So the story goes, for the last year Otto my Simrad
pilot has been giving me grief, Lots of grief, with slipping belts and jammed motors. This summer after it decided to stop working altogether, I decided to keel
haul otto and press-ganged Wilhelm my old AUTOHELM 3000
(non ST version) autopilot
that I had repaired after installing Otto 9 years ago.
JOY, a working autopilot
. I must say that the old autohelm 3000
does yeomen work. It works better then the simrad
As I single
hand almost all the time having a remote
where I can adjust heading while at the bow messing with anchors, raising and lowing the main and or bow lines is pretty much a must have. Alas the old handheld remote
for the autohelm
3000 is getting to be a rare bird indeed.
Then I thought, Hey, I'm an engineer
, I can just make one. Then I had the bigger better idea, hey why not make it wireless.
I hunted about for a 12V wireless board and remote. I found one on amazon and Ebay for about $13 including two remotes and shipping
( via slow boat from china). Here's a link to the exact unit I purchased though I got mine on ebay. https://www.amazon.com/INSMA-Channel...ireless+remote
I opened up the back of willhelm and started finding out which wires are which. Now on the autohelm
3000 I have, it's a 4 wire remote. A hot/high and three signal/ input wires.
I added power off the 12v power / wires and cut and connected the port and starboard wires to the first two relays. I daisy chained the hot/ high wire to the center common pins on the relays. A pin on each relay is NO or normally open.
The remote board has a shorting block define how the relays work. Having the first (left) two pins shorted gives momentary contact when a remote button is pressed. Just want I wanted.
One minor problem is the relays are single
pole and there are three input wires for four relays Not going to work, right out of the box. I'm just using the first two signal wires / pins for 1 degree port or starboard for the time being. I need to add at least diodes (which I don't have aboard) to isolate the one degree port starboard pins from the third wire, which I'm guessing gives the 10 degree turn when pulled high with one of the other inputs high also. So for the moment I only have 1 degree port and starboard wired in.
Now the cool thing is, the relay board fits inside the autohelm 3000 housing. I had to remove the little P/S red plastic switch from the back and plug
the hole. I used a small piece of velcro and a dab of JB weld, to secure the relay board over the main processor. Also added an insulator to the back of the relay board to keep it from touching the metal backing plate.
So for $14 dollars and an hours time, I've added a wireless remote to the autohelm 3000. Bitchen..... Best of all the range is roughly 600 feet, so I'm thinking it might help should I fall overboard
to turn the boat into a circular course. Assuming I can make the remotes water
I'll need to order a few diodes to add the 10 degree port/starboard to the system. But all and all, I'm pretty happy with my $14 wireless remote upgrade.