Fishfinder - Wiring Options?

Discussion in 'Power it up with Electronics' started by Rooster, Sep 21, 2014.

  1. Rooster

    Rooster Towee Calusa

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       I have just gotten my first Fishfinder/Plotter (Lowrance Elite 5 HDI), that I am putting on my open construction 16' Skiff that is powered by a 20 HP 4 Stroke Yamaha. I am running a Transducer off the stern and am going to mount the Fishfinder unit just forward to my rear bench seat.
       I am looking at two power options:
    1) I have a smaller cranking battery (BassPro Power Series AMG Deep Cycle 48 - with approx. 200 Cranking Amps) in the stern, but I have been cautioned by some that this should be a "dedicated" cranking battery, since it is on the smaller size.
    2) I have a large Deep Cycle Trolling motor battery in my bow compartment that others have said that is the way to go. I will have to run an extension wire probably 10-12' back to the Unit but that is not a huge problem. I have read a little that one should not run a trolling motor and a Fishfinder off of the same battery as there will be possible "interference" on the Unit from the Trolling Motor.
    I'm not "electrical" and want to do this correctly. Are there members of the Forum that could help with some advise? Thanks so much!!!
     
  2. MariettaMike

    MariettaMike Wish'n I was Fish'n!

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    I would go with powering from the cranking battery because that 5" unit doesn't take much power.
     

  3. timemachine

    timemachine I Love microskiff.com!

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    Your motor has a pull start, as well as electric, right? Does your health allow you to pull it? (I know that this can be a problem sometimes) My yam 25 two stroke starts right up with the pull start, and it's easy.

    If you can start with the pull start, then the electric start on the motor is just a convenience. If that's the case, I would hook it to the starting battery because it is not generally in a state of half discharge like a trolling battery, (also, as you said, the trolling motor can induce some noise onto the battery). When I had a 40 hp yam on my 13 whaler, I used a lawn tractor battery to start, as well as run a gps and fish finder. Never had a problem.

    As for wiring- I like the crimp fittings with heat shrink covering from home depot by tyco electronics. I looked into this, and it seems that they are marine rated. Harbor freight has a decent crimper for pretty cheap. You want to make sure to use the fuse, and tinned copper wiring. My normal thing is strip, then dielectric grease on the wire, then crimp. Then heat shrink, then liquid elecrical tape over the whole thing. That's really all that I know how to do to provent corrosion.
     
  4. cutrunner

    cutrunner Cert. Yamaha technician

    This
    it doesnt take much to start a 20..
    Also it charges as it runs anyways
     
  5. Rooster

    Rooster Towee Calusa

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    My motor is electric, and unlike my previous electric Honda, it does not have a "readily available" pull start (something had I known I would have just gone with the plain pull start... - I assume cost cutting by Yamaha). I've pretty much decided to to with the rear battery, then this afternoon I take the Lowrance power tail out and find it is only 3' long - it won't reach back to my battery from where I want do mount the unit  :mad:. At this point I'm throwing up my hands. I already paid Lowrance like $25.00 for the unit cover ( a 50 cent piece of plastic) and I'm not paying $30.00 for a 6' extension cable. I also read somewhere where a guy wired to the small cranking unit and his fishfinder went into frozen mode when he started the engine... I've looked at the Cabela's catalogue and see a little 12v rechargeable battery with good reviews that is small enough to mount under the seat and be able the use the 3' tail and be done with it. That sound reasonable to you all? Didn't mean to turn this into a Lowrance rant - I think that I will like the unit; I just hate to be jerked around with add on's...
     
  6. timemachine

    timemachine I Love microskiff.com!

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    Have you tried the pull cord? It would not be a bad idea to do this.

    As far as the wiring goes, it's probably not a bad idea for any boater to have a wiring kit, with some crimp connectors, an el cheapo ratcheting crimper, some tinned wire, etc. If you had a little kit like that you could wire up lights and accesories for very little time and money.

    My advice. When you have a little time, crack open a cold one, go out to the boat and try out the rope starter. It should start right up. Then get a little wire from the boat store, and extend out the cord. It should be very cheap, and you could even use something like 14 gauge so or soow power cord for the connection.

    Then run it off of the starting battery. Unless the starting battery is way undersized, it should be perfectly fine. I did it that way from a garden tractor battery for years and years.
     
  7. Rooster

    Rooster Towee Calusa

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    Thanks Time Machine for your advice! The starter cord on the new Yamaha 's is somewhat pitiful. You have to take the cover off entirely, and wind a starter cord around the flywheel, a la old British Seagull style. True Cost cutting that, I think, started just this year. The Dealer didn't even know about it. I just ordered the little Cabelas 12v 8 amp battery like for $25 bucks. It's a little tiny thing and should be sufficient for running the Fishfinder independently. I will take the advice on the connectors, etc.!
     
  8. cutrunner

    cutrunner Cert. Yamaha technician

    Why is the power cable only 3 feet long?
    The reason for a unit to freeze during starting of the motor would mean its not ignition protected. I dont do any lowrance work but i couldnt imagine a modern gps not being ignition protected...
    you also could have bought a couple feet of romex wire, hooked one end up to the battery and the other to a small powerpost (only a couple bucks), then hooked your gps to the powerpost. Or you could have got a fuseblock instead of the powerpost and used it to hook up the gps and any other future upgrades
     
  9. Rooster

    Rooster Towee Calusa

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    Good suggestions Cut Runner - thanks also! I think that the power cable is only 3' long cause they want to sell you the 6' extension for another $30.00. The little Cabela's 12V rechargable battery I ordered is coming in tomorrow and I pretty much don't mind going that way and putting it under the seat. There are two strands of wires - one strand red, black, and (?) yellow. The other has like 6 multicolored wires that I think are for interfacing other electronics which I will not be doing. I assume (?) that I can just clip that off once that I insure everything is working so I don't have to run that wire. I will try to take some pictures when I am done. Again, I am not (really) bashing Lowrance, with the exception of the expensive unit plastic cover and the 3' power cable, and I assume that I am going to love the unit. It is just amazing to me of the very poor detail on the installation booklet...
     
  10. timemachine

    timemachine I Love microskiff.com!

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    I'm guessing that the cable is only 3' because in the majority of cases, the unit would be taking power from within the console that it's mounted in, so 3' would be sufficient.

    As for the price of the extension cable, it appears that this is a 6' cable with the connectors installed at each end and pins for both the power and comm signal to other devices. Maybe not cheap, but try to find another marine cable with preinstalled connectors for less money. If you don't need to extend the signal wires, most people would extend the cable using butt crimp fittings, or a terminal block.

    I've got a similar unit, and it took me about an hour to figure out how to get the map card into the unit. I don't think that the instructions say hot to do this at all.
     
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