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Jig Meister

Basic Fish Finder Install Question

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Hello, just a quick question.

 

I purchased a PirahnaMax 190c to install on my kayak. I have everything I need except the terminals to connect the batter to the unit. I read in the manual about getting a inline 1 amp fuse, but was confused on weather that is for installing to just the battery or when you install to the fuse panel.

 

Obviously I will be installing onto the battery. First fish finder that I have owned myself, so of course the first install also, so not trying to screw things up too much.

 

thanks as always, great community.

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A marine boating store, like West Marine should have waterproof inline fuses.  You install it on the positive lead.  Any home improvement store will have the proper crimp on connectors in their electrical dept., though I recommend solder and shrink wrap for a better long term solution.  Go to a Lowes or Home Depot, and somone should be able to point you in the right direction.

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X2 on heat shrink and solder on those connections. Nothing more frustrating than getting out there and you lose power due to a bad connection. Though I've left my unit on and forgot to charge the batter before. Same basic plot....

Fuse links are cheap and you'll be glad you spent the couple bucks if something goes wrong. Fish finder installs are pretty straightforward on kayaks. Better to do it right though before you have a unit that doesn't work properly

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One more thing about the wire, solder and connections - put a small coating of dielectric grease on the soldered connections after they cool and prior to sealing with heat shrink. This will also provide an additional control against potential corrosion over the long haul.

Water is corrosive, and don't let anyone tell you that it's only saltwater that is. I've had three different fish finder installations on my last two kayaks and can tell you from personal experience that freshwater corrodes just as much as saltwater, only saltwater is much more corrosive and is faster to act. The key like J Franchot mentioned was to use solder and heat shrink. As far as solder goes, there is a difference in the varieties out there, so make sure you use a tin-based solder and try to find size 15. Its the perfect size for this application.

When it comes to wire, do not use the wire you find at the automotive store - those small rolls are copper based and will corrode in as little as 3-4 trips without proper waterproofing techniques (I speak from personal experience on this one). Go to any boating/marine store and ask for tin-based wire. While you are there, you can get the inline fuse holder and some 3 amp fuses. The blade style is the easiest but the challenge with them is the wire gauge used is typically 12 gauge or larger versus the leads from your FF provided power cable that are typically 18gauge or smaller. Finding wire connectors can be a bit challenging for this applications, hence the need for the soldering skills and heat shrink.

One tip for using heat shrink - make sure that you slide on the proper size that just permits the wire to pass through prior to soldering, then slide on the next size up of heat shrink further up the line and about a 1/2-3/4" longer than the smaller piece you will use to cover the soldered connection. When you have finished the soldered connection and have sealed it with the small heat shrink, slide the longer piece over top of it and seal it again to provide an additional waterproof layer.

The last four other pieces of advice I will offer is this:

1. Make sure your battery box of choice has a water tight seal (various options are ready-made and some are DIY)

2. Try to ensure your battery can be removed if at all possible but still leave the battery box and extra cabling secured. The battery adds weight and can be a little bit of a bear at the end of a fishing outing when you are worn out from paddling (personal experience on that one as well). Securing the box also serves another purpose - it prevents shifting while loading and transporting but also prevents future crimps or bends in the cabling and creating a passageway for water to seap in and start the corrosive process.

3. Try to find a rubber cap of some form that you can place over the FF cable end when left unplugged and be sure to coat the inner prong receptacles with a litle dab of dielectric grease to prevent corrosion on the leads themselves.

4. Keep the small tube of dielectric grease and extra fuses in a small water proof container in your kayak. You never know when you will need them out on the water.

Shoot me a PM if you have any other questions. I also have some how-to's on my blog in the signature below.

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