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Hey guys,

I’m looking for some advice on how to set up the wiring for my trolling motor like an electrician would do it. 
 

With trolling new Troller’s now having an on and off switch ive decided to do away with having a plug on my trolling motor and I am just going to directly  connect my run of power wire to my trolling motor power wire. The easy way to do this is to simply connect the hot positive line to its circuit breaker...done deal.

but then connecting the two negatives and their ring terminals together is where I’m wondering what those that are experts would suggest?

ive seen suggestions of simply using a bolt? The problem with regular hardware bolts is that they are usually made of crappy metal and will corrode like crazy. (If there’s one thing I’ve learned through this process of owning a boat for a few years is that if it can corrode it will) heck, the mounting bolts from the trolling motor I installed 2 years ago are a mess. Wiring for a navigation light that I did last year that didn’t get shrink tube for whatever reason and was taped was totally corroded when I took it apart. Lesson learned!

 

so what is everyone’s suggestion, is there a smart way to make the negative connection? Is putting yet another marine circuit breaker on the negative line and using it as the connector for my ring terminals? What do the pros here suggest?

 

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I did mine with a bolt and taped the crap out of it.  A copper nut and bolt would be best

 

oh and it takes a while for the gps satellites to lock and the WiFi to the pedal or remote. So if you are stopping at a spot you want to fish right away or need control fast , turn on the trolling motor on  before you get to your spot

Edited by Terry
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Ya terry, this is what I’m trying to avoid...I guess the moisture of a wet boat just eats away at anything taped in my boat. Tape also scares me because it always degrades over time especially in the cold. 
 

if I end up going to bolt route, does anyone have a recommendation on where to get non corroding bolts that would fit in my ring terminals nicely?
 

ive had an electrical fire once on my trolling motor wires due to vibration breaking strands and causing a resistance to build up. I’m trying to do this 100% perfectly to avoid that from happening again! 

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Posted (edited)
47 minutes ago, David Chong said:

Are you connecting the negative feed from your batteries to the negative on your troller? I would just use a shrink wrap connector!

Hey dave...this would be the ideal thing to do..except for the fact that the garmin force is a 2 wire per feed system (4 wires total) which are nicely put together by garmin as a 2 wire to 1 ring terminal set up. I think this is so that the GPS and trolling motor electronics have their own power feed separate from the electric motor itself.

But then obviously my boat wiring is only single wire (two wires total) therefore not allowing for me to simply crimp and shrink tube connect them together.

 

 

IMG_2281 (1).jpg

Edited by AKRISONER
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https://www.princessauto.com/en/red-brush-on-electrical-tape/product/PA0008037103

Go and get a small can of liquid tape, put on several coats.  I've used it on boat trailer wiring after soldering and shrink tube, on my big ring connectors on my travel trailer and cargo trailer.  It doesn't crack or shrink and hasn't let any corrosion start.

Edited by Fisherman
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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Fisherman said:

https://www.princessauto.com/en/red-brush-on-electrical-tape/product/PA0008037103

Go and get a small can of liquid tape, put on several coats.  I've used it on boat trailer wiring after soldering and shrink tube, on my big ring connectors on my travel trailer and cargo trailer.  It doesn't crack or shrink and hasn't let any corrosion start.

this is exactly why i posted here...although it doesnt "solve" my problem, it has now made me aware of something that I had absolutely no idea existed. My amazon order has already been placed!

although maybe it does if I am going to use a bolt to make the connection.

Do you find that the stuff comes off with a razor blade should I ever need to disconnect?

Edited by AKRISONER
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27 minutes ago, AKRISONER said:

this is exactly why i posted here...although it doesnt "solve" my problem, it has now made me aware of something that I had absolutely no idea existed. My amazon order has already been placed!

although maybe it does if I am going to use a bolt to make the connection.

Do you find that the stuff comes off with a razor blade should I ever need to disconnect?

Yes you can get it off again.

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Cut the rings off then solder and waterproof shrink wrap for peace of mind connections. Yes, waterproof stuff is much better than standard wrap. 

 

 

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Just now, ch312 said:

Cut the rings off then solder and waterproof shrink wrap for peace of mind connections. Yes, waterproof stuff is much better than standard wrap. 

 

 

I wish i could, but im connecting 3 strands!

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55 minutes ago, Fisherman said:

https://www.princessauto.com/en/red-brush-on-electrical-tape/product/PA0008037103

Go and get a small can of liquid tape, put on several coats.  I've used it on boat trailer wiring after soldering and shrink tube, on my big ring connectors on my travel trailer and cargo trailer.  It doesn't crack or shrink and hasn't let any corrosion start.

They used that stuff on the tractors and trailers at a few of my jobs, it works, and you can just picture the beating it takes in commercial applications. If you can find a copper bolt, nut, and washers that might be the way to go for a good connection?

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24 minutes ago, AKRISONER said:

I wish i could, but im connecting 3 strands!

You can solder/shrink wrap any number of wires, just be sure to use the right size wrap. Cleaner and less redneck of a solution, although the bolt/nut method will work too. 

 

Just depends on personal preference really. 

