Topics

A54 bow thruster directly to battery or through main switches?

Scott SV Tengah
 

As the title suggests, does the a54, wired as amel intended, place the bow thruster power wires directly to the battery or are those cables connected through the main battery switches? 

We're having some intermittent issues with ours and trying to rule everything out. Thanks .
--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com

 

Scott,

Yes, in other 54s there is are 24v cables +/- coming from the main switch. In this photo of an unmodified Amel 54 the positive cable from the switch to the Bow Thruster box in the bow is a black cable. You can barely see it. It is under the 110 A Alternator red cable. I believe that some of the 54 switches are wired differently. Please let me know if the photo below agrees with yours.
image.png

CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
Address: 720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
   
View My Training Calendar
cloudHQPowered by
cloudHQ


On Fri, Feb 7, 2020 at 3:59 PM Scott SV Tengah <Scott.nguyen@...> wrote:
As the title suggests, does the a54, wired as amel intended, place the bow thruster power wires directly to the battery or are those cables connected through the main battery switches? 

We're having some intermittent issues with ours and trying to rule everything out. Thanks .
--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com

Arno Luijten
 

Hi Scott,

As Bill says the bowthruster is on the secondary side of the main switches. 

On our 54 only the shore-chargers are directly connected to the batteries. Everything else is routed via the switch, excluding the battery monitor on the 24 volt panel. 


regards,
Arno
SVLuna,
A54-121

James Alton
 

Bill,

   This is very interesting since the service disconnect switch looks very similar to the Ecans Soderep S190 installed on my Maramu.  I recently ordered  a replacement from Amel for my original engine disconnect switch that looks identical to my original switch.  I was having engine starting problems that I traced to an excessive voltage drop at the engine disconnect switch.  Not having a spare aboard at the time, I opened up the switch expecting to find burned contacts but actually they are in almost perfect shape.  The problem stemmed from the phenolic breaking around the bearing surface supporting the handle shaft which caused the contacts to sometimes not line up properly.  Some epoxy restored the function of the switch and we used it without trouble for the rest of last season.  I am mentioning this because I have read that others have had problems from these switches at times and at least in my case the issue was repairable and the switch is not hard to open.  I will of course now install the new switch and keep the old one as a spare.  It would be great if I could install a third switch like this for just the bow thruster loads.

     Would you by chance know the exact model of the switch shown in your photo?  I would also be interested to know either the wattage/horsepower rating of the Amel 54 bow thruster to estimate the amperage draw to compare to mine.  My Maramu has the bow thruster wired directly to the batteries which means that regardless of the switch position the circuit is hot.  I would very much like to install a reliable service disconnect switch along with a fuse to better protect this circuit.  I considered the S190 but was concerned about the 250-300 Amp continuous rating shown by the manufacturer.  The peak load of this switch is however 10X higher so maybe it is sufficient due to the short duration of use?  Would anyone know if this model switch would be sufficient for the approximate 4-500 amps that my bow thruster should draw at 12V? I am bringing a clamp meter to the boat soon to get a more accurate measurement.

Thanks,

James


On Feb 7, 2020, at 5:32 PM, CW Bill Rouse <brouse@...> wrote:

Scott,

Yes, in other 54s there is are 24v cables +/- coming from the main switch. In this photo of an unmodified Amel 54 the positive cable from the switch to the Bow Thruster box in the bow is a black cable. You can barely see it. It is under the 110 A Alternator red cable. I believe that some of the 54 switches are wired differently. Please let me know if the photo below agrees with yours.
<image.png>

CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
Address: 720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
   
View My Training Calendar
cloudHQPowered by
cloudHQ


On Fri, Feb 7, 2020 at 3:59 PM Scott SV Tengah <Scott.nguyen@...> wrote:
As the title suggests, does the a54, wired as amel intended, place the bow thruster power wires directly to the battery or are those cables connected through the main battery switches? 

We're having some intermittent issues with ours and trying to rule everything out. Thanks .
-- 
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com



Arno Luijten
 

Hi James,

Sorry to hijack your question directed to Bill. The picture is actually from our boat.
The brand of the switch is the same as yours. However on an 54 we run a 24 volt system so most loads are producing only half the amps compared to a 12 volt system. Not so for the bowthruster, it uses about 8 kW, something like 350-400 amps @ 24v. The main switches can handle that easy as the actual switching never occurs at high amperage.
Thanks for the tip on the mechanical issues you found with the switch. Mine have been suffering from a voltage loss as well occasionally. Until now I was able to resolve this by exercising the switch a few times. 


