Cannon Digi Troll 10 Downrigger issues

Sundodger

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May 12, 2014
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My father last spring decided to replace our old manual Penn downriggers with a pair of Cannon Digi troll 10’s because he was retiring and thought it would help when fishing with my mother when I wasn’t on board.

We have two 800 CCA batteries that easily pass load tests and wired the downriggers with 10 gauge wire and an external 30 amp Blue Sea breaker (as recommended).

We were told by Cannon 20lb balls were not recommended, but the 12-16’s we normally run in the ocean are no problem. In shallow water we don’t have trouble, but fishing anything below 100ft when retrieved will throw the internal 25 amp Cannon breaker.

If we retrieve both downriggers from moderate water depths, the low voltage alarm will often sound (voltage dropping below 11 volts) even with the main engine running/charging. I have replicated battery loads with my carbon pile tester and it looks like they are pulling over 200 amps.

With my testing and penciling out the math it really looks like these downriggers are exceeding their hardware limits trying to haul that load and so the protection is justified, but I am hoping I overlooked something.

Anyone had similar problems?

Solutions?
 
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Sundodger

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Very short, about 5 feet. Both batteries are at the transom (one on each side), battery switch is located in between the two batteries. I have 10 gauge wiring that goes from the battery switch to the external relays that are mounted above the battery switch, then I have 10 gauge wire routed to the downriggers which are basically at the transom on the boat on both sides.

I could put some monster wiring in from the battery switch to the external relay and to the plug (The last foot or so I would still be limited by the pigtail that comes out of the downrigger).

But I guess my thought is it’s pulling plenty of amps, enough to pull down my two 800CCA batteries to below 11 volts, so increasing wire size would just allow it to pull more and I will still be limited by the internal breaker that clicks off and the hardware limits of the downrigger. The battery capacity is fine because as soon at the load is removed the voltage jumps back up to about 12.6 (without the engine running/charging). I could add another battery or get batteries that can discharge faster (i.e. not deep cycles), but then I would think I will just trip the breaker faster.



How long are your 10ga runs? And from where they terminate to whatever you connected them to how far is that run to ultimately the battery?

Sounds like voltage drop and a restriction somewhere
 
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TonyG

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Do you still have the terrible cannon plugs or have you converted to marinco. I had tons of issues with the cannon connectors. They are crap and become corroded quickly. Converted to marinco and have never had an issue since.
 
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Genie Aye

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    Connection checks first, batteries after.
    800cca is great for short bursts, but hauling from depth , deep cycles will be much better, they are desgined for continuous load where cranking batteries are not. A drop in voltage means a increase in amps, cranking batteries are not great for this type of pull. If i remeber right, i have 8ga on my cannons running about 5' as well, no issues. Also running them off deep cycles.
    Patrick runs his riggers off a 6v battery bank, that works Awesome.
     
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    Sundodger

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    Converted to Marinco. I took one look at those Canons and it was a hell no.

    Connections are perfect, checked them a pile of times now. Nothing loose, no corrosion. Did all the work only a few months ago and the boat is kept in the shop.

    The 800 CCA batteries are deep cycle, we have more battery than we really should need.

    Do you still have the terrible cannon plugs or have you converted to marinco. I had tons of issues with the cannon connectors. They are crap and become corroded quickly. Converted to marinco and have never had an issue since.

    Connection checks first, batteries after.
    800cca is great for short bursts, but hauling from depth , deep cycles will be much better, they are desgined for continuous load where cranking batteries are not. A drop in voltage means a increase in amps, cranking batteries are not great for this type of pull. If i remeber right, i have 8ga on my cannons running about 5' as well, no issues. Also running them off deep cycles.
    Patrick runs his riggers off a 6v battery bank, that works Awesome.
     
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    Genie Aye

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    Do a voltage drop check when underload, over .5 volt and you need bigger wire.
    Just curious, what deep cycle batteries are they that have 800cca?
    I do electricial for vehicles, have not seen that number unless they are group 31's and that is rare.
    P.S. If they are AGM, even in deep cycle, they do not like long discharge loads.
     
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    liltrouble

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    You need reserve capacity, not cranking amps in this application.

    I have starting batteries with cranking amps to start my motors. I have four 6v batteries with 1200 amp hours in reserve capacity. that runs my riggers, crock pot, coffee maker, pot puller, etc.

