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Old 10-07-2016, 05:39 PM   #1
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Exclamation Issues with Microcommander

Hi there, greetings from Argentina!
I just got my (new to me) 55 Ft. twin engine steel trawler back into the water after almost 3 years on the hard doing half life maintenance. Some weeks ago I replaced the old shabby cable controls for a pair of Mathers Micro Commander controls the previous owner bought about 8 years ago, but never installed. Controls were brand new in unopened boxes. Installation was done "by the book" by a certified electrician and everything runs smooth while in gear....
According to the manual you can accelerate the engine(s) in the "gearbox disengaged" mode.
To do so, you want to place the lever in neutral and press the control button while moving lever forward until light goes from steady to blinking red... but this does not happen this way in my unit, as it only happens when moving the lever(s) backward. While in this mode the control (sometimes) emits a continuous beep indicating malfunction. We went through the whole wiring and jumper settings in the control boxes and nothing seemed to be wrong. any clues? Thank you!
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Old 10-07-2016, 06:21 PM   #2
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That may just be how the Microcommander works. I had one on a previous Mainship and I could never get it to advance the throttle while in neutral. But I was always trying to do it in forward. Maybe reverse was the trick.


In any case, call this guy. He is an expert in all things marine engine control- ZF Mathers MicroCommander
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Old 10-07-2016, 06:46 PM   #3
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I should know definitively, but I'm pretty sure mine only do fast idle in reverse.

There are also quite a few programmable setting accessible via a few buttons inside the main control box. Or at least there are on mine.

Google around and you can find the manual which is very thorough.
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Old 10-07-2016, 07:17 PM   #4
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I don't ever recall seeing them do fast idle in reverse.

"To achieve Neutral Warm-up Mode, position the Control Head lever(s) in the Neutral detent. Depress and hold the station transfer button while moving the Control Head lever(s) to the Ahead detent. (Refer to Figure 12"

The button you push should be on the side of the control facing you.

If it only goes into neutral idle in reverse you've got the wiring wrong.
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Old 10-07-2016, 07:20 PM   #5
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My does fast idle in forward. However, since you are still in neutral what difference would it make?
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Old 10-07-2016, 07:30 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Bay Pelican View Post
My does fast idle in forward. However, since you are still in neutral what difference would it make?
I guess if you don't care that its wired wrong, not much.
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Old 10-07-2016, 07:44 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Capt.Bill11 View Post
I don't ever recall seeing them do fast idle in reverse.

"To achieve Neutral Warm-up Mode, position the Control Head lever(s) in the Neutral detent. Depress and hold the station transfer button while moving the Control Head lever(s) to the Ahead detent. (Refer to Figure 12"

The button you push should be on the side of the control facing you.

If it only goes into neutral idle in reverse you've got the wiring wrong.
Well, I did exactly what the manual says... but it only works in "reverse"
Checked all the wiring and color codes are as supposed to be I have the feeling some of the jumper settings inside the control box may be wrong. Was looking for some "Ctrl - ALt Del" function to reset the box and start all over again!
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Old 10-07-2016, 07:49 PM   #8
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Mine works at all rpm in neutral. I have never tried it in reverse. When engaging the transmission to forward and advancing the throttles, the synchronizing feature doesn't work at all! I have to synchronize by ear which is no big deal but i would like the system to work as advertised.
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Old 10-07-2016, 07:50 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bay Pelican View Post
My does fast idle in forward. However, since you are still in neutral what difference would it make?
Well, I´m pretty scared of using the boat like that... cause anything may happen any time!
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Old 10-07-2016, 07:57 PM   #10
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Mine works at all rpm in neutral. I have never tried it in reverse. When engaging the transmission to forward and advancing the throttles, the synchronizing feature doesn't work at all! I have to synchronize by ear which is no big deal but i would like the system to work as advertised.
I tried it in reverse, cause it did not work in "forward" as expected....
About the synchronizing feature: This is not a standard feature as you need to have 2 more motherboards (one in each control box) installed and additional wiring + RPM´s sensors on each engine for it to work. Have you checked yours?
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Old 10-07-2016, 08:59 PM   #11
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So what does it do if you hold the button and push stick fwd? Does it go in gear, or just fail to rev when pushed past the detent?
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Old 10-07-2016, 09:05 PM   #12
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I take it back. I just read the manual for my Mathers 9000 ClearCommand control. It's very clear that it's forward only for fast idle. You press and hold the button, shift forward with the lever, then release the button. You now have throttle control in neutral. Maybe I was confusing it with Glendinning? Or maybe I'm just old and senile.

