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  1. #1

    Trim Tabs problem

    They say problems come in three's, had to replace the deck wash pump, mates GPS died and issues with recovering data now my trim tabs are playing up.

    They are Minn Kota brand, electric Actuators with Main Indicator switch and Indicator Switch Power Module. So first does anyone know anyone on the Sunshine Coast that can repair/look into this sort of issue, or is there some sort of test I can perform that will tell me if it is the Main Indicator Switch or the Indicator Switch Power Module.

    I've tried resetting (recalibrating) and it worked till I powered up again the next day.

    I know the Actuators work as today when I powered up the left Trim Tab went down without me touching anything. I put it back up, tried the right tab and it worked, so both Actuators work. Turned power off for a while thinking that maybe doing a recalibration again would restore the system however when I turned the power back on the unit flashed several times as an error code, the button indicators etc all are red and now neither tab will operate. I've checked all the connections thinking that it might be one of them but they all look good. Something similar happened about 6 months ago and at that time I resoldered and sealed all the connections and it worked flawlessly for about 6 months till now, I could go through the process again but not keen to do so unless there is another option. Although tomorrow I will get under the combing and pull everything out for another inspection which at my age is rather awkward and hard on the back.

    If all else fails I can try and get another switch and power module from the states although it is getting hard as Minn Kota have dropped their trim tab range plus it is rather expensive. I think I've read that Lenco switches and power modules can be used instead (still expensive but at least can be sourced in Australia), any one had any experience with these units.

  2. #2
    Ausfish Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Sunshine Coast

    Re: Trim Tabs problem

    I was recommended Ben at onboard marine solutions for some electrical work, you could ring him up and ask


    Sent from my iPhone using Ausfish forums
    Kevlacat 6.2m
    115 v4 evinrudes (going strong)

  3. #3

    Re: Trim Tabs problem

    Thanks, I'll give him a go after I check all the wiring first.

  4. #4

    Re: Trim Tabs problem

    Google is being less than helpful with a wiring diagram Dignity. Any chance you have one you can scan or know a link to one?
    "I soak the worms in rum. The fish love em and the worms die happy"
    "Alcohol is not the solution to your problems...................but then again, neither is milk"

  5. #5

    Re: Trim Tabs problem

    Scottar, the only thing I have is this connection diagram which is less than helpful, also from memory both the Indicator switch and the Power Module were sealed in resin, cant be sure but will pul all apart tomorrow.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6

    Re: Trim Tabs problem

    Can't read the diagram properly but given the number of wires to the actuators, it looks like they use a feedback based system for the indicators. Lectrotab (definitely) and Lenco ( I think - only two wires to tab actuator) use a timing method for there indicators - there is no feedback from the actuator - the switch just indicates where it should be (known actuator adjustment rate multiplied by how long the button was pressed). The main thing you would want to confirm if changing the switch panel to a different brand is that the feedback mechanism did not play any part in the limiting of the maximum travel of the actuator in both directions. I haven't played with the Lenco's but with my Lectrotabs the motor can still run when the actuator is at the end of it's stroke without damage. Provided you can do the same with the Minn Kota actuators then the other brand controls will be fine - just the indications may be out a bit due to different stroke lengths and actuator speeds.

    If everything is potted you can really only check the voltage supply at both sources (main input and switched input) and the connections. Check any fuse holders and fuses for corrosion etc.
    "I soak the worms in rum. The fish love em and the worms die happy"
    "Alcohol is not the solution to your problems...................but then again, neither is milk"

  7. #7

    Re: Trim Tabs problem

    Mmmm! I did check the main fuse last time but never thought about the 2 x 15 amp fuse holders. Do you have any idea what voltage should be fed through to the actuators, my mate thought it was only 3 volts,

  8. #8

    Re: Trim Tabs problem

    Yes, check all 3 fuses plus the holder contacts first. Is the small red light on the power module doing the normal 'slow blink'?
    Unplug the connection plug behind the switch panel & check it too. Could be one of these, however could also be related to the previous issue, which would be where I would look before spending any coin.

