Smartcraft SC-1000 Gauges Have Intermittent Reading

Electrical and electronic topics for small boats
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Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2015 4:28 pm

Smartcraft SC-1000 Gauges Have Intermittent Reading

Postby jstarzy » Thu May 19, 2022 4:39 pm

My 205 Conquest with 2006 Mercury VERADO 150-HP engine has a problem with its Smartcraft SC1000 tachometer and speedometer gauges.

On the first use this season, the digital readout on the Smartcraft SC1000 tachometer was okay, but on the dial pointer gauge the dial pointer inidicator stays at 0 (zero).

On the Speedometer, the dial pointer indicator remained on the rest well below zero, and only the digital fuel readout was okay. No other data was presented.

After a hour long trip I shut everything off and restarted. Then gradually on both gauges the digital displays and dial pointer indicators rreturned to normal.

This happens every year on the first run of the season. The system seems to be very finicky for the duration of the season that follows. I have taken apart the helm side [data] connections, sprayed them and reassembled them but have no luck getting the gauges to read reliably on every trip. I have also made sure the Smartcraft power connection to the battery is clean and connected firmly. Both batteries are fully charged.

Please share your own experience in solving this problem

Thanks--Jim S.

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Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:25 pm
Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula

Re: Smartcraft SC-1000 Gauges Have Intermittent Reading

Postby jimh » Fri May 20, 2022 8:25 am

I have no experience with Smartcraft gauge intermittent operation to share. I can speculate:

The dial-pointer indicator lack of movement may be due to the servo motor that operates the dial pointer not having sufficient torque to move the dial pointer at cold temperatures. To test this theory, the next time the dial pointer shows no movement, apply a gentle warming to the face of the gauge with a heat gun set at a very low temperature. This should warm the dial pointer mechanism, perhaps making movement of the dial pointer require less torque.

The present of some data but absence of other data being available of an LCD display cannot be explained by temperature variation. If the gauges are getting digital data from the engine via the Smartcraft network, they should get all the data available, not just a select one or two data sets.

Q1: at power-on self test, do the dial pointers usually exhibit a movement from rest to full scale and return?

I would not "spray" electronic connectors. Usually connectors used in marine electronics have seals that prevent ingress of moisture into the connector body and onto the contacts themselves. The contacts are often gold or tin plated. Getting the actual contacts wet with a "spray" is generally not recommended. Check the seals to see if they are intact. Apply a small amount of light marine grade grease to the vinyl or rubber seals of the connectors to help them seal and prevent moisture getting inside the connector body.