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genEus

Big Jon electric DRs trip internal breaker on retrieve

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Since the forum doesn't like people searching for 3 letter words (go figure), maybe this topic has been covered but I wouldn't know.

 

The following search terms are not allowed and were removed from your query: big,jon

 

Anyways, I got 2 electric Big Jon downriggers that came with the boat last year. I only now started using them pretty heavily, and unfortunately both of them when retrieving the balls, overheat and pop the breaker that's on them. It's pretty annoying to say the least, when it takes 5 minutes of waiting for the motor to cool off, and resetting the breaker every 5 or 10 feet of retrieve, to get your balls back up in the air, before you can redeploy them. And I am afraid the issue will get worse.
 
Does anyone have experience with this particular problem? I did see someone say in Google search results that they replaced the main line going to the Big Jons to a heavier gauge, but that doesn't make sense to me, since it's not that some "main" breaker trips, but it's the one on the DR itself, which indicates that it's simply struggling to bring the balls up, draws too much current and trips the breaker.
 
 My plan of attack right now is 
1) call Big Jon and see what help, if any, they can offer in terms of troubleshooting
2) taking them apart and greasing anything that moves
3) replacing brushes on the motors (Google search results helped with finding similar fitting new brushes)
4) ?
 
Btw, I just saw this sucker (mine look exactly like this one) on Craigslist for $350,
I know mine is old but I heard they're indestructible.
 
 
Thanks for your help
Edited by genEus

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Your plan to call Big-Jon first is the way to go. Called them a month ago with a question and was told that I would be contacted by a tech. 30 mins. later my question was answered. My question to you is how heavy are your weights. BJ says 12lb. max for the Capt Packs or motors will overheat. Good luck :yes:

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Your plan to call Big-Jon first is the way to go. Called them a month ago with a question and was told that I would be contacted by a tech. 30 mins. later my question was answered. My question to you is how heavy are your weights. BJ says 12lb. max for the Capt Packs or motors will overheat. Good luck :yes:

I'll have to weigh them to be sure, but I think they are 8lbs. By the amount of blowback I get they're definitely not "heavy enough." I'll give Big Jon a call later.

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Since the forum doesn't like people searching for 3 letter words (go figure), maybe this topic has been covered but I wouldn't know.

 

The following search terms are not allowed and were removed from your query: big,jon

 

Anyways, I got 2 electric Big Jon downriggers that came with the boat last year. I only now started using them pretty heavily, and unfortunately both of them when retrieving the balls, overheat and pop the breaker that's on them. It's pretty annoying to say the least, when it takes 5 minutes of waiting for the motor to cool off, and resetting the breaker every 5 or 10 feet of retrieve, to get your balls back up in the air, before you can redeploy them. And I am afraid the issue will get worse.
 
Does anyone have experience with this particular problem? I did see someone say in Google search results that they replaced the main line going to the Big Jons to a heavier gauge, but that doesn't make sense to me, since it's not that some "main" breaker trips, but it's the one on the DR itself, which indicates that it's simply struggling to bring the balls up, draws too much current and trips the breaker.
 
 My plan of attack right now is 
1) call Big Jon and see what help, if any, they can offer in terms of troubleshooting
2) taking them apart and greasing anything that moves
3) replacing brushes on the motors (Google search results helped with finding similar fitting new brushes)
4) ?
 
Btw, I just saw this sucker (mine look exactly like this one) on Craigslist for $350,
I know mine is old but I heard they're indestructible.
 
 
Thanks for your help

 

 

Small wiring causes voltage drop, so if your wiring is in fact too small your motors have to draw more current in order to operate. This can cause an overheating scenario. 

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Small wiring causes voltage drop, so if your wiring is in fact too small your motors have to draw more current in order to operate. This can cause an overheating scenario. 

 

Matt! :)

 

The DRs came with the boat and I know that the owner before the last one used the boat to charter on Cdga lake - so I presume he wouldn't have gotten far with DRs that tripped the circuit if he were a captain. So, that leads me to also lean away from thinking the boat circuitry is bad...

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Matt! :)

 

The DRs came with the boat and I know that the owner before the last one used the boat to charter on Cdga lake - so I presume he wouldn't have gotten far with DRs that tripped the circuit if he were a captain. So, that leads me to also lean away from thinking the boat circuitry is bad...

