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Hatch ram wiring

Ibeplumbing

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Did you guys install a circuit breaker or fuse? I was told I was supposed to so I did
 

Bigbore500r

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Did you guys install a circuit breaker or fuse? I was told I was supposed to so I did

I had a circuit breaker already for my sub amp. It's way larger than needed and fed by a fat cable, so I attached my relay to that for fused power. I checked voltage drop when operating the hatch and it's very minimal so I'm gonna leave the power hooked to it to avoid running another wire all the way to the battery
 

LargeOrangeFont

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Shit I probably do need one. Now is this pick with a two ram set up or do I need two relays?

What year is your boat? I don't have any weird sticking issues or voltage drop issues. One of my rams closes slightly before the other. They are not super fast, but are not really slow either.

These are currently wired through the battery switch, but I would not mind having the hatch rams always on.

I'm interested to see your results.
 

Ibeplumbing

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Yea you will want a breaker or fuse on the main power wire to the relay.

I already have one on mine. Mine was the picture I posted earlier in this thread with the DCB quality install lol :D
Just wanted to make sure it was what you guys had been told too
 

CobraDave

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Ok added it to my cart. Can someone really dumb it down for me? There are a positive and negative that come from each ram.

So you run a new ground and a new positive off the battery to the relay? Then from the relay those four wires to the Rams are plugged in? Where would a fuse breaker go?
 

Bigbore500r

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Ok added it to my cart. Can someone really dumb it down for me? There are a positive and negative that come from each ram.

So you run a new ground and a new positive off the battery to the relay? Then from the relay those four wires to the Rams are plugged in? Where would a fuse breaker go?

Here ya go.....fresh off the press!

relaysux.jpg
 

Bigbore500r

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Thanks for taking the time. That's some professional RDP work!

So on the bottom there will be four wires getting plugged in, two for each ram going to the switch?

And on the top there will be four also? That's a lot of wiring! Lol

The 2 wires that lead to your hatch rams now get cut. The side that heads towards your switch will go to the small spade "input" terminals. The other side of the wires you cut (that head toward the rams) will now go on the large terminals marked in the drawing. You will just have 2 of each since they split off and go to each ram.

You probably have 2 wires coming from your switch, that at some point split into 2 pairs and go to your rams. Same deal
 

CobraDave

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So I bought the relay from the Amazon link. Service guy said I'm already getting full power to the Rams, they just are installed in such a way causing them to bottom out when closed ,which makes them stick.

I have a brand new relay if anyone is interested and I'm headed to havasu. Image1465526220.297981.jpg Image1465526237.264721.jpg
 

Bigbore500r

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So I bought the relay from the Amazon link. Service guy said I'm already getting full power to the Rams, they just are installed in such a way causing them to bottom out when closed ,which makes them stick.

I have a brand new relay if anyone is interested and I'm headed to havasu. View attachment 490354 View attachment 490355

I'd be curious as to what "full power" means. If he is testing for 12v but not under load, you will still have an issue. Mine used to stick when shut also.....
The relay fixed that 100%
 

CobraDave

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I'd be curious as to what "full power" means. If he is testing for 12v but not under load, you will still have an issue. Mine used to stick when shut also.....
The relay fixed that 100%

Maybe I should buy a meter myself and see. A voltmeter is what I need? Then read it as the hatch is moving?
 

Rexone

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You need adequate amperage to the ram. Most small gauge long distance wiring just isn't up to the task under load. Relays fix the vast majority of slow operating hatch ram scenarios.
 

CobraDave

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Hmmm.... That's why I pay boat shops to handle this stuff, cause I don't know how. Now I'm doubting the diagnosis.
 

CobraDave

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That will work

Ok I bought this HF meter. What setting should it be on? Am I testing to see the drop in voltage? So the battery I think is around 13v so comparing that to what it reads in the ram when coming down right? Also does this mean I have to splice the wires to test them?
 

Rexone

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To test voltage you simply touch positive lead of tester to positive wire and same with negative.

To test amps you must put the tester in series (inline).

You will likely see significant voltage drop when you run the actuator under load. This is a sign that the wiring is not capable of moving enough amps in that size wiring over that distance. You will likely find also if you ran the actuator for extended ups and downs the wiring would get very warm to hot. Another sign of not adequate wire size for distance. Wiring and connections should never be anywhere near hot if of adequate size for the load.

