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Fish Finder Installation

Best Trolling Motor Plug

Every trolling motor owner will need to deal with issues with their plug or receptacle at some point. Many boat manufacturers cheap out on the factory plug, and in general, there are plenty of substandard plug installations that will eventually corrode or require new wiring or a new plug or receptacle.

When you do your research, you will quickly find that there are two main competitors in this market. The Marinco 12VCPS3 kit, and another plug and receptacle combo known as the Battery Tender.

This video provides an unbiased view of the good and bad of both plug and receptacle kits. We believe there are reasons to use either plug under certain circumstances, and there are different things to keep in mind when you use one versus the other.

As always, the pros at Golden Channels are here to answer any question you have, and comments are always welcome.

How to Choose the Best Trolling Motor Plug
For More Information

We love to teach fishers and boat owners how to get more out of their investment. So, we have a number of learning resources available for you, our customers.

Our Learning Section on our website

You can also view other articles on boating electronics on our Facebook page.

Golden Channels on Facebook.

We stock trolling motor plugs and receptacles, as well as products to improve the quality and durability of your trolling motor installation.

Trolling Motor Plugs / Wiring

Finally, we love talking engines, fish finders, and networking.  So, if you need help, please email us and we can help:

Contact Golden Channels

Categories
Tohatsu Articles

Tohatsu NMEA Setup and Review

Picture from Tohatsu NMEA Install review and post on Microskiff website
Keith’s Whipray Classic from his review on Microskiff website

One of our customers has written an excellent “How To” for a Tohatsu NMEA install. Here at Golden Channels we can help customers by designing custom cabling kits with varied lengths and configurations. This lets our customers keep things neat and tidy in their boat.

We also provide a number of learning resources. These are there to help with the technical aspects of understanding what you are connecting on your boat, and assist you with network component selection.

Check out Keith’s Whipray Classic installation how-to with all of us on the microskiff website:

Whipray Classic Install How-to

Here are the kits applicable to Keith’s Tohatsu NMEA install and review, depending on which fish finder you have:

Tohatsu Complete NMEA kit for Raymarine

Tohatsu Complete NMEA kit for Lowrance/Garmin/Simrad/Humminbird

For More Information

We love to teach fishers and boat owners how to get more out of their investment. So, we have a number of learning resources available for you, our customers.

Our Learning Section on our website

For further information on Marine Electrical DIY Tips, try our YouTube Channel:

Golden Channels on YouTube

These cables come with a two year free, no questions asked replacement warranty.  See our warranty terms section on our website for details.

Finally, we love talking engines, fish finders, and networking.  So, if you need help, please email us and we can help:

Contact Golden Channels

Categories
Yamaha Articles

NMEA to CommandLink

We helped someone this week that was trying to use a little box made by Yamaha that adapts CommandLink to NMEA 2000.

Let’s just say that this is not our recommended way to get engine data from a Yamaha. But if you must use one of these, you need to hook it up in the following manner.

The 4 pin connection on this box goes to your CommandLink Hub at the back of your boat.

The 4 pin cable with just blue and white wires runs from the CommandLink Hub to inside the Yamaha Engine.

The NMEA network connects to the NMEA connection on the little box, joining the NMEA network with a short cable, a TEE, and probably a terminator, if that is the end of the network.

Any other combination will not work.

CommandLink to NMEA is an interesting discussion. If you have a hybrid, with both systems in your boat, this might lead to problems.

We have lower cost alternatives. To find out more, drop us an email.

For More Information

We love to teach fishers and boat owners how to get more out of their investment. So, we have a number of learning resources available for you, our customers.

Our Learning Section on our website

For further information on Marine Electrical DIY Tips, try our YouTube Channel:

Golden Channels on YouTube

These cables come with a two year free, no questions asked replacement warranty.  See our warranty terms section on our website for details.

Finally, we love talking engines, fish finders, and networking.  So, if you need help, please email us and we can help:

Contact Golden Channels

Categories
Fish Finder Installation

Grounding Posts/Lugs

What are those little screws in the back of some fish finders?

Many people ask us what the ground screw is for that some electronic equipment has on the back. Here is an explanation of what this is and how to use it.

First, you can generally safely ignore this connection. This is what electronic designers call a chassis ground. It is not directly connected to the ground for the electronics that are inside the device. That connection is generally connected to the negative power line. So, when you run power to the unit, you are “grounding” the electronics inside. The ground of the electronics inside are generally connected to the metal case of the unit via a capacitor, which will pass higher frequencies of noise on the electronics ground to the case, or from the case (hopefully) to power ground.

A Simple Ground Screw Example

Here’s a more simple example: Your Microwave oven. When you’re cooking up last nights Barbecue, you want the microwave power in the food, not on your nose when you peer through the window to watch it explode. (The food, not your microwave). The electronics that creates the microwaves that will cook your dinner gets the same power from the wall outlet as anything else, but in the case of a microwave, the ground pin on the 3 prong plug is connected to the actual metal outside case of the microwave.

