reversing trolling motor with toggle switch

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by invexpi, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. invexpi

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 27, 2010
    5
    0
    I have a 35 foot pontoon houseboat. I purchased a Minn Kota 160 lb double prop engine mount trolling motor. I want to mount the motor on the bow and use it as a bow thruster. I will be putting a bracket under the bow that will hold the motor.

    The bracket will have two pins that will allow the motor to rotate. I will be attaching a 400 lb actuator arm that will rotate the motor into and out of the water.

    I want to wire a toggle switch to the dashboard so that I get full 160 lb thrust instantly to both port and starboard.

    My question is how would you wire the switch. You can't just reverse polarity from what I understand. I also plan on mounting the same set up on the stern so that I can have full lateral control.

    I want to rent the boat out to inexperienced boaters to use on the Erie Canal and think this would be easy for someone to master. Thanks in advance, Steve
     
  2. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
    2,358
    201
    If you can't simply reverse the polarity then a switch is out of the question.

    Sounds like a case where you need to write the manufacturer. It may be reversible but the prop design looks to be maximized for thrust in only one direction so you may be stuck with a mechanical or hydraulically controlled solution.
     
  3. Kermit2

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 5, 2010
    3,789
    945
    The only way you might achieve instant reverse I can see being 'easy' to do.

    Switch TWO motors. One mounted fore, one aft. Throw the switch and One motor runs the other is always switched off.

    Point them opposite directions. and 160 lbs of thrust is alot. smaller motors might be better for rental usage as well.
     
  4. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
    5,201
    312
    I cant believe the standard motor controls dont have the reverse built in.
     
  5. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
    5,696
    904
    Can you give us the model number? Can you tell how many wires actually go to the motor? Does yours have the Maximizer speed control?

    If it is brushless with speed control, you might still be able to reverse it, but that would probably void your warranty. Also, the current may be too high for a low-cost DPDT toggle switch.

    John
     
  6. k7elp60

    Senior Member

    Nov 4, 2008
    478
    69
    I have no idea on how much current the motor takes. I assume it is a 12V DC motor. A toggle switch with the configuration of ON-OFF-ON would have three positions. Center would be off, up would be rotation one direction and down would be rotation in the other direction.
     
  7. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
    2,358
    201
  8. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
    5,696
    904
    If it is three-wire brushless, it can be reversed easily. That is information we need from the OP.

    John
     
  9. invexpi

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 27, 2010
    5
    0
  10. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    15,815
    282
    This makes it sound as if the reverse is already there -
     
  11. CDRIVE

    Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2008
    2,223
    99
    Is that documented or hearsay? All props are more efficient in only one direction but I've never seen one that didn't reverse. If they didn't I would have taken dozens of docks out by now. :D

    If you require full thrust in either direction you're probably going to have to rotate the whole assembly 180 deg.
     
    invexpi likes this.
  12. invexpi

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 27, 2010
    5
    0
    i only need full thrust in one direction and about 1/2 thrust in the other. So, it should be ok. i need to know how to wire a momentary on - off - momentary on toggle switch. I am going to remove the rheostat control. Steve
     
  13. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
    2,358
    201
    You're going to be switching over 100A with the resulting back EMF every time the motor is disconnected from the source. I'll leave this one in better hands.
     
    invexpi likes this.
  14. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
    5,696
    904
    1) As noted by beenthere, the product information says the controller provides reverse. Why do you want to disable that?
    2) The controller is probably not a simple rheostat, but rather uses electronic speed control which is much more efficient when running at less than full speed.
    3) A simple, one-lever DPDT or Drum switch for reversing that level of current at 24 VDC may be hard to find. Grainger has 42 pages of drum switches. Not one is rated for anywhere near that current DC. You cannot just use AC ratings. It must be rated for that current DC. An electronic reversing switch can be made, but then, you probably already have that as noted in #1. Designing one from scratch will not be simple.

    John
     
    invexpi likes this.
  15. invexpi

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 27, 2010
    5
    0
    <P>The only issue I can see is wiring a forward-off-reverse momentary toggle from the existing control switch (attached). There are 5 wires. Black, red, orange, brown and yellow. I would like full power from the toggle in forward position and full power from reverse position. The motor will act as a side thruster on the boat.</P>
    <P> </P>
    <P>Steve</P>
     
  16. thatoneguy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2009
    6,357
    718
    There was a thread on this a while back.

    The three extra wires go to different windings in the motor or something like that. It isn't anything variable with PWM or a simple Rheostat. The remote simply balances which wires get which amount of current.

