Africaster

PSA: check your wiring chaps, it’s not always the battery

18 posts in this topic

Did a session yesterday relying on memory only … really prefer having electronic eyes … FF kept on switching off due to low voltage. A bit frustrating considering the Nocqua 20a is only 1 month old and I had recharged it the day before.

 

using a trusty cheapie multimeter, confirmed that the battery was fully charged  … so … wiring it must be. Even with marine connectors and shrink wrapped tubing, water and corrosion still gets in. Going to nest the connections in a piece of pool noodle to keep them out of the water that invariably gets into the hull.


 

2049BB22-9EEC-4F34-8A5C-76DD9BDC8343.jpeg.fb90a25baa2fb00501a44222201192bb.jpeg

 

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I'm not sure if this applies to your situation, but something similar I learned the hard way is that there is such thing as marine grade wiring.  I had to wire in extension wires for my Hobie Tandem Island.  A couple of years later, my FF stopped working. All the connections looked fine.  I went to stipped back some wire to redo the connections just in case, and the wire just broke.  I kept going down the wire and it kept breaking.  The wire had corroded all along its length inside the sheathing.  With marine-grade wire, each strand of copper is tinned which helps prevent corrosion and the sheathing is different.

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Overkill.

 

I believe in it.   Here is how I do electrical connection in the yak.

1. Crimp and solder the wires together.  Make sure you have strain relief

2. Fill the ends of the crimps with Goop and "paint" the connection with liquid shrink wrap

3. Shrink tubing (stuff with adhesive) over the pos and neg wires separately.

4.  Liquid shrink wrap the ends of the shrink tube

5 Put a larger diameter of shrink tube over both pos and neg together

6 Liquid shrink wrap the ends.

 

Its ugly but it works!

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I like my cheap garmin striker 4 FF. I buy a bunch of extra power cords for $20-25 each. I try to mitigate corrosion but best case, I’ll get 2 years out of the power cord. Regular fresh water rinse and dielectric grease applications on the display and connectors and your good for 5 to 10 yrs.

 

if I ever bumped up to sidescan or more expensive units, Jeff270’s method sounds pretty water tight!

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On 7/3/2022 at 10:06 PM, Pescador710 said:

I like my cheap garmin striker 4 FF. I buy a bunch of extra power cords for $20-25 each. I try to mitigate corrosion but best case, I’ll get 2 years out of the power cord. Regular fresh water rinse and dielectric grease applications on the display and connectors and your good for 5 to 10 yrs.

 

if I ever bumped up to sidescan or more expensive units, Jeff270’s method sounds pretty water tight!

Glad you mentioned the dielectric grease.  Several times a season I grease the connectors to the unit itself.

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2 hours ago, Jeff270 said:

Glad you mentioned the dielectric grease.  Several times a season I grease the connectors to the unit itself.

I find that the dielectric builds up a bit and prevents connection/and or the plug will 'back out" because of even a smidgen of dielectric.  Also attracts sand and dirt 

 

Is it better to rinse connectors well after each trip?   Mine have stayed just fine since I stopped using dielectric on the connectors

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17 mins ago, KnewBee said:

Three words:

 

Liquid Electrical tape.

 

 

In addition to shrink wrap.   Bullet proof  

Yep!  Thats the stuff I called Liquid Shrink tube in my post above.  I works awesome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 min ago, KnewBee said:

I find that the dielectric builds up a bit and prevents connection/and or the plug will 'back out" because of even a smidgen of dielectric.  Also attracts sand and dirt 

 

Is it better to rinse connectors well after each trip?   Mine have stayed just fine since I stopped using dielectric on the connectors

I had that issue once.  As long as I don't cake it on, I haven't had a problem since.

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Just now, Jeff270 said:

Yep!  Thats the stuff I called Liquid Shrink tube in my post above.  I works awesome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The used yak I bought had interesting wiring for light and FF that were designed to connect to alligator clips on a battery (two batteries)

 

The connections were all just electric tape!!!

 

Took it all apart, installed a Noqua battery Y connector.  used correct waterproof butt connectors, plastic shrink wrapped each and then covered in Liquid Electric tape which remains "pliable after it dries.  really solid connections.  

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Just now, ermghoti said:

Good topic. In addition to the above, I have no connections below the water line; any plug or splice is suspended from above.

Long ago, the Kids Revo, wiring was zip tied to top underside and stayed "above the water line"

 

Consecutive cartopping upside down caused corrosion because that Revo always takes on about a quart + of water (front hatch poor design with the bungees going through non grommeted holes in the hatch).  

 

 

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21 mins ago, KnewBee said:

Long ago, the Kids Revo, wiring was zip tied to top underside and stayed "above the water line"

 

Consecutive cartopping upside down caused corrosion because that Revo always takes on about a quart + of water (front hatch poor design with the bungees going through non grommeted holes in the hatch).  

 

 

Fair point, I was going to add that I've never seen much more than "sweat" in my hull; an advantage of a simple boat like my Prowler, I guess. My actual tether point is below the forward fishfinder/rodholder mount, which is well below the highest points, so nothing would be in a puddle even if I didn't make some effort to dump any collected leakage. Since I just have the one splice and a plug, I coiled the extra cabling, added a couple solid copper wire loops to the mounting hardware, and then bungie the battery and the wire bundle to the hardware. Dielectric greased the plug connections as well.

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One thing I have found over the years is that 95% of FF problems are wiring related.  I wish I had a dollar for every person who told me their battery "sucks" or their FF bit the dust, only to convince them to redo the wiring and everything magically comes back online!

 

In the interest of full disclosure, I learned this the hard way, several times!

 

FWIW

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