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bcd
03-14-2012, 01:35 PM
Does anyone know how the 2012 ballast system works and how to change fill times? I don't have plug and play, and I don't have the BIG display. I plumbed in extra sacs in my factory overflow and can't get them to fill all the way. This has been a 5 month ordeal so far, and I still have no resolution.

Here's what I've been told so far, not sure what is true:

The Jabsco timers are gone.

The ballast system senses current draw (load) uses that to determine determines when the tanks are empty and when to turn the pumps off.

I called Bay Area Watersports and they said they always do it with plug and play. They didn't think you could change fill times.

I called Texas Ski Ranch, and they said I needed updated software (wasn't sure if it was for the display or which controller it was). They said I needed version 2. something, and that since I took delivery of my boat last October, my software was out of date. Once I had new software, there would be a menu pick to adjust the fill time.

I took my boat down to my dealer last week to get the needed updates. He just called and said that the updates were done, including the software update. He also said that he called Mastercraft, and they said you had to have the plug and play option to be able to change the fill time.

Has anyone else run into this issue? Has anyone found a solution? I've got an idea on overriding the factory set up after it times out. I could use a double pole, double throw switch. When in the off position, the system will fill and empty at factory set up. After I fill my tanks, and the factory set up turns off, I can flip the switch which will kick the pumps on. Once I have water overflowing out the side of the hull, my bags will be full, and I can flip the switch off. When I want to empty, I can let the factory system empty everything since it goes off of load, not time. I couldn't verify this last fall because it wasn't emptying correctly, even when I only had the factory tanks full. It was supposed to be corrected while at the dealer.

Here's a schematic of my idea. Any thoughts?

vision
03-14-2012, 01:44 PM
When the pumps time out on filling, and you turn the pump switch to off, then turn it back on, do the pumps run for 10 seconds then stop? What do the pumps do when you cycle the power after they time out on a fill?

If you are going to re-wire the pumps, then I suggest bypassing the entire MC system and simply wire the pumps directly to a DPDT switch. Just make sure you use a switch rated for 20 - 25 amps.

bcd
03-14-2012, 02:47 PM
When they time out and I cycle the pump switch, it only runs for 10 seconds. That's a good idea to try cycling the key. I'll give it a tyr. When you cycle the key, it resets the setting and defaults to auto-level mode and starts to empty the ballast.

If I re-wire the pumps, I don't want to do a complete bypass. The ballast empties out the bottom of the boat, so I won't know when they are empty and when to shut the pumps off. I also don't want to have to plumb in all of the check valves to go back to the old system of emptying out the side hull ports.

Millertime
03-14-2012, 02:57 PM
Just cirious, what is the auto level mode?

tr6coug
03-14-2012, 03:33 PM
I can't believe what a mess MC has made of filling ballast tanks. First it was the Jabsco timers, then the second version of the Jabsco timers, then plug and play. All it really needs to be is a switch that fills, empties, and times out with a time that is easily set. So, you flip the switch it will run until it times out or until you turn it off.

I was thinking of designing this very thing for my '07 and scrapping the Jabsco timers. Anyone else interested in that?

bcd
03-14-2012, 10:45 PM
Auto level mode empties all of the ballast, sensing if the boat is listing to one side (ie everyone is sitting on one side of the boat), and then fills the opposite side ballast to level the boat. I've never actually tried using the feature.

snork
03-14-2012, 11:26 PM
I can't believe what a mess MC has made of filling ballast tanks. First it was the Jabsco timers, then the second version of the Jabsco timers, then plug and play. All it really needs to be is a switch that fills, empties, and times out with a time that is easily set. So, you flip the switch it will run until it times out or until you turn it off.

I was thinking of designing this very thing for my '07 and scrapping the Jabsco timers. Anyone else interested in that?

I'm interested

vision
03-14-2012, 11:30 PM
I can't believe what a mess MC has made of filling ballast tanks. First it was the Jabsco timers, then the second version of the Jabsco timers, then plug and play. All it really needs to be is a switch that fills, empties, and times out with a time that is easily set. So, you flip the switch it will run until it times out or until you turn it off.

I was thinking of designing this very thing for my '07 and scrapping the Jabsco timers. Anyone else interested in that?