In this example, the outside case of the microwave oven protects you from the microwave energy bouncing around inside. It even does this while you can see in through those tiny holes using something called a faraday cage design, which is a fancy way of saying the microwaves are too big to fit through those tiny holes.

In this example, the outside case of the microwave oven protects you from the microwave energy bouncing around inside. It even does this while you can see in through those tiny holes using something called a faraday cage design, which is a fancy way of saying the microwaves are too big to fit through those tiny holes.

Now we can also apply the same rule in the other direction. Say that instead of grounding the outside of the microwave, we ground the outside of a fish finder with this ground screw. What would this do?
Well, it would protect the insides of the fish finder’s electronics from radio waves that might be causing issues with the solar electronics in side the fish finder.
If you are having noise issues of one type or another, and they just started with the most recent electronics addition to your boat, and either something that used to work fine is now doing something strange, or if you can’t get your new fish finder or other electronics gizmo working the way you thought, grounding this ground screw on the newly installed device and/or the other device in your boat that is complaining might help solve the issue.

For More Information

We love to teach fishers and boat owners how to get more out of their investment. So, we have a number of learning resources available for you, our customers.

Our Learning Section on our website

For further information on Marine Electrical DIY Tips, try our YouTube Channel:

Golden Channels on YouTube

These cables come with a two year free, no questions asked replacement warranty.  See our warranty terms section on our website for details.

Finally, we love talking engines, fish finders, and networking.  So, if you need help, please email us and we can help:

Contact Golden Channels

Made in the USA?

Sometimes, you don’t get what you pay for. Especially when you think you’re getting “Made in the USA” parts.

We’ve spent over 4 months now trying to engineer and manufacture the best crimp and cable for trolling motor connections available. This is slow, methodical work that could drive anyone crazy with details and science. You’re just crimping a single wire into a lug. How hard could it be?

These types of connections handle lots of current. Lots of current going through lousy connections make heat. And heat is something you don’t want in your electrical connections in your boat.

Let’s play “USA”

One of the things we have recently noticed in the electrical industry in general, is a silent move by some manufacturers to move parts production to lower costs countries, without letting their customers know. So, that component that you relied on for years, as your “go to source” of a certain part, one day fails, and you can’t figure out why. Unfortunately, when the parts are sometimes sold in bulk, and small, there is no room for a “product of USA” sticker.

So, when we tested one “U.S.” battery terminal supplier, we thought the premium price and the reputation in the market made them a shoe in for our supply bill of materials.

Below is a picture of the result. There is a fracture in the terminal that to many people would not seem like a big thing. It is. Over time, corrosion can build up inside the connection, eventually creating resistance and a failed connection. Our further testing and research indicated that the manufacturing methods used in this terminals construction were not consistent with those made by U.S. factories. We now need to invest more time and money is finding better suppliers of this component.

We do this, because until we are certain that we are giving you the best and safest connection we possibly can, we will not sell you anything at all.

What our 130 Ton Crimper does to a poor quality terminal:
For More Information

We love to teach fishers and boat owners how to get more out of their investment. So, we have a number of learning resources available for you, our customers.

Our Learning Section on our website

For further information on Marine Electrical DIY Tips, try our YouTube Channel:

Golden Channels on YouTube

These cables come with a two year free, no questions asked replacement warranty.  See our warranty terms section on our website for details.

Finally, we love talking engines, fish finders, and networking.  So, if you need help, please email us and we can help:

Contact Golden Channels

Trolling Motor Power Cables Calculator

Would it surprise you that your trolling motor might lose as much as 20 percent of your battery power INSIDE the “trolling motor”? This is one of the reasons behind this Trolling Motor Power Cables Calculator.

Here’s what I mean.

People think that by running welding cable between their trolling motor batteries, and their trolling motor in the front, that they will get the best power transfer into the part of the trolling motor that churns up water. The issue here is that there is plenty of wiring between the power plug on their trolling motor and the actual motor that is in the water.

The worst offender in this regard is an electric steer motor. Of course, this is the one I own. Assuming you have 3 feet of power lead between the motor and where it plugs in on the boat, and it’s a 54″ model, there is actually around 32 feet of wire inside the “trolling motor”. That coiled cord that allows you to move the top up and down has about 15 feet. And, it’s relatively high resistance 12 AWG wire inside that coiled cord. At full throttle, that coiled cord uses 60 Watts, or 10% of the power of the motor, all by itself.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s always better for power transfer and safety to run larger gauge wire than necessary. But if you’re thinking of spending 3 times as much as you need to on wire, and you’re only guessing if it will get you any benefit, you might want to check out our new “Trolling Motor Power Cables Calculator”.

Stay safe out there.

The calculator is here:

Trolling Motor Wire Calculator

For More Information

We love to teach fishers and boat owners how to get more out of their investment. So, we have a number of learning resources available for you, our customers.

