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  Remote Control of Electric Trolling Motor

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Author Topic:   Remote Control of Electric Trolling Motor
oldfoxy posted 08-07-2008 10:40 AM ET (US)   Profile for oldfoxy  
I have a 9 foot inflatable Outcast pontoon boat with a Minn Kota 30 electric trolling motor.

What I would like to do is put a On-Off-MOM On switch on the arm of the swivel seat, so that I can control the motor without turning around and using the tiller control. I mainly want this feature for controled drift fishing and would be using the lowest speed. I want the momentary position so I can bump the motor up when needed, and the On for use when I use the tiller. Steering is not a problem, as I have adapted the oars to be used as a rudder system.

The switch I am looking at is Cole Hersee Heavy Duty Toggle Switch - 3 Screw Term. On-Off-Mom. On (Rated 25-Ampere)

How do I wire it into my battery cable that goes from the motor to the battery, where it has 3 terminals? Should I put a manual circuit breaker in for saftey?

I'm a novice at this, so any help would be appreciated. Thanks,
Jerry

jimh posted 08-07-2008 11:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
To wire a switch, just insert it into the circuit in the positive lead between the source and the load. However, I do not recommend that you try to control a trolling motor with a switch.

To control heavy current loads you should use a relay or solenoid. Wire the solenoid contacts into the primary battery distribution between the battery and the trolling motor.

Wire the solenoid or relay coil to your remote control switch.

oldfoxy posted 08-07-2008 11:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for oldfoxy    
Thanks for the reply Jim. Could you give me some idea of what type of solenoid or relay I should use? As I said, I am a novice at this 12 volt wiring stuff. :)

The trolling motor draws a max of 30 amps a high speed, which I will not be using with the switch. I will be using the lowest setting..

Thanks,
Jerry

jimh posted 08-07-2008 01:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
This product would be overkill:

http://bluesea.com/category/4/14/productspecs/9012

You could probably use a standard starter motor solenoid; they are about $30 (or less).

oldfoxy posted 08-07-2008 02:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for oldfoxy    
Price wise, will this work?

http://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userportal/show_product. do?pid=11941&NEXTAG

jimh posted 08-07-2008 08:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
On further review...(as the referees in the NFL say):

It looks like the switch is rated for 25-amperes. Since you say that the motor only draws 30-amperes at maximum and you plan to only run it at very low settings, you probably are OK with the switch. It might be a bit awkward running the wires to the switch, as you will need at least 10-AWG wire to handle the current and perhaps even larger wire to keep the voltage drop down.

The starting solenoid is probably not designed for continuous duty, but for $14 I would give it a try. Using a solenoid will allow you to keep the wiring to the remote control very light gauge wire. The coil ought not to draw more than 1-ampere. Wire the solenoid in parallel with the control on the motor, but do it so that the motor speed control is still in the circuit.

oldfoxy posted 08-08-2008 10:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for oldfoxy    
Thanks for the update..the cable that goes from the motor to the battery now is 14 ga wire with spade connectors(OEM). Should I change this whole cable to 10 ga wire?
oldfoxy posted 08-08-2008 11:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for oldfoxy    
Update:

Looking at a few schematics of the Minn Kota motors, they use 14 ga leads on the Endura 30 & 34 pount thrust motors. From 36 pound and up they use a 10 ga lead..

jimh posted 08-08-2008 12:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Since your whole boat is only 9-feet long I don't imagine the battery cables are likely to have much voltage drop. I am beginning to wonder if remote control of a motor is really necessary on a boat that is 9-feet long.

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