DVD player? If that's the case then there is no need for a DC fuse box.
  11. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    That is correct. VERY few things on a Cabo will have fuses. Honestly, diagnosing this problem is beyond your capabilities. First take a multimeter and verify if there is voltage at the indicator light, then if not Following the wires from the panel to where they terminate is very easy in a cabo.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2015
  12. CSkipR

    CSkipR Member

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    I've had a few electrical issues on my Cabo but haven't had that issue. Seems to me that since each dc light is specific to that breaker there probably isn't a fuse that would impact all the lights on that row. Those panels have a lot of wires, diodes, etc that are beyond my capabilities to help. As Capt J mentions try to check the voltage at the light but my guess is they have electrical to them they just aren't working for whatever reason.
  13. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    They may share a common ground that isn't attached.
  14. Jrms80

    Jrms80 Member

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    That's a good possibility, bad ground somewhere that's common to those bulbs.

    The bulbs wires today tested 12 volts going to them but no lights. They can not all be burned out, not several in a row, to me thats unlikely. Unfortunately the bulbs themselves are down in the panel. I can't readily see their grounds or common grounds they are,under,other wires. All I can get to is the hot wires.

    I'm leaning towards calling out a electrician. It's frustrating because I think it is something simple, but since I don't readily see what it is. I don't want to risk breaking something with exploratory surgery on this very busy panel. It's not the money saved it's the satisfaction I'd get from fixing/solving the problem myself. I guessing that's how most of the folks on this board would feel.

    It's great to be able to kick this kind of stuff around. I've been a back yard mechanic on cars and boats most of my life and it's amazing how helpful a different "set of eyes" can be.

    Thanks again to you all.
  15. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    I helped a guy at my marina trouble shoot a similar problem on a different, European type boat.
    He had several lights out, his were amber colored, and he could not believe they would all be bad bulbs.
    They were all bad.
    If you have voltage at the light lead connections and the bulb is out and the wires are not broken then the bulb is shot.
    Take a known good bulb and connect it where the suspect is. That will tell the tale.
    They are probably all out because they are a pain to get to.

    Also the bad ground is a great suggestion.
    Good luck
  16. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    First thing I d check is the ground for all these lights. It's not going to be fuse since each light is powered when the breaker is turned on!

    If the back lit was out, then yes it s fuse protected but not the circuit on light
  17. dennismc

    dennismc Senior Member

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    Yes, check grounds, I had that on my Hatteras, nav lite had 13v but bad ground so would not work, fixed the ground an all ok..
  18. Ted Ziaylek

    Ted Ziaylek New Member

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    There may be a common ground wire that the lights are connected to. Probably not connected any more. FYI: Cabo instrument panels and wiring harnesses were built by a company called "Common Ground" in California. They still supply lights and wiring harness parts to me.