There are probably lots of different models of Mathers contols, so this may or may not apply to yours.

If you have a Clear Command 9000 family control box, send me a PM with your email address and I'll send you the manual.
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Old 10-07-2016, 09:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neurodoc View Post
Well, I did exactly what the manual says... but it only works in "reverse"
Checked all the wiring and color codes are as supposed to be I have the feeling some of the jumper settings inside the control box may be wrong. Was looking for some "Ctrl - ALt Del" function to reset the box and start all over again!
I just called a Mathers installer and service tech I know. He confirmed its a wiring issue.

I suggest you email Mathers so they can walk you through it.

I believe all you have to do is reverse a couple of wires.
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Old 10-07-2016, 10:22 PM   #14
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My micro commander works as advertised. Push button, move throttle forward and release button. My engines automatically synth when the engines are within 10 percent of each other in speed. Or, I can select single lever mode.

I love these throttles.

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Old 10-07-2016, 10:23 PM   #15
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Capt Bill appears to be on the right track. From the ClearCommand manual:

SYMPTOM: Cannot obtain Warm-up Mode while moving the Control Head lever in the Ahead direction, only in the Astern direction.

CAUSE: The Processor is sensing that the Control Head’s lever is moving in the Astern direction

REMEDY: Depress the Transfer Button while moving the Control Head lever in the Astern direction. If the LED begins to blink, the Control Head is incorrectly wired.

• Check the colors of the wires at pins 5 and 7.
• A right hand Control Head should have yellow at pin 5 and blue at pin 7.
• A left hand Control Head should have blue at pin 5 and yellow at pin 7.
• The Clutch Servo’s direction of travel must be changed with Function Code C5 if the yellow and blue wires are reversed.
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Old 10-08-2016, 07:01 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Ski in NC View Post
So what does it do if you hold the button and push stick fwd? Does it go in gear, or just fail to rev when pushed past the detent?
Cant tell you right now. I was so frustrated with what it did not do, that I have forgotten what it actually did. In a couple of hours I will be going to the boat and let you know. Thank you!
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Old 10-08-2016, 07:19 AM   #17
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Silly question, is it possible to install port and starboard bases opposite?
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Old 10-08-2016, 07:54 AM   #18
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Nice when it all works, but I'm glad I have Teleflex-Morse cable controls and a Glendinning synchronizer.
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Old 10-08-2016, 08:29 AM   #19
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Silly question, is it possible to install port and starboard bases opposite?
I think that is conceptually what's wrong. They make left and right handed controls, i.e. which side of the base the control stick is on. They need to be wired differently per post #15 above.

I think all that's needed is to swap the yellow and blue wires on pins 5 and 7. That will swap which stick direction is forward and which is reverse so that the warm-up mode works correctly. But then you also need to swap the gear shifting so you get the correct gear direction. With electric shift solenoids it would just be swapping the cables to the solenoids. For a servo cable shift the manual says you need to change Function Code C5.

You really just need the manual. It's very good - all 276 pages of it. This situation is specifically addressed in the trouble shooting section.
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Old 10-08-2016, 05:39 PM   #20
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I take it back. I just read the manual for my Mathers 9000 ClearCommand control. It's very clear that it's forward only for fast idle. You press and hold the button, shift forward with the lever, then release the button. You now have throttle control in neutral. Maybe I was confusing it with Glendinning? Or maybe I'm just old and senile.

There are probably lots of different models of Mathers contols, so this may or may not apply to yours.

If you have a Clear Command 9000 family control box, send me a PM with your email address and I'll send you the manual.
Mine is supposed to work just like yours.
My manual is aboard right now, will re-read it (for the 100th time) and see if I find that info troubleshooter. If not I´ll send you a PM! Thanks a lot!
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