Regards,
Arno Luijten
SV Luna?
A54-121

James Alton
 

Arno,

   No problem at all, thanks for taking the time to help answer my question about the service disconnect switch on your A54. As you correctly point out my bow thruster is a 12V model so the amp draw at the same power is 2X.  I believe my bow thruster motor is only about 4.2KW so the amp draw should be similar to yours.  I am bringing a Fluke clamp meter to my boat this winter to see if I can better pin down the draw.  I sent an email to the manufacturer of the switch to see if they felt that it would work in my application.  I want to be sure that the switch would open in an emergency if there were a short in the bow thruster circuit.  I like the wide separation of the contacts of this switch which makes me think that this switch might work in such an emergency so long as the contacts did not weld together!  

Best,

James
SV Sueno
Maramu #220



   
I believe that this is the original engine service disconnect switch for my Maramu so 32 years old.  This is how the contacts looked before I cleaned them up.   If you look carefully at the center of the left hand portion of the switch, there is  a hole/bearing that the shaft inserts into a hole.  This is where  the Phenolic had cracks.  This caused the shaft to not center correctly so the contacts probably were not mating perfectly.  This could explain the reason that "exercising" the switch can sometimes restore function. The problem in my case was apparently this mechanical issue in the switch rather than being corrosion or burning of the contact surfaces which has been the case on almost every other switch failure I have investigated.  To open the switch, I just had to carefully open the tabs that were pressed in on each side.  

   

On Feb 8, 2020, at 8:36 AM, Arno Luijten <arno.luijten@...> wrote:

Hi James,

Sorry to hijack your question directed to Bill. The picture is actually from our boat.
The brand of the switch is the same as yours. However on an 54 we run a 24 volt system so most loads are producing only half the amps compared to a 12 volt system. Not so for the bowthruster, it uses about 8 kW, something like 350-400 amps @ 24v. The main switches can handle that easy as the actual switching never occurs at high amperage.
Thanks for the tip on the mechanical issues you found with the switch. Mine have been suffering from a voltage loss as well occasionally. Until now I was able to resolve this by exercising the switch a few times. 


Regards,
Arno Luijten
SV Luna?
A54-121


Scott SV Tengah
 

Our bow thruster was indeed wired through a switch, too.

I've worked with Sleipner to try to isolate the intermittent functioning problem to no avail. It runs full speed and then stops momentarily and then will start again. No slowdown to indicate drop in voltage. The Amel joystick has been cleaned and tested and shows nearly zero ohms on activation.

Every switch and thermal protection within the Sidepower thruster has been "jumpered" and it still doesn't work. I was hoping the problem was the main battery switch but I moved the positive bow thruster supply wire from the secondary side of the switch directly to the battery side. The only thing left is the motor itself but the brushes and commutator look perfect. The annoying bit is that this motor is only a year old and Sleipner wants me to ship it back to them from Panama at my cost, wait for them to test it, get warranty approval, ship it back (at my cost) and pay customs duty. I might as well buy a new motor! With a canal appointment, I clearly don't want to do this.

Anyone have any other ideas on what I should check? I haven't tested voltage at the BT during operation because I don't have alligator clips, but the fact that the BT either runs full speed or not at all, without any slowdown indicates to me that it's not an issue with enough voltage getting to the BT.


--Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com

Wolfgang Weber
 

Scott,
When we received our 8 month and 800 sm old Amel 54 the bowthruster stopped to work because one cableshoe pressed on a very short cable on the motor was inside burned and produced its own electrical isolation .
Greetings Wolfgang Weber SY Elise Amel 54#162





Arno Luijten
 

Hi Scott,

I have not looked in detail to the setup of the thruster yet but I know there is something in place to prevent sudden changes in rotation direction. In other words a device to prevent you from changing direction on the thruster too quickly. Could that be the cause of your trouble?

Regards,
Arno Luijten
SV Luna,
A54-121

James Alton
 

Scott,

    That is a strange one.  I would try measuring the voltage at the motor during operation to what is going on.  If you lose power at the BT during your test then back track the BT wiring  while operating the BT to find the fault.  If you have voltage at the motor when it stops during your test then look into the motor.  Maybe a relay issue?   Best of luck.  
James
SV Sueno
Maramu #220

On Feb 9, 2020 9:07 AM, Scott SV Tengah <Scott.nguyen@...> wrote:
Our bow thruster was indeed wired through a switch, too.

I've worked with Sleipner to try to isolate the intermittent functioning problem to no avail. It runs full speed and then stops momentarily and then will start again. No slowdown to indicate drop in voltage. The Amel joystick has been cleaned and tested and shows nearly zero ohms on activation.

