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Old 20-05-2008, 04:03   #1
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Testing Knot-Log Speed Instruments

Paddle Wheel Type Transducers:
A Paddle Wheel type speed sensor consists of a magnetized paddlewheel, wherein the paddlewheel is rotatably supported in a cavity adjacent to a (Hall Effect) magnetic sensing device. The sensor generates electrical pulses corresponding to (proportional to paddle wheel speed) paddlewheel speed, as the wheel rotates when the vessel moves through water.

Knot Log Tap-Test:
1) With 12VDC Power and Instrument “On”; remove the coax cable from the connector found on the rear of the speed instrument (display).

Bend a paper clip into a U shape and place one end of the paper clip into the center hole of the connector (signal) on the rear of the unit.
With the other end of the paper clip tap on the outside (ground shield) of the same connector (essentially shorting the inside pin to the outside collar) rapidly while watching the display.

If the speed increases as you tap, then the instrument is capable of producing a speed. You should be able to see about a 5 knot speed with rapid tapping.

If not; you will need to send the knot meter in for service.

If this is ok, proceed to the next step.

2) Re-connect the cable to the rear of the knot meter, and locate the Paddle Wheel Speed Sensor in the hull.
Follow the cable about 10 feet back, and disconnect the cable at the junction.

Perform the same tap test at the end of the cable leading to the knot meter, by shorting the center pin to the outside shell.
Have someone observe the reading on the knot meter.

If you can produce a good reading on the knot meter, then the inter-connect cable is ok, and you will need to check the Paddle Wheel.

3) Remove the speed sensor from the thru hull fitting, and insert the dummy plug (if afloat).
Spin the paddlewheel by hand. If the display shows a speed you will need to replace the Paddle Wheel Transducer assembly.

If it does not show a speed, you will need to replace the Instrument.

Knot-Log Voltage Test

1. Connect a DC Voltmeter to the centre (Signal) and “bare” (ground) wires of the Transducer.
2. With the Instrument “on”, slowly rotate the paddle wheel one paddle at a time.

The Voltage should switch from about “8” volts to near “0”, volts as the magnets in the paddles pass by the body of the transducer.

3. If the Voltage does not change, as the paddle is slowly rotated, replace the transducer.
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 21-11-2016, 12:57   #2
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Re: Testing Knot-Log Speed Instrument

Gord: Can you expand a little more on your knot-log voltage test? I have a 1996 transducer that was working until I upgraded the 1996 Autohelm equipment to the newest Raymarine backbone and plotter. The transducers now connect to the backbone with a Raymarine ITC-5. The spinning wheel transducer worked until the upgrade, so I tend to suspect a faulty ITC-5. However, the depth and wind transducers are working fine through it.

My transducer has five wires: red, bare, green, yellow, brown; and I had heard that I could use a 9 volt battery to send a voltage across two of the wires, and check for the switching of 0v to 9v on two other wires, but which wires?
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