    What was this previous issue re connections on the cables, water ingress? (Connection between power module and actuators I assume??).
    I might have some info/circ. diagram on them, will have a look.
    Cheers
    Brendon


    Sent from my iPad using Ausfish mobile app

  9. #9

    Re: Trim Tabs problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Dignity View Post
    Mmmm! I did check the main fuse last time but never thought about the 2 x 15 amp fuse holders. Do you have any idea what voltage should be fed through to the actuators, my mate thought it was only 3 volts,
    Can't imagine it would be 3 volts to drive the actuators - wouldn't have enough grunt. There may be a low voltage component as part of the feedback mechanism - most similar systems like pilots I have worked on use 5 volts but anything is possible.
    "I soak the worms in rum. The fish love em and the worms die happy"
    "Alcohol is not the solution to your problems...................but then again, neither is milk"

  10. #10

    Re: Trim Tabs problem

    Brendon, previously the left trim tab would flash and not work. I reconnected the cables to the actuators as the original installer just used crimps and minimal heatshrink. Things worked after that for about 6 months, now it seems even more terminal with the main inicator illumination panel coming up in red. I'd forgotten about the red light on the power module as it is buried under the combing. Raining and wind today so will spend some time checking through it all.

    If all else fails I think if the original supplier Johnson Outdoors Inc still has stocks I might be able to just get the power module, probably around $300.

    Sam

  11. #11

    Re: Trim Tabs problem

    I've checked all connections where possible ie good supply, good earth, the connectors between the the indicator switch and the power module. I undid the back of the power module and as suspected everything set in resin. The connections to the actuators I will have to cut and redo to check.

    When I switch it on the power module has a loud double click, is this a relay kicking in, the red light has a steady red flash even at all times even when the indicator switch turns red. The indictator switch initially beeps twice, the left trim tab indicator LEDs all flash twice, the right indicator LEDs just stays on the first LED which is normal. At this stage I can still operate the right actuator.

    After a number of times of turning power on/off or trying teach trim tab the other background lights for the switches turn red and I can't operate the right actuator.

    So before I throw some more money at it by either getting Ben from OMS having a look at it can I narrow it down to either the power module or indicator switch by swapping the port and starboard actuator cables to the power supply.
    Now by my logic, which lately is off, if it is the indicator switch then the left side will still fail but if it fails on the right side then it is the power module. Open to all suggestions.

  12. #12

    Re: Trim Tabs problem

    My opinion (for what it is worth), is to try and figure out which wires are actually driving the actuator ( two wires may be larger and when run up and down have a reversing voltage applied at a guess - never seen these tabs wiring). Assuming you can do this, manually test the actuators by applying voltage to the respective wires and once full functionality is confirmed, cut your losses and put the money into a different control platform. With the cost of labour and the fact that realistically any repair will be by replacement due to construction technique and the fact parts are getting harder to procure, financially I suspect you are ultimately flogging a dead horse mate.
    "I soak the worms in rum. The fish love em and the worms die happy"
    "Alcohol is not the solution to your problems...................but then again, neither is milk"

  13. #13

    Re: Trim Tabs problem

    Thanks scottar, I can work that out as switches without LED indicators only use 2 wires. Have to think it through. Hopefully 12 v is what's going to the actuators. I've found out that I can possibly get the LED switches at $US190, the power supply $US 180 so I can limit my outlay.

  14. #14

    Re: Trim Tabs problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Dignity View Post
    Thanks scottar, I can work that out as switches without LED indicators only use 2 wires. Have to think it through. Hopefully 12 v is what's going to the actuators. I've found out that I can possibly get the LED switches at $US190, the power supply $US 180 so I can limit my outlay.
    Take a look around the net for pricing on Lectrotabs "Oval" indicator switch and the Lectrotab set up as well. Potentially you could manufacture your own indicators if you can work out the feedback process (could be as simple as a pair of volt meters) and then just use switches - another option.
    "I soak the worms in rum. The fish love em and the worms die happy"
    "Alcohol is not the solution to your problems...................but then again, neither is milk"

  15. #15

    Re: Trim Tabs problem

    Sounds convoluted, the schematics for the basic rocker switch uses only the yellow and green wires so I'll do the Actuator test to make sure they're working. What about changing port to starboard etc to see if I can work out whether it's the switch or power unit, do you think that will work as this will dictate which way I go.

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