By F. López Cadenas de Llano, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

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It’s copper oxide and it’s a sure sign of corrosion. Sure enough, a close inspection shows a terminal that’s completely engulfed in the stuff. First, make sure the blower switch is turned off. Then remove the terminal with a screwdriver, then a quick scrape with your trusty pocket knife takes care of the corrosion. Once the terminal is cleaned and reattached, the blower is as good as new, and you’re soon blasting over the waves thinking of nothing but pepperoni, mushrooms, and mozzarella cheese.

Place labels at strategic places along the wire as you go. Next, trace the yellow or black wire back to the common bus (which should be located somewhere near the distribution panel) and label it the same way. Now write that circuit number down someplace handy and move to the next circuit. If you already have a wiring diagram, you should also write the new circuit number on the corresponding circuit on the diagram. Now you know that the circuit on the switch panel marked “accessories” is circuit number 32 and it feeds the light in the forepeak and the exhaust fan in the head.

However, for general marine work a good digital meter is so far superior to the analog models that the latter aren’t really worth considering, regardless of any cost considerations. The trouble with the inexpensive versions of the analog meters is that they often have no internal circuit protection, making it easy to destroy the meter if you connect it improperly. Further, many of these meters suffer from low impedance, or internal resistance, which reduces the sensitivity of the meter. Meter sensitivity is an important consideration for many of the procedures outlined in this book.

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