 

Makes sense :)

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It might be a good Idea to CHECK the wiring anyway....it could be compromised in some way...poor ground, corrosion, crack. Matt's suggestion is a valid one to check out regardless of previous results unless you have already done so...can't always assume that the problem is with the unit or the breaker for that matter....lot of other possibilities along the way....shorts are often "culprits"

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You can't assume anything. You have to systematically eliminate possible causes. My buss bar has gotten bad from being in a high moisture environment (boat) and the voltage to it is so low I can't even get my horn to work off it. So your wire gauge might be fine as you're assuming, but you might have a bad buss, bad wire, bad connections etc. etc.. Yes low voltage will definitely kick out your breaker.

It might be the motors (both?) too. Who knows without info. I think every do it yourselfer should have a volt meter.

Big Jon has excellent product service and will steer you straight in a timely matter. I had a bad rigger under warranty and they sent me a new one SAME DAY! You can't beat that. Good luck

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I'm all about the systematic approach. I'll definitely check and re-check everything I can and know how. Glad to have people to bounce ideas off of!!

Edited by genEus

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Big Jon support told me to send it in to get checked out. No amount of trying to squeeze out any troubleshooting tips worked. Oh well. Onto plan steps 2 and 3.

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For trouble shooting, it's easy enough to just new wiring over the deck, directly from the battery to the D/R. If it doesn't trip your breaker, you'll know what to do.

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If you're mechanically inclined take off the motor covers. Chances are you have a bearing in the back of the motor that is shot. This causes the motor to have excessive play and pops those breakers. If the bearing is fine just clean out the motor good with some break clean and a wire brush. Worth a shot.

Also make sure that your rigger line feeds from the bottom of the reel, not the top. This puts extra strain on the motor also.

You're going to need new motors. Get the HD motors- well worth the extra 10-15 bucks.

(Same thin happened to me earlier in the season)

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If you're mechanically inclined take off the motor covers. Chances are you have a bearing in the back of the motor that is shot. This causes the motor to have excessive play and pops those breakers. If the bearing is fine just clean out the motor good with some break clean and a wire brush. Worth a shot.

Also make sure that your rigger line feeds from the bottom of the reel, not the top. This puts extra strain on the motor also.

You're going to need new motors. Get the HD motors- well worth the extra 10-15 bucks.

(Same thin happened to me earlier in the season)

 

Couldn't I just buy some lightly used electric DRs for the same money as buying new motors? The BigJon guy on the phone today quoted $150 for a new motor.  :drunk:   I am going to play with them and see if there's anything I can do. I'm going to see if I can find a servo motor repair shop in Rochester - anyone know of any? 

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Got my motor off of walleyetackle.com- 120 a piece.

If you buy a pair of used riggers you might fall into the same issue- for 240 you'll have 2 "brand new" riggers!

Lol you should know by now you need to PAY to PLAY!!

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Got my motor off of walleyetackle.com- 120 a piece.

If you buy a pair of used riggers you might fall into the same issue- for 240 you'll have 2 "brand new" riggers!

Lol you should know by now you need to PAY to PLAY!!

 

Yeah I know I know... I just try to do 99% of all "fixing stuff" by myself. We'll see how far I can take it. Maybe I'll just suck it up for now and deal with it in the long winter months...

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Take off the back cover and magnet- very simple. You should be able to see something if there is a major failure.

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Have same riggers, was popping breaker on one, clutch knob not tight enough, use 12 lb balls, been working fine since. Check your voltage, especially at plugs.

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Opened both of them up a couple nights ago... Found the manufacture date of 1987. From the looks of them it seemed like it was the first time in 26 years that someone gave them a good once-over.

 

On one, one of the magnets that was surrounding the main motor body had unglued from the housing and stuck itself to the motor... Cleaned it up and epoxied the magnet back into place, cleaned the brushes and pumped a ton of Super Lube into the gear housing. Went out yesterday and not a single breaker trip, retrieving a 10lb ball.

 

Did similar cleaning on the other one and definitely made a huge improvement. Retrieving an 8lb ball about 70 feet, it tripped only twice. Much better already but I might add some more grease to it or something - it has a squealing sound coming from somewhere - maybe I just need to re-spool the wire. Both appeared to be almost bone dry inside the gear housing. Yikes. 

 

Still having a problem with accuracy. Lowering a ball to the counter's 70 feet hit the bottom in 100FOW. Hmmm...

Edited by genEus

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