Motorguide electric

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ronje
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Motorguide electric

Post by ronje » Sat Jul 13, 2019 6:30 pm

Hasn't been the best of weeks.

Had just decided to do something about the H'Bird sidescan when I noticed that the MG "anchor" function was dropping out every few minutes. Persevered for the day (bl..dy nuisance though) and decided to have a look at home.

Thoughts of complicated electronic repairs and/or shipping costs came to mind. Decided to do a bit of diagnostics before going to Motorguide rep in town.


Put MG on fitted out diagnostics bench (tailgate of ute) with a battery.
P7120036.JPG
When "anchor" function started dropping out I had a little H/Held GPS to test if satellites were problem.
P7120038.JPG
Satellites ok ( 5 bars) so problem internal.

Took off head covers to find it chock-a-block with electronics. Not. One little black box connected to small curly cord down to bottom unit.
P7120040.JPG

Took off bottom control covers to find it about the same as the head unit. Practically empty. Looked at curly cord from top head unit connection into bottom little black box and found the problem.
P7120043.JPG
Notice how the wires are exposed and frayed through from rubbing on the plastic housing. Shield wire was completely broken off small control wires inside were also exposed.

Then went to local MG people to see about taking in the damaged control cord with the black boxes on each end to get fixed.

Turns out that this is common enough problem for MG to have a replacement kit available. Simply plug-and-play. You get the 2 GPS "jesus" boxes, connecting curly cord along with a new remote control unit. Don't know why a new r/c as all they do is get flat batteries once in a while.


Anyway, inserted a new GPS "jesus" box top and bottom with the new curly cord, put covers back on and started it up. No more dropouts after 3 hours of running on ute tailgate so I declared it fixed.

Interesting that the new little curly cord now has connectors on each end so each GPS box can be replaced separately. Hope thats the plan anyway.

Couldn't find any kits like that for Minn Kota. Maybe they don't have those sorts of problems.
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Ronje

trent
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Re: Motorguide electric

Post by trent » Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:11 pm

your right about the MK

ronje
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Re: Motorguide electric

Post by ronje » Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:26 am

Little bit of tech stuff and history about both MG and MK.

What the local salespeople and reps used to tell everybody was that the MG had 2 GPS units and that MK only had 1 and that's why MG could hold station more accurately than a MK. One GPS in the head unit and another in the base unit connected by the smaller curly cord (supposedly).

The reality was that NEITHER had 2 GPS units. What the sales and reps were getting confused about were electronic compasses which have nothing to do with GPS.

Confusion (or the ability to be confidently wrong) is rife in boating sales/rep staff in marine electronics (sounders, epirbs, batteries,leds, radio eqpt) so why should electric o/b be any different?

In mid 2017, MK finally put a second digital compass in their new models to compete with MG's "anchor" accuracy. There was a problem with retro-fitting into older MK models, I think. A quick look up on MK's site will tell us.

MK also brought out what the same knowledgeable marketing reps called a "puck" ( named for the disc that ice hockey players bash around which has a similar shape). Its an autopilot with its own digital compass.

In MK sales and marketing language, that's "another GPS" to make 3 GPS units. Take that MG. Being packed with 3 GPS units, its gotta hold position even more accurately than a MG. " Be betterer"

As long as we (the great unwashed) don't get all excited about all the marketing hype, MG and MK operate with pretty much similar "anchor" holding accuracy. The only thing that'll be different (maybe) is the build quality. For every story about good/bad issues with MK, there are similar examples about MG.

I guess it'll boil down to price then.

But I do like the little LCD readout on the MK. A pix is worth a thousand words as user feedback (and easier to understand). To work out the state of play with a MG, you have to look at the lights on the control head and then interpret.

When I bought the MG electric about 4 years ago, I wanted the one-stop-shop feedback that the MK r/c LCD brought to the table. I didn't want to be pressing a MG r/c button in one part of the boat and then be looking for the control head lights elsewhere on the boat to see if it worked.

But to get that I had to sacrifice station holding accuracy. So I went for station holding accuracy at the expense of feedback on the r/c at the time.


That preference for r/c lcd of MK seems to be a commonly held view by electric users. Any odds on how long it takes MG to bring one out?
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Ronje

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Re: Motorguide electric

Post by Flickin4em » Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:26 pm

MG remote is far lighter and parts are more available in Darwin for spares is what I've found out too.... there were brand new Minn Kota ulteras and other older Minn Kotas on warranty claims at IN and OUTBOARD waiting for backordered parts for over 3 months last runoff. Also as mentioned above they've upped the accuracy now to be competitive with MG compared to a few years back.

My Motorguide was sorted the next day with a new remote on the first claim due to water ingress. Just recently I fractured a magnet on the head bashing through swell and once again the next day I was back on the water. MASSIVE THANKS to the expert staff at In and Outboard ......cheers :drinking8:
20190525_092606.jpg
It still ran once the chunk causing the racket was removed too but since it was under warranty I went in and got a new head and shaft put on it.

I have noticed that the build quality of the MK is definitely far superior though.
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Re: Motorguide electric

Post by ronje » Sat Jul 20, 2019 3:56 am

What's being held there isn't just a bit of a broken magnet.

You'll recall that recently China (in response to Trumps trade war antics) warned of cutting off supplies of "rare earth" to the US. THEN the US would be in some trouble sourcing supplies for defence and other reasons. Apart from being a necessary product for US defence, reliable supply sources are necessary for the significant US arms and electronics domestic and export economies.

That broken magnet is exactly what China was talking about. A "rare earth" product. China and Aus are 2 of the few countries that have the market cornered for the world's developed sources of rare earth supplies.

US has 1 mine which supplies rare earth ore but it has to send its product overseas for processing to...………..China...…….. before importing the products back. Guess which imported Chinese product the US has exempted from its trade war levy? Yep. "Rare earth" products from China.

The number of sources of rare earth isn't great but by the same measure, there haven't been many suppliers of "rare earth" that the Trump administration hasn't alienated with its "America First" philosophy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtNU261NVrg
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Ronje

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