Can you help me with my initial setup? - Printable Version

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Can you help me with my initial setup? - dawnexpedition - 2023-03-31


I've purchased the autopilot computer and smaller motor controller from Sean's store. I will install it in a 35ft, 8ton (loaded) tiller sailboat.

I have some questions which I will greatly appreciate your input on:

1 - Wiring. My solar panel / davit arch has a DC distribution bus bar capable of 50A. My first plan is to install as follows?
    - autopilot computer installed at nav desk
    - motor controller installed below solar panel on a sealed box close to the bus bar
    - autopilot computer <> motor controller connected via signal wire runs (aprox. 10 meter of cable length to reach both components)
    - motor controller fed via bus bar with barely no voltage drop
    - windshield wiper motor fed by a 2.5 meter wire run

My questions about this wiring setup are as follows:
    - is a Cat5e cable suitable for this signal wire run?
    - Will a f-150 windshield wiper motor connected with 10mm2 cable be enough?
    - Is this wiring plan appropriate? I would really appreciate comments. I want to keep both units as dry as possible.

2 - Should I install tiller feedback, end of travel sensors, or can I just run this as is?

3 - What kind of sea state can this setup handle?

Thank you all!

RE: Can you help me with my initial setup? - seandepagnier - 2023-03-31

1) You might just locate the computer and controller nearby initially, 6-8 inches apart since the wires to the motor can affect the compass if routed in the worst possible way.

yes you can use ethernet wire for the data signal and power. You only need 4 of the 8 wires.

2) I would try without initially. 10 mm^2 wire is oversize, 2.5mm^2 is ok for wiper motor

3) It depends on factors like the boat, how you are sailing it and many more, so impossible to say.