Every switch and thermal protection within the Sidepower thruster has been "jumpered" and it still doesn't work. I was hoping the problem was the main battery switch but I moved the positive bow thruster supply wire from the secondary side of the switch directly to the battery side. The only thing left is the motor itself but the brushes and commutator look perfect. The annoying bit is that this motor is only a year old and Sleipner wants me to ship it back to them from Panama at my cost, wait for them to test it, get warranty approval, ship it back (at my cost) and pay customs duty. I might as well buy a new motor! With a canal appointment, I clearly don't want to do this.

Anyone have any other ideas on what I should check? I haven't tested voltage at the BT during operation because I don't have alligator clips, but the fact that the BT either runs full speed or not at all, without any slowdown indicates to me that it's not an issue with enough voltage getting to the BT.


--Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com

Matt Salatino
 

Borrow several voltmeters. Attach them to the BT wiring at a few places along the wiring path. Run the BT to failure, check each voltmeter for voltage. Thus will help you locate the problem. Its likely a thermal open failure. Some termination, when cool, transfers current. Its got a resistive problem (maybe a corroded or loose ring terminal?). It heats as the BT operates. When it gets warm enough, mechanical movement causes an open, and it stops. When it cools, the process starts again. Also, it possible that after the BT stops, to quickly lay hands (or use an IR thermometer) to check for a hot termination somewhere along the wiring path. That would be your suspect problem location.

~~~⛵️~~~Matt

On Feb 9, 2020, at 12:34 PM, James Alton via Groups.Io <lokiyawl2@...> wrote:

Scott,

    That is a strange one.  I would try measuring the voltage at the motor during operation to what is going on.  If you lose power at the BT during your test then back track the BT wiring  while operating the BT to find the fault.  If you have voltage at the motor when it stops during your test then look into the motor.  Maybe a relay issue?   Best of luck.  
James
SV Sueno
Maramu #220

On Feb 9, 2020 9:07 AM, Scott SV Tengah <Scott.nguyen@...> wrote:
Our bow thruster was indeed wired through a switch, too.

I've worked with Sleipner to try to isolate the intermittent functioning problem to no avail. It runs full speed and then stops momentarily and then will start again. No slowdown to indicate drop in voltage. The Amel joystick has been cleaned and tested and shows nearly zero ohms on activation.

Every switch and thermal protection within the Sidepower thruster has been "jumpered" and it still doesn't work. I was hoping the problem was the main battery switch but I moved the positive bow thruster supply wire from the secondary side of the switch directly to the battery side. The only thing left is the motor itself but the brushes and commutator look perfect. The annoying bit is that this motor is only a year old and Sleipner wants me to ship it back to them from Panama at my cost, wait for them to test it, get warranty approval, ship it back (at my cost) and pay customs duty. I might as well buy a new motor! With a canal appointment, I clearly don't want to do this.

Anyone have any other ideas on what I should check? I haven't tested voltage at the BT during operation because I don't have alligator clips, but the fact that the BT either runs full speed or not at all, without any slowdown indicates to me that it's not an issue with enough voltage getting to the BT.


--Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com

 

Scott, 

I am very sure you've checked this, but it sounds like an intermittent break in the low amp control circuit, and probably the low position sensor (analog or newer sensor) and/corresponding relay(s).  

Another 54 owner experienced exactly this problem. He found the low position normally closed analog push botton to be defective. Yet another had the same problem and found 1 of the 4 relays to be faulty. 

I think you can test the control side of the motor's high amp solenoid switch for control-side loss of power this way: Lower the BT. Disconnect the large red positive wire. Hold the joystick to either side while checking amps on the control side of the large solenoid. Hold the switch long enough to have experienced a shutdown based on previous experience. If necessary, repeat in the other joystick direction. I believe that the above will tell you if it is the motor or the control circuit.

Good luck!

Best,

CW Bill Rouse
Amel Owners Yacht School - www.AmelOwnersYachtSchool.com
720 Winnie St
Galveston Island, TX 77550
+1(832) 380-4970

On Sun, Feb 9, 2020, 2:17 PM Matt Salatino via Groups.Io <helmsmatt=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Borrow several voltmeters. Attach them to the BT wiring at a few places along the wiring path. Run the BT to failure, check each voltmeter for voltage. Thus will help you locate the problem. Its likely a thermal open failure. Some termination, when cool, transfers current. Its got a resistive problem (maybe a corroded or loose ring terminal?). It heats as the BT operates. When it gets warm enough, mechanical movement causes an open, and it stops. When it cools, the process starts again. Also, it possible that after the BT stops, to quickly lay hands (or use an IR thermometer) to check for a hot termination somewhere along the wiring path. That would be your suspect problem location.

