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Old 10-08-2019, 05:24 PM   #1
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rudder angle indicator problems

My upper helm indicator shows the opposite direction,while the lower helm
indicator is operating normally.Ive got 13 volts at both gauges and the wiring diagram is what is shown in the owners manual.they both operate in either direction but the upper one is going the wrong way,Would appreciate any input.
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Old 10-08-2019, 06:05 PM   #2
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What brand system do you have? Model of the gauges, sender, and calibration box, if you know them?
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Old 10-08-2019, 06:12 PM   #3
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Polarity wrong, methinks
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Old 10-08-2019, 06:18 PM   #4
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There VDO gauges,made in 1988,thats all Ihave at hand will be on board tomorrow with more details.
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Old 10-08-2019, 06:31 PM   #5
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Polarity wrong, methinks
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Old 10-08-2019, 06:43 PM   #6
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""""""My upper helm indicator shows the opposite direction""""""
""""""Polarity wrong, methinks""""""

Agreed.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:01 AM   #7
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I'm not super familiar with the VDO units, in particular. So, I guess I'm waiting to learn what model it is so that I can look up the wiring diagram.

But, something here doesn't strike me as what I'd expect. My impression of most of these rudder units is that the sender, itself, is a variable resistor, changing resistance with position. At the middle position, i.e. neutral rudder, it be at half of its range.

And that the gauge is placed in series with the variable resistor and contains either an ammeter or a voltmeter in parallel with a resistor of known value serving as a voltage divider.

So, if we have a single station sender, the resistance range is X to Y ohms. And, if we have a dual station sender, it is 2X to 2Y ohms. This way the same gauges can be used even though the voltage or current will be divided.

In other words, I don't think that one rudder direction is indicated by current going one way and the other rudder direction is indicated by the current going the other way. I could design such a circuit. And, it wouldn't be super complicated. But, it would be more complicated. And, I'm not sure that I see the gain. More parts and cost are the things I immediately see.

And, the wiring I've always seen on these things wouldn't necessarily work for something more complicated. It has always had + and - going to a backlight on each gauge, and + going to each gauge's meter. Then - from each gauge's meter going to the sender, and from there to ground. I'd expect, minimally, a 3rd wire on the sender for a more complex design, though this isnt necessarily the case.

It almost sounds to me like something is hooked up really weird in the circuit, such as one of the gauges being in parallel with the sender and the other in series with the sender, or something. Then one would move left as the other moved right.

I'd suggest checking that wiring again. I suspect each gauge should be getting independent connections to power + and - as well as the sender.

So, ignoring the light for a moment, if you put your meter on + on each gauge, I think you should be seeing 13V on each. And, if you put your meter on -/gnd on each gauge, I think you should be seeing 0V and continuity with ground (with circuit power off to protect meter). And, also, with circuit power off, measuring from sender to ground at each gauge you should see the same resistance at each gauge, even as the rudder is moved from one stop to another. If you don't see this, the problem is the wiring, not a gauge or the sender.

And, I don't think it is going to be as simple as flipping the plus and minus wires.

But, again, I could be totally wrong about how your system works. I don't know that I've ever seen or touched one and haven't seen a wiring diagram for it, etc. I am totally guessing.
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Old 10-09-2019, 08:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gkesden View Post
I'm not super familiar with the VDO units, in particular. So, I guess I'm waiting to learn what model it is so that I can look up the wiring diagram.

But, something here doesn't strike me as what I'd expect. My impression of most of these rudder units is that the sender, itself, is a variable resistor, changing resistance with position. At the middle position, i.e. neutral rudder, it be at half of its range.

And that the gauge is placed in series with the variable resistor and contains either an ammeter or a voltmeter in parallel with a resistor of known value serving as a voltage divider.

So, if we have a single station sender, the resistance range is X to Y ohms. And, if we have a dual station sender, it is 2X to 2Y ohms. This way the same gauges can be used even though the voltage or current will be divided.

In other words, I don't think that one rudder direction is indicated by current going one way and the other rudder direction is indicated by the current going the other way. I could design such a circuit. And, it wouldn't be super complicated. But, it would be more complicated. And, I'm not sure that I see the gain. More parts and cost are the things I immediately see.

And, the wiring I've always seen on these things wouldn't necessarily work for something more complicated. It has always had + and - going to a backlight on each gauge, and + going to each gauge's meter. Then - from each gauge's meter going to the sender, and from there to ground. I'd expect, minimally, a 3rd wire on the sender for a more complex design, though this isnt necessarily the case.

It almost sounds to me like something is hooked up really weird in the circuit, such as one of the gauges being in parallel with the sender and the other in series with the sender, or something. Then one would move left as the other moved right.

I'd suggest checking that wiring again. I suspect each gauge should be getting independent connections to power + and - as well as the sender.

So, ignoring the light for a moment, if you put your meter on + on each gauge, I think you should be seeing 13V on each. And, if you put your meter on -/gnd on each gauge, I think you should be seeing 0V and continuity with ground (with circuit power off to protect meter). And, also, with circuit power off, measuring from sender to ground at each gauge you should see the same resistance at each gauge, even as the rudder is moved from one stop to another. If you don't see this, the problem is the wiring, not a gauge or the sender.

And, I don't think it is going to be as simple as flipping the plus and minus wires.

But, again, I could be totally wrong about how your system works. I don't know that I've ever seen or touched one and haven't seen a wiring diagram for it, etc. I am totally guessing.
I'm with you on this, gk. One way to test would also be to hook up each gauge independently one at a time and verify correct operation.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:26 AM   #9
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Hey Boathealer,

The only challenge, I think, to a one-at-a-time test is that the senders for dual station setups normally have half the resistance of the single station senders so that when two gauges, one per station, are paralleled cutting the resistance on the gauge side in half, the ratio between gauge-side resistance and sender-side resistance stays balanced for the voltage divider to work the same way.

So, I'd expect each gauge to be compressed to half the range and maybe not be able to read full port by a hair.
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Old 10-09-2019, 05:07 PM   #10
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Thanks to all for your input,your right the polarity was wrong,both stations are now responding normally,the PO had all new electronics installed and there have been
a few we have trouble shot.
:Keep your stick on the ice and your oars in the water:
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Old 10-09-2019, 05:52 PM   #11
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Huh! But, nice!
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Old 10-12-2019, 02:51 PM   #12
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rudder indicator

On my boat I have a upper and lower station the lower station does not work at all and the upper station only partially works. Neither one works if I start the boat from the lower station.Any idea what could cause this. 40 fr 07 Mainship trawler Tom
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Old 10-12-2019, 04:49 PM   #13
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Tomsboat
All I can advise you to do is troubleshoot all your wiring,and go on line to
get the schematics for the type of system on board,just an idea,worked for me.
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Old 10-12-2019, 10:33 PM   #14
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Tom,

Do the other gauges work?

Often when problems appear when started from one station but not the other it has to do with the 12V supplied by the accessory or ON circuits from the key switch, possibly via a relay. So, you might start out looking for a good 12V.

Beyond that, see which brand and, if possible, model of sender and gauges are involved. Often these things are just a variable resistor as a sender and two ohm meters as gauges. But, as this thread itself demonstrates, that isnt always the case.

Regardless, it is often the case in these circuits that one bad gauge or bit of wiring can disable both stations.
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Old 10-19-2019, 02:20 PM   #15
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wiring diagram

I have a 40 ft 2007 Mainship trawler does anyone know what the wiring diagram is for a dual station rudder sender . I have 2 stations and I believe it is energies by one of the engine start double pole double throw momentary switches
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