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What will the next improvements for Trolling Motors be?

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With features like Spotlock that keeps you within 1.5 feet or so of your spot, Bluetooth, cellphone apps, and remote controllability, trolling motors like the Minn Kota Ulterra are already really advanced and impressive

 

I know that Motor Guide already has a wireless foot pedal, don't know why Minn Kota doesn't have that yet. But that could be a big improvement for the Ulterra. No more 5 feet of cord when you are moving your foot pedal around. I know a lot of people never move theirs, but I move mine depending on what side of the boat I'm fishing on. 

 

So, what do you think the next big improvements in trolling motors will be?

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i picke up up a new Ulterrra iLink BT a few weeks back and I'll say its impressive. I've previously ran a '13 Terrova iPilot and a '15 Ulterra iPilot.  The new motor is more responsive and quieter.

Going forward I'd like to see even better controllabilitly with the spot-lock as a wind plays havoc with it. Maybe better logic in the controller and a user select-able sensitivity that would allow greater, less frequent changes.

 

Personally, I think there's merit to having the foot petal hard wired tho. One less thing to charge and a great backup in case the BT fails.

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The boat control features on the iPilot Link are really such a huge advancement.

 

They did a nice job with the improved spot lock radius, jog feature, circling, follow the contour...its crazy what the unit can do.  

 

Mine is with a 2016 motor and its loud as it adjusts or as you direct it left or right.  Having it as quiet as the cable steers would be nice.

 

In terms of new capability maybe a better way to label waypoints where it automatically assigns the lake name followed by a date stamp.  I guess this would be in conjunction with the humminbird F finder.

 

Speaking of...the autochart live is awesome as well.  Last week I got into a mess of largies in a spot.  "AC lived" the area to figure out why they were there and found a gap in vegetation due to bottom hardness.  Will be a spot I go back to next time I'm on the lake.

 

 

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20 minutes ago, Puggz said:

i picke up up a new Ulterrra iLink BT a few weeks back and I'll say its impressive. I've previously ran a '13 Terrova iPilot and a '15 Ulterra iPilot.  The new motor is more responsive and quieter.

Going forward I'd like to see even better controllabilitly with the spot-lock as a wind plays havoc with it. Maybe better logic in the controller and a user select-able sensitivity that would allow greater, less frequent changes.

 

Personally, I think there's merit to having the foot petal hard wired tho. One less thing to charge and a great backup in case the BT fails.

 

 

Maybe the footpedal could be wireless, but come with a hardwire backup in case the bluetooth goes out, similar to using a printer wirelessly but having the USB cord to hardwire it for set-up.

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14 hours ago, tcbass said:

 

 

I know that Motor Guide already has a wireless foot pedal, don't know why Minn Kota doesn't have that yet. But that could be a big improvement for the Ulterra. No more 5 feet of cord when you are moving your foot pedal around. I know a lot of people never move theirs, but I move mine depending on what side of the boat I'm fishing on. 

 

So, what do you think the next big improvements in trolling motors will be?

I've got a cordless pedal on my 10 plus year old MinnKota. 

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Wireless foot pedal is nothing great. I use my key fob all the time because I hate the wireless foot. Did I mention the key fob is extremely inconvenient but I prefer it over the wireless foot.

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21 minutes ago, 12poundbass said:

Wireless foot pedal is nothing great. I use my key fob all the time because I hate the wireless foot. Did I mention the key fob is extremely inconvenient but I prefer it over the wireless foot.

 

 

I hate using my remote and love my footpedal. Different strokes for different folks, eh?

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As always things of this nature are very subjective. One thing you can't take away from MK is the way it integrates with the HB products.  And as operationeagle noted, they are always improving.

 

IMHO, When it comes to trolling motors, Motorguide is a distant second.  I just wish the HB touch screen units were a bit more reasonably priced.  The Helix units are awesome but touch screen adds a whole other level of convenience.  The Solix series seems to be designed more around the off-shore angler yet it would be right at home on my Ranger Fisherman.

 

 

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 While we're dreaming here, I'd be up for seeing a voice controlled unit. 

The technologies are out there. 

My newest GoPro's can all be used hands free from a distance by simply say "GoPro take a picture" or "GoPro start / stop video".

An effective option in the wind is their very small voice activated Wi-Fi remote worn on my shirt color.