    Great batteries w 800 MCA but wrong application. Think of cranking your engine for however long it takes to pull that ball up. on a cannon, anything over 10# ball =3× amps. 10 lb ball is 30 amp draw, 15# is 45 amp draw. ( i know some people will want to get in a pissing contest over that last line but feel free to come to the shop and i can prove it through cannons diagnostic bench tools)

    With batteries with reserve capacity, you will have no problems. your factory connectors will be fine. They are cannons, so after a year they won't be fine and i would agree to switch or to the "Scotty by Marinco" plugs will be better in the long run. Cannons are made for great lakes and don't use tinned wore/connections needed in saltwater.
     
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    Sundodger

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    The batteries I have are Optima Blue top D27M. I will be the first to admit, I am not a fan of Optima’s, in fact I avoid them, but they came with the boat and keep passing the yearly load tests, so they haven’t been replaced. I looked up the spec’s on these and it looks like they are actually categorized as a tweener when it comes to start vs deep cycle.


    I haven’t checked voltage drop at the downrigger because the whole system voltage will drop below 11 volts when I retrieve both from a moderate depth setting off low voltage alarms at the helm. I have recreated this situation with my carbon pile load tester in the shop and even pulling 200 amps for over a minute and I can’t get the system voltage near that low. Since the battery voltage jumps back up to healthy numbers right after the downrigger load or simulated load it would seem I have plenty of reserve capacity, but that the batteries can’t discharge fast enough.


    I could put some larger batteries in there or batteries that have a higher discharge rate or both, but it seems to me the fact these downriggers are pulling well over 200 amps is the real problem.


    Call me naive but I was not expecting over 45 amp draw while in service. Am I way off base?
     
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    liltrouble

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    Those Optima D27M are a great battery. The question will be if your charging is bringing the RC back up to full capacity.

    If I am seeing your info correctly, you have two batteries. How many motors do you have? If you have one battery per motor, and no house bank, that is not the ideal scenario.

    Your motor alternator is going to charge your batteries, but if you are using the D27M as both a starter and house (riggers, stereo, electronics, etc) then you may not be getting your batteries fully charged back up. Do you have an onboard charger that you charge your batteries with? Not a trickle charger or maintainer--I mean something like a 60 amp output.

    Most chargers will charge 80% of your discharge in the first hour. It is the last 20% that is your reserve capacity and it takes 8-10 hours to charge. It is also that last 20% that doesn't charge that kills your batteries. Actually, batteries don't die, they are murdered.

    As has been posted on this thread, a house bank separate from your starting motors is a really good idea. Once you get over 18 feet of boat, it is time to step up and have a starting bank and a house bank. If you go to the ocean, a starting bank and a house bank is a very great idea. You want to isolate your starting power from your toy power as starting the motors is the most important thing that you can do. Getting home is more critical than entertainment!

    You can go to Blue Sea Sytems website and see their "add a battery" kit that is slick. It will dedicate your power from your motors to your starting battery and once that is topped, it will transfer to your house bank.
     
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    Genie Aye

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    I will go a step further, the D27M ia a overpriced, but works well for a start battery. AGM batteries are NOT good for load batteries.
    It does sound like it is a issue not showing its ugly head. My voltage drops to around 12.5 and 13v with both my mag10hs pulling at the same time.
    If ican help out on the batteries, let me know, sell Deka, you will have many references on here of me helping bruthas out here with these kinda of issues.
    Thinking some more, possible ground issue?
     
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    Walker Inc.

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    Those Optima D27M are a great battery. The question will be if your charging is bringing the RC back up to full capacity.

    If I am seeing your info correctly, you have two batteries. How many motors do you have? If you have one battery per motor, and no house bank, that is not the ideal scenario.

    Your motor alternator is going to charge your batteries, but if you are using the D27M as both a starter and house (riggers, stereo, electronics, etc) then you may not be getting your batteries fully charged back up. Do you have an onboard charger that you charge your batteries with? Not a trickle charger or maintainer--I mean something like a 60 amp output.

    Most chargers will charge 80% of your discharge in the first hour. It is the last 20% that is your reserve capacity and it takes 8-10 hours to charge. It is also that last 20% that doesn't charge that kills your batteries. Actually, batteries don't die, they are murdered.

