Author Topic: Help, My Electronics are getting Fried!  (Read 1541 times)

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Offline dbhazjack

Help, My Electronics are getting Fried!
« on: April 03, 2017, 05:18:35 PM »
So over the past 2 years I've gone through 2 Lowrance Link 8 radios and now 3 Lowrance HDS head units. In each case Lowrance evaluated and replaced them on warranty and assured me that this is completely unusual and that their equipment never has these issues but now I'm concerned about my electrical system. The Lowrance techs say that should not be a problem.

The symptoms of my last 2 HDS gen 3 9" touch head units was a complete and instant loss of all sonar functions. The gen 2 7" touch before that was blowing fuses.

The Link 8 radios both had the same symptoms, they continued to work but would randomly switch channels.

So what do you guys think? Have you experienced this?

Here is an overview of my wiring scheme:

I have a start battery for my Honda 90 and Honda 8 kicker. It is isolated from the deep cycle house battery by a Blue Seas ACR. On the house battery I have a Blue Seas fuse box aft that serves 2 Scotty Downriggers, Wash Down pump, TR-1 Gold auto pilot, and the bilge pump. From the aft fuse box there is a 30 amp run up to a cuddy fuse box that serves the HDS Gen 3 GPS/Sonar, Link 8 radio, NMEA 2000 backbone, Trim Tabs, Lights and Horn.

Here is my fishing routine:

Typically I put in, start the main motor for warm up, fire up the electronics, and proceed to the troll location. I then fire up the kicker (electronics on), warm up, set up a troll and then shut down the main outboard. At the end of each troll I retrieve down riggers, kill the kicker, fire the main, and run to the start of the troll. This process I'm doing with the electronics on.

Can this sequence be harming the electronics? Is there some way that I should be protecting them? What do you do?? Or....I'm I just unlucky and should consider Garmin??? :1zhelp:

Thanks in advance for any help,

Dave
2013 17' Sea Chaser, 90 hp Honda, 8 hp Honda Kicker.

Offline Crackerbox

Re: Help, My Electronics are getting Fried!
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2017, 05:50:47 PM »
I am no expert, so I went to Brad at Marine Installations.  He does top work, spent lots of time with me going the boat telling me what had to be done and helped me do some things on my own.  He is 15 minutes from the purdy bridge and has a Gig Harbor address.

He is a Lowrance guy too.

Joe

Offline Threeweight

Re: Help, My Electronics are getting Fried!
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2017, 06:07:14 PM »
Hmmm... your wiring sounds pretty solid to me, assuming your fuses on the fuse block are sized appropriately to the load they are protecting (check the manuals).  Most electronics call for either a 3 amp or a 5 amp fuse, no larger.  My typical day fishing is the same pattern you do (was on my Arima, still is on the big red beer can).

The blown fuses on the old 7" makes me wonder if your wiring from the head unit to the fuse block, or the fuse block back to the battery, is under size or has a bad connection in it somewhere.  Do your electronics cycle on/off when you start either of your motors?  That would also indicate a voltage drop... when the power comes back it often spikes, and that can be a problem for electronics.

How do you store your electronics when they are not in use?  Are they in a humid area?  Lowrance products are not known for being the most humidity resistant.  But still, my understanding is the HDS quality control is decent.

If you decide to look at other brands, I'd plug Raymarine.  It sounds like you are a guy who would benefit from their customer service.



Former Sea Chaser 17 owner
Wild Card, Hewescraft Ocean Pro 220, Honda 225 and 9.9

“Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.”
       --- Hunter S. Thompson

Offline Holoholo808

Re: Help, My Electronics are getting Fried!
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2017, 06:24:38 PM »
I know it might be really basic but did you run the wire from your starting circuit to the start isolation input on your ACR?

I've seen a couple ACR installs without the wire being connected though my old Hobie Power Skiff had the starting circuit and Garmin running off of the same battery without any issues...
1611 SC Honda BF90D

For easier searching go to Google and type "site:www.arimaowners.com (search term)"

Offline Diablo

Re: Help, My Electronics are getting Fried!
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2017, 06:38:43 PM »
I would suspect it is when the motors are running and it is possible one of the charging system is failing. This could cause intermittent voltage spikes. With all the electronics in charging systems I would imagine you could even have an AC component on your system that could damage your electronics. Something to investigate.  :twocents:
Good luck.
'98 19SR  '15 E Tec 115, '10 Honda 8
'88 17SR  '90 Johnson 90, Honda 8, SOLD

Offline dbhazjack

Re: Help, My Electronics are getting Fried!
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2017, 06:51:14 PM »
I am no expert, so I went to Brad at Marine Installations.  He does top work, spent lots of time with me going the boat telling me what had to be done and helped me do some things on my own.  He is 15 minutes from the purdy bridge and has a Gig Harbor address.

