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Thread: Hour Meter Reliability

  1. #1

    Default Hour Meter Reliability

    I installed an hour meter awhile back and kept forgetting to check it. Finally did last trip and am a little confused with the results. Meter says I put on 16.1 hours. My cruise is anywhere between 22 and 26 mph depending on conditions and I went from Whittier to Hobo Bay and back in that range. I did 3 or 4 shrimp sets and some drift fishing close to shore at idle and a little zipping around in between. Hard for me to imagine I had the engine running 16.1 hours. I just topped off the tank and consumed 13.45 gallons of fuel on the whole trip. My hot wire from the meter is hooked to the tach and the negative goes to my neg. bus bar. Are these thing usually reliable or do I have it hooked up wrong?

  2. #2
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    If you leave the key on the hour meter will run, I put almost 200hrs on my boat before the batt died. Just an idea.

  3. #3

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    I understand what you are saying but don't think that is whats going on. When the key is off the motor/tach stops so thats why I hooked it up that way. I've left the battery switch on for several days and the meter doesn't change. There is no adjustment on it for me to mess up...maybe its giving me a multiple of actual hrs....closer to 8 hrs. seems more realistic than 16. Think that could be possible?

  4. #4
    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    That is a lot of hours but what concerns me is that you only used 13 gallons of fuel. I think we need to trade boats ASAP. Lol.
    Seriously, it seems as if the hour meter is getting constant voltage from somewhere. Out a meter on your power wire and that will tell ya for sure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garyak View Post
    : My cruise is anywhere between 22 and 26 mph depending on conditions and I went from Whittier to Hobo Bay and back in that range. I did 3 or 4 shrimp sets and some drift fishing close to shore at idle and a little zipping around in between.
    This read like a trick question I had in high school that I got wrong. So what's the answer?

  6. #6
    Member winibezold's Avatar
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    my hour meter runs when I have the key in the on position. even when the engine is off if I keep the key on for the bilge or washdown the clock ticks. so, maybe you're wired for key on power to the hour meter instead of key on engine running. koeo is basically the same as koer as far as the ignition switch is concerned.

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    You can't hook to the tach wire and expect it to work correctly. The tach is a pulsed signal so the hour meter would never read correctly. You need to hook it to a switched circuit or have it come on with oil pressure. A lot of engines have a violet wire that is meant to run the hour meter. One way to guarantee that it only runs when the engine is running, is to use oil pressure (four stroke engines) as a signal to trigger the meter. That sender must be a "switch-type" sender, not a resistance style sender that operates and oil pressure gauge. The other way is to use a diode on the wire coming off the alternator going to the batteries. There are also some hour meters that do have a hook up for a tach input but also require an additional 12v power supply to run the meter when it senses the pulse on the tach wire. Hope that makes sense

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by winibezold View Post
    my hour meter runs when I have the key in the on position. even when the engine is off if I keep the key on for the bilge or washdown the clock ticks. so, maybe you're wired for key on power to the hour meter instead of key on engine running. koeo is basically the same as koer as far as the ignition switch is concerned.
    If I was wired as you describe, wouldn't I still be accumulating hours while parked in the driveway? I left my battery switch on for several days after the trip to check just that...there were no additional hours added on the meter. My auto bilge pump is wired direct to the battery so it is always on while on the water. I do have a switch for that next to the battery for while at home where I hope it stays real shallow. Everything else goes through the master.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by HuntinAK View Post
    You can't hook to the tach wire and expect it to work correctly. The tach is a pulsed signal so the hour meter would never read correctly. You need to hook it to a switched circuit or have it come on with oil pressure. A lot of engines have a violet wire that is meant to run the hour meter. One way to guarantee that it only runs when the engine is running, is to use oil pressure (four stroke engines) as a signal to trigger the meter. That sender must be a "switch-type" sender, not a resistance style sender that operates and oil pressure gauge. The other way is to use a diode on the wire coming off the alternator going to the batteries. There are also some hour meters that do have a hook up for a tach input but also require an additional 12v power supply to run the meter when it senses the pulse on the tach wire. Hope that makes sense
    Well, there ya go...Thanks, HuntinAk. Rep points headed your way!!

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    I was also thinking you should not have wired the hour meter to the tack. Also why it did not effect your RPM's.

    With too much time on my hands and way to much curiosity I went out to my boat and measure the ac and dc voltage across the send terminal on the tack with and with out the hour meter across it and there was no difference in the acv, dcv, rpm's, or hour meter reading.

    This does not prove anything because we do not have the same hour meter or ignition. You might check and see if there is a difference in reading with or with the hour meter. If there is no difference it may not fix your problem if you move the wire. That not saying you should not move it.

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