Commercial Salmon Trolling Forum

Black Box

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Black Box

Postby Big Chinook » Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:08 pm

I've read through a number of post on the black box. Would just like to hear a little more input on pros and cons of it? What kind of numbers are you looking for and do you need different voltage for each kind of salmon?
Also pacific net & twine sells a Russell Black box is it a good one to have?
Thanks for any help
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Re: Black Box

Postby Once and Future » Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:07 pm

Well holy hubs of Hannah. The most dangerous topic on the forum. I dunno, we covered that pretty thoroughly a couple times. Probably the threads got so long that it's hard to find the gist.

I forget what the consensus was. The wire in the water should be between 0.67 and 0.72 volts positive with respect to the rudder post? With the voltmeter on the lowest possible range.

How eager are you to spend money? Do you know what your boat measures right now? If it is already in that range, why spend the money plus risk messing with your boats electrolysis? My boat came with a Russell Black Box, but due to boat's natural voltage I usually don't turn it on. If you furnish a link to the black box you are looking at, I can see if it looks like mine.
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Re: Black Box

Postby Big Chinook » Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:06 pm

So how do you go about checking without the black box. Do you hold a volt meter on the wire?
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Re: Black Box

Postby Once and Future » Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:26 am

Yes. I had to solder a wire on to make my voltmeter lead (wire) longer so it would reach. I also solder alligator clips on ends. One gets clipped on your wire with cannonball lowered over the side as deep as practical in the harbor. The other end gets attached to the rudder post, which is considered the "ground" connection.

This will get you useful information. Some people will say you have to be at sea with the cannonball deeper; and at trolling speed. You can play with that eventually, but it's not important for now. Once you establish the value at the dock under easy circumstances, then you compare it to what you get while actually fishing. And then you can see what the difference is and be pretty sure what is should read at the dock to be correct at sea.

Some people will say you need a high dollar voltmeter to have good readings. I suspect there's really not that much difference. I guess somebody could compare voltmeters on identical readings. Like old cameras, you might get a cheap one that works well, and the next cheap one won't be good.

My meter has a millivolt range. 700mv= 0.07 volts.
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Re: Black Box

Postby Big Chinook » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:36 am

Once and Future, thank you very much. We will be cleaning bottom sometime and putting on fresh zinks and then will check it out. Will wait for better weather though.
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Re: Black Box

Postby Crawfish » Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:35 pm

Black box = Brain snakes.


Just kidding, except not really.



A lot of boats properly set up fish well with the boxes turned off. If your boat has proper hull potential and you have proper line voltage differential and the boat is bonded eliminating stray current you should be good without a box.

But there is always the exception. Lulu is huge into the magic, maybe he will chime in and line you out with some down and dirty info.

Once and Future is giving good advice about getting a baseline reading.


If $1200 bucks is an issue for the box which is a fancy potentiometer, You can adjust your line voltage by adjusting the length on your break always on the leads. Still not enough differential you may have bad lead or other issues. Get a baseline on what your hull potential is and what your line voltage is and we can give you some tips if need be on getting it adjusted.
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Re: Black Box

Postby Big Chinook » Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:31 pm

The Black Box I was looking at is a Russell at Pacific Net & Twine. They list it for about $800 cdn, so comes out to about $600 US funds. Does anyone know anything about these? Will defiantly do testing on boat before making any discussions on any purchases. The only thing I've heard about the Russels is he was the inventor of them. So would be great to hear some input.
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Re: Black Box

Postby Salty » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:43 am

I have spent time with Russell. Visited him at his home in Victoria. In my opinion there is a combination of science, magic, and psychology involved in magnetic field attraction for fish, and particularly for salmon and tuna and getting bites. I have invested thousands of dollars in tuning my 36 foot fiberglass troller up to optimize my potential and confidence. When the science and psychology are working trolling can become magical to the point your partners don't want to hear the scores, you become adept at delivering to several processors, delivering part of your catch one day and the rest other days.
The problem is once given a taste of that you are so hooked that you will forever be seeking the magic again. And, at least in my experience, it can be elusive. Go down the black box magnetic field route with caution, it can be addictive and expensive.
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Re: Black Box

