New Minn Kota with Heading Sensor - Install ?s

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Tin Man

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The following is related to my new Minn Kota Terrova.

I am at the point of installing the Minn Kota heading sensor. The manual states to install at least 2' away from ferrous metals and also the head unit of TM base.... in clear view path of TM. The heading sensor is basically a bluetooth compass.

However, I have seen boat owners install it on the bow deck adjacent to TM mounting base. On my boat, this location would ideal as there is already power sorurce and it is out of the way, for the most part.

NOTE: I did test the heading sensor by placing it adjacent to TM base and it paired quickly with no issues. However, I am not sure if I were to mount it here if issues would occur when I calibrate it out on the water??

Has anyone installed their heading sensor less than 2' away from their TM base? If so, what were the results?

Thanks!
 
So....I'm one of those that the MINN KOTA DEALER installed my heading sensor pretty dang close to my Terrova TM.....I didn't even realize there was a 2' recommendation until I read it here a few weeks ago. I can just say this....I've never had a single issue in 2 years.
 

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Thanks and glad to hear your TM works with no issues even though it is less than 2' away from TM base!

From what I have been reading, several owners have their sensor mounted adjacent to TM base (less than 2' away) with no issues.

Since I temporarily placed my sensor adjacent to TM base and it connected via BT pretty quickly, I'm going to mount it there and call it good. I'll know after I calibrate it out on the water if there are any issues.
 
I don't think their reasoning has to do with Bluetooth connection. I believe their rationale is that the electronics of the TM may interfere with the compass...possibly pulling it off the true heading by being too close.
I don't know if this is true or not..
the heading sensor is used for spot lock and jog function....I've never noticed it to be off....Using mega-live, if I see a school of fish I want to get closer to, the jog function seems to get me there....however it's possible that it would get me there quicker if the sensor was more accurate. hard to tell.... I'm not inclined to move it now that I have a hole in my boat in that spot.
 
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The reason they like it further than 2' is the algorithm is based on triangulation and the further away it is from the TM head, the easier the computer can do the math. That said I've encountered plenty of installs just like yours and not heard it to be a problem. I mounted mine near my drivers side console, in front of the windshield on the gunwale because there is power there. It's not really a compass, it has nothing to do with magnetic north, it's only purpose is to tell the head unit which way is dead ahead. That's why it get's installed in perfect line with the keel of the boat, which is the most important detail to adhere to during install.
 
The reason they like it further than 2' is the algorithm is based on triangulation and the further away it is from the TM head, the easier the computer can do the math. That said I've encountered plenty of installs just like yours and not heard it to be a problem. I mounted mine near my drivers side console, in front of the windshield on the gunwale because there is power there. It's not really a compass, it has nothing to do with magnetic north, it's only purpose is to tell the head unit which way is dead ahead. That's why it get's installed in perfect line with the keel of the boat, which is the most important detail to adhere to during install.
From Minn Kota manual...a quote
The Minn Kota Heading Sensor provides boat heading information to Bluetooth compatible Minn Kota trolling motors with Advanced GPS Navigation. It contains a compass that senses the boat’s heading. The boat heading is used by the system for navigation features such as Spot-Lock Jog. The Heading Sensor does not contain a GPS receiver and it does not change or control the orientation of the boat.
So yes...it is a compass. You use a compass to determine a heading. That's the job of any compass.
This one helps calculate the difference between the heading you wish to go and the direction the boat is pointed.
The neat part is that it also helps to calculate in human fisherman terms...ok the boat is pointed in "x" direction, but the fisherman wants to jog 5' backwards or left or right...it knows where the boat (N, S, E, W) is pointed even when the fisherman does not.
 
I'm having second thoughts about mounting it adjacent to TM base. However, even if I went and tested it in different locations, I'm not sure I could even determine if one place is more accurate than another?
 
I'm having second thoughts about mounting it adjacent to TM base. However, even if I went and tested it in different locations, I'm not sure I could even determine if one place is more accurate than another?
I would install according to minn kotas instruction for best performance. 2 feet or more from TM. You are going to like spot lock!
 
I don't understand why the boat's compass heading is critical for Spot-Lock Jog. Isn't it moving the boat from one spot to another 5' away to the front, left, right, or back depending on which remote button is pushed? Seems it is all relative to the boat's position regardless of the compass heading. I mean, without the Heading Sensor, I can turn spot lock off, steer the TM 5' over and turn spot lock on. Don't need a compass heading to do that. I know I'm missing something.

