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Author Topic:   Electric Downrigger Wiring Ground
jjjewett posted 01-31-2010 04:52 PM ET (US)   Profile for jjjewett   Send Email to jjjewett  
I am in the process of wiring up my scotty electric downrigger. I have the 10ga hot wire run to the console where the batteries are. The fuse is close to the battery.

Can I ground the downrigger to the motor? Since I am planning on mounting the power receptacle near the motor, can I have a short ground wire run to the motor or should I run the ground to the console and battery's negative terminal.


jimh posted 02-01-2010 12:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Are you asking about a protective ground circuit that carries no current?

Or are you asking about the electrical motor circuit in the down rigger and its negative return lead to the battery?

jjjewett posted 02-01-2010 12:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for jjjewett  Send Email to jjjewett     
Not sure. It is the "negative" terminal on the power receptacle.

padrefigure posted 02-01-2010 02:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for padrefigure  Send Email to padrefigure     
The ground connection in this circuit carries current from the downrigger motor to the negative terminal of the battery. Electrically, any wire connected to the (-) battery post will complete the circuit. However, mixing wiring is a formula for disaster. If your downrigger caused a short or overload in the return circuit, you could lose the downrigger and your outboard. I would run the (+) and (-) together as a red and black pair from the distribution point (close to the battery). Connect the red (+) to a fuse block with a 30A fuse and the (-) to a negative bus. You now have a pretty hefty load on this distribution equipment, so be sure your feed conductors are large enough to handle the max current you will encounter.
jjjewett posted 02-01-2010 02:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for jjjewett  Send Email to jjjewett     
Got it.

To the battery it is.


jimh posted 02-01-2010 05:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
You must run the power return conductor back to the negative terminal bus of the distribution center where the positive lead originates. In some small boat installations the battery negative terminal may be the negative power distribution bus.

Your use of the term "ground" is not appropriate for this conductor.

jjjewett posted 02-01-2010 09:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for jjjewett  Send Email to jjjewett     
I see.

I am planning on wiring directly to the house battery, with a 30A fuse inline on the positive wire near the battery.


jimh posted 02-01-2010 09:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The only caution I would offer is to be careful with collecting too many connections at the battery negative terminal. As a general rule there should only be one connector under a terminal binding. This rule is often violated in small boats at the battery, where the battery terminal becomes a connection point for several conductors. However, when you have more than one (or perhaps two) conductors on a terminal, you increase the risk that the connection can come loose. A loose connection, particularly at the battery, can cause a lot of trouble and create potential for damage.

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