Postby Big Chinook » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:45 pm

So in other words once you get into the black box your heading over to the Dark side. Do anyone know about the Russel Black Box from pacific net and twine?
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Re: Black Box

Postby Once and Future » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:41 pm

Pacific Net and Twine website doesn't give us much to go on, does it? No picture, model number, whatever. I bet they are the same as what Salty and I have on our boats. There's not that much to them. Since it says "Russell Black Box", I would say you are on the right track.
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Re: Black Box

Postby Salty » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:48 pm

I agree with once and future.
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Re: Black Box

Postby Lulu » Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:24 am

Been a while since logging in. I will echo Salty's thoughts from Jan 9th. I've sent a lot of time with Malcolm and his black box has made me a lot of money. But, an understanding of the concept and how to tune the boat is absolutely critical in making the box work. Don't invest the time or money unless you want to study the subject. It goes far beyond wiring the box to the gurdies.
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Re: Black Box

Postby Big Chinook » Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:38 pm

Thanks guys for all the imput. I will test the system and see what it is reading and adjust from there. If I need a black box then I'll get one.
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Re: Black Box

Postby Crawfish » Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:43 pm

Lulu,


How much do you think your production increases with vs without the box, all things being equal?
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Re: Black Box

Postby carojae » Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:49 pm

I've had a black box for years. The only thing I can say for sure is it's never proved to me it could turned on a bite.
It is nice to see if your voltage is up or down but I have never seen a setting that I can say "brought em in". But then again, there's probably some guru that will snicker at this post.
Really I think the Canadians started messing with our heads telling us to buy these things. Told us our leads were contaminated and laughed their asses off. Imported a bunch of hootchies and called em yamaSHITa for us to buy and laughed some more. Crazy..
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Re: Black Box

Postby JKD » Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:23 am

I was fortunate to have had a good "natural" positive line voltage reading that was relatively fishy on my last troller, a steel Ft Bragg boat. But I appreciated being able to turn on the BB and be able to boost to a higher range for enticing deep Chum. The ability to easily verify/check my "natural" line voltage through the connections of the BB was also a plus.
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Re: Black Box

Postby Trnaround » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:07 pm

I have always had a black box onboard and always fished with it on. I usually put it to the voltage that seems optimum for that species of salmon and then just forget about it. Playing with the voltages has never been productive for me but having a consistent line voltage can take away one variable and now you can get on with the next one (of many) that can help you catch more fish. The worst scenario is stray voltage from improperly bonded motors and metals or stray current from shorts and voltage leaks. Those things can actually deter the fish from biting. Most of us live in fear of being that guy that can't get a bite when everyone else seems to be catching (been there). If you are that guy you may check your boat for things like that and learn more about how to get your boat to be more fishy. If your boat is fishing ok relative to others that may be all you need to know. I can't say I have ,like Salty, had to sell to different buyers to disguise my good catch rate but there are times when all the planets line up and you have managed to do everything right and they bite for you. No better feeling for sure.
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Re: Black Box

Postby Kelper » Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:02 am

One day last year in the second king opening I had 11 kings on the starboard side, and 1 king on the port side. I was scratching my head and my crewman was giving me crap as all the kings were on his side. But, the coho catch rate was the same for both sides. Being a beginner, I didn't immediately start investigating. Turns out that the wire from the gurdy to the black box on the port side had corroded and broken off at the connector. Doh! Things evened out after that was squared away.
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Re: Black Box

Postby Trnaround » Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:05 am

Exactly Kelper, I have had similar experiences and it has convinced me there that there is definite effects from electrical issues on catch rate. The black box can certainly give you one more tool in tuning your boat but I don't think it will over ride bigger problems if they exist. Usually if my boat is catching on one side more than the other it is because my wife is fishing with me and she is just a better fisher person. Or maybe I am so busy cleaning the fish she is catching my side never gets run and I am loaded with jelly fish. Ya that's more likely. Anyway I hope all your lines are sizzling hot this season.
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Re: Black Box

Postby Crawfish » Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:43 pm

You know your black box is working well when your line snaps turn pink and the the trolling wire beads start eating off the wire. :D


Seriously though I know for a fact a black box is great for brain snakes, especially those of us who can't leave stuff alone. :D
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