Completely agree. Simple digital timer next to each directly wired empty/off/full switch. Hell, an analog egg timer switch would work well enough.

Was their a government official involved in the pump control design after 2006? certainly they made something simple exceptionally complicated.

bcd
03-17-2012, 08:55 PM
I took the boat out today and tried filling the ballast and cut power to see if the ballast setting would reset. It didn't work. I even tried turning the battery switch to off. It was too rough to wakeboard, so I only surfed. I filled the front and port side ballast, and then sat there cycling the fill switches every 10 seconds to fill them completely. When I finished surfing, I also filled my starboard side, but only to the factory fill time. I then hit the empty switch for all 3. When they finished, I pulled the boat out and hit the empty switches one at a time. The starboard side was empty, but the front and port side took about 5 minutes of cycling the switch to get them empty.

Looks like the empty cycle is run off a timer and doesn't since load like I was told, so my schematic above won't work. I like the idea of making an easy digital timer system and bypassing the POS factory set up completely.

vision
03-18-2012, 12:48 AM
I took the boat out today and tried filling the ballast and cut power to see if the ballast setting would reset. It didn't work. I even tried turning the battery switch to off. It was too rough to wakeboard, so I only surfed. I filled the front and port side ballast, and then sat there cycling the fill switches every 10 seconds to fill them completely. When I finished surfing, I also filled my starboard side, but only to the factory fill time. I then hit the empty switch for all 3. When they finished, I pulled the boat out and hit the empty switches one at a time. The starboard side was empty, but the front and port side took about 5 minutes of cycling the switch to get them empty.

Looks like the empty cycle is run off a timer and doesn't since load like I was told, so my schematic above won't work. I like the idea of making an easy digital timer system and bypassing the POS factory set up completely.

Sounds like the 2012 set up is exactly the same as the post 2006 set up with time limited relays still present. At least on your set up. I assume plug-n-play they simply remove the timers altogether?

sand2snow22
03-18-2012, 03:49 AM
We just installed basically the plug and play system on a 2008 X-15. There is a way to cycle the ballast pump switches to adjust the fill times. Ask MC or your dealer if you can still do this in 2012? If so, I can get you instructions.

MattsCraft
03-18-2012, 08:46 AM
Here is the process from '09, no idea if the timers are the same for '12.

BHT
03-18-2012, 05:46 PM
MattsCraft do you happen to know if the process is the same for 07 and 09?

MattsCraft
03-19-2012, 08:02 AM
MattsCraft do you happen to know if the process is the same for 07 and 09?

Not sure, but I think the timers wnet from 6 minute to 20 minute in '08, which would mean you most likely have 6 minute and would need to change to 20 minute module or remove.

See this post.
http://www.mastercraft.com/teamtalk/showthread.php?t=43365&highlight=ballast+Timers

bcd
04-02-2012, 11:31 AM
I talked to Mastercraft technical support and got the final answer - you need to have plug-n-play to get the factory system to fill extra bags. Since I didn't get the option, it would be expensive and very hard to install aftermarket.

My final solution was to say screw all of the timers and hard wire the motors with the factory fill switches and added relays. I unhooked all the factory connections and wired in 9 new relays and 45 new wires. I can post some pictures if anyone else wants to take this on. I finished it up Friday night, and tried it out Saturday.

Everything worked great until I tried getting cruise control to work. When I set it to wakeboard mode, it wouldn't ever kick in because of the open connection to the motors. I worked around that by going into set up mode through the display and setting the extra ballast setting to yes, which disabled the factory ballast setting. The wakeboard mode still flashes instead of coming on solid, but the cruise does kick in.

I originally wanted to add 3 DPDT through switches to tie my system in parallel to the factory, so I could use the factory to fill the stock tanks, and then flip the 3 DPDT switches to use the hard wired solution, but I couldn't find 3 DPDT Otto switches to match the factory. I called several distributors, and they were going to have to special order them. That also would have required me to also add 3 additional fill/empty switches and all the extra wiring, so I scrapped the idea.

bcd
04-07-2012, 08:00 PM
My issues continue. I was cruising today and tried to lower my attitude plate, and it wouldn't go down. I changed my boat settings to "bags installed", which I think is the plug'n'play option. This was to get my cruise to kick in since I unhooked my ballast motors and rewired them to relays. For whatever reason doing this also disables my attitude plate. I also tired running in ski mode, and the plate still didn't come down. I went back and unselected the "bags installed" option, and the attititude plate worked again.