Once paired with the camera (can manage more than one simultaneously which is cool) it allows me to preform a number of necessary camera actions from a distance & hands free.

I can see me being very happy to just say  "Ultrex deploy / Recover" or "Ultrex go spot lock"  or "jog left 10 ft" or even "Go find the Big Bass".

:smiley:

A-Jay

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30 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

 While we're dreaming here, I'd be up for seeing a voice controlled unit. 

The technologies are out there. 

My newest GoPro's can all be used hands free from a distance by simply say "GoPro take a picture" or "GoPro start / stop video".

An effective option in the wind is their very small voice activated Wi-Fi remote wore on my shirt color.

Once paired with the camera (can manage more simultaneously which is cool) it allows me to preform a number of necessary camera actions from a distance & hands free.

I can see me being very happy to just say  "Ultex deploy / Recover" or "Ultrex go spot lock"  or "jog left 10 ft" or even "Go find the Big Bass".

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

 

Good point! Almost all newer mid-range vehicles use voice control now. That would be nice. 

 

I wish GoPro made one that zoomed! "Gopro, zoom 2x."

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2 minutes ago, tcbass said:

 

 

Good point! Almost all newer mid-range vehicles use voice control now. That would be nice. 

 

I wish GoPro made one that zoomed! "Gopro, zoom 2x."

 

Me too.

The Superview is nice but quite often so is getting a little closer to the action.

A-Jay

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I would like to see a hybrid cable steer/power drive model.  Working around docks sucks with a power drive.  Staying on off shore structure sucks with a cable steer.  Give me both!

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My brother in law used to work for Motorguide. Attwood (Attwood, Motorguide,Mercury, Brunswick all the same company) is only 30 minutes from me. This is where they test and manufacture Motorguide. When he worked there project Falcon if I remember right was the Xi5 code name. He'd give me little hints here and there. Mostly vague for fear of being fired. 

 

Side note the selfish side of me wished he still worked there, they'd have an employee sale every year and they'd have Attwood and Motorguide products for 10% of retail. 

3 minutes ago, J Francho said:

I would like to see a hybrid cable steer/power drive model.  Working around docks sucks with a power drive.  Staying on off shore structure sucks with a cable steer.  Give me both!

I thought MK's new TM was a hybrid? 

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I know nothing!  I'll have to look it up.

Got it, from their FAQ.  Wayyyyyyy cool.  I should pay better attention!

 

https://www.minnkotamotors.com/Support/FAQs/FAQ-Details/Is-the-Ultrex-trolling-motor-a-cable-steer-driven-motor-like-the-Minn-Kota-Fortrex,-Maxxum-and-Edge-/

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19 minutes ago, J Francho said:

I know nothing!  I'll have to look it up.

Got it, from their FAQ.  Wayyyyyyy cool.  I should pay better attention!

 

https://www.minnkotamotors.com/Support/FAQs/FAQ-Details/Is-the-Ultrex-trolling-motor-a-cable-steer-driven-motor-like-the-Minn-Kota-Fortrex,-Maxxum-and-Edge-/

 

 

"The future is now!!!"

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voice control....or a some type of heads up control, say attached to glasses or a fixture on your head to steer where you want.

 

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56 minutes ago, J Francho said:

I know nothing!  I'll have to look it up.

Got it, from their FAQ.  Wayyyyyyy cool.  I should pay better attention!

 

https://www.minnkotamotors.com/Support/FAQs/FAQ-Details/Is-the-Ultrex-trolling-motor-a-cable-steer-driven-motor-like-the-Minn-Kota-Fortrex,-Maxxum-and-Edge-/

If you came up with the idea on your own that's awesome.....just a day late and a dollar short. Maybe next time. ?

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2 hours ago, A-Jay said:

 While we're dreaming here, I'd be up for seeing a voice controlled unit. 

The technologies are out there. 

My newest GoPro's can all be used hands free from a distance by simply say "GoPro take a picture" or "GoPro start / stop video".

An effective option in the wind is their very small voice activated Wi-Fi remote wore on my shirt color.

Once paired with the camera (can manage more simultaneously which is cool) it allows me to preform a number of necessary camera actions from a distance & hands free.

I can see me being very happy to just say  "Ultex deploy / Recover" or "Ultrex go spot lock"  or "jog left 10 ft" or even "Go find the Big Bass".

