FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
Why is pricing not shown on your website and how do I determine the price for a SmartSwitch system? 

 Marine Control Systems will provide a firm quotation upon receipt of an email or phone call, and do so within 2 working days.  The reason that we do not provide pricing information online is that several factors go into the price make up.  For example, for a bilge system, we will need to know how many bilge controllers will require pump control and how many are monitoring only; if you will have a “high float” switch in addition to the “low float”; whether you need a Remote Display Unit to mount in another area of the boat; to name a few.  The same is true of tank, navigation light, and general alarm systems.  We want to be certain that what you order meets your complete needs.  If you would like a quotation or more information you can reach me at 412-720-3430 or send an email by clicking on the following link.

What support can I expect from Marine Control Systems to assist in the installation and startup of my systems? 

 Every system is staged at our facility, wired, and tested as an interactive system before being shipped to you.  This insures a smooth installation and startup for the installer.    
  • For a small additional charge a system can be delivered with all customer labels for alarms, tanks, and bilges pre-programmed.  
  • SmartSwitch systems are very intuitive to install and program meaning that most installers will have few if any questions during installation and startup.  However, Marine Control Systems offers full factory-trained support online and by phone to assist in your efforts as required.  

What qualifications do I need to install a SmartSwitch system? 

 You don’t have to be a licensed marine electrician to install these systems, but obviously it’s important to be familiar with the conventional and accepted techniques for wiring and physical protection for electrical marine applications.  

What wiring is required to install a SmartSwitch system? 

 There are two types of wiring that you will need to install depending on the type of system you are installing:  

Power Wiring:  
If you have pump control in your system (as you may with bilge and tank systems), you will need to provide adequate gauge wiring from your battery supply to the SmartSwitch control unit and to the pump motor.  The size (gauge) wiring will depend on the pump. This information is available from the pump manufacturer.  

Control Wiring:  
All systems (bilge, tank, alarm, and navigation lights) require 12 to 32 volt power for the electronics AND a network communication line.  These functions are both provided by an inexpensive, single, four-conductor cable.  We recommend marine grade (tinned) security wire for the network as follows:  18 or 20 gauge/4 wire/stranded.  This is easy to pull and provides the flexibility desired for interconnection of all components. 

Power for the electronics and network communications need only be brought to one of the devices (master display or control units) and is distributed from that single point to entire network.  We recommend that all wire ends be twisted and dipped in solder prior to being inserted and clamped into the terminals blocks. 

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or call 412-720-3430