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Discussion Starter #1
Before I start installing all the electrical gadgets on my new Wrangler (LED bar and lights, CB radio, USB charger, etc), I am contemplating what would be a clean electrical install. How about this:

Have an extra fuse box close to the battery (with an in-line fuse to the battery thermal) that is triggered by a relay from something that is ignition powered (e.g., cigarette outlet). From there, up to eight gadgets would be powered. They would only be powered if ignition is on. Then I would have some switches at the A-column where I could turn the LED lights, etc, on.

Does that sound like a clean install or are there better options?
 

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That sounds fairly clean, I have installed a bussman panel that has 10 fuses circuits with 5 relays. I utilized 5 of the fuses for the relay outputs but it is an all in one automotive grade sealed unit. I installed switches on my apillar and grabbed ignition power and the dash illumination circuit from the power port and door switch harness. The bussman has an 80a resettable circuit breaker.
 

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Thanks for your advice! The Bussman panels look great, but might be overkill for my purpose.
It's probably not as overkill as you think. You will want relays for a light bar or additional LED lights, and any other accessory you want on a switch. The mentioned Bussman panel does exactly what you initially described, it just adds the relays. You will have 5 relays and 5 fuses for each relay, plus 5 more fuses for non switched accessories, all mounted near the battery.
 

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Thanks for your explanation. I am not sure why I needed 5 relays. Wouldn't it be easier if the fuse box had one bus and is powered by one relay? If ignition is on, the fuse box and all the accessories would be powered.
 

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Thanks for your explanation. I am not sure why I needed 5 relays. Wouldn't it be easier if the fuse box had one bus and is powered by one relay? If ignition is on, the fuse box and all the accessories would be powered.
For what it is worth it is better to have each item on its own relay.
The bussman panel is made well, weatherproof, and easy to install. One connection to the battery, One to ground the panel and then each accessory has its own set of wire leads to connect it directly to.
Same concept as a sPod but way cheaper.
 

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The Bussman has an internal bus rated up to 80 amps. Each relay just requires 2 wires one being the coil positive from your switch and one being the output wire to the field device. There is a good mounting location on the driver side near the abs pump bracket. Really gives a nice OEM look and is weather rated and automotive grade. Tried to post a couple of pictures but it is giving me an error from my phone.
 

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You use separate relays so your switches do not have to handle the current of what is being powered. A 10W LED is less than an amp, no problem for the switch. A pair of 120W fogs is 20 amps. Most switches won't handle that load.

If you want a clean install, then run a relay box under the hood for all circuits controlled by your choice of switch panels.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Great info and advice, thanks!

BTW, I just talked to some NASA engineers. They suggested that I install digital solid state relays and a Raspberry PI computer under the hood. Anything I hook up to this would be controlled by a single signal line that goes into the cabin. Hm, sounds like a fun project but way over my head! :lmao:
 

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That is where I mount mine, takes a single piece of flat bar with three holes on it. There is a black abs pump mounting bracket there which you can access the bottom of from the wheel well. Really easy to mount and is aesthetically pleasing.

The rPI is an interesting idea I use them for media centers and retro gaming machines. They are really fun to play with and there are a lot of things you could do with them. I ended up replacing my stereo with a android unit to give me some of the computer/app feel. I am really loving it. I am still unable to post any pictures but I have a thread started somewhere on the Bussman's with pictures posted as well as a wiring diagram for them.
 

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Wiring goals! Nice work, Rogue!

What's with the two units in one of the pictures? Were you doing two separate installs, or do they link together somehow?
 
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