    As has been posted on this thread, a house bank separate from your starting motors is a really good idea. Once you get over 18 feet of boat, it is time to step up and have a starting bank and a house bank. If you go to the ocean, a starting bank and a house bank is a very great idea. You want to isolate your starting power from your toy power as starting the motors is the most important thing that you can do. Getting home is more critical than entertainment!

    You can go to Blue Sea Sytems website and see their "add a battery" kit that is slick. It will dedicate your power from your motors to your starting battery and once that is topped, it will transfer to your house bank.
    I would hope wooldridge would have cranking batteries for each engine and a separate house bank that is rigged to charge by both mains thru an ACR or secondary charging leads. I think it’s a ground issue as you said each side is running off of one of the batteries, and I’m sure you tied into a ground bussbar that is in the transom somewhere. Start digging around there.
     
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    Socket985

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    Those Optima D27M are a great battery. The question will be if your charging is bringing the RC back up to full capacity.

    If I am seeing your info correctly, you have two batteries. How many motors do you have? If you have one battery per motor, and no house bank, that is not the ideal scenario.

    Your motor alternator is going to charge your batteries, but if you are using the D27M as both a starter and house (riggers, stereo, electronics, etc) then you may not be getting your batteries fully charged back up. Do you have an onboard charger that you charge your batteries with? Not a trickle charger or maintainer--I mean something like a 60 amp output.

    Most chargers will charge 80% of your discharge in the first hour. It is the last 20% that is your reserve capacity and it takes 8-10 hours to charge. It is also that last 20% that doesn't charge that kills your batteries. Actually, batteries don't die, they are murdered.

    As has been posted on this thread, a house bank separate from your starting motors is a really good idea. Once you get over 18 feet of boat, it is time to step up and have a starting bank and a house bank. If you go to the ocean, a starting bank and a house bank is a very great idea. You want to isolate your starting power from your toy power as starting the motors is the most important thing that you can do. Getting home is more critical than entertainment!

    You can go to Blue Sea Sytems website and see their "add a battery" kit that is slick. It will dedicate your power from your motors to your starting battery and once that is topped, it will transfer to your house bank.


    The blue seas add a battery/relay is no good. When the relay fails, it causes big electrical problems.
     
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    Salmonmoocher

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    This is All 2 confusing for a Non Tech Dumbass like Me. So I guess I’m safe to stay with my Scotty 2106’s and one Big trolling motor?
     
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    Genie Aye

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    This is All 2 confusing for a Non Tech Dumbass like Me. So I guess I’m safe to stay with my Scotty 2106’s and one Big trolling motor?

    Unless you have a bad ground....doesn't matter if you run Uncle Jack's downriggers...
     
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    Socket985

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    The batteries I have are Optima Blue top D27M. I will be the first to admit, I am not a fan of Optima’s, in fact I avoid them, but they came with the boat and keep passing the yearly load tests, so they haven’t been replaced. I looked up the spec’s on these and it looks like they are actually categorized as a tweener when it comes to start vs deep cycle.


    I haven’t checked voltage drop at the downrigger because the whole system voltage will drop below 11 volts when I retrieve both from a moderate depth setting off low voltage alarms at the helm. I have recreated this situation with my carbon pile load tester in the shop and even pulling 200 amps for over a minute and I can’t get the system voltage near that low. Since the battery voltage jumps back up to healthy numbers right after the downrigger load or simulated load it would seem I have plenty of reserve capacity, but that the batteries can’t discharge fast enough.


    I could put some larger batteries in there or batteries that have a higher discharge rate or both, but it seems to me the fact these downriggers are pulling well over 200 amps is the real problem.


    Call me naive but I was not expecting over 45 amp draw while in service. Am I way off base?


    These downrigger's are not pulling well over 200 amps combined and they are not pulling 45 amps each either. It's not possible when each down rigger is protected by a 25 amp internal relay.

    The Canon owners manual-trouble shooting guide says low voltage will cause the system to not work (trip breaker). The manual says

    in the UP or AUTO-UP mode the downrigger stops periodically but the display stays on or the circuit breaker trips
    repeatedly.

    The issues below are the cause

    Low battery. The battery voltage at the power cord is less than 11.5 volts (measure with a volt meter while the
    downrigger is pulling up the weight)

    Power cable is too long or too small in diameter.