Imagine a plumbing pipe capable of passing 1 gpm at given pressure and a device requiring 3 gpm on the end, of liquid. Analogy is that you would be starving the hatch ram for juice (amps). Amps is volume of current in the analogy.

ps your tester only has a 10 amp setting so unless you KNOW that the ram requires less than 10A I'd advise not trying that test with that meter.
 

CobraDave

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To test voltage you simply touch positive lead of tester to positive wire and same with negative.

To test amps you much put the tester in series (inline).

You will likely see significant voltage drop when you run the actuator under load. This is a sign that the wiring is not capable of moving enough amps in that size wiring over that distance. You will likely find also if you ran the actuator for extended ups and downs the wiring would get very warm to hot. Another sign of not adequate wire size for distance. Wiring and connections should never be anywhere near hot if of adequate size for the load.

Imagine a plumbing pipe capable of passing 1 gpm at given pressure and a device requiring 3 gpm on the end, of liquid. Analogy is that you would be starving the hatch ram for juice (amps). Amps is volume of current in the analogy.

ps your tester only has a 10 amp setting so unless you KNOW that the ram requires less than 10A I'd advise not trying that test with that meter.

Rex I really appreciate the response. So I tested the voltage first by putting the tester on the positive and negative terminal. It read 15. Then I did it under load at the ram and it read 11.5.

Btw it doesn't sound like it is suffering a power loss. What are your thoughts?
 

CobraDave

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I take that back. It was hooked up to the charger. On the battery was 13.8.

Under load at the ram was 11.1
 

LargeOrangeFont

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Rex I really appreciate the response. So I tested the voltage first by putting the tester on the positive and negative terminal. It read 15. Then I did it under load at the ram and it read 11.5.

Btw it doesn't sound like it is suffering a power loss. What are your thoughts?

Ours are just not going to open super fast. I have not seen anyone with rams like ours open in a second or two. The boats that have the small ram on the hinge open in a couple seconds. Is yours sticking anywhere? Mine does not stick, but one closes about 1/2" before the other side. It takes maybe 5-7 seconds to open or close.
 

CobraDave

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Ours are just not going to open super fast. I have not seen anyone with rams like ours open in a second or two. The boats that have the small ram on the hinge open in a couple seconds. Is yours sticking anywhere? Mine does not stick, but one closes about 1/2" before the other side. It takes maybe 5-7 seconds to open or close.

It just sticks in the closed position. I have to toggle back and fourth to get it to start opening.
 

spectracular

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Rex is spot on. Touching the + and - on the meter and watching the voltage drop is a start...but you really want to know what the amperage is flowing through the circuit. The way to do that would be to unhook one wire from the ram and connect it to one lead on the free/harbor freight meter. Then take the other lead from the meter and connect it to the ram. You will need to swap where the lead run into the meter too and set the meter to measure amperage. Then...you need to watch the meter as you lift the hatch. The ram will be working the hardest when first opening the hatch. It will be in that 1st second that you will see the amperage spike. Once the initial "stiction" is overcome, you'll see that the amperage drops off and then just sort of settles in unless the hatch ram encounters some additional resistance. Because the fuse on the meter is only 10 amps, there is a good chance you will fry the fuse...you only live once.

You can 100% rule out the wiring with a pair of jumper cables. To do so...simply mark which wire on the ram is + and which is - . Then hook up the negative jumper cable to the battery and to the negative ram wire. Then hook up the + side of the jumper cables to the battery, and then BRIEFLY/MOMENTARILY touch the + ram wire. The ram will now have ALL of the power available from the battery without constraint.

If the ram struggles when hooked up to a freshly charged battery, you either need a new ram, a second ram, or a gas-spring assist.

If the ram hauls ass and has no issues...congratulations...you have a wiring issue...undersized wires and or a switch that just isnt performing as well anymore...in this case a relay will help you!
 

spectracular

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Is from 13.8 to 11.1 a significant loss?

You will get differing opinons. I don't think it is too bad of a loss...but you are getting close to 10 volts at which point I'd replace the battery. The thing is that it is a temporary drop. It sounds like the battery recovers. When you start the boat, I bet the voltage drops way lower than 11 volts.