He is a Lowrance guy too.

Joe

Thanks Joe, I will definitely give Brad a call, he's close!

Hmmm... your wiring sounds pretty solid to me, assuming your fuses on the fuse block are sized appropriately to the load they are protecting (check the manuals).  Most electronics call for either a 3 amp or a 5 amp fuse, no larger.  My typical day fishing is the same pattern you do (was on my Arima, still is on the big red beer can).

The blown fuses on the old 7" makes me wonder if your wiring from the head unit to the fuse block, or the fuse block back to the battery, is under size or has a bad connection in it somewhere.  Do your electronics cycle on/off when you start either of your motors?  That would also indicate a voltage drop... when the power comes back it often spikes, and that can be a problem for electronics.

How do you store your electronics when they are not in use?  Are they in a humid area?  Lowrance products are not known for being the most humidity resistant.  But still, my understanding is the HDS quality control is decent.

If you decide to look at other brands, I'd plug Raymarine.  It sounds like you are a guy who would benefit from their customer service.

3wt, my first electronic package with this boat new and set up as above was an HDS 5 and a Standard Horizon radio. Ran that for a year and a half with no problems.

Fuses have always been as per spec and supplied by the manufacture. No inline installs, everything is fused and labeled at the fuse block.

Never any cycle or visual effect when starting.

Boat is stored in an enclosed insulated garage so shouldn't be any long term moisture issues. Besides, I fish and crab all winter :gone_fishing:

The only thing I haven't replaced is the feed from the aft fuse block that feeds the forward fuse block. This was installed by Sportcraft and I'm pretty sure it is tinned. But I should replace that with a rated run of duplex from Greg's???

I know it might be really basic but did you run the wire from your starting circuit to the start isolation input on your ACR?

I've seen a couple ACR installs without the wire being connected though my old Hobie Power Skiff had the starting circuit and Garmin running off of the same battery without any issues...

I did not run the start isolation on my ACR! If I'm understanding it correctly that forces the ACR into isolation when the key is turned on right? Maybe this is my problem? I guess I was thinking the ACR would switch to isolate the house batt as soon as there was a draw. But maybe that routine spike is affecting my equipment. But also, isn't the real problem usually spikes is voltage, not drops that do damage?

I wonder if one of my motors is producing some voltage variants?

Thanks guys, hopefully will find a resolution. Good thoughts as always.
2013 17' Sea Chaser, 90 hp Honda, 8 hp Honda Kicker.

Offline dbhazjack

Re: Help, My Electronics are getting Fried!
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2017, 06:58:15 PM »
I would suspect it is when the motors are running and it is possible one of the charging system is failing. This could cause intermittent voltage spikes. With all the electronics in charging systems I would imagine you could even have an AC component on your system that could damage your electronics. Something to investigate.  :twocents:
Good luck.
Diablo, I must of mind melded with you. See my last post before I saw yours   :jester: I'll do a search on testing my alts, but wonder if anyone has a quick procedure for that? These are pretty new motors. I keep an eye on my voltmeter and it is steady at 14.5 when trolling with the kicker (Honda BF8 high output alt), and on plane with the 90.
2013 17' Sea Chaser, 90 hp Honda, 8 hp Honda Kicker.

Offline gfakkema

Re: Help, My Electronics are getting Fried!
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2017, 07:42:28 PM »
Seeing that you've had multiple units go bad, one almost has to infer that the issue is with the system and not the individual electronics. I would get as much diagnostic info as possible like voltage outputs of each alternator (DC and AC), voltage regulator resistances, battery resistances etc. Compare all those values to manufacturer specs and see that everything is as it should be. Once all those check out we could then try to troubleshoot further.
2001 22' Sea Legend HT w/Alaskan Bulkhead
2006 Suzuki DF250 / 2004 Mercury 9.9

Offline Holoholo808

Re: Help, My Electronics are getting Fried!
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2017, 08:13:51 PM »

I did not run the start isolation on my ACR! If I'm understanding it correctly that forces the ACR into isolation when the key is turned on right? Maybe this is my problem? I guess I was thinking the ACR would switch to isolate the house batt as soon as there was a draw. But maybe that routine spike is affecting my equipment. But also, isn't the real problem usually spikes is voltage, not drops that do damage?