    Do not overload the downrigger. It is designed to lift up to 20 lb. weights only

    Assuming the batteries test good and there are no wiring gauge-connector issues which seems right since the problem is only intermittent.

    The voltage drop issue which shuts off - protects the down riggers is being caused by too much electric demand and not enough electrical supply/storage. (problem #1).

    So there's a couple simple solutions that is possibly complex to properly implement.

    1. Is reduce your overall electrical load (run one down rigger at a time) or allow longer charging time between uses/cycles. (example is waiting 15 minutes between each retrieve while running your engines at a higher rpm).

    2. Is increase your battery storage capability or

    3. Increase your onboard electrical charging (amperage) capacity. Use your main engine to charge instead of the kicker.

    If you go with bigger batteries. Spec wise, the optima 27 dcm battery reserve capacity is 140 min @ 25 amp draw.

    If you go to an optima group 31 dcm battery. The reserve capacity is 155 min @ 25 amp.

    A group 31 Interstate branded AGM deep cycle is 190 minutes @ 25 amps.

    The Deka wet acid (old school) group 31 deep cycle RC is 225 minutes at 23 amps.

    As you can see, the addition of bigger batteries provides you way more electrical storage, which helps extend the time before you will see excess voltage drop caused by the excessive loads.

    The simple task of going to bigger batteries is certainly going to help a lot. You also say that you wired in relays? Those need to go away, and you should have just a fuse for each downrigger unit/circuit.

    The next task which will also help a lot of get your main engine charging circuit and your kicker charging circuit to the house batteries.

    You want to isolate these major loads from your starting batteries. You need a house battery set up (two group 31's is ideal) and if you have a Yamaha outboard. (not sure about the other brands). They have a second charge port wire which you can use to charge them. This will provide the extra charge amps you need, assuming you are not running your main while trolling, and you are currently using the low amp - low charging capability of the kicker when you are experiencing this low voltage problem?.

    Regardless, please do not use the blue seas relay/house battery set up. They are not reliable, they usually fail in the off position which means your charging capacity goes away. You are way better off to add marine switches, add wiring and manually control your charging that way if you don't have the aux charge circuit.
     
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    koopa

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    I had the exact same issue on my small boat. The problem was not the battery/alternator it was restriction I had down stream from the 10 gauge wiring. It was running down to a 12/14 gauge wire causing restriction and we would trip those 25 amp fuses everytime we brought the downrigger up. I added a fuse block in the rear by the batteries and ran the 10 gauge wire there and tied in the block with a huge battery cable 4 gauge and problem solved. Also, I have a 60 hp and one battery with digi-trolls and never had the issue come back. So check your downstream wiring for restriction.
     
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    Sundodger

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    I will go a step further, the D27M ia a overpriced, but works well for a start battery. AGM batteries are NOT good for load batteries.
    It does sound like it is a issue not showing its ugly head. My voltage drops to around 12.5 and 13v with both my mag10hs pulling at the same time.
    If ican help out on the batteries, let me know, sell Deka, you will have many references on here of me helping bruthas out here with these kinda of issues.
    Thinking some more, possible ground issue?

    When I apply 60 amps of load my voltage hardly dips at all (similar to yours). Thank you for the offer, I will let you know on the battery direction I go.

    I would hope wooldridge would have cranking batteries for each engine and a separate house bank that is rigged to charge by both mains thru an ACR or secondary charging leads. I think it’s a ground issue as you said each side is running off of one of the batteries, and I’m sure you tied into a ground bussbar that is in the transom somewhere. Start digging around there.

    The down rigger grounds are run directly to the ground bussbar that the batteries are hooked to. Our boat doesn't have a house battery, it's a very minimalist 24ft boat, but I see your point.

    These downrigger's are not pulling well over 200 amps combined and they are not pulling 45 amps each either. It's not possible when each down rigger is protected by a 25 amp internal relay.

