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Old 04-13-2012, 09:18 AM   #1
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Wire suitable for underwater usage


Hi. This is not exactly home-improvement-related, but I'm hoping some of the electrical gurus out there can answer my question. I am building an underwater fishing light. It will basically be a sealed green acrylic tube with LED bulbs in it, powered by a 12V DC battery. It will be submerged between 2-5 feet. I imagine it will be used approximately between 2-6 hours at a time, so the cable will not be submerged in water or a wet area permanently.

Obviously I am doing this to save $$ (they are expensive otherwise), and I find myself wondering why I can't buy an inexpensive extension cord (lamp-cord-style) and use it for the power from battery to light. I started looking at garden lighting wire, but that stuff is very expensive.

Would auto electrical wire (with shrink tubing) be sufficient (though I'm not sure I can find shrink tubing with enough length)? Speaker wire? LOL.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Edit: One thing I forgot to mention is that I don't want the power cord to be heavy at all. Nice and light is the key!


Last edited by 7.62; 04-13-2012 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:45 AM   #2
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Wire suitable for underwater usage


Since its low voltage, most any cable or cord would work. SOW cable is rated for wet locations. Get the lamp, connect it and drop it into the water. Try out a few combinations of cord and connectors to get what you like best.
What kind of fishing are you doing?

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Old 04-13-2012, 10:50 AM   #3
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Wire suitable for underwater usage


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What kind of fishing are you doing?
JV, You are from SC, you must have heard about using a magneto to go catfishing.
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:10 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by J. V. View Post
Since its low voltage, most any cable or cord would work. SOW cable is rated for wet locations. Get the lamp, connect it and drop it into the water. Try out a few combinations of cord and connectors to get what you like best.
What kind of fishing are you doing?
Thanks for the reply. I understand that running high voltage AC isn't the same 12V DC, but isn't the major difference between cables rated for indoor use vs outdoor use the permeability of their insulation? And, are you saying that since it is low-voltage DC, that if water permeates the insulation it won't matter? If that's the case, I would assume that regular 16ga hookup wire (auto/marine) would be sufficient, correct? If so, I may do that and use heat shrink tubing every couple feet.

SOOW cables look pretty expensive...$200 for 100 ft.

I'll be using it for both freshwater and saltwater fishing off the kayak. I'm two hours from Chesapeake, and right down the road from a nice reservoir that holds crappie, perch, bass, pike, bluegill and catfish. And eels.

Last edited by 7.62; 04-13-2012 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:06 PM   #5
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Wire suitable for underwater usage


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Old 04-13-2012, 01:10 PM   #6
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Wire suitable for underwater usage


There not all that expencive to buy.
http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/produ...5-001b2166c62d

Why do you need it to sink, the one I had on my boat floated like this one and worked great. Once it drew in the bait fish the big ones came in to eat them.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:19 PM   #7
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liquid electric tape, marine wire 16 gauge. Why not buy underwater lights from Killer & Griller?
http://www.thehulltruth.com/fishing-...ded-cheap.html
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:54 PM   #8
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The lights posted are toys compared to what I am building. What I am making has 612 SMD LEDs. 2-5 ft depth ensures maximum light dispersion in the water.
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:38 PM   #9
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Wire suitable for underwater usage


Quick question, what's the combined amp draw of those 612 LEDs?

Also it looks like marine wire may hold up to water and vibration better than auto wire.
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:53 PM   #10
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I have 3 sets for underwater and they throw out a real beam on the canyons off New Jersey and bring up plenty of squid, macks a the tuna follow.
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:05 PM   #11
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Wire suitable for underwater usage


The part that would worry me a little bit, is connecting the wire to the "fixture". If you are moving with the light in the water, I could see water leaking into the housing. We commonly use some weather proof cord connectors, but I'm not sure how they'd work submerged, in a moving craft.
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:42 PM   #12
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Wire suitable for underwater usage


PVC conduit with a threaded fitting on the end get a clear plastic jar with plastic top. Drill a hole in the top put some silicone around the hole and tighten a lock nut onto the threaded fitting. unscrew the top and install your lights. If water gets in silicone the top on the jar.
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Old 04-14-2012, 02:05 AM   #13
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Wire suitable for underwater usage


612 LED's? If they are anywhere near the current state of the art for high power LED's, then that's likely to be several hundred watts. 20-30A at 12V, maybe. This will require some heavy wire. Cooling of the LED's will be a significant problem. If it's not several hundred watts, then you need better LED's and fewer of them! Do you have a link to the LED product you're using?
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Old 04-17-2012, 02:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a_lost_shadow View Post
Quick question, what's the combined amp draw of those 612 LEDs?

Also it looks like marine wire may hold up to water and vibration better than auto wire.
Amp draw is .4 per light. If I wire in parallel, the combined draw will be 2.4 amps.

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Originally Posted by CaptRandy View Post
Why not buy underwater lights from Killer & Griller?
http://www.thehulltruth.com/fishing-...ded-cheap.html
Because I am not going to rig them directly to my kayak, and I want the package to be versatile enough for simple dock fishing if needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
The part that would worry me a little bit, is connecting the wire to the "fixture". If you are moving with the light in the water, I could see water leaking into the housing. We commonly use some weather proof cord connectors, but I'm not sure how they'd work submerged, in a moving craft.
The fixture will be a transparent green acrylic tube filled with the LEDs. The tube will be sealed and water tight, and the wiring will be done so that no stress will be put on the actual seal.

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612 LED's? If they are anywhere near the current state of the art for high power LED's, then that's likely to be several hundred watts. 20-30A at 12V, maybe. This will require some heavy wire. Cooling of the LED's will be a significant problem. If it's not several hundred watts, then you need better LED's and fewer of them! Do you have a link to the LED product you're using?
I'm not using LEDs suitable for stage lighting, dude. I'm using LEDs configured for 12V that will throw a beam 360 degrees. I'm using 6 of these:

http://www.banggood.com/Wholesale-Ne...)-p-29230.html

This is very similar to what I am building:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivMrE...eature=related
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Old 04-17-2012, 03:55 PM   #15
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Wire suitable for underwater usage


Like this?
http://www.hydroglow.com/

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