    I don't have the full details, it was in a thread about a guy making a "dam boat" to cast further from shore, and I don't recall how it ended up.

    The controller was missing on his, and he only had those wires. The internals of the on-motor twist control, and the internals of your control are still a mystery that I would like to know the answer to, but don't go voiding the warranty to post pictures of the complete guts. :D
     
  17. debe

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    946
    184
    I remember that thread, he had the same motor i had, it was only 12v @ 25A max & used resistance windings & mechanical switch to adjust speed & reverse. Here we have mutch higher currents & looking at the controler i suspect it will be a PWM circuit.
     
  18. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
    2,358
    201
    Due to the sheer cost of these things, and the fact that they're put together as a system, I wouldn't risk messing about with what they already provide. A few extra $$ at the first can prevent you from a lot of headaches in the future and it may be more user friendly to go with their controls anyway.

    The real kicker is it sounds as if you want side thrust in either direction from one set up front and one in the rear, could you possibly put a vane in front of the motors to direct the thrust in opposite directions?

    How fast are these expected to go when under normal operation? Your thrust steering mechanism may have to be self centering.
     
  19. invexpi

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 27, 2010
    5
    0
    Marshallf3:

    I have to agree with you. It's not worth burning out the motor just to change the controls. I have decided to keep the original control as it does have forward and reverse (although a bit awkward to control).

    I will be mounting one double unit in the bow and one double unit in the stern. This will give a total of 320 lbs sideways thrust total. This should be more than enough to slowly move the boat.

    I am going to fabricate a bracket to hold the motors and then connect an electric 12V actuator arm to raise and lower the units into the water.

    These big houseboats are very difficult to control, even with the twin engines. As I mentioned before, this boat will be rented by inexperienced boaters on the Erie Canal. There arent a lot of obsticles to manuever around but docking and going through the locks can be difficult without some way to move the boat laterally.

    They do sell side thrusters for this purpose but for my size boat it would be over 4K for each unit. I plan on spending about 2K total for both for my "homemade" version.

    The way I intend it to work is as follows:

    The boat will pull up to an open spot at a dock, There are usually other boats docked there already. Any spot along the dock with say 50 feet or more room is OK. The boat will be stopped by the main engines paralell to the empty spot. The Captain can then manipulate the knobs on each of the thrusters two controllers to bring the boat slowly sideways until it reaches the dock.

    Without the side thrusters, this manuever is complicated for inexperienced boaters. I anticipate the thrusters will make it much easier and less intimidating to dock.

    I'll let you know how it works.

    Thanks to all for the advice.

    Steve
     
  20. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
    2,358
    201
    Glad we could all be of help. I've owned a boat and it was quite the chore hitting my wet slip exactly. Over time I got to where I never even needed to use reverse on the huge 90 HP Mercury - at last huge for a 1965 17' deep V boat and motor. :)

    I also had fun of a friend's large pontoon boat on a lot of occasions. I'd say it was about 20' long and a double decker with a diving board up top. Last time I was out in it I had a party aboard and we were just out in the middle of the lake waiting for the true "Captain" and his crew to close down their bar and signal us from shore to come in and get them. Needless to say they were late, we'd been running the stereo almost full blast and when I went to start it the battery didn't have enough left to turn the little 50 HP Evinrude over.

    No big deal I thought, take the cover off and there should be a cord with a T-handle on it and a place to wrap it around the flywheel. No such luck. I found that I could spin the flywheel by hand so I got someone on the controls and had them slightly choke it and put it on half throttle. I spun it several times until it finally tried to start. I asked the guy at the controls to back off the choke a little and give it just a bit more throttle. Darn thing backfired into reverse and ran one of my fingers through the flywheel:starter gear. One of the many girls onboard tore off part of her t-shirt to bandage my finger, I lowered the throttle position a little and went at it again despite the pain I could feel despite us already having been through almost an entire keg of beer. Started right up.

    They wanted to take me to the hospital as it was down to the bone but I'm a tough old sucker, soon as the bleeding stopped I had no worries. Of all the scars I've received on my fingers over my life this one is still the most prevalent. You've got to look to see it but at least the nerve function came back within a few months.

    Point is make darn sure your main engine has a manual starter setup and instructions on how to do so sealed in a plastic envelope under the cover in addition to providing a manual for operation of the boat in a reference book up front. I should have known better - like running the engine from time to time - but back then we didn't have battery monitors and finding someone to jump start you at 2 in the morning isn't exactly easy.
     
Loading...