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      Members Only Fluid Forum View   08/08/2017

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Murdock

What gauge for trolling motor wire?

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Having problems with the trolling motor not working and then works again. It is not the fuse and I have had the motor clinic go over the actual Minkota, no problems found. Next step is to simply replace the wire from the battery to the power plug. What gauge wire would you recommend? Any other suggestions as to what to look at that may cause this problem?

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Assuming that your fuse/circuit breaker is not tripping, how do you figure replacing the wire will help? If you think it's wiring, maybe a loose connection is possible.

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I agree on checking all connections, this sounds like a good candidate for the problem.

What gage wire do you have? Over what distance? The voltage loss through 12V DC can be large with thin copper, even over relatively short distances. My current Lund was pre-wired with 8 gage from bow to stern. I shortened the run by moving the battery to the bow and kept the 8. I wired my old boat in 6 gage from bow to stern. If you have 10 or higher you have the potential for problems.

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My Minnkota worked intermittently too. Initially I bought a new battery, which didn't help, and then I took it to the shop. They told me that the foot pedal was causing the problem. They replaced the circuitry and I haven't had problems since.

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Thanks guys, I have a 17' Alumacraft Trophy with the battery in the stern, Minkota on the bow. I think it is wired with 8 gauge right now. The connections are all good. I might have to bring the foot control into the motor clinic to have them test it as the possible cause. Does anyone know if a guy can simply buy a new foot cotrol from Fleet Farm and plug it in, ready to use or is there some sort of interface programming that needs to occur?

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The TM is a 55# Minkota with a 50 amp reset inline fuse. The guys at the Motor Clinic helped me choose the inline reset fuse so I am doubting it is the fuse. Thanks again for the suggestions and any future suggestions guys!!

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For 50 AMP worst case calculations, here you go:

6 gauge wire is 0.000465 Ohms/foot, Voltage drop is 0.02325 V/ft, and power dissipated is 1.16 Watts/ft.

8 gauge wire is 0.000739 Ohms/ft, Voltage drop is 0.03695 V/ft, and power dissipated is 1.85 Watts/ft.

The number to watch here is the power, which is dissipated in the form of heat. As the wire heats up, the resistance increases, and more power is dissipated, creating more heat. This runaway continues until the cooling effect of the ambient atmosphere around the wire quenches the runaway. All of this causes more voltage drop.

One Watt does not seem like much, but it can generate quite a bit of heat. Best to use the largest wire that will work for the application, considering cost, connectors, etc.

Another thing to watch is that a poor connection can be relatively high resistance, thus adding the the total voltage drop of the circuit prior to the motor.

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Check the plug, you have referred to it a couple times, make sure the plug or pins are not corroded or bent, or burned. 8 ga wire should be able to handle the load in 20 ft. the biggest culprit sounds like the pedal on most posts. good luck.

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