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T200 Truster motor

(Nowell Brown) #1

I just ordered a t200 thruster motor. I need a lot of help in fitting this to my kayak. I have read alot of the discussions associated with doing this. Can I assume that you cannot use a regular battery to run this thruster. I am only going to use it if i encounter wind coming back from a trip. HELP.

(Andrew) #2

I think this depends on what you define as a regular battery? A small car battery or lawn mower maybe but not your typical supermarket batteries.

Either way you would need to check voltage and current against the technical details of the thruster.

(Nowell Brown) #3

It would have to be a deep cycle I would assume.

(Nowell Brown) #4

Will this T200 thruster motor propel my tandem kayak. It is a Pelican Unison T136. Only need it to get back if wind is blowing. Thanks

(Daniel Heideman) #5

In general, when we say that a “regular battery” cannot be used to run our thrusters, we mean that they cannot be connected directly to the + and - terminals of a battery and be expected to run.

If you try to connect a battery directly to the motor (which is an interesting proposition, given that the thrusters have 3 wires and the batteries have only two), you will, at best, quickly discharge your battery and heat up your thruster. More likely, you will destroy your thruster, battery, and/or the wires you used to connect the two.

The brushless DC motors used in our thrusters require an electronic speed controller (ESC) to run. These devices switch power between the three motor leads in a way that causes the motor to spin. To tell the ESC how fast to turn you will need to send it a PWM signal. We recommend using our Basic ESC in conjunction with our Thruster Commander: information regarding their use can be found on the Thruster Commander store page.

As for the type of battery used, it depends on your expected runtime and the amount of thrust you require. The table below shows the T200’s maximum power consumption at two common voltages:

Voltage (V) Current (A)
12 15
16 21

This means if you have an 18 Ah lead-acid battery (12 V), it will last you:
(18 Ah)/ (15 A) = 1.2 hours

If you use one of our 18 Ah lithium-ion batteries (16 V), it will last you:
(18 Ah)/(21 A) = 0.86 hours

Of course, the 16 V battery will give you more output power, but for a shorter amount of time.

Deep cycle batteries would be preferable if you plan to use the thruster repeatedly. We find that our lithium-ion batteries work quite well over multiple discharges. But with lithium-ion batteries, you often need to take care not to over-discharge the batteries, or they will be permanently damaged and you may not be able to recharge them.

Further information concerning the performance/power consumption of the T200 thruster can be found on the T200 store page.

(Daniel Heideman) #6

Other people have attached T200s to kayaks, although most have installed two rather than one. Your top speed will depend heavily on the shape of your kayak’s hull, which is probably beyond the scope of this discussion.

However, I would guess that one T200 could push your kayak in calm water, albeit a little slowly, whereas two may give it some relatively decent speed.

Of course, if you use two T200s, you will cut your battery life in half.

(Nowell Brown) #7

Thank you for the info. I guess I will find out soon enough. Thanks again.