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Old 11-08-2011, 06:00 PM   #1
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Electronic Throttle Controls

Has anyone replaced their throttles to electronic controls? We have twin 3208 Turbo cats and curious about the cost?
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:05 PM   #2
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RE: Electronic Throttle Controls

Yep, with Kobelt. *They work flawlessly and allow for very precise control over throttle, plus are progarmmable so you can introduce a split second delay before changing gears. *They allow multiple control stations as well as remote handheld controls over transmission, throttle and thrusters. *The Kobelt has manual overrides in the ER as well. *Very highly recommended, and as I recall, Kobelt was the most reasonably priced of the options I researched.
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:09 PM   #3
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RE: Electronic Throttle Controls

do you recall what the cost was?
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:14 PM   #4
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RE: Electronic Throttle Controls

Quote:
jlamb15 wrote:
do you recall what the cost was?
*$3,800.00 for the single unit, bronze. *There was added cost in the remotes. *You can see the unit on the starboard side of the gauge panel.
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Old 11-09-2011, 05:50 AM   #5
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RE: Electronic Throttle Controls

I have twin 3208 cats. My boat has the ZF Mathers Microcommander control system. I have controls in the pilothouse, flybridge and a 25' corded remote. I like the system. The throttles and transmission are on a single smooth lever with a postive detent for idle and neutral.* I think your looking at $7K or so for the entire system.

*
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:32 AM   #6
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RE: Electronic Throttle Controls

what are the benefits of the eletronic throttles? Seems like a large expense for?????

*
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:40 AM   #7
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RE: Electronic Throttle Controls

The main benefit is the ability to have remote or cockpit controls for ease of docking, or fishing. With cable controls it is harder to add an additional control staion and since the cables move mechanically they become harder to use over time. With hydraulic controls it usually more expensive to add another station than to replace the whole system with electronic controls.
If you add a remote control station marine surveyors will also suggest remote engine stops as a safety measure.
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:43 PM   #8
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Any recommendations on ZF Mathers MicroCommander techs in the Mid-Atlantic?
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:01 AM   #9
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You might want to check out Glendinning also for a price comparison: they offer a system like Kobalt and MicroCommander
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Old 04-22-2014, 07:43 AM   #10
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Delfin, did you install them or have them installed? How difficult were they to install.
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Old 04-22-2014, 07:46 AM   #11
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Delfin is a gone pecan.
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Old 04-22-2014, 08:49 AM   #12
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Zf Mathers Micro Commander for us. I love'em.
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Delfin, did you install them or have them installed? How difficult were they to install.
Not a totally gone pecan.....

The installation isn't difficult. Wires from a control head (about 1/2" cable) to the actuator. The main thing is mounting the actuator, which weighs a bit. From there it is short cables to throttle and gear shift. One advantage I don't recall being mentioned of electronic controls is their ability to be programmed with a very slight delay before engaging the gear. I have to assume this reduces wear and tear, and I have mine programmed for a 1.5 second delay before engagement. We also have two remote stations, which have come in handy when backing into impossible spaces as you can control everything from the top deck where you can see what is going on and whom you are about to run over. Handy.
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:26 PM   #14
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We have the Mathers-two full stations and a wing station. Love them! Have never had any issue at all with the system. Like Delfin, we have a short delay programmed. We were told the same thing Delfin mentioned-eases wear and tear on the transmission.
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:36 PM   #15
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Oh the Admiral is considering banning me from TF! I have just added this to my wish list of updates along with AP.

Where can one pruchase these electronic throttles?

I am going to have fun updating our manual 3208 T/A's.....
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:01 PM   #16
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Keep in mind adding an electronic control system presents an entirely new list of things that can (and do) fail. And they can fail in ways that can cause a loss of control in the most inopportune moments (been there!!). A neaby lightning strike can mean a dead boat, seen that too.

If you have mechanical engines, you are removing one of the best features of old style diesel power- the ability to run under adverse electrical conditions.

If the features are worth it to you, go for it. But fully understand the downsides.
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:10 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Keep in mind adding an electronic control system presents an entirely new list of things that can (and do) fail. And they can fail in ways that can cause a loss of control in the most inopportune moments (been there!!). A neaby lightning strike can mean a dead boat, seen that too.

If you have mechanical engines, you are removing one of the best features of old style diesel power- the ability to run under adverse electrical conditions.

If the features are worth it to you, go for it. But fully understand the downsides.
Interesting.....
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:43 PM   #18
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Interesting.....
One of the nice features of the Kobelt product, besides what I recall as better pricing, is manual overrides. True, you have to actuate the manual control from the engine room, buy that's what second mates are for.

6524 - Electronic Actuator
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Old 04-22-2014, 04:34 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlamb15 View Post
what are the benefits of the eletronic throttles? Seems like a large expense for?????

*
I have a Micocommander 585 ce on my auxiliary engine. One of my major mistakes. Now 15 years later the unit is no longer supported and you cannot buy/steal etc a 3" diameter plastic belt and must replace the whole unit. The unit has been the source of trouble over the years, in part because mechanics don't understand it. Spent a season trying to get someone to adjust it correctly after the auxiliary engine was moved when our tanks were redone.
Unit also fails if the electrical level is too low.

Currently have been waiting since January for the Microcommander dealer here to work on the unit. Basically he is not interested.

Have standard Morse controls on my main engine which get used 20 times as often as the Microcommander controls. So far with a thirty year old boat the Morse controls have not had to be served or even adjusted.
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Old 04-22-2014, 09:32 PM   #20
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I have micro commanders on our boat, the PO had them installed when the boat was new as a major upgrade. I have concerns about their reliability, but so far they have worked flawlessly.

They have some really nice features, the "beep" when they go into neutral is nice for tight quarters maneuvering. They shift really, really smoothly, so smoothly that they take a little getting used to. My flats boat throttle seems like a clunker now in comparison.

Only thing I have not liked so far, and perhaps you guys have a solution to this, is that you have to go to neutral to switch control from the lower helm to the upper. So if I am running on AP and want to go up to the FB, I have to stop the boat, run up, call for those throttles, then put the boat back in gear.
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