It's not ideal...but it is workable.
 

CobraDave

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You will get differing opinons. I don't think it is too bad of a loss...but you are getting close to 10 volts at which point I'd replace the battery. The thing is that it is a temporary drop. It sounds like the battery recovers. When you start the boat, I bet the voltage drops way lower than 11 volts.

It's not ideal...but it is workable.

Thank you. I'll keep looking at this. I'm gonna hit the water and drink some beer.
 

Flying_Lavey

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Thank you. I'll keep looking at this. I'm gonna hit the water and drink some beer.

Are you getting the 11.1 at the battery or at the ram? in my opinion if you're getting a reading of 11.1 at the ram and anything higher at the battery when you first hit the up switch, your wiring is too small.
 

CobraDave

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Are you getting the 11.1 at the battery or at the ram? in my opinion if you're getting a reading of 11.1 at the ram and anything higher at the battery when you first hit the up switch, your wiring is too small.

11.1 at the ram while it's moving.
 

LargeOrangeFont

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It just sticks in the closed position. I have to toggle back and fourth to get it to start opening.

Gotcha. Wire the thing directly as stated and see what happens. If it is significant improvement, keep chasing it. If not, then leave it alone aside from the sticking (probably not a voltage issue) - Mine does not stick.
 

LargeOrangeFont

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That I don't know. I guess that's a better gauge of loss...

Correct. Also test the battery voltage as it sits, then hit the hatch button and see if there is a drop.

Does it do the same things and operate at the same speed when the engine is running?
 

Rexone

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Voltage loss is measured at the ram. If battery voltage drops at the battery significantly the battery is not in good shape just from hitting the ram switch.

But again, it is the amperage shortage that will cause the voltage loss at the ram. The jumper wires are an excellent test as suggested above and will tell you immediately if a relay will help, you don't really need to meter it if there is a significant gain of speed at the ram with the jumper test. It tells you there is a problem and the numbers don't really matter.
 

Big B Hova

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Jump a power and a ground wire straight to the ram and see what happens. I guarantee you it will not get stuck. My 1991 eliminator has the original ram that I thought was broken. I had the same problem, stuck when shut. I'd hit the switch back and fourth many times, lift on the hatch, then it would open slowly.

Now with the relay wired up...

[video=youtube;N9W7eJg804k]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9W7eJg804k[/video]
 

3.Slow

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So I bought the relay from the Amazon link. Service guy said I'm already getting full power to the Rams, they just are installed in such a way causing them to bottom out when closed ,which makes them stick.

I have a brand new relay if anyone is interested and I'm headed to havasu. View attachment 490354 View attachment 490355

I tried to follow the thread but couldn't figure out if you ended up installing this or not, I need one, if its still available I will take it :D
 

Big B Hova

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Racey

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I'll vouch for the amazon one as well, just put one in a customer's boat whose dash switch had worn out, the switch wouldn't flow the current to run the actual motor, but would still flow enough to be measured by a volt meter, and run the relay.

Installing the relay saved him having to have me open up the dash, hunt down the matching replacement switch etc, and now the hatch actually runs at full speed. :thumbsup
 

boatnam2

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So i got a question, say one were to show up to get boat, upon opening hatch you realize your batteries are dead, how do you get hatch up?
 

Heylam

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A well rigged boat has a removable cushion or panel where you can access a pin to release ram. Or a remote charge point to get your batteries back up.
 

boatnam2

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A well rigged boat has a removable cushion or panel where you can access a pin to release ram. Or a remote charge point to get your batteries back up.

I will look around, didnt see anything.
 

charlyox

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So i got a question, say one were to show up to get boat, upon opening hatch you realize your batteries are dead, how do you get hatch up?

My boat has two access holes under the back seat where I can pull the pin and lift the hatch up manually. I keep a piece of PVC pipe to prop it up with and then do whatever I have to do.
 

boatnam2

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My boat has two access holes under the back seat where I can pull the pin and lift the hatch up manually. I keep a piece of PVC pipe to prop it up with and then do whatever I have to do.

I will take a look this weekend danny, see whats up for shizzle.
 
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