You're actually getting a voltage drop when the engine is cranking but it won't be visible on the dash gauge as it likely doesn't read fast or accurate enough. The low voltage can damage the electronics as well as any voltage spikes from a faulty alternator/voltage regulator.

You have already identified a couple of suspect components so you can either systematically verify each one or spray and pray and fix them all at once.

Just my two cents but here's what I'd do:

Measure voltage upon startup with more accurate equipment. If voltage is low, connect startup isolation on the ACR.

Measure alternator output while running. Replace voltage regulator if needed (I don't know if this is an issue with Honda 90s).

Measure voltage at the helm, check the wiring feed to helm and verify sizing via the Blue Sea Wizard though I can't see the current draw from your new electronics causing a voltage drop...

Will do more Googling and report back if I think of anything else.

Wyrguy! Help?!?!?!
1611 SC Honda BF90D

For easier searching go to Google and type "site:www.arimaowners.com (search term)"

Offline Holoholo808

Re: Help, My Electronics are getting Fried!
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2017, 08:16:46 PM »
Seeing that you've had multiple units go bad, one almost has to infer that the issue is with the system and not the individual electronics. I would get as much diagnostic info as possible like voltage outputs of each alternator (DC and AC), voltage regulator resistances, battery resistances etc. Compare all those values to manufacturer specs and see that everything is as it should be. Once all those check out we could then try to troubleshoot further.

This.... is what happens when I take too long to type a reply :p

What he said!
1611 SC Honda BF90D

For easier searching go to Google and type "site:www.arimaowners.com (search term)"

Offline gfakkema

Re: Help, My Electronics are getting Fried!
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2017, 08:33:27 PM »
Seeing that you've had multiple units go bad, one almost has to infer that the issue is with the system and not the individual electronics. I would get as much diagnostic info as possible like voltage outputs of each alternator (DC and AC), voltage regulator resistances, battery resistances etc. Compare all those values to manufacturer specs and see that everything is as it should be. Once all those check out we could then try to troubleshoot further.

This.... is what happens when I take too long to type a reply :p

What he said!

You said it better and gave a more methodic/systematic approach.  :beerchug:
2001 22' Sea Legend HT w/Alaskan Bulkhead
2006 Suzuki DF250 / 2004 Mercury 9.9

Offline Hydroman

Re: Help, My Electronics are getting Fried!
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2017, 09:06:06 PM »
You really need to have an oscilloscope to check for an AC wave form in your charging circuit. If you have a good quality digital voltmeter you may try reading the charging circuit voltage with you meter on AC Volts to see any AC voltage is present.  If an AC is present, you diodes are most likely the problem.

JimB
17 Sea Chaser (sold)
21 Skip Tower (sold)
27 Thunder Jet OS

Offline dbhazjack

Re: Help, My Electronics are getting Fried!
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2017, 09:34:26 PM »
Wow! My head is spinning :doh: As much as I love DIY, especially the electrical, I think my best bet is going to be contacting Brad over at Marine Installation. Thanks guys. I can handle fuse blocks, load calcs, grounds, and clean connections, but when it comes to oscilloscopes and diodes, I'm way out of my league  :shrug9:
2013 17' Sea Chaser, 90 hp Honda, 8 hp Honda Kicker.

Offline gfakkema

Re: Help, My Electronics are getting Fried!
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2017, 09:51:56 PM »
It's not that hard, if you have a digital multimeter and some service manuals. If you don't already have those items, it's hard to justify the cost. I'm not far away in Auburn and have a few spare multimeters if you want to borrow one or want a second pair of eyes on your system.
2001 22' Sea Legend HT w/Alaskan Bulkhead
2006 Suzuki DF250 / 2004 Mercury 9.9

Offline DevMah

Re: Help, My Electronics are getting Fried!
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2017, 09:59:27 PM »
IMO
I strongly suspect that one of your charging systems is failing...either over charging or the rectifier diode shorted passing AC.

