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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Power Bimini Installation Tips & Tricks
    Posted: 02/26/2012 at 7:43pm
Didn't get it all done today, got a late start to a halfway decent afternoon (around 2pm). Most of the 1st half was pretty easy. Hardest part was not having another pair of hands setting up the port side actuator on the rail to adjust the center struts for the fit. Directions said to adjust them and side the unit back and forth etc but I found it easier to just measure the startboard side and see how far back it was from the door and did the same to the port side. However I did get off by 1/4in on one hole (just ream it out some) on the port side. It was nice of them to already have the actuators wired up but I took the end cap off just to see if I could tell where the red dot was and I couldn't tell Ouch.  All I gotta do now is finish wiring it up, put the rest of the center rails in, top rails and canvas (about 30 minutes maybe). Think I'll pull the toon out from under the canopy to get that done. It'll be nice tomorrow.
 
 
Standoff mounting - little trick here is to run the long screw in first to line it up before putting in the other screw cap as you'll feel it line up so you can screw them together by hand initially so you don't cross thread it.
 
 
On the actuator attachment screw for the bottom strut, run the long barreled threaded bolt in first all the way through, makes it easier to get the little short screw in and tighten it up.
 
 
Actuator with lower strut installed and ready to be mounted to the toon.
 
 
Starboard side actuator mounted, wire run below lip of console so water doesn't run down the wire into the console (drilled hole angled upwards). I decided not to cut the wire at this point. Lets say you at some point decide to sell your toon but you want to keep the power top and put a regular bimini back on. You'll have all your original wire available for a new run. NH Tooner, just a thing for you - I believe there will be PLENTY of wire since you indicated you want 2 of these on your boat, so I think there'll be plenty of wire from the front canopy to the console (least I think so). The port side wire length could be an issue to you would probably have to join the wires on the starboard side and then carry it on on a single strand to the console. (talking about dual power bimini's here).
 
 
Port side attached, ran the wire through the lean back near the cup holder, kinda hidden behind the rail, again drilled a hole upward angle so water doesn't run from wire in through the hole (very small hole anyways just barely get the wire through).
 
 
As you can see the port side standoff is square on the rail like the starboard side, time to finish the center rails, run the actuators up a little to put the top bimini rail on then mount the bimini canvas and it'll be done. BUT before I do all that, gonna take it loose from the actuators on the starboard side. Gonna at this point drill holes in the center bottom rail to run a wire down through the center rails to the starboard bottom side so I can mount the bimini anchor LED light, do it now while its easy to do and fish the wire through. I can run that wire through the same hole I made for the actuator wire. I'll put some split loom on the wire where it exists the bottom of that rail at the actuator attachment pin (as the rail is sharp there). I'll show the results of that tomorrow.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/26/2012 at 8:07pm
I see where you went into the seat on the port side with the wiring. How/where are you running the wires from the port side actuator to the helm? That's one thing that concerned me since I have underskin and can't run it under the boat.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/26/2012 at 8:10pm
Also, I wonder if the standoffs are nessesary or could the top lay down on the sunpad area like it does now on mine. Would something hit or would it be a problem for the actuators to go a little lower?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/26/2012 at 8:31pm
And did you have to cut the center rails to fit your 8' wide toon? Or did they just slide together?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/26/2012 at 8:39pm
Originally posted by rickdb1 rickdb1 wrote:

And did you have to cut the center rails to fit your 8' wide toon? Or did they just slide together?
 
I haven't buttoned them up yet, but considering there's only 3 inches on either side it'll slide right up no problem.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/26/2012 at 8:42pm
Originally posted by rickdb1 rickdb1 wrote:

Also, I wonder if the standoffs are nessesary or could the top lay down on the sunpad area like it does now on mine. Would something hit or would it be a problem for the actuators to go a little lower?
 
I think the biggest reason for the standoffs is to prevent marring your furniture from any rubs road vibrations could cause as well as the top of your fence rails
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/26/2012 at 8:47pm
Originally posted by rickdb1 rickdb1 wrote:

I see where you went into the seat on the port side with the wiring. How/where are you running the wires from the port side actuator to the helm? That's one thing that concerned me since I have underskin and can't run it under the boat.
 
Then I have an idea that might work, but it'll require more wire OR there might be enough from the port side to go to the rear behind the actuator, put some split loom on it, to go up into the rear bottom strut, through the tubing, center tube and back around to the starboard side actuator strut opening and either tie it in with the other actuator wiring there, or have enough wire added on to extend it into the console. That way you can avoid taking off your underskin. The split loom will protect that wire from chafing on that edge but I'd might put a wire tie to prevent the wire from moving except what little the actuators might do on that lower strut.