    How I derived the “over 200 amps” is based on what sort of load it takes to drop my system voltage below 11 volts. Those batteries are healthy so it takes a lot of load for a long time. I could take the boat on the water and use my amp clamp to verify, but I doubt it will be very far off from my pile tester. Don't forget that breakers have a trip delay curve, so they don't trip instantly at their rating. In fact if you look at the external thermal response breaker I installed it will basically never trip at 30 amps. I wouldn't be surprised if the internal breaker had a similar curve.

    https://www.bluesea.com/products/7181/285-Series_Circuit_Breaker_-_Surface_Mount_30A


    The Canon owners manual-trouble shooting guide says low voltage will cause the system to not work (trip breaker).

    You bring up an interesting point that caught my eye when I started troubleshooting this last summer. In the troubleshooting section of the owner’s manual it hints that there is not only a 25 amp internal breaker, but also voltage sensing circuit protection. The breaker is tripping for sure, but I guess they could have designed the voltage sensing to trip the breaker so you have two failure modes that have the same result. It’s probably what I would have done because it makes sense from a cost and complexity standpoint.

    Assuming the batteries test good and there are no wiring gauge-connector issues which seems right since the problem is only intermittent.

    Batteries pass load tests with flying colors and my wiring all meets Cannons recommendations.

    The simple task of going to bigger batteries is certainly going to help a lot. You also say that you wired in relays? Those need to go away, and you should have just a fuse for each downrigger unit/circuit.

    No relays in the system

    You want to isolate these major loads from your starting batteries. You need a house battery set up (two group 31's is ideal) and if you have a Yamaha outboard. (not sure about the other brands). They have a second charge port wire which you can use to charge them. This will provide the extra charge amps you need, assuming you are not running your main while trolling, and you are currently using the low amp - low charging capability of the kicker when you are experiencing this low voltage problem?.

    Running the main engine has no significant effect on this issue.




    Based on everyone’s responses here it seems like I have made one significant mistake: Following the Cannon owner’s manual:

    -Max two downriggers to one battery I have double that.

    -10 gauge wire for 0-15ft I used 10 gauge wiring for about 5 ft.

    -20lb weight max I use 12-16’s (salesman highly recommended against 20’s)


    So the advice here is too take cannons recommendation’s and double them again.


    I can upgrade my batteries and put bigger wires to get more current to these downriggers, and am fully willing to do that, but the math is penciling out that there is some other problem causing me to draw so much current that will still be there when I am done with those upgrades.
     
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    MYNomad

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    Probably mentioned above, but I don't have time to read right now. In case not mentioned, it may be that you excessive current is caused by low voltage. The motor needs a certain amount of power. And 24 amps at 12.8 volts (=307.2 watts) is the same power as 26 amps (enough to trip your breaker) at 11.82 amps. So, if your batteries run down or if the 10-gauge wire AND ITS CONNECTIONS create enough resistance to drop the voltage, then will trip the breaker. Sounds like that is what is happening, since it doesn't trip immediately. The best way to test is to measure the voltage where it goes into the Canon, not at the battery.
     
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    Sundodger

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    Probably mentioned above, but I don't have time to read right now. In case not mentioned, it may be that you excessive current is caused by low voltage. The motor needs a certain amount of power. And 24 amps at 12.8 volts (=307.2 watts) is the same power as 26 amps (enough to trip your breaker) at 11.82 amps. So, if your batteries run down or if the 10-gauge wire AND ITS CONNECTIONS create enough resistance to drop the voltage, then will trip the breaker. Sounds like that is what is happening, since it doesn't trip immediately. The best way to test is to measure the voltage where it goes into the Canon, not at the battery.

    I agree, but my problems are at least more than just the voltage drop at the downrigger, because the system voltage (measured at the battery) drops below 11 volts so no matter how much voltage drop there is from battery to downrigger it’s already too low to start with. The only way for the system voltage to drop that low is an extremely high current draw.
     
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    MYNomad

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    I agree, but my problems are at least more than just the voltage drop at the downrigger, because the system voltage (measured at the battery) drops below 11 volts so no matter how much voltage drop there is from battery to downrigger it’s already too low to start with. The only way for the system voltage to drop that low is an extremely high current draw.
    Well that is pretty easy -- you have a bad / inadequate battery that needs to be replaced.
     
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    Sundodger

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    Well that is pretty easy -- you have a bad / inadequate battery that needs to be replaced.

    I have two 800 CCA batteries that easily pass load tests. Canon claims I only need one smaller battery. To get my system voltage to drop below 11 volts it takes over 200 amps of load for over a minute.
     
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