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Discussion Starter #1
According to the Minn Kota owners manual you should not charge your battery while your trolling motor is attached. It seems they have added a wire to reduce interference with sonar and if you charge your battery with the TM connected it can short out the control module. Recently I did not unplug my TM while charging and guess what...just spent $250 getting the control module replaced. Below is the verbiage from the Minn Kota Owner's manual.

"Your Minn Kota trolling motor may be designed with an internal bonding wire to reduce sonar interference. Most alternator charging systems do not account for this bonding wire, and connect the negative posts of the trolling motor batteries to the negative posts of the crank/starting battery. These external connections can damage connected electronics and the electrical system of your trolling motor, voiding your warranty. Review your charger’s manual carefully or consult the manufacturer prior to use to ensure your charger is compatible."

Hope this PSA helps you avoid problems!
 

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Just curious what amperage your charger was operating at? I just picked up a new powerdrive and am about to do the install.
 

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This has been a known problem since the first "digital" trollers were introduced 20 years ago. Took both Minnkota and Motorguide quite a while to acknowledge the potential problem, glad to see they are more upfront about it now.
Simple solution is a manual on/off circuit breaker between the battery(ies) and the troller. And remembering to use it before plugging in the charger.
 

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This has been a known problem since the first "digital" trollers were introduced 20 years ago. Took both Minnkota and Motorguide quite a while to acknowledge the potential problem, glad to see they are more upfront about it now.
Simple solution is a manual on/off circuit breaker between the battery(ies) and the troller. And remembering to use it before plugging in the charger.
This. Don't ask how I know ...just make sure to get the right amp circuit breaker.
 

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A circuit breaker functioning as a secondary switch to disconnect is good, but it is probable voltage and the cleanliness of the power that is harming the electronics.
 

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So what do you do if you have an ACR and a GPS trolling motor?

Sorry but their solution doesn't hold water for me. So the manufacturer wants me to disconnect my trolling motor, canceling out the GPS lock, every time I move spots? Or just never have the ability to charge your battery while running?
 

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"Your Minn Kota trolling motor may be designed with an internal bonding wire to reduce sonar interference. Most alternator charging systems do not account for this bonding wire, and connect the negative posts of the trolling motor batteries to the negative posts of the crank/starting battery. These external connections can damage connected electronics and the electrical system of your trolling motor, voiding your warranty. Review your charger’s manual carefully or consult the manufacturer prior to use to ensure your charger is compatible."
 

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"Your Minn Kota trolling motor may be designed with an internal bonding wire to reduce sonar interference. Most alternator charging systems do not account for this bonding wire, and connect the negative posts of the trolling motor batteries to the negative posts of the crank/starting battery. These external connections can damage connected electronics and the electrical system of your trolling motor, voiding your warranty. Review your charger’s manual carefully or consult the manufacturer prior to use to ensure your charger is compatible."

The way this reads, you should never charge with your alternator/stator, and only certain approved chargers will work. Just take out the bonding wire or isolate it better? Seems this shouldn't be an issue for a $1500 piece of equipment.
 

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There's a big difference between how an alternator works and how a rectifier works. If MK is using the word "alternator" literally and correctly then most anybody with a true skiff doesn't have to worry about this at all because every small engine under like 150 horsepower is going to use a rectifier and not an alternator.
 

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So what do you do if you have an ACR and a GPS trolling motor?
Exactly what I plan to do using a blueseas mini add-a-battery plus kit. Hoping to charge the trolling motor battery while running. Does anyone else have a similar setup? Any issues I should know about? Charging from a Yamaha 70tlr.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just curious what amperage your charger was operating at? I just picked up a new powerdrive and am about to do the install.
I have a computerized charger that analyzes the battery and adjusts the amperage based on what's best for the battery. It also has something built into it that keeps the battery from building up sulfides. Once the battery is charged it automatically trickle charges it to keep it from discharging. Just my 2 cents, spend the extra money to get the automatic chargers.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
A circuit breaker functioning as a secondary switch to disconnect is good, but it is probable voltage and the cleanliness of the power that is harming the electronics.
Cleanliness of power is not the issue with my set up. The trolling motor is attached directly to a deep cycle battery. All connections are coated with dielectric grease and there is no corrosion. I have always had a 50 amp circuit breaker located on the positive terminal. The gas motor on the boat is manual pull start so there is no charge going to the motor while I am running. To be fair to Minn Kota the trolling motor is 10 years old, only after forgetting to unplug my TM while charging (sometimes I just push the circuit breaker sometimes I just unplug the TM) did I have the problem with the control module. After this happened I just read the owners manual and saw the warning and just passed it on.
 

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Your trolling motor was 10 years old? Charging was not your issue assuming you used it on a regular basis. Old age was imho. Trolling motors are disposable technology these days, just like laptops, cellphones..... I would say the average life span is under 7 years on most, shorter on saltwater models.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Your trolling motor was 10 years old? Charging was not your issue assuming you used it on a regular basis. Old age was imho. Trolling motors are disposable technology these days, just like laptops, cellphones..... I would say the average life span is under 7 years on most, shorter on saltwater models.
There is no way to know for sure what caused my failure but the only thing different was that I charged the battery with the TM plug in without the circuit breaker turned off. After reading the Minn Kota owners manual I became aware of the issue with the bonding wire and thought that could be the reason for the failure. I usually get about 10 years out of a TM before it dies. The MotorGuide on my Pathfinder is 12 years old and still going strong. I just make sure to wash them with fresh water, repaint housing when paint wears off and lube wire connections with dielectric grease.
 

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Exactly what I plan to do using a blueseas mini add-a-battery plus kit. Hoping to charge the trolling motor battery while running. Does anyone else have a similar setup? Any issues I should know about? Charging from a Yamaha 70tlr.
Charging from a 70TLR won't give you much excess power to charge your troller battery, even when your starting battery is fully charged. The alternator only puts out 17amps and the ACR would only take that once your starter battery is fully topped and not drawing any current.

So even a run at full WOT would at best put 17 amp hours back into your troller.

Depends on the runs you make, but for me it wasn't worth the time and money to put it on my skiff.
 

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I figured it wouldn't be a whole lot but a little is better than none. I just got a great deal on the unit and it is incorporated into a 10 amp onboard charger.
 

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So what do you do if you have an ACR and a GPS trolling motor?

Sorry but their solution doesn't hold water for me. So the manufacturer wants me to disconnect my trolling motor, canceling out the GPS lock, every time I move spots? Or just never have the ability to charge your battery while running?
Maybe an email to the manufacturer would clarify this. It’s a non issue for people running their trolling motor off a dedicated battery. Just have to remember to unplug or switch the circuit off.

How much run time are you realistically expecting with one battery on the whole boat? Running tm, bait tank, electronics, and starting the motor.
 

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Maybe an email to the manufacturer would clarify this. It’s a non issue for people running their trolling motor off a dedicated battery. Just have to remember to unplug or switch the circuit off.

How much run time are you realistically expecting with one battery on the whole boat? Running tm, bait tank, electronics, and starting the motor.
An ACR set up uses 2 batteries, seperate circuits that are charged by the ACR one at a time and can be combined in an emergency to start the motor using power from both.

But to answer I get about 4 hours of medium run time on my trolling motor now, with the livewell and lights running off the same, and only battery. I still have enough juice to crank the motor.
 
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