Edited by Wildcat Dude - 02/26/2012 at 9:03pm
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/26/2012 at 8:51pm
Now that's the ticket. Run it right back though the rails. Excellent idea..Thumbs Up
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/26/2012 at 9:11pm
Originally posted by Wildcat Dude Wildcat Dude wrote:

Originally posted by rickdb1 rickdb1 wrote:

And did you have to cut the center rails to fit your 8' wide toon? Or did they just slide together?
 
I haven't buttoned them up yet, but considering there's only 3 inches on either side it'll slide right up no problem.


I am very interested in HOW they fit with/without cutting them Charles. My rails are exactly 8'0" apart measuring to the outside of the rails. Railings are 1-1/4" square. Wondering if the canvas is tight in the up position if the center rails need to be cut. NOT front to rear but side to side & what prevents the canvas from moving side to side once installed???
Les
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/26/2012 at 10:11pm
The center rail supports do have marks on either side. I haven't really looked at that yet (nor does it explains it in the paper documentation) but it could be for cutting down to 8ft. See the video where they fit the canvas, you won't have to worry about it. Not only that, but if you mount a bimini light, that alone for sure will keep it shifting in my opinion. I'll look at that tomorrow when I do the finishing touches and let you know.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/27/2012 at 11:28am
Originally posted by rickdb1 rickdb1 wrote:

Also, I wonder if the standoffs are nessesary or could the top lay down on the sunpad area like it does now on mine. Would something hit or would it be a problem for the actuators to go a little lower?


You would want the stand offs because of the amount of down pressure involved when you power it down.  That is what holds it in place when trailering in the down position, and I believe it would make quite a mark if powered down on to a padded sun deck.  As for wiring the port side, I ran one wire from my helm up through the rail on the starboard side, tapped the actuator, then ran it over/around the other side through the rear hoop.  It's really very simple.
Feel free to contact me for help on your project!

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/27/2012 at 12:11pm
Thanks Ty. Sounds like the way to go to get to the port actuator. The other issue I see on mine is getting the wire from the actuator on the starboard side into the helm. I'd like to have it all hidden if possible, but with the way my railings are, it would be almost impossible to fish the wire through it. Course, they did it somehow to get the stern light wiring to the existing bimini strut on the starboard side, but I'm sure it was much easier before the railings were installed on the boat. The way it is now, the stern light wire runs down the slanted vertical fence framing member where the arrow indicates and then goes through the deck and then underneath over to the helm. I'm open to any ideas on a good way to run the new wires from the helm to the starboard actuator, as well as rehooking the stern light back up. I'm sure the actuator will not be positioned where the existing hole is for the stern light. Also, the distance from the railing to the helm is about 8".
 
 
 


Edited by rickdb1 - 02/27/2012 at 12:15pm
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/27/2012 at 12:34pm
I talked directly to the factory people this morning & they explained that even if you have to cut the center bows to fit it for the 8ft wide rails, the fabric is stretched tight (front to rear) once the top is opened up to its full position thereby reducing any slack along the sides. Was also told the pockets the bows run through are zippered & the boot actually covers the entire top when opened up thereby forming a double layer.

I personally don't see the need for the remote ($99.99) as a double pole/double pole located in a easy to reach position would allow anyone to raise the top to the radar position standing on the ground or standing in the boat. Since I have yet to underskin my boat wiring it will be easy.

Also asked about the overall length as I did not see it advertized & was told the actual length is 9'-8". There are plans in the works for making it longer in the future. It also measures 52" high off the top of whatever the rail height is. Since mine are 28" tall that means the overall height will be 80". Plenty tall for most people unless they are over 6'-6" tall. Charles might have to duck his head a little bit as he is a pretty tall guy. LOL Once my wife has decided on the color I will be calling PS & placing my order as they have them in stock.

Charles has convinced me I NEED one of those high back recliner chairs too without even realizing it. Gonna order me one when I order the power top. Bring On Another Thousand 
Les
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/27/2012 at 12:43pm
I forgot to mention the factory rep told me they had tested the tops in the raised positions at 70 MPH before they saw any signs of fabric damage. Also told me they had seen many people running at 50 MPH will raising/lowering the top. Those were on the hydraulic operated units but the new electric units where supposedly stronger then the hydraulic units. That's impressive IMO.  Heck, my boat won't even run 50 MPH so I guess I won't have anything to worry about. 
Les
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/27/2012 at 1:33pm
Just got back from lunch with a friend, had just pulled the toon out from under the canopy and prepping for the final fittings. Found out the 3in black marks were made by PontoonStuff to show to their retail staff to help them visualize to assist them in assisting phone callers with questions. Suits me just fine I said, I like being the guinea pig on most things LOL. Still waiting on answers to the questions I posed about remote settings.
 