~~~⛵️~~~Matt

On Feb 9, 2020, at 12:34 PM, James Alton via Groups.Io <lokiyawl2@...> wrote:

Scott,

    That is a strange one.  I would try measuring the voltage at the motor during operation to what is going on.  If you lose power at the BT during your test then back track the BT wiring  while operating the BT to find the fault.  If you have voltage at the motor when it stops during your test then look into the motor.  Maybe a relay issue?   Best of luck.  
James
SV Sueno
Maramu #220

On Feb 9, 2020 9:07 AM, Scott SV Tengah <Scott.nguyen@...> wrote:
Our bow thruster was indeed wired through a switch, too.

I've worked with Sleipner to try to isolate the intermittent functioning problem to no avail. It runs full speed and then stops momentarily and then will start again. No slowdown to indicate drop in voltage. The Amel joystick has been cleaned and tested and shows nearly zero ohms on activation.

Every switch and thermal protection within the Sidepower thruster has been "jumpered" and it still doesn't work. I was hoping the problem was the main battery switch but I moved the positive bow thruster supply wire from the secondary side of the switch directly to the battery side. The only thing left is the motor itself but the brushes and commutator look perfect. The annoying bit is that this motor is only a year old and Sleipner wants me to ship it back to them from Panama at my cost, wait for them to test it, get warranty approval, ship it back (at my cost) and pay customs duty. I might as well buy a new motor! With a canal appointment, I clearly don't want to do this.

Anyone have any other ideas on what I should check? I haven't tested voltage at the BT during operation because I don't have alligator clips, but the fact that the BT either runs full speed or not at all, without any slowdown indicates to me that it's not an issue with enough voltage getting to the BT.


--Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com

Rudolf Waldispuehl
 

Hi Scott, 
Matt's input sounds familiar to me and it is worth to touch each and every cable inside and around the Sleipner BT.

I had a similar experience few month ago where the BT sometimes worked and sometimes not. I measured all cables with the Volt Meter and all the circuits showed me the Voltage as expected in working order. I was close to give up after tested all Voltages, also the BT-Motor including the brushes looked good. Then I started (with the Ohm-Meter) to measure  the residences on the cables which should be very low with that sizes of cables. I found a short cable who had a bit higher resistant.

But the connections looked good because the cable and cable-ring terminals where put together with shrink-tubes. I disconnected the cable and pulled on it and the ring-terminal came off. The result you can find on the pictures attached. The cable looked like welded OFF¨! New cables solved the problem. 

Ruedi Waldispuehl
SV WASABI - Marina di Ragusa (Sicily)
AMEL 54 #55 (2007)

Sv Garulfo
 

Scott,

I am with Ruedi on that one. You may have voltage but a bad cable crimp connection may prevent current to flow. I you have a clamp amp meters, you can easily check current is within spec. 
I would check that short cable. 


Hope you’ll quickly find a solution. 


Best 

Thomas



On Mon, 10 Feb 2020 at 06:35, Rudolf Waldispuehl <Rudolf@...> wrote:
Hi Scott, 
Matt's input sounds familiar to me and it is worth to touch each and every cable inside and around the Sleipner BT.

I had a similar experience few month ago where the BT sometimes worked and sometimes not. I measured all cables with the Volt Meter and all the circuits showed me the Voltage as expected in working order. I was close to give up after tested all Voltages, also the BT-Motor including the brushes looked good. Then I started (with the Ohm-Meter) to measure  the residences on the cables which should be very low with that sizes of cables. I found a short cable who had a bit higher resistant.

But the connections looked good because the cable and cable-ring terminals where put together with shrink-tubes. I disconnected the cable and pulled on it and the ring-terminal came off. The result you can find on the pictures attached. The cable looked like welded OFF¨! New cables solved the problem. 

Ruedi Waldispuehl
SV WASABI - Marina di Ragusa (Sicily)
AMEL 54 #55 (2007)

Scott SV Tengah
 

Thanks for the input everyone. We literally have resigned to having Sleipner New Zealand look at it, when we get there in November!! But the fact that two of you have experienced failures on the short cables on the motor means it's worth looking at.

I have gone through the entire Sleipner troubleshooting guide, linked below, which should eliminate control circuit malfunctions. The problem still persists.

Trouble-shooting Guide for DC Thrusters - Imtrawww.imtra.com › Products › SP_Troubleshooting_Guide_with_IPC

--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com