Reviewed by: CAPT. MIKE SCHOONVELD
When I saw these “Hydra” headed battery connections it was a slap-my-head “duh” moment. It wasn’t like I could have built one, but why didn’t someone think of it 40 or 50 years ago – about the time I first started trying to figure the best way to connect marine electronics to a boat’s battery system.
Sure there are other ways – a dedicated electrical panel works, splicing into hot wires, wrapping bare wire ends around the bolt or wing nuts on the normal battery cable ends. All will work. For the most part, all a boater is trying to do is deliver a relatively low amperage dose of 12 volt electrical power to lights, fish finders or other electronics.
Sometimes, however, splicing into wires or through the electrical panel sends confusing electrical interference to conjoined electronics. (I’m not an electrician so I don’t know the proper terms, but I know I’ve heard the “pings” from my sonar transducer on certain VHF radio channels and have had other electrical glitches traceable to co-mingled wiring. I know when I installed high speed downriggers on my boat, the voltage drop when I hit the up switch would cause my sonar/chart display to reboot.
An easy answer is to wire these electronics straight to the battery. (Often just grounding the units to the negative side is enough, but if a dedicated ground is good, a dedicated hotwire is better.) The Hydra Terminals from T-H Marine makes this possible with both three and five headed versions available. Each version comes with one plus and one minus terminal. They are available at some retailers, online at Amazon.com or get them (and see other T-H products) at http://www.thmarinesupplies.com.