Well, the plot thickens...
To back up a bit: I owned an ancient trolling motor. Twice it had been taken apart (lower end) and had the wires brushed off and essentially de-rusted and sprayed, then sealed and put back together. The bullet was rusting/corroding and occasionally the motor would spin slowly before picking up and working again. It was on it's last legs in any event.
Anyway, so, I was given the solar panel. I wired it directly to the battery, along with the old trolling motor and headed for home (about a 1/4 mile from the marina dock
is where I'm anchored) ... on low speed (#1) and on the way I smelled burning. I looked up river and saw nothing. About 30' from the boat I saw smoke and, on the hot side, the first foot of insulation
had burned off the wire.
One motor kaput.
First Mistake: I assumed (oh hush now) that this is because the motor was on it's last legs.
In the meantime a couple had gifted me a larger trolling motor. Age: vintage. The wires had been worked on ---- he'd replaced the wire from the top end to the batt with a Pacor 10-gauge shielded wire. He'd also hooked it up backwards. Specifically when I put her in forward on the switch she went backwards. Reverse was forward.
Okay, I know from taking apart these beasts that the two wires (Red and Black) to the lower end are for forward. They are a heavier gauge (12) than the two for reverse (16, a blue hot and yellow ground) ... so
When I put the wires on the battery I put the black to hot and the red to ground. Now, when I switched on the motor and put it in forward it went forward.
Okay, you're with me now. I also hooked up (direct) the solar panel (the proper way) and at night via my multi-meter I saw 12.7 or 12.8... I wondered if I would lose power overnight. The following morning about 1.5 hours after dawn I checked the voltage and it was at the 12.7-8 point.
Good to go!
and I head
to shore. When I put the motor on the voltage dipped to 12.5 but all was well. At approximately 100' from the dock
the wires started smoking. They both melted up into the motor head
and again I rowed. I'd attached everything together with 1/4 bolts using a wing nut. The doggone nut was so hot it took me a bit to get the thing off and disconnect.
Mistake Two: toasting a second motor.
And yes, I took it apart (why not?, it's already not working right) and every wire inside the top was melted or damaged. The wires leading down however looked pretty good.
I removed the Pacor duo and using my own power supply (male cigarette lighter with two clips at the end) hooked up to the side of the switch. The propeller
did turn in both directions, at least until that switch gave up the ghost.
So, I rowed home.
A bit more exploring and I decided to chop off the head. That's done. When I put power to the red/black the prop spins but it seems to be too fast? And the red sparks at my battery. Reverse works too incidentally when I use those two wires.
I believe the solar is the cause of my difficulties -- in that the failure was essentially in the same place and without said solar the old motor was working well, well, except for the slowing down/getting ready to die part. (whew)
A friend took the bullet end and I'm waiting his verdict and the salvage
potential of the motor end. It works so I'm thinking if I can cut down the amount of power it may actually not cost me $100 for a new one on Amazon.
HOWEVER that leaves me with the solar issue. Am I correct in theorizing that the solar is what caused the melt-downs? And is the regulator going to solve that for me? Any other ideas welcome. Thanks for your patience in reading my tale of woe. (smile)