........so I rewired it!! Sorry - had to channel my inner Tim Allen and Christopher Walken's SNL skit there for a moment. But I digress........
Several of my friends have been anxiously awaiting my next modification to the Hobie Revolution 13. When people heard that I was taking a different approach to powering my fish finder, they were intrigued to say the least. Before I get into the details of the modification I performed this past weekend, there are a few key factors that must be understood for why I opted for the method I did.
First, I do not have the Hobie First Aid kit gear bucket accessory that many stow in the rear hatch. Second, I do not use the rear hatch for any storage other than potentially a small dry bag while on the water. Third, I was determined to use as many Hobie products as possible yet still educate others on how this install could still apply using the same concepts with other materials and kayaks if they so choose. Fourth, I was determined to keep the installation as waterproof as possible, having had to replace too many corroded connectors in my last kayak due to saltwater corrosion. Fifth, the battery box would need to be secured and not move around while either on the water or during transport yet still afford removal of the battery for charging when necessary or during transport. Try lifting a kayak solo with the extra weight of a 12v battery and you'll quickly understand my reasoning.
Understanding these factors will help you understand the method to my madness, and with that said, the first part of my fish finder installation began..........
Phase 1: Power
The parts I used were:
1 - Hobie Full Size Fish Finder kit (not all the pieces will be used in this part of the install)
1 - Hobie Deep Gear Bucket
1 - small piece of STS or other gasket-like material (2-3" piece will suffice)
1 - Liquid Tight wire fitting (wire size .08-.24)
1 - Dremel tool with a cutting bit
First, I removed the lid from the Hobie Deep Gear Bucket (Part# 74704021) and placed the foam block gently on the top of the gear bucket so as to not disfigure the bucket sides and cause an inaccurate sight line for the trimming I was about to perform. I used a regular ball point pen and started with the closest corner to mark where I needed to trim. My plan was to install the foam block in such a manner to not only allow the battery to sit upright to further reduce the chances of water corrosion from any potential standing water in the bucket, but also to make connecting and disconnecting the battery easier for when it was time to recharge it. The key here is to use some form of power cutting tool or rough sand paper to remove the excess foam but only a little at a time. Once the foam is removed there is no re-adhering it back.
If you insert the battery into the foam block prior to enlarging the cutout, you will again cause the bucket to deform and not fit inside the hatch opening cleanly. I only removed approximately an 1/8" of the inner cutout along the lower and side edges. Once the additional trimming is done, the battery should slide freely in and out of the foam block, and the block itself will most likely move freely inside the gear bucket.
NOTE: do not connect the harness to the battery - it is LIVE and can be an electrical shock hazard. The image below does not have the harness fully connected).
While some may not prefer the permanent fixture of the gear bucket, the weight is minimal at best, since the battery will be removed and installed when needed and not transported in the hatch. Doing so might result in loosening the gear bucket lid and allowing water in which is the next to last piece of the waterproofing puzzle, the last piece being the hatch itself on the Hobie.
installation of the fish finder.
Until next time - tight lines, be safe, take a kid fishing and thank any service member you come in contact with for the protection of your freedoms they provide.