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#10774426 - 04/17/15 08:25 AM How to: iPilot on a Powerdrive V1 to V2 conversion
sloveless Offline

Registered: 10/27/11
Posts: 195
Loc: Sachse
Okay, so I've been meaning to post this up for those of you that are interested. This is not my original idea, I found this on some other fishing forums. I don't know the original genius that did this, so unfortunately can't give credit where it is due.

This is how to convert an older V1 Powerdrive trolling motor to a V2. Why would you want to do this? Two primary reasons:
1. Replace your old electronics if they are simply not working. OR
2. Add an iPilot accessory to a V1 without having to buy a whole new TM! clap

So, first things first: all you need to buy is a new control board, plus any new controller you want to hook it up to. So if you still want a foot pedal for your new V2 motor, you will need to buy a new foot pedal. If you are only going to use the iPilot, just buy the control board and the iPilot.

The control board itself costs about $100 depending on the model you get. If you google "Northland Marine powerdrive control board" you will come to the website where I bought mine. They shipped to me in ~4 days, and everything works great for me.

You need to buy a Powerdrive V2 control board, in the voltage that your current motor is! So if you have a 24V system, buy the 24V V2 board, if you have a 12V system, buy the 12V V2 board.

Unless you plan on using a foot pedal with your current autipilot motor head, it does not matter whether you buy the AutoPilot (designated by letters "AP" in the control board name) or the non-AP board.

You will be replacing the motor head if you plan on getting an iPilot, so just buy whichever board is cheaper.

This is a conversion that pretty much anyone can do. The only thing that was even slightly difficult was I had to change a connector on a single wire. If you have a basic knowledge of soldering (or even crimping) connectors onto wire, you can do this in your garage in <30 minutes.

So first here is your Powerdrive V1 base:

The side panels have screws, just unscrew them and take the side panels off. The central plastic cover just pops right off, and you see this:

The black plastic piece on the right is the top cover - that has your battery monitor and your steering motor wires pass through it.

At this point I would suggest taking a few pictures of which wires are connected where, just in case you need to reference them. Wiring diagrams are available on the site I mentioned above - get diagrams for your old V1 board as well as your new V2 board so you can compare. Some of the wire colors will be different. Please note that my V1 is an Auto-Pilot version, so I have 5 extra wires that go to my motor head for that functionality. If you have a non-AP version, you will not have these wires.

After you snap a few pics, unplug all of the wires. Take out your old control board (there are two screws on the outside of the aluminum housing on the left side of the pictures).

You will also want to unscrew the strain relief plate so that you can remove your old foot pedal cord. The old foot pedal has the flat plug, and the whole reason we are changing is this:

Your new board has the round plug that works with an iPilot - nifty huh?

Now just slide the new board in like so, and affix it to the aluminum housing with the two screws:

Nice and clean huh?

Okay, now you get to start re-connecting.

I started with the motor wires and re-mounted the strain relief with my new control board plug:

Then continued with the battery +/- connections, steering motor connections, and battery monitor cables. The brown mid-rail (12V) line to the battery monitor is the only cable I had to modify - it just needed a different connector. All of the other wires should already have the proper connectors. Just plug and play.

Sorry for the fuzzy picture, didn't realize it looked so bad. Please note that I have five additional wires coming from my TM head unit @ the bottom- these are the AutoPilot wires. Since I am eventually going to replace with an iPilot, I bought the non-AP V2 board, so I have no place to connect these. Just pay attention to your wiring diagrams.

As with anything electrical, test the system before you heat the shrink wrap! If you made a mistake or missed a connection, you don't want to have to cut it all off just to find your error.

Mine works flawlessly with the V2 foot pedal that I also bought. I'm saving up for the iPilot in the next few months hopefully. banana

It is a hell of a lot cheaper to put a $100 board in your current motor than buy a new $1k TM, then have to buy the iPilot as well. Let me know if anyone has questions.

#10905969 - 06/09/15 02:25 PM Re: How to: iPilot on a Powerdrive V1 to V2 conversion [Re: sloveless]
sloveless Offline

Registered: 10/27/11
Posts: 195
Loc: Sachse
Just as an update, bought myself an iPilot last week and installed it in about 30 minutes on my converted Powerdrive V1.

Went out fishing Sunday morning and it worked like a charm! Such a great little toy that made fishing so much better. So glad that I was able to switch out the board instead of having to buy a brand new trolling motor. partyon


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