Les, yes, you can wire the switch to where its convenient to be accessed (and I been thinking about that), say like between the console and fence rail for instance - after all its a fairly simple switch, course you'd want to wire it first before mounting it. 
 
Rick, do you have a tape fishing tool? You might consider drilling a small enough hole in the rail next to the console and one where the wire comes out near the actuator and fish it through (same for the bimini top light). My fishing tapes come in real handy and I also have one of the extendable wire hooks that'll allow me to reach 5ft and hook a wire. HF comes in handly for those kinds of cheap tools.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/27/2012 at 1:47pm
Yes, I have 2 fish tapes. I'll find a way, one way or the other.Smile It's just the way the rails are on mine that will make it interesting. I may run inside the railing down to the deck and then run it along the inside bottom of the fence in some small white 1/2" conduit over to the bottom side of the helm. If you notice, the top rail where the actuator will be mounted dead ends into the main rail right next to the helm. If I didn't have such a large distance from the helm to the rail, I'd just do it like you did..
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/27/2012 at 3:38pm
Originally posted by VaGent VaGent wrote:

I talked directly to the factory people this morning & they explained that even if you have to cut the center bows to fit it for the 8ft wide rails, the fabric is stretched tight (front to rear) once the top is opened up to its full position thereby reducing any slack along the sides. Was also told the pockets the bows run through are zippered & the boot actually covers the entire top when opened up thereby forming a double layer.

I personally don't see the need for the remote ($99.99) as a double pole/double pole located in a easy to reach position would allow anyone to raise the top to the radar position standing on the ground or standing in the boat. Since I have yet to underskin my boat wiring it will be easy.

Also asked about the overall length as I did not see it advertized & was told the actual length is 9'-8". There are plans in the works for making it longer in the future. It also measures 52" high off the top of whatever the rail height is. Since mine are 28" tall that means the overall height will be 80". Plenty tall for most people unless they are over 6'-6" tall. Charles might have to duck his head a little bit as he is a pretty tall guy. LOL Once my wife has decided on the color I will be calling PS & placing my order as they have them in stock.

Charles has convinced me I NEED one of those high back recliner chairs too without even realizing it. Gonna order me one when I order the power top. Bring On Another Thousand 
 
Did they give you any idea when the longer unit will be available?
Dave


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/27/2012 at 7:07pm
Ok got it done. Bad thing about eating a good Chinese lunch - SLEEP takes over right after I wrote the last message. Finally woke up around 2:30pm and got to it. I decided not to run the wire inside the frame for the LED bimini light, gonna run the wire on the outside and cable tie it (getting lazy). But took some pics of my wiring scheme which is just slightly different than the diagram shows but it works fine for me.
 
First going to show how I wired it the remote and switch to power/ground and actuators.
 
 
I didn't realize at the time that I had accidently pulled out my power leads. If you look at the wiring from right to left, there's ground to the remote and to the toggle switch, so two wires in that slot. Next to it should have been the power lead. One from the main power distribution (or fuse panel for some of you). Next is the two brown wires from the actuators in the next slot. Next is the two white wires from the actuators.
 
Now Black (substituted for Brown) wire on far left of remote is just an indicator for ground for the actuators which goes to the toggle switch tab that's under the ground wire. Same thing for the red wire (substituted for White) next to it, just indicates a positive lead for the actuators going to the toggle switch you'll see below.
 
 
Red Power Lead IS NOT NEEDED. Black on center left  is one of the two ground wires from remote. Black below it is the single black wire (for Brown wire of actuator), on the far left of the remote box.
 
 
The switch was stamped with a number. I used this as my orientation as  to which way is up or down, in this case it was UP if I toggled the switch upward to this number, so now I know which way is up since there are no markings on the front of the toggle switch. Would have been kinda nice if they used one of those metal bezels you see on some toggle switches that say UP / DOWN but that's ok. I know when I mount it, I hold it UP for UP and DOWN for DOWN. I might be old and senile but I think I can remember that LOL   REMEMBER Power to Toggle Switch IS NOT NEEDED if you are wiring a remote.
 
Another look at the remote wiring scheme again - just remember, you won't see the power leads in the pic as I accidently pulled them loose when I was taking pics.
 
 
Had I had the power lead hooked up, I might have been able to capture the blinking red light on the remote when its activated (by pushing the ON button). Here's a couple of pics from outside the boat when I was using the remote control to raise and lower the top. One thing I noticed is that is kinda sounds like its doing it in increments with the remote, and you won't get that using the toggle switch.
 
