Need Insight On Electrical Issue

Trolling motors, Fish Finders, GPS, Batteries, anything Electrical, post it here.
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monzster
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Need Insight On Electrical Issue

Post by monzster »

MrGiggles I didn't think both batteries being the same series would make much difference from what has been suggested here but just thought I would throw it out there. InSanefisherMan when I was on the water and the batteries are in a rested state the % does come back up to like 80 - 90 % its when they are in use that the % drops so much. Before I did the wiring of the boat, adding the lights, rocker switch panel, ect... my % never dropped below 90% even when running both motors. Maybe its just the batteries being older now but having the relays kick out has been my major concern. Im lazy and dont like to paddle, LOL. I think my next plan of attack is to try running the motors in a trashcan possibly just to see if I can make anything of it. I did find out that my multimeter has an amp clamp so that might come in handy. Then I will move one motor to the front of the boat and dedicate a battery to each motor, wire my Garmin and eliminate everything else for the time being and see what kind of readings I get from there. I have a pretty big honey do list this weekend so dont know if I will get to post anything but will keep you posted of my findings and how things work out. I just want to say thanks for all the info I have received so far. Definitely have learned alot. Ill have to gather up some photos of my boat and changes I have made. That was the main reason for joining this group was to get some ideas of what direction I wanted to go with it. Maybe someone will get some ideas from mine and maybe a good laugh. Im a poor man so sometimes I have to improvise. Again, thanks alot.

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DaleH
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Need Insight On Electrical Issue

Post by DaleH »

Did you ever compare what size cables to the trolling motors you are using - for their length - versus that which the trolling motor maker advises? Or even compare to that ampacity chart I posted? Otherwise I'm afraid I'm out of ideas, but yes, the barrel trick should suffice to load the motor.

Not just for wiring, but sometimes people configure things where it 'all works when all is new', but then it may not have the sufficient overhead or capacity to function properly over time. I've even experienced this with manufacturing systems in a production environment, I use to say 'the design was operating on the hairy edge' between success or failure, everything had to be 'optimal' for it to work.

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monzster
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Need Insight On Electrical Issue

Post by monzster »

DaleH the cable I used going to the motors from the batteries I believe I used a graph that was posted from Minn Kota for the length boat I have or I may have Googled it. I cant remember. By the chart you posted even with the accessories added I think I am still ok. I do think for my accessories it does look like I am under gauged in that so I think I will upgrade there and doing some continuity testing on the accessories. Oh I found out that my multimeter actually came with an amp clamp so I might put that to use. I always say just cause its new doesnt mean its right. I ran into that years ago working on cars. One time I got a new Honda distributor cap from the dealer when tuning up my car for regular maintenance and after starting it was missing on a cylinder. Upon checking things out it turned out that when the cap was made the brass electrode i guess you would call it was totally missing in the cap where the spark plug wire went, so you never know. Im hoping to check it out more this weekend. Im starting to think its simple and right there and when I find it its gona be like "well dang". It might take me some doing. Mechanical is one thing. Electrical Im a little shady there, LOL

old_fart
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Need Insight On Electrical Issue

Post by old_fart »

GTS225 wrote: 27 Apr 2021, 19:39 Another good question to ask you is; Did you allow the batteries to be subjected to cold or freezing temps? Extreme thermal cycling will shorten battery life, too. Gotta take them into a heated space in the winter.
Roger
I'd disagree with that to the point where I'd charge them in the fall and stick 'em in the freezer.
(Wifey might object :roll: ) but the point being a good battery won't freeze in the lower 48 and
leaving it sit all winter in the warm will degrade it faster than the cold... Leaving it on a trickle
all winter is also problematic...

Clean the top of the battery off, fully charge it, and leave it in the cold.

-W

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InSaneFisherMan
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Need Insight On Electrical Issue

Post by InSaneFisherMan »

I believe what you are seeing on you battery gauge is correct and will drop when in use and show the proper capacity when the batteries are rested.

Proper battery maintenance and charging will prolong the life of your batteries. Lot of good advice here and on the web.

Now, if I understand you have two 50 amp circuit breakers installed and they both reset. How are the breakers wired and how were you using them when they reset? Does this reset happen regularly?

I would not expect a 50a cb to reset, under normal use and if wired properly. Generally it should only reset if you get into weeds or something stops/slows the prop.

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monzster
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Need Insight On Electrical Issue

Post by monzster »

InSaneFisheerMan sorry I hadnt gotten back. Wife has had me doing spring honey do list on the weekend then Mothers Day and work has picked up which is good. I havent even had time to look at the boat but hoping to this weekend. I have 2 50 amp breakers one for each motor and they are wired at the motor about 6-12 inches from the motor give or take. That was not changed when I wired in the accessories and such. They are wired into the hot wire. I only had this problem this one time and both motors were running on the highest setting. After the reset I only ran one motor and didnt run it on high in fear of getting stranded. I had not had this problem previously but I didnt have the other stuff wired into the boat other than my fish finder. So different wiring set up totally. So it very well may be something with the wiring. I think it is going to be a process of elimination. Being as I have had a couple of weeks to think about it I have come up with a plan of attack so I shouldnt be sitting around scratching my head......hopefully.