Any ideas on how to resolve this? I'm thinking about plugging in some resistors that match the ballast motor resistance to trick the controller into thinking it's powering the motors. I'm not sure if they will get hot or not though, and if it's a bad idea or not.

bcd
04-28-2012, 11:51 AM
I've realized that without my attitude plate working, it takes a long time, a lot of power, and a lot of gas to get the boat moving when I load up 2000+ lbs of ballast. The first picture is a schematic of what I did to bypass the factory system. Since the boat ballast controller is an open circuit now, it won't enable zero off because it thinks the ballast isn't filling.

Option 1:
I tried wiring in some resistors into the factory ballast motor connectors to see if I could trick the system into thinking it was powering the ballast motors. The ballast motors have a resistance of around 1 ohm, which is around 170W of power (assuming 14.4V). I tried wiring in resistors down to 200 ohms, and it didn't work. I don't think using a 1 ohm resistor is feasible due to the size and amount of heat. Any other ideas for a fake load? I figure with that amount of power, I can't just turn it all to heat, so whatever I would plug in would have to do some sort of work - electric motor or fan?? Whatever it would be would have to be small and cheap, so I think it's out of the question. I know the best option would be 3 extra ballast motors to just fill my bags separately, but I don't want to spend that much plus try to package the extra plumbing, motors, etc.

Option 2:
The next option I have is to copy FourForty's recent install. His would be the cleanest and easiest, but since I didn't get trim tabs, I'd have to buy the $750 slave controller. I don't want to spend that much, plus I'm a little bitter about MC taking away programmable timers to make me spend $3000 for PnP to add extra bags.

Option 3:
MC does a software update to make fill/empty times and adjustable parameter through the monitor. This would be the easiest/cleanest/smartest option, but I'm not holding my breath waiting for it.

Options 4:
See picture 2. This is what I'm leaning towards. I would have to add 1 switch and 6 additional relays (2 for each ballast motor). The 1 switch would toggle all 6 relays between the factory controller and my current hardwired solution. I could then kick in the factory system to fill the hard tanks, which would enable my cruise. Once they timed out, I could flip the switch and then use the fill/empty hard wired switches to finish filling. Any of the electrical whizzes have a better wiring option to eliminate the switch or any of the relays? Can I use diodes to eliminate the extra switch? See picture 3. It's been close to 15 yrs since my last circuits class. I don't remember if I'm drawing the diode the right direction or if this is a correct application for it.

FourFourty
04-28-2012, 04:17 PM
You can do it with a variation of what you have drawn above..... If I was you, I would do one of the following, mostly because your system will be prone to problems when it is that complicated.

1- Get the slave, and the plug n play switch assy..... You need a 430 ohm resistor for the front tank, and a 280 ohm resistor for the combo aft tank circuit. I can walk you through the install. It is very simple.

2-Leave the ballast on an independant circuit, wire the wake plate direct to a switch, and turn the ballast and Bags installed options to off....

3-Hold your breath and hope MC does a software revision.


Knowing how fast MC gets this sort of thing done...... You will be waiting a while.....

Stefan
07-18-2012, 09:01 AM
Hey Folks,

how about adding a relay to the primary pump circuit to switch on the second pump for the bags? I know it needs the another pump plus plumbing per sac and thus you basicly only can fill one tank in combination with one bag at a time. but it still should work...

In case the factory ballast time is to short, one could add a timer relay to extend the time after the original times go off. Maybe using a timer relay at all, which just has a control input with low current is the best solution since it won't take much load of the factory circuit.

Disadvantages as I can see now are, you should wait a while for the secondary bag pumps to fill and empty after the primary ones are done, before eventually reversing direction, otherwise the bags stay half full/empty. You could even use a set of switches to decide beforehand between factory tanks only or tanks+bags. Another diadvantage is having to plumb/wire more pumps.