Disconnect your electronics ...
Run each engine up to full speed with a DC voltmeter on the battery one at time. (12V to 15 V usually I have seen up to 16.5V DC)
To check if you have a ac component simply change your meter selection to ac volts should very low in the millivolt range. (ac ripple)

Dose your 8 hp kicker have a regulator or just rectifier diodes?
If it just has the rectifier diodes then running both engines could have shorted one of the diodes.

If you had a intermittent connection issue then all of your electronics on the same fuse panel would simultaneously be affected. 

Dev
« Last Edit: April 03, 2017, 10:33:30 PM by DevMah »
2015 21' Sea Ranger
2015 Yamaha F150
2013 Mercury 9.9 Bigfoot 4 blade
2012 Lund 1650SS  w 2012 60HP Mercury-Sold

Offline dbhazjack

Re: Help, My Electronics are getting Fried!
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2017, 10:42:34 PM »
I do have a digital multimeter, and a service manual for the 90. So here's another thought. I hook the boat to a battery conditioner when it is home and parked. Could it be suspect? I have it connected to the house battery and let the ACR combine both banks. Problem? Test?

Thanks again, great info.
2013 17' Sea Chaser, 90 hp Honda, 8 hp Honda Kicker.

Offline ATGEP

Re: Help, My Electronics are getting Fried!
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2017, 05:02:37 AM »
Your need to have someone with an 0-scope look at your power.  DC can hide weird anomalies that a simple meter may not find. Batteries are pretty tolerant to the abuse but electronics can get fussy as you have found out.

Offline Peddler

Re: Help, My Electronics are getting Fried!
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2017, 10:11:00 AM »
FWIW, I'll give Brad Heacock of Marine Installations a FULL endorsement.  He made sense of the mess I paid for at another shop, and got everything working/communicating as it should.
Wishin' I was Fishin'

Offline wedocq

Re: Help, My Electronics are getting Fried!
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2017, 10:23:15 AM »
Brad is definitely the man! Maybe his situation has changed recently, but this is what I have been told. He works a full time job along with his electronics installation gig. This time of the year it could be a little bit of a wait to get in. So calling sooner would be better!
-Shawn
2002 21' Arima Sea Ranger HT  Suzuki DF175 4-stroke.
WEDOCQ= WE DO SEKIU! It pays homage to my Uncle Jay who died of cancer.

Offline DevMah

Re: Help, My Electronics are getting Fried!
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2017, 04:06:09 PM »
Your need to have someone with an 0-scope look at your power.  DC can hide weird anomalies that a simple meter may not find. Batteries are pretty tolerant to the abuse but electronics can get fussy as you have found out.

The ocilliscope will definitely find the problem...however if there is a ac component you will see voltage fluctuations on your dc meter... as the AC wave passes from positive to negative the dc voltage will fluctuate and not be stable as the diodes should filter the positive wave to pass and block the negative wave. Remember your battery voltage is 12.6v and your charging voltage is from 12.6 to 16.5.
If you are staying at 12.6v then you already know you aren't charging, if you are holding a steady RPM and your voltages are jumping all over the place that's the tell tale...

Yes the battery can hide a AC component but only up to its standing voltage, the battery in your charging system acts the same as a capacitor to filter and flatten out the ripple. That's why smaller outboards only have rectifer diodes. This is no different than a half/full wave rectifier with filter (Capacitor).

Here is some info on how to do it with a DVM, they show how to measure the ripple on a dc to dc converter.

http://leddrivertesting.com/testing-types/others/ripple-of-dc-power-supply/

You are looking for the ac ripple above the 12.6v should be in the millivolts and make sure you are not going past 16.5vdc as most marine electronics are rated for 17v max.


Dev

« Last Edit: April 04, 2017, 05:40:05 PM by DevMah »
2015 21' Sea Ranger
2015 Yamaha F150
2013 Mercury 9.9 Bigfoot 4 blade
2012 Lund 1650SS  w 2012 60HP Mercury-Sold

Offline DevMah

Re: Help, My Electronics are getting Fried!
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2017, 04:11:28 PM »
I do have a digital multimeter, and a service manual for the 90. So here's another thought. I hook the boat to a battery conditioner when it is home and parked. Could it be suspect? I have it connected to the house battery and let the ACR combine both banks. Problem? Test?

Thanks again, great info.

Yes possible that the conditioner is passing AC do you not utilize a battery switch to turn off your loads while charging? Are you using a marine charger?