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monzster
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Need Insight On Electrical Issue

Post by monzster »

So the saga continues. This evening I put the motors in a couple of trash cans and filled them with water. I knew it wouldnt have the push of the boat but it would have some resistance. The batteries have been disconnected for 2 weeks and not on a maintainer. I connected up everything and the percentage gauge showed 93%. Running each motor separately on low speed I had a drop to 83% on one motor and the other 82% and both were held for a minute each and after each motor was run after about 7 minutes the percentage came back up to 93% at rest. On high each motor ran individually had a drop to 58% and the other 62% each held for a minute and came back to 93% at rest after 6 minutes. Then both motors were run together on low and they dropped to 72% and high to 48%. Each were held for a minute and at rest returned to 92% after 7 minutes. I took out the kill switch ran everything straight from the battery and pretty much had the same results. So I think the kill switch is ok. Next I am going remove the main wire to the rocker panel and just wire up my Garmin. This will be how the boat was wired before I was semi stranded and will run the test again. Hopefully this will happen tomorrow.

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InSaneFisherMan
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Need Insight On Electrical Issue

Post by InSaneFisherMan »

On previous post, the circuit breaker should be close to the + side of battery. I think the standard is within 10”.

There are some over current failures (shorted wire) that could happen where the wire between the circuit breaker and the battery are not protected.

The closer the breaker is to the battery, the better the circuit protection.

On your last test, when the batteries come back to 92 & 93%, I would have very high confidence in your batteries.

The drop in % of capacity when motors are running is normal for lead acid batteries and the type battery gauge.

I normally don’t pay attention to my volt meter when using my trolling motor, but it does show quite a drop when in high speeds and a lower drop when in low speeds.

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monzster
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Need Insight On Electrical Issue

Post by monzster »

So I got off work early today and disconnected the rocker switch panel and just ran the Garmin and percentage gauge just like I had before I had an issue. The percentage gauge was at 95% at rest. Rather than go thru the whole sequence like I did yesterday and to save time I just ran both motors at the same time on low and the gauge went to 71% and on high it went to 57% and each were held at a minute. After cutting off it took 7 minutes or the batteries to come back to 93%. So it is pretty much the same as yesterday. So I checked the resistance on the wiring and the most I got was .002 on a couple of the accessories but I also was using a 30 foot wire between the meter because the wires on my meter were to short to reach from one end of the boat to the other end. Dont know if that makes any difference. So there is still the mystery of why my gauge never dropped below 90% for almost 2 years of having this boat.

Now why my breakers blew. In checking my wiring I ran across this. See the pictures. Of course you can see the frayed wiring at each breaker and these are positive wires and you will also notice that I have a ground on an "accessory line" that is not being used and that ground is not covered and exposed. If by chance that ground were to come in contact with the boat and one of those frayed positive wires contacted the boat would that blow the breakers?
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InSaneFisherMan
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Need Insight On Electrical Issue

Post by InSaneFisherMan »

From the pictures, none of the wire issues between the battery and circuit breaker would cause the circuit breaker to pop. The weakest link would fail, and you would probably see melted wire insulation or arc marks on the hull.

All the wire issues need to be fixed. Also, some of the crimp ring connectors have weak crimp barrels and wires can come loose, check all your crimp connectors.

On Lead Acid batteries the internal resistance will increase with the age of the battery. The internal resistance is one of the causes for the voltage drop you see when a load is applied.

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monzster
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Need Insight On Electrical Issue

Post by monzster »

InSaneFisherMan I really hate crimp connectors. I think I am going to go to my hardware store today and see if they have small terminals like you see on battery cable ends so I can solder them. There again I guess I could cut the plastic barrel off the crimp ones and solder them with shrink wrap. Either way that is the project for this weekend. Im going to go thru all the wiring and my plans are to move the breakers closer to the batteries and last night I made a holder for one of my motors and I am going to mount one of them on the front of the boat and run each motor to its own battery and I am going to make a "power box" to run the accessories and will hit the water hopefully in the next week or two and see how it goes.

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InSaneFisherMan
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Need Insight On Electrical Issue

Post by InSaneFisherMan »

I think your on the right track. Fixing all the issues you found will save a lot of frustration on the water.

I have some cheap crimp terminals and the crimps almost always fail. I always solder these terminals, especially on my boat. My good terminals, well I am always out of the size I need.

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monzster
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Need Insight On Electrical Issue

Post by monzster »

So I got one of my motors moved to the front and I have fixed all the wiring and then rechecked all the resistance. So I have these circuit breakers and I have them placed where I want to mount them but in the process I broke the tabs that mount them and one of them had the tabs broke already. The ones that I am using are the little gray ones with a push button I got them when I first got the motors because they are required in my state. They were like $10 from Walmart but I see some online that look alot more sturdy but are like $30 dollar with a switch. See the pictures. So I am wondering being as I have to replace them because of the mounting mishap is it worth the $$$ to get the more expensive one or is a circuit breaker a circuit breaker? I also found a bullet type one thats kind of cool looking. I am going to work on a portable battery box to run all the acessories this week. I got the box and battery all ready just need to get all the other stuff.
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InSaneFisherMan
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Post by InSaneFisherMan »

These all appear to be thermal circuit breakers. So in general they are pretty similar.

Environmental issues will probably be the biggest concern.

I have the one in the first picture installed on my trolling motor now and just my opinion but it seems to be better suited for marine environments. The smaller gray one, I had on my older trolling motor with no issues, just coated it with RTV. Never used the bullet type.

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monzster
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Need Insight On Electrical Issue

Post by monzster »

InsaneFisherMan after I posted my last reply I noticed that some of the ones in the first picture say waterproof. I think that is the route I will go. It just looks more sturdy and they will be at the front of the boat. Sometimes water does splash over the bow in rough waves and Im not sure how its going to do with the motor up front now. Thanks for the input. I certainly appreciate everyone's input and recommendations for this issue and hopefully over the Memorial Day weekend I will get it out to see how it does and will give yall an update. Again thanks.