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Need help for electronic steering for kayak motor. COMPLETE Newbie

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Old 06-25-2013, 02:15 PM
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silentskorn
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Location: sacramento, CA
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Default Need help for electronic steering for kayak motor. COMPLETE Newbie

I was hoping someone could give me some insight on a project that I am working on. Let me begin by saying I don't really have any experience whatsoever with electronics like the ones I am asking about. There is a great amount of information that I am seeking and I understand if someone may not want to help.

I have been in the process of attaching a trolling motor to my kayak (Full size). I already have it setup to run through a scooter controller and a throttle all connected to a 12 volt battery. I originally planned on just using the existing foot pedals to steer the kayak by turning the motor shaft; like most kayak rudder setups but with a motor instead. There is a threaded steel rod through the shaft with eyebolts on each end. Each eye would have a cable attached that would run through each side of the kayak to connect to the foot pedals. So basically if I pushed the right foot pedal forward then the wire would pull the right eye and turn the shaft counter clockwise.

However, I thought it would be awesome if I could do this electronically. This is where I hit my limit because I have no idea what to really look for. I have read about servo motors and linear actuators but once again I don't necessarily know if they would be functional.

Linear actuators seem like they would work. Basically if I had them attached to a switch, one side of the switch would activate the left actuator pulling the cable for the right side and vice versa. However, I am not sure how well they would work since I think I need one side to pull the cable and the other side to retract at the same time. Also from what I have seen they seem like they are on the more expensive side which is something else to consider. I don't have an extremely large budget so keeping it cheap-"er" is important.

Two servos seem like they could work also but I don't understand what I would need. I am not sure about how much torque I would need in order to pull the wire and twist the shaft while moving in water. With either actuator or servo there doesn't have to be a huge amount of movement. Pulling the cable 4 to 6 inches would probably be sufficient.

Waterproof parts aren't necessarily 100% important either because I'll make sure they are protected.

Like I said previously; I know this is a ton of information I am looking for and any insight and guidance of any kind would be greatly appreciated. I was also wondering if anyone had any recommendations for any book or other resource that would allow me to research these topics for the future.

Thank You

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