Dev
« Last Edit: April 04, 2017, 05:43:26 PM by DevMah »
2015 21' Sea Ranger
2015 Yamaha F150
2013 Mercury 9.9 Bigfoot 4 blade
2012 Lund 1650SS  w 2012 60HP Mercury-Sold

Offline dbhazjack

Re: Help, My Electronics are getting Fried!
« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2017, 10:37:37 AM »
DevMah, I do have a batt switch that I do turn off when I park/store the boat. But, admittedly, I don't d/c the charger when I work on the boat. I occasionally fire up the Lowrance to load waypoints and routes. I guess I haven't thought about it since the charger is a 3amp tender. The batts are never drained or low so in my mind it is only maintaining them with it's conditioner function mode, (trickle when needed). Obviously I haven't thought about a lot of the above issues. But I am now!!

Thanks guys. I'll post back when and if the gremlin is found and corrected.
2013 17' Sea Chaser, 90 hp Honda, 8 hp Honda Kicker.

Offline DevMah

Re: Help, My Electronics are getting Fried!
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2017, 11:33:55 AM »
I think you are on the correct path...

IMO
There is a possibility that the charger is un able to keep the charge voltage sustained and the ripple voltage is increasing while you are using your electronics. (Over its capacity the charger can't drop out)

This is why I recommend marine grade chargers that are automatic.
-they utilize isolation transformers
-better filtering
-Built in over voltage over load protection. (This may be your case as the charger can't cut out once you pass 3A... the higher the draw the larger the ripple produced by the charger)

http://www.promariner.com/en/42026


Dev

« Last Edit: April 05, 2017, 11:37:07 AM by DevMah »
2015 21' Sea Ranger
2015 Yamaha F150
2013 Mercury 9.9 Bigfoot 4 blade
2012 Lund 1650SS  w 2012 60HP Mercury-Sold

Offline dbhazjack

Re: Help, My Electronics are getting Fried!
« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2017, 03:36:43 PM »
I spoke with Brad at Marine Installations, super good guy, willing to spend some time on the phone and schedule some testing when possible. Told him my story and he grilled me for 30 minutes on my boat and electrical setup going piece by piece, manufacturer, amperage draw, typical use, wiring schematics. If you call him, would be good to do your homework prior :doh:

Anyway, he feels that my secondary feed to the helm (which the electronics draw from) is inadequate and that my batteries are also not enough. Currently my helm panel is fed by a 10 gauge run from my secondary fuse box in the stern. He recommends for my draws and distance to bump it to 8 gauge. My batteries are group 24. The starting batt is an Armor Plate 625 CCA and the House batt is an Ever Start (Wally World) 690 CCA, 101 AH @ 1 amp draw (pretty silly designation IMO). Brad is recommending a matched set of Group 27 deep cycles with adequate CCA for my motors.

Assuming my charging systems test out ok, looks like I get to dump $ into a couple upgrades. Has anyone been able to fit group 27 batteries into the starboard sponson of an Arima 17? I know several of you have moved batteries to the cuddy but I'm not ready for that much upgrade.

Also, I did some exploratory surgery today in anticipation of upgrading the 10 gauge run and discovered that the dealer, when wiring the boat originally (I bought it new), tapped into the 10 gauge ground wire near the batteries and spliced in a couple of bilge grounds, soldered them, and wrapped it with electrical tape. Of course it is all copper not tinned marine wire, and of course it is all corroded. Maybe I just found my problem  :facepalm: I wouldn't be surprised to find more surprises as I move up the line to the cuddy.

Is it possible to buy a new boat or a new trailer without their crappy wiring jobs? I would much prefer to screw it up myself. :shrug9:
2013 17' Sea Chaser, 90 hp Honda, 8 hp Honda Kicker.

Offline wedocq

Re: Help, My Electronics are getting Fried!
« Reply #24 on: April 07, 2017, 04:21:52 PM »
Oh wow, sounds like you are on the right path! I have 2 group 27 batteries in the starboard aft corner, but I have a 21 SR, not sure if that area is the same size as yours. I feel your dealer wiring frustration. I just ripped out all the wiring to my wash down pump and replaced it. None of it was marine wiring, but since it was already routed under everything neatly I have been reluctant to replace it. Well it was giving me quite the voltage drop, so out it came. :shrug9:
-Shawn
2002 21' Arima Sea Ranger HT  Suzuki DF175 4-stroke.
WEDOCQ= WE DO SEKIU! It pays homage to my Uncle Jay who died of cancer.