Our Learning Section on our website

For further information on Marine Electrical DIY Tips, try our YouTube Channel:

Golden Channels on YouTube

These cables come with a two year free, no questions asked replacement warranty.  See our warranty terms section on our website for details.

Finally, we love talking engines, fish finders, and networking.  So, if you need help, please email us and we can help:

Contact Golden Channels

Trolling Motor Installation…

Trolling motor installation is much harder to do than anyone would expect. The reality is that a lot of boats have bows that are not that “trolling motor friendly” for the installation.

Then comes the electrical. The trolling motor has a two conductor wire coming out of it, and you would think that connecting this to a battery or two (or three) in the boat would be a simple thing. Well, it’s not. For starters, if you want to ever remove the motor, you need a connector set with a socket in the boat, and a plug on the trolling motor power lead. There are a number of connector sets available for this. They all have advantages and disadvantages.

Check out our video comparing the two most popular models

The Voltage Discussion

Lots of folks get to feudin when discussing higher voltage and power and run time. We have a great video that explains in depth what happens when you choose a higher voltage above 12V See it here.

Last, there is the whole aspect of if you run at 24V or 36 volt trolling motor, how do you charge the battery bank that is a different voltage than the 12V power system that runs your boat, along with a multitude of options on charging this battery bank from your motors alternator. There are some good solutions out there for this, as well as some that are ridiculously expensive.

And, finally, did you know that some trolling motors can be upgraded to a higher voltage, higher thrust version by replacing a handful of parts? Well, it turns out that I own one of these – a recent model Minnkota Powerdrive 55. Another video will show the upgrade method.

In the process of doing our research, we’ve actually found not one, but two, engineers who have spent their careers designing tooling systems to automate crimping. As simple a thing as crimping is, getting a reliable connection that will work in a water or salt water environment in a connector that is immune to the elements requires strict attention to detail and good testing and measurements to ensure the final products reliability.

For More Information

We love to teach fishers and boat owners how to get more out of their investment. So, we have a number of learning resources available for you, our customers.

Our Learning Section on our website

For further information on Marine Electrical DIY Tips, try our YouTube Channel:

Golden Channels on YouTube

These cables come with a two year free, no questions asked replacement warranty.  See our warranty terms section on our website for details.

Finally, we love talking engines, fish finders, and networking.  So, if you need help, please email us and we can help:

Contact Golden Channels

Adapter Bracket for Raymarine Element 7 and RAM-111 / RAM-111U

Mounting the new Raymarine Element and RAM-111 is a bit tricky. RAM Mounts hasn’t gotten around to making a mount for it yet, and the hole spacing doesn’t match any of their existing brackets. We have a 3D printer file that produces an adapter that goes between the 7″ Raymarine Element and RAM-111.

We provide this 3D printer file at no charge. Drop us a line by email and we can send it to you.

We have lots of learning resources for our customers to learn how to better use their investments in their boats, fish finders, and trolling motors.

Check out our video on how to get engine data on your Raymarine Element.

Video of Raymarine Element displaying Yamaha Engine Data

For More Information

We love to teach fishers and boat owners how to get more out of their investment. So, we have a number of learning resources available for you, our customers.

Our Learning Section on our website

For further information on Marine Electrical DIY Tips, try our YouTube Channel:

Golden Channels on YouTube

These cables come with a two year free, no questions asked replacement warranty.  See our warranty terms section on our website for details.

Finally, we love talking engines, fish finders, and networking.  So, if you need help, please email us and we can help:

Contact Golden Channels

How to start a “Viking Funeral”

Some of us, probably in bad taste, and partially due to our Swedish lineage, joke about electrical connections that are bad, and can start fires. We affectionately refer to these events as a “Viking Funeral”.

How this happens is explained in our new YouTube video entitled “Why Bad Electrical Connections Cause Fires”.

You can see the diagram for the test here. And sorry for the bad humour.

We’re here to help. If you want to learn to be better with wiring your boat, Golden Channels can help you with our videos and How Tos. All to prevent you from ever having to see your own Viking Funeral.

For More Information

We love to teach fishers and boat owners how to get more out of their investment. So, we have a number of learning resources available for you, our customers.

Our Learning Section on our website

For further information on Marine Electrical DIY Tips, try our YouTube Channel:

Golden Channels on YouTube

These cables come with a two year free, no questions asked replacement warranty.  See our warranty terms section on our website for details.

Finally, we love talking engines, fish finders, and networking.  So, if you need help, please email us and we can help:

Contact Golden Channels

And, They’re off…

You’ve gotta start somewhere.

As with all things in business, you never seem to get everything done that you want to. We are still in a tooling phase to get set up to do a good job of manufacturing NEMA cables, and we have lots to do still. We will soon be offering a number of products that will help fishers and boat owners do a better job of their DIY projects with electrical and electronics.

In the mean time, we thought we would get our webstore / website presence established, and get our sales systems online.

We’re now officially here to help.

And, in the mean time, we hope you find that RAM mount you can’t seem to get due to the factory slowdowns at our website here.