:smiley:

A-Jay

As I was reading through this I was thinking it needed some voice automation like Alexa or Siri or Google assistant or whatever.  Then I read your post.  The remote on these units seems great to be able to operate it from a distance but you can't use the remote while fishing.  Got a big fish on and you are heading towards rocks or a dock or waves are pushing you around you can't reach for the remote very easily to steer.  Being able to say "Enable spot lock" or whatever and have it do it would be great.

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25 minutes ago, moguy1973 said:

As I was reading through this I was thinking it needed some voice automation like Alexa or Siri or Google assistant or whatever.  Then I read your post.  The remote on these units seems great to be able to operate it from a distance but you can't use the remote while fishing.  Got a big fish on and you are heading towards rocks or a dock or waves are pushing you around you can't reach for the remote very easily to steer.  Being able to say "Enable spot lock" or whatever and have it do it would be great.

The models with remotes are used by a lot of guys who are not bass fishermen. The walleye and muskie anglers for the most part only use the remote and never use the foot pedal. They probably buy more of these units than the bass fishermen do who still seem to prefer the cable steer. 

I could see mobile phone apps that control trolling motors to remove the computer power needed for stuff like voice recognition to your phone and not in the motor itself.

 

Edit; I just looked this up. There already are phone apps for operating Minn Kota iPilot and iPilot link trolling motors. Voice commands are not supported.  Maybe in future versions. 

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17 minutes ago, moguy1973 said:

As I was reading through this I was thinking it needed some voice automation like Alexa or Siri or Google assistant or whatever.  Then I read your post.  The remote on these units seems great to be able to operate it from a distance but you can't use the remote while fishing.  Got a big fish on and you are heading towards rocks or a dock or waves are pushing you around you can't reach for the remote very easily to steer.  Being able to say "Enable spot lock" or whatever and have it do it would be great.

 

 @moguy1973  Check out the features on this unit-

Something similar would certainly addresses your concerns.

I have this and it works as advertised.

https://www.amazon.com/GoPro-Waterproof-Activated-Official-Accessory/dp/B01LWW1ZK9/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1500049430&sr=8-1&keywords=gopro+voice+activated+remote

A-Jay

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Re using phones as a remote seems like a good idea but I am always afraid of dropping my phone into the water.

 

Also interested in preserving battery life w my phone.

 

The current MK app for the iphone is very limited as it has only basic functions.  As an example there is no stow and deploy button for the ulterra on the phone.  I left my remote on the boat expecting to use it once I launched it.  Had to go for a morning swim to drag my boat back to the dock.  Guaranteed that I wont do that again!  If I had a stow and deploy capability I could have used my phone instead.

 

Voice command is an excellent add that would be useful.  Might be annoying to others in the boat however as adjustments are often made in quick successive order.

 

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25 minutes ago, OperationEagle said:

Re using phones as a remote seems like a good idea but I am always afraid of dropping my phone into the water.

 

Also interested in preserving battery life w my phone.

 

The current MK app for the iphone is very limited as it has only basic functions.  As an example there is no stow and deploy button for the ulterra on the phone.  I left my remote on the boat expecting to use it once I launched it.  Had to go for a morning swim to drag my boat back to the dock.  Guaranteed that I wont do that again!  If I had a stow and deploy capability I could have used my phone instead.

 

Voice command is an excellent add that would be useful.  Might be annoying to others in the boat however as adjustments are often made in quick successive order.

 

I too went for an early morning swim recently. I told my 6 year old to not let go of the rope as I was launching. He didn't let go....he also didn't move the rope as I was backing down. SNAP! There goes the boat. After retrieving the boat we both had a laugh. 

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The Grass Goat, or a similar device on the shafts.

 

 

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1 hour ago, 12poundbass said:

If you came up with the idea on your own that's awesome.....just a day late and a dollar short. Maybe next time. ?

 

I mentioned it YEARS ago here, during a heated thread on which was better.  I'll always contend that it depends your style and fishing and locations you fish.  This appears to be the answer to all of that.

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38 minutes ago, J Francho said:

 

I mentioned it YEARS ago here, during a heated thread on which was better.  I'll always contend that it depends your style and fishing and locations you fish.  This appears to be the answer to all of that.

Years ago you posted it on here? Hmmm I think your idea and millions in royalties were stolen then. You could be a God to many fisherman across this globe! What do ya do? Just go back to work I suppose? 

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