Don't get me wrong, I think the Jog feature is great. I just don't understand the need for a compass heading for it to work.
 
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I believe it determines the boats forward position and shares that with GPS and then 5' jogs are based on that forward position...right, left, etc.

Not sure if spot-lock / jog functions without it, and if it does, perhaps reduces accuracy.
 
I don't understand why the boat's compass heading is critical for Spot-Lock Jog. Isn't it moving the boat from one spot to another 5' away to the front, left, right, or back depending on which remote button is pushed? Seems it is all relative to the boat's position regardless of the compass heading. I mean, without the Heading Sensor, I can turn spot lock off, steer the TM 5' over and turn spot lock on. Don't need a compass heading to do that. I know I'm missing something.

Don't get me wrong, I think the Jog feature is great. I just don't understand the need for a compass heading for it to work.
now do it in high wind or high current and be positive you moved only 5' backwards or forward or to the side.
 
I'm having second thoughts about mounting it adjacent to TM base. However, even if I went and tested it in different locations, I'm not sure I could even determine if one place is more accurate than another?
Like someone else said, you "could" use a regular compass to determine if it's off or not based upon where you set the sensor to determine a good spot. I believe that can be read on your humminbird helix.
 
now do it in high wind or high current and be positive you moved only 5' backwards or forward or to the side.

I understand that. But still, why a compass heading to account for wind when GPS could do it -- I think. Either way, the heading sensor is needed for the Jog function, so it is really one of those things I just scratch my head about. Does the Jog function keep the boat's bow pointed in a given direction when windy? That would be pretty awesome.
 
I understand that. But still, why a compass heading to account for wind when GPS could do it -- I think. Either way, the heading sensor is needed for the Jog function, so it is really one of those things I just scratch my head about. Does the Jog function keep the boat's bow pointed in a given direction when windy? That would be pretty awesome.
GPS knows where you are, but does not know which way you are pointing (when staionary). Compass knows which way you are pointing, but does not know where you are.

Heading sensor, probally used mostly in anchor/spot lock to keep boat pointed in a specific direction.

Once you move a few feet, GPS can determine the direction of the movement, but it still doesn't know which way the boat is pointing.
 
GPS knows where you are, but does not know which way you are pointing (when staionary). Compass knows which way you are pointing, but does not know where you are.

Heading sensor, probally used mostly in anchor/spot lock to keep boat pointed in a specific direction.

Once you move a few feet, GPS can determine the direction of the movement, but it still doesn't know which way the boat is pointing.

This is it. The heading sensor is aptly named, gives the GPS controller a heading reference (the direction the boat is facing). Without it, GPS can't really give a heading without movement.

Since the "jog" feature is relative to the direction of the boat, can't use it without a good heading.
 
Since the "jog" feature is relative to the direction of the boat, can't use it without a good heading.
Pretty much what my manual states, but my boat doesn't have a headings sensor and jog works OK in anchor mode.

I just assume, it stores the heading when anchor is pressed and uses the stored heading, no idea what it uses after the wind blows the boat around.
 

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Don't get me wrong, I think the Jog feature is great. I just don't understand the need for a compass heading for it to work.
For Jog left to move left (in respect to the boat), the system needs to know which way your pointing.

It would be like, pressing left with seat facing aft, the boat would move left, but from your prospective it moved right. Same with a boat that moved 180°, if it didn't know its direction, when you pressed left, it would move right.
 
GPS knows where you are, but does not know which way you are pointing (when staionary). Compass knows which way you are pointing, but does not know where you are.

Heading sensor, probally used mostly in anchor/spot lock to keep boat pointed in a specific direction.

Once you move a few feet, GPS can determine the direction of the movement, but it still doesn't know which way the boat is pointing.
For Jog left to move left (in respect to the boat), the system needs to know which way your pointing.

It would be like, pressing left with seat facing aft, the boat would move left, but from your prospective it moved right.

Thanks. The light bulb just went off. Sometimes it takes me awhile.
 
Thanks for all the replies and great discussion. I think we all now understand what the heading sensor is for!

NOTE: I've asked others, that have the same boat as me, and many have installed it up on bow platform adjacent to TM base with no issues, even though it is not 2' away as indicated in install manual.
 
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