 

 

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I would look into environmental splices like are used in the aircraft industry. There are two styles, one uses a butt style crimp and then has the shrink tube with a sealer on each end. The other style like I've used on engine harnesses has an integrated solder ring in the middle of the shrink tube again with a sealer ring on each end that melts and provides a much better seal than standard shrink sleeving. In your case I would think that the solder connection would be preferable to a crimp. With larger wires I've found that it helps to tin the wires first. You will need a quality heat gun that will melt the solder and is generally used with a U shaped attachment on the end of the heat gun so that it reflects the heat on the backside of the splice at the same time

329253767_soldersplice.jpg.0977711c0b8debebb2fec313708101f2.jpg

Edited by smitty55
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26 minutes ago, smitty55 said:

I would look into environmental splices like are used in the aircraft industry. There are two styles, one uses a butt style crimp and then has the shrink tube with a sealer on each end. The other style like I've used on engine harnesses has an integrated solder ring in the middle of the shrink tube again with a sealer ring on each end that melts and provides a much better seal than standard shrink sleeving. In your case I would think that the solder connection would be preferable to a crimp. With larger wires I've found that it helps to tin the wires first. You will need a quality heat gun that will melt the solder and is generally used with a U shaped attachment on the end of the heat gun so that it reflects the heat on the backside of the splice at the same time

329253767_soldersplice.jpg.0977711c0b8debebb2fec313708101f2.jpg

I ordered a pack of these from Amazon and you have to pay attention to the reviews.. the ones I got have been good.. 

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6 minutes ago, pics said:

I ordered a pack of these from Amazon and you have to pay attention to the reviews.. the ones I got have been good.. 

I worked for an airline and we got them from an aircraft parts supplier so the quality was top notch, likely milspec.

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So....I do a lot of boat wiring, The worst thing is electric tape. If you use marine grade wire it will not corrode. The absolutely best way is to use the appropriate size ring terminals and you can crimp them on AND then solder them should you want. Absolutely use quality heat shrink ( the kind that has the sealant ) My biggest concern with your plan ( I may have missed it but read it twice ) is that your motor is always going to have power to it. I would install a breaker for sure for safety and to eliminate motor or GPS draw. Also don't most manufacturers want the motor NOT connected to power when charging. Do it right once and you will never have to worry

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4 hours ago, cheaptackle said:

Quick fix would be a stainless steel nut n' bolt - won't corrode, can get 'em at Home Depot, Home Hardware etc.

 

I really wish I could use one of those prefabbed butt connectors but unfortunately the connection is with 2 (8 AWG)? strands coming from the trolling motor to one on the main power (6 awg) supply lines coming from the battery.

yellow...indeed there is such a noticeable difference between proper marine wire and non...every time I’ve replaced a wire in my boat has been slowly turning over to marine wire. The difference is pretty incredible tbh. Luckily I invested in quality marine grade wire when I installed my last trolling motor on the boat.

Interestingly Garmin actually recommends directly hardwiring the motor to your batteries. As strange is that is because minkotta recommends unplugging your motor when charging your boat, meanwhile Garmin’s instructions are to hardwire it. It actually somewhat shocked me as well.

I think I’m going to end up going the bolt and nut route. Shrink tube it as much as possible and then paint the heck out it with liquid electrical tape. 
 

now the pain is sourcing a brass/stainless bolt and nut during a lockdown where I can’t go to the store and actually see what I’m buying lol. 

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You can use a wire lug that is the correct way to splice large wires. They are used in electrical splices up to three phase connections. They can then be covered with NOlox a compound designed to prevent corrosion and then taped up with high voltage tape which is stretchy and seals to itself. This is not like the electrical tape you use which is thin and plastic it is the rubber type of tape. 

 

Art

splice lug.jpg

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Do what Aplumma suggested, it's called a copper split bolt, also the rubber tape he is talking about is called rubber splicing tape, you can find both of these items at your local Electrical distributor.

Edited by FILTHY OAR
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19 hours ago, FILTHY OAR said:

Do what Aplumma suggested, it's called a copper split bolt, also the rubber tape he is talking about is called rubber splicing tape, you can find both of these items at your local Electrical distributor.

Yep, this right here is the way to do it and never have to worry about it again. 

S. 

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Dan I thought about simply using a terminal box but then realized that I may run into issues due to the large ring terminal sizes that I am using. That would have been most handy for sure. I am sure i could find an appropriate terminal box if i searched hard enough, but then at that point is there really any difference between that and using a stainless bolt?

The Split bolt seems like the perfect solution for smaller guage wire or single strand wire I have some concerns with using a split bolt and 3 6AWG wires in a boat application though? (although at the same time...you guys clearly know what you are talking about way better than me lol im an enthusiast you guys are pros).

Here's my hesitation, and please feel free to blast me and tell me that im an idiot and dont know what im talking about because I probably dont lol

I had one really bad experience where my power lines feeding to my Trolling motor plug outlet with the wires on a set screw began to slowly break strands off due to vibration. (ya minkotta once again producing garbage) Eventually enough strands broke that while doing some autocharting with the trolling motor running at max speed caused enough heat and resistance to build up that my wires lit on fire inside the hull. It was a crappy deal because the resistance occurred after the fuse allowing for the small fire to start.

The conductivity of a copper screw would be perfect, but the idea of vibration allowing for strands to break/come loose worries me when dealing with such thick multistranded wire?With single strand wire? absolute 0 question that would be the way to go.

For the time being I think ive decided to go with a stainless hex bolt with a stainless lock nut. I was actually able to surprisingly find what I was looking for on the canadian tire website. It took a bit of filtering and digging to find one quarter inch by 1/2 inch but it worked. I ordered for curbside pick up and they said my order was ready an hour later. They very clearly put some thought into the system over the summer with the expectation to have to move back to curbside at some point. Sure enough the system was very easy and painless...pulled up, checked in saying that I was parked in spot 21 and my order came out to my door just like going to McDonalds and getting curbside pickup. A far change from the spring where it took 3 days to pick my order and they spent 20 minutes searching a big trailer full of orders for mine.

Simple crimped Ring Terminal with a dollop of solder with heat shrink. Then Bolt the two ring terminals together with a lock nut. I am going to try and srink tube it all (i got an assortment for christmas in my stocking :) ) then paint the heck out of it with paint on electrical tape.

 

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