Adding New Rocker Switches

Discussion in 'Electronics Q&A' started by Steve O, Mar 8, 2021.

  1. Steve O

    Steve O New Member

    7
    Aug 28, 2018
    280 Sea Ray Sundancer, 2014
    450 Mercuiser w/Bravo III Drives
    Adding new rocker switches sounds easy - right?
    I have read threads on this forum but have not found an answer to my question, so turning to this group for some guidance.

    I am looking at purchasing newmarine etched rocker switches.

    https://newwiremarine.com/marine-grade-switches/illuminated-rocker-switches/backlit-combos/

    My hope and thought was I could purchase new switches, plug them in and they will work like they are supposed to.

    My current set up is that each rocker switch accessories (windless, trim tabs, etc) has its own fuse, then a bunch of wires hooked into an insert box with all accessories powered individually. So all I should have to do is plug the new switch into the insert box.

    After watching videos, it appears that the new switches have to be wired in parallel. The power goes to the first switch, then to the next and so on. So here are my questions.

    Has anybody had experience changing switches. No thread or video shows how to change switches under the current Sea Ray configuration.

    Why can't I just plug the new switches into the current insert box?

    If I have to re-wire in parallel, do I just cap the non-used wires?

    I have a 2014 Sea Ray Sundancer 280 and love working on the boat. This project seems simple enough, but not sure why I have to rewire just to add new switches.

    I have contacted newmarine and am awaiting for their help.

    Thanks in advance for any guidance.

    Steve
     
  2. techmitch

    techmitch Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    May 1, 2008
    Chesapeake Bay, Middle River/Frog Mortar Creek MD.
    1999 270 DA
    Twin 4.3s W/Alpa I Gen II's
    I could be mistaken, but I think this is what you need if you are having problems with your switches and the E.I.M. is the "insert box" you were referring to.

    https://www.fpmarine.com/Kidney-EIM-Replacement-System-p/sr-panel-eim-280-340-kidney.htm
     
  3. SKybolt

    SKybolt Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    850
    Nov 11, 2014
    Kent Narrows, MD
    1988 460 EC
    Detroit 6v92TA
    (Low profile's)
    Alison Gears
    Westerbeke
    12.5kw Genset
    Not quite sure what an "insert box" is, but does it look like this: https://www.searay-parts.com/EIM-Replacement-p/sr-panel-eim.htm

    As @techmitch referenced, it is most likely EIM, and the way Sea Ray did those were proprietary wire harnesses. I believe the switches themselves are contura iv or v switches with a plug in the back of the switch (some models). To tell you need to pull a switch and google the part number. Newwiremarine is a good switch source, but I doubt they will have you answer. Most boat builders rolled their own switching schemes for a while. Now they are using NMEA 2000 digital switching, which is a totally different beast.

    So you can still add your own switches but need to do so outside of the EIM by adding a breakers/fuses and running wire etc. Getting matching switches is easy. Post some pics so we can help out better.
     
    dtfeld likes this.
  4. Steve O

    Steve O New Member

    7
    Aug 28, 2018
    280 Sea Ray Sundancer, 2014
    450 Mercuiser w/Bravo III Drives
    Thanks for your input. I believe the correct term that I was searching for is in fact harness. I have attached a picture of the harness and what I called the "insert box." I live in Central Florida and where F & P is and may visit them tomorrow to see what they say. My guess is that I will have to abandon the "plug and play" using the original harness and do some re-wiring to accommodate the new switches. The "new to me" way seems to be cleaner and more organized than what was originally installed.

    Am I correct that the best way to move forward is to not use the original harness and re-wire as the guidance suggests on most on-line sites, you tube and new marine. I am hoping that the lead wire from the switch to each accessory can still be used from the harness to prevent rewiring to all of the accessories, does that make sense?

    upload_2021-3-9_19-33-41.png
    As usual - thank you for your input and guidance.
     
  5. SKybolt

    SKybolt Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    850
    Nov 11, 2014
    Kent Narrows, MD
    1988 460 EC
    Detroit 6v92TA
    (Low profile's)
    Alison Gears
    Westerbeke
    12.5kw Genset
    So I guess you don't have EIM wiring or you do? You have a 2014 boat and want to completely rewire it? That makes no sense to me, I mean it's your boat so do what you like. I see from your pic's you have "toggle" switches and you want a different type like contura? And to do that your going to have all new panels made and rewire from the harness to each switch? You posted bad pic's as those seem to be trim tab switches and are not part of the EIM and seem to be that of Bennett trim tabs possibly? What switches are you trying to replace? Just the trim tabs or all of them?

    Sorry rambling, To answer your question, I would just change the ends of the connectors to match your new switches. I can't imagine 6yr old wiring being bad. If it's only the trim tabs there are many options to go with, here are some. When I re-worked my switches I went with laser labeled contura switches and put them in with the same switches as the rest of the re-worked dash so they all matched.

    But if you have an EIM you can't just pick and choose wires and bypass the EIM board and depending on the version you will need to bypass the EIM as well. What your asking seems to be very simple, but without the known configuration the answer is complicated. If your going to FP tomorrow, ask for Ken, he should be able to help you out, also ask him to check his email as well. :)
     

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