 
(DON'T LOOK AT THE DECK) LOL  Bimini fully deployed with remote
 
 
Positioned for that late afternoon sun
 
 
And down/stowed position and you CAN'T budge it. Now I wouldn't want to get my 270lbs jumping up and down on it it its STOUT Clap 


Edited by Wildcat Dude - 02/28/2012 at 5:47pm
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/27/2012 at 7:10pm
Oh and if you got the remote, I HIGHLY recommend soldering the two wires together before you insert it into the slots to tighten them down. I'd do it on those connectors as well as those connectors WILL allow moisture and corrosion to get in (so also get some dielectric grease too). I happened to have some on hand from my other wiring jobs.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/27/2012 at 8:00pm
Originally posted by NH Tooner NH Tooner wrote:

Did they give you any idea when the longer unit will be available?


NO sir they didn't but said they hoped to have a larger one out soon. The fabric is imported from somewhere & they needed to see about getting that ironed out first.


Edited by Wildcat Dude - 02/27/2012 at 11:42pm
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/27/2012 at 8:10pm
Nope, no cutting
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/27/2012 at 9:19pm
what straps? See the installation video, it pretty well spells it out, that thing is rock solid. Only straps there is, is maybe the boot cover if that.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/27/2012 at 9:23pm
Great job!Thumbs Up Question, in the diagram, I see where the 2 grounds are connected together going into the RF box on the far right just as you have them. But I only see one red (Positive) wire (Instead of the 2 you will have connected there) in the diagram going in next to the ground. Is that a step that was omitted in the diagram?
 


Edited by rickdb1 - 02/27/2012 at 9:23pm
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/27/2012 at 9:31pm

As it turns out - RED (jumper to Toggle Switch) IS NOT NEEDED



Edited by Wildcat Dude - 02/28/2012 at 5:49pm
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/27/2012 at 11:30pm
Rick and I were discussing this and we decided that it would help if all the posts I did and the questions that arose from my installation and wiring might help if it was here instead of my rebuild, so those of you that follow me in installing yours, will have somebody who's done it first kinda thing. This thread will be a little different as we'll allow questions for a while before we feel we've addressed everything and close it at that point.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/28/2012 at 12:08am
I'm going to modify my wiring job just a little to help out those not too swift on wiring and why I used Red & Black for the actuator leads from the remote to the toggle switch. I'll check a length of my starboard wire and use that instead so it'll keep everyone clear. When I get that done, I'll post a new pic and I'll also take a couple more pics of the remote wiring too so it'll show ALL the wires (since I didn't notice my power leads had pulled out). I'll get Rick to modify the printed wiring diagram to show all the connections as I did mine so you can't go wrong. I've got to find my soldering iron and flux. Right now we're still waiting on answers to programming the remote (going to experiment tomorrow as I got an idea) so as to prevent having one or more boats equipped with a PWR-ARM II to activating another PWR-ARM II if they are within range (100ft) of the remote. Also what does the silver toggle switch on the remote box does? What does the brown push button next to it does? Soon as I get the answers I'll post it.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/28/2012 at 1:22am
Guys just so you'll know, it WON'T matter which side the ground wire is on the toggle switch, it just provides a connection and it draws power from the Remote Box IF you are wiring for a remote. If NO REMOTE is involved, then you will need a power source to the toggle switch. (and it won't matter which side you connect it to) but it be up to you to know which way the orientation is when you raise/lower it.

Edited by Wildcat Dude - 02/28/2012 at 5:52pm
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/28/2012 at 6:49am
Originally posted by Wildcat Dude Wildcat Dude wrote:

Nope, no cutting


Are you saying you did not have to cut the bows in order to make it fit properly for 8ft wide rails?  They state you have to do that due to the fact its designed to fit 8'-6" rails.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/28/2012 at 9:34am
Ummm what part of the no cutting did you not understand Wink. Now if you want to cut, go right ahead but its not necessary. Just as I said before, if you're wanting to maintain everything as it was leave it just as is, so if you sell your toon and get an 8ft 6in wide toon, take off the power top and put it on the new wider toon would be no problem. If you cut them you would have to get new center pieces from a metal supplier and put that slight curve in it. Coil up any unused wire and leave it inside the console. The wires are 20ft long.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/28/2012 at 9:57am
I have the PDF now for programming the remotes but its a little lacking for show and tell except for the remote keyfob. So I'll post pictures here showing how to program it (or Rick can since he's so handy with those red arrows) Big smile.
 
Here's the explanation
Quote You can have several of these units next to each other and they don't interfere. It is a "rolling" type code and very rarely will one remote happen to work on another control box without being programmed specifically to that control.  I have attached a new schematic for the RF installation that shows the black "program" button and the silver "override" switch on the control box. The program button is used to program remotes to the control box and the silver switch will operate the top just like a helm switch in case you break your remote out on the water and need to get the top down to get back in and you didn't install a helm switch.
 
and the pdf uploads/1474/Programming_the_remote.pdf  So again, just right click, save as and save it somewhere on your computer where you can find it. You will need adobe reader to read